My trip with Trek America was discounted in return for content both during and following my trip. Although I received the trip at a discounted price, all of my opinions are my both honest and my own.
I have lots and lots of Trek America content planned for the next few weeks, but one of the most common questions I have been asked since I landed back on UK soil is what was your favourite experience? Although I wish I could say ALL OF IT, there are a few moments that really stand out to me above the rest.
Broadway In Nashville
Although I knew we were going to be spending a lot of time in Tennessee, I wasn’t expecting to love both the state and Nashville as much as I did – even though I am a country music fan.
Having spent a couple of days in the mountains arriving in Nashville was refreshing in an ‘I need a city’ way, especially when we reached Broadway. From the live country music pouring out of every bar to the free line dancing lessons in a local honky-tonk, I instantly fell in love. Usually, bustling bars and live music are something I can only handle for one or two nights on the go, but I think I could easily visit Nashville’s Broadway every single night and never get bored.
My favourite memory from the whole trip is sitting on the rooftop of Kid Rock’s Bar drinking Bud Light, staring out at the bright lights below. There was a live band playing popular country music in the background and amazing people all around me. It was definitely a moment I will never forget.
Bar Crawl In The French Quarter
I know, I know, so far all my choices are revolving around alcohol but they really were some of the best times with my Trek group. On our first night in New Orleans our Trek tour leader, Jody, organised a bar crawl of some of the most famous bars in the French Quarter. We drank Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle, Voodoo Daquiris at the Blacksmith bar and Hurricanes in Pat O’Briens. After the three drinks completely annihilated me, we went for some food nearby, before heading back out for even more hurricanes. It would be rude not to for $9 each, right?
I definitely need to plan another trip to New Orlean’s to experience everything properly, as two days was definitely not enough.
Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando
We only had one free day in Orlando and as I had plans to stay after our Trek America trip had finished, I decided to use this time to explore the Kennedy Space Center and NASA. I have wanted to go to the KSC for as long as I can remember, so as we pulled up and saw the rockets from the Rocket Garden I instantly turned into a child again. We spent a good 6 hours exploring absolutely everything we could, even taking the bus tour to the Vehicle Assembly Building and some of the most commonly used launch pads on the coast. I found absolutely every exhibit we visited fascinating and the cinematics and production value just added to the experience. 10/10 would recommend to ANYONE.
Philly Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia
Of course one of my highlights was going to include food, wasn’t it? I have been dreaming of REAL Philly Cheesesteaks (or chilly pheesteaks) for as a VERY long time. In fact, I put off trying one in ANY other country until I had a chance to try the real deal, which definitely shows commitment if you ask me. After a quick walking tour of some of Philadelphia’s most famous landmarks on our first day together, we all headed to Campos for an INCREDIBLE Philly Cheesesteak. Our Trek leader advised we try it with cheese whiz and I am SO GLAD she did as it was probably one of the nicest sandwiches I have ever had. My brother and I also had a layover in Philly on our way back from Florida and of course, I couldn’t resist having one more before we landed back in the UK.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg
More alcohol, sorry.
As we were all aged over 21, our tour leader organised a stop at Jack Daniel’s Distillery on the way into Nashville. Although it meant taking a slight detour, we were all more than happy to go on a tour of one of Tennesse’s most famous whiskeys. Although I don’t drink Jack Daniel’s, I REALLY enjoyed the tour. It was so interesting to hear the history of the drink and to learn that every single bottle of Jack is made in Lynchburg. It was also incredible to learn that Lynchburg is a DRY COUNTY. A DRY COUNTY THAT MAKES WHISKEY. Who would have guessed?
We had an incredible guide walking us around and telling us everything we needed to know, then those that wanted to try got the chance to sample some of the most popular whiskeys at the end. As a few of us didn’t want to drink ours, two members of our group ended up having A LOT of shots in the space of 10 minutes. Definitely worth twenty bucks ?
Open Top Bus Tour In New Orleans
Although we (read: I) felt a little worse for wear on our second day in New Orleans, we decided to head out and make the most of it. Having booked an evening voodoo tour, we thought the best way to spend our day would be to get on one of the Hop On Hop Off City Bus Tours to make sure we didn’t miss anything. The route took us to the Garden District, The French Quarter, St Louis Cemetary and a couple of other popular spots across the city and although we wanted to get off, we had no guarantee there would be another bus behind us as they finished at 3.30pm.
Whilst it was a VERY hot two hours sat on a bus with no air conditioning, I loved our whistle-stop tour of New Orleans. If only the voodoo tour was as good as I hoped… ?
Live Bluegrass Music and Questionable Cocktails in Ocoee
Finally, although I got bitten to death by EVERY SINGLE BUG KNOWN TO MAN, Ocoee was a pretty memorable night for me. After some of our camp cooked delicious jacket potatoes on the campfire, we all headed to the campsite bar – an old school bus that had been converted. The cocktails came out of barrels and the beers were served shotgun style, all as we listened to a live bluegrass band. It was something I never imagined I would do, nor something I thought I needed to do, but it made it into my top 7 purely because it was so unique.
Have you ever done a Trek America trip? What were your favourite memories?