U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty-One (Georgia and Florida)

Departing Myrtle Beach and continuing south, we started this week with a stop in colorful Charleston on our way to Savannah. The dreamy moss-covered oak tree scenery continued into the sunshine state, where we stopped to visit family, got a live-action dose of Harry Potter, and went to see a movie star in rehab. SPOILER ALERT: It was a dolphin!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 27 – October 3.

Charleston, South Carolina

We timed our Charleston stop well, because just a few days later it was majorly flooding.

After spending a couple hours grabbing lunch and wandering around the town market in Charleston, we continued on down the coast to Savannah, which was a lovely southern for walking around. We stopped for a night before moving onward to state #41 (Florida) for the remainder of the week.

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You can get an overview of our trip each week here on the blog, but we’re posting more frequent updates of our cross-country U.S. road trip on Facebook and Instagram.

Georgia peaches! $10/basket but they sure are tasty. #NTSroadtrip2015 #georgia

A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on

States Visited This Week

  • Georgia
  • Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida

In Florida, we visited my grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins, and we bought a two-day pass to Universal Studios, where we spent one rainy and one sunny day exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and tried to stomach all of the popular rides.

Read The Best and Worst Rides and Attractions at Universal Studios Florida.

We also visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Dolphin Tale star Winter, the famous dolphin with a prosthetic tail. I really like animals, so seeing all the animals having a good time undergoing rehab was a highlight for me. I especially liked watching the partially-paralyzed otter and participating in the stingrays’ feeding time. (The Aquarium offers a lot of educational animal encounters that you can participate in.)

Despite holding the fish (stingray food) the way the staff showed me, my whole finger ended up in a stingray’s mouth with the fish, but it didn’t bite me. It just felt cold and slimy!

Universal Studios Florida: Harry Potter World Hogsmeade

States Visited in Previous Weeks

Total States Visited So Far: 41

California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Gator in Anderson Park, Florida


  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Universal Studios Florida (including the new Harry Potter World)
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium (featuring Winter the dolphin from Dolphin Tale)
  • Anderson Park, Florida


  • Visiting family in Florida
  • Feeding the stingrays at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and seeing Winter, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail
  • Eating Georgia peaches in Georgia
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the interactive wand experience in Diagon Alley
  • Being surrounded by beautiful live oak trees in Savannah
  • Alligator spotting in Anderson Park

Alligator in Anderson Park, Florida

Anderson Park, Florida

Notes and Insights

  • Feeding a stingray seems scary, but it’s not so bad. Based on my experience at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, even if they accidentally try to eat your finger, it doesn’t hurt.
  • Diagon Alley was more fun than Hogsmeade, and it also had the best Harry Potter ride: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. (The line for the main Hogsmeade ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, was also really fun, but I didn’t care for the ride because it made me feel sick.)
  • Read more about our Universal Studios visit and which rides are the best here on the blog.

Photo Gallery

All photos were taken by Ian and Diana with the Sony a7 II (Ian’s camera), Sony RX100 III (Diana’s camera — review here) and our smartphones.

Charleston, South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina Savannah, Georgia Georgia Peaches Georgia Peaches Anderson Park, Florida Anderson Park, Florida Anderson Park, Florida Anderson Park, Florida Bowling with family Universal Studios Florida: Diagon Alley (Knockurn Alley) Universal Studios Florida: Diagon Alley Clearwater Marine Aquarium Universal Studios Florida Harry Potter World Diagon Alley Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Clearwater Marine Aquarium Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley, Universal Studios Florida Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida Woody Woodpecker, Universal Studios Florida Hogwart's Express, Universal Studios Florida Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida Hogwart's Express, Universal Studios Florida

Week 22 Preview

  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Airboating in Everglades National Park
  • Key West, Florida (and its many chickens)
  • Mobile, Alabama
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Little Rock, Arkansas

I hope you enjoyed this U.S. road trip re-cap! In case you missed them, check out our other weekly recaps from our road trip. Have you road-tripped to any of these U.S. locations? Tell us about your trips in the comments.

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