The Gridlock Guy: One-tank trips are calling this Spring Break season

I’m a big fan of the “get in the car and just drive” kind of vacation. Where can we go, how long will it take to get there kind of vacations are my favorite. No plan, just jump behind the wheel and wind up at a roadside motel. Single serve coffee maker. Never enough towels. Heaven.

I’m also a big fan of not having to stop for gas while traveling. So, the question begs to be asked, where can Atlantans travel to on a single tank of gas, especially with Spring Break season upon us?

After some research, I’ve found that the average automobile in the U.S. right now, averages just a shade under 25 miles per gallon on the highway. Your vehicle (SUV, truck, compact car) might average much more or much less. The average sized gas tank is 18 gallons. Doing the math for you, most of us can travel about 450 highway miles on a single tank of gas. So, with a 450 travel distance, where can Atlantans “get in the car and just drive” to?

Using downtown Atlanta as a starting point, here’s what I’ve found for each major interstate:

Interstate 20 (eastbound):

Wilmington, N.C. 415 miles. Many attractions in the port city, including the USS North Carolina Battleship and Museum and the Cape Fear Museum.

Interstate 20 (westbound):

Vicksburg, Miss. 423 miles. Vicksburg is located at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Yazoo River. While there you can check out the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Interstate 75 (northbound):

Walton, Ky. 441 miles. There actually isn’t much to do in this small town of about 3,000 people, but it is just south of Cincinnati.

Interstate 85 (northbound):

Raleigh, N.C. 405 miles. The capitol of the state and the home of North Carolina University, the city is full of museums and other cultural attractions.

Interstate 75 (southbound):

Kissimmee, Fla. 450 miles. The spring training home of the Houston Astros, Kissimmee is just minutes away from Disney World.

Interstate 85 (southbound):

Slidell, La. 440 miles. The birthplace of celebrity chef John Besh doesn’t offer much in the way of sight-seeing, but it is only 33 miles away from New Orleans where there are plenty of sights to see.

So consider this just a start to what excursions you can find. And for those who are more daring, there are lots of state routes and lesser traveled byways that can lead to amazing adventures.

Just make sure the car has passed a pre-trip inspection and if you’re a regular reader of The Gridlock Guy, you’ll recall that I encourage everyone to have a road map on hand. GSP apps are fine, but when you have a dead cell phone battery, satellite interference or if the thing is just plain wrong, an actual paper map can get you out of a jam.

Now get out there and have fun!