Georgia, via KY, VA, TN, NC and SC.
I've read this site for many years and have gotten some great tips from it. Thought I'd try to give back a little with a trip report. Sorry, no pictures.
We wanted to travel off interstate as much as possible. Traveled mostly US 23 and 25 with some non-food time on old US 301.
First stop was Stewart's Drive In Ashland KY. Great fries, hot and fresh. Preferred the chili cheese dog over the slaw dog.
We drove through a long thunder and hail storm later that afternoon. We ended up in Wise, VA. Saw an old Bonanza Steakhouse and for the nostalgia, decided to stop. The place was busy. Though most customers were using the buffet, we ordered off the menu. Very disappointing. Lukewarm food. My wife didn't finish her steak. No where near what I remember from the Bonanza's of the 60s and 70s. Should have ordered the buffet. Everyone else was and seemed pleased.
The next day, nostalgia led us to stop in Columbia, SC too. Maurice's Piggy Park. We'd eaten there in the early 90s, before the days of protest and boycott over Maurice's politics. Again, nostalgia left us disappointed. While boycotts haven't quieted Maurice, bad food just may. Ribs...chewy and tough. Hash & rice that was now almost all rice. Mushy pulled pork buried in sauce. So we decided no more stops based on nostalgia.
Our main destination was Saint Simons Island, GA. The sun and the "'que gods" shine brightly on Saint Simons. Our visit to Southern Soul more than made up for the meals of the prior two days. I don't know that there is any more insight I can give about SS, that others haven't before me. Suffice to say, short of McClards in Hot Springs Village, I don't recall ever tasting a better 'que. I'd consider their Brunswick Stew to be worthy of a last meal.
We gave strong consideration to a return dinner visit to Southern Soul, but instead chose Blackwater Grill in Saint Simon's Redfern Village. Amazing Boudin Fritters for starters. Great crab cakes and filet. Creamed corn on the side. And pecan pie for desert. All great with a wait staff that knows their product and their customer.
A side trip to Harlem, GA's Laurel and Hardy museum the next day and back to US 25 and the Dixie Drive In Greenwood, SC. Traditional old school drive in with hot and fresh food. Great rings and a chili slaw burger hit the spot. We were very pleased with our discovery.
The next day, we tried Pal's Sudden Service (a small Kingsport, TN based chain)...the Morristown, TN location. Very quick and very fresh. Perhaps the best fast food fries I've ever tasted. No inside seating and a small lot around the building. So we parked next door and ate in our car during another hail storm.
Last day of a quick six days on the road meant a stop at Ramsey's Diner in Lexington, KY. Old school meat and threes. Crispy, hot chicken livers, sweet tea and a slice of Butterscotch Pie was a great ending to our road adventure. There are multiple Ramsey's locations around Lexington. All are consistently good.