Our oldest son is currently studying at Murray State College in Oklahoma. We have a bit of a pipe dream to go and see him graduate in May 2018. We would like to take our (now) 13 and 16-year-old children too. While over there, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a family trip round part of the US. We are probably looking at three weeks (maybe four at a stretch). Given the size of the US we know we cannot do it all. We will either fly into Dallas or Houston, go to graduation in Tishomingo and go from there. What would you suggest as an itinerary?
That definitely sounds like the perfect opportunity for a family trip - I've spoken to my contact at House of Travel, who says three to four weeks is a great amount of time to spend exploring. However, where you go depends on your interests and how you want to travel. Do you want to see as much as possible, or do you prefer a more relaxed pace and to see fewer places in more depth? Do you want to go for the classic American road trip or would you rather see some big cities and travel by air?
Oklahoma itself has plenty of natural attractions to take in, if you're keen to start your journey exploring the state. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton covers 24,000ha of ancient mountains and is home to an array of American wildlife. I'm sure your son will already have plenty of suggestions for the area.
If you decide to rent a car and hit the road, you could head from Oklahoma through Arkansas and the Ozark National Forest park and then continue on to Memphis and Nashville. That's a good option if you're interested in the music heritage of the South - plus you could also travel to Alabama and visit Muscle Shoals, once known as the "Hit Recording Capital of the World". Everyone from the Rolling Stones to Cat Stevens has recorded there.
If you're more interested in history and the civil rights movement, you'll want to head further south into Alabama to Birmingham and Montgomery. Then make your way down to the Florida Coast and head west towards New Orleans - making sure to try as much delicious Cajun food as possible - and then into Texas.
Or if you're looking for some thrills and spills for the kids, heading to the theme park mecca of Orlando would be another great option - there's the legendary Disney World and also Universal Studios, which includes the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Following all that excitement, you could head down to Miami Beach for a bit of R&R.
When it comes to the US, the opportunities are endless. Every state is almost like its own country.
I think a road trip would be the ideal way to see as much as possible, and there's no telling what oddities you may discover.