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  1. Default July 5th Yr Anniversary Road Trip

    My wife and I will be celebrating out 5th wedding anniversary this year. Now we know how people get to their 50th together because with kids, work, and all that we both thought we were married for only 3 years!!!

    Anyway, we live in Chicagoland, and we love to drive together. It's relaxing and we seem able to tune into each other within the 1st couple of hours of a trip. So, we're leaving the kids with the parents and hitting the road for 6 - 7 days from 7/1 - 7/7. The only question is which direction do we point the car???

    We'll probably drive 5 -6 hours per day for 3 days and then turn around and go home so we're stuck in IL and surrounding states. Since we're from IL we want to see something other than flat land & corn fields. We want beautiful and varied landscape, simple food, and only each other's company. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    THANKS!
    rspatel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Non-Flatland

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, the good news is that you can easily have a nice 6 day journey from Chicago that only sees flat farm land on the first and last day. In fact there are a couple of such possibilities. one would have you head down through Indiana on the first day to Louisville, KY. You can, if you will, consider this your drive to your vacation. On day 2, head down to Mammoth Cave National Park for an underground guided hike (they have many choices as to how long and how strenuous) before heading east into the Appalachians along a Kentucky's scenic Cumberland and Daniel Boone Parkways, ending up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky around Hazard. Day 3 would then be dominated by scenic drives. Continue eastward on KY-80, take a short jog south on US-23, and hook up with US-119 up to Charleston, WV. From there, finish off your driving day with a trek up the scenic Midland Trail (US-60) calling it a day near Lewisburg or White Sulpher Springs. Now the beauty is you don't have to just turn for home and repeat your outward journey, let the voyage of discovery continue. On day 4, continue east on I-64 to the lovely town of Lexington, VA, and then get back on US-60 to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway and then the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, ending the day around Winchester, VA. On day 5, you would finally make the turn for home, but that doesn't mean you're done exploring yet. From Winchester, head up US-522 to Hancock. MD and get on the old National Road (US-40) for a scenic and historic trip up the Potomac River Valley, past the site of Washington's first command, and through Wheeling before turning northwest on US-250 for somewhere roughly around Wooster, OH. Finally on day 6, your would make your drive home using either the Turnpikes, or if you still want a more bucolic road, US-30, Each of those day's drives is around 300 miles, so you can take them at your own pace and still have time to wander around on foot quite a bit and enjoy.

    That whole itinerary is just one example of what's possible with 6 days from Chicago, Other options might include a trip around one or more of the Great Lakes, a drive down the Mississippi, or with a slight extra push, you could even get down the St. Lawrence to Montréal

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Circle Tour

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    My first thought with your time and request might be to do the circle tour of Lake Michigan. I think that would give you lots of great views, plenty of simple but tasty dining options (Like the UP's famous Pasties, Door County Fudge, or fresh fish from the area fishermen). You could also detour up to Lake Superior and check out the Shipwreck Museum or Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on your way through.

    If you wanted to get a little farther away and want a more urban feel to it, you could also do a trip to Toronto, Niagra Falls, and back through Cleveland and Sandusky.

    Those are just some of the places I would start looking!

  4. Default Montreal and back!

    ... you could even get down the St. Lawrence to Montréal
    AZBuck, what would the Montrel trip look like? That piqued my wife's interest.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-24-2007 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Fixed the format

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Chicago and Montréal - 6 Days

    Chicago to Montréal by the most direct route would go something like this. Again, your first day would be dedicated to getting started on the journey. Head out of Chicago on I-94 into southern Michigan, switching over to I-69 east of Battle Creek and continue up toward Port Huron. Spend the first night somewhere north of Detroit. At the start of the second day, cross into Canada at Port Huron/Sarnia and take ON-402 and ON-401 to Toronto and beyond, hugging the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Spend the second night around Belleville. On the third day head down the St. Lawrence, still on ON-401 through the Thousand Island region and into Montréal. Spend that evening and perhaps some of the next day in this truly cosmopolitan city.

    For a different route back, albeit a little longer, leave Montréal on QC-138 south. At Ormstown (about 20 mi south of Montréal) use QC-201 north to cut over to QC-132 back up the right bank (south side) of the St. Lawrence. Once you enter New York, follow NY-37 to I-81 south and the New York Thruway (I-90), spending the night somewhere in the Finger Lakes region, say near Geneva or Canandaigua. Day 5 would then have you following I-90 west, with a detour to Niagara Falls, and your last overnight in the Cleveland area. Day 6 would have you making the final run for home.

    This trip is a little bit longer that I suggested earlier, but still roughly within the constraints you set out. You should be aware that crossing the Canadian border is getting harder all the time. It used to be that just showing your driver's license (if that!) was sufficient to identify you as an American citizen and allow easy passage. No more. Now you must show documentation proving your citizenship and identity. In practice that means one of two options. The first and easiest is just to have a passport. This will become mandatory at the end of this year. The second is to show your driver's license AND the original or certified copy of your birth certificate.

    AZBuck

  6. Default Thanks! That's the one!

    Thanks, AZBuck. I think the Montreal trip is the one we'll take. We really appreciate your help!

    rspatel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Next Trip- Route 66

    I propose a trip on the Mother Road next time out.

    Also, check out the Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, in September. Bring the kids and check out the Lincoln Museum.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadDog View Post
    I propose a trip on the Mother Road next time out.

    Also, check out the Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, in September. Bring the kids and check out the Lincoln Museum.
    RoadDog -- great idea! Our two girls are 30 months & 7 months old. We call the second one our 'free-range chicken' as she absolutely hates being in the car seat. We hope to make this trip when the kids are a little older.

    Thanks,
    rspatel
    Last edited by rspatel; 02-25-2007 at 09:30 PM.

  9. Default Your blessing on this itinerary please!

    June 30th -- Chicago to Toronto: 550 Miles(9 - 10 Hrs w/ rest stops)
    July 1st -- Brunch at the CN Tower & drive to Foresters Falls: 239 Miles (5 Hrs)
    July 2nd -- Whitewater rafting & rest.
    July 3rd -- Morning Spa and drive to Montreal: 195 Miles (4 Hrs)
    July 4th -- Tour Montreal
    July 5th -- Drive to Niagra Falls: 408 Miles (8 Hrs)
    July 6th -- Tour the Falls & Drive to Cleveland: 212 Miles (5 Hrs)
    July 7th -- Drive home. 370 Miles (7 - 8 Hrs)

    My wife and I have more a lead foot than the times suggest. However, if you feel that the drive times are not as conservative as I think they are because of road conditions please let me know!

    Also, if you have any suggestions on what to do in Montreal or Cleveland your advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    rspatel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. The title is a Latin phrase that we used as seminarians when we would be asked for our blessing. It means "No one gives what he does not have." You've got a very good itinerary and if the times and distances work for you, then you don't need my blessing. I see you've upped the number of days you'll devote to this and put in more hours driving on a couple of days so that you can devote some time to enjoying your destinations. Both are good choices and a sign of the flexibility required in planning a great RoadTrip. As for what to do in Montréal, I can't give you better recommendations than our resident Québécoise, Gen, gave in this post. In Cleveland, be sure to spend a little time at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Personally, my favorite site in Cleveland is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, home to Lucy (Australopithecus Afarensis). I was fortunate enough to see the original here many years ago. The current display is a cast but still intriguing. The museum also has a great dinosaur collection. But if your tastes run to night life rather than extinct life, check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Have a great trip and many more aniveraries!

    AZBuck

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