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  1. #1

    Default New York to Chicago in May

    My wife and myself are from Australia and we are looking to drive from New York to Chicago in May. We would like to see Washington. the Amish in Lancaster and then Niagara Falls, Cedar Point and then Chicago. we have 10 days once we leave New York What are the best things to see and have we enough time. I would like to see average USA small towns but the main part of the trip for me is 2 days at Cedar Point. We are not young but to drive 8 hours a day is no problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Will this be a one-way trip, or a round trip?
    Either way, you certainly have enough time for this trip!

    I'd recommend NYC -> Lancaster -> Washington -> Niagara Falls -> Cedar Point -> Chicago.
    Along the way, you might want to stop in Philadelphia if you're interested in US history, or even just urban areas.
    Either on the way from or to Washington, DC, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania would also be a good stop.

    On your route to Niagara, stop at the Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA. There is an admission fee, but this gives you access to a nice picnic area where you watch the trains go by and admire the engineering of this place.

    You could also detour here into the New York Finger Lakes region, and enjoy a country drive. This area also has a well-established tradition of wineries. For the most part, the favored wines in this area tend towards the sweet. But here and there are bottles of drier wines.

  3. #3

    Default new york to washington chicago 13 days

    Hi we have 13 days to travel from New York to Chicago but we would like to see washington Lancaster, falling waters, Niagra Falls cedar point amusment park then Chicago. We would have allready done 7 days in New york but we do not know if we have enough time to see all the other places as we would like 3 nights in Niagra and I believe 3 days is required in Washington. Does anyone have any suggestion
    Missingscrew Australia

    Merged with previous post[s]. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-24-2012 at 09:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Timing

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan looks all very doable, and there are no legs requiring more than about a half day's drive with the exception of the Washington to Niagara leg which will take a full day. So, you've got at most about three days of driving to complete the RoadTrip portion of your vacation leaving you with ten days to see the sights along the way. To be honest, I can't imagine what you'd do with three full days in Niagara Falls. Two is really plenty to see all the real natural and historic sites. After that, you'd be into tourist kitsch. On the other hand, you could easily spend a day each in Washington's Air and Space Museum, walking the Mall, and at the National Zoo. If you can add a day for our nation's capital it will be well worth it. A day at Cedar Point in Sandusky and a day touring Amish Country and Gettysburg would still leave you with a couple of spare days, and I'd suggest that you spend them in Cleveland visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park, their world class Natural History Museum and perhaps the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


  5. #5


    Thankyou this is a great help as the time frames quoted will give us more time in wshington and even though it is the end of the 25th here Merry Xmas
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-25-2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: inline quote not really needed here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default More to think about.

    Assuming that you are flying into NYC, before embarking on your trip to Washington and onto Chicago, just thought I'd mention that it probably is not worth having a rental car in NYC or Washington. Both those cities have good public transport and parking can be difficult to find... and very expensive. It is worth considering taking the train from NYC to DC and renting a car when you are ready to leave DC.

    Good to see you devoting more time to Washington. Besides all the attractions AZBuck mentioned, both the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Holocaust Museum are worth spending time at. For that matter, so are all the Smithsonian institutes. It is hard to walk away from the Vietnam Memorial. At the Holocaust Museum you are required to first watch a video which puts everything into context. (Having lived in Europe during those times, I was not able to continue through to the museum, after watching the video, though my children and spent hours there.)

    From Sandusky to Chicago, route 20 is an interesting and scenic alternative to the tollway. In eastern Indiana this will take you through the Amish communities between Angola and Elkhart.

    You don't say where in Oz you are from, but if you are a member of the RACV, NRMA, RACQ or similar, be sure to take your membership with you. It will entitle you to free maps from the AAA. It is good (essential) to have maps in the car, even if it is fitted with a satnav.


  7. #7


    Thank you for your reply they have all been very helpful we are going to spend more time in washington now and only 2 days in Niagara. we are going to get the train from NY to DC and then drive the rest we are really looking forward to the drive

  8. #8


    Thank you for all the help we are going to stay in New York for a week then catch the train to Washington and see al the sights you have recommended then we are going to hire a one way car rental (don't know which rental company with yet or what size car any ideas) then we are off to Lancaster, Hershey,Gettysburg,Falling water, Niagara Falls, Cedar Point 7 days of driving then Chicago for 3 days, then Las Vegas for a week. If you have any other ideas please send as we are really looking forward to the drive as this prepares us for a much longer one next year hopefully a RV for 6 weeks or so. I love going to the USA it is nearly as good as Australia.

  9. #9

    Default washington to Chicago

    we are going from Washington to Philadelphia, Lancaster and Gettysburg then to Falling Water Niagara falls, Cedar Point then Chicago what I need to know, is 3 days enough to see Philadelphia Lancaster and Gettysburg as we have 2 days Niagara,1 day Falling Water 1 day Cedar Point but only 3 for those We are 3 days Washington and 2 days Chicago this is all mid May.

    Mod note] Merged again. Please keep all questions for this trip in one thread. Thank-you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-21-2013 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Seems About Right

    Your distribution of the time you have available to you seems pretty good. You could easily spend more time in Washington, but three days will let you get to the major museums, monuments, and government buildings. A day or so in Philadelphia is also a bit on the low side compared to what you could spend but is enough to get to the most historic, scenic, and interesting parts of the city. A day at Gettysburg will let you get to the bulk of the far-spread battlefield and the National Cemetery. Two days is more than enough for Niagara Falls. After all, once you've seen the falls from both sides and maybe taken the Maid of the Mist boat ride, everything else is pretty much tourist kitsch.

    Some things to take note of for your 'tour' of the Amish area around Lancaster. The Amish do not consider themselves a tourist attraction. They are a very private people who shun contact with the modern world and its inhabitants, whom they refer to as 'English'. If you see a sign advertising a particular site or event as an "authentic Amish experience", I can pretty much guarantee you that it will be none of the three. Your best bet is to stay away from US-30, the major tourist and trucking route, and Lancaster, basically a college town and not particularly Amish. Instead, use the back roads such as PA-340, PA-741, PA-372, and the like inside a triangle roughly bounded by the towns of Lancaster, Coatesville and Oxford. Strasburg had, the last time I was there, a good general store run by the Amish, but don't expect any particular place or event to serve up the Amish to you, just travel through their land - at their pace - and enjoy what you happen across. And please be discreet when taking pictures.


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