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  1. Default Labor Day weekend trip

    Hey guys, Last year I had asked for some advice about a possible labor day trip ( so again, we have the same request for a similar trip. We got great suggestions last yr.

    so please suggest something similar. We just want to take it easy and enjoy time spent on the road. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In Another Direction

    I'm glad that we could be of help setting up your last RoadTrip up the Potomac River and National Road. One other possible direction from Washington that will give you some scenery and history, but not the Labor Day crowds, would be a bit more northerly. Using VA-7 and US-15 to clear the DC area, get up into Gettysburg/Chambersburg for some Civil War history and then use US-522/US-22 into the Altoona area (Johnstown Flood and Horseshoe Curve). Continue north on US-219 through Allegheny National Forest to your 'target area' of southwestern New York with its many lakes, spiritual retreats such as Chautauqua, and the Lucy and Desi Museum in Jamestown. Anyway, that's one other basic idea for a long weekend getaway from Washington.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-06-2013 at 11:32 AM.

  3. Default

    Thanks AZbuck. I am leaning towards going up to the NY's great lakes region. I was planning to drive on the seaway trail. I will go upto Syracuse to meet up with my sister and then head up to Oswego NY. We plan to head eastwards towards VT and then go south through the Adirondacks and back home. So given this route, what stops would you recommend? We will reach Oswego Saturday and then we have till Wednesday to come back home. We are typically hoping for Nature, visitor center, history etc.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In Which Case, Look at...

    When I lived in Ithaca NY and would make the drive down to see my siblings in the DC area, I would follow the 13/14/15. In your case, headed in the opposite direction it would be the 15/14/13, but it is still the best combination of scenery and speed for that general trip: US-15 north to Trout Run PA, PA-14/NY-14 to Elmira NY, and NY-13 to Cortland and I-81. Then, while you can certainly follow roads on the US side of the St. Lawrence, if your passports are in order I'd suggest you poke around the Thousand Islands and the Canadian side of the river, crossing back into the US at Cornwall and going straight across the northern fringe of New York to Lake Champlain. And although the Adirondacks are scenic enough, for the combination of scenery, history, and otherwise interesting sites (including some ferries!) it would be hard to beat the Lake Champlain/Lake George/Hudson River valleys as a way to make your way south. (See my recent Trip Report.) I'd also suggest that you take a pass on New York City by picking up I-88 in Albany and taking that to Binghamton and I-81 south to Harrisburg and I-83 to Baltimore.

    If you use this routing, or parts of it, two sites you might want to look into are Taughannock Falls outside Ithaca and Cohoes Falls north of Albany,


  5. Default

    Hey guys, so my gf and I went to the upstate NY area for a nice 4 day trip.

    - Left on Friday, 8/30 at around 4:30 and took the route I495->I270->US15->I81 all the way to Syracuse. The traffic was much better than expected, given the long weekend. We reached Syracuse around 11:30, so a total of 7 hrs driving, with stops.

    - 8/31, Spent some time with my sister. Had lunch there and then left Syracuse at around 3:00 pm. Drove NW to Oswego, NY.

    - After hitting Oswego, we took 104E (Seaway Trail) and just started to follow it. We drove it up to Sackett's Harbor and just walked around the historic markers etc. It was a very neat town and was interesting to read about the war of 1812and how it affected that area.

    - We left Sackett's at around 6:00 and drove to Watertown, NY. We spent the night in that town. It was a very weird town. It was very quiet for a long weekend and most of the shops had their shutters down by 8:00 pm! However, we found a decent pizza place (Cam's Pizzeria) and had our dinner there.

    - The next morning, 9/1, we went to a natural food store (The Mustard Seed) which was really cute and niche. However, we didn't find any local honey there. so decided to hit the road. We decided to hit the Seaway trail by driving through Dexter, which was a cute little town. On the way, we stopped by Cape Vincent and sat for a bit by the riverside (Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence). We could see the Canadian Land on the other side, which had a lot of windmills and solar panels. Maybe they are greener over there. Then we spent some time checking out the local artists galley, that was right next to the Marina. Bought some locally made jewellery and then hit the road!

    - Our next stop was the Thousand Island Winery. we tasted a few NY wines (fairly decent) and then also had lunch in the winery. It was a beautiful day, so we walked around a bit and then again hit the road!

    - We got on I81 to go to the island (it was a toll road). We drove around a bit and were trying to get to a state park on the Island. Instead, we came across a farm that had goats. So had to stop and check out the goats and play with them. We realized that time was going by and we need to get on the road. so we took I81S and hit 7E and started to drive.

    - In the evening, when we were nearing the town of, we realized we had to see the Eisenhower Locks. So we took the small detour to swing by. However, we didn't see any boats passing by. The visitor center was one of the saddest ones, I have ever seen!

    - We decided to have dinner in . So we stopped at an Italian place, Vino Vidi Vici in Massena, NY. The Pizza was pretty good, but so so so greasy. After the dinner, we decided to drive until it was dark. We spent the night in Econo lodge, Malone. The keys to the room had been used so heavily that the keys had become demagnetized. It would take like 15-20 swipes to open the door. The reception clerk explained that it was the right "strategy" to open the doors.

    - The next morning was grey and drizzly. We love that kind of weather, so we were excited for the day ahead. we started to drive on, but then took a detour, 9/2, towards the canadian border. There were a bunch of dirt roads that we kept driving on, and we could see the fence too. We drove right by the border and could see the houses on either side. was a very nice drive. Eventually, we hit US11, and decided to go over Lake Champlain, into VT. On route, we stopped at the Snow Farm winery. Did some tasting, but the helper was so grumpy! and to make it worse, when we were paying using a credit card, an option for tip came up, with suggested amounts, and I ended up giving her $20. I was surprised at myself. Once done with that, we crossed over into VT, and stopped at the welcome center in Shelburne, VT.

    - We decided to spend the night in Quality Inn, Shelburne. We also then headed out to Shelburne farms. That was a very neat tour. We walked around the farms, petted a lot of animals, helped milk a cow, and overall, it was a lot of fun! headed back to the motel, and rested for the night.

    - 9/3, we headed into burlington, and stopped by Bennington potters. Bought a nice cup, and a baking pan. Walked around a bit, and then bought some veggie stuff from a middle eastern eatery. Was crap, and overpriced. not worth it at all! Started to head down on US7S. Stopped at the VT flannel company, and bought some caps, blanket etc. Crossed over into NY on NY74, and headed to Ticanderoga! I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting the original fort, and never realized that it had been rebuilt. It still was a neat experience. We saw the firing of some volleys by French troops and walked around the fort. Once done with the fort, we decided it was time to head back towards home, but decided to drive through the Adirondacks. Took NY 74->US9S->NY8->NY30->I88W. Stopped at Binghamton, NY for the night. Had dinner at Chipotle, it was just closing but they were kind enough to let us eat. Spent the night in RRInn, Johnson City.

    - 9/4, we headed out to an interesting place called nezuntos (knees and toes) and got some interesting wraps and sandwiches. Headed back onto I81S->US15S->I270S->495E and back home!

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