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  1. Default Memphis to Niagara Falls in May

    I'm planning a road trip from Memphis TN to Niagara Falls, then to Montreal and Quebec City, and back to Memphis.

    The timing is mid to late May. I'm allowing 2 weeks. The trip is for 2 adults.

    Is this a good road trip? I'd love to hear from anyone who has driven from TN to Niagara Falls. I think my husband would rather fly, but I'm so tired of planes. I'm hoping this would be a somewhat relaxing trip, and we could take our time getting there and back.

    We'd be driving through Ohio, so any recommendations for places to stop would be great. I don't think we want to travel more than 8 hours each day. I'd also appreciate any car recommendations. We have a Honda Civic but I'm not sure that would be the best choice.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default It's what you make it.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Depending on your attitude and outlook, any and all road trips are "good" roadtrips. You might like to share this page with your husband.

    Get out a good paper map of the route, and check just what there is along the way. Supplement this with research online. Check out the road trip attractions and map centre on the green bar above. Having paper maps is essential on any roadtrip. Don't be tempted to rely totally on electronics.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are no shortage of things you could see and do along the direct path between Memphis and Niagara Falls.

    Mammoth Cave National Park, the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, the Air Force Museum in Dayton, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland are just a few of the top attractions that just to mind right off the top of my head, but there are many more possibilities. RTA's Map Center could give you many more ideas.

    There's certainly nothing wrong with using a Honda Civic for a roadtrip. What are your concerns about using it?

  4. #4


    Since you are planning on visiting Montreal and Quebec City, I assume you have passports. Although the American side of the Falls has improved in recent years, the Canadian side is still much nicer to visit.

    If you are in to upscale shopping, the town of St. Catherine's north of Niagara Falls, Canada is a great little town to visit.

    The Thousand Islands area of New York is a wonderful place to visit. There are boat trips that go through the islands and make stops at Boldt and Singer Castles and the scenery is magnificient.

    You might also consider picking up New York 3 at Watertown and driving through the Adirondacks. This will take you to Lake Saranac and Lake Placid. Nearby is the Whiteface Memorial Highway which takes you to near the summit of Whiteface Mountain and you can then hike or take an elevator to the summit. You could then pick up I-87/Canada 15 to Montreal.

    You are heading to a beautiful part of the country and should have a wonderful trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Was Surprised

    I can see your husband's point. As much as I love RoadTrips, and would drive the one you're proposing in a heartbeat, spending nearly a full week of a two week vacation in a car might seem a bit much to many people. You might, then, want to consider a compromise where you fly non-stop to some intermediate city where you can get a good airfare/car rental deal, save three or four days of driving, and spend that time on a mix of driving/sight-seeing at the northeastern end of your trip. However, when I tried to actually do this, I found a disturbing fact: There are NO reasonably priced, non-stop flights from Memphis to any cities that would make sense! So, this might help you convince your husband to drive. At best flying would entail a change of planes, taking up the better part of a day, and costing several hundreds of dollars for the two of you to get to somewhere you could drive to in a little more time for the cost of a few tanks of gas and maybe an overnight motel room. Then there's the cost of a rental vs using your own car.

    As others have pointed out, there are many great sites to visit on the drive up to Canada, and you can double your pleasure by taking different routes up and back. It becomes a matter of perspective. If you view the drive as a long time spent getting somewhere then it's going to seem a chore. But if you view it as an intrinsic part of the vacation, and visit a couple of venues each day while spending less time driving each day, then each day is part of the adventure of visiting new places.


  6. Default thanks

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and all the information! I posted this question on another popular forum and got zero replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's certainly nothing wrong with using a Honda Civic for a roadtrip. What are your concerns about using it?
    Midwest Michael, The concern about Honda Civic is that there might be a lot of steep hills and something with a bit more power might be nice. I'll check out the Map Center. I found this forum through Google and didn't notice a map center before posting.

    Charlie H, Yes, we have passports. We went to France last year, hence the interest in Quebec City. Thanks for the tips and the comment about this being a beautiful part of the country. I think my husband is thinking the road trip will be boring. Not the destination, but the getting there.

    AZ Buck, Don't I know about the horrible airfare out of Memphis! It's one of the most expensive places to fly out of in the country. There are times I drive to Nashville just for a cheaper rate. I think things might be changing with Southwest here now. I hope, if they can land at their proper airports anyhow!

    One reason I'm considering driving is that I'm such a nervous flyer. And I've been on flights with severe turbulence, which didn't help me any with this problem. Canada is so attractive to me because we can drive there, but it's also exotic because of the French aspect. However, it might be difficult for my husband to swing two weeks straight off work. He has tons of vacation time, but it's just difficult for him to get away for more than a week straight. We're going to decide something on this soon though. Obviously, if he can only take a week, we are flying.

    Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas. It's really appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I wouldn't be concerned in the least about a Civic not having enough power. It's got at least as much power as any low to mid end rental and probably gets better gas mileage than most.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I agree with GLC that a Honda Civic would have more than enough power for any trip you'd take in North America, and at least on the direct route, you don't have any sections that would be all that steep.

    Mind you, I'm of the thought that there are almost very very few modern cars on American roads that are truly underpowered. Last Summer, I was going up and down lots of California mountain roads in a rental Nissan Versa, which is smaller and less powerful than your Civic. Those roads involved much more elevation change than you'll deal with, and getting up the mountains was never really a struggle. A larger, more powerful, car might have been a bit more fun, but even compact cars should have no problems where you are going.

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