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  1. #1

    Default First Family Road Trip - Chicago to NY! me and the wifey decided to take a road trip this July/August along with our 6 yr old daughter. We have 12 days to spend on the road. We'll be coming from a NW suburb in Chicago and where thinking about driving to New York and stopping by at the Niagara Falls on the way back. Here's what we're thinking so far:

    To New York
    • Chicago
    • Ohio - Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
    • Washinton, DC - White House, National Monuments, etc
    • Hershey, PA - Hershey Park
    • New York, NY

    Back to Chicago
    • New York - is there a good stop midway from New York to Niagara (overnight)?
    • Niagara - Canada Side
    • Ontario (maybe)
    • Not sure if we'll just drive straight to Chicago from Canada or Stop somewhere in Michigan before hitting Chicago again, whats a good place to stay overnight in Michigan on the way back to Chicago?

    That's it so far.... sooo needless to say I'm looking for suggestions/insights or any info that anybody would like to share about must sees and what not....

    Thanks in advance!

    - nOel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Family memories.

    Hi Noel, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Sounds like a great trip. I will leave it up to others to make add to your suggestions, other than to say that we really do not believe in 'must sees'. One person's must see, is another's must bypass. It all depends on the purpose of the trip and the interests of the participants.

    As for the six year old, you could make this a great trip, with lots of memories for her if you get her to keep a journal. A simple, not too large book in which she can each night, record the most memorable moments of that day. This can be in words, drawings, clippings from brochures or stubs from entrance tickets. It could even be something picked up along the way. At six she is big enough to get the gist of it. (My three year old grandson kept a journal of a trip in a typical childish way with the help of his mother.)

    You say it is your first family trip. Won't it be great if she were to do this for all your family trips to come. What a treasure to look back on in years to come. It could even be something she might like to share after the trip. (My six year old grandson shared his journal of a family trip with his grade one class during 'show and tell'.)

    Of course, you may like to keep your own at the same time.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For Your Daughter (Mostly)

    Generally adults do a pretty good job of finding places to suit their own interests,
    as you have done here, so I'm going to concentrate on a few things for the younger member of your entourage in addition to Hershey Park. Depending on how often you get to Lake Michigan from your home, you might want to celebrate clearing Chicago to the southeast with a quick stop at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Your daughter might also enjoy a brief stop at Pokagon State Park, just off the Indiana Toll Road at Exit 144. With as much time as you have, you could even take a ferry ride out to the Bass Islands {1, 2} in Lake Erie. In Cleveland, besides the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Museum of Natural History and Cuyahoga Valley National Park might deserve a place on your agenda.

    I don't know about your daughter, but when I used to make this trip as a young child, one of my favorites parts of it was just going through the tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. There are fewer of them these days, but be sure to note where they are on a map and let her know when they're coming up.

    For a place to stop between New York and Niagara, that will depend on how exactly you go, but halfway would be somewhere in the Southern Tier of New York State. Elmira would be a good choice with the National Soaring Museum and nearby Corning Glass Center, but I highly recommend that you try to get to Watkins Glen State Park on the second day of this leg.

    Returning to Chicago through Canada would save you from covering a lot of the same ground along the southern side of Lake Erie that you covered eastbound and is a bit shorter. You will need passports, of course, but I think your daughter would enjoy visiting a 'foreign land' that's not too strange. If you go that way, check out Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Children's Museum in London Plan on taking ON-402 to Sarnia and I-69 rather than trying to get through Windsor and Detroit.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    2384 Pine Island Court, Jacksonville, FL 32224


    Dear Noel,
    I myself have driven from Chicago to Albany, Ny. They Drive is interesting to say the least the toll roads heading towards the New York area is difficult to remeber at times because the are "some" people who just can't drive worth a dam. Traffic can be a pit hetic at moments. Be careful. If i have any other information than I'll inform you as soon as possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Appreciated.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Thanks for jumping in with your first post, to help with your experience. It is always appreciated. Such diversity helps the OP to decide.

    BTW, it may not be the best idea to have your full address on the forum. I suggest you change it to just the city and State.


  6. #6


    This is awesome. Thanks you so much for all your suggestions. Much appreciated!

    - Noel

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