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  1. #1

    Default Minneapolis,MN to Niagara Falls,NY

    Hey ppl,

    Am new to this group and planning for a road trip from Minneapolis to Niagara via IL-IN-OH-NY during July 4 long weekend. Here is my plan for now:

    Start from Minneapolis - July 3rd mid day.
    drive for 8 or 9 hrs and take a night stay in a motel @ IN.
    Start from IN - July 4th morning.
    Reach Niagara on 4th evening.
    In and Around Niagara on July 5th
    Drive back from Niagara on July 6th without night stay to Minneapolis.

    This is going to be my first road trip and I will be the only driver during the trip. Let me know if this is do-able or should i consider something during my trip? Also is there any specific places where i should stop for sight seeing during the road trip to Niagara? Lemme know your thoughts :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Sorry, too much. It's 2 full days each way from MSP to Niagara.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Stay a little closer to home.

    You would need to find more time if you wanted to do this. It is over a thousand miles. Two days drive there and two days back, just to have a quick peep at the falls. You don't even have time to really enjoy the many features.

    Don't even contemplate driving 1000 miles in one sitting. It is just not humanly possible. Fatigue will set in long before you are aware of it. Fatigue is akin to drunk driving. You will occasionally hear of folk who have done such crazy drives, just as you hear of folk who have driven while under the influence. However, all those who did not make it are not here to tell their story... to warn you of the dangers. Besides, 600 miles is the limit for professional drivers, due to safety concerns for all road users. That will keep you on the road for around 11 hours.

    Why not take a trip closer to home? Chicago, through MI to Duluth and back along the lake shore. Or go the other way, up to Thunder Bay and the Canadian border region. There is so much to see in MN.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Common Mistake

    I agree wholeheartedly with the above comments. This is simply too much for a long weekend, especially one during which just about everybody else will be on the roads. Most first-time RoadTrippers make the same simple mistake that computer-based mapping routines make. It goes something like this 'I'm going to drive 8 hours; I can drive 75 mph; therefore I can drive 600 miles.' Unfortunately, that's not the way it works in the real world. First of all you won't be driving at 75 for all of those 8 hours. You'll be slower in traffic. (Have you thought about what traffic will be like in Chicago on the getaway night of the long weekend?) You'll be going exactly zero mph every time you stop to fuel up, get a meal, or even go to the bathroom; and your travels off-highway to and from those stops all add to your time 'driving' while getting you no farther down the road. While such considerations may not seem like much, they quickly and relentlessly add up.

    Then there's the other common mistake, thinking one can be alert for hour after hour while directing a two-ton machine down the road at highway (hopefully) speeds. Despite the fact that driving is not physically demanding, hour after hour of it is extremely fatiguing mentally.

    If you want to have fun, go to Canada, see some water, and not spend the entire weekend cooped up in the car, consider a drive up to Thunder Bay ON with some quality time spent on a car-less trip over to Isle Royale National Park and any number of state and provincial parks to explore as well.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    A little true story here, from experienced road trippers: A few days ago, we were attempting to make 500 miles in one day. That's comfortable for us, and under the recommended 600 miles in a day. It took us 11 hours that day. Why?

    1) Construction zones. If traveling on a weekday, when construction is in full swing, you'll be down to 45mph in places, maybe even slower. Don't think about exceeding the speed limit just to make time. You'll either be behind a string of others, or you'll get nailed with a very expensive ticket.

    2) Weather. That day, we were treated to torrential rains. For 20 miles, we were literally following someone else's tail lights. No one was going more than 55 mph, and mostly we were slower than that, ON the freeway!

    3) Crowds at the rest areas. We weren't traveling on a holiday weekend, but we still got to some rest areas to find a tour bus had just stopped.

    Fortunately, we had no mechanical issues that day, but it's been known to happen and slow us down.

    So....I agree with others not try to drive back in one day or think that 1000 miles will only take a day. That's a 2-day drive. It will be slower than you think.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Detours.

    Only yesterday I we were detoured off the interstate through local streets for I don't know how far. All I know it set me back an hour when I was already running late.


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