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  1. #1

    Default 2 day trip from Niagara Falls to NYC on Route 20

    Hi everyone!
    A Swede here that is new to this page but love roadtrips :)
    I am planning a roadtrip on our Canada - US vacation in September and would like to hear what the people here thinks about my plans. They are not written in stone and I am open to all views.
    First the static facts.. Me, my wife and two kids, age 11 and 10. Will be arriving from Toronto to Niagara Falls International airport in the US to pick up our rental car. We will be driving to NYC and leave the car in Manhattan and stay there for 7 nights. We have planned to do this trip in two days with a one night stopover on the way.
    We are all used to driving long distances and love to travel by car so we can see and experience some of the things that often get lost when travelling with plane or train. We like to make frequent stops at places that catches our interest but not necissarily long stops. Anything from a 5 min photo break to an unplanned restaurant visit for a few hours is the norm for us. We would like to avoid highways and see some typical American small towns and rural landscape on the way. The only things we are allergic to while on vacation are stress and hunger..
    So my suggestion as we have planned is the following:
    10:00 am, pick up rental car in Niagara falls international airport (or shuttle station)
    Drive to Batavia and then turn to Route 20 and follow that road through the Finger Lakes region and drive to Canandaigua-Geneva-Waterloo-Seneca Falls-Auburn -Skaneateles and Cazenovia. These places all looks nice and cosy and we would love to visit them, if only for a short time. Our intention is not to look at every towns all attractions but rather to drive through them in a calm tempo and stop and take a walk in the centres or having something to eat at a small local restaurant or diner. We try to avoid the typical fast food chains if the kids are not screaming hungry. Our only must here is a stop to the Bass Pro shops in Auburn, I have promised my son that loves fishing and camping that. It also of great interest to me myself since I have visited this store in its Las Vegas location and really like this store.
    On my wifes wishlist is a visit to some kind of outlet or extraordinary mall/shopping center. Since we will be 7 days in NYC on Manhattan we will have the opportunity to both "normal" and expensive shopping so a "normal" mall on the way is not what we are looking for.
    I have looked on the internet and is considering one of these three outlets or shoppingcenters: Waterloo premium outlets, Destiny USA in Syracuse or Woodbury common premium outlets closer to NYC. To my wife it doesn't matter, she has given me free hands in the planning with the only condition is that she wants to have atleast 4-5 hours while there.
    I know its impossible to plan exactly everything in detail but is leaning towards ending the day in Syracuse after some shopping in Destiny or sleeping in a hotel in Cazenovia and then drive directly to Woodbury the day after on our way to NYC.
    How does this planning and route sound to you more experienced guys here? Is it possible and doable? Anyone have any nice diners or restaurants to recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Tight Schedule

    Välkomnande! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With less than two days to get from Niagara Falls to New York City, and do substantial shopping, you really don't have much spare time at all. So your ability to "see and experience some of the things that often get lost" will be severely limited - essentially to what you can see from the road with a few quick stops. So, what you really need to plans is the most efficient route that includes an upscale outlet/shopping mall (I would second your choice of Waterloo Premium Outlets.) and Bass Pro Shops in Auburn. (Bass Pro has plans for a couple of stores in western New York, but unfortunately, they aren't built yet.) And certainly US-20 is the best scenic option to connect Niagara Falls and your two shopping points. The only two decisions left, then, are where to spend the night and a scenic, but relatively fast, route from Auburn to New York City.

    The first question is relatively easy if you decide to stop at Waterloo Mall. You spend the night near there, letting your wife shop from arrival (roughly 2:00 of 3:00 in the afternoon) until she's ready to quit. In the meantime you and any other non-shoppers can get a room, rest, visit Seneca Falls, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, or Seneca Lake or Cayuga Lake State Parks. Then, when your wife is shopped out, you're set for the night. The next morning, it's just a short drive into Auburn for your son's shopping.

    The second question is a bit more complicated to answer, just because of the number of roads involved, but here's a route that I think would work for you. Leave Auburn on NY-34 down to Ithaca (home of Cornell University) and from there use NY-96B south to Candor and NY-96 which will get you to Owego. Take NY-17 (freeway quality) east to Hancock NY and turn onto NY-97 southeast to Callicoon NY. Next up would be NY-17B to Monticello, then NY-42 to Port Jervis. From there, use US-209 south to Milford and then switch over to US-206 in the upper portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Follow US-206 to NJ-15 which will take you to the western edge of the New York metropolitan area and I-80 into the city. I've driven a goodly portion of those roads and they're pretty much all scenic, and while there aren't any great stops along that route, with the exception of the Delaware Water Gap, you really don't have time for long stops anyway.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-23-2014 at 11:18 AM.

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