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  1. Default Driving from Boston to Chicago...I-80 Vs I-90

    Hello everybody!
    It's been a great thing to discovery this forum because itís exactly what I was looking for.
    Iím Jose, from Spain (Canary Islands) and Iím planning a trip to the States for the next summer. Maybe itís a bit soon to start planning it but Iím enjoying very much thinking about such a great adventure.
    Iím a family father with a two years and a half daughter and we are thinking about going from Boston to Chicago.
    Well, technically we will travel from NYC to Chicago but the part from NYC to Boston will be on train so Iíll start driving from Boston.
    As I said before, there are many months before next summer but I have many things to study about the possible routes since my only resources about American geography are Bruce Springsteen's tours (which I follow on the internet), Google maps and the Wikipedia.
    The route is about 1700 kilometres and we would spent 3-4 days to complete it, so we would have to do some stops to pass the nights.
    Asking Google Maps about the options to go from Boston to Chicago, Iím given 2 options, as you could imagine: Get the I-90 and crossing NYS till Buffalo and then go along the east side of Eire Lake until Cleveland or taking the I-80 and cross Pennsilvania and getting, equally, to Cleveland.
    So, this would be my first question because I donít have any idea about which of the routes would be more interesting, although I think NYS is a bit better.
    By choosing I-90, I would stop at Albany (1 night) and Buffalo (2 nights), visiting Niagara FallsÖand from then, directly to Cleveland, that would be the last stop before arriving to Chicago.
    On the other hand, If we follow the I-80, maybe we could go until Philadelphia and PittsburghÖand then, Cleveland.
    The second question is about the post-Cleveland part of the trip.
    Google maps indicates me to follow the north coast of Ohio and Indiana but Iím not sure if It would be interesting make any stop in another Ohio city (apart from Cleveland), like Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis (in Indiana)Öwell, I know this would lengthen the trip a bit but maybe it would be worth. On the other hand, I've read that centre Ohio is plain and boring...What's your opinion?
    What do you think about all this cities? Maybe there are other villages or small towns that are better for visitÖbut that google maps doesnít show me. Everything you could say will be welcomed!!
    Thanks a lot...I suposse, this won't be my only message in this forum so see you soon!
    Jose.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    My first recommendation would be for you to get some maps or a US atlas, so that you won't have to rely on electronics for planning. Google Maps is fine, but won't show you ALL of the alternatives that a good map will.

    It's about 1000 miles, as you pointed out, and would mean 2 long days in the car of 500 miles each. So if you have 3-4 days, you could stop at a place or two. A few ideas: The Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (near Akron, OH), Niagara Falls. Philadelphia has a lot of places to see regarding early US history.

    But do get a paper map or atlas. RTA sells them, there's always Amazon too if you can't get any locally.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default don't limit yourself

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It's certainly not too early to start planning for your trip. Planning for the trip can be a big part of the fun, so really, it is never too early to start planning. That's especially true when you're looking to travel someplace you're not very familiar, because that extra time gives you that much more ability to look into things that you might find interesting.

    With that in mind, my first piece of advice to you would be don't limit yourself to two option. Just because an online map program will highlight 2 or 3 routes, that really is just a starting point for you to begin.

    Really, at this point, I wouldn't even be worrying about a specific route, I'd be focusing on finding the things and place you think look most interesting to you. I wouldn't rule out anything at this point, and certainly don't believe anyone who dismisses an area as "boring." One of the biggest principals of this site is that there are no boring place.

    Certainly, cities are easy to capture your attention, but you don't need to limit yourself there. Perhaps you'd be interested seeing some of the Amish Communities of Pennsylvania, or heading to some of the mountain resorts in Pennsylvania or New York. You could even expand your ideas beyond what you've looked at - West Virginia and Kentucky are a couple places I've enjoyed spending time.

    That's the beauty of starting your planning early. If I were you, I'd start by spending a lot of time looking at maps and reading, things including articles and other forum posts here, as well as travel books, and really anything you can get your hands on. Try to find a couple things that are most interesting to you where you'll focus your time, and then once you've got those, you can work to fill in the details with other attractions that fall in between those highlighted stops.

  4. Default

    Thanks a lot Dona!
    I agree with you. I'm gonna buy some maps and keep on reading!
    Thanks again!
    Jose.

  5. Default

    Thanks a lot Michael!
    I'm really enjoying very much just discovering the country. As you say, it's part of the trip!
    About West Virginia, I remember a song by John Denver..."Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong,West Virginia..." ;-) Ok, it's a place I didn't take into account.
    Well, your message makes me think...from the beginning I only have had in mind Boston and Chicago (I forgot to say in my first post that I was in NYC and Philly in 2012...although It's nos a problem for me to visit those cities again...in that time, in Philly, I wasn't allow to step up Rocky's stairs...it was very frustrating...maybe I would come back ;-).
    Well, thanks again and keep on reading!
    Jose.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A few to get you started.

    When you leave Boston, or maybe as a day trip from Boston, be sure to visit Old Sturbridge Village. My grandchildren in Boston have always loved that place. Another attraction while you are in Boston is their Children's Museum. A great place for little kids. There is also a wonderful children's museum in NYC

    You might like to check out Route 6 through PA. Described as more of a destination in itself, than a route, it has many attractions along the way, passes through small towns and mountain villages and is a very scenic route.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-24-2014 at 04:24 PM. Reason: add info

  7. Default

    Thanks Lifemagician!
    Route 6 looks very interesting. I'm going to study the route in order to learn more details!
    Thanks again!
    I love this forum!;-)
    Jose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    When you leave Boston, or maybe as a day trip from Boston, be sure to visit Old Sturbridge Village. My grandchildren in Boston have always loved that place. Another attraction while you are in Boston is their Children's Museum. A great place for little kids. There is also a wonderful children's museum in NYC

    You might like to check out Route 6 through PA. Described as more of a destination in itself, than a route, it has many attractions along the way, passes through small towns and mountain villages and is a very scenic route.

    Lifey

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