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  1. Default 12-15 Hours Driving from Michigan

    Hi. First post here. Great site.

    I'm trying to plan a road trip this summer. We live in Michigan. Previously we went to Gatlinburg, Smokey Mountains, North Carolina for a road trip and love it.

    What might be a similar region that is a similar distance from Michigan?

    Criteria:
    Looking for something that has multiple things to do within a short distance (like Gatlinburg/Mountains/North Carolina). And is about 12-15 hours drive.

    Thoughts:
    • St. Louis area might be ok. Not sure though if it is as memorable as the mountains though. Thoughts?
    • Upstate New York might be ok. Not sure if there is enough to do.

    I was thinking about driving out to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. But that might take a bit too long.

    Any thoughts would be helpful. Just looking for some brainstorming ideas.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Plenty to Do

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Since you enjoyed the Great Smoky Mountain area so much, I am going to suggest that you take a serious look at upstate New York, Lake Champlain, and the Green Mountains - but with a difference. It seems as though you are willing to drive long distances to get somewhere but not so much once you're there. I think you're doing yourself a disservice with that approach. It causes you to miss so much just to get "there" and then places unreasonable demands on your destination. As an alternative, why not take a couple of days - or even three - to get where you're going at a very relaxed pace and seeing/doing some things, then spend a few days at your destination exploring that area in depth, then take a couple of days to return home by a different route but again at a relaxed pace.

    As an example of what could be done with that approach, consider the following. You could leave your home and (passports being in order) head for Sarnia ON and then on to Niagara Falls. Check out the Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort George, etc. and spend the night. Next day drive across the top of the Finger Lakes, maybe checking out Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls NY, and arrive in the Thousand Islands region in the evening for a boat ride at sunset. That would leave another relatively short drive the third and final day, including the chance to take a ferry across Lake Champlain, to Burlington VT which would be your base of operations for the "there" part of this RoadTrip. There is a ton of stuff to do within just an hour or two of Burlington including hiking, shopping, display farms, Ben & Jerry's, the von Trapp's graves, culinary schools, cute covered bridges, etc. For the drive back you could start out by heading south along the lakes and Hudson seeing a number of historic forts such as Ticonderoga and the gorgeous scenery and then west through southern New York (Cooperstown, Watkins Glen) and overnight somewhere in the Southern Tier. Your last day would still be an adventure continuing through Jamestown (Lucy and Desi Museum), Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Natural History Museum, Cuyahoga Valley National Park), and finally home.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-07-2015 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Typo

  3. Default

    AZ Buck.

    Amazing.

    Did you just come with that off the top of your head?

    Amazing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default You can do that too.

    Quote Originally Posted by BLH123 View Post
    Did you just come with that off the top of your head?
    Just like most of the members on this forum, you too could have come up with all that..... but not on a little screen. Get hold of good maps or a road atlas and see how many attractions are marked on them. You are bound to find natural attractions, historical sites, even some museums and glitzy attractions - maybe lots more that will interest you.

    Good maps have a wealth of information. They are invaluable while planning a trip, and essential while on the road. Don't be tempted to rely on your electronics. Many have done so at their peril, some fatal.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thanks!

    What are some good map recommendations?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Join AAA, visit your local office, and get free maps of all the states you will be covering.

    Go to Walmart, a bookstore, a truck stop or our online store and buy a Rand McNally Road Atlas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Can never have too many.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Join AAA, visit your local office, and get free maps of all the states you will be covering.

    Go to Walmart, a bookstore, a truck stop or our online store and buy a Rand McNally Road Atlas.
    I know I am not the only one who likes to use and travel with both. In fact, as you cross State borders, at the Welcome Centres you can usually pick up free State issued maps as well. Having all three, and comparing them you will find that there is always something on one of them, which is not on the others.

    I just don't like missing anything.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    With AAA, you can also get free tour books. Mostly they have motel and restaurant listings (but only those that are AAA-approved or AAA-recommended), but they also have good descriptions of the areas and Points of Interest. More than once, we've checked a Tour Book and gone to someplace that we might have otherwise missed. (The National Museum of Nuclear Science in Albuquerque was one such place, and another one was a place in Jefferson City that my Sis-in-law had forgotten about. There were others, but those are two that come to mind as places we found via the Tour Books.)

    Like Lifey, we travel with an atlas, AAA state maps, AAA regional maps, and a GPS (to find local addresses only), and we stop and pick up another map at state visitor centers. But what can I say, I've been a "map fiend" since I was about 8 years old and my mom had taught me how to read one!


    Donna

  9. Default

    Just a couple Hours further are the Black Hills of South Dakota with Mt Rushmore among MANY other fascinating attractions. You could spend a month there and still not see everything!

    . Before you arrive, you'll pass through The Badlands. Fun stops include Wall Drug and the Mitchell Corn Palace.
    Last edited by travelingman; 05-09-2015 at 10:50 AM.

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