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  1. Default Chicago to Baltimore by road


    I am from the UK. Myself and my son are flying into Chicago and spending a few days there before travelling to Baltimore in a hire car.

    We leave Chicago on 6th July and have to be in Baltimore for a conference on 21st July. The only thing I have booked so far is the flights and 5 nights in a hotel in Chicago.

    My son wants to go to Washington but apart from that we are just looking for interesting places to visit on the way. My son is a wheelchair user so places need to be accessible if possible :-)

    Any tips most gratefully appreciated.
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If I understand you correctly, you've got about 2 weeks to make a drive you could easily cover in 2 days. That's great, because it means you could really see anything in the eastern half of the US. The problem is, with the ability to see or do nealy anything in the eastern US, it's going to be tough for anyone else to narrow that down into meaningful suggestions, until we have a better idea of what you are interested in, or you give us a couple of your own "must sees" that you can build your trip around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default What's On Offer

    Just to give you an idea of what's available between Chicago and Baltimore that you might want to include, there's Nature (Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Mammoth Cave National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Shenandoah National Park), Sports (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pro Football {American football} Hall of Fame, Major League Soccer {rest of the world football} teams, several major and minor league baseball teams), History (Lincoln sites, Revolutionary and Civil War sites, Presidential homes), Museums (Cleveland's Natural History Museum and DC's Air and Space and various history museums), etc. So you can see, as Michael said, there's too much for us to start narrowing it down without some input from you and your son as to what would make the best trip for you.


  4. Default

    Thanks guys and sorry that was a bit open!!
    We like history, views (if wheelchair accessible), music and film, also anything quirky or interesting really.
    To give you an idea I was looking at to have a look at or stay a night, there seems to be a rock and rock hall of fame in Cleveland (not sure if worth a visit) and there is a house in the woods which is a interesting architectural piece (think it was called Fallingwater but only some of it accessible so not sure if worth a trip).
    I don't know if there is anything worth seeing to do with Native American culture?

    My son went to Kentucky last year with his girlfriend and went to Nashville so I guess I'll have to put up with not seeing it!
    We have seen Niagra Falls from the Canadian side so not sure if it's worth going to see the other side.
    I guess I would like a snapshot of America maybe, I have only been to New York in the past.

    Want to make it special as I am treating my son for his 21st birthday present and we are on route to a family conference in Baltimore about his condition (first one ever) which will be memorable I'm sure :-)

    Hope that all makes sense,

  5. Default Hiring a car in Chicago, drop off Washington

    My son and I are travelling from the UK in July to Chicago and then flying out of Washington around three weeks later.
    We will need to hire a car after staying in Chicago for five nights.
    I just wondered if anyone had any advice around where to long, whether to get one outside Chicago etc.
    My son is a full time wheelchair user so we need to be able to get to the pick up point.
    Thanks, Nic

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I can't see any advantage in travelling out of Chicago to rent a car unless you found a huge price difference. I would recommend booking in advance using an on-line company as you often get the best deals for European travellers that way. Compare prices at different locations etc to find the best deals. We have used a couple of times as they usually offer among the best deals and it's always worked out well. Don't forget to check that the price includes any one way drop off fee's and that there are no hidden extra's.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It would pay to shop around - as it could be cheaper at the airport or in town, and it might be cheaper to get out of Chicago. Chicago's sales tax is among the highest in the country, so that alone will likely drive up your fees a little bit.

    If you're open to shopping around, you might look at the cost of renting at the airport in South Bend, Indiana. There is a train service that goes directly from Downtown Chicago to South Bend's airport, it might be less expensive (it also might cost more), and if you're heading east anyway, it will let you start your roadtrip without having to navigate Chicago's traffic headaches.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Your automobile club membership.

    Nic, if you are a member of your local AA, be sure to bring your membership with you. It will give you access to tourism a=information and maps from the local AAA anywhere in the US. They are also great help in advising about accessible places, including accommodation.


  9. Default

    Hi Nic,

    On your rental car. Do you have Costco in UK and are you a member? Not sure if you could use their rental car service here in the US.

    Make sure you get unlimited mileage for the time you rent the car. Your one way drop off fee might be very hefty. Some rental car agencies only allow you to drive in surrounding states.

    Have you planned your route yet?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Using, the best rates for a one way Chicago-Baltimore rental on those dates are from Enterprise, picking up at off-airport locations and returning at BWI Airport. Standard policy on one way rentals is either the pickup or dropoff must be at an airport.

    Note that through, you will save a huge amount compared to standard bookings - starting at $729 as compared to $2585.

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