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  1. Default Advice on fun stops between Washington, DC & Cleveland OH

    Will be traveling from DC to Cleveland with a 12 year old girl in August. Any suggested roadside stops?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default That Depends on a Few Things

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If there were a single set of generic 'must see' attractions between any given pair of major cities, we'd simply publish them once and be done with it. Others may take that approach. We here at RoadTRrip America won't. It violates the very essence of what RoadTrips are about, namely satisfying individual interests, tastes, and resources. So, before we can recommend specific stopping places we'd need to know at least how much time you have for your trip, whether it's one way or round trip, what your daughter's interests are, what kinds of roads you would prefer to drive, and any other things you'd want to include or avoid.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. And I'm happy to give more info - so glad this forum is here to help!

    So the 12-year old is our God-daughter who, on her twelfth birthday, made herself a "bucket list". Yes, really. And on that list was "take a road trip", along with "visit every state in the U.S." So we offered to take her on a roadtrip to Cleveland, OH (she has not been to Ohio) to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She is very excited.

    This will be a 5 day round-trip adventure. We figure we will spend the first day driving to Cleveland, with appropriate stops (which is what I am hoping this gang can help with). We are not in a rush, and we (and she) would enjoy as much off highway/interstates/turnpike as possible.

    On the way back we plan to stay one day & night in Pittsburgh (so she can cross that off the "visit major cities" part of her list), so any suggestions between Cleveland and Pittsburgh also appreciated. Also, any special, cool things in Pittsburgh folks can suggest will be good too.
    After Pittsburgh it will be take-our-time as we head back home. We are thinking stops at Falling Water and Antietam, but again we are very open to suggestions and advice.

    So thanks again for the instruction, and hopefully what I've given helps out this time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default With Those Things in Mind

    While there is no single set of generic 'must see' attractions between any given pair of major cities, there are a few worthwhile rules-of-thumb in planning a RoadTrip. One of them is to break up long drives with relatively frequent short stops at places of interest. Another is to take different routes out and back on a round trip. You seem to have both items in your planning. So a few suggestions to help you with that planning.

    The shortest route basically follows the interstates, I-270/I-70/I-76/I-80, and that includes the Pennsylvania Turnpike (tunnels!) and the Ohio Turnpike. There will be tolls but they are not prohibitive. If you want to visit Pittsburgh and spend some time there, then this is the route you should take for that leg, since it goes right by that city and you can use I-376/I-79 to get into it. Also on this route are Antietem, Fort Frederick, a unit of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, and Tinkers Creek State Park.

    For your other route, you might want to take a more 'back roads' approach. This would also give your daughter a chance to act as navigator to help you find your way because the route I'm going to suggest is a bit complicated, and while I'm going to describe it westbound you can, of course take either route in either direction. For this 'back roads' route, you'd leave the DC area on VA-7 through Leesburg to Winchester. From there, take US-522 west past Cross Junction and take VA-127/WV-127 (Has your daughter been to West Virginia?) and then WV-29/WV-9 north to Paw Paw, crossing the Potomac into Maryland and a chance to visit a different portion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal\. On the Maryland side of the river, MD-51 will take you to Cumberland where you'll pick up US-40, a scenic and historic route that will cut across southwestern Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and bring you into Ohio. US-250 is your next target and you'll pick it up just west of Wheeling and follow it northwest to New Philadelphia and Ohio Amish Country, then finish up your drive on I-77 to Cleveland. Besides those listed above, other sites of interest on or near this route include Harpers Ferry, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and (although probably not an interest of your daughter) the NFL Hall of Fame.

    You should probably spend two days on each of your legs, to and from Cleveland, to make this a true RoadTrip. That would leave you one full day in Cleveland where, besides the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you and your daughter might also want to consider the Natural History Museum or Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


  5. Default

    Wonderful suggestions! Thanks so much for taking the time. It will definitely help make one 12 year old's first roadtrip a memorable one!

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