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  1. Default Summer Road Trip 2017

    Hello, I am planning a road trip this summer with my boys (11 and 13 yrs). We are leaving from Charlotte, NC to Toronto
    and would like to make some stops along the way there and back. We know we would like to stop in Hershey, PA, Syracuse, NY,
    Buffalo and Niagara Falls. I would appreciate any suggestions on other places to stop, must sees, good accommodations and any other points of interest. We will likely take about 7-10 days for the trip. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,326

    Default Would Make a Nice Loop

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    This is a basic itinerary that screams out for a loop, taking a different route northbound and southbound. I'll describe my ideas in a clockwise sense, but you could just as easily do this the other way around. Heading almost straight north initially, take I-77 up into West Virginia, but give your boys a taste of something other than Interstate by using US-19 between Beckley and Sutton WV, and then I-79 up through western Pennsylvania then pick up I-90 to the Buffalo/Niagara area. If you were to plan on two overnight stops on the way up, you'd have some time to see some things besides just the Falls. Some possibilities include Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, New River Gorge, and the somewhat smaller scale but still quite enjoyable Presque Isle State Park.

    Then, after using the QEW/ON-403 to Toronto and your visit there, you'd close the loop by first heading east along the northern shore of Lake Ontario to the Thousand Islands Area before turning south past St. Lawrence Islands National Park and pick up I-81 in the US to Syracuse and then continuing on that highway to the Hershey area. I-81 would also work well for most of your final leg back to home with several attraction quite close by including Gettysburg, Catoctin Mountain National Park, and Shenandoah National Park before finishing up on I-77 again back to Charlotte. And again, two overnights would be necessary to do much more than just make the drive, depending on how much time you want to spend in Syracuse and/or Hershey.

    I hesitate to recommend roads such as Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway simply because it doesn't look like you'll have a whole lot of spare time. Even without being slowed down by such roads, you're looking at needing at least three days in each direction between Charlotte and Toronto. That only leaves you one to three days TOTAL to spend in the cities that you've listed. So do your best to get the full ten days you'd prefer (I think).

    And a couple of final federal niceties: You'll need current passports for everybody, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of a major change in passports (that were then issued for ten years), so there will be more people than usual applying for passport renewals, slowing that already slow system even further. If you plan on visiting a number of national parks on this trip (or later during this year or next) consider getting an America the Beautiful annual pass. And make sure that you avail yourself of the Junior Ranger Program at any national park you do decide to visit.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,219

    Default

    Current wait times for a US passport are 6 weeks, 3 weeks if you pay $60 extra for expedited delivery. Most post offices in larger towns and cities take applications, an appointment may be necessary. Adult passports are $110 (10 years), under 16 are $80 (5 years), photos and post office fees are additional.

  4. Default

    Thanks AZBuck and glc. Very helpful indeed!!

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