Road trip from Toronto to Philadelphia
Hi, I am new to this forum. I am planning a roadtrip from Toronto to Philadelphia to visit my aunt in about 5 days in the long weekend of July. I am wondering whether there is any places that's worth to stop over and must see beside the big cities.... Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
Lancaster PA area. This is the Pennsylvania Dutch area. Great food / great shops / nice farmland. Not sure what you are "in" to, but nearby is "Sight & Sound" theatre. Amazing very professional bible stories done as plays / musicals, & at a far more reasonable price than shows in T.O.
I suggest coming down through the Finger Lakes area of New York, visiting Elmira, then follow the Susquehanna River down to southern PA.
The Finger Lakes area is very beautiful, as is the Susquehanna River valley. At Elmira, check out the Mark Twain exhibits at Elmira College -- they have his "study" (an enclosed gazebo) which was moved to campus from Quarry Farm (the home of his sister-in-law). The family provided the Clemens with a summer home away- from-home and Twain did most of his writing there. There is also an exhibit at the college with Twain memorabilia, and the Clemens family members are all buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira. If you go, place a flower on daughter Susie's grave for me!
In southern PA, you could also see the Gettysburg battlefield and Dwight Eisenhower's farm nearby. You get the tour of the farm from the Gettysburg Visitor's Center, if I remember correctly.
If you do all of this, plus Syv's suggestions AND visit your Aunt, that'll sure take care of 5 days! Bob
Hi Syv and Bob, Thanks for the great info. I have another question. Could you please tell me roughly which Hwy or route that I should go to cover these places. Thanks.
One more place you should see on this general route is Watkins Glen, the town, the glen and the race track. The glen is in a state park and has a particularly scenic and not terribly strenuous hike up through a gorge. There is one spot in particular where you are behind a waterfall. While not on the same scale as Niagra, it is one of my favorite spots in the Finger Lakes.
When I lived in Ithaca, the scenic route down to Phi/Balt/Wash was referred to as the "13/14/15", NY-13 from Ithaca to Elmira, NY and PA 14 from Elmira to Trout Run, PA and US-15 south from there. You can skip the 13 part and pick up NY-14 in Elmira. To get to Elmira from Niagra Falls, I'd suggest either the New York State Thruway or US-20 to Seneca Falls (often called the birthplace of women's rights) and then take NY-414 south between lakes Seneca and Cayuga, a very relaxing road, to Watkins Glen where you'd pick up 14.
US-15 will take you all the way to Gettysburg. While the direct route from Gettysburg to Philadelphia is US-30, I'd strongly recommend that you use some of the back roads instead if you want to really see the Amish country rather than than roadside, tourist-trap, kitsch. For example, you could take US-30 to York, use I-83 as a bypass to the east and pick up PA-74 and PA-372. (No I'm not sending you this way just because it passes through the town of Buck.) Please respect the Amish sense of privacy. Be discrete if you want pictures, and above all slow down - you never know if rounding the next bend or cresting the next hill will put you immediately on the tail of a 1-horsepower vehicle.
Hi AZBuck, thanks for your info. I am wondering whether it's worthwhile to stop by the Letchworth State Park and Rochester? Is it too far away from Watkins Glen or Elmira? Thanks.
...can answer the question of whether it's worth it. Everybody's tastes and how much they're willing to 'pay' to indulge them are different. Here's what I can tell you. The shortest route from Niagra Falls to Elmira is about 170 miles. A route which includes Rochester, Mt. Morris (Letchworth), and Watkins Glen is about 230 miles and would take something on the order of an hour and a half longer for the driving, plus the time spent at the stops. This leaves out Senneca Falls and my suggestion of NY-414 between the lakes. Instead, I'd use I-390 from Rochester to Bath, NY (with a side trip to Letchworth) and then take NY-54 and local roads over to Watkins Glen. One thing about this part of New York - It's tough to find a non-scenic road.
Not to complicate matters, but if you're into waterfalls, the tallest waterfall in the northeast US (No, it's not Niagra) is Taughannock Falls, about 7 miles north of Ithaca on the west side of Cayuga Lake, reachable by a very enjoyable, 1 mile hiking trail from NY-89.
Last edited by AZBuck; 04-26-2005 at 03:28 PM.
Thank you everyone for this wonderful information. This is a very useful web site. I am glad that I found this forum before I go on my trip. Thanks again.
Bob, I will place a flower on daughter Susie's grave for you.