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View Poll Results: For the first leg of the trip from Boston to SF, which is the best route?
NY Route 4 40.00%
PA Route 6 60.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-16-2010, 01:14 PM
Location: Boston, MA
165 posts, read 411,992 times
Reputation: 112


Hey guys,

This Summer I am planning a road trip from Boston to San Francisco and looking into the path I will take. Now I am going to take a sabbatical so time is not an issue and I want to make the most of it and see the best that I can see. I'm taking ideas early so I'll have it all figured out when Summer comes rolling around. In this thread, I am only considering Boston up until the Central Time Zone.

OK so for the first leg of the trip, I do not care to see any the big East Coast cities like NYC or Philly but would want to visit either Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Looking at the map, I could either take a route that goes through NY or one that goes through PA. NY route would pass through Albany, Ithaca (my alma matter), Rochester and Buffalo. PA route would lead me easily to Pittsburgh. From the NY route, I could continue the drive along Lake Erie and hit Cleveland. From there I would rather go South as I wouldnt care to visit Chicago as I've been there before. The PA route on the other hand would allow me to continue along the Ohio River and hit cities like Cincinatti and Louisville. Somehow I think I want to end up in St. Louis taking either routes. What would you guys recommend, am I missing anything worthwhile along the way?
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:45 PM
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 7,556,521 times
Reputation: 1584
May I suggest that you stop off in Detroit, take a good look at the downtown area which is unique and facinating and then visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. It is worth a trip from anywhere. (you can skip Greenfield village)

Henry Ford Museum

Plan your whole trip so you don't backtrack or miss somthing. When I did it I went west on Rt 70 through Pittsburg, Cincinatti, St Louis, KC, Denver, LV then LA. From there north to SF and then east to Reno, SLC, Yellowstone to Rt 90 through S Dakota, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto.

Last edited by bryson662001; 01-16-2010 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:16 PM
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,449,054 times
Reputation: 246
Here is a route that will take you through Canada and other small cities such as Flint, and Lansing, Michigan. There is also another option which can take you through Grand Rapids, or Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The route running through Canada and Michigan will be a two day and 0 hours = the exact same amount of time if you would have taken googles first suggestion. If you must, to stop off at Toronto on the way would add a additional hour.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:03 PM
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,983 times
Reputation: 4061
Personally, I would take the southern route through PA towards Pittsburgh. I-90 across Upstate NY is, in my humble opinion, a very boring drive. The other problem with I-90 is the very high tolls in almost every state between MA and IL.

I also prefer Pittsburgh to Cleveland for its architecture and natural setting, but whatever floats your boat!
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:08 AM
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,129 posts, read 9,899,963 times
Reputation: 6423
I-90 in New York passes both Rochester and Buffalo as you said but Ithaca is out of the way toward the South. So I would suggest taking I-90 (NY State Thruway) only if your planning to continue into Ontario and the Toronto area, and then toward Detroit, as Bryson mentioned.

What you could do is take the new I-86 (the Quickway) , which will be longer but more scenic than I-90. You can make pitstops in the Berkshires, Howes Caverns, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Corning, Letchworth SP and the various lakes & waterfalls in the Finger Lakes area.

Basically take I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) eastward to the Albany area, where you switch to I-88. Both Howe Caverns and Cooperstown are close to I-88. Take I-88 to reach the Binghampton area where you switch to I-86 east. Take I-86 to reach I-90 in Pennsylvania (Erie, PA is another place you might want to stop) which is in spitting distance of the Cleveland area.

This is probably the most scenic and interesting route. You will pass through the Berksires, outer northern Catskills, and the Alleghanies. You also miss the traffic of the Tri State area. Unfortunately you will miss Pittsburgh (unless you want to make a major detour down I-79 from Erie, PA), but maybe you can hit her on the way back.
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