Nothern US itineray

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1. Posted by ArnaudCrochet (Budding Member 7 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hello people,

Next fall/winter, I'll be in the US for a week, training for my job, in Buffalo NY.
I'll take that opportunity to travel a bit around, for the 2 weeks after the training. Those weeks will be my 1st time in US

Here's what I plan as an itinerary
large_US_Trip.png

I'm a bit of a WW2 freak, and there are some places I want to visit in PA. As for WI, there's an old Belgian/Luxemburgish/French community/folk anchored there since probably somewhere in the 1700's that I'd like to get around too.

My return flight will be from JFK or Newark, so I'll probably take a flight from where I end up till there.

I'm not a hugh fan of big cities, though, Philly, Detroit and Chicago would be nice. As for the rest, I'm kinda wondering where to go, what to visit that's off the tracks.

I'll be glad to hear all of your suggestions.

Cheers,

Arno

2. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 309 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Arno, 2 weeks means 13 nights on the road? And you should be back to NY at least one night before your flight hom.
May I imagine that you'll rent a car?
Unfortunately your given map is somewhat small that I cannot read your stops and your latest destination. So I can't say anything about your trip and your stops.
But as I can see, the total driving time seems to be 30 hours. As there are lots of cities to cross, this means at least 6 days driving. Highways in this part of America are absolutely crowded. And driving into any city is "stop-and-go".
For every of your mentioned cities you'd need at least 2 nights to have a full day there. 3 nights would be better if you want to do some sightseeing.
I don't know why you want to visit Detroit. This is a very run down city with lots of crime:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Detroit
So please come back and tell us a bit more.

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2656 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I agree with BeateR about the length of the trip. This is too much to do in one 2 week period. If you are flying into NY, then I suggest you go ahead and fly to Chicago, and rent a car to go up to Solon Springs. I am not sure how you will get back from there, but go from there to Buffalo, and drive that section of the trip back to New York.

[ Edit: Edited on 24 Jun 2024, 20:37 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2084 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Did you say winter? If you are planning this in winter, please realize they have horrible blizzards along the Great Lakes. Buffalo is famous for bad weather. We lived in that area for 8 years and sometimes the snow was above the top of our car. Yes, they plow, but if it is still snowing, that doesn't help a lot. They call if "lake effect snow" and it make travel difficult and sometimes impossible.

You might find it easier to pick a couple cities that interest you and plan a week in each. Chicago is a good choice and perhaps Milwaukee or even head to New York for the second week so you will be there to catch your plane back if bad weather sets in.

Google winter in Buffalo some time . . .

5. Posted by ArnaudCrochet (Budding Member 7 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting BeateR

Arno, 2 weeks means 13 nights on the road? And you should be back to NY at least one night before your flight hom.
May I imagine that you'll rent a car?

That's right, the plan is to rent a car. Now I realize that I'm not used to the distance there might be between places there.

Unfortunately your given map is somewhat small that I cannot read your stops and your latest destination. So I can't say anything about your trip and your stops.

As I planned on google maps, the stops are as follow: Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago and Solon Springs (which was picked randomly and would be replaced by Milwaukee and Green Bay).

But as I can see, the total driving time seems to be 30 hours. As there are lots of cities to cross, this means at least 6 days driving. Highways in this part of America are absolutely crowded. And driving into any city is "stop-and-go".
For every of your mentioned cities you'd need at least 2 nights to have a full day there. 3 nights would be better if you want to do some sightseeing.

I guess I could reduce that and skip places such as Detroit (though its muical history and fame is great), Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Leaving only Phily, some other places on the road in PA, Chicago and Milwaukee/Green Bay.

I don't know why you want to visit Detroit. This is a very run down city with lots of crime:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Detroit
So please come back and tell us a bit more.

I didn't know about the crime history there. The choice was there because it's home of the MowTown music. But Should you tell me there's not much worth seeing there and it's risky, I'll skip that place.

Quoting Beausoleil

Did you say winter? If you are planning this in winter, please realize they have horrible blizzards along the Great Lakes. Buffalo is famous for bad weather. We lived in that area for 8 years and sometimes the snow was above the top of our car. Yes, they plow, but if it is still snowing, that doesn't help a lot. They call if "lake effect snow" and it make travel difficult and sometimes impossible.

Most likely I'll be in US from 11/9 till 11/28-29, and I have no alternatives, as I'm going for training in my compagny HQ, which is in Buffalo. You'd tell me I could take a trip and than go to the training, which would be further from winter, but that's not an option either, as I have things to attend home and for work as well during there preceding weeks.

You might find it easier to pick a couple cities that interest you and plan a week in each. Chicago is a good choice and perhaps Milwaukee or even head to New York for the second week so you will be there to catch your plane back if bad weather sets in.

Google winter in Buffalo some time . . .

A week in a city isn't for me. 2 to 3 days is max. I'm not a city boy, I 'like my fields/forests/waters and landscape more generally, hence the roadtrip.

On the other hand I also love winter a lot more than summer, but I guess I don't have the same winters in Belgium as there are in nothern USA.
Anyways, thank you guys for you replies and advice!

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 6049 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ArnaudCrochet

Most likely I'll be in US from 11/9 till 11/28-29

Be aware that the 28th of November this year is Thanksgiving. Not a good day for going to an airport, and particularly not for your plan of taking a local flight before your international flight home. (Also: one way car rental fees can be excessive.)

For nature, I'd recommend visiting some of the many state (and national) parks in the various states you'll be passing through - though the nice part of autumn will almost certainly be over by the time you're there. I can recommend Starved Rock State Park in Illinois (2 hours west-southwest from Chicago), but there are dozens upon dozens to choose from. Outside the state parks, most of the scenery you'll be passing by will be superbly uninteresting, though.

[ Edit: Edited on 25 Jun 2024, 08:02 GMT by Sander ]

7. Posted by ArnaudCrochet (Budding Member 7 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Sander

Quoting ArnaudCrochet

Most likely I'll be in US from 11/9 till 11/28-29

Be aware that the 28th of November this year is Thanksgiving. Not a good day for going to an airport, and particularly not for your plan of taking a local flight before your international flight home. (Also: one way car rental fees can be excessive.)

For nature, I'd recommend visiting some of the many state (and national) parks in the various states you'll be passing through - though the nice part of autumn will almost certainly be over by the time you're there. I can recommend Starved Rock State Park in Illinois (2 hours west-southwest from Chicago), but there are dozens upon dozens to choose from. Outside the state parks, most of the scenery you'll be passing by will be superbly uninteresting, though.

Hi Sander,

Thanks for the Thanksgiving tip! In that case, I should probably be back in NYC a couple of days before that to be sure to catch a flight back.
As for the scenery, I'm not the kind that wants the 'been there, done that' picture. Just feeling like I'm part of where I'm at, get a glimpse of people's daily life is more what I like. Sure there are places where it's a must to have been, but when I travel that's not really my goal.

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2656 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I realized why you wanted to go to Detroit - Detroit has a lot to offer even if it is in the Rust Belt. But given your time frame and the area you want to explore, you need to know that anywhere around the Great Lakes (Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland) the weather can also be a problem even if it might not be as bad as in Buffalo. I went to school near Lake Erie and I can testify to that. And I was once almost trapped at West Point when I went there to visit my fiancee for a weekend - I took a train down to New York City but the river was frozen (this was in January) and when I got on the train to Cleveland it got snowed in when we were in Pennsylvania and we were 12 hours late getting to Cleveland. It won't be that bad in November (probably) but maybe you should do your exploring farther south.

I don't know when you have to do the Buffalo part of your training. But get to New York, and take a look at the forecasted weather. If it isn't too bad then you can do the Buffalo section if that is an option, and then go down to Philadelphia and explore a bit of rural Pennsylvania. Bethlehem, Reading, Allentown, Valley Forge, Bird-in-Hand Lancaster, Elverston, the Leigh Valley - etc. I don't know about WWII era sites for you to see, but there's a lot of colonial history in that area.

Be sure to secure your plane reservations for the trip home and hotels beforehand, but I find that traveling ON Thanksgiving day is usually easier than the days before. Planes are practically empty on the day - everyone has gone home by then.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2084 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I love the suggestion above to spend some time in Pennsylvania. As to weather, I remember trying to get home for Thanksgiving from Rochester, NY to near Cleveland, OH and having to follow a snow plow just to move at all. You really couldn't see because of the blowing snow and trusted the snow plow driver. I also remember having snow in September my first semester at college there. November can be nasty and Buffalo is famous for bad weather.

Do your training and then rent a car (weather permitting) and have fun driving through Pennsylvania visiting all the places greatgrandmaR above has suggested. Pennsylvania is a beautiful rural state with lots of gorgeous scenery, lovely small towns and historic sites. End up in Philadelphia and take a train to New York for your flight home.

If you want to visit the midwest, come back some day in the Spring or Autumn and really enjoy it.

10. Posted by ArnaudCrochet (Budding Member 7 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting greatgrandmaR

I don't know when you have to do the Buffalo part of your training. But get to New York, and take a look at the forecasted weather. If it isn't too bad then you can do the Buffalo section if that is an option, and then go down to Philadelphia and explore a bit of rural Pennsylvania. Bethlehem, Reading, Allentown, Valley Forge, Bird-in-Hand Lancaster, Elverston, the Leigh Valley - etc. I don't know about WWII era sites for you to see, but there's a lot of colonial history in that area.

Be sure to secure your plane reservations for the trip home and hotels beforehand, but I find that traveling ON Thanksgiving day is usually easier than the days before. Planes are practically empty on the day - everyone has gone home by then.

My training week will be the 1st week of my trip, so between 11/11 and 11/14, so I'll be in that area anyway, and can't escape from there before 11/15.
What would you think of the idea then of taking a flight from Buffalo to Philadelphia, and rent a car from there, tour around PA (and maybe push to Washington DC or south New Jersey), then as suggested by Beausoleil get a train up to NYC to fly back to Belgium?

Quoting Beausoleil

I love the suggestion above to spend some time in Pennsylvania. As to weather, I remember trying to get home for Thanksgiving from Rochester, NY to near Cleveland, OH and having to follow a snow plow just to move at all. You really couldn't see because of the blowing snow and trusted the snow plow driver. I also remember having snow in September my first semester at college there. November can be nasty and Buffalo is famous for bad weather.

Do your training and then rent a car (weather permitting) and have fun driving through Pennsylvania visiting all the places greatgrandmaR above has suggested. Pennsylvania is a beautiful rural state with lots of gorgeous scenery, lovely small towns and historic sites. End up in Philadelphia and take a train to New York for your flight home.

If you want to visit the midwest, come back some day in the Spring or Autumn and really enjoy it.

I like the idea a lot. But it make me think that if 2 weeks are needed to get some insight (and still just a bit of it) of any given state, I'll need a lot of trainings to go around the place 😅