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June 8, 2009 8:55 AM   Subscribe

RoadtripFilter: Where's a cool place to stop for a night between Chicago and Syracuse?

My boyfriend and I are moving to Syracuse, NY by method of cross country road trip! Next week, we're leaving from Kansas City, stopping in Chicago for one or two nights, and then heading to Syracuse on I90.

I know we could tough it out and take the full 11 hour drive in one day, but, while we have a car and are up along the wonderful, lake-y, northern border of the US of A, we want to take advantage of our situation and stop somewhere fun, roughly halfway between Chicago and Syracuse (but that can be fudged a bit for the right place).

Some things that would make a stop appealing: opportunities to hang around near large bodies of water, local vineyards that let one try local wines, secondhand clothing shops, weird museums, old fashioned photobooths, and independent movie theaters. Also, an inexpensive place to sleep, and a safe place to park the car while exploring.

So, where would be the best place to stop, metafilter?

posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by oflinkey at 9:02 AM on June 8, 2009

Cleveland looks to be your midway point.

I'd suggest the Finger Lakes (lakey, lots of vineyards), but that's really not that far from Syracuse (less than an hour).
posted by Lucinda at 9:08 AM on June 8, 2009

Best answer: Lemme be more specific:
Culture and shops
Movie Theater
Museum (I don't know how weird it is, but it is a good one...)
Over the border in Niagara Falls Ontario, there is Clifton Hill and there is a Wax Museum there, now that I think of it...
Along with the Butterfly Conservatory (NB- you need a passport to get over the border)
And a Bird conservatory
OK, so those technically aren't Buffalo.
posted by oflinkey at 9:13 AM on June 8, 2009

Best answer: Cleveland has the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

Scranton, P.A. is on the way, or at least would make for an interesting side trip. In addition to the "woo it's the town in The Office tie-in, you've got a museum devoted to anthracite mining and a Harry Houdini museum.

Closer to Syracuse you have Ithaca, New York -- which is where the Moosewood restaurant is (yes, the same people who make the cookbooks). that's in the Finger Lakes, too, which Lucinda mentions above.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on June 8, 2009

Best answer: Cleveland for sure, and not just because it is located halfway:

Lake View Cemetery is amazing. Really a must see!
Unique Thrift Store is huge, cheap, great selection.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is indeed pretty fun, though kinda expensive. The art museum is also good, and free (or used to be).
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also really neat, especially for their partnerships with local vineyards and sustainable farmers. Scroll to the bottom for a list of wineries.

There is also lots of other fun artsy stuff in the Tremont/ Ohio City/ University Circle neighborhoods (independent movies, restaurants, bookstores, a big public market, etc). The lake itself is great to view from the Lakefront State Park.
posted by susanvance at 11:11 AM on June 8, 2009

If you stop in Cleveland, you could also drive through Oberlin. First coed college in the country; started race blind admissions in 1835. The town was a big stop on the underground railroad. It's tiny, and only has one hotel, really.
posted by kestrel251 at 2:03 PM on June 8, 2009

Scranton PA is definitely not on the way from Chicago to Syracuse, if you're taking I-90. My vote's for Buffalo/Niagara, but I've never seen Cleveland.
posted by knile at 1:39 PM on June 9, 2009

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