Best stops between Montreal and Chicago?
September 25, 2012 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Where to stop and sleep on a road trip between Montreal and Chicago?

We are driving from Montreal to Chicago next month with a 14' U-Haul full of my belongings. (This is basically a follow up to this question after receiving a TN work visa).

We have 3 - 4 days to fly to Montreal, see friends, load up the truck and drive back to Chicago and unload.

Any gems on where to stop along the way?
posted by gillianr to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Will you be going the Toronto / Detroit route, or south around the lakes?
posted by jon1270 at 4:04 AM on September 26, 2012

Assuming you go via Toronto, halfway is London, ON. How much this drive would suck to do in a truck in two days, I don't know. You could press on to the border and spend the night in Port Huron, but that would probably be unpleasant and I don't think you're missing anything by not spending a night in Port Huron.

Stratford is a mix between pleasant and irritatingly touristy. It is probably your best bet for somewhere to spend the night if you don't want Kitchener or London. However, I don't know that you want to deviate from the highway that much. (Goderich is nice, but a much bigger detour and would require a lot of driving on small roads.) Kitchener had a Sorel factory store, but Google suggests it may have closed. (There are lots of references to a historic plant building downtown being converted to condos, but I remember the plant being somewhere other than downtown and not so historic.) Wiki suggests the company went bust and the Sorel brand got bought by Columbia, so the factory I remember is probably gone too.

The Stratford Festival is my family's idea of a vacation, so I've done your second day's drive lots of times. My parents have long decided that crossing the border at Port Huron/Sarnia is better than crossing at Detroit/Windsor. Port Huron to I-69 to I-94 just east of Battle Creek, then 94 to the Indiana Toll Road (which is I-90) to the Skyway, which takes you to the Dan Ryan. (You can stay on 94 into Illinois, but it's further in miles and more time on the Dan Ryan.)
posted by hoyland at 5:41 AM on September 26, 2012

Having to fly, visit, pack, drive and unpack in that amount of time means you don't have time for any groovy local colour. Whatever you do, time it so that you avoid Toronto at rush hour, basically 7-11AM & 3-7PM. Late at night is optimal.

Getting through T.O. without any traffic is the closest thing to a "gem" that I can offer.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:09 AM on September 26, 2012

In southwest Michigan, you might want to stop at Journeyman Distillery and/or Greenbush Brewery. They're just off I-94.
posted by me3dia at 10:23 AM on September 28, 2012

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