Roadtrip to Niagara: it worth it to take PA-5 and NY-5 along Lake Erie?
August 8, 2013 10:27 AM   Subscribe

We are taking a weekend roadtrip from Chicago to Niagara Falls. We're driving on the USA side on the way there and the Canada side on the way back. All day Friday is dedicated just to getting there. The obvious route is to stick to interstates I-80 and I-90. But it looks like there's a state route that runs right along Lake Erie, and I bet that's a lot prettier. My thought was to take the interstate through Indiana and Ohio but then switch to the state route all the way through PA (right through Erie) and up through NY too. For those around upper PA and western NY, is the state lakefront route worth the (estimated) 2 hours of extra travel time? Or should I stick to the interstate?
posted by AgentRocket to Travel & Transportation around Niagara Falls, NY (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Erie, PA person here. I say absolutely do PA-5 and NY-5! It's absolutely gorgeous, and if you're interested there's a lot of wineries you can stop at as well. You'll get some really, really cool views of Lake Erie which I-90 can't really match. Erie isn't really that big a city, and depending on the time of day you should pretty much breeze right through's not hard at all to stay on 5. That goes through some quite lovely neighborhoods too (if you take alt. 5 it takes you out West 6th street with all the old lake shippers' mansions). My guess is that you will not be sorry!

Enjoy, and travel safely!
posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:35 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

(Also you can me mail me if you want more specifics on things!)
posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:37 AM on August 8, 2013

Best answer: I did that exact trip years ago, and it was delightful. I was a passenger rather than driver so I can't comment too much on the specifics or ease of the route, but I do remember all the lovely views, so your plan has my vote!
posted by DingoMutt at 10:55 AM on August 8, 2013

OH-2 (Ohio State Route 2) follows Lake Erie and is also very, very pretty, if you have the time.

(I realize you said you wanted to take the interstate through Ohio, but wasn't sure if you already knew about State Route 2 and had dismissed it, or didn't know and would like to know that you could make your trip even prettier if you wanted!)
posted by RogueTech at 11:08 AM on August 8, 2013

I haven't taken the state routes, but I've made that trip on I-90 and I remember vast stretches of it being remarkably unscenic, even by interstate standards. Take the scenic route!
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:39 PM on August 8, 2013

nthing to take the scenic route! The interstates are quite dull and driving through wine country is so much more pleasant. If you possibly have time, see if you could spend a night at the Lake Erie State Park campground in New York. You can camp right on the bluffs overlooking the lake. Or at least make a stop to visit and walk along the beach. It's one of my favorite vacation memories. :)
posted by cardinality at 1:47 PM on August 8, 2013

I just came back from ON. The recent terrorist threat has created 2 hour backups at the Niagara area crossings.
posted by brujita at 2:29 PM on August 8, 2013

Let me join the chorus: the extra couple hours is totally worth it.
posted by box at 5:09 PM on August 8, 2013

I just drove I-90 from Cleveland to Rochester last week. Definitely opt for the scenic route if you have the time. (And watch for speed traps on I-90 east of Cleveland!)
posted by slogger at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2013

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