Places to stop between New York and Chicago
September 9, 2013 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Looking for interesting things to see and do between NY and Chicago.

My boyfriend and I will be driving from New York to Chicago in a couple weeks, and we're looking for fun/interesting things to do on the way. We'll be taking highway 80 to Cleveland, then highway 20 to Illinois, but we're willing to take short detours. We're both pretty geeky (into science/tech) and enjoy museums and nice outdoor areas, so suggestions along those lines are particularly welcome. We'll be staying in Cleveland for a couple nights, so we're also looking for things to do there. Suggestions for motels (basic, good value) are also welcome.
posted by phoenix_rising to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you or people you know are vegetarians, you have probably heard of the Moosewood cookbooks - the Restaurant itself may be a stop on the way.

Check out the Roadside America maps for New York, Ohio and Indiana.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 AM on September 9, 2013

Check out Atlas Obscura and Road Trippers. They'll have awesome stuff for you along the way.
posted by juniperesque at 8:38 AM on September 9, 2013

If you guys are into beer, Three Floyds might be worth a stop before finishing on into Chicago.
posted by phunniemee at 8:39 AM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

In Cleveland, for a day thing, I recommend the Great Lakes Science Center for a little geeky fun that isn't (too) pricey. I really love spending time there and even though I only live a couple hours away, I never get there enough.
posted by Merinda at 8:42 AM on September 9, 2013

Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky is right on the way.

And though it would be (just!) an hour out of your way, two of the most fascinating attractions in the USA are the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, just outside Detroit in Dearborn, MI. They are really not to be missed.
posted by ubiquity at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Some interesting things along the way:

Hershey Park, Hershey, PA - fun amusement park.

Fallingwater - a Frank Lloyd Wright house in western PA. Absolutely amazing.

Cleveland's West Side Market

Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH - amusement park with some of the top roller coasters in the world
posted by kdern at 8:45 AM on September 9, 2013

Thirding Cedar Point! If you want a place to stay nearby, I recommend Maumee Bay State Park -- they have a nice lodge there, as well as camping, etc.
posted by olinerd at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2013

There's an 1812 exhibit at the Toledo museum of art ( which is a gem in its own right).
posted by brujita at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2013

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron is absolutely beautiful. It also includes Cleveland Metroparks and Summit County Metroparks. It includes large stretches of the Erie Canal at places like Deep Lock Quarry. My personal favorite is The Ledges at Virginia Kendall State Park.
posted by slogger at 10:56 AM on September 9, 2013

The Cleveland Museum of Art is AMAZING. (Natural history museum, Botanic Garden and more are all right there--park once, go to all). Greenhouse Tavern and Deagan's for food (yell for more, or more specific recommendations in the Cleveland area, we are big food nerds).

Nthing the West Side Market, don't miss that! Cute shops just south of Lorain on W. 25th by the market including Room Service and Salty not Sweet.
posted by at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2013

Do you like beer? If so, you should stop at Three Floyds!
posted by deathpanels at 2:23 PM on September 9, 2013

The Corning Museum of Glass is remarkably cool. About 80 miles north of Interstate 80.
posted by Marky at 3:25 PM on September 9, 2013

Thirding Three Floyds and seconding Fallingwater.
posted by anotheraccount at 3:33 PM on September 9, 2013

If your schedule puts you in Cleveland on Saturday, October 5th, you can sign up to tour the NASA Glenn Research Center's Telescience Support Center.
posted by 1367 at 9:11 PM on September 9, 2013

The Studebaker National Museum is located in South Bend, Indiana (just a few blocks from Route 20) if that sounds appealing.
posted by 1367 at 9:32 PM on September 9, 2013

We'll be staying in Cleveland for a couple nights, so we're also looking for things to do there. Suggestions for motels (basic, good value) are also welcome.

If you don't already have lodging in Cleveland, The Cleveland Hostel is inexpensive and located near the many-time aforementioned West Side Market.
posted by Avogadro at 6:02 AM on September 10, 2013

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