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Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Manchester, United...
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Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Hi,

Our trip to Canada is now just 6 days away (whoopee!). I've previously posted on here and got some great advice re: Wonderland etc.

We are also going into the upper part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I thought we would cross the border at Detroit as we will be driving there from Point Pelee.

But then my DH pointed out that it may be pretty slow to drive through a big city like Detroit.

So the question is, will it be quicker to drive up to Sarnia and cross there?

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Ont
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1. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Good question!

So are asking to cross into Canada or out of Canada?

If out of Ontario where are you going to after cross border. The roads from Point Pelee to Sarnia arent' the most direct & you may spend extra time just getting across there.

What day of week will it be?

London, Canada
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2. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

The border times at Detroit/Windsor will be longer than at Port Huron/Sarnia but once through it is all expressways and will be faster than the Port Huron route. There is really no "driving through the City" in that sense.

The other route to Sarnia would be backroads, and take much longer without anything noteworthy to see.

London, Ontario
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3. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

The drive would certainly be along back roads or secondary highways. However, i take exception to "there is nothing to see along that route"

You don't have to cross only at Windsor/Detroit or Sarnia/Port Huron. There is a delightfull river ferry crossing at Sombra Ontario to Marine City Michigan. Takes about 10 minutes at the most. You can even eat lunch on the Ontario side beside the ferry dock.

Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Personally, I would avoid the Windsor/Detroit crossing. You are apt to have to wait at the border, depending on the day/time of day. I never find my border crossing as smooth there. Then you would have to drive through Detroit, albeit on the interstate.

Are you in a terrible hurry? If not, I would certainly suggest an alternative. Go up from Point Pellee to the 401 (like an interstate), travel east on 401 to the Highway 40 north exit. You will drive through Chatham (if you need more specific instructions I can provide them) and then follow Highway 40 to Wallaceburg (and wave at me as you drive through).... (again, if you choose to drive this route, I can give you more specifics) Just beyond Wallaceburg you can make a choice, either to turn north and continue on Highway 40 through farmland to Sarnia, or go straight ahead to what is known as "the old highway 40" or the St Clair Parkway. This route will take you along the St Clair river, most certainly a scenic drive. Lots of parks to stop and picnic at. You can choose to take the ferry across the river at Sombra, (only wait time here is likely the time for the ferry to arrive from the other side. as mentioned by the previous poster (my favourite option) and then drive to the I 94 which will go to I 69 to I 75.

Or you can go to Sarnia and cross the bridge there. Wait time is likely less than Windsor. You take I 94/I 69 to I 75 and continue up to the upper lower penninsula.

Pleas post again if you need any further details.

detroit
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5. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Well i live 15 miles northwest of Detroit and every time I go to Toronto I go over the Blue Water Bridge. Truck traffic is very bad heading in to Detroit the last 20 miles or so, the Blue Water Bridge does back up sometimes but customs seem easier and quicker to pass though. The lodge fwy is close all summer this year so the other fwys are more packed. Its just better to drive a few miles farther than to go the Detroit way.

What happens if you get a flat tire well in Detroit? I rather be 50 miles north to change it. Sure many people work there everyday and have no problems but if you can stay out I sure would.

detroit
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6. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Oh, the last part of hwy 401 in Canada by Detroit many people have been killed driving over the years, thats the worst part of all of the 401 for traffic accidents.

Canada
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7. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

I live in windsor and the wait times are never that bad to cross over into Michigan either by bridge or tunnel, driving "through" Detroit is really fast and not quite as dangerous as many assume. If you plan on visiting point pelee it makes tons more sense to drive back into windsor then do the bridge or tunnel When you are exiting either the bridge or tunnel you are right at all the major highways that it is so simple. Let me know if you are still needing help ;) I cross both at least 8x a month

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

Thanks to everyone for the responses - I guess the answer is, it depends!

We will be on vacation, so not sure what day we will cross, but we'll try and avoid commuter times.

Maybe we'll go into Michigan via Windsor/Detroit (a lovely city!), then back over Bluewater Bridge into Sarnia on our way to Niagara Falls.

But the ferry sounds good too, our son would like that.

Thanks again for the info, I'll let you know how we got on when we get back.

Ontario, Canada
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9. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

The route you mentioned of taking the Port Huron (bridge) or Marine City/Sombra(ferry) on the way back is a good option. If you are pressed for time you could take the Port Huron/Sarnia crossing and then take Highway 402 to 401 to 403 to Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) right to Niagara Falls. That would give you 4 (or more) lane "interstate like" road all the way.

However the point you make about your son ejoying the ferry trip is really true. Kids love the ferry, you can get out of your car and stand out on the deck and take photos.

Hope you have a great trip. Please repost on this thread and let us know how your trip goes and what routes you take.

Ontario
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10. Re: Best place to cross from Ontario to Michigan?

I have a question on the same note. We just went to Waterloo, Michigan which is west of Ann Arbor. We always cross at Sarnia, over to Flint(on #69) and down to Ann Arbor(on #23) because everyone tells us the roads through Detroit(on #94) are full of pot holes and traffic is slower. We are pulling horses so it's nice for everyone if the road is smooth.

It appears to me that we could shave off substantial time if we went through Detroit, but still crossed over at Sarnia ?

What is #94 from Sarnia to Ann Arbor really like ?

Is it 'straight' through' or full of twists & turns.