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Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

Berkeley, Ca.
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Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

It seems possible that, as part of a cross-country drive, we'll be driving from Pittsburgh (leaving on a Sunday morning) to Chicago. We'll probably want to do it in two days rather than one long one. It seems like Toledo is about the midpoint, should we aim to stop there? I'm not familiar with that part of the country--given what there is to do and the availability of hotels is this a situation where should make a reservation in advance? Or could we just reasonably see how far we get and stop when we feel ready?

Cleveland
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1. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

Check TA "Things to Do" for both Cleveland and Toledo.

Here is a list of attractions in northern Ohio, exclusive of Cleveland. You might focus on Ohio Amish country and Blossom Music Center.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-s407/Cleveland…

Another major attraction between Pittsburgh and Chicago is The Henry Ford in Detroit.

If you definitely want lodging near an attraction, or in Ohio Amish country, make an advance reservation. If you don't mind visiting, and then driving a distance, you can wait to make reservations at the last minute.

Both Ohio Amish country and Cedar Point are major tourist destinations. It may be difficult to get last minute reservations in the Cedar Point lodging market, such as Milan, and the better accommodations in Ohio Amish country typically are booked far in advance.

Reservations in Cleveland may also be difficult, with a new downtown casino, especially when the Indians are in town.

Good planning!

Edited: 08 July 2012, 09:05
cincinnati, ohio
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2. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

Review the T/A entries for Port Clinton, Sandusky, and Toledo all of which are just off I-90. There's a Sleep Inn on Rte 53 N and another motel across the street from them that just changed brands so I'm not sure where that one stands. There are several Choice Hotels in Port Clinton. Cleveland was extremely difficult to find a "clean" motel the last time we were there 2 years ago that wasn't outrageously priced. If you want fish without fancy - Jolly Rogers; more upscale is Mon Ami Winery in the original winery building. Other entries from the Port Clinton area can be found under my archived reviews. If you're not too tired, drive out to the lighthouse across from Cedar Pt. Have a safe trip!!

Sandusky, OH
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3. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

What do you like to do? Sandusky is a great stop with lots of things to do. I know right now the Maui Sands is offering great rates even in high season. It's right off of Route 2 and Route 250 or 7 miles from the turnpike. I can suggest lots of things for you to do in Sandusky. You can e-mail me a jayme@ghostlymanor.com.

Toledo, Ohio
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4. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

there is also a Holiday Inn in Maumee Ohio that has a waterpark. It is directly overlooking the turnpike so if you are just looking for a place to stop, it will be super convenient to 80/90. Here is their website: holidayinn.com/hotels/…hoteldetail

Berkeley, Ca.
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5. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

Getting back to this. Sandusky sounds nice, with the lake, we can afford to take a little time away from the highway It seems like just about every hotel in Sandusky has a decent sized pool, which my wife will like.. I don't think we're roller coaster people, not since my daughter got terrified by one at age 6!

I've been reading about Put In Bay, it would be a definite detour, but my wife likes ferry rides. With its golf cart transport, Put In Bay sounds a little like Catalina Island in Southern California. Is the party scene really out of control there, or is it just normal resort activity? I'm trying to figure out whether it would be worth the time to go there for a night. I had no idea how much of a visitor area the western Lake Erie region is.

cincinnati, ohio
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6. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

Your analogy of Catalina Island is spot on. PIB's downtown is about 6 or 8 blocks of bars, arcades and shops with the marinas alongside - it is party central but you should be able to find a quiet place for a night. The 317 foot tall momument to Commodore Perry and his victory during the War of 1812 is alone worth the trip - it just reopened after a 3 year overhaul - the view is unreal. Heineman's winery and the caves underneath is interesting - this is Ohio's wine country, Ohio's Napa. We actually prefer Kelley's because it's more layed back, an older crowd, and more family oriented - the Village Pump being the main watering hole and the Glacial Grooves make the trip. Either way one night would be a good experience and ferry service is so frequent that it shouldn't interfere with your travel.

Cleveland
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7. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

You might want to post your query about Put-in-Bay in the Put-in-Bay or even Sandusky forums. Most weeks, the Put-in-Bay party scene would be somewhat muted on weekdays. Personally, however, I would rather go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras than any other time. A weekday visit to Put-in-Bay would be a compromise.

Hopefully, you read this article:

…chicagotribune.com/2009-08-30/travel/090827…

Put-in-Bay's Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial certainly is worth a visit, especially now that the 31-story observation deck, higher than the Statue of Liberty, has reopened after several years of renovation. The observation deck tops the world's most massive Doric column. Next year is the bicentennial of Perry's victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie that helped secure much of the Midwest for the U.S. Interestingly, this is the only peace memorial in the National Park System.

http://www.nps.gov/PEVI/index.htm

If you're primarily interested in pools and beaches, lake shore trails, perhaps area wildlife refuges, consider Maumee Bay State Park.

…state.oh.us/parks/…Default.aspx

BTW, IMO the wineries in northeast Ohio, downwind of northwesterly winds over Lake Erie with many award-winning wines produced, actually are better than those in northwest Ohio.

8. Re: Stopping point between Pittsburgh and Chicago

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