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United States, Philadelphia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois

Roadtrip: Philadelphia to Chicago

My family (3 teens and wife) and I are taking a road trip from Philadelphia to Chicago this August 2014. I am looking for cool ideas of things to see, do and taste to make our drive more memorable, especially in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  We are into quirky and unique experiences, art, food and outdoors.  (Not so much kitsch Americana unless it is so fantastic--think giant Muskie at the Wisconsin  Fishing Hall of Fame weird--that we have to visit.)  Would love to hear about local eats, diners and dives worth stopping at.  Love the idea of trying all-American pies in all fifty states.  Tell me favorite things to do and see.

Much Appreciated.


7 Answers

top answer by
Luciana from Austin (Texas)

I would stop in Pittsburgh and check out the Andy Warhol Museum which is very nice if that's not in your plans already. 

One of the most famous amusement parks in the Midwest is Cedar Point in Ohio, your teens might like it. 

I highly suggest going the Detroit way and spending a day at Greenfield Village ,The Henry Ford Museum and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour which are excellent and too often only known by Michiganders or car enthusiasts. If you are into it, the Motown Historical Museum is fun and the tour is only 1 hour long. Despite bankruptcy there are tons of new business opening in Detroit, including a bunch of great restaurants. A delicious BBQ in town is Slows Bar-B-Q and you can try Greek food in Detroit's Greektown restaurant Santorini Estiatorio Detroit.

Indianapolis has the largest children's museum in the country but I think your kids are too old for that (and it's south out of your way if you decide to go to Detroit, which I hope you do). 

I don't know if you have been to the Fallingwater house by Frank Lloyd Wright in PA, it's worth the visit if you have the time/interest. The Ohiopyle State Park is a great park nearby. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pittsburgh (city)
  2. Andy Warhol Museum (attraction)
  3. Cedar Point (attraction)
  4. Detroit (city)
  5. The Henry Ford Museum (attraction)
  6. Ford Rouge Factory Tour (attraction)
  7. Motown Historical Museum (attraction)
  8. Santorini Estiatorio Detroit (restaurant)
  9. Indianapolis (city)
  10. Fallingwater (attraction)
  11. Ohiopyle State Park (attraction)
  12. Greenfield Village (attraction)
  13. Slows Bar-B-Q (restaurant)
8 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Liz from Westlake

I would definitely stop for a day or two in Cleveland! Ohio City has some really great restaurants and funky clothing shops. If you're there on a day it's open West Side Market is a fun place for fresh produce and a random assortment of other food. And a new Mitchell's Ice Cream will be opening in Ohio City shortly, and it's the best ice cream in the city. Although often overlooked, Lake Erie has some nice beaches, and I love spending a day at Edgewater Park Reservation which has a nice view of the city. Cleveland is also home to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum if your family is into that kind of stuff.

If your family enjoys amusement parks, you must spend a day Cedar Point which has some of the best coasters in the country.

Hope this helps a bit! Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ohio City (attraction)
  2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  3. Cedar Point (attraction)
  4. West Side Market (attraction)
  5. Mitchell's Ice Cream (restaurant)
  6. Lake Erie (attraction)
  7. Edgewater Park Reservation (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Cori from On The Road

Stop in to the Lafayette, IN, area and get a Purvis Burger at Triple XXX Family Restaurant it has peanut butter on it! Take a walk up Chauncy hill and check out Von's Book Shop (and Von's records, beads, clothing, comics...) It's a great row of shops with a lot of character, the teens will love it. You can see Purdue University from here, it's a gorgeous campus to explore. A lot of fountains and nice architecture. Walk across the pedestrian bridge over the Wabash River and explore Main Street. There's a handful of art galleries and places to eat. Sunrise Diner is a great greasy spoon if you're hungry. Their biscuits and gravy are the best!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Triple XXX Family Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Von's Book Shop (attraction)
  3. Purdue University (attraction)
  4. Wabash River (attraction)
  5. Sunrise Diner (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Paige from Shelby Ohio

I am Ohio born and raised, so i can come up with a lot for you. there is Cedar Point and in Cleveland, you have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!  We have the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo ! So I hope this helps a little!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cedar Point (attraction)
  2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  3. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Jeff from Grand Rapids

If you stop in Cleveland, there are tons and tons of great restaurants. 

Momocho  is an amazin mexican- nuevo-mexican restaurant. 

Inn On Coventry is an excellent breakfast nook.

Club Isabella is a little pricey/fine dining, but the food is WORTH it.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is always a great stop.

I just moved here, but those are the best places I have been so far.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Momocho (restaurant)
  2. Inn On Coventry (restaurant)
  3. Club Isabella (restaurant)
  4. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
pau from New Jersey

In Chicago, go to the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile to the 32nd floor. It has a really good views and it´s free.(tip: get inside the hotel by Illinois St instead Michigan ave). 

If yo are interested to visit the Willis Tower, which I guess you´ll be, Go at first hour on the morning to avoid lines. They open at 10 am. 

Besides I would suggest to visit the second city during the afternoon which is a nice neighborhood with a lot of stores and restaurants, and around 8 go to the theatre, I really enjoyed and it was a lot of fun!. Moreover I think  that the Field Museum of Natural History it´s a must and it´s also in the second city ( it will take you around 2-3 hours to see everything).

If you don´t wanna spend a lot of money you can also skip to Hancock Observatory going to the lounge which is in the same building , the best views are offering in the restrooms. Seriously!!! 

Don´t miss to make a sculpture guide! there are some routes online, take a look of them! 

Enjoy your trip!!

2 thanks

answered by
Tosha from Morgantown, Indiana

If you come through the Indianapolis area, be sure to hit up Gray Brothers Cafeteria (just minutes from the interstate). It's a traditional, cafeteria-style place that's been family owned and operated for over 75 years. They've been on the Food Network and it's a great stop for Hoosier home cookin' - they're also famous for their pies. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gray Brothers Cafeteria (restaurant)
1 thanks

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