Minneapolis to Philadelphia road trip

Old Aug 10th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Minneapolis to Philadelphia road trip

Two college girls will be meeting in Minneapolis and driving back to college in Philadelphia at the end of August.
he main point is to get the one girls car to school, but they figure they could take a bit of time to enjoy the trip rather than drive straight through. they have up to four days.

Any hints on the best route?
Safe but inexpensive places to overnight?
Good food?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Bringing this back up in case anyone has some ideas...

They were thinking of spending one night in Madison WI. Would this be a good stopping point?
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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I could tell you plenty of places between these two cities that *I* enjoyed, but I have no idea if *YOU* would enjoy them -- simply because you've given absolutely no idea of (1) what exactly are you hoping to experience on this trip, (2) what is your budget ("inexpensive" is NOT specific enough), and (3) what places have you already been to.

Chicago is a city in which you could spend the entire four days, but I don't know if it fits into what you (1) are looking for, (2) can afford, or (3) have already been to.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Madison is about 4.5 hours down the road. It's a great college town and would be a great place to stop the first night.

I can't give any advice past that, except they'll be going through or around Chicago within a couple hours after Madison, so avoiding rush hour would be a very wise idea. If they overnight in Madison and leave around 9 or a bit later, they'd be fine.

CAPH52 has been to Madison a couple times in the past year and has done trip reports - they would have some good ideas for restaurants and stuff to do.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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Thanks, Weasel, I'll look for Caph's reports. Biggest help we need is on the route. I know the most obvious, direct route is not always the best.
Is that the case here?

These are not my daughters, but I think with "college girls" cheap and safe is about the best way to describe their needs.

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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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I hate to sound repetitious, but what exactly are you looking for, as far as the route is concerned? The fastest? Least amount of tolls? Least amount of traffic? Goes by places to visit? Some mix of all of these?

Depending on your definition of "best," there are innumerable answers to your question.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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The route that would be the most interesting for 20 year olds, that is not terribly confusing for the driver, and is relatively direct. If the tolls are outrageous on any one section, an alternate route would be nice.

Paul, I have been posting here for over eight years, giving help many thousands of times, writing long detailed reports of all my trips, and have attended about ten GTGs. I KNOW how Fodors works.

I know why you are asking, but I think my request is pretty straighforward. This is not my trip, and I am not up to doing doing a lot of research for these kids. I just wondered if anyone had any quick tips to get them started on their planning.

If you have done this trip, what route did YOU take? If you are not interested in helping, but simply want to "put me in my place", thanks, you've done it.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Okay, since I actually drove from the Midwest to Philadelphia, I can give you some help -- now that I know what exactly you want. I am NOT trying to put you in your place -- I just don't want to give advice that is of no use to a traveller. I've been posting on Fodors for over eight years, and realize that just because I like (or dislike) something, there is no reason to think that a random questioner will share my tastes.

ANYWAY, my itinerary would be as follows:

Day 1: Minneapolis to Chicago, spending the night in that area. If well rested after a day's drive, spend an evening walking downtown, grabbing a Chicago style pizza.

Day 2: Morning on Miracle Mile, window shoppoing ONLY (unless you want to be broke before you depart!) Leave Chicago late morning (don't try to escape this place during rush hour).

My next choice is, I admit, controversial. I've traveled a lot through Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. None of the sites I've been to are worth a major re-routing to see, when making a trip such as this. Thus, I recommend you just take the turnpike all the way from Chicago to Philadelphia. More expensive? Yes. Safer, faster, and less stressful while making a four-day trip? Yes. Boring? That's the idea.

When arriving into Ohio, grab the magazine listing motel bargains. Make a decision on how much further you think you'd like to travel, then stop there for the night.

Day 3: Do the same for Pennsylvania. One stop I do recommend is the Flight 93 National Memorial
www.nps.gov/flni

Day 4: arrive in Philly

Two places that might be worth a few hours of time are (1) Shipshewana, for an Amish experience more authentic than what you'll find in Lancaster and (2) Pittsburgh.

Lodging will be MUCH easier to find if you travel during the week, particularly since this is still vacation time for most Americans.

If you have any questions about Philly, I'll be glad to answer them.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Thanks Paul. They'll be happy that Chicago fits nicely timewise into the route, and also that the turnpike is not a bad option.
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