Last summer I discovered the north-east part of the United States and went to Canada for the first time. I combined both locations and made a great road trip in Ontario and New York State. In this article, I’ll share my itinerary for a 2-week road trip.
Day 1: travel to Toronto
When you arrive in Toronto, pick up your rental car, do some shopping at Walmart and just relax. If you arrive by plane, it’s convenient to pick a hotel close to the airport, because there’s a lot of traffic around the airport.
Hotel tip: Quality Inn & Suites, Brampton
Day 2: Presqu’ile Provincial Park and Thousand Islands National Park
Get up early, because today you will see lots of beautiful sights around Lake Ontario. It might take a while to leave Toronto because of all the traffic, but around Pickering, the roads will clear. During your road trip, you will see Lake Ontario on your right side. A great place to stop for lunch is Presqu’ile Provincial Park. This is a park where you can make some short hikes along Lake Ontario and the swamps (bring bug spray!), and there’s also a beautiful lighthouse.
After the break, it’ll take you about 1,5 hour to reach Gananoque, a lovely small town next to the Saint Lawrence River. In Gananoque, you can take a scenic boat tour around the Thousand Islands. Where you will see loads of tiny houses and castles on small private islands. It’s a beautiful trip, I highly recommend it.
Best place to stay: The Toucat Bed & Breakfast
Day 3 & 4: Lake Placid & the Adirondacks
It’s time to leave Canada! Make sure to cross the border to the United State over the Thousand Islands Bridge. The views are amazing! When you arrive in New York State, drive to Gouverneur, and take the scenic route along the lakes. You’ll see several nice places to stop, like Cranberry Lake, Tupper Lake, and Saranac Lake. The area you’ll want to stay for a few days is around Lake Placed and Wilmington. In Lake Placid, you can visit the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. Here you can spot athletes jumping around on skies. You can take an elevator to the top of the highest ski jump, where you will have an amazing view over the area.
In Wilmington you can drive to Whiteface Mountain. The road to the top is stunning and you can also climb to the top, where you’ll have 360-view of the area.
Hotel tip: North Pole Inn (it’s always Christmas!)
Day 5: Explore Massachusettes
On day 5 you will make your way to the south of New York State and you’ll be able to explore a bit of Massachusettes. Filled with small towns, not a tourist around, this is a nice state to explore. I chose to stay in Massachusettes, because hotels are half prize compared to hotels in New York State. If you’d like to go shopping, this state is also a better choice, because of a lower sales tax. In this area you’ll also find some nice State Parks, if you like to go for a hike.
Hotel tip: Berkshire Inn, Pittsfield
Day 6, 7 & 8: New York City
It’s only a couple of hours from Pittsfield to New York City. There are a few waterfalls where you can stop on the road to New York, like the one in High Falls Conservation Area.
You’ve got 2,5 days to go sightseeing in New York. This is not enough time to see everything, but it’ll give you a good impression of this amazing city. I recommend visiting the following places:
– Top of the Rock (amazing view of the skyline)
– Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
– Visit Ground Zero
– Take the free ferry to Staten Island (great views)
– Rent a bike and explore Central Park
Hotel tip: LIC Hotel in Queens (great location with an amazing roofterrace, and it’s also possible to park your car safely)
Day 9: road trip in Pennsylvania
After a couple of great days in New York, you probably want some peace and quiet again, so it’s time to visit another state: Pennsylvania. In this state you will find some nice small towns with green surroundings. Do you like shopping? The Crossings Premium Outlets is the place to go for some great deals.
Hotel tip: Microtel Inn & Suites Wilkes-Barre
Day 10 & 11: Watkins Glen & the Finger Lakes
It’s time to relax for a couple of days, and Watkins Glen at Seneca Lake is one of the best places to do it! Seneca Lake is one of the finger lakes, which are surrounded by vineyards. You can go on a wine-tasting-tour, hike in the amazing Watkins Glen State Park (19 waterfalls!) or just relax in one of the parks surrounding the lake.
Hotel tip: Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel (perfect location!)
Day 12: Niagara Falls
On day 12, you’ll be going back to Canada. At the border between the United States and Canada, you’ll see one of the highlights of this road trip: Niagara Falls. Walk around, and enjoy the views. And if you don’t mind getting wet, I highly recommend taking a boat trip with either Hornblower or Maid of the Mist to the falls.
Hotel tip: Comfort Inn Fallsview
Day 13 & 14: Toronto
During the last 2 days of this trip, you’ve got some time to explore Toronto. You can go to the CN Tower, wander around in Kensington Market or the Distillery District. If the weather is good, it’s great to visit the Toronto Islands. Do you like street art? You will love this city, because street art is everywhere.
Ho(s)tel tip: The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar (great location)
Route: Road trip in Ontario and New York State