Author Topic: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please  (Read 3686 times)

gbbi_977

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Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« on: August 25, 2015, 02:50:20 PM »
Hello,

Hubby and I need to use up some vacation days (nice problem to have). We are planning to leave Chicago next Tuesday (Sep 1) and make our way around Lake Eyrie, mainly because I want to see Niagara Falls and Detroit. We need to end up in Columbus, OH, to meet the newest addition to the extended family.

Our plan is to leave very early Tuesday and drive to Detroit, stop there for a picnic lunch and some snaps and then drive on to set up camp at Pinery Provincial Camp in Ontario for two nights (we love camping + cheap). Then on Thursday, drive to Niagara falls (it's 2 hours from there), spend the middle of the day there, but drive out of town that evening (because we hear that other than the falls, it's all casinos and strip malls and expensive hotels).

Question: where should we stay Thursday night? We want somewhere between Niagara and Columbus, and we would prefer to camp or be in a small town where a B&B won't be too costly. Any suggestions? Are there any cool quaint little towns between Niagara and Columbus in PA/OH/NY that we should check out? Any must-see state/national parks? We would be heading to Columbus on Friday to meet the niece and stay with family until end of the Labor Day weekend.

Thanks in advance!

eliza

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 09:19:24 PM »
I grew up in Erie, PA and have fond memories of summers near the lake.  Sunsets on Presque Isle in Erie are some of the best in the world.  There is a campground (Sara's) down on Presque Isle, but I'm not sure on cost. 

If you want to make it further in towards Columubs, Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH is a pleasant small town.  It's been a few years since I've been there, but if memory serves, it is an old-school summer lake-house town with some interesting local vineyards (Ferrantes, Taratinos)

Another place to consider checking out is Niagara-on-the-lake.   It is supposed to be much more laid back than Niagara Falls.  I haven't been there myself, so do some research.   The Falls are a complete tourist trap, but I still love it.  It might be too late in the season, but I recall there being lovely gardens near Niagara Falls, Ontario including one spectacular garden that seemed to be walking distance from the Falls.


lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2015, 07:50:33 AM »
We used to swim at Mentor Headlands  when I was a kid, but I don't know what it's like now. My daughter was just telling me that Geneva-on-the-Lake is a good place to go. Why don't you go on line and look up the Ohio Tourism stuff? There's a lot to see and do in Ohio...it will just be a matter of choosing what suits your tastes and budget. It's Lake Erie, by the way, not Eyrie. (But you know that.) Welcome to Ohio.

Shinplaster

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2015, 02:42:30 PM »
Just so you know - it will be longer than 2 hours from Pinery to Niagara Falls.  Grand Bend is about 45 minutes from London, and Niagara Falls is another 2 1/2 - 3 hours from here.   Figure on about 3 1/2 hours minimum, depending on what route you take, and what traffic is like.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 04:07:29 PM »
I grew up in Erie, PA and have fond memories of summers near the lake.  Sunsets on Presque Isle in Erie are some of the best in the world.  There is a campground (Sara's) down on Presque Isle, but I'm not sure on cost. 

If you want to make it further in towards Columubs, Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH is a pleasant small town.  It's been a few years since I've been there, but if memory serves, it is an old-school summer lake-house town with some interesting local vineyards (Ferrantes, Taratinos)

Another place to consider checking out is Niagara-on-the-lake.   It is supposed to be much more laid back than Niagara Falls.  I haven't been there myself, so do some research.   The Falls are a complete tourist trap, but I still love it.  It might be too late in the season, but I recall there being lovely gardens near Niagara Falls, Ontario including one spectacular garden that seemed to be walking distance from the Falls.
I'm from NW PA and we went to Presque Isle for some camping trips in the summer.  It's pretty, yeah, but it doesn't compare to Santa Barbara or Hawaii as far as sunsets go.

gbbi_977

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 04:18:01 PM »
Thanks everyone, super helpful! I will be sure to allow for longer drive-times. We might just skip the south short of Lake Erie (thanks for the spelling tip...I should have known that, in my defense I'm Australian :p ) and do a big drive from Niagara to Columbus in one day to save a night's accommodation costs, maybe stop in at Presque and/or Geneva-on-the-lake en route? We'll see how tired we are. That flexibility is something I really like about camping.

Thanks again!

teen persuasion

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 06:59:19 PM »
Just so you know - it will be longer than 2 hours from Pinery to Niagara Falls.  Grand Bend is about 45 minutes from London, and Niagara Falls is another 2 1/2 - 3 hours from here.   Figure on about 3 1/2 hours minimum, depending on what route you take, and what traffic is like.

Then there's the question of which side of the Falls you want to visit: Canadian or US.  And time crossing the bridge (and which bridge) and possible delays at customs.

You will obviously be passing by/thru Buffalo along the way, too.  And wine country along the Southern Tier before getting to Erie PA.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 07:00:02 PM »
Just making sure you know you need passports for the border crossing. Not required to enter Canada but you will need one to re-enter US.

I've had Cuyahoga NP recommended to me, though that's relatively close to your final destination back in Columbus and doesn't have a big campground. Might be worth a daytime though, especially if you're bikers and will have them along.

Columbus to Chicago is a reasonably short drive, but there's Pokagon SP in IN if you wanted to break if up.

Not familiar with the Canadian side but interested to see what other things folks may share as I'd love to do a Great Lakes tour at some point.

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 07:21:40 PM »
Biafra on the lake is historic, b&b and lovely. With the exchange rate you will love the value, high end places for 25% off.  Wide range of great owner run restaurants.

ahoy

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 03:38:01 AM »
If you're in Niagara for sure drive the extra 15 km (I think) to Niagara-on-the-Lake.   A beautiful town - Ontario side.

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 08:31:53 PM »
It's definitely going to be an all day drive from Niagara Falls to Columbus. I guess you'll be coming across on I-90 into Cleveland's eastern suburbs, and then down 271 and 71 into Columbus. So since you'll be passing right by, I'd echo you might want to take a look at Presque Isle, maybe Geneva-on-the-Lake, and/or Fairport Harbor and the Marine Museum, and/or Headlands State Park. (We called it "Mentor Headlands" when I was a kid.) Past those places, you're just getting into the Cleveland metro area...nothing but freeways and suburbs for a while. The metropolitan parks around Cleveland have always been nice. You aren't visiting Cleveland proper, but if for some reason you do, it has a nice zoo, world-class art and history museums, and of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.They have docked an iron ore boat (also known as a "lake freighter" and it is a museum now.) Given a choice between Cleveland and Detroit, I think Cleveland has much more to offer tourists...but that might be for another trip. It might be just as easy, frankly, if you're going to end up spending the night somewhere between Buffalo and Columbus, if you just check out the parks and beaches on Lake Erie's southern shore, and stay in a chain motel...just for the convenience, and not having to find a campsite and set up your stuff. You never know how long you are going to get stuck at the border...if the day is getting long and you are tired, I wouldn't push it. Walk on the beaches, see what there is to see, and just grab a motel room that looks like it's conveniently located near gas stations and restaurants. I'm wondering, too, if you're going to get into heavier traffic than usual because of the upcoming holiday. Truck traffic gets especially heavy around Erie, PA by the way.

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2015, 08:45:13 PM »
Forgot to say that traffic will probably be heavy in Columbus, too, when you will be at your most fatigued. It is Ohio's largest city now...population is around 755,000. Bigger than Cleveland, believe it or not.

robdwny

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Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2015, 08:57:14 PM »
When you are going to the falls stay on the
Canadian side. It's beautiful.  Also when coming into New York use the Rainbow bridge that is right at the falls.  The peace bridge that crosses into buffalo has a lot of truck traffic.   


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« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 05:04:08 AM by robdwny »

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 07:35:00 AM »
Agree that the Canadian falls are more beautiful than the American falls. But both are great. They're well worth seeing...like the Grand Canyon, you can look at a million nice photographs...and it is Nothing like actually being there.

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Mustachian Trip around Lake Eyrie - tips please
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2015, 09:40:54 AM »
Anyone else click on this thread expecting a Game of Thrones reference?