Written by: Emily De Sousa
As the fall season quickly approaches, now is the perfect time to hop in the car for a last minute road trip with friends before mother nature sends the snow our way.
Instead of taking a road trip within Canada, why not get a little more exotic and pay our friends in the south a visit? One weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore the USA from Toronto without committing any major plans or shelling out a ton of money.
There are many cool cities within driving distance of Toronto; from rust belt cities on the rise to stunning natural wonders, American adventures are just a few hours away.
Here are my top picks for weekend road trips to the USA, all within a 10-hour drive from Toronto.
Buffalo, NY – 2-hour drive
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Buffalo is one of the shorter United States road trip, taking only about 2 hours to get into the city. This rust belt city is full of life, from start-up breweries, a happening bar scene, and beautiful waterfront restaurants. The biggest incentive for Canadians to head to Buffalo is usually the shopping, with Walden Galleria just across the border and the American Dollar soaring well above the Canadian. If you head to Walden Galleria to do a little shopping, be sure to stop at the Cheesecake Factory to indulge in some traditional American fare.
Pittsburgh, PA – 5-hour drive
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Pittsburgh is home to some of the most stunning architecture and bridges in the country, as well as one of the best craft bar scenes around. Head to the Strip District to sample some of the cities delicious restaurants and be sure to check out the Andy Warhol museum which is one of the Carnegie Museums.
Lake Placid – 6-hour drive
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Home of the iconic 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid still bears the mark of this historic occasion. Lake Placid is the perfect getaway for outdoorsy people looking to enjoy nature with the tons of cycling and hiking trails nestled among its stunning landscape. It’s also home to many cozy, family run inns that will make your stay here feel personalized and special. Also be sure to head up to Mt. Whiteface to enjoy the views before you head back.
Boston, MA – 8.5-hour drive
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Boston is one of my favourite American cities; home to the Quincy market, the Boston Tea Party, and the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail where you can find 16 historic sites that reshaped American history. Boston is also a city for sports; catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, a Bruins hockey game, or a Celtics basketball game at TD Gardens.
Detroit, MI – 4-hour drive
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The motor City is coming back in a big way with a fresh vibe fuelled by young, DIY entrepreneurial spirit. The industrial ruins still remain and have been refurbished by those dedicated locals who have brought food, art, and music scenes to the area that are definitely worth checking out.
Chicago, IL – 8.5-hour drive
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Chicago is another American city that is home to some amazing shopping; the Magnificent Mile is filled with shops and restaurants that will keep any Canadian ready to splurge busy for hours.
The city is also home to a famous 150-foot ferris wheel where you can see the beautiful city overlooking lake Michigan from above. Be sure to indulge in some delicious and local deep dish Chicago style pizza before you head home!
Cleveland, OH – 5-hour drive
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Cleveland has many notable attractions to visit that will leave you with a jam packed weekend itinerary. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cedar Point Amusement Park, and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens are all must-see sights for any new visitor to the city.