USA road trips Toronto

The top 7 weekend roads trips to the USA from Toronto

Weekend road trips from Toronto to the USA are an obvious way to explore our southerly neighbour without committing to major travel plans or shelling out a ton of money. Fortunately, our city lies in close proximity to many cool destinations in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. From rust belt cities on the rise to stunning natural wonders, American adventures are just a few hours away.

Here are the top weekend road trips to the USA from Toronto.

Depending on traffic, Pittsburgh should take about five (and change) hours to drive to. Once you get there, you can admire its multiple lush landscape and elevation changes via the Duquesne Incline, multiple bridges, visit the Andy Warhol Museum (or one of the Carnegie museums and galleries), have brunch in the Strip District, and sample what is one of the best craft beer scenes around.

Lake Placid
Site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid still bears the mark of this momentous occasion, but that's not the main reason to go here. It's the absolutely gorgeous landscape that's worth immersing yourself in. This is an amazing region for cyclists and hikers or merely those who like quaint inns and a rugged rural landscape. Make sure to drive up Mt. Whiteface for a spectacular view.

Buffalo is on the way back. This rust belt city was shelled out in the in 1970s and it's taken a long time to recover, but there's tons of life in the city right now, from start-up breweries to a burgeoning restaurant and bar scene and a revitalized waterfront. The architecture and shopping have always been there, but now there's reason to spend a few days exploring a city in the process of renewal.

The Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes are what you'd get if you blended the Niagara region with Muskoka: a beautiful landscape but with the added pleasure of wineries and a more established food scene. There are loads of B&Bs spread around the area, as well as historic inns, and lakefront properties. As a longstanding tourist destination, there are also numerous museums and scenic lookouts to explore.

Like Buffalo, the Motor City is also getting cool again, but given the depths to which it descended, the vibe is completely different here as a DIY entrepreneurial spirit as reanimated the city. Yes the industrial ruins are fascinating, but its the people who have committed to bringing Detroit back who have ushered in food, art, and music scenes worth checking out.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame turned 50 this year, so you might as well visit it to celebrate its golden birthday. Beyond this musical pilgrimage, you can eat your heart out at the West Side Market, visit the other Great Lakes Brewing Company, tailgate at Muni parking lot before a Browns game, or visit the surprisingly great Cleveland Museum of Art.

Toronto (Ohio)
Did you know that there's another Toronto? Located just west of Pittsburgh, this picturesque city on the Ohio River is the ultimate destination for Toronto nerds and can be tacked on to other trips in this direction or be considered a part of a winder exploration of the Ohio Valley, which has a scenic ruggedness and intriguing history given its industrial past.

Did we miss a cool US destination within driving distance of Toronto? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Jim Fotia.

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