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Drive from Detroit to Chicago

Johannesburg South...
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Drive from Detroit to Chicago

We, me, husband and 21 year old son, will be travelling to USA end March. We will visit Detroit (Henry Ford Museum - husband and son are petrolheads) and then travel to Chicago. Current thinking is to hire a car in Detroit and drive (just for the experience)to Chicago. Have looked at maps but would like some advice on which route would be best .

Also, any tips on must sees in Chicago?

Chicago, IL
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1. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

Interstate 94 (I-94) runs directly from central Detroit, through Dearborn and on to central Chicago. If you drive, be prepared to pay a hefty one-way fee in addition to the normal rental rate. The trip would take around 5 hours without stops.

Flights between Detroit and Chicago's two airports are inexpensive and frequent. Check United, American, Delta or Southwest Airlines. Once you reach Chicago, you can take the CTA Blue Line train from O'Hare or the Orange Line from Midway.

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The Dearborn
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Michigan
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2. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

The best fastest route would be I-94 to Indiana toll road, over Skyway, exit at Stoney Island. Stay to the right at the "y" and proceed to Lakeshore Dr. Turn left on Lakeshore and you can't miss Chicago.

On your way check out gilmorecarmuseum.com located in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is just off I-94 at approximately the half way point.

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Illinois
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3. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

Don't forget the one hour time zone change.

Michigan
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4. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

Ps, for those interested skyway toll has now been raised to $4

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

One way car rental may be expensive. Consider taking the train. Go to amtrak.com and download the schedules for the Michigan Services. There are three train per day between Detroit and Chicago. They're called The Wolverine Service.

You still get to see the country without driving and the cafe car goes with you instead of making pit-stops enroute.

Chicago's North...
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6. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

if you drive, tune into AM 780 and/or FM 105.9 for traffic reports around chicagoland and northern indiana.... reports are every 10 minutes on the 8's...... given the choice, as long as traffic is moving on the FREEways, i would avoid the toll roads (IE-the 294, skyway, indiana toll road) every time...no sense in unnecessarily giving your hard-earned R to the man..... but you won't know unless you listen to the radio traffic reports....

in the midwest, the weather in march is all over the map---it can be cold, rainy and ugly; or it can be sunny and warm (like last year with temps in the 70's and 80's); or it can feature a major winter storm..... all these conditions can occur within a matter of a few days.... so plan accordingly...

if the weather is decent, you could stop at indiana dunes STATE park near chesterton, indiana.... good hiking and great views of lake michigan and the chicago skyline in the distance... in the same vein, you could stop at warren dunes state park in southwest michigan... a little prettier than indiana dunes state park with bigger dunes... since your son is 21, he's legal, so if this seems interesting, southwest michigan is wine country... not quite up to the calibre of the SA winelands, but it's rated pretty well nonetheless.... if you'd like to break up the drive a bit, an overnite stop in michigan would be great....

if you're lucky, you might get in on a late season snowstorm... if that's the case, the dunes are beautiful.... or, if it happens while in chicago, you could rent cross country skis and/or snow shoes and go out in the forest preserves... OR, if the weather is warm, you could rent bikes and ride the lakefront bike path, and since you'll have a car, you could rent bikes out in the burbs and ride the forest preserve bike paths....

on stuff to see---others can weigh in on the touristy sights in chicago... but i will say the museum of science and industry is a must-see..... so, since your men are into machines, i'd suggest looking into the illinois railway museum in union, IL, about an hour northwest of chicago...... also, about an hour northwest of chicago is the volo auto museum.... you could also take a jaunt (1.5 hour drive, traffic permitting) up to milwaukee and check out the harley davidson museum.... further north is the air venture aviation museum in oshkosh, WI..... in detroit, if the great lakes shipping season has started, you can view the giant ore carriers passing up and down the detroit river.... pretty impressive since we only got lakes around here.....

since your son is legal, he could also enter the various blues, jazz, rock etc clubs in and around chicago....

http://www.chicagoreader.com/

http://chicago.metromix.com/

==================================

some links:

www.wisconsinhighways.org/other/lmct.html

www.michiganhighways.org/other/lmct.html

harborcountry.org

www.travelwisconsin.com/Door_County.aspx

http://www.beachtowns.org/

michigan.org/Things-to-Do/…

http://www.michiganwines.com/

gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/maps/greatlake…

http://www.irm.org/

http://volocars.com/

harley-davidson.com/en_US/…museum.html

http://www.airventuremuseum.org/

boatnerd.com

michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/details.aspx…

http://fpdcc.com/

http://www.lcfpd.org/

=================================

PS to the OP: i just got back from your neck of the woods... here's a TA slide show of the trip.........

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0726-e7bc-255f…

Chicago's North...
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7. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

one final thing, if you end up doing more of a road trip than what's described in your OP, here's an article that a few of us in the road trips forum have been working on:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g191-c183176/United-S…

hope this helps!

Johannesburg South...
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8. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

Wow! Thanks all for the great advice. Will have a good look at all suggestions before booking any further.

Just wish we had more time but we only have two weeks available in USA and will be visiting New York and Washington, then Detroit and Chicago, then the California Zephyr train to San Francisco from where we return home.

Thanks again.

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Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

All right! You're taking the Cal Zephyr. Good for you. Have a great trip.

chicago
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10. Re: Drive from Detroit to Chicago

5 cities in two weeks? Id cut at least one out, thats too rushed traveling from ny to san fran