Chicago to Niagara Falls & Buffalo RV Road Trip

The great Niagara Falls is one of those places that everyone wants to see one day. So, if you’re on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in the Chicago area, why not take a short detour and call in? There are two main routes from Chicago to Niagara Falls. One way, you stay in the US and skirt Lake Erie; the other, which is the quickest, takes you through Canada.

Although there’s not much difference in distance, the route through Canada is considered better for the views and the attractions along the way, but if you really want to visit Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, then choose the Interstate 90 through Cleveland. Whichever route you choose, it’s only about 1000 miles, not counting the side trips, so if you want, you could try the loop.

Chicago to Niagara Falls Day 1 – Towards Canada

Leave the windy city and head north for Canada on Interstate 94, enjoying Lake Michigan from a distance. After around three and a half hours, you’ll be ready for a stop, and luckily you’ve chosen this route because you’ll be drawn to Marshall, home of magic.

American Museum of Magic

107 E Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI 49068

The American Museum of Magic is the largest museum of its kind open to the public, and as you’re off to Niagara, you can brush up on your knowledge of Houdini, ‘the man from beyond’. Since 1978, the American Museum of Magic has celebrated magicians and their craft. It holds the stories and treasures of the performers that have entertained audiences in the grandest of theaters and the smallest of communities.

American Museum of Magic
American Museum of Magic

Located in the heart of downtown Marshall, Michigan, the museum has the most extensive collection of magic open to the public. This collection includes thousands of artifacts illuminating the greats’ stories, such as Houdini, Blackstone, and Thurston. The museum has been described as “the Smithsonian of American magic”, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of magic and the magicians that have made it what it is today. It is a place to honor the past and celebrate the present and a great way to explore the world of magic.

Jackson, MI

After you’ve been ‘amazed’ at the museum, travel just a short distance down the road to Jackson, the home of the Cascades. The great advantage of visiting Jacksonville in your own motorhome rental or campervan hire is that you have your own toilet facilities onboard – you’ll see why!

Jackson is a community with much to offer for families looking for a fun day out. With the Museum Corridor, there is an extensive collection of local museums that can provide entertainment for any size family. Each museum has something unique to offer, so you can be sure that your day will be filled with exciting and educational experiences. But that’s not all that Jackson has to offer.

Ella W. Sharp Park

Ella W. Sharp Park is the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. With play areas, relaxing picnic settings, and beautiful gardens, there’s something for everyone. For the golfers in the family, there’s an 18-hole course just across the street. And for those who don’t want to golf, the Ella Sharp Museum is a great alternative.

Ella W. Sharp Park
Ella W. Sharp Park

It has a variety of exhibits, including an 1860s log cabin, a country store, and a doctor’s office. Kids will love exploring the old-school aesthetic, while adults will appreciate the deep history behind each building. So, when it’s time to get outside, Ella W. Sharp Park has something for everyone.

The Cascades

1401 South Brown Street, Jackson, MI 49203

Jackson Cascades (Cascade Falls) is set on 465 acres of grounds, including a small museum, two golf courses, tennis courts, a picnic area, a giant waterfall, and six fountains! If you stay overnight in the area it’s also good to visit at night as the cascades are illuminated.

The Cascade Falls of Jackson

Every summer night, the man-made waterfall is illuminated in a rainbow of colors and accompanied by the majestic sound of fireworks. No wonder this attraction has captivated locals and visitors for over 85 years. The Cascades is managed by the Jackson County Parks Department and offers various summer events. Every Wednesday is Family Fun Night, with live music, costumed characters, and the Falls. You can enjoy live music on Saturdays in the Rotary Bandshell at Sparks Park. The Cascades is a must-see for anyone visiting Jackson and a beloved local landmark. It’s sure to be a source of wonder and delight for generations to come.

Chicago to Niagara Falls Day 2

Today’s drive takes you across the border into Canada. When you reach Port Huron, prepare for border formalities; remember where you ‘safely’ stowed your passport? Then once through the necessary procedures, you’re on your way again, and it’s a four-hour journey to Niagara.

You’ve arrived at the right side of the falls; even the Americans agree that ‘their’ side is nowhere near as good as the Canadian one. Niagara Falls are, in fact,  three falls, The American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Canadian, or Horseshoe Falls, and the reason the Canadian side is considered so much better is that the Horseshoe Falls are over 1000 feet longer, and 600,000 American Gallons of water pass over them every SECOND, the American side…150,000. Of course, it’s touristy, and you’ll probably want to take a boat ride and get soaking, but you’ve got plenty of dry clothes back in your vehicle, so no worries there.

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls is one of the world’s most iconic and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Located on the United States and Canada border, the Horseshoe Falls is part of Niagara Falls, comprising three waterfalls that straddle the international border. The Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three waterfalls and a spectacular sight to behold. Its massive size and mighty cascading waters make it a breathtaking sight and a popular tourist destination for people worldwide.

Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls

No matter how often you have seen the Horseshoe Falls, it never fails to take your breath away. Its sheer size and power are awe-inspiring, and it is a reminder of the beauty and majesty of nature. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the Horseshoe Falls will leave a lasting impression.

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo is only half an hour’s drive from the falls and has a wide range of places to spend the night and some excellent restaurants at a fraction of the cost of staying at the falls. Maybe you could go back tomorrow?

Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York, has seen a remarkable transformation in recent years, from a redeveloped waterfront and revitalized neighborhoods to a burgeoning craft beer scene and over $1 billion in new investment. With all of these changes, Buffalo has more fun and exciting things to do than ever! You can visit seven Frank Lloyd Wright structures if you’re an architecture enthusiast. Art and entertainment lovers can spend the morning with Charles Burchfield at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. History buffs can relive where President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office. Take in the scene at Canalside or Larkin Square for something more casual. And if you’re looking for a day trip, don’t forget to check out Niagara Falls! With so much to do in Buffalo, you’ll never be bored!

For more, Check Out Our Buffalo Travel Guide

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