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Driving from NJ/NY to Cleveland

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I'm planning on driving to Cleveland and eventually Cedar Point in late-August from the NJ/NYC area. I have a couple options and looking for advice:


1) Take the somewhat longer route of I-78/I-76 and stop at Hersheypark. Never been there.


2) Take the shorter route of I-80. Not sure if there are any good parks with decent roller coasters along the way.


Anyone have any advice? Are there good places not too far out of the way on the drive besides Hershey or Dorney that would be worthwhile to stop at for roller coasters?

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I did a trip late May/Early June from Six Flags Great Adventure to Cedar Point, with a stop at Hersheypark on the way. While the coasters at SFGAdv and CP were certainly much more wild, I honestly enjoyed HP the most out of all the parks. It's a lovely atmosphere, the town of Hershey is charming, and the coasters (while not blow-your-mind panic inducers) are plentiful, varied, and fun. I can't recommend a trip to HP enough, it's a delightful park!


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I don't know how much extra time you have but taking I-80 on the way out to Cleveland puts you close to Knoebels. Driving back on I-78 and I-76 brings you close to Kennywood, Hersheypark and Dorney. Knoebels and Kennywood are two old school parks worth visiting.




Take Route 80 to Exit 224 (Danville, PA). Once off, take Route 54 across the river and turn left at the stop light. Drive a few miles down the road until you reach the next stop light. Once there, make a left. Drive about 3 miles down the road and take a right. Park your car for free. Buy some tickets. Ride until you can ride no longer.


Actually driving from New York to Cleveland it is easier to get off at Exit 232 (Buckhorn) when visiting Knoebels.

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We actually did this exact trip a few years ago:


Several Options:


Side trips North of Rt 80:


Waldemeer (Erie, PA) - Ravine Flyer II (and its right off Rt 90 that goes right to Cleveland) - take 79 north from 80


Side trips between 76/78 and 80:


Lakemont Park (Altoona, PA) - Leap the Dips - gotta ride it


Knoebels (Eysburg, PA) - its everything they say it is and the Phoenix kicks some serious airtime



Rt 78 to 76 to 80:


Dorney Park (Allentown, PA) - Talon and Steel Force are both great


Hershey - have to say I'm not a fan of the park, but they have the best and most beautiful racing coaster ever - Lightning Racer


Idlewild (Ligonier, PA)


Kennywood (Pittsburgh, PA)

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Go to Conneaut Lake Park this year on your way from Route 80 up 79 towards Erie to get Waldameer Park. Give that place a shot in the arm until they come back hopefully with Blue Streak next year. It's too bad Geauga Lake is gone.


Knoebels is a given considering how in the general area Route 80 is.


I would say Rt 80 to Knoebels down south to Hershey, west to Altoona for Lakemont and Delgrossos using 99 then to go North. 99 will go up to 80. Take 80 west to 79. Conneaut Lake Park. Go North to 90. Get Waldameer. Then go west on 90/2 to Cleveland.

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We did a similiar trip as well last year. We left from Central PA and took the turnpike to lakemont park (off turnpike). We then went on to waldameer and then cedar point. Not a bad drive.. there are so many parks around this area it would be very hard to do them all in a few days. Best bet would be to take a few smaller trips as hershey would be a full day experience in itself and is closer to home. You could also take the turnpike and do Idlewild as well (off turnpike). Depending on how many days you can work with I would just take the turnpike and do idlewild, lakemont, and then head to the north for waldameer and cedar point.


On a side note: We just took a trip to New York to visit Seabreeze, Darien Lake, Martins Fantasy Island, Canadas Wonderland, and Niagara falls. We stayed near Darien Lake (in the middle of all the parks). Although these parks are close to waldameer and cedar point they are sort of out of the way.

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The Bebes just trekked through PA and had previously trekked from PA thru Cleveland.


Knoebel's was a highlight of our 12 day, 10 park trip. I wouldn't miss out on this great hidden gem if I were you. They only sport two coasters (one good one, and one great one!), but they have the most flats I've ever seen (many unique or rare). Their flats operate better than other parks too. Ride the Flyers at Hershey and then at Knoebels OR Knoebel's Wipeout compared to Waldameer's. They are like completely different rides.


Hershey was also great, and big! Lots There!!!


Kennywood shouldn't be missed if possible, they have three great old woodies, an enclosed spinning mouse, and a top 10 steel hyper in Phantom's Revenge.


Waldameer has a great draw in Ravine Flyer II, a nice spinning mouse, and an old manual brake Woodie; but the park itself was a bit disappointing.


My suggestion: 8o to Knoebels, south to Hershey, west to Kennywood, and northwest to CP. This is 630miles one way from NYC. It is 510miles from NYC to CP direct, without any pitstops, so this route doesn't really put you TOO far out of the way. It is an extra 110miles to squeeze in Waldameer.


Read our TRs by following the Banner link below for more extensive info on all those parks.

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