The Best Road Trip from Richmond to Niagara Falls
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- Richmond to Harrisburg
- Harrisburg to Niagara Falls
- Roadside assistance
- Car insurance
A trip from one of the nation’s oldest major cities to the geological wonder of Niagara Falls offers the opportunity to appreciate historic scenes and fabulous eats.
Breaking up the 500-mile trip into two days allows for stops at must-see locations—including Washington, DC; Gettysburg; Harrisburg; and Williamsport—before landing in Niagara Falls.
Whether you’re a history buff or a foodie, a nature lover or an urbanite, this road trip from Richmond, Virginia, to Niagara Falls, New York, will give you something to Instagram about.
To fully enjoy the journey, make sure you’ve got the car insurance protection you need with the assistance of Jerry, a licensed insurance broker app that can find you the best coverage for your money from the top 50 auto insurance providers in under a minute.
Not only that, Jerry helps you make the most of your road trip with their emergency roadside assistance program, so you can drive with the confidence that emergency assistance, rental vehicle help, and other services will be at your fingertips if you get a flat in Harrisburg..
Ready? Let’s hit the road!
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Day one: Richmond to Harrisburg
Driving time: 4 hours
Wave goodbye to Virginia’s capital and head out on your two-day journey to upstate New York. With only four hours in the car today, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy some of the country’s most historic cities.
Lunch in Washington, DC
First stop: the nation’s capital, where parks, waterfront views, museums, landmarks, eclectic cuisine, and boutique art spots abound.
Depart from Richmond early enough that after about 1 hour and 45 minutes in the car, you can fit in some time for sightseeing before lunch.
Must do: Peruse the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, a 163-acre zoo home to over 2,700 animals that offers free admission. Be sure to stop by the Giant Panda exhibit, where you’ll see Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and their new panda cub.
Must see: Explore the National Mall, where you can experience America’s rich history by foot or bus as you maneuver around the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, and more.
Must eat: After visiting the National Mall, take a quick drive to Busboys and Poets, where you can enjoy delicious burgers, salads, sandwiches, and pizza in a dynamic restaurant famous for its “urban living room” vibes.
With its communal tables, sofas, and comfy chairs that gather people together for open mic nights, live music, and book clubs, you can feed your mind and body at the same time.
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Stop in Gettysburg
After another hour and a half in the car, take a pit stop in Gettysburg, PA, to explore the site of what is often considered the most important battle in the American Civil War.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Gettysburg while enjoying charming downtown shops and local craft beers.
Must do: Visit Gettysburg’s many historic buildings, including the David Wills House, where Abraham Lincoln finalized his famous “Gettysburg Address.”
Must see: Familiarize yourself with the context of the Battle of Gettysburg at Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center before exploring the battlefield grounds. Take a self-guided tour so you can see the battlefield on your own timeline before hopping back in the car for the last leg of today’s trip.
Must eat: Be sure to stop at Mrs. G’s Ice Cream for some delicious homemade ice cream. Located in the Historic Twin Sycamores House, Mrs. G’s Ice Cream boasts 16 flavors of ice cream and various sundaes, shakes, flurries, dairy-free slushies, and even “pup cups” for your canine friend!
Stay in Harrisburg
In under an hour, you’ll arrive at your final destination for the first day of your trip. The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg features numerous historic gems, luxurious river cruises, a famous farmer’s market, relaxing parks, and trendy breweries.
Must do: For the history buff who wants to build on what they’ve just experienced in Gettysburg, a visit to the National Civil War Museum will round out their education. As you wander around the museum, you’ll encounter over 20,000 Civil War artifacts, including memorabilia, letters, manuscripts, and more.
Must see: Take advantage of Harrisburg’s river views by exploring the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park. Situated on the Susquehanna River, this historic house, originally built in 1787, boasts elaborate interiors and a majestic 40-acre waterfront park.
Must eat: Both the foodie and the craft beer hobbyist will revel in the dining experience offered by Appalachian Brewing Company. Located in a previously-abandoned 100-year-old building, this brewpub offers complimentary guided tours of the brewery and soda bottling facility. Then, expand your palate with a unique craft beer and ABC’s famous Boo Boo Burger, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich served with their signature coleslaw.
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Day two: Harrisburg to Niagara Falls
Driving time: 5.5 hours
The second day of this road trip is divided into two parts: first, you’ll venture from Harrisburg to Williamsport, a major cultural center in central Pennsylvania, before continuing on to your final destination, Niagara Falls.
Lunch in Williamsport
After a mere hour and a half of driving, you’ll find yourself in Williamsport, PA, the birthplace of Little League Baseball. If your trip happens to be in mid-August, you might be able to catch the Little League World Series.
Must do: Baseball lovers should visit the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, which features interactive exhibits that tourists both young and old can enjoy—and in only 30 to 45 minutes.
Must see: Stretch your legs at Susquehanna State Park, a 20-acre waterfront park that is perfect for walking, paddle boating, fishing, and picnicking.
Must eat: Grab lunch at the Moon & Raven Public House. With an atmosphere reminiscent of Irish, English, and Scottish pubs, this restaurant serves food made with the finest ingredients, including those that are locally sourced and organic. Enjoy one of their famous burgers or a tasty tuna melt served on their signature pub pretzel.
Stay in Niagara Falls
The drive from Williamsport to Niagara Falls is the longest portion of your road trip. But with all the sightseeing, dining, and entertainment experiences available in this New York city, you’ll want to get there as soon as possible to have extra time to explore.
Must do: Numerous options for dining and recreation can be found at Clifton Hills. From roller coasters to whimsical rides, waterparks to ziplines, adventure golf to go-karts, arcade games to bowling, there is no end to the fun awaiting you in this entertainment wonderland.
Other sights to explore include the Movieland Wax Museum, where you can see lifelike wax figures of movie, television, and music celebrities, and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, which includes over 900 strange-yet-ever-so-enticing exhibits.
Must see: No trip to Niagara Falls is complete without visiting the waterfalls. Whether you experience the geological phenomenon by one of the legendary Maid of the Mist boat tours, through the caves, by helicopter, or from one of the many observation towers, you’ll have your breath taken away by the sights and sounds of these massive waterfalls situated on the US–Canada border.
Must eat: If you find yourself at Clifton Hills around dinnertime, be sure to check out Kelsey’s Restaurant, a casual roadhouse famous for its massive patio dining space and distinctive Canadian menu. Consider ordering their fresh chicken fingers, which are hand-breaded in house and served with Ontario-grown chip truck fries.
Why you need roadside assistance
Don’t let a roadside breakdown ruin your road trip fun. Jerry is here to help you get to your destination with ease, safety, and confidence. Jerry’s roadside assistance program features:
- Emergency roadside assistance
- Vehicle towing up to 10 miles
- Tire changes
- Lockout assistance
- Fuel delivery
- Roadside reimbursement
- Rental vehicle roadside reimbursement
Exclusive member benefits include:
- Up to $25 in Uber credits with towing
- Up to $100 for key replacement
- Up to $100 for tire repair (per incident)
- Car advice from certified mechanics
- Up to $750 in trip interruption credits
- Up to $100 for fighting tickets
- Up to $1,000 for car theft reward
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