Scenic Route - NYC to Finger Lakes?

Old Sep 2nd, 2021, 01:39 PM
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Scenic Route - NYC to Finger Lakes?

Does anyone know of a scenic/relaxing route between NYC and the Finger Lake area? Google offers 3 options but I am not familiar with the roads.
I-80W to I-81N to I-90N (shortest distance)

I-80W to I-380N to I-81N to NY 17W

I-80W to US-15N to NY 17 W

It would appear to be between the second and third options since they go through one local road but I don't know about the remainder of each route.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. TIA

Last edited by panecott; Sep 2nd, 2021 at 02:11 PM.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2021, 04:56 PM
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Cross the George Washington bridge and take the Palisades Parkway north (I believe that it is 9W) to Montgomery, take US6 W which will combine with NY17. Take that to Windsor (just before Binghamton) and then NY79 from Windsor to Ithaca. As much as possible I avoided the Interstate which tends to flatten out the scenery. But it would be a long drive.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 02:09 AM
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I agree with Michael. It's 3hrs to Binghampton regardless of the route. Rt17 moves along pretty good through lower NYS.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 04:21 AM
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Thank you both very much. I don't mind if the drive is a little longer, as long as it is pleasant. Can you give me an idea of just how long it would take? I am traveling on a Sunday.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 05:17 AM
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The Palisades Interstate Parkway (“PIP”) is a very scenic route BUT IT IS NOT 9W. The PIP parallels the 9W from the GW Bridge and is a much better road for your trip. As you cross the GW Bridge just follow the signs for the PIP and you’ll be fine.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 08:50 AM
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Thank you, RoamsAround. I'm actually familiar with the Palisades Pkwy because I've taken it to Bear Mountain and I sort of knew what Michael meant. I appreciate your info!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 01:18 PM
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Google maps will tell you the time. We don't know enough about your trip (starting point, day/time of departure, or destination).

And if you give us that we'll just plug it into google maps.....

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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 03:19 PM
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Thank you. I don't know how to look for a specific route on Google Maps or Waze but if you can do it, great!
I'm leaving on Sunday, 9/12, probably around 8 a.m. from the Upper West Side. Let's say the Manhattan side of the GWB to keep it simple. Since Michael's directions take me into Ithaca I will probably stop there and explore the town. My final destination is Canandaigua but I can find my way there from Ithaca, so for these purposes let's say GWB to Ithaca. Thank you again.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by panecott View Post
Thank you. I don't know how to look for a specific route on Google Maps or Waze but if you can do it, great!
I'm leaving on Sunday, 9/12, probably around 8 a.m. from the Upper West Side. Let's say the Manhattan side of the GWB to keep it simple. Since Michael's directions take me into Ithaca I will probably stop there and explore the town. My final destination is Canandaigua but I can find my way there from Ithaca, so for these purposes let's say GWB to Ithaca. Thank you again.
in your browser address bar type
“google maps nyc to ithaca”


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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 03:58 PM
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Yes but google just gives the fastest way which is mostly Interstates. That's what the original poster is trying to avoid, and I'm guessing why he posted the question. I have not done that drive in a very long time but I agree that 17 is a rather nice road (at least it used to be). I would get out of the city as fast as possible and that would mean crossing the GWB which is I-95, take it to I-80 to Rt 17. I think it's about 4 hours that way.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 06:26 PM
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You are correct, Isabel. TY.
At this point I was wondering about how long the scenic route proposed by Michael would take. I do think it would be longer than 4 hours, however, because all of the routes I found on Google that I mentioned in the OP took longer than 5 hours. So I'm guessing the scenic route would take about 6 hours or more. From J62's post I thought s/he knew how to check a specific route on Google. Whatever it takes I'll be there long before dark and that's the most important thing.
Oh, and btw, I am a "she".
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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 06:31 AM
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From GCT to Canandaigua, google maps says between 5 hours 10 minutes to 5 hours 50 minutes if you stay on the interstates.

If you are looking for scenic, I would guess between 7 and 8 hours, depending on your comfort level in avoiding the state troopers.
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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by J62 View Post
I agree with Michael. It's 3hrs to Binghampton regardless of the route. Rt17 moves along pretty good through lower NYS.
The scenic route on Rt17 described above doesn't take any longer than the interstates....

To map a specific route on google, simply click on the route with your mouse, hold the button down, and drag the route where you want it to be.

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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 01:08 PM
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If an extra 15 – 20 minutes is OK take 17 to Binghamton, far more scenic especially west of Middletown. You’ll be driving along famous trout streams/rivers like the Willowemoc, Beaverkill, upper Delaware and bonus of almost no traffic especially trucks. There is often traffic on 80 especially in the Stroudsburg area that can negate that time savings as well. If you go to Ithaca make sure to stop at Buttermilk Falls just south of and Taughannock Falls just off 89 on the way to Canandaigua.
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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 06:04 AM
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Just reporting back. I wound up taking the Thruway to Exit 16, where I picked up NY 17, then the Thruway east, I 90, for a short distance, then some pleasant local roads south to Canandaigua. It took exactly 5 1/2 hours on a Sunday morning. NY17 was a beautiful road and, except for perhaps the first 30 miles or so, it was practically traffic-free - pleasant and relaxing, which was exactly what I was looking for.
On the way back, I took US20 and NY9 eastbound to Lake Luzerne in the Adirondacks. It took about 4 1/2 hours but again, was relaxing and pleasant. The Thruway would have taken about an hour less.
Thx to everyone for your suggestions.

DaveS, I went to Ithaca following a drive along the west side of Cayuga Lake. I did stop at Taughannock Falls along the way but missed Buttermilk Falls. I'd wanted to visit all of the waterfalls south of Ithaca but after I finished exploring Cornell U it was rush hour and there was a lot of traffic so I just headed back to my B&B. I will definitely be returning to the area. So much to see, and so many vineyards to visit!
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