I'm hoping to do a road trip to these cities later this summer. I'm looking for recommendations to "Rick Steves-style" hotels (small, not part of big chains, close to the action, but comfortable). Or am I being naïve and should I just stay in big chain hotels? Since this will be a road trip, there would have to be a place to park the car, and it would have to be in a safe neighborhood.
Hi Al, what’s the focus of your road trip - music, sports, ethnic foods? That info would be helpful in finding the right accommodations for you.
On solo trips i have stayed at Motel 6 (it smelled weird. I am undecided whether the smell was just cleaning products or something nasty like tobacco, marijuana, residue of vomit), and so on, Red roof Inn (the heat came from a device near the ceiling instead of a device on the wall under the window, so I had difficulty detecting whether it was on).
In Madison Heights, Michigan, there are 11 motels but i read that human trafficking and possibly other crime happens in them.
You just need to search booking.com or hotels.com or some other hotel reservation site. Being part of a chain doesn't mean there is anything wrong with a hotel. The last 2 hotels I remember staying at with my family on road trips when I was a kid were owned by Marriott. They did the job ok even though they were not luxury places.
Edit: most hotels that are: not too low end, are part of chains, have enough amenities for you, and are in decent neighborhoods, will do the job fine.
- The Parador Inn (https://theparadorinn.com)
- The Inn on Negley (http://innonnegley.com)
- Ace Hotel (https://www.acehotel.com/pittsburgh/)
- Kimpton Hotel Monaco or Hotel Indigo
- OMNI William Penn (much more opulent than the others, but really neat - although I would stay in one of the residential neighborhoods versus downtown)
Al I hope you're planning to go to Greenfield Village in Dearborn-it is wonderful.
As a longtime resident of metro Detroit I completely agree with cala - I could spend an entire day at Greenfield Village. I especially enjoyed Motor Muster after it's cancellation last year. I also enjoy the historic baseball games and Civil War reenactment with it's presentation of the "culture of mourning". I would add an additional day for the Henry Ford Museum and definitely see the Motown Museum. I can also easily spend a day at the Detroit Zoo where they have the renovated penguinarium which is one of largest and most important globally. I also very much like how the Pittsburgh Zoo takes advantage of the natural terrain and the National Aviary is wonderful. I was raised in rural Somerset PA until my family migrated to southeastern MI when I was 12. I still spend time with family and friends in the Laurel Highlands! I have many favorite spots there as well.
The focus of the trip would be tourist sites such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Henry Ford Museum / Greenfield Village in Detroit, maybe some Major League Baseball games. Not specifically looking for ethnic foods, but I'm always willing to give new foods a try. Maybe an art museum. Fallingwater near Pittsburgh.
Hi Al, suggest the Aloft Boutique Hotel or the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Aloft is new, part of the Marriott chain, and very cool. We stayed there for a wedding and enjoyed it. The Drury is in the former Board of Education building. It’s beautiful and very well done. Both hotels offer close proximity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Indians, Browns, Science Museum, and Cleveland Museum of Art. We were downtown today to go to the Aquarium in the refurbished Powerhouse Building, a great setting for this venue. Visit the nearby Westside Market to shop for fresh ethnic foods and to see the historic building built in 1912. If you’re interested in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’s in Canton, about an hour from Cleveland. Hope you enjoy your road trip.
If you visit Fallingwater I would also visit Kentuck Knob which is only 4 miles away. It's a FLW Usonian design and was originally known as the Hagan House (owner was I.N. Hagan of Hagan's Ice Cream, Uniontown PA). I used to raft the Youghiogheny in nearby Ohiopyle State Park and bike the Yougiogheny River Trail which is a portion of the Great Allegheny Passage. I could bike all the way east to my hometowns Meyersdale and Salisbury in Somerset. It's quite a thrill crossing the Salisbury Viaduct. We once took it all the way east to Cumberland MD.
In Detroit you might want to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts if only to see the gem "Wedding Dance" by Bruegel or the " Detroit Industry Murals" frescoes by Diego Rivera. There's some great work there as well by Matisse and Van Gogh.
A second for Kentuck Knob. I enjoyed it better than Fallingwater, but of course, both are interesting! Please be sure to check for advance ticket purchase and your times for either or both houses. Kentuck Knob is smaller so they only take about 10 people on a tour at a time. Walk out the back to see the wind sculptures and the overlook view.
The whole Route 40 area is scenic and filled with history. Enjoy! Haven’t been to Dearborn since I was a kid—recall that Greenfield Village is great!