This past 2022 summer, I spent close to three weeks touring western New York State, Niagara Falls and beyond.
I pretty much followed the New York Thruway (route 90) or nearby back roads west. That route also parallels the route of the Erie Canal/New York Barge Canal, originally built in the early 1800s, and still navigable.
I stopped in Syracuse, then spent several days in Rochester to tour nearby places of interest before spending a week at Niagara Falls.
Then I continued west on route 90 to Cleveland OH. A jog south to visit a friend in Akron, then back east on route 80. A stop in Scranton PA to visit Steamtown, then home.