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Best approach to the U.P.

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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Best approach to the U.P.

I'm planning a visit centered around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and am wondering what the most scenic route to there is if flying into either Detroit, Chicago or Minneapolis. I'm leaning towards Minneapolis but I'd like some opinions.


Uden, The...
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1. Re: Best approach to the U.P.

Have not done the drive from Minneapolis so can't judge but we travelled into UP through Michigan via Sleeping Bear dunes and Tunnel of Trees and those were lovely places. Less scenic oui of UP in the Chicago direction unless you decide to visit Door Country

Indian River...
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2. Re: Best approach to the U.P.

If you don't need a major airport, look into flying into Grand Rapids, Lansing or Flint. This will put you closer to the west coast of Michigan for a beautiful drive up the coast and on to the UP. If going with a major airport I supposed I would choose Chicago. Then skip around the bottom of Lake Michigan and follow the coast. Another option is to go north out of Chicago and take the car ferry across halfway up.

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: Best approach to the U.P.

Hi rjr,

I did the drive from Minneapolis to Duluth and then across the U.P. to Sault Ste. Marie and down through Michigan back to my home in Indiana at the time.

The drive from Minneapolis to Duluth was okay--it got a bit more scenic the closer I got to Duluth. Of course, traveling along the Lake Superior side of the U.P., you'll be able to stop at places like Apostle Islands, the Keweenaw Peninsula (Copper Harbor), and Pictured Lakes. Tahquamenon Falls and the maritime museum at Whitefish Point were favorites of mine.

I agree with Tet about Sleeping Bear Dunes. Petoskey, Charlevoix, and Traverse City are all interesting stops, too.

You don't mention what time of year you're planning this trip for. I've been to the U.P in July (lots of bugs) and early October (cool and beautiful fall colors).

One option might be to do an open-jaw ticket. Fly into Duluth or Minneapolis and return from one of the airports in post #2 or Detroit. Of course, that will incur a one-way car rental drop-off fee, but it may be worth it. Then you get to see a little of both approaches.


4. Re: Best approach to the U.P.

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