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day trip before Mackinac Island

Central Illinois
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day trip before Mackinac Island

My husband and I will be traveling to Mackinac Island in early August and I am looking for some suggestions for a day-trip before we get there. We will be traveling north on I-196 and then I-75 and have a day to burn before we get there. Any beach/canoeing suggestions? We won't be camping, but looking for a hotel stay for the night. Thanks!

Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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1. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

If you're coming up I-196 personally I would exit at Holland (stay to the left) and continue up the coast on US 31 to Manistee. Then take M22 (at the Little River Casino) and follow that . You'll see a lot of the best Michigan has to offer. Beautiful lakes, Sleeping Bear Dunes, views of Lake Michigan, nice little towns, You'd eventually end up in Traverse City where you could catch US 31 again. You could stay anywhere from there to Charlevoix, Petoskey. It's an easy drive then the next day to the ferries.

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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2. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

Excellent advice from Rono. You do not need to head all the way to I-75 in the southern part of the state. The west part of the state is so beautiful that you should not miss it. The Lelanau Peninsula is so lovely as is Traverse City, Charlevoix and Petoskey. Any of these towns would be perfect for your first night's stay. Have fun! Moms

P.S. Rono: I hope you had a great trip to Charlevoix last week. Moms

Antrim, New...
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3. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

Those are excellent suggestions. The coast of Lake MI is wonderful, and those north coast areas are beautiful. If you find that the TRaverse City, Charlevoix,Lelanau area is further than you want to travel, consider spending a day and night in Holland. They have a wonderful downtown (8th Street) with some interesting shops, cafes, restaurants, night spots. This summer, there are street performers every Thursday evening. Great variety of performers all over the downtown. Friday night concerts in the park. Great swimming at Holland State Park and Tunnel Park. Holland is a lovely and thriving city that, unlike the northern towns, does not rely so heavily on touorism. It feels more real, like people really live there (they do). Anyway, it may not be what you have in mind, but a worthwhile alternate consideration.

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4. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

How about Saugatuck. I've been looking at the Beachway resort on Perryman A two room suite with jacuzzi in bath, and kitchen area, balcony, $150. Says your right on the water with a chain ferry to take you to the shops

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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5. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

All of the above suggestions have been great, but I thought I'd mention one other option. If you choose to head straight up I-75 instead of cutting over to the west side of the state, take exit 310 at Indian River. Here you'll find a few nice hotel options as well as world class inland lake swimming at Burt Lake, and the best canoeing in the state on the Sturgeon River. I'd stay at the Northwoods Lodge just north of town...a great newly re-done log lodge...really "northwoods cool" the same people also own Big Bear Adventures in town, where you can do 1.5 hour to 5 hour canoe trips. Vivio's is also just down the street and offers great italian food and my absolute favorite pizza anywhere. In the morning, you're a 25 minute drive on I-75 to the ferry docks.

6. Re: day trip before Mackinac Island

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