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Family vacation from Ohio?

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Family vacation from Ohio?

I recently moved with my family from the east coast to Ohio. While we are living in this part of the country, my husband and I want to take a summer family (kids age 6&9) vacation somewhere in the midwest that has a beach.

Does anyone have any suggestions to an AFFORDABLE family vacation spot for mid-late July?

We want to keep the cost under $1200 for a week, if possible.


Jamie in Ohio

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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1. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?

Hi Jamie,

What are you looking for in a beach destination and how far are you willing to drive?

Beach destinations on the Great Lakes will have more of an "ocean beach" type feel...nice beaches, big rollers, etc. The other option that's plentiful in Michigan are Inland Lakes. For under $1,000 you can rent a nice cottage up North on a large Inland Lake (some as large as 17,000 acres). The difference is that you'll be on a private section of waterfront, have your own dock for swimming, fishing, etc. Many cottages come with small fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, etc. There are power boat, jetski and pontoon rentals available as well.

I know a lot of people on these boards like the big water beaches of Grand Haven, Ludington, Empire, etc. Don't get me wrong, those are gorgeous locations, generally more scenic than Inland Lakes...for me though, especially for a family vacation, I'd take the cottage on an Inland Lake any day.

Northville, Michigan
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2. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?

Near Traverse City, you will find great inland lake swimming and picnicing at Interlochen State Park (buy an annual permit at your first state park stop, for in-out at all parks on your trip). Lake Charlevoix state park is great for an inland beach, resembles Lake Michigan water and sandy-beach quality, but warmer water.

Sleeping Bear lakeshore has a large dune climb, leading to a 1.5 mile sandy over-dune trail(which seems like double that in effort) ending at Lake Michigan. Have a swimsuit under clothing for a nice dip in the surf..and a bag for carrying dry shorts back, returning in swimsuit and t-shirt

A cottage on a lake near Traverse City or Elk Rapids puts you within day-trip distance of a lot of things to see

Northville, Michigan
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3. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?

The Thumb area also has some state parks with great Lake Huron beaches, lower cottage rental rates, and very close to Ohio

Grand Rapids, MI
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4. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?


A great starting point! They have cottages on inland lakes and on the big lake!

Livonia, Michigan
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5. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?

Sorry, I can't give you any personal advise on where to stay. We usually camp in Muskegon, Michigan which has beautiful beaches, as does most of Lake Michigan. The inland lakes off of Lake Michigan can also have some very nice beaches. Traverse City is a great destination. Friends of ours like Pointe North: http://www.pointesnorth.com/ Maybe check out http://www.tamaracklodgetc.com/ also in Traverse city. Some have referred Homestead condos in Glen Arbor: http://www.thehomesteadresort.com/ . You may also check out vrbo.com for condo rentals.

The state of Michigan has a great travel site


Click on a city, "Places to Stay" and then what type of accomodation you're looking for.

Torch Lake north of Traverse City is also a beautiful lake.

6. Re: Family vacation from Ohio?

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