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Summer family vacation

Indianapolis, IN
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121 posts
30 reviews
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Summer family vacation

I live in Indiana and have never visited Michigan, (believe it or not.) The commercials advertising Michigan look so nice, but I have no idea where to start and I found the Michigan website a little confusing, since it's not broken down into regions and I am unfamiliar with the cities.

I am looking for a nice housekeeping cottage (midpriced)on a clean swimming lake w/beach with recreational (canoeing, fishing, hiking) opportunities nearby. Any recommendations?

Sebewaing, Michigan
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381 posts
79 reviews
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1. Re: Summer family vacation

Sounds like you might want to do some searches on Houghton Lake, Traverse City, and look on a map for towns along the northeast side of Michigan (Oscoda, Presque Isle, Harrisville, Tawas). If you aren't interested in going that far north, the southeast side of Michigan also has some nice little towns. Port Austin is pretty nice, and Caseville was always nice. I think the Caseville beaches have seen better days. I went through Presque Isle once, and it looks like a little piece of Heaven. I've heard a lot of good things about Traverse City and Charlevoix (northwest area). Southeast Michigan has Grand Haven and Muskegon (not sure on the beach situation there). Reply if you have any other questions.

Harbor Springs...
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51 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Summer family vacation

You could try Indian River and stay on Burt Lake. Their are a lot of rentals in the area. You would then be only 30 minutes from either Mackinaw or Petoskey if you wanted to check out some other towns. There are canoe rentals right in Indian River. Think you could find something for everyone to do.

Have fun.

Indianapolis, IN
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121 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Summer family vacation

Thanks to both of you for giving me a place to start--I appreciate it!

My family really likes the beach-type areas. Would you recommend getting lodging directly on the lake, or getting lodging wherever and then going to a state park?

Harbor Springs...
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51 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Summer family vacation

if you go to indian river and can find a place to stay on Burt Lake that would be your best bet. The beach around the whole lake is really sandy. If not, the Burt Lake State Park is right there. Very nice. If you want to camp this is a great place. They do have a nice picnic/beach area there also.

Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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6,125 posts
17 reviews
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5. Re: Summer family vacation

What suzie says is true, its probably a five hour drive from the IN/MI border though, whew. Where in IN are you? If you're closer to the western side of IN, if it were me I'd look up the West side of MI. Look at New Buffalo, skip St. Joseph, look at South Haven, Saugatuck/Douglas, Grand Haven, Pentwater, Ludington, Manistee, and from there to where Suzie suggested. I know the St. Joseph to Grand Haven area fairly well, so if you have questions there, write back.

Jackson, Michigan
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6,156 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Summer family vacation

There are far too many lakes that would fit your needs to name them all. You definitely should take them to the west coast, say South Haven or Ludington to experience Lake Michigan and the beaches there. The dunes are also quite a sight and are also located on the west side of the state. Clark Lake is a beautiful area near Jackson(Southern Central part of state) with lots to do in the summertime. The Beachbar is the main hangout and raft a rama is something fun that happens every year at the end of August.

Michigan
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68 posts
28 reviews
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7. Re: Summer family vacation

You are wise to plan now. Check out the websites of Michilinda Beach Lodge, they rent cottages. They cater more to families and are located between Muskegon and White Lake, right on Lake Michigan. A beautiful area. Try Lakeside Inn if you have no children on White Lake. They like kids too, but also nice for couples. Nice thing about Michigan's West Coast is that it is warm enough for swimming from mid to late summer, early fall. Northern Michigan, very beautiful but a bit colder. Look under accomodations on the Muskegon and White Lake Chamber web sites for individual cottages. There are some on Lake Michigan in that area.

Vernon Hills, IL
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6 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Summer family vacation

We went to Whitehall Michigan this past summer, and I must say the Lakeside Inn is not a place that I would recommend. It was not on a swimming beach, as you would prefer, and the accomodations were dreadful. Whitehall, however, and the surrounding area were very nice. My recommendation would be Pentwater. We stayed at a bed and breadfast there a few years ago, and visited again for a day this summer. It is a lovely small town and the sunsets are fantastic! Enjoy!

South Haven...
2 posts
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9. Re: Summer family vacation

Be cautious of the inland lakes during peak summer. Depending on the lake, they can run into swimming advisories. However, the larger the inland lake and deeper the better. Fewer geese helps too. Just do a google search for state of michigan lake swimming monitoring.

The big lake (Michigan) is great for swimming and sunbathing. In South Haven, and many other places up and down the lakeshore, you can find cottages/homes either on or in walking distance to the beach. Price will range between $1500 and $2,000 so I don't know what you consider mid-priced.

LakeBoy

Indianapolis, IN
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121 posts
30 reviews
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10. Re: Summer family vacation

Lakeboy,

What type of advisories? Are they related to the waves or bacteria in the water, etc..? Thanks for the info!