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lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

chicago
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lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

i plan to drive from chicago to pictured rocks via wisconsin and then on to mackinaw island and then to sleeping bear dunes

planning on camping at pictured rocks and sleeping bear, any recommendations on campsites?

is one night enough at mackinaw? i wont be able to bike since ill have my daughter

would love any advice, ideas, suggestions on restaurants, things to do, ect

ill have about 9 days or so to do the trip

Antrim, New...
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1. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

I think that, with a 3 year old, one night on Mackinac Island may be enough. But I would try and arrive early enough to enjoy the day and leave late enough the next day to have much of that day, too. Depending on your budget and the cost of lodging, you might find it more relaxing to stay the second night on the island and not feeling like you are rushing the little one. Three year olds do not take kindly to parents in a rush.

As for bicycles on the Island, there are three rental companies, and they all rent Tag-a-longs, which attach to your bike and provide the child with a seat and pedals, and Burley Carts which attach to your cart and your child sits snugly in a shaded cart watching out the back while you pedal. That would probably be the better choice with a 3 year old. You can either bring your own bike or rent one there. But biking around the island is a nice way to spend some time. There is a nice stretch of pebbley beach that you can go wading in. A snack bar about half way around the island with a playground. You ride up into the interior of the island which is very lovelyt, too. It is a great way to see the island and it is pretty easy to stop as often as your 3 year old needs.

There is much else to do on the island, too, that your child will enjoy. And there is a school with a nice playground. Butterfly house is always fun for kids.

Ann Arbor, MI
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2. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

Hi! I agree-don't rule out biking on Mackinac--rent one of those Burley trailers. Our daughter deemed it her Cinderella carriage and I was her mouse turned trusty steed hauling her around. It really isn't difficult to pull since the outer trail on the island is flat. It is perfect for holding your picnic lunch too for a nice leisurely pedal. She loved that day and so did I.

Manistique, Michigan
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3. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

If money is a bit tight you may want to stay in Mackinac City and take the ferry over and spend the day. Mackinaw Island rooms are very expensive but check out the prices and see what you think.

Antrim, New...
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4. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

I think that in May, on the Island, you can anticipate paying anywhere from about $80 to hundreds for a room, depending on the place. Check out this site http://www.mackinac.com/ and click on Accommodations. YOou should be able to look at brief descriptions for all the lodging on the island, and link to websites for more info, including rates.

chicago
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5. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

I saw main street in is the top ranked hotel on tripadvisor and its $85 a night in mid may so we will probably stay there unless there is something better around the same price

Ok we will bike, i dont take her because we live downtown chicago and i think its too dangerous but i just remembered theres no cars there ;)

How much will the bike and trailer rental be?

chicago
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6. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

I saw main street in is the top ranked hotel on tripadvisor and its $85 a night in mid may so we will probably stay there unless there is something better around the same price

Ok we will bike, i dont take her because we live downtown chicago and i think its too dangerous but i just remembered theres no cars there ;)

How much will the bike and trailer rental be?

Rybas is $80 for the day, that seems pretty expensive

Antrim, New...
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7. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

You don't need to rent the bike for the whole day. It will take you 2 to 4 hours to bike around the island. Everything else is very close together and accessible by foot. The bike shops will let you rent by the hour. They'll charge you for the time you pick up until you return it. The hourly rate is $5 to $8 for the bike and $8 for the cart. Much more reasonable than a full day. Not cheap, though. Everything on the island is more expensive. But the island is so special. It is okay.

Ann Arbor, MI
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8. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

I would also check with a few shops to see if they have spring rates or coupons you can use. They wouldn't be flexible in the prime of the season, but you never know during the slower months.

chicago
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9. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

2-4 hours is much more reasonable, thanks for the tips, i emailed on shop that said they offer spring rates before memorial day

is there a suggested route to follow for the 2-4 hours?

Ann Arbor, MI
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10. Re: lake michigan circle tour in mid may with a 3 year old

The best route is the 7 (or maybe it is 8) mile ride around the island, along the shoreline. It is flat, scenic, with plenty of nice places to stop along the way including splashing in the lake if it is warm enough.

It would be a real leg/lung pumper to go up and over the interior of the island with a trailer, but if you're an experienced biker that would be an option too. I love doing that on my bike for the experience of flying back down the other side, but never with a trailer containing my daughter when she was little.

It can be windy along the lake shore and in May those winds will be cold coming off the lake so layers, a little blanket, mittens and a hat may be needed for your daughter since she'll not be doing anything like pedaling to keep her warm.

Edited: 09 April 2012, 13:14