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Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

Chicago
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Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

I recently relocated to Indianapolis from Chicago and need advice on where to rent a lakeside vacation home in Michigan for late Aug/Early Sept. We used to go to a lake in Wisconsin and want a similar experience. Don't want more than a 6 or 7 hour drive from Indy; 2 adults + 1 toddler. We're told Traverse City and Saugatuck are nice, but unsure if there is a particular lake we should look at. We'd like to err on the side of more nature than not, but would be open to things to do nearby. One of the reasons we liked our spot in WI was it was far enough away from Chicago to leave the Chicago crowds behind. Any thoughts? Also, we'd pay up to $2k for the week.

Chicago's North...
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1. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

the only lake to look at is lake michigan.....

the beaches on the MI side blow away what we got on this side....

it won't be cheap, but it's worth it...

Chicago's North...
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2. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

the city of st joseph is VERY kid-friendly and their public beach is top notch---better, by FAR, than anything we have on this side of the lake....

other top notch beachtowns within a 6-7 hr drive from indy are south haven, grand haven, silver lake, ludington, manistee, frankfort.... saugatuck is nice, but it's not right on the beach..... state/national parks that have top notch beaches along this stretch are warren dunes, holland (the town is nothing special, IMO, and far from the beach), grand haven, silver lake, ludington, and sleeping bear dunes....

looks like you have a sizable lodging budget, so you should be able to find something along this stretch.... the further north you go, the farther from the chicago crowds, not that it's all that crowded anyway.... but to really get away from it all, AND have great beaches, is to go to beaver island.... we went there with our toddler and it was great.... you might find lodging costs on the island to be more reasonable than the southern coast....

if you choose to stay along the southern coast, surprisingly, union pier is very quiet and laid back, yet it's a short distance over the border.... it's very wooded, as if the Northwoods came all the way down to the indiana border....

www.beachtowns.org

www.harborcountry.org

www.stjoetoday.com

http://www.beaverisland.org/

Edited: 26 February 2013, 04:03
Indian River...
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3. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

So many people only consider the Great Lakes when they are thinking lake vacation in Michigan. In reality, they are so many "great" inland lakes to consider. In the tip of the mitt there are Burt Lake, Mullett Lake, Torch Lake, and Lake Charlevoix just to name a few. Nice and laid back but still lots of stuff to do. In areas of great day trips to say Mackinac Island or Tahquamenon Falls and more.

Grand Haven...
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4. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

I agree that there are many very nice lakes that are not one of the five Great Lakes. If you're looking for nature more than crowds, I'd recommend staying away from the heavily used tourist areas and aim for smaller, more secluded lakes, or even a river. Although it's neither small nor secluded, one of the prettiest you'll find is Torch Lake, named by National Geographic as the third most beautiful lake IN THE WORLD! You can rent a boat and travel through Clam Lake and the Grass River to Bellaire. The Grass River is no-wake, quiet and underdeveloped, and a wonderful trip that offers clean, shallow water swimming. Lake Bellaire would be another opportunity for quieter rentals.

.

Cedarville, Michigan
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5. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

Please tell us what WI lake and town was your spot and you may get more specific recommendations.

Bay City, Michigan
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6. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

Go idea Irish!

I do 2nd Mullet Lake, or Lake Charlevoix, at the Boyne City end.

I do 2nd Torch Lake, also. It gives easy and close access to both Traverse City area and other tourist towns such as Charlevoix, Petoskey, etc. I would visit Mackinac Island, for a day trip, also. Ride bikes around the island-they have baby seats on bikes for rent, too.

7. Re: Where to go in Michigan for a lake vacation?

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