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Michigan in July

Chandler, Arizona
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Michigan in July

We are flying to Michigan (Detroit) on Saturday on July 21st and after staying with some friends on the 21st and 22nd. We are planning a 7 day trip across Michigan and the area. Can you please suggest what and where we can go and things to do From Monday Morning to Sat Night. (Flying back on Sun morning). We will like to see as much as possible, we will rent a car but we will be with a 2.5 year old and 6 months old so we do not want to make it super hectic. Please suggest places to go and which city which should stay for the night. I really appreciate your help to plan this vacation.

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Michigan
Michigan
United States
Detroit
Detroit
Michigan
Chicago's North...
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1. Re: Michigan in July

beeline it straight west to st joseph, MI, a VERY kid-friendly town. then head north along the lakeshore and stop in south haven. for all out scenery, continue north to sleeping bear dunes.... not to worry with the youngins---we took our boys there when they were around the same age.... your 2.5 yo will love climbing the dunes...

beachtowns.org

stjoetoday.com

http://www.sleepingbeardunes.com/

most municipal, state park and national park beaches along the lake michigan shore are top notch, i'd even argue some are world-class---i guarantee you will be impressed.

you could push it and go to mackinac island for a daytrip, but i think you might be doing too much, but if you have the time, it's worth seeing once in a lifetime:

http://www.mackinacisland.org/

but at the very least, spend at least 2 nites in st joe, and figure out where you wanna go from there....

Chandler, Arizona
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2. Re: Michigan in July

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. Here are two options I came up with based on some of you suggestions. Please let me know what you think?

Option 1

Sunday Night St Joseph

Monday (Day time) St Jo and surrounding area.

Monday Night St Joseph

Tuesday (Day time)Drive from St Joseph to Glen Arbor Drive and stop at various places.

Tuesday Night Glen Arbor

Wednesday (Day time) Day Glen Arbor and surrounding.

Wednesday Night Glen Arbor

Thursday (Day time) drive to Mackinaw Island and spend day

Thursday Night Mackinaw Island

Friday (Day time) Drive to Ann Arbor

Friday Night Ann Arbor

Saturday (Day time) Ann Arbor

Sat Night Ann Arbor for Sun early morning flight

Option 2

Sunday Night St Joseph

Monday (Day time) St Jo and surrounding area.

Monday Night St Joseph

Tuesday (Day time)Drive from St Joseph to Glen Arbour Drive and stop at various places.

Tuesday Night Glen Arbor

Wednesday (Day time) Day Glen Arbor and surrounding.

Wednesday Night Glen Arbor

Thursday (Day time) Traverse City and drive to Mackinaw City.

Thursday Night Mackinaw City

Friday (Day time) Mackinaw Island.

Friday Night Mackinaw Island

Saturday (Day time) drive back to Detroit

Sat Night Detroit for Sun early morning flight

Edited: 12 May 2013, 16:52
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Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph
Berrien County, MI
Glen Arbor
Glen Arbor
Leelanau County, MI
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac County, MI
Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
Michigan
Traverse City
Traverse City
Grand Traverse County, MI
Mackinaw City
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Cheboygan County, MI
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Chicago's North...
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3. Re: Michigan in July

actually, i got you confused with another poster who only had 5 days....

overall, option 1 looks better and simpler. a few tweaks----stay in st joe 2 nites. spend the time in st joe with your kids. after st joe, drive north and spend the day getting up to the sleeping bear area. definitely hug the coast using M-22 north of manistee---very scenic drive. also, time permitting, try to hug the coast between whitehall and ludington, or, a shorter hug route along this section would be pentwater up to ludington.... this is a fairly scenic stretch.... stay 2, possibly 3 nites. lodging ain't gonna be cheap, but others can weigh-in where to stay in the area. you don't have to limit yourselves to just glen arbor. traverse would work too, but it's a half hour drive each way to SBD, but it's that much closer to mackinaw.

after SBD, again, hug the coast up to mack city.stay the nite in mack city and do a day trip to the island the next day. others will advocate for staying on the island, but i'm one to say a day trip is good enough..... with real little-uns like you have, even a half day is prolly long enough.... one of the big attractions of going to the island is riding bikes around the island... since your kids are so small, that's not really an option, unless you rent bikes and a bike trailer (if available).... if you take your time, it will take a coupla hours.... after you get to the mainland, stay in mack city, or start your journey back to AA.... it's worth you while to cross the mighty mack bridge just for the experience... there are sights in upper michigan, but i don't think you'll have time for it, unless you add a few more days to your trip....... if this is at all possible, DEFINITELY do it! when you make your way back down to AA, perhaps tak US-23 at least part of the way down.... this is one of the few stretches of Great Lakes coastline i haven't been, but i'd imagine it's prettier than I-75...

here's a TA slide show of our trip last summer. there's a few shots of Mack island, but most of it is from upper MI and ontario.....

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-064d-4778-84f0…

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Michigan in July

Definitely make Traverse City and Mackinac Island two of your destinations.

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Traverse City
Grand Traverse County, MI
Mackinac Island
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Mackinac County, MI
Swartz Creek
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5. Re: Michigan in July

I think UP NORTH is so beautiful. July is peak for tourism. Im sure Lake Michigan and those beaches are lovely, but it will be bussssyyyy.... and it is, as the posters reflect, a chicago getaway. You won't see many michigan plates over there is the joke usually... Obviously your looking for information and will make your own decisions on what works...If its really hot, and it could be around then, head "Up North"... Part of me wants to say shoot up to Frankenmuth, near Saginaw, Michigan, and explore that cute Bavarian town. If you had more time, I would recommend the drive from Detroit along the Detroit /St Clair River (along the base of the thumb) , up to Port Huron. It's quite scenic, but that is probably too much..

From Frankenmuth, Via Bay City, get to 13, and go North to US23 along lake Huron right up Tawas Area. Spend the night, then follow US23 up to the Mackinaw Bridge. Stay somewhere around Mackinaw City/St Ignace, and enjoy the scenery and fresh air. If you had time, I was say go farther north to Ste Saint Marie and or even Taquamon Falls, but that is prolly too much with small children.. However, about 8-10 miles or so, West On US2 out of St Ignace is beautiful and places to stop and swim and enjoy the water. Which might be half way warm by late July lol... From that area, drop down to Traverse City, and follow down to Ludington maybe... and then cross back by Grand Rapids and back to Detroit. That whole Traverse city Area, with the dunes and scenery, could be your whole week.

Edited: 14 May 2013, 15:09
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Cheboygan County, MI
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Mackinac County, MI
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Farmington Hills...
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6. Re: Michigan in July

Just keep in mind that MI is large and there will be a lot of driving in the itineraries above. Also, don't forget about the fun things in Metro Detroit! The DIA (downtown), Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn), The Detroit Zoo (Royal Oak) are all super fun things to do for people of all ages.

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7. Re: Michigan in July

Since you would like to try and cover the state and put in lots of driving miles over that time, if you stay in the lower peninsula (more or less), a great way to see most of what the state has to offer is to take the Great Lakes driving tour that takes you around the entire outside edge of the "Mitten". Plenty of beautiful and fun places for couples and families alike either directly on, or not far off of this route, where you can go inward a little bit, then get back out to the outer edge and continue your journey. Example: If you start in Detroit, follow the outer east edge, and head north from there: Port Huron, to M-25 which takes you to the outer edge of "the thumb" around to Caseville, stay on 25 into Bay City (where I am), then from there, north on M-13/US-23 into Tawas/East Tawas, up US-23 to Mackinaw City/Island at the top of "the glove", then start heading down the "west side of the mitt" into the Petoskey/Charlevoix area, onto Traverse City, then south along the westside of the mitt to head towards Muskegon (Michigan Adventure owned by Cedar Point), down into the the Grand Rapids/Holland/Saugatuck/Douglas area, then along towards the bottom (I'm not sure what is all in this area near Indiana/Illinois, but their are some cute port towns along that area, then back all the way across the semi bottom of the state (I-96, I-69) for Jackson, Ann Arbor, Lansing while on your way back to Detroit where it all started... :). This is a rough draft off the top of my head, but if you follow a map from beginning to end while reading this all one say, a computer, it will make sense. Good luck and enjoy!! :)

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Michigan
Port Huron
Port Huron
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Caseville
Caseville
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Bay City
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East Tawas
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Mackinaw City
Mackinaw City
Cheboygan County, MI
Petoskey
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Emmet County, MI
Charlevoix
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Charlevoix County, MI
Traverse City
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Grand Traverse County, MI
Muskegon
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Muskegon County, MI
Grand Rapids
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Kent County, MI
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Ottawa County, MI
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Allegan County, MI
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8. Re: Michigan in July

Since this could eat up a lot of your enjoyment time with driving in my previous post, and that could be a potential "turn off" for your family, on a trip, stuck in a car, five minutes out, "ok, everyone back in the car!", In my example scenario, I would skip "the thumb" and just head north/north west out of Detroit on I-75 and bypass until you get to the Bay City area (2 1/2 to 3 hours) or the Tawas Area (another 2 to 2 1/2 hours) and starting your trip the rest of the way around the outer edge from there. Driving from Detroit to Bay City on I-75 gives you the chance to get any commercial retail/restaurant mega hubs out of your system before you get to Bay City. After Bay City, that stuff dies off from there. Pretty much non-exsistent. Let's put it this way. All the way across the southern part of the state (bottom half of mitten) is commercial heaven. The middle/center of the state (mitten) doesn't provide as much during your trips time, the northern half of the mitten (from the knuckle of your hand, and up) is great for little towns, camping, fishing, and boaters. The Upper Peninsula, is more for the die hard outdoorsman. Lots of nothing, hunting, camping, the great "unmolested world". Their are still BEAUTIFUL places/cities in the UP, but their is a lot of desolate area, and HOURS between "things/towns" in some cases... Just depends what your family is looking for our of their vacation, but that's the basic idea of how it "lays out"...

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Grand Haven...
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9. Re: Michigan in July

You've already gotten lots of very good advice, but I really think you need to plan on a full day at Mackinac Island. Pulling trailers on a bike over gradual grade changes should take you more than a couple of hours. It's a little over 8 miles around the island, which is fairly easily done by any cyclist in reasonable shape. However, you need to have time built in to stop and take in the views, wade in the lake, take a couple of side trips, etc. The island is such a unique place, even with little ones, you shouldn't feel rushed. That's the whole purpose of the island. Take a break on the massive lawn in front of the fort and let your kids run off some energy.

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Mackinac Island
Mackinac County, MI
Chandler, Arizona
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10. Re: Michigan in July

Hello All, Thanks a lot for all your great suggestions, I really appreciate it. We are leaving on Friday and this is what we decided.

• 20-Jul St Joseph

• 21-Jul St Joseph

• 22-Jul St Joseph

• 23-Jul Traverse City

• 24-Jul Traverse City

• 25-Jul Mackinac City

• 26-Jul Bay City

• 27-Jul Northville

• 28-Jul Northville

• 29-Jul Fly Back

I need your help and suggestion of what we can do 3 full days in St Joseph area and 3 full days in Traverse City area? We have two boys 6 month old and 2.5 month old? Thanks a lot for your help!

For Mackinaw Island we have decide to do the day trip, and then take the carriage tour. I don't think we can bicycle around with the young boys much. But we will see.

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Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph
Berrien County, MI
Traverse City
Traverse City
Grand Traverse County, MI
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac County, MI
Bay City
Bay City
Michigan
Northville
Northville
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