Looking for suggestions to tweak itinerary for a road trip. Don't want to dawdle too much, but don't want to be rushed to fit everything in our itinerary. We enjoy scenic views, short hikes, good (reasonably priced) food, wine, shopping, etc.
Day 1 Drive from home in Indiana to Mackinaw City. Couple of hours to explore before we go to 6:00 pm Mass. (Or we could skip this overnight in MC, and just come up the following day as originally planned and take an afternoon ferry to the island. Have reservations for two nights on the island.)
Day 2 & 3 10:00 am ferry to Mackinac Island. Plan to do the normal stuff on the island: carriage ride, tour the Fort and the Grand Hotel; shops, use the walkways around the island. We're not bike riders, but are in reasonable shape for retirees, and enjoy walking. How busy will it be if we take our Grand Hotel tour on a Sunday?
Day 4 10:00 am ferry back to MC. Drive to Tahquamenon Falls. Drive takes approx. 1-1/2 hrs, but not sure how long to plan on spending there. Next, drive to Munising (approx. 2 hrs) for Pictured Rocks Want to take the boat cruise, but would we be rushing to get on the 5:45 pm sunset cruise, or would it be better to plan on the 10 AM cruise the following morning? Overnight Munising.
Day 5 Unless on the sunset cruise the evening before, after taking the 10 AM boat cruise, drive back to Mackinac City for another overnight. (Unless there is somewhere closer to Cross Village to stay overnight.)
Day 6 Tunnel of trees scenic drive with stops along the way. Also want to spend time in Petoskey and Charlevoix. Overnight in Traverse City for 2 or 3 nights.
Day 7 Sleeping Bear Dunes (how much time should we plan to spend here?)
Day 8 Spend time in Traverse City (there is some sort of festival-- I think and art fair, as well as Taste of TC) Time permitting in afternoon, drive up Old Mission Peninsula to enjoy scenery and stopping a couple of wineries. If we don't spend the 3rd night here, we'd still be able to spend some time in TC before leaving around 2:00 PM for home.
Day 9 If staying 3rd night in Traverse City, we'll be driving home this day. (Will take about 6 hours and will be driving through Grand Rapids back to Indiana. Is there anywhere along the way where we should plan a short stop?)
Do we need to be extra cautious about any hazards along the way? (Bears, snakes, etc) Starting our trip the weekend after Labor Day, so hoping bugs won't be bothersome.
We love Michigan, but so far we've only been as far north as Holland on the west side of the state. We're really looking forward to this trip and hoping it doesn't rain, especially for the falls and Pictured Rocks. Don't mind chilly temps, and I'm sure we'll enjoy our trip whatever the weather.