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Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

St. Louis
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256 posts
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Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Fell in love with this area while doing some camping last year. I think we'll come back in summer 07 and try to stay at a vacation rental for a week. We'll have 2 kids with us (4 and 16) and could have another similar family going.

We'd like to base ourselves in a good spot for enjoying the beach, and general summer fun with a nice town. Want to eat ice cream and watch the sunset every night. Also interested in checking out lighthouses, scenery, exploring nearby towns, eating cherry pie, barbequing and having a firepit at night, going to playgrounds, riding bikes around town, canoeing, trinket shopping.

Like I said, general summer fun, but with daytrips for sleeping bear dunes and whatever else the group is up for. We figure we'll make an sidetrip or two for the more commercial stuff (amusement park, putt putt etc).

How about Frankfort? It seemed to fit the bill when we passed through. Or Glen Arbor or Glen Haven, Onekama ? I see rental prices for about $2500 per week (that sleep 8 or so). Please help with any thoughts, comparisons or suggestions. Thanks.

Northern Michigan
Destination Expert
for Petoskey, Michigan
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1. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

I can't suggest anything in the towns you mentioned, but check out Indian River and in particular Mullett Lake (Michigan's third largest inland lake). It sounds like it would be perfect for what you're looking for, and the prices are much more reasonable than in the Traverse area. I know of a cottage for rent directly on Mullett Lake...great swimming, dock, boat hoist, etc...5 bedrooms, easily sleeps 8 adults and 4-6 kids...billiards room, glass porch, cantilevered deck over the lake with jacuzzi, 4 fireplaces, West facing for fabulous sunsets, etc. etc. etc...$2,000 per week.

St. Louis
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256 posts
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2. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Thanks for the suggestion deadheads. We always are looking to expand the reportoire of cool places to visit. Mullet Lake doesn't look a whole lot further than the Sleeping Bear Dunes, but we probably are maxxed out on the distance we wish to travel. Also, we may have our hearts set on returning to the land of the dunes. Seems like there is some magic in that coastline.

Any further suggestions out there?

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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3. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

The Glen Arbor and Leland areas are wonderful! The beaches are spectacular as are the sunsets. You might also want to look in the Traverse City area. It is a bit more centrally located to other day trip destinations such as Petoskey and Mackinac Island. It is approximately 1 hours from Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and approximately 2 hours to Mackinaw City for the ferries to Mackinaw Island. I highly recommend a day trip to Mackinac Island. The lighthouse at the entrance to the Island's harbor is beautiful and there is something so wonderful about renting a bike and riding around the Island (on the only Michigan highway on which no motor traffic is permitted).

We visit the Charlevoix area every year and love it but the beaches on Lake Michigan near Charlevoix can be a bit rocky. In this area, I recommend staying on one of the inland lakes! Have fun planning your trip to this fantastic area! Moms

Wisconsin
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4. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Hello there. You couldn't pick a more wonderful place to spend time! It's hard to know where to start, but my husband and I would always start with Empire. There are a couple of B&Bs and a hotel (Lakeshore Inn) just a few blocks from the most spectacular beach on Lake Michigan. This is a pristine small town with some very special niche businesses, a new urbanist community, and some down to earth wonderful residents.

Next on our list is Frankfort, just 25 miles south of Empire. Here you'll find a charming historic hotel as well as several very nice motels and B&Bs. Our favorite is owned by Sue and Bob King (www.reverieonthelake.com). There's a cantilever deck that showcases the lake when the sun goes down, and beautiful surroundings! We guarantee an excellent time!

Can you tell how much we love it???

Thanks for asking.

Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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5. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Striek, are you driving or flying? I love the northwestern lower peninsula, that's where we vacation. I live in southwestern MI,, South Haven. I just throw this out, we have Warren Dunes to the South, but our whole coastline is dune. South Haven has a river, bicycle state park, Sherman's Ice Cream, excellent beaches(and warm water). Many options for rentals, condos, hotels, houses, or camping at the State Park. Golf, amusement park (closest and hour north in Muskegon) Dune buggy rides.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing like northwestern MI, ask the other posters here, they know I love it. But this would save several hours drive. In this area check out southhaven.org.. or saugatuck.org. Glad you like our state :)

St. Louis
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6. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Rono,

We will be driving. We worked our way up the coast last year, starting in Grand Haven to Muskegon, Pentwater, Ludington, Frankfort area and then Sleeping Bear Dunes -Platte River with a cruise all the way up to Leelanau State Park. . It is hard to choose, one place seemed better than the next. I

I did like the incredible camping in the state parks and national park because we were so close to the beach and the towns. Whether we camp, depends upon who goes with us. If camping I foresee us going up the coast again, and will check out your lower state suggestions. If we base ourselves in one place, we may have to take a night around Muskegon and give the kids an amusement park fix.

Thanks for all the feedback.

St. Louis
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7. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

Anyone familiar with the Betsie Trail around Frankfort?

Wisconsin
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8. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

The Betsie Valley Trail was my route to and from work by bicycle whenever possible for a few years. I lived in Frankfort, MI and worked in Beulah. What good fortune! I rode along the Betsie River for miles through the woods; then alongside beautiful Crystal Lake as the sun came up. It is a wonderful trail and I believe it goes all the way to Thompsonville. The stretch I'm most familiar with was about 10 miles each way.

Swartz Creek
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9. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

http://www.vrbo.com/

That whole west side of Michigan is nice. You really can't hardly go wrong. Check out this website for places to stay.

Ludington, Michigan
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10. Re: Suggestions for NW Michigan summer ?

I would suggest Ludington. IT has a great town to shop and explore in. it has a great beach and the ice cream from house of flavors is made right there and is to die for. stay at the ludington state park your kids will love it hamlin lake on one side and lake michigan on the other. also many trails ot explore and a dam you can walk across. dunes to play on.