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UP Michigan/Wisconsin logistics

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Planning a trip to the above area arriving in Grand Rapids, MI from Mia just after Labor Day. Hoping to complete the trip within 2 wks but a little longer won't be impossible. Coming from Miami, would like to depart MI before the weather gets too cold. From all the reading on the forum, thought we could either head north and then west to WI and south to Door County or reverse. Was considering taking the ferry across from Manitowoc to Ludington or from Ludington if we start in WI first and work our way east and south. Just wondering if anyone has been on that ferry and what the crossing is like that time of year?

The sights and towns we hope to visit include Traverse City (Sleeping Bear Dunes, Old Mission Peninsula), Charlevoix (mushroom houses), Petoskey (Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, Emmit County Scenic Drive, Petoskey NP), Mackinac Island , Tahquamenon Falls , Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Soo Locks and boat cruise, Pictured Rocks (including boat cruise and hikes), Cooper Harbor (Point Iroquois Lighthouse , Brockway Mountain Drive, Estevent Pines Nature Sanctuary and Hiking Trails), Porcupine Mountain, Bayfield, WI ( Apostle Islands- and do the Overlook Trail hike and/ or Madeline Island (with hikes) and onto Door County before returning by ferry or drive to Grand Rapids.

I know this is really long winded but just wanted you to get the idea of what we'll be seeing. My question concerns the logistics. Without having to change accommodations every night, was wondering where we could position ourselves along the way and do some of the mentioned sights as day trips. Coming from Miami and not knowing the area at all, would appreciate some help from the locals or others who have done similar trips.

We are an active 60 year old couple that enjoy the outdoors, hiking etc but no real difficult hikes and aren't into camping. Although 5 star properties aren't necessary, we do like clean comfortable quarters with a budget of anywhere between $200-300 per night.. Any help would be appreciated.

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