August: MI, OH, PA, NY?

May 2nd, 2005, 07:14 AM
Original Poster
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August: MI, OH, PA, NY?

After attending a wedding in Columbus, OH August 13, we want to take a 10 day driving trip. We are thinking of either just going to Michigan, or else driving a scenic route to NY. and then back to Columbus to return the rental car. Is that route along Erie Lake scenic?
webecca is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Go to Michigan. Drive from Colombus to the NW area of Michigan, Charlevoix, Boyne, etc...

10 days is enough time. I live in Michigan and can offer you other ideas. If you are interested, let me know via e-mail and I can help you.
tinathetoad is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
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If you're interested, it not only benefits everyone if you exchange ideas via this board rather than through private email, but you will also get input from more than one person if you post for ideas on this board, rather than through private email.

Other than personal notes, I don't understand taking travel discussions off the board into private. Defeats the purpose of the board if everything was discussed that way.
jlm_mi is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 10:56 AM
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not that it is trying to be "private". Sometime it may be lengthy and very specific. People have done this and sometimes it requires lengthy communication several times. we always come back to the board and post

I am always happy to share information on the Fodors board. Beacause you are right it does untimatly assist everyone.

tinathetoad is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 05:45 PM
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I have never been to Michigan. (I am coming from California) So what can I expect to see in MI? Is it a pretty state? What parts to avoid? I'm not one for big cities, but should I go to Detroit? I read on another posting that you have a problem with mosquitos and little black bugs that bite. I am sooooo allergic to mosquito bites, and they see me coming from a long way. I would guess that August is the height of the mosquito season. I'll have to bathe in deet! Anyway, what are the highlights of Michigan...what should not be missed? Thanks.
webecca is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 06:28 PM
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Michigan is a very pretty state with lots to see. We especially love the western stide of MIchigan along Lake Michigan. There are a lot of neat towns and restaurants and shopping and boating. WE went from the bottom of Michigan up to the Upper Peninsula last fall and it was a fabulous trip. We especially love Harbor Springs and Charlevoix but also enjoy Traverse City, Petosky, Sagatauck, South Haven, St. Joseph and of course Mackinac Island is something to see. We have also gone along the whole East side of the state and stopped in all the Lake Huron towns but think I like the Lake Michigan towns better. If you are near Detroit there is Greefield Village and the Henry Ford Home and the Edsel Ford Home. All in all there is a lot to do in Michigan. We have never found the bugs to be that bad. Maybe we are just lucky,
Cali is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Michigan has some quite beautiful areas and some not so beautiful. Detroit and its immediate surrounding suburbs would fall into the latter category. Once you move to the North and West, things get nicer.

That being said, I would avoid Detroit and head straight to Michigan's Northwestern Lower Peninsula. Do a search here for Sleeping Bear Dunes (The nearby Homestead is a beautiful resort on the shores of Lake Michigan), Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Leland, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and others listed above. These are all Great Lakes communities, all moderate to upscale in ambiance with beautiful northern forests, boating, shopping, hiking, dining and scenery. Even someone used to the breathtaking vistas of the California coastline can find lots to love in these coastal towns.

All of these areas are within a couple hours of each other, so if you have 10 days, you might want to split your time up and spend maybe 1 or 2 days on Mackinac Island, maybe a night or two in Harbor Springs and the rest of the time at The Homestead and check out Traverse City, Leland and the SB Dunes.

We have never experienced any exceptional mosquito or black fly problems in these areas - unlike Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Lake Superior where they can be a problem.
gbhost is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Michigan has a population of 10 million, but all of the population is in the bottom half of the Lower Peninsula. In fact the entire Upper Peninsula (UP) PLUS the top third of the Lower Peninsula is one congressional district.

The northern portion of the state is beautiful: forested, many small lakes and coasts on three of the Great Lakes. You can find both developed tourism areas and rugged isolated regions.

The two most popular tourist destinations in Michigan (according to AAA) are Mackinaw City and Traverse City.

Mackinaw City is a small community at the northernmost tip of the Lower Peninsula. It is surrounded by water on 3 sides and is one of the two communities where you get ferries to Mackinac Island. The 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge links Mackinaw with St. Ignace in the UP. There are many motels, shops and restaurants, a reconstructed 18th Century Fort, live theater and Wilderness State Park (largest state park in Michigan). Lighthuose cruises are available from Mackinaw. has my photos of the area.

Mackinac Island was the nationís 2nd National Park, but was turned over to the state in the late 1800s. Much of the Island is undeveloped, but the community includes an original 18th and 19th Century Fort, the Grand Hotel where Somewhere in Time was filmed, and many smaller hotels and B&Bs. No automobiles are permitted on the Island. Transportation is by foot, bicycle, horse and horse & carriage. The Mackinac Straits area has dozens of fudge shops and anywhere within a hundred miles tourists are know as Fudgies.

There are about 100,000 people in the three county area around Traverse City, making it the largest community in the northern Lower Peninsula. It has more refined offerings and centers an area of beautiful coasts, cherry and apple orchards, wineries and interesting communities. The west coast of Michigan from about half way up the state through Mackinaw has a lot to offer including Sleeping Bear National Sand Dunes, many ski resorts and spectacular golfing. Other communities of special note include Petoskey and Charlevoix. This area has some of the most beautiful highways in the country.

The UP has a wilder beauty with some truly spectacular locations, though the drive between them is less interesting for many people. Highlights in the eastern UP include Tahquamenon Falls (2nd largest falls west of the Mississippi), Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Soo Locks where you can watch 1,000 foot boats raised and lowered between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

Let us know what interests you, and I am sure you will get more specific recommendations.

Keith is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 09:44 AM
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Michigan is great but first, go to Cleveland and see The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe explore the Great Lakes Science Center (both on the shores of Lake Erie) or catch an Indians game if they're in town.

Then head an hour west to Cedar Point, the worlds greatest amusement park (for years according to Roller Coaster Magazine, I think they're up to 16-17 coasters now.)

The Lake Erie Islands (Put in Bay, Kelly's Island ect) are just west of Cedar Point (on your way to Michigan) and quite lovely in the summer.

From there, Michigan (SE)is about an hour away.
audra is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Another option is to drive to Niagara Falls and Ontario. It is about 5.5 hours from Columbus to Niagara Falls. What kinds of activites do you like? Niagara on the Lake (20 mins north of Niagara Falls) has great wineries, shops and restaurants. Plus, the Shaw Festival will be taking place and you could get tickets to a play.

If you have 10 days, you could also see the Finger Lakes area of NY. Around Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca Lake, there are quaint small towns, waterfalls, hiking trails, wineries etc.
kcapuani is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
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The Lake Erie shoreline, both east AND west of Cleveland, is about as scenic as City of Commerce, CA.
Detroit's about as scenic as Oakland.
The West (along Lake Michigan shoreline from Indiana to the Upper Peninsula), and the North, are far more scenic. Personally, having lived in Michigan (West and Detroit) and NY (Amherst/Buffalo), I find Michigan more scenic. Hope this helps.PS mid-August is post peak for bugs
tomboy is offline  
May 17th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Traverse City is supposed to have some great bing cherries -- if you'll be there in cherry season.

You could spend a day in Detroit - visiting the Hnery Ford Museum, seeing Greek Town, and taking in a Tigers baseball game.

Don't forget to spend a little extra time in Columbus We have excellent shopping (Easton Towne Center) and a wonderful zoo.
bondgirl78 is offline  
May 17th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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What about this:

Cleveland toward Buffalo, spending a day in Chautauqua Lake (including Chautauqua Institution)....this is in NY, about 1 1/2 hrs. south of Buffalo.

A day in Buffalo, then a few days in the Niagara Falls area (the falls, Ft. Niagara, Niagara on the Lake).

Then up to Toronto (I know, you did not mention Canada).

From Toronto to Kingston, Ontario (there's a real nice trip report on the Canadian board about Kingston).

Cross into the U.S. near Kingston and take a a boat ride of The Thousand Islands (a very, very unique area of NY state).

I'm lost at this point. Perhaps down toward the Fibnger Lakes and back to Ohio?

I'm tired and it's late, so forgive me for not being very specific. I can be a little more specific if you are interested.

Have fun!
BuffaloGirl is online now  
May 18th, 2005, 05:38 AM
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Michigan is pretty in a rural sort of way, but the drive from Columbus to Michigan is long and un-scenic.

I like the Niagra/Toronto idea better. You could even get as far as Montreal and then run back through NY: adirondacks, finger lakes, Erie canal. Or just fly out of Albany (or Montreal).

Another option is to head east through the hills of Appalachia, to Maryland and Virginia. You could get to DC, for example.
capxxx is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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This is really specific to what you yourselves enjoy. Do you like the "reality" outdoors or resort outdoors? Not saying that there isn't a lot of beauty on the Eastern route as well, but it actually is far, far more settled and "man-transformed".

Is Michigan an easy access from where you live; would you be going there any other time from your home locale?

Do you enjoy the path less trod or what most high end tourists prefer? Not stirring any pot, just saying you need to look to yourself to answer this. The Eastern alternatives given here are really not like the Western /Lake Michigan shore locations/activities at all, as Michigan is far less traveled and IMHO totally more pristine and more natural forest than the Eastern locations.

If you'd like to sand dune dive or jeep or take your own car down a 100 foot extreme drop (you have to let a lot of air out of your tires), you aren't going to do that any place but the designated park near Silver Lake /Mears. Just because of where it is, it is far more untraveled and yes, more rural. Not to say that there are no people, but traffic is extremely less than on that Eastern route. If you delve into the National Parks you will actually see forest so dense that in the daytime it is dark and another world. They have jeep caravans you can join with overnights in the depths, with breakfast served on a little creek's bridge. But there are huge sections that are not "groomed" forests as on above suggested Eastern routes.
JJ5 is offline  
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