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TravelinVic Aug 11th, 2012 01:17 PM

Drive from Grand Haven to Traverse City; then Traverse to Mackinaw City
First time visitors to Michigan next month. The segment above is what I need help with. Stopping one night in Traverse, two nights at Mackinaw City (and of course we will be hitting the island). Plan to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes/Pierce Stocking Drive, Petoskey for the stone beach, Charlevoix for the mushroom houses. What else would you recommend along the way? We like short hikes (1 to 2 miles), the best in scenery, interesting towns to walk around in. Then I realize we have the two peninsulas to consider! Would appreciate any suggestions of favorite spots.

tomfuller Aug 11th, 2012 01:31 PM

I remember a great vacation with my parents near Grayling.
Looks like it is still a great place to visit.
I canoed on several miles of the Ausable River.

cd Aug 11th, 2012 01:47 PM

We loved Old Mission Peninsula out of Traverse City! Soooo many wineries and great scenery!:

TravelinVic Aug 11th, 2012 01:58 PM

Appreciate the suggestions!

Another question - do most of the wineries charge for the tastings?

cd Aug 11th, 2012 07:30 PM

You know I really don't remember. If they did it was minimal. Mostly I just remember the beautiful views and the general store where we had ice cream [email protected]

gardendiva Aug 15th, 2012 12:08 PM

Typically the wineries will waive the tasting fees if you buy a bottle of anything.

Keith Aug 17th, 2012 07:07 AM

Turn off US 31 at the north side of Petoskey onto M119.

After driving through Harbor Springs, continue on M119 north. Turn off onto Lower Shore Drive and visit the nature center and hike the boardwalk and trails at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve.

Between Harbor and Cross Village, M119 will go through the trees along a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It is a spectacular drive known as Emmet County Scenic Route#1, or the "tunnel of trees." Stop for snacks and postcards at the Good Hart General Store. There is also a neat old church and cemetery at Good Hart and they can give you directions to them.

Interesting stops in Cross Village include Legs Inn with an unusual building & good Polish food and the Museum of L'Arbre Croche History at Holy Cross Church (open only on Saturday afternoons).

Just east of Cross Village, turn left onto N. Lake Shore Drive. It continues along the water and goes through sand dunes and a township park where you can enjoy the water.

Lake Shore Drive will turn into Lakeview Road and then Gill Road. Turn left on to Cecil Bay Road which will go on up to shore of the Straits of Mackinac.

When you reach Wilderness Park Drive, either turn left and go out through the largest State Park in Michigan and return, or turn right toward Mackinaw City.

At the village limit of Mackinaw City, when the road turns right onto Central Avenue, go straight another half mile and visit the free McGulpin's Point Light


tomboy Aug 20th, 2012 10:08 AM

Hartwick Pines State Park has virgin forest trees, and a host of lumbering era memorablia. Paul Bunyan, etc.

Leland is an interesting port. Smoked fish.

TravelinVic Aug 27th, 2012 01:09 PM

Thanks SO much everyone for your insight, especially Keith!

louloujr Sep 11th, 2012 06:25 PM

Don't miss the Grocer'sDaughter choclate store on the old Michigan highway throgh Sleeping Bear Dunes. It's delicious!

Also, if you have time, a trip out to Beaver Island is quite an exerience. Beautiful remote and peaceful place with great beaces and lots of good hiking possibilities. Plane takes 10 minutes from Charlevoix or, alternately, a two hour boat ride. Hope this is ot too late!

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