Fall trip to Northwestern Michigan

Old Sep 15th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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Fall trip to Northwestern Michigan

We are planning to go to the Traverse City/Petoskey area for 4 days in early October. Are plans now are to stay at the Homestead Resort (Fiddler's Pond) for 2 night and Perry Inn in Petoskey for 2 nights. Do you think these will be good "home bases" for sightseeing in this area. Any "must sees" for our first trip to this area?
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 06:15 AM
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I'm not familiar with those hotels but we were in that area at the same time 2 years ago and had a wonderful time. The colors were at their peak. We really enjoyed driving around the Leelanau Pennisula and the national park around Sleeping Bear Dunes (the name escapes me, sorry).
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 06:47 AM
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I don't know those inns either, but visited the area this summer. We chose to stay at Country Hermitage B&B (countryhermitage.com) and can't recommend it highly enough. It was fabulous - beautiful, peaceful, relaxing, gorgeous accomodations, a very helpful hostess, chef prepared (wonderful) breakfasts at the time of your choosing. It is on the north side of TC on a cherry orchard.

As for must-sees, we loved the drive out on the Mission Penninsula. I would think that in the fall it would be even more beautiful. If you like wineries, the trip would be even more enjoyable, there are many on that trip. We loved Chateau Grand Traverse. We also enjoyed a stop at Old Mission Lighthouse and the General Store out there. The guy running the store was quite a character and the place is really charming in an old world way.

Another driving trip we enjoyed was along M-119. Again, it has to be gorgeous in the fall. It is just a slow, winding drive with views of the lake and lots of trees. There are some beautiful homes along the way, too. If you time your drive right (we didn't) you could visit Legs Inn in Cross Village (where M119 lets out). It is supposed to be great. They have a website too (legsinn.com).

I'll check back in a day or so if you have any questions I can help with!

In any case, I'm jealous! I really fell in love with the area.
Melissa
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 06:59 AM
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Oooops...actually, we enjoyed Chateau Grand Traverse, but it was Chateau Chantal that was so impressive. It was on a hilltop, with beautiful views of the vineyards and the area.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 07:01 AM
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I am not familar with your hotels but would love to read a trip report on the Homestead as I have their website bookmarked and it looks wonderful. We loved Leland's Fishtown which is a 100 yr old fishing village. We had lunch at "The Cove" GREAT seafood chowder and Chubby Mary's (Bloody Mary with a Chub in it) and you can sit outside by the water. We also loved driving Old Mission Peninsula. I believe it's just 18miles around and you can stop at 4 different wineries for free tastings. You can also stop at the Old General Store for an ice cream cone. There's also a small harbor that has a restaurant in front of it (forgot the name)we wanted to eat there but they are not open for lunch, just for dinner.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 09:28 AM
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Thanks so much for your help. Would it be worth only spending 1 night in Petoskey and spending our last on Mackinac Island?
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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I've only driven through Petoskey, so I can't comment on things to do, etc. I would recommend Mackinac. I always really enjoy going over there. One day/night is enough too. Make sure to take a buggy tour around the island, or rent bikes to ride around at your leisure. Actually, I think you can rent horses and buggies to drive yourself.

I would recommend that you stay at a place closer to town. I've heard the Island House is nice, my SIL and BIL always stay at the Lilac Tree, but said that they were disappointed with it last time.

Go to Horn's Bar and/or the Pink Pony fpr drinks, lots of fun!! October is a great time to go, not as crowded.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 09:57 AM
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We stayed in The Homestead's Fiddlers Pond rooms this Summer and let me assure you that you've made an excellent choice.

The Homestead is a sprawling resort and condo community on the shores of Lake Michigan right in the center of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The resort is quite upscale and all-inclusive with some breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from certain vantage points around the complex. They have some very good restaurnts on site as well as a well-stocked market and a children's day-care facility.

The Fiddler's Pond rooms looked (and smelled) newly refurbished during our stay this Summer (2003) and the rooms are much more luxurious than your standard hotel room. Certainly this has to be one of Northern Michigan's nicest resort hotels.

As far as Petoskey/Mackinac Island, I think you could cut a day away to spend a night on Mackinac. I agree with the other poster's recommendations to see Fishtown in Leland (just about 30 minutes Nort of the Homestead) and eat at the Cove (great burgers too), and also take the back roads from Petoskey to Mackinac (i.e. M119 - 'The Tunnel of Trees') stopping to check out the lovely town of Harbor Springs and Leggs Inn at the end.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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LOVE Mackinaw Island! We stayed this year at: http://www.chippewahotel.com/special.phtml
They are having specials and will let you book for one night (the website says two but they let us have one) It's not a fancy hotel but victorian and right on Main St. Of course you must ask for a harborview room! You can sit on your balcony overlooking the harbor and watch the ferries all come in. The dining room is also right on the water and they are offering a package now that includes breakfast. The hotel will have someone meet you at the ferry when you get to the island,(he will be on a bike) and take your luggage to the hotel. You then walk there. And.... you can rent a horse and buggy and tour the town yourself in privacy. Those horses know the route so well you have little to do Have fun!
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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Stacey,
I also have to chime in and echo the others in saying that you should definitely make time for Mackinac Island.
We went this summer, then went to TC/Petoskey area. (Actually, I am sitting here in my "Mackinac Island" T'shirt right now!)
Anyway, we stayed at the Island House and really enjoyed it. We had a harbor view room and that would be the only way I would want it. It MADE the experience.
While we were there, I also noticed that the Bay View at Mackinac was a very lovely B&B right across from Island House and even closer to the water. You might check it out.
We really enjoyed the island. I hope you do too!
Melissa
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 06:24 AM
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Stacy....I actually live in Petoskey, and hope I can give you some details on your choices. I can't really comment on where you are staying in TC, because I have never stayed there, but be sure to go check out the Sleeping Bear Dunes while you are there. If you are coming one of the first two weeks in October, you should be at peak color, which is simply breathtaking here. Your drive up from TC to Petoskey will definately be lovely. I recommend stopping in Charlevoix (which is right on US-31..the coastline drive). It is a half hour south of Petoskey and if you so happen to be there on the weekend of October 10-11-12th, you will be there for the Applefest..which is really quite nice...lots of local farmers with yummy apple delights and a arts/craft fair...its a must! In Petoskey, the Perry Hotel is lovely, right in the "Gaslight district" which is our quaint, victorian-flavored downtown. Lots of cool shops...make sure you stop in at American Spoon Foods for "made right in Petoskey" jams, sauces and the like..dried cherries are a must! Also, their Gelato cafe next door serves up authentic Italian Gelato and a dinner menu. The Perry Hotel also has a nice restaurant...or right downtown is the City Park Grill...an old favorite hangout of Hemingway himself! And definately save a night for Mackinaw Island....it is heavenly that time of year! If I can help you with anything else, email me at [email protected]

Enjoy! I LOVE it up here!
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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I have to say that when my hubby and I traveled there, we used a lot of the advise we got from dmkujat. So first, I want to say "thanks" and second I have to say that we stopped at the Gelato Cafe and had wonderful panini sandwiches and gelato! I would definitely recommend that for a great lunch spot while shopping downtown.
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 10:19 AM
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melh - glad you found my hints helpful!
I can't help but advertise the wonderful Gelato cafe and its neighbor, American Spoon Foods (same owner) because I work for them every Christmas season (for 6 years now) and there stuff is just downright wonderful! Glad you agreed! By the way, you can also mailorder the gelato and their other wonderful products...check it out at www.spoon.com!
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 02:20 AM
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I had forgotten that they had a website! I'll have to check it out. They had some great sauces, jams, etc!
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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Thank you all so much. We've book 2 nights at The Homestead in Fiddler's Pond room and 2 nights at Perry Hotel. We are planning a day trip to Mackinac Island. Is it best to do a self guided bike tour? Is a specific ferry service to the island better than another?
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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I would recommend a self-tour. You can get island maps for free at a visitor booth and take your time at the places you really enjoy. I personally don't think it matters which ferry service. Arnold's and Sheplers are the biggest I think. What I would do though, is go across the Mackinac Bridge and take the ferry from St Ignace. Going over the bridge is really cool, and I personally like St Ignace better than Mackinac City.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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staceyh
I think self guided is the only way offered for the bikes. We biked the island and had a lot of fun. After we turned our bike's in we walked to the Grand Hotel for dinner. It is a marvelous view and after dinner you can sit on that marvelous front porch, rock for awhile and enjoy that great view.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 12:43 PM
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I like to bike on the island, to get away from the crowds. Since they shouldn't be bad when you will be there, you might like to tkae one of the carriage tours.

Any of the ferry lines do a good job. If the weather happens to be poor, Arnold Lines boats are a bit larger.

The view of the Bridge is much better when you take the ferry from Mackinaw City. Be sure and visit Mackinaw Crossings, which has a number of interesting shops.

If you are getting fudge, I recomend Marshalls on Mackinaw's Central Avenue. In addition to a good product, they get shipped orders right.

Keith
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 02:27 PM
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I agree with Keith that the view of the bridge is better from the Mackinac City side, but I still think crossing the bridge is something that is a must do!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 09:58 AM
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Any hints on the weather around Traverse City and Petoskey for October 4 through 8? Daytime, evening? Just want to make sure we pack the right type of clothes.
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