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Trip from Detroit airport to Mackinac


Jun 18th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Trip from Detroit airport to Mackinac

My wife and I are flying into Detroit International and then renting a car to drive to Mackinac Island. I understand it is a five hour drive.

We are looking for a place to stay overnight about an hour from Mackinac. so we can rest up and then get there early the next day.

Never been to Michigan, any suggestions for a route to take and where to stop for the night. Someplace interesting perhaps.

mrchipry is offline  
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Jun 18th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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You can drive to Mac..City but not to the island. You have to leave your car at the ferry dock for however long you will be gone. We stayed at the Clarion Hotel and it was very nice..right beside on of the ferries. With the economy so bad in MI right now you probably can get a deal. If you want to stop before M.City there are places along I75 all the way up.Get a AAA map or mapquest.com of the area and take your choice.Do not stay around Flint, scuzzy, run down and the home ground of Micheal Moore!!!Gaylord or any of the towns along the lakes would be just fine and the hotels/motels are the familiar ones...You don't say when you arrive but a five hour drive in that area is a cake walk..Speeds are good and so are the roads unless I75 has been ruined by the lack of $ to maintain it. Mac. Island is lovely and a carriage ride is the way to see it I think we paid $90 for an hour
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Jun 19th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I see mapquest sends you up 275 to 23 to 75 from the airport. That is a good way to go.

As for a place to stay, Gaylord would probably be your best bet. There isn't much after it. There is a nice brewpub there for dinner called Big Buck Brewery. Hotels will all be chains.

This trip gets pretty crowded on Fridays headed north and Sundays headed south. It isn't as bad as it used to be now that everyone has lost their jobs and can't afford gas! But it can still get bogged down.

Michigan is a gorgeous state and you will love it up there. I don't know how long you are staying, but the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area is lovely.

And it will cost you $6, but if you cross the Mackinac Bridge into the UP, and then come back south towards the bridge, there is a great park called Bridge View. It has a wonderful photo spot for bridge pictures. The ferries also leave from St. Ignace, but it would probably be easier for you to take them out of Mackinaw City.

The lighthouse in Mackinaw City is also a nice thing to see for an hour.

If you click my name, I've commented on many many Mackinac posts if you need more info on the island itself. I was married there ten years ago!
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Jun 19th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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If you get up that way, and want a little history on the auto biz see if you can stay at/near Onaway, Mi. at Black Lake/UAW camp. Very nice, great accomadations and friendly staff. You may have to be a UAW member (or not). If you golf, play the course there! It's about an hour or 45 minutes away from Mac Island. The drive is fantastic all through the state in the Northern sections. Have fun!
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Jun 19th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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If you want to push 20 minutes north of Gaylord, Indian River would be a good spot to stop as well. You would be about 45 minutes from Mackinaw there. There is a Holiday Inn Express as well as lots of little cabins. Also a lodge:


There is a legendary pizza place named Vivio's for dinner. The Brown Trout is good too. And two great breakfast places named Christophers and Paula's.

If you are Catholic, there is also the world's largest wooden crusifix right there in town. They hold services outside in the summer. People are welcome to self-tour the grounds.


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Jun 23rd, 2009, 08:47 AM
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I would second the detour to Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Petoskey. In fact, we stayed at a B and B in Charlevoix then drove up to Mackinac the next day via the "Tunnel of Trees" Road which skirts the bluffs above Lake Michigan. You can make that from Detroit Metro in 4 hours or so, then do the liesurely drive up the next day in 2-3 hours.

Much more scenic way to go to Mackinac than just heading up the middle of the state. There's really not much up the 75 corridor. Its shorter, but to not go hit the Lake Michigan upper coast is likely to miss the prettiest part of Michigan.
chewy1 is offline  
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:09 PM
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I also agree with heading up the West side of Michigan and going through Traverse City, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petosky. It is a beautiful area and much more fun and scenic than the drive up the center of the state. Enjoy your trip.
Cali is offline  
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:11 PM
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Thanks everyone for your tips. I have one more urgent request that may sound funny but really isn't.

My wife is extremely sensitive to toxic odors like a new car smell or new carpet, mold, bathroom cleaners etc. We called the Grand Hotel and two people told us the rooms were central air and they pumped a perfume through the ducts that could be irritating. Another employee said they had window air conditioners and not to worry. We are in the cheap rooms and don't know what to do?

Can anyone let me know what the real story is? Please!
mrchipry is offline  
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Hmmm...I don't know about that. We are staying at the Grand for the first time over the Fourth (in a cheap room) so I won't know until then.

There are many many other great places to stay on the island. Ones that have windows. You could still visit the Grand for dinner. The Iroquois would be a nice alternative.
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