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Old 07-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Chicago to Mackinac Island

We're planning a trip from Chicago, Illinois to Mackinac Island, Michigan this August. Has anyone done this route before? Any recommended places to stay/visit?

Any advice is most appreciated!
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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We always camp at Wilderness State Park, about 15 minutes from Mackinac City. there are two campgrounds, one on the beach and one in the forest.

You could drive up to Manitowoc Wisconsin and take the U.S.S. Badger for a three hour cruise (sounds like Gilligan's Island ) That lets you off at Ludington State Park and nearby the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It also avoids traffic and construction in Chicago and Gary, frustration and gas. We have taken the ferry twice with the Airstream, (note that animals are kept in the kennels below the steps to protect them from the heat of being in a vehicle enclosed in the lower level. It can be noisy if the fog horn is going.)

Wilderness State Park Detail

S.S. Badger

Ludington State Park - Visit Ludington State Park in West Michigan

The Official Website of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau

Once you are in the Upper Penninsula, there is a further destination to Taquamenon Falls and Lake Superior and the Ship Wreck Museum that is one of our favorite destinations. We always stay at the Rivermouth campground, further from the Upper and Lower Falls near Paradise Michigan. There are both modern and electric campsites and just gorgeous and very quiet in the shoulder seasons when we have gone. You could hear a bubble break on the surface of the river with jumping fish and otters. It is a half hour drive to Whitefish Point and the museum and final resting place of the Edmund Fritzgerald, nice display, shops, lighthouse and tour and miles of lakeshore. At the Falls be sure to stop at the brewery, Camp 33 site of the original logging camp for a sandwich or dinner and a liquid refreshment and souvineers.

http://www.exploringthenorth.com/tahqua/tahqua.html

http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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We just passed thru that area in mid June. Port Huron, Flint, Saginaw, Grayling, Machinac Bridge and around the very scenic top of Lake Michigan on to Oshkosh.
The beaches are great.
More information stops than we could handle.
Roads are generally good.
Fuel prices are high after leaving Flint area.
Have a good holiday
Dave
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Anne-Marie and I made just that trip in June. We stayed a few days at the Madison WI KOA and a night at a county park near Escanaba MI, and a week at the St. Ignace MI KOA. There are several campgrounds near St. Ignace, but we didnít price check any of them, and the KOA cost was $50.00 a night. There is bus service to the boat company docks from this campground.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #5
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If you do take the Badger -- and it is a great trip across the Big Lake -- think about a stop in Traverse City. There is a good campground on M-31, favored by Airstreamers:
Holiday Park Campground. Leelanau County is great to explore, and Glen Haven/Sleeping Bear Dunes beach was just named No. 1 Great Lakes Beach by "Dr. Beach." Annual Film Festival at the renovated State Theatre is July 26-31. Michael Moore is force behind that project. About 50,000 attended last year. And you just missed the National Cherry Festival!
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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P.S. From Traverse City...
If you come through the area on a Wednesday or Saturday morning, 8 a.m. to noon through October, plan to gather fresh, local farm products at our twice-weekly Farmers' Market on BayView across from Grand Traverse Bay.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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We have made the trip going clockwise. Visited Wisconsin first. Keep close to the lake on 41 to Milwaukee and 43 to Green Bay. Camp in Dorr county or continue. Lots to see along the way. U.P.also has campgrounds or use the state parks. you can not take your car onto Mackinac Island but there are commercial campgrounds nearby. Follow the east side of the lake back south with state parks or commercial campgrounds per your preference. Indiana Dunes in a nice last stop before returning to Chicagoland.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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River Ridge Resort RIVER RIDGE RESORT in Stanwood, Michigan
Barnes Park http://www.antrimcounty.org/barnespark.asp


Barnes Park is located on Grand Traverse Bay, recommend lot 56, below is a picture of the sunset at Barnes Park, very close to Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey and Bay Harbor. Highly recommend the http://www.thebluepelican.com/ for dinner, only 6 miles from Barnes.


River Ridge has it all, each lot has its own sprinkler system and if you like golf, Tullymore is about 15 min. away check it out. http://www.tullymoregolf.com/



toastie
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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Benzy State Park and the float trip down the river near Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Straits State Park with views of the bridge.
Grand Haven State Park if you want to camp on the beach on Lake Michigan and you can get in (- we grew up there) it's frequently packed full but worth it if you can get a site.
Ludington area is nice, as is Traverse City.
Actually you can't go wrong on the Lake Michigan side of the state.
I would recommend Tahquamanon Falls also. It's beautiful.

Kay
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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wow
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #11
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Hi all, just wanted to let you know we completed our trip to Mackinac Island! It was fantastic. Thanks for all your suggestions. Here's where we ended up staying from Chicago to St. Ignace:

Near Grand Rapids (side note, we stopped at Woodland Airstream and they have an awesome set-up there. http://www.woodlandtravelcenter.net/):
Duke Creek Campground

Near Sleeping Bear Dunes (we couldn't get a site at the State Park unfortunately):
Indigo Bluffs RV Rental Park in Empire, Michigan -- just minutes from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park

St. Ignace (near Mackinac Island):
http://www.castlerockcampark.com/

We took Shepler's Ferry to the Island (bought 2 day tickets for a slight discount):
Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry | 2011

Bring your bikes if you go!

Photos from our trip:
Michigan - a set on Flickr

Next time we're going to hang out in Traverse City like some of you recommended. We had a great time and will be making the trip again in a few years!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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Great photos. Thanks for posting. See you on the road in Michigan next time!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:41 AM   #13
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Next time you'll have to go through the UP on your way there or back. It's very unique and the camping possibilities endless.
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