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Old 02-07-2012, 05:50 PM   #15
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Here are a few places we enjoyed in Wisc, again a google search for more info.

Hodag festival in Rhinelander

Timms Hill, the highest point in Wisc. and they have a great walk up tower that looks over the state.

North east Wisc has 7 falls... most are really really cool. Our favorites are Lower Potato Falls and Big Manitou.

There are also 8 lighthouses scattered across the north east shore, all worth a visit.

Happy exploring,
Barry
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:22 PM   #16
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The Soo Locks, in Sault Ste. Marie, are a nice visit. You can walk around them and or even go on a tour through them. I forget where the tours start, but there are signs that direct you to the launch. While you are there you will more than likely see many freighters. The thousand footers, the American Integrity is my favorite, are great to watch as are several others. You just missed the I-500 that happens every year. That's a really big 500 mile snowmobile race that takes place in the city (on a track of course). As stated before Mackinac Island, the Shipwreck Museum, Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks National Park, and Traverse City (lots of wineries/cherries there) are all great places to visit. If you are planning to visit your son often then the numerous places to sight-see are nearly endless. There are the Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan as well. Holland, MI has a tulip festival every year. Your son will have a great time at Tech. If he likes to hunt and fish there is no better state (IMO). Winter activities are just as endless as sight-seeing locations. My closest of friends today I meet through college in the UP. Have fun driving there. The Big Mac (Mackinaw Bridge) will be quite a sight. Was for me my whole life (still is I suppose).
Former resident of Michigan, still a Michigander though.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:27 PM   #17
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Brad,

I am coming late to this thread but want to second several earlier comments.

In no particular order,

Michigan Tech is a great school. I attended a Large Midwestern University but have worked with several MTU grads and they were top notch.

By all means stop at Lehto's Pasties just west of the north end of Da Bridge. A U P institution for generations.

Scenery is beautiful anywhere in the U P and you have your choice of great lakes--Michigan and Superior--to drive along. Numerous cheap and cheerful municipal and private campgrounds on both shores.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point is well worth seeing. When we visited there we stayed overnight at Andrus Lake State Forest campground just down the road. (This is boondocking--no hookups. If you're lucky the local wolves will sing you a bedtime serenade.)

Northern Wisconsin is also pretty wild, with numerous campgrounds.

Door County is the crown jewel of Wisconsin. One of our regular campgrounds there is Monument Point Campground north of Sturgeon Bay.

With an MTU student in the family hopefully you can make it up to the U P and Wisconsin often. You'll love it. (Except for the mosquitoes and occasional hatches of black flies.)
.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #18
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This is mrs nilesrob - Brad's wife. I was feeling a little sad that our son was going so far away to college - but not so much now that I see all the beautiful places we'll get to visit! Thanks for all of these ideas - they're great!
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:03 PM   #19
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Brad,

By all means stop at Lehto's Pasties just west of the north end of Da Bridge. A U P institution for generations.

.
Boy that's a mouth full. I had my first pastie there in 1956 at age 7. Dad had a deer camp in the UP and we would go up there in the summer to 'camp' out. We grew up knowing them and have fond memories of John and Katherine, their daughter and their grandkids from all the summers in the UP.

Our kids have all ate pasties there and now our 4th gen grandkids have eaten there. One thing that is kind of neat... they will ship frozen pasties to you if you ask.

50 plus years of eating them at their shop has been just the icing of spending many great years in the UP. We are looking so forward to again make the pilgrimage there during the "Under the Bridge" rally. If not before.
Barry & Karen
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:41 PM   #20
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Northern Michigan

Several ideas for you ... I'm assuming that you are gonna' be driving up I75 and up on it through the Lower Peninsula or "Mitten" up to the Upper Peninsula.

First: The Michigan DNR website has an interactive map locaed here:
http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/parkmap.aspx that shows most of the public campgrounds in Michigan that are administered by the State. The State Park sites all have good maps of the campgrounds themselves. Most all of the Michigan State Parks have good though limited facilities .... typically 30A electric at sites but with dump stations and water available. Most also have very good shower / toilet facilities. Reserve well ahead, because they are VERY popular. There are a number in the lower peninsula that are worth staying at, though a bit out of your direct path. Certainly consider Ludington, Fisherman's Island and Wilderness state parks, the latter of which have some (if you reserve long enough in advance or get lucky) sites that are RIGHT ON Lake Michigan.

Second, Michigan also has quite a few state forest and Federal campgrounds that are right on nice trout streams. The State Forest campsites are shown on the above interactive maps. A DeLorme Michigan Atlas is a useful tool in finding these and the Federal sites. Most of these have hand pump wells, pit toilets, and no dump station. But they are secluded and mostly beautiful and tend not to attract the "huge rv and generator" crowd. Airstreams were made for this type of environment. The State Forest campgrounds don't take reservations, so plan to arrive early in the day, and mid-week is better.

Third, there is at least one township campground you may want to visit. It is JUST west of Munising, and has quite a few sites that are right on Lake Superior. It's a little run-down, but the views can't be beat. It is also just a little ways from the Federal Bay Furnace campground, which is also nice.

Fourth, all along the Lake Superior shore, from about Grand Marais over to Marquette and perhaps to L'Anse, there are a LOT of lovely waterfalls. Some, like Tahquamenon, have parks of their own, and are justifiably famous. Others are smaller but well worth the short hike to see them. Many are shown in the DeLorme Atlas. (No, I don't own stock in them, but I've been using their state atlases for decades, and they are very useful!)

Finally, if you have your passports along and you are in Michigan over a holiday such as Fourth of July or Labor Day or Memorial Day, when everyone for 700 miles is trying to get a Michigan campsite, consider Canada. There are many terrific Provincial Parks with lovely sites right on the Lakes (Lake Superior Provincial Park and Pinery Provincial Park come to mind at once) ... and since it's NOT a holiday over there when it is in the States, the campgrounds tend to be more available.

Oh, and in much of northern Michigan, you are in bear, mountain lion, and/or wolf country. Don't leave pets, food or children out unsupervised, and keep your eyes open!

You can spend weeks exploring all the nice places in Michigan, and turn it into months with a little hiking! It's also terrific in the winter if you like snow sports ... though you should be aware that air traffic in and out of Marquette can be spotty in the winter due to intense fog and snow ... lots of flights are cancelled or delayed, so don't try to fly in or out on a tight schedule ... give yourself plenty of driving / sightseeing time if you go by air. And allot EVEN MORE time if you're towing in the summer, so you can see all the great sights!
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #21
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OMG - we're going to need more time!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:55 PM   #22
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nilesrob, you have no idea.... Lake Superior Circle Tour

We did this in 2010. It was more manageable because we'd already done many of the MI and all the WI & MN stops. (nothing like 20 years of camping to saturate 500 miles of lakeshore)

A flyrod and maybe a kayak would help you appreciate the circle tour. Rainbow Falls Provincial Park west of Schreiber and Lake Superior Provincial Park were superb! Sleeping Giant is large/forested; again, using available watercraft enhance the experience. White Lake Provincial Park has untreatable parasites in their water system. Wawa is an excellent town for re-provisioning. At Lake Superior Provincial Park, Agawa Bay campground is a good base. Although closer to Sault Ste. Marie, there are a lot of desirable pics of Pancake Bay, but it is a tight campground crammed in very little space between the highway in the water.

But I'd truly think you could exhaust several trips on very desirable locations in da U.P, NW Wisconsin & along Minnesota's northshore. Biased I guess...
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #23
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If I had lots of time, I would go around Lake Michigan, as in, to Houghton through MI and back through WI or visa versa.

In MI

Mackinac Island. A very nice day trip. No vehicles allowed. Take the ferry over. Rent a bike or a horse drawn carriage to get around the Island.

Sault Saint Marie, MI Shipping Locks. Watch the big ships go between Lake Superior and Lake Huron


Being from WI a few of my favorite places alone the lake are

Peninsula State Park in Door County WI 1 hour North of Green Bay in the thumb.

Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame in Green Bay

Manitowoc Maritime Museum in Manitowoc WI. Nice history on the ships of the great lakes as well as a WWII sub you can tour.

Kohler WI has the Kohler factory tour. Be careful with this one. You will want to remodel your kitchen and bath at home and in your AS with all the cool ideas.
While in Manitowoc stop and check out the Sputnik crash site and remains of the satellite Museum there. Also check Point Beach Nuclear Station visitors center Energy Experience. The Point Beach State Park on the Lake Michigan shore is also very nice. Between Manitowoc and Point Beach you can stop in Two Rivers @ the town where the Ice Cream Sundae was invented. They have a harbor area there where the Christmas Tree Ships used to call on the way from the UP to Chicago with fir trees. The lighthouse motel has a great fine dining room and lounge. In the Maritime museum in Manitowoc you can tour one of the WWII submarines that were manufactured there during the war. All along the State Route 42 north there are great views of the lake on the way to Door County Wineries. A great drive! Ed
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:14 PM   #24
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Ooooooh. Circle tour looks really interesting - not for this trip due to time constraints, but definitely the next or later trip. We'' be sure to bring our kayaks!

And pasties... I don't know if that is anything like when we moved from Boston to ATL and were introduced to Krispy Cremes!?! I had to go to to Betty Ford for detox they were so good.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #25
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Door County is very well known. And quite developed like any extended vacation resort (think: Wisconsin Dells or Disneyworld). Much more peaceful is Bayfield, WI, area (Apostle Islands National Lakeshore).

[on edit: On the subject of Cornish pasties. Think of a miner's lunch. Pie dough folded over calzone-style before calzones ever were invented. Fill it with beef stew chunks of beef, onions, potato, carrot & turnip. They're very hearty whether cold when on the trail or warmed for dinner.]
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #26
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Naw!! KK are for sugar babies... Pasties are real man food... I won't even tell ya what's in them so as not to jade your taste buds. BTW they don't have spuds in them, they have rutabaga!! Amazing taste and the crust is almost able to float away it's so light.
Barry
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #27
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Thumbs up Houghton Michigan

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We have a daughter at MTU who will have one more year there. We take the Airstream and have found that the campground at Houghton City Park is very nice. There are no restrooms but there are full hook ups. From the park you can walk to downtown Houghton along the portage, great views. Also in Houghton go to the Ambassador for pizza and stop at KBC for a great beer.

If you are looking for a Lake Superior view drive up the peninsula to McLain State Park, they nice sites on the shore. Be careful of driving between Houghton and the State Park at night there are a lot of deer in that area. This is one reason we like the City Park.

What a great choice for a place to go to college! Our daughter has loved it there and she is getting a great education!

Have fun there is a ton to do in the Keweenaw.

Thanks so much for the recommendation of Houghton City RV Park! I am in Michigan for a month and took your advice on where to stay while touring around the Keweenaw Peninsula. I arrived today and am in site 2. This has to be one of the most beautiful places I have stayed and only $28 a night for cable, wi-fi (which is great) and full hookups. What a deal. Bike and walking trails to town and a sunset that money could not buy.

Thanks again for such a great recommendation. This place is a must but you need a reservation. It stays full and you cannot stay more than 7 days.

I love it here!

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #28
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Today, a 50 city, 7 day tour of Michigan was initiated by two very creative and talented guys named Rob Bliss and Jeff Barrett... They aren't using an Airstream, but they should be! Take a look at this thread:

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/i...s_with_vi.html
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