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Old 07-08-2018, 08:14 AM   #1
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From PA to Mackinac Island

Looking to make a trip from southeastern PA to MI - specifically the Mackinac Island area. We know nothing about the area. Any tips or further insight on things to do/see would certainly be appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #2
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PA Turnpike to Ohio Turnpike to I-75 North or go a little bit further west and take US127 north. US127 will rejoin I-75 at about Grayling, MI Personally I'd go US127.

At Mackinaw there are lots of place to stay and lots of things to do. Tour the Coast Guard Ice Breaker, take a day trip to Mackinac Island, go across the bridge and visit St. Ignace, across the bridge again and visit the Lake Michigan shore along US 2, and finally, take a trip to Sault Ste. Marie and take a locks tour.

Depending on the length of your trip, I'd plan a return on US 31 to include Petosky, Traverse City, and the sand dunes. So much to do, so little time...
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:52 PM   #3
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We just came back from there. Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground is a great place to camp. It is right on the straights, the lake front sights are tight but the view is gorgeous. If you choose the second row back you will have more room. They have a grassy area with fire pits along the lake.

Mackinac island is a fun day trip with no cars just bikes and horses. The U.P. is pretty desolate but beautiful especially for the outdoor person.

We also spent a couple days at Silver Lake staying at Jellystone Park Camp Resort. It is geared for families but my wife and I enjoyed our stay. There is a lot to do within walking distance. Our reason for going to Silver Lake is the sand dunes. We tow a Jeep Wrangler and rode around on the dunes for a couple days.

We also stayed over night at the Blue Heron service plaza on the Ohio Turnpike. For $20 you can plug your RV in if you need to run the AC.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:09 PM   #4
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I lived in Michigan for 10 years.

On your way north, if you go over to the center of the state you'll find Houghton and the Houghton Lake area VERY nice fun forested area with lakes and streams. Much of the trees are old growth. Or were. I suppose they still are.

North of there you'll find AuSable which is a really pretty remote area around the AuSable river. if you're a trout fisherman that's the place to fish.

West of there is Petosky and the Lake Michigan coast is beautiful with dozens of quaint beach towns all up and down the cost. Traverce City is the biggest town and this time of year is jammed with tourists - especially around the Cherry Festival time. WELL WORTH GOING. But I see it was last week. No worries it's still well worth going.

On Mac Island rent bikes and ride the 8 miles around very easy flat ride. Great views, lighthouses, etc. Lots to see along the way. Start in town and ride away from town and you'll end up at the Grand Hotel. Always worth seeing. In town, hike up to Fort Mackinaw. Very cool up there.

Of course buy fudge. There are dozens of fudge shops. Too many. And most folks shop for trinkets and buy fudge and go home. But do that other stuff and you'll be glad you did.

One other thing - once you get into Mich near Detroit, take a day or two and visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. You'll be amazed at the size and depth of the museum. Henry Ford established the museum in Dearborn just west of Detroit. He used his vast wealth to create one of the largest most diverse museums in the country - the world. It's not all cars. In fact, it's mostly not about cars.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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Not sure how long you plan to be in MI but with shoreline along 4 of the Great Lakes there are a ton of places to visit. As mentioned Mill Creek is a good location to visit the area. Sault locks is a good day trip along with the island of course. Taking I-75 from Ohio will take you up thru Detroit and the metro area with all it's traffic. As mentioned US 127 will take you up through Lansing, no where near as bad as Detroit. You can also pick US 23 off I 75 near Toledo. That will take you right past my house, Brighton, MI. US 23 rejoins I-75 near Flint then straight up to Mackinaw. Hopefully you can travel on other than a weekend. I-75 can turn into a parking lot on summer weekends. Half the state heads north on the weekends. US 127 is a nice ride and will be less congested than the other routes until it rejoins I-75.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:38 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. This is exactly the info I was looking for. Appreciate it!!
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:43 PM   #7
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High end RV resort is Hearthside. There is also another one in Petoskey but I forgot the name. Just got back. Take the tunnel of trees and eat at the legs polish restaurant. Fun place. They is a boat ride called the pointer boat around the lake there. You can take a narrated tour of charlevoix on a golf cart. Go to the Cherry jelly store there. Take your bikes to the island. Stop at killwins candy. Take the tour and the free samples.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:04 PM   #8
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I can vouch for the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The historical stuff there is nothing less than awesome! If kids are along for the trip, they'll love it - highly educational.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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If you go to Mach Island, do it during the good weather season. Don't wait till Fall, almost everything is closed. Fudge is plentiful.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:27 PM   #10
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I'll second the warning about I75 weekend traffic. If at all possible, do not try to head north on I75 on Friday or south on Sunday. There are also two state parks near Mackinac. Wilderness SP is west of the town, but the deer flies can be tremendously annoying this time of year. St. Ignace SP is just on the north side of the Mackinac Bridge and you can take a ferry to the island from St. Ignace as well as Mackinac City. I haven't yet stayed at St. Ignace SP, but I did note how very, very close it is to I75...traffic noise may be a problem there.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:01 PM   #11
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more to see and a correction

If you're going to be in the area a while, visiting Tahquamenon Falls (about 90 minutes NW of the bridge), and the shipwreck museum at Whitefish Point are also fun. Note a correction to an earlier post: Houghton LAKE is on US-127 just north of Claire and south of Grayling, but Houghton is in the west end of the Upper Peninsula, at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula (home to Michigan Technological University - my alma mater)
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:34 PM   #12
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Straits State Park in St Ignace is a great park just west of the bridge very quiet stay in the camp sites right by the lake the ferry companys will pick you up at the park i always stay there you will love the island
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gordiegaffer View Post
Straits State Park in St Ignace is a great park just west of the bridge very quiet stay in the camp sites right by the lake the ferry companys will pick you up at the park i always stay there you will love the island
We looked at Straits SP but I noticed how close it is to I75. Were you ever bothered by noise from the freeway?
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