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Michigan trip 4th of July week

I plan to fly to Traverse City, Michigan July 3rd and spend 3 days with my cousins. A reunion, my father was born and grew up there.

I plan to rent a car and, yes, I know I need to reserve it soon and book my airfare, too.

So far, I’m planning to drive to Petosky and spend 2 nights, July 6 and 7. See Charlevoix, too. A friend is flying in on July 6 and I will pick her up at the airport in Traverse City before I drive to Petosky.

Then we plan to stay on Mackinac Island, July 8 and 9. Fly home on Saturday, July 10.

I’m writing to ask for ideas on things to do. We like art or cultural museums and historical sights. Hikes or walks in state or national parks. Festivals. I know about the Cherry Festival in TC.

Am I missing anything? Should we fly home from TC airport or the airport near Mackinac Island? What about the rental car? Do you have to return it at same place you picked it up?

TIA for your help.

Posted by
3254 posts

I recall that it is an hour drive from TC to Petoskey so that's not a particularly short pick up for the friend. The airport for Petoskey is Pellston and of course closer to Mackinac Island.

A major cultural center is Interlochen, nice to walk around at, take a class, or see a performance if that is possible.

Sleeping Bear Dunes has a nice (but long and challenging) walk over the dunes to the lake.

Fishtown is a nice stop.

There's the Hemmingway cottage, but I don't believe it is open to the public. This part of Michigan featured greatly in the Nick Adams stories.

There are many wineries, and premier varietals grow here.

Posted by
1970 posts

Tom,
I would pick her up at the TC airport before I drove to Petosky. I didn’t make that clear in my post. I will look at your ideas, thanks!

Posted by
21 posts

I love the upper-lower peninsula! Heck, I love most of Michigan. So much agriculture and farm markets to go to, the lakes and rivers to be on; so much to do! There is canoeing on the Platte River, Leland (Fishtown) for smoked fish, Traverse City has shopping and good food, all the parks and local festivals. The Cherry Festival will be very crowded, IF they are having it this year- don't forget to check. Mackinaw City has the fort to explore the history of the area.
The Upper Peninsula has the Shipwreck museum at Whitefish Point, tons of lighthouses, the vast expanse of lakes' shorelines, eat a pasty like the miners, beautiful parks, waterfalls, rivers. The Locks.
Mackinac Island also has a fort, the beautiful Grand Hotel (just remember to dress appropriately if you are wanting to eat in their restaurants), lots of shops (items and food and FUDGE!), museums, historical things, bike riding the island (no cars allowed!)
Car rental like other places in the US can be returned at any of their spots. The airports in north Michigan are smaller ones I think so most likely you will be connecting to/from them into a larger airport, coming and going. It will be busy up there with all the summer people so plan and reserve now.
Such a laid back state to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Posted by
1970 posts

I wanted to provide a recap of my trip to Northern Michigan. This branch of my family is crazy but lots of fun. The whole family gathered on the 4th for a cookout. Each day someone would show up and take me around everywhere I wanted to go. We saw Grand Traverse Lighthouse, full of interesting history, ate lunch in Fishtown, drove to Sleeping Bear Dunes and hiked at different points, walked in the cold water of the edge of Lake Michigan, drove the Pierce Stocking drive. Distances on the Leelanau peninsula (?) and everywhere we went were great. The map shrinks distances. The next day we drove to the Mackinaw Bridge, ate a pasty for lunch at Lehto’s. We didn’t go to the Mackinac Island itself, not enough time. Visited the bookstore in Petoskey and had dinner in Charlevoix.

Third day, drove around to see the beautiful Victorian homes from the early days and toured the Music House Museum. Lunch in Traverse City.
More family dinners and brunch the last two days.

Got up at 4 am to get the plane to Detroit then home.

I wanted you all to know how much I enjoyed it and your suggestions helped me know the fun and interesting things to do and see. They want me to come back next year so I will have a good idea of more sights to take in.

I especially loved the lighthouse we saw and the natural beauty of the lake. Next year I want to visit more lighthouses.

Posted by
1275 posts

I'd add Apostle Island state park.... yrs ago it was possible to go on a boat tour w a park ranger