Mackinac Island & the Great State of Michigan

The State of Michigan is blessed with the riches of unspoiled nature: the world’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes that feel like oceans, miles and miles of cherry orchards, some of the highest freshwater sand dunes  in the world, and more than 100 lighthouses. Mackinac Island is a truly “all natural” theme park of America. Its real Victorian image is preserved as you step back in time to a place where transportation is  limited to horse and buggy, bicycle, or foot. It has managed to escape the changes of time.

Day 1 – Detroit MI to Bay City MI
Upon arrival in Detroit, we’ll go directly to the Doubletree Bay City – Riverfront… regarded as one of the finer hotels in Bay City, and located in the heart of downtown on the banks of the Saginaw River. Tonight enjoy a delicious dinner at The Riverfront Grill… it’s an upscale – yet casual. It features spectacular views, and a variety of American and regional cuisine. Double Tree – Riverfront, Bay City MI (D)

Day 2 – Bay City MI to Mackinac Island MI
This morning, enjoy a scrumptious hot breakfast buffet in the hotel. Then, it’s off to our lunch cruise on the Appledore IV. It was originally launched in 1989, and is the fourth in a series of schooners built for world voyaging. She’s a steel-hulled Gaff-rigged schooner typical of those sailed on coastal waters, and in the Great Lakes, right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the workhorses of their era, providing the primary means of transportation for goods and passengers over long distances.  Next, we’ll depart for Mackinac Island; you’ll have a little time to wander in Mackinac City before we board Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry. Enjoy the scenery on our 20 minute ferry ride to Mackinac Island. Upon arrival, we’ll transfer via horse and carriage to our hotel for the next 2 nights, the Island House Hotel. With its handsome Victorian structure and family owned intimacy, Mackinac Island’s oldest hotel is a tradition not to be missed. Tonight, we’ll dine at the hotel in our private room.  The Island House Hotel, Mackinac Island MI (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Mackinac Island Local Touring
After breakfast we take a Horse-Drawn Carriage tour of the island… Since motor vehicles are not permitted to intrude on the natural beauty of Mackinac Island, there is no better way to visit this historic isle and see the legendary points of interest! Next Fort Mackinac, constructed by British soldiers during the American Revolution it served as a sentinel in the Straits of Mackinac for 115 years. Today, the original restored fort is a National Historic Landmark.  Next it’s lunch at the Grand Hotel, as rare and special as it was in 1887. You’ll fall in love with this wonderful place! “Somewhere in Time”, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer, was filmed here in 1979. Your afternoon and evening are free to explore. Everything is within walking distance of the hotel. You can also rent bikes or take a taxi “carriage” around the island! The Island House Hotel, Mackinac Island MI (B, L)

Day 4 – Mackinac Island to Traverse City MI
After breakfast we’ll be whisked off to the ferry dock for another scenic crossing to Mackinac City where our bus will meet us. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery on our journey to Traverse City and The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. According to Chippewa legend, a bear and her two cubs swam across Lake Michigan to escape a fire on the other side. The mother reached the shore, exhausted, but was unable to save her cubs, who drowned within sight of shore. The Great Spirit Manitou transformed the mother into a huge sand dune (looking out toward the lake), and the cubs into islands. Enjoy a few stops and a picnic lunch here. Our home for the night is the Best Western Plus in Traverse City. Your evening is free to explore the quant town of Traverse City filled with shopping, dining, arts, attractions and recreational opportunities that make this area such a desirable destination. Best Western Plus, Traverse City MI (B, L)

Day 5 – Traverse City MI to Livonia MI
This morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Then, it’s off to the Music House Museum, featuring a one-of-a-kind collection of rare, antique musical instruments and music-making machines, dated from 1870 through 1930. A stroll through the Music House Museum is like a walk back in time! Lunch will be on your own today, in the small town in West Branch. There are a few restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. Next we’ll check into our home for the next two nights, the Marriott Livonia, an exceptional place to stay! Connected to Laurel Park Place Mall, the Hotel is just steps away from variety of fine retailers, restaurants and the newly renovated Phoenix movie theatre! Later, we’ll enjoy dinner at Sweet Lorraines Café, in the hotel. Marriott, Livonia MI (B, D)

Day 6 – Detroit MI Local Touring
This morning, enjoy a breakfast buffet at Sweet Lorraine’s Café, in the hotel. Next it’s  Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum.  The Village… over 80 acres brim with resourcefulness and ingenuity. Here, 300 years of American perseverance serve as a living reminder that anything is possible. Step foot in the lab where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment or the workshop where the Wright brothers taught us to reach for the sky. Take a ride in a real Model T, or a walk through four working farms. Rub shoulders with world-class artisans, and explore the place where America’s can-do spirit inspires you to go out and get it done. The Museum… Step into a world where past innovations fuel the imagination of generations to come. A vibrant exploration of genius in all its forms, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation allows you to experience the strides of America’s greatest minds while fully immersing yourself in their stories. Step inside the bus where Rosa Parks took a stand by taking a seat. Play pilot as you explore flight innovations, starting with the Wright brothers’ achievements, or make yourself at home inside Buckminster Fuller’s circular Dymaxion House. Tonight, we’ll tour the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House! Marriott, Livonia MI (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Livonia MI Home
This morning, enjoy another scrumptious breakfast buffet at Sweet Lorraine’s Café in the hotel. before departing for the airport. (B)

Mackinac Island OWE