By: Christine Whittle, Travel Consultant
As we boarded our flight to Detroit, I remember thinking “what could Michigan possibly have to offer”. I never could have imagined Michigan being more than a mediocre state with outdated industries left to rust. Were we ever in for a pleasant surprise on our Mackinac Island And The Great Lakes with Globus tour.
The first day was spent in Detroit’s magnificent General Motors Headquarters. Located on the beautiful Detroit River and right across from Canada, we were taken aback by the charming nature of downtown Detroit. From the 66th floor of the hotel, we could see just about every corner of downtown. This was also the day we met the entirety of our group. After meeting everyone, we independently embarked on a 75 cent train ride around downtown.
The next day was the Henry Ford Museum. This massive facility is as close to a giant time capsule as one could imagine. From presidential limousines to race cars, Thomas Edison’s light bulbs to Rosa Parks’ bus, a whole day wouldn’t possibly be enough time learn about everything in this museum. From the museum, we would head north towards Frankenmuth. Before arriving in the quaint Bavarian town, we stopped at Bronner’s Christmas store, one of the largest in the world. After wandering a warehouse filled with every ornament one could imagine, we continued onto Frankenmuth.
Here we enjoyed a pleasant wine tasting of local creations and a feast of the most amazing European influenced meats and side dishes. Our family friendly hotel was nestled in a cute tourist town with plenty of fudge shops around. We would spend the night here before continuing further north to the historic Mackinac Island.
A fifteen minute ferry ride is all it takes to deliver a group of people to a small island deprived of cars in exchange for horses and bicycles. A wonderful experience to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here on the island, everyone is enjoying every second of the day either walking, biking, or horse and carriage. With the civil war era fort settled at the top of the island, a simple town sits at the bottom. Restaurants and shops on either side of the main street of town welcome everyone. The next day we enjoy a wonderful buffet lunch at the historic Grand Hotel and a guided horse and carriage ride around the island. A dedicated guide atop our carriage informed us of all to know about the island. Arch rock was a special spot to visit along our tour. After two wonderful evenings and an independent fantastic Sip n Sail tour of the lake at sunset, we departed for the mainland and headed west to Charlevoix and later Petoskey.
Before reaching Charlevoix, a stop at the most amazing Legs Inn was scheduled. Here we enjoyed wonderful pirogi in a rustic setting with hand crafted wood all around. After a quick brunch we would continue on. Charlevoix is home to yet another quaint town located on a beautiful lake. Not only does it have shops and fudge galore, it is home to the hobbit homes or mushroom houses of a famous architect from the area. With their thatched roofs and natural looking rock faces, a guide would go on to inform us of the technique and grace the man used to design these homes. From here we continued to Petoskey.
Petoskey, much like the previous stops, was a lovely town on the lake with perfect views and plenty of shops. Our historic hotel hosted a perfect patio to enjoy the evening before moving on to Grand Rapids.
Here we get back into the bigger cities. In a gorgeous Amway hotel, the hustle and bustle of city life became more prevalent. A trip to the Gerald Ford Museum paid tribute to one of our nations great presidents. Night life here in Grand Rapids was exciting with music and drinks for all ages to enjoy. From here we would set out to our final destination of Chicago.
The Navy Pier was our first stop for lunch and sights of the skyline from the lake. From here we toured the streets admiring the amazing work of many famous architects who invented and progressed the idea of skyscrapers. Then we went on to enjoy the very busy Millennium Park before our farewell dinner at the Palmer House Hotel. A sad goodbye to the many new friends and memories made on our pleasantly surprising journey around Mackinac Island And The Great Lakes with Globus.
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