MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP: Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Vacation

MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP: Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Vacation

Being from Chicago, I thought I was pretty much prepared for a Midwestern road trip. Though I knew what to expect there were still some surprises. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when you are planning your trip.

Ludington State Park - Big Sable Lighthouse
Ludington State Park – Big Sable Lighthouse
  1. The Frederick Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids is gigantic! If you want to take your time and see both outdoor exhibits and indoor you’ll need about 3-4 hours.
  2. In Muskegon there is a cute community garden inspired by the French gardens impressionist painter, Claude Monet painted. I’d only recommend this if you were passing through the area and wanted a quick stop to stretch your legs.
  3. When visiting lighthouses you can get your “lighthouse passport” stamped if you join the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program. Big Sable Point Lighthouse within Ludington State Park is a part of the passport program.
  4. Traverse City is a great place if you are into water sports, breweries, or distilleries.
  5. The Village near Traverse City is an old asylum turned shopping center and retirement home. Walking the grounds is not as cool as their website makes it seem. There is a fun atmosphere of shopping within the basement of an asylum though.
  6. Petosky has a charming downtown area with a lot of great shops and places to get your caffeine fix.
  7. If you are looking for Petosky stones then check out Magnus State Park. Be sure to get your stones wet so it’s easier to see if they have that beautiful mosaic pattern. This was one time I welcomed the rain.
  8. Tunnel of Trees makes for a gorgeous drive. I’d love to drive along that route again in the Fall with the changing colors.
  9. The main trail for viewing Tahquamenon Falls is a nice sturdy wooden path. There are still stairs, but they have signs stating how many steps there are at each point. This was a nice way for you to decide if you were up for 94 steps. There are other dirt trails you can hike, too.
  10. If you are trying to see the Sault St. Marie locks in action, be warned there is a “schedule.” The catch is that normally the boats are late. We are talking hours late and when they get there be prepared to stand there watching for up to an hour. The freighters move slower than I ever thought possible.
  11. BONUS: The Mackinac Bridge is a toll road and it will cost you between $4-$5 one way.
Muskegon - Monet community garden
Muskegon – Monet community garden

Would you add anything to this list? Comment below if you have any suggestions for the list or questions for me.

Happy travels,


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Top 10 things I wish I new before my Michigan road trip


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