MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP: My Top 5 List

Michigan Road Trip: Top 5

5. Tunnel of Trees

Location: M-119 between Petosky, MI and Cross Village, MI

The Tunnel of Trees was beautiful and …lush? Maybe lush isn’t the right word, but imagine driving through a literal tunnel of trees in full Summer foliage. The trees were so close to the road and their branches hung over the car as we headed North up M-119. I imagine this natural tunnel is something to see in late September/early October when they are bright oranges, yellows, and reds. Yep, that just went on my bucket list.

Driving through the Tunnel of Trees off M-119

4. Mackinac Bridge

Location: W69 Boulevard Dr, St Ignace, MI 49781

I’m not totally into architecture, but I can appreciate an engineering feat when I see one. The Mackinac Bridge (yes, that’s the correct spelling… confusing since the bridge and island end in a ‘C’ while the city ends in a ‘W’) was voted Michigan’s #1 civil engineering project of the 20th century. Pretty impressive. If that fact wasn’t fun enough here is another, as you travel on this toll bridge Lake Michigan is to the West and Lake Huron is to the East. If you traveled North enough through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula you could also see Lake Superior. That’s over half the Great Lakes in one trip! I was also lucky to drive this when it was foggy and made for some fun, moody photos.

3. Ludington State Park

Location: 8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431

The sandy dunes off Lake Michigan at Ludington State Park reminded me of a tamer version of the Indiana Dunes National Park. There was some hiking and beaches to enjoy while you were there. The state park allows for camping, but we were just passing through. The trail to Big Sable Point Lighthouse was a good excuse to stretch our legs after driving for a few hours. Be warned it was about 4 miles round trip to the lighthouse and back to the parking lot. Keep that in mind as you plan out your road trip itinerary and add on time to go inside the lighthouse and take photos. If you are a part of the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program you can get your passport stamped here.

Trees in Ludington State Park that make it seem like it is windy all the time (there was no wind that day).

2. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Location: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Megalophobia is the fear of large objects…I have it. Guess what is usually found within sculpture gardens. That’s right, large objects. I have a tough time with larger than life things with faces. Anyways…it’s a beautiful place to visit and I highly recommend it. The indoor and outdoor gardens are beautiful, well cared for, and there’s a photo opportunity everywhere. The garden grounds are huge and you can easily spend a few hours wandering around. Some sculptures are really cool and like with most art installations, there’s always a few pieces that end up in a museum and you think, “Why?” When you visit and you see bunny people sculptures, you’ll know what I mean. That aside this place was well worth the intense jumpy feeling of not knowing what gigantic thing was lurking around the corner.

1. Petosky, MI

Location: 216 Park Avenue, Petoskey, MI 49770

Historic Gaslight District + Magnus Beach

I was surprised by how much I liked Petosky, MI. All I ever heard of were the Petosky stones and wasn’t sure what to expect for the historic downtown area. The actual downtown area was a cute place to grab a coffee and shop. I would think it’s a good place to go for a low key girls trip. There were a variety of stores – clothing, books, food, tchotchkes, and more. Some stores sell polished Petosky stones, but if you are looking to collect a few “wild” stones yourself then I recommend checking out Magnus Beach. Remember to get your rocks wet so it’s easier to see which have that signature mosaic pattern!

That’s the list of my favorite sites from my Michigan road trip. Do you have a favorite spot in Michigan? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Happy travels,

Laura

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