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Mackinac/Upper Michigan – With a Twist
August 18 - August 23
I know a lot of our Plus 60 members have been to Mackinac Island and the northern part of Michigan – some of us several times. So coming in 2019 we are in luck because Tri-State Travel has come up with a new, unique itinerary, albeit with some of the familiar stops we don’t want to miss when traveling to this beautiful area.
The trip is planned for August 18 – 23, 2019. The first event that caught my attention on our first night in Houghton Lake, MI. is the fact we will be attending The Gordon Lightfoot Dinner Show Tribute! Gordon Lightfoot’s music about the woods and the water, sailing ships, broken hearts and lost loves, affected us all back in the day. Who doesn’t remember “Early Morning Rain” and “Sundown”?
The next day we will be on the sunrise side of Michigan where we will see the devastation of what a recent wildfire did to the area. On the bright side, we will find out what measures have been taken to save Kirkland’s Warbler from certain extinction. Visits to a sawmill, a maple farm, and the Our Lady of the Woods Shrine are also included. There you will be able to linger among the beautiful gardens as you meander along the paths. The National Maritime Heritage Center features exciting exhibits of all kinds including a full size replica of a schooner and shipwreck. You will be able to walk the decks and actually experience what a Great Lakes storm would feel like – all without getting your feet wet! That evening we go back in time via a horse drawn carriage ride over the Thunder Bay River and into the pines. A culinary delight awaits us for dinner that is prepared by gourmet artist Spenser James. There will also be a tasting of five to seven wines from the Stoney Acres Winery!
On day 3 we are joined by a docent from the Presque Isle Lighthouse who will impart the history and lore of the Lake Huron Light Station. It is the tallest lighthouse tower accessible by the public on the Great Lakes. If you are so inclined you may climb the 130 steps to the tower for a nominal fee. The view at the top is spectacular!
That afternoon we will visit the Great Lakes Lore Museum, a place specializing in memories, not just artifacts, of sailors from pre-colonial days to the present. Our next stop is the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse in Rogers City, built in 1896. Follow “Shipwreck Trail” to see what is left of the Joseph S. Fay, one of 27 wooden ships which sank in a fierce storm in 1905. We will conclude this fascinating tour when we cross the Might Mac, once the longest suspension bridge in the world! Hear the tales of the brave iron-workers who built this massive structure. This afternoon we will take a tour of Mackinaw City after which we board Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry for the ride to the island where you feel as if you stepped back in time. Horse drawn wagons line the area waiting to transport supplies and people to different areas of the island. Our accommodations for the night are at the Bicycle Street Inn, located right there on Main Street.
On Day 4 we will tour the island in carriages where you might experience moments of deja vu from the movie “Somewhere In Time”. The tour ends upon arrival at the Grand Hotel where we will have lunch at their fabulous 90 foot buffet! Following this feast – I can’t call it anything else – take some time to absorb the wondrous views of the water from the famous 660 foot front porch of the hotel. Relax on a rocking chair before you return to Main Street where you will find unique shops of all kinds in which to browse. Don’t forget to find one that makes fudge!
On Day 5 we return to the mainland where a Charlevoix guide joins us to share the architectural diversity of this lovely city. Highlighted are more than 30 homes designed by local architect Earl Young. Designed from the 1920’s – 1950’s, these “mushroom houses” are built of native stone and sport cedar shake roofs. Lunch will be at Castle Farms where you can enjoy a walking and tram tour through this unique facility. You will learn the rich history of Castle Farms from its original construction to the extensive restoration process from 2001 to the present. Our afternoon is highlighted with a stop at The Cherry Hut in Beulah, MI. This author can assure you the cherry pie and ice cream will take you back to dessert at Grandma’s house! Michigan cherries are the best, and the gift shop has all kinds of cherry products for you to browse. Tonight’s accommodations are at the Inn at Manistee National. This cozy, 42 room inn is surrounded by the Manistee National Forest. Dinner is included tonight at your leisure, ordering off a special tour menu.
Our last day on this totally one-of-a-kind trip is going to bring a smile to your face. How about a ride on a Saugatuck Dune Schooner for the most fun you will ever have in 30 minutes? How many people get to do that?? Don’t worry, this is totally safe and you will absolutely love it! Selfies are definitely encouraged! Our last stop before returning home is to the Silver Beach Carousel Museum. The horses, tigers, hippos, pandas, and clowfish, 48 in all, will delight you as you are once again five years-old, experiencing the feeling of riding a jungle animal, with the dips and the soars as you move beneath the thousands of twinkling lights. Two chariots are also available if your safari days are over!
I think all of us have to agree this is not the usual Mackinac/Upper Michigan trip! We will be doing all sorts of new and exciting things which will stay in our memories forever, all the while also enjoying some of the familiar. Call and ask for a brochure for your own pursual as this article doesn’t cover it all! The cost of this trip is $1739 pp. double, and $2275 single. Other accommodations are available – just ask your representative at Tri-State when you call them at 11-800-779-4869. The final deadline is July 1, 2019 to sign up, but there is no doubt in my mind this tour will sell out long before then!
This is a Tri-State Event
Visit Tri-StateTravel for more info, check availability and to purchase tickets.
For reservations, please contact Tri-State at 1-800-779-4869 or 563-359-1682.
Please note: Sell Outs are common so book early!