The Lake Michigan tour, or circle around Lake Michigan, is one of the most popular road trips in the Midwest – and for good reason. You drive through small towns, very big cities, and state parks – all while being just a few miles away from Lake Michigan at all times.
The duration of the trip itself takes 14.5 hours non-stop.
Mackinac City & Mackinac Island
A few ideas while you’re on the Island or in Mackinac City:
- Bike around the island
- Drive across the Mackinac Bridge
- Get some tasty fudge!
- Go shopping
Chicago and Milwaukee
Many people who do this road trip may want to skip these big cities, but visiting one or both of them may provide a bit of a change of scenery. A few ideas of what you could do while in Chicago or Milwaukee:
- Sports event
- Brewery tour
- Visit the parks
- Eat the local cuisine
Traverse City is one of the biggest cities that you will drive through on the tour. There is quite a lot to do in the area, including:
- Sleeping Bear Dunes
- Old Mission Peninsula
If you time your trip right, you could visit Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival – a ten-day celebration of cherries that takes place in downtown Traverse City with parades, concerts, fireworks, and much more.
Michigan Lake Towns
There are many fantastic towns that line the coast of the East side of Lake Michigan. A few popular towns to note of running North to South:
- Glen Arbor
- South Haven
- St. Joseph
- Michigan City
While stopping by each town, make sure to check out their beaches, many of them being some of the best in all of the Great Lakes.
Green Bay and Door County
Green Bay is well known for being the home of the Green Bay Packers and is a must stop for any Packers fan. Even if you are traveling outside of football season, you can stop by to get a guided tour of Lambeau Field.
Located a little less than an hour from downtown Green Bay, Door County is a popular vacation destination for families across the Midwest. You can visit one of the many state parks in Door County including Peninsula State Park, Whitefish Dunes State Park, Cave Point County Park, and Newport State Park.
“Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island” by Calm Vistas
Licensed under CC-BY 2.0