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Old 05-10-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Another option might be the Silver Lake area of Michigan

https://thinkdunes.com/

The nearby Michigan's adventure theme park has a number of small human-friendly attractions

https://www.miadventure.com/
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Rochester NY
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I would recommend the Lake Ontario New York region of the Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence Seaway. Very beautiful in the summer time. Lots of cool places, small town, and land marks to visit.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
Is Traverse City a good base to explore these counties?
Yes. TC is smack in the middle of those counties. It is Northern Michigan's only large city with all the things a larger city would offer (including kiddie attractions). The dunes (Sleeping Bear) will fascinate you and the kids. Kids like sand. There's mountains of sand there. And deep blue water, too. Both Lake Michigan's shoreline, and the inland lakes literally sitting in a gigantic mound of sand. This would be Leelanau County and also NW Benzie County - both a stone's throw from TC.

Ludington and the nearby state park are real nice, too. The state park offers lots of room to roam.

If you're into first class sunsets, these areas are primo. We're talking Pacific coast without having to go to the Pacific coast.

In a year like this, water temperature in that part of Lake Michigan probably won't get to 70+ until late July. Plan accordingly.

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 05-10-2019 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
Yes. TC is smack in the middle of those counties. It is Northern Michigan's only large city with all the things a larger city would offer (including kiddie attractions). The dunes (Sleeping Bear) will fascinate you and the kids. Kids like sand. There's mountains of sand there. And deep blue water, too. Both Lake Michigan's shoreline, and the inland lakes literally sitting in a gigantic mound of sand. This would be Leelanau County and also NW Benzie County - both a stone's throw from TC.

Ludington and the nearby state park are real nice, too. The state park offers lots of room to roam.

If you're into first class sunsets, these areas are primo. We're talking Pacific coast without having to go to the Pacific coast.

In a year like this, water temperature in that part of Lake Michigan probably won't get to 70+ until late July. Plan accordingly.
TC would not be my first choice. Kids love Mackinac Island with the horse-drawn carriages and the quaint feel of the island. TC is more than 2 hours from there and since you have to take a ferry as well, it makes it kind of an inconvenient trek. Someplace like Charlevoix/Petoskey is more in the middle and has relatively easy access to both the dunes area attractions and Mackinac Island. Petoskey is a little bigger and the downtown is not a bad size. I stayed there last year and found it to be pretty convenient and a little more reasonably priced than TC.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:09 PM
 
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You have a week why not do both MI and WI. Both are worth a visit and you can use the ferry to avoid driving through Chicago and Indiana.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Brew City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
TC would not be my first choice. Kids love Mackinac Island with the horse-drawn carriages and the quaint feel of the island. TC is more than 2 hours from there and since you have to take a ferry as well, it makes it kind of an inconvenient trek. Someplace like Charlevoix/Petoskey is more in the middle and has relatively easy access to both the dunes area attractions and Mackinac Island. Petoskey is a little bigger and the downtown is not a bad size. I stayed there last year and found it to be pretty convenient and a little more reasonably priced than TC.
Sure, if you're staying somewhere just to be able to drive away from it easily.

Charlevoix is an amazingly quaint town but there is less to do in the immediate area. If the only goal is to be set in between the two farthest points I guess Petoskey would win?
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:43 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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If you wish to get out on the Lake, there's a ferry that crosses from Mantowoc to a coastal city in Michigan, I'm sure the kids would love it.

My personal favorite is Lake Superior and dock out in Poor Man's San Francisco: Duluth!
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:49 PM
 
2,630 posts, read 1,933,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
TC would not be my first choice. Kids love Mackinac Island with the horse-drawn carriages and the quaint feel of the island. TC is more than 2 hours from there and since you have to take a ferry as well, it makes it kind of an inconvenient trek. Someplace like Charlevoix/Petoskey is more in the middle and has relatively easy access to both the dunes area attractions and Mackinac Island. Petoskey is a little bigger and the downtown is not a bad size. I stayed there last year and found it to be pretty convenient and a little more reasonably priced than TC.
For great scenery of water and woods, a drive up M-119 "Tunnel of Trees" is in order. It starts in Harbor Springs. There are some openings for awesome sunset views. At the north end, there is a Polish restaurant in Cross Village with lake views.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Illinois
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This all depends on what is important to you! If you like laid back small towns with nothing exciting, or you like fishing, or walks in the woods, a quick dip,playground, etc. then numerous towns will do. But if you are like me, very well traveled in US and have seen beautiful sights, then these towns will probably bore you quickly. I don't like prairie, do you? Are you interested in small lakes? I'm not, having been to Chicago and Florida beaches many times. don't have high expectations for thrills. Though families like Wisconsin Dells, I hear.
I just returned from St Joseph Michigan. Okay but no biggie to me. It is NOT the "French Riviera of the Midwest" as they say!

So many midwest towns advertise that they have more to see than they really do. Their websites/brochures stretch the truth.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:57 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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I think MI has the most to offer in terms of the Great Lakes. I planned a trip last year to Grand Haven, MI and was there for a couple of days -- it was great. I didn't have a lot of time to spend there, as I was en route to Chicago, but if I had a week, I would have stayed a few days in Grand Haven, and then driven further north to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau | Sleeping Bear Dunes
It looks like a great place that I wish I'd had time to explore. A friend recommended it to me.

If you really want a grand Great Lakes experience, I might then continue up to Mackinac Island and then on to Sault St. Marie. That's a trip I'd really like to do.
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