Destinations / North America / Michigan

The Ultimate Michigan Road Trip Itinerary: 10 Days In The Great Lakes State

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Offering access to four of the five Great Lakes, so much space that you’ll never feel crowded and glorious weather all summer, a Michigan road trip is the perfect getaway! But with plenty of things to do and see spread across the state’s two peninsulas, it can be tricky to put it all together.

Thanks to the help of some expert locals, we were able to craft the best Michigan road trip itinerary for our family trip. I’ve shared all our details below (including some things I would skip or change) so that you can get started planning your own amazing Michigan summer vacation!

Quick Overview

Days 1: Arrive in Detroit or Grand Rapids
Days 2-3: Northern Lower Peninsula
Days 4: Mackinac Island
Days 5: Eastern Upper Peninsula
Days 6-8: Munising
Days 9-10: Houghton

You can use this itinerary as a general guide, but feel free to modify it to suit your needs. It would be easy to expand this to a two week summer road trip itinerary by continuing south to Chicago at the end for a few days before you return home, as we did. Chicago offers much better flights than the small airports in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan anyway!

If you’re pressed for time, consider taking Houghton off the itinerary and departing from Marquette (45 minutes from Munising) or Green Bay (3 hours from Munising).

Of course you can always reverse the order of this Michigan road trip itinerary if it’s more convenient for you.

Michigan Road Trip Logistics

  • Our family did almost exactly this itinerary, departing from our home in Columbus Ohio. We did it as a loop, heading down to Chicago for several days after leaving Michigan. It would have been slightly faster to double back and head down via the Lower Peninsula – but where’s the fun in that?

    For those who live outside of the area, you’ll want to price out several combinations of flight and rental car options. The most convenient airport to start you off is Grand Rapids, followed by Detroit. If you choose either of those, you’ll probably need a one-way car rental and can look at dropping off and flying back from Houghton (CMX), Marquette (MQT) or even Green Bay (GRB).

    Alternatively, it’s easy enough to do the whole road trip as a loop beginning and ending in Chicago – you’d just have one long day of driving on either end.
  • The first part of this itinerary is pretty fast-paced, and that’s in part because the Upper Peninsula is the star of the show but it’s far from most decent sized airports. One option to minimize short stays is to drive straight from the Detroit or Grand Rapids airport to Mackinaw City (4 hours) the day you arrive and start off with two nights on Mackinac Island. You could then extend your time in the eastern UP to two nights to explore slower.
  • I strongly recommend that you book far in advance if you’re planning a summer trip to Michigan. I locked down all of our accommodations eight months in advance but there were still some places where our options were limited because we were late to the party.
  • To save big on your accommodations, grab this credit card ASAP. We got it after we had already booked our hotels but it would have covered two of them and saved us a lot of money!
  • Many areas of the Upper Peninsula are remote and quite undeveloped. There are pockets – especially along Lake Superior – where you won’t have cell phone service. I recommend that you use the Google Maps app to download the map above for offline use, which you’ll need to do when you have WiFi. Alternatively you may want to have a map like this one available to you. We had a paper map with us in one of our guidebooks but unfortunately there were some inaccuracies.
  • If you’re driving your own car, bring a cooler and ice packs to keep a supply of water, snacks and lunch foods on hand. We did lots of picnic lunches, as restaurants are sometimes sparse and almost always more expensive than they would be elsewhere. We opted to book hotels that included breakfast for simplicity and to start our days faster, but you can also throw in some yogurt, cereal and shelf-stable milk if you plan to stay in vacation rentals.
  • Each State Park charges is $11 per car for admission. We chose to buy the $39 non-resident annual pass at the first State Park we visited to give us flexibility and contribute to the upkeep of these beautiful sites. If you’re planning a Michigan roadtrip on a budget, you can map your itinerary to decide what’s right for you.

10 Day Michigan Road Trip Itinerary

Time to get into the details of our 10 day Michigan summer road trip itinerary!

1 Day in Detroit (or nearby)

Most people embarking on a Michigan road trip will start in the Lower Peninsula, with Detroit being the typical starting point thanks to the presence of the state’s largest airport. To get your bearings once you fly in, spend the night in Detroit or the nearby college town of Ann Arbor.

If you’re arriving early enough in the day and prefer to focus more time on the charming hamlets further north, you can skip this part and drive straight north – it’ll take you about four hours from Detroit to Petoskey or one of the nearby communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Things to do in Detroit

  • The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation – This neat museum has a little bit of everything, from Presidential limousines and the actual bus Rosa Parks refused to leave to an exhibit focused on math and illusions.
  • Ford Rouge factory tour – Want to see how cars are made? Sign up for a Ford factory tour! Production only occurs on weekdays before 2pm (earlier is better) so time your visit accordingly.
  • Motown Museum – Learn all about the history of Motown and see where the hits were made! We’ve tried to go twice and been foiled both time – be sure to reserve your tickets when they become available three weeks in advance.
  • Enjoy Ann Arbor – Stop into quaint Ann Arbor to explore its vibrant, hip Main Street. If you’re really lucky you’ll be there for the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is the largest juried art fair in the US. We had a great time and bought some fun art from a variety of artists! Don’t miss lunch at Zingerman’s Deli, and consider calling in your order the night before to avoid long lines at this deservedly iconic spot.

Where to stay in Detroit

2 Days in Northern Lower Peninsula

If you’re looking to start off your Michigan vacation with some relaxation, head to the northwest edge of “the Mitten” to kick things off. Folks here refer to Lake Michigan as “big lake” but routinely enjoy plenty of activities on the numerous small lakes dotting the region.

Things to do in Northern Lower Peninsula

Your time here doesn’t need a huge to-do list to be honest. Depending on where you stay, you could easily pass a few days lounging on the beaches of Lake Michigan, kayaking on a smaller lake (since the big lake is too rough) and enjoying ice cream and slices of Americana in the many cute towns around the area like Petoskey, Charlevoix and Harbor Springs.

In case you prefer some more specific adventures check out thse fun things to do in the area:

  • Boyne Mountain – This ski resort transforms into an adventure center in the summer, boasting zip lines, the “world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge”, chairlift rides, horseback riding and more.
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – This picturesque Federally protected land is a favorite of many in the region. There are incredible 450 foot high bluffs and plenty of dunes to run around on and slide down.
  • Torch Lake – You’d be forgiven for seeing photos here and thinking it’s the Caribbean thanks to the crystal clear shallow waters. There’s no real beach here though, you’ll want to enjoy the lake either by boat or swimming near the sandbar where the water is warmest.

Where to stay in Northern Lower Peninsula

Exactly where to stay depends on what you want to do, how far in advance you book and whether you prefer a hotel or a vacation rental (but note that many of these have a one week minimum in the busy summer season). Your drive time to Mackinaw City or St. Ignace will also depend on where you stay in this area.

  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Petoskey – While there’s no great view here, it’s conveniently located for access to the adorable towns of Petoskey, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and more.
  • Inn at Bay Harbor – The most luxurious property in the region, with an amazing lakeside location, spa, golf and more.
  • Stafford’s Bay View Inn – Sweet b&b right on the lake filled with a combination of homey yet classy charm.
  • Torch Lake vacation home – If you’re excited about the warm, turquoise waters of Torch Lake or Sleeping Bear Dunes, grab this vacation home that’s just a 5 minute walk from the shore! It’s also a quick drive to the town of Bellaire, which has plenty of shops and restaurants.

Restaurants around Northern Lower Peninsula

There are a million restaurants in the area to try, but my biggest tip would be to pick spots by the water for the evenings (and bring a sweater).

  • Barrel Back Restaurant – Great views and good food on Walloon Lake. This is on the second floor, so if you can get a window table you’ll be warm while enjoying the scenery!
  • Pier Restaurant – Dockside dining in Harbor Springs, with an emphasis on locally-caught fish and seafood.
  • Symon’s General Store – Perfect lunch stop for custom deli sandwiches in Petoskey, either to eat at the picnic tables in the adjacent park or to take to nearby Petoskey State Beach.
  • American Spoon – This Michigan fruit preserve company has stores located in many towns along the Michigan coast, but if you go to their Petoskey location (next to Symon’s) you can enjoy those preserves made into delicious gelato!

1 Day on Mackinac Island

Many Michiganders look to Mackinac Island (pronounced “Mackinaw”) as a way to step back in time. The island has been a sacred gathering space for the local Indigenous communities since long before French fur traders arrived in the 1600s. Without a bridge to connect Mackinac to the mainland ever, much of the island’s historic character has been maintained.

Access remains by boat and on-island transportation is restricted to horses, bikes, occasional mobility scooters for those with physical challenges, and personal snowmobiles in the winter. Even golf carts are (supposed to be) relegated to golf courses.

You’ll reach the island by ferry, and can take either Star Line or Shepler’s. I’ve heard recommendations for both and I really don’t think it matters which one you take, though Shepler’s is a little less expensive. Both companies offer departures from Mackinaw City (Lower Peninsula) and St. Ignace (Upper Peninsula) – if you get to the area early in the morning, you may opt for St. Ignace so that you’re crossing the Mackinac Bridge in low traffic.

You’ll save a few dollars by purchasing in advance online if you’re positive about your departure location, and if you’re visiting as a group or family look for the 3-4 packs of tickets for real savings. Shepler’s offers free day parking at both ports but you’ll have to pay for overnight parking with both companies at both locations.

Some visitors opt to bring their own bikes to Mackinac Island on the ferry, which is understandable because rentals are $50-60 for 4 hours! For most visitors just biking the loop with some stops (more info on that below) 2-3 hours should be sufficient. But if you’re bringing your own bike or trailer prepare to pay around $20 for its ferry ticket in addition to yours.

Since we had several weeks worth of gear in our van and only planned for one night on the island, we each brought a backpack for our overnight needs. The front desk of the Chippewa Hotel was kind enough to store them for us while we went biking.

Things to do on Mackinac Island

  • Bike around Mackinac Island – There’s a perfect 8 mile loop around Mackinac Island that brings you to stunning rock formations, beautiful stone beaches, historic sites and more. It’s a can’t-miss activity if you’re physically able! We spent just over two hours looping the island, including leisurely stops in several places, trekking up the steep stairs to Arch Rock and getting ice cream at British Landing. There are several rental companies right at the dock when you get off the ferry and they’re all about the same. We found a wide selection of high-quality adult and kids bikes, plus trailers and tag-a-longs for younger kids (or less confident riders). Be sure to dip your toes in Lake Huron!
  • Mackinac Island carriage tour – If you aren’t able to cycle or prefer not to, hop on a carriage operated by the world’s largest horse and buggy livery! The scenic carriage tours visit many of the island’s main attractions including Arch Rock, the Grand Hotel, the butterfly conservatory and Ford Mackinac. At the Fort this tour offers a “hop-on hop-off” option, which is the only way to visit For Mackinac without climbing a massive hill.
  • Fort Mackinac – Perched high above the harbor, the 18th century Fort Mackinac still stands sentinel over the town below. It was constructed during the American Revolution and much of it remains largely as it was. There are plenty of fascinating things to do here in the span of an hour or two: attend one of many demonstrations throughout the day including cannon firing, check out the infrastructure that supported soldiers’ daily lives and even read the stories of officer’ families who were stationed there over time.
  • Mackinac town historic sites – When you purchase a combo ticket for For Mackinac, you’ll also have access to several historic buildings in the town below. There are interesting for the stories they tell as well as demonstrations of life on the island during and shortly after the colonial period. We enjoyed both the blacksmith demonstration as well as the cooking demonstration.
  • Butterfly House – We didn’t have time to visit either of the butterfly conservatories on Mackinac Island, but yes there are two! Based on recommendations I’ve received, I’d head to Butterfly House if time allows. It offers 1800 square feet of tropical gardens housing myriad butterflies and other interesting insects and is located just east of town – you’ll be only a block away as you head out to cycle around the island’s loop.

Where to stay on Mackinac Island

It can be tricky to find places to stay on Mackinac Island for just one night in the summer! Many properties have a two night minimum because it’s peak season and the island has strict zoning laws so you won’t find many true vacation rentals.

  • Pontiac Lodge – If you plan to spend 2 nights on Mackinac Island, consider the much-loved Pontiac Lodge. It’s in the heart of town, walking distance to plenty of restaurants, shops and sites.
  • Mission Point Resort – This b&b on the outskirts of town looks lovely and offers a variety of room sizes, and without the fanciness of The Grand Hotel. But it still doesn’t come cheap, so be sure to check prices before you commit.
  • Sunset Condominiums – We stayed at this “condotel” right near Woods Restaurant and let’s say that it wasn’t our favorite place. Despite not being cheap (compared with non-Mackinac pricing) it really wasn’t great. No AC (or working bug screens), paper thin walls, very tired furnishings… but the upside is that it was one of the only places on the island I could book for one night, even eight months in advance.

Restaurants on Mackinac Island

You’re unlikely to find much “budget” dining (or anything else) on Mackinac due to both its popularity as a tourist destination as well as the expense and logistical challenges of island life.

  • The Pink Pony – This 75 year old restaurant is so iconic that it’s basically the first thing you’ll see as you pull into the harbor, with the pink umbrellas fronting the Chippewa Hotel coming into view. It offers solid food and refreshing drinks. It also offers long lines (particularly when there’s a yacht race coming on to the island) so you might consider putting your name down as soon as you arrive on Mackinac and then going to do something else – we went for a bike ride around the island after storing our larger backpack with the helpful front desk at the hotel. Don’t miss the gift shop and free fudge samples as well!
  • Woods Restaurant – This lodge-like outpost of The Grand Hotel sits on the far side of the island near Sunset Rock. Attire is a little less formal than at the Hotel itself (since you’ll either be trekking on dirt roads or riding in a horse-drawn carriage to get there) but you’ll still find ladies in dresses and some men in summer suits. We dined on the patio, which is lovely and charming.

    The food at Woods Restaurant is good but not life-changing (which you might expect at the price point). I would say it’s a “go for the experience” type of restaurant. Apparently there’s a duck pin bowling inside to enjoy while you wait but our otherwise excellent server didn’t mention it to us or our kids. Speaking of kids, in addition to a children’s menu they can do a child portion of some main dishes if you arrive early enough.

    If you plan to dine at Woods Restaurant, be sure to call a few days in advance to reserve a table at your preferred time. We opted to eat on the early side and then enjoy the sunset afterward (though the typical Michigan cloud cover didn’t oblige).
  • Doud’s Market – If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to get food on Mackinac Island, Doud’s is a good choice. There’s an ample selection of snacks, breakfast and even pizza. If you visit their “Market & Deli” location near Shepler’s ferry they have sandwiches as well. We popped in and grabbed yogurt and muffins to eat while we waited for a morning ferry back to the mainland and it worked out perfectly.

1 Day in the Eastern Upper Peninsula

Once you cross the “mighty Mac” (aka Mackinac bridget), the largest single-span suspension in the western hemisphere, you’ll arrive in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Many people blast through this area and head straight to Munising, but I think it offers enough fun things to do that it’s worth staying the night.

Things to do in the eastern Upper Peninsula

  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park – This is the star of the show! These are the biggest waterfalls in Michigan and some of the largest in the eastern half of North America (though we’ve seen some very impressive ones in Niagara Falls, Finger Lakes and Quebec in the last year as well).

    The Upper Falls can be viewed from an accessible viewing area above or from a viewing platform that’s down a length set of stairs – but worth the walk if you can do it.

    We spent most of our time at the Lower Falls and you probably will too! Put on your swimsuit or water-friendly clothes and shoes and prepare to get wet. Lower Tahquamenon Falls is a great place for sure-footed adventurers to feel the cascades up close. You can either rent a rowboat or take the boardwalk out to the island in the middle of the river, where you’ll find visitors of all ages splashing and having fun. Do be careful, as there are some slippery patches of stone.

    One of the first things you’ll probably notice is the color of the water: it’s a rich brown, earning the site the nickname “Rootbeer Falls”. Just know that the water at Tahquamenon Falls is clean enough to swim in! The color is caused by tannins from nearby tree bark leeching into the water.
  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – This fascinating, well-done museum shares the tragic histories of some of the thousands of ships that have met their end in this treacherous part of the Great Lakes region. The experience is equal parts memorial, story-telling and an opportunity to learn about marine archeology. You can easily spend several hours exploring the complex, which also includes the historic lightkeeper’s quarters which share the human side of the site. Allow 2-3 hours to explore the entire museum, including a video about the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
  • Whitefish Point – Right behind the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is the beautiful beach at Whitefish Point. It has a nice sandy stretch and then a rocky entry as is typical of Lake Superior beaches. This is the perfect place to practice your stone skipping! I recommend wearing a swimsuit or water-friendly clothing along with some sort of water-friendly footwear, as it’s a shame not to enjoy the relatively warm shallow water here.
  • MI Dog – This awesome sled dog training facility is the perfect place to go if you’re on a Michigan road trip with kids! Owner Laura Neese is a long-distance musher and she opens her kennel up to visitors in the summer. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about dog sledding and the close relationship between a musher and her team, and also cuddle some adorable husky puppies! We visited another small kennel in Alaska with the kids and it turns out they even know each other.

    We had originally planned to visit a roadside animal attraction in Newberry, but read some upsetting information on how the animals are treated. If that’s on your radar, please be sure to research it thoroughly.

Where to stay in the eastern Upper Peninsula

I’ll be totally honest that we didn’t like where we stayed in Newberry, but everything in Paradise was booked eight months in advance or required a multi-night stay.

  • Tahquamenon Suites Lodging – Simple but clean accommodations in an excellent location in Paradise! Just 15 minutes from both the falls and Whitefish Point. This hotel does have a two night minimum, so it’s only an option if you’re planning a slower pace in this area.
  • Americas Best Value Inn Tahquamenon Country – If you’re just staying one night in the eastern UP, congrats… this is where you’ll be staying unless you decide to camp. It was “fine” but not a place we would have voluntarily stayed for a second night.

3 Days in Munising

Miners Castle in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising Michigan during golden hour

Munising is one of the major highlights of the Upper Peninsula. There are so many things to do in Munising itself and in the surrounding area that you could easily extend your visit here to a fourth day.

We spent our arrival day and all of the following day exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the next day in and around Manistique and then visited the sites in and around Marquette en route to our next stop. That UP itinerary worked very well!

Get more details: Awesome Things to do in Munising MI: A Road Tripper’s Guide

Things to do in Munising

  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – These iconic rainbow-hued sandstone cliffs are the biggest draw to Munising and should be at the top of your Upper Peninsula bucket list!
  • Sand Point beach – Sand Point offers warm water and beautiful sunsets, plus a convenient location close to town.
  • Pictured Rocks boat tour – To get a close up look at the cliffs, take a trip with Pictured Rocks Cruises. If the weather looks good, I recommend taking the last classic cruise that’s before the sunset cruise for brilliant colors and views in both directions.
  • Kitch-iti-kipi – The “big cold spring” at Palms Book State Park is stunning! As you go across on a rope-propelled raft, you’ll see fish and wreckage below all the way to its 40ft depth. Plan to leave Munising first thing in the morning, as the drive is just under an hour and lines get long after lunch.
  • Manistique – This cute town near Kitch-iti-kipi offers a warm, calm Lake Michigan beach at ThompsonRogers Roadside Park. You can visit the lighthouse in town as well.
  • Lakenenland – Awesome privately owned but publicly accessible sculpture garden. Artist Tom Lakenen transforms scrap material into large-scale, interactive art. Wear your good walking shoes because you’ll be getting a lot of steps in!
  • Marquette – For a totally different vibe, head to this quirky college town for lunch and a stroll on your way to Houghton. It’s also home to the iconic red Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.
  • Sugarloaf Mountain – One of the best hikes in the Upper Peninsula. It’s about a 1.5 mile loop, but covers around 1,000 feet of elevation (some of that is on graded trail and some is on stairs). I’d rate it “moderate” and family-friendly. The views from the top are simply stunning!

Where to stay in Munising

  • Holiday Inn Express Munising – Lakeview – We stayed here and it was excellent! If you book a balcony room (as we did) you can actually see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from you room. There’s a huge indoor pool, a lovely patio looking out to Lake Superior and rooms for up to six people!
  • Roam Inn – If you’d rather stay in town, consider Roam Inn. It’s upstairs from the excellent Tracey’s restaurant, which is the perfect place to enjoy a high-end dinner while admiring the colorful sky over Lake Superior. Roam Inn offers rooms for two or four people.

Restaurants near Munising

  • Tracey’s – As I mentioned above, this is the place to be for fine dining in Munising. Be sure to reserve a patio table shortly before sunset and grab a cocktail while you wait for your dinner to arrive.
  • Pictured Rocks Pizza – Grab a top-quality pie to go and enjoy it as the sun goes down at nearby Sand Point beach. If it’s already dark, you can take advantage of their large turf patio to hang out on a summer evening over pizza and a soda.
  • Frosty Treats – Fantastic sundaes in the heart of Marquette!
  • Clyde’s Drive In – Burger lovers will have a great time at the Manistique outpost of this UP favorite. The food is delicious, fresh and affordable. There’s even a “Jr. Burger” for those with a smaller appetite, which ran us $3.45 in 2023.

2 Days in Houghton

Houghton is as far north as you’ll stay on this Upper Peninsula Michigan road trip, and it’s so far north that my cell phone welcomed me to Canada while we explored the Keweenaw Peninsula!

If you’re able to add an extra day to your Michigan summer itinerary, consider doing it here and taking a day trip to Isle Royale National Park – you can go by seaplane directly from Houghton or by ferry from Copper Harbor (there’s also a ferry from Houghton but it’s far too long to be practical for a day trip).

Get more details: 6 Unforgettable Things to do in Houghton, Michigan

Things to do in Houghton

  • Quincy Mine tour – This is an excellent tour of a massive copper mine complex, but it also gives you a fascinating look at the Keweenaw Peninsula’s rise and fall over the 20th century. This site is part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, and you’ll see the impressive above-ground facilities in addition to taking a lengthy walk in the mine. Best for kids 8+.
  • Adventure Mining Company – This is another option for a mine tour near Houghton Michigan, but with optional “thrill” experiences for teens and adults.
  • Chutes and Ladders playground – Massive climbing and slides playground along the waterfront in downtown Houghton.
  • Brockway Mountain Drive – This scenic road between Silver River Falls and the village of Copper Harbor offers great scenic lookouts that don’t require any hiking. Just keep your eyes peeled for the very obvious places to stop.
  • Agate Beach – This pretty spot just west of Copper Harbor is the perfect place to go hunting for agates and other beautiful rocks.
  • Astor Shipwreck Park – This lovely beach park is just outside the bounds of Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. It’s an awesome place to relax and enjoy views of the Copper Harbor lighthouse as you wrap up your epic Michigan roadtrip!

Of course there are also tons of hiking trails in the area if you’re looking for active exploration!

Where to stay in Houghton

Restaurants near Houghton

  • Harbor Haus – A delicious dinner in Copper Harbor for the last night of your Michigan UP road trip! It’s not cheap, and you’ll want to make a reservation a few days in advance.
  • Milly’s Hancock – Great pizza spot in Hancock
  • Keweenaw Co-Op Market & Deli – Perfect lunch stop thanks to their awesome sandwiches at the deli counter in the back

What to Pack for a Michigan Road Trip

There are a few things you’ll definitely want to pack for a summer road trip in Michigan. We brought these and found them very helpful!

  • A paper map – Some of these areas, particularly Upper Peninsula, don’t have great phone service. I suggest downloading maps to use offline in the Google Maps app, but also bringing this paper map as backup.
  • A cooler – This route covers about 1,000 miles so there are plenty of days when you’ll wind up driving around mealtime! We were really happy to have this adorable (and effective) cooler and these serious ice packs (2 of the XL size) with us for picnic lunches, quick hotel breakfasts and snack breaks. Everything stayed cold when we needed it to and the cooler has enough organization to consolidate paper plates, utensils, paper towels and even a bottle opener. We also brought collapsible silicone containers, which were helpful for snacks, blueberry picking and even sandwiches.
  • Summer clothing (mostly) – We were able to get away with almost exclusively summer clothes. In addition, we each brought one pair of jeans, one pair of hiking pants, a long sleeve t-shirt and a fleece or sweatshirt. Thankfully it’s a pretty easy trip to pack light for.
  • Water-friendly shoes – While I’m personally not a fan of Keens, something along those lines is ideal footwear for a summer trip to Michigan. Once you leave the lower peninsula, most of the beaches have rocky entries and you’ll really appreciate having something protecting your feet. If you like Keens, you may be able to use them as your only footwear!
  • Bug repellant – We had fewer bug challenges than we feared, but in general you’ll find plenty of mosquitos in northern Michigan. Bring insect repellant wipes for easy application when you know you’ll be outside for a long time.
  • National Parks passport – The perfect way to remember your Michigan road trip is by getting stamps in your National Parks passport! Opportunities include Pictured Rocks, Sleep Bear Dunes, Isle Royale, Keweenaw NHP and more. Just bring your passport inside any visitors center and use the provided stamps.

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