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Drive through dense forests, past quaint villages and pretty lakeside towns on this peaceful Journey covering three of America’s Great Lakes. You’ll have the chance to get out on the water too, choosing between kayaking, boating or swimming, and taking the ferry to the dramatic Apostle Islands Caves and the old fashioned charm of Mackinac Island.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Chicago and check into your hotel.
Drive around the western edge of Lake Michigan to the picturesque village of Ephraim, found in the heart of the Door County Peninsula. A great place to explore by kayak, Jet Ski or paddle board, Ephraim’s activities are based around its lakeside location, although taking a scenic trolley tour and riding a dogsled are also possible. Don’t miss the Ephraim Historical Foundation and Village Museum, which helps preserve the village’s treasured historical buildings, opening them to visitors.
3.5* Eagle Harbour Inn
Head on to Green Bay, also on the shore of Lake Michigan. Famous for its Railroad Museum and its tasty cheese curd and bratwurst (nicer than it sounds), this town offers a fun-filled amusement park, a pretty botanical garden and a couple of wildlife sanctuaries. The mysterious House on the Rock, an eclectic collection of artworks and trinkets that looks like something from a fairytale, and the impressive Talisen, the former house of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, make excellent day trips.
3* Courtyard Middleton/Madison
Follow the Mississippi River to Winona, an island city found on a sandbar. Take a look around the many churches, including the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and the Stanislaus Kostka (the Polish Catholic Church), and admire the views from Garvin Heights Outlook. If it’s a sunny day, head outdoors and hike or cycle the riverside pathways or even cool off with a dip in the water at Latsch Island Beach. In winter it’s possible to cross country ski on over 10 miles of trails.
4* Alexander Mansion
Continue to pretty St Paul, one of the Twin Cities, the other being Minneapolis. St Paul is filled with historical sights – take a look at the castle-like Landmark Center and browse its galleries and exhibitions, or discover the prohibition-era secrets of the Wabasha Street Caves. The beautiful renaissance architecture of the Minnesota State Capitol and the pretty exterior of the Cathedral of St Paul are worth a look too.
4* The Common
Arrive into Bayfield on Lake Superior and take a boat to the Apostle Islands. This beautiful collection of 21 islets is blessed with windswept beaches and twisted natural rock formations, including a number of dramatic sea caves that you can explore by kayak. In winter, the caves freeze over to become impressive ice caves that you can walk or crawl through, but watch out for the icicles. For a different perspective, take a glass bottomed boat tour and spot long forgotten shipwrecks.
3.5* Old Rittenhouse Inn
Follow the beaches, forests and lakeside picnic spots to Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Take a stroll around the docks, browse the maritime museum and admire the world’s largest wooden dome, at the Superior Dome sports stadium. Walkers can delight in a number of excellent trails around Marquette, including the 20-minute Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, which offers lovely forest views, and the steep and twisty Hogsback Mountain Trail.
3* Landmark Inn
Take the ferry to Mackinac Island and admire the sculpted rock formations and Lake Huron views. Cycle the bike trails, kayak or cycle the shoreline or take a carriage tour of the grand Victorian architecture. If you’re a fan of cult 1980 film Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, you might recognise your hotel here – almost the entire movie was shot in the Grand Hotel and its graceful surrounds.
4* Grand Hotel
Tour the art galleries of Saugatuck, a real taste of small-town America on Lake Michigan’s eastern edge. The town features a number of chilled-out, lakeside beaches and in summer it’s possible to swim. Hire a boat, go fishing and ride the historic chain ferry, built in 1838, across the Kalamazoo River. For something a bit different, hold on tight as you ride a 4X4 across the Saugatuck dunes, learning about their formation and ecology as you go.
3* Beachway Resort and Hotel
Return to Chicago and depart for the UK.
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