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Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

Fairfax, California
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Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

Just posted this in Michigan forum. Thought I should post in Mackinac Island forum also

Daughter and I taking a mid West liberal arts and sciences colleges tour in late July early August. Will drive. Will travel from Kalamazoo College to Mackinac Island for 2 nights for some pure vacation time.

Next stop Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin. Drive time calculator clocks drive from Mackinac to Appleton at 6 1/2 hours. Route around the northern part of Lake Michigan looks very roundabout. Is 61/2 hours realistic? Is the road mountainous with lots of curves?

Would it be easier to backtrack south from Mackinac to Luddington to take the car ferry across Lake Michigan? Is the extra cost worth it - will we save time and effort? Thanks for any advice!

Michigan
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1. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

The ferry will add both time AND cost to your trip. The road across the UP is a little long, but its an easy drive.... 6 1/2 hours sounds about right.... it would take you 3 hours just to get back to Ludington, plus the ferry ride, then the drive to Appleton... enjoy your trip!

Wisconsin
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2. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

It seems to be a personal choice. We drove as it doesn't save that much time by the time you load, unload and cross. Some want the experience of the boat trip. We drove from central-eastern WI to Mackinac and even south to Traverse City. It's an easy drive. Absolutely NO mountains, maybe a few hills, lots of barns, trees and cows LOL. Lawrence is a wonderful university. Are you also checking out St. Norbert's? It's in the Green Bay area.

Gaylord, Michigan
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3. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

I don't think it would take you more than 5 1/2 hours for that drive. We did it last summer. The drive is so beautiful along the Lake Michigan coast and it is flat. That's the way I would go, for sure.

Chicago's North...
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4. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

personal preference...

the drive over the top of lake michigan is very pretty, with scenic stops along the way....

the ferry.....personally, i LOVE that ferry... probably taken it at least 15 times over the past 20 years... however, it will add $$ and time to your trip... the benefit is the novelty of sailing across lake michigan in a steamer... also, ludington is a nice beach town to hang in for the day, or just a few hours....

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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5. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

You shouldn't miss that chance to drive along the Lake Michigan shore on US-2. If you wish, we can suggest some pleasent stops along the way.

Fairfax, California
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6. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

Thanks all!

I think we will make the drive - sounds beautiful.

Northern California has lots of hills with twisty roads.

It will be fun to drive on flatter terrain for a change.

Frozen_Tundra - We'll look into St Norberts. Thanks for the suggestion.

Any dining suggestions for the drive from Kalamazoo to Mackinac Island?

Little Rock
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7. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

Re. Dining ...

Check the forums and the city listings for Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs. Many great lunch / dinner spots; some on the water too.

Also, legs inn is a unique place, polish food (lunch / dinner) on a bluff overlooking the water in Cross Village (North of Harbor Springs)

If you end up on I-75, Vivio's has great pizza (opens at 5pm, in Indian River, MI)

Douglas lake bar and grill, on Douglas Lake near Pelston, has great dinner ... reservations recommended on weekends

Edited: 3:19 pm, February 24, 2012
Wisconsin
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8. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

You won't find that kind of problem here .We spent 10 days in NC a few years ago. We learned two things about NC. 1) they don't care if you kill yourself by driving off the road. Guardrails are for SISSIES! 2) they don't believe in cross roads signs at intersections. They figure if you turned on that road, you darn will better make sure it was the right one, because we'll never tell you once you get on it!

We thought we were heading west to catch a scenic route towards Pinehurst. We pulled over to look at a map and some dear soul asked if we needed help. It turned out we had been on the wrong road for about 60 miles and were heading east, towards the interstate! Well, that worked too.

No, in the Midwest we've got lots of signs and pretty straight roads. It will be a piece of cake. Plus. whether you're in MI or WI, you've got a big lake somewhere nearby, so you can't get too lost. If you hit it, just turn around LOL!

Bay City, Michigan
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9. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

You are too funny, F T! :)

Antrim, New...
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10. Re: Help with route - ferry or highway Mackinac to N. Wisconsin

Just to add. The dilemma of driving across the UP is that the coast of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior are both so beautiful. If you can afford the time, take a day to go up to Pictured Rocks on the Lake Superior shore. Very beautiful.