3 Reasons to visit Michigan by RV

I am headed back home from a wonderful tour with my great friend and fellow RT owner, Laura, a Michigan native whom I met at the Branson Corporate Rally in May. We kept in touch on the Roadtreking: The Group  Facebook page and I managed to wrangle an invitation for a personal tour of her gorgeous state. This was Laura’s first time solo in her rig as her hubby, Cammo Ken (he wears it well), was out fishin’ wid ‘da boys.

The three of us first went over to a lovely campground, north of Detroit for a small rendezvous with 17 other RT owners and a great weekend. Then we dumped hubby back home and hit the road!

I fell in love with Michigan, there is so much to see and do- it was surprisingly hard to leave for 3 good reasons.

1. Water–  It’s everywhere.  5 big lakes line the shores: Michigan, Superior, St. Clair, Huron and Erie make it seem as if Michigan is an island in the ocean.  Then there are all the inland lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, springs and waterfalls.

Enjoying Lake Michigan

Enjoying Lake Michigan

Because of these shipping lakes, towns sprouted all over to support the lumber, fishing, farming, trapping and mining industries, bringing along with them big money and eventually tourists seeking outdoor recreational activities.  Everyone knows of the famous Mackinac Island with the Grand Hotel!

Sight seeing, shopping, canoeing, dune climbing, fishing, boating, swimming, fly swatting, mosquito slapping and sunset watching are practically mandatory.  One can bird watch, hunt or hike, ride an ATV or a horse. There are parks galore. Golf ‘til you drop.

Of course, the inland forests, parks, cities, farms and the rest are also incredible. And Michigan has done a great job with bike lanes for cyclists; even if the roads aren’t always in great shape, some intelligent entity planted wonderful tree buffers along most of the highways, making for lovely driving/cycling and less ugly highway view for homeowners.

2. Food–  After the rendezvous, we went north and over the famous Mackinac Bridge onto the Upper Penninsula to camp in the Hiawatha National Forest right along the lakeshore. Stunning! Then over to Whitefish Point and worked up an appetite. We stopped for some grub before starting our trek down the west shore on the blue ribbon M22 highway.

Man oh man is there some good eating! Fresh Walleye for my first dinner.  And the smoked fish is killer- delicate whitefish, trout or the heartier salmon are not to be missed.

Seriously good cherries! The state boasts hundreds of orchards with cute fruit stands everywhere. Many run on the honor system with a cash box so bring plenty of singles! Along with fresh apples, delicious and juicy apricots, you can feast on home made pies, chocolate popcorn, cookies or beautiful greens and veggies.

You must go to Pronto Pups in Grand Haven – a tiny stand on the shore with a line down the block! They’re like corn dogs, but battered instead. I had 2- I think it is a law. Go down the street to the bakery and try freshly baked Michigan Mittens, sugar cookies cut in the shape of the state, for dessert.

I had to sample Pasties (pronounced with a short “a” not to be confused with those twirly things in strip joints) to see if they were as good as my step-mother’s, and sorry Gillian, they were! They’re small, half moon pastries stuffed with cooked beef, seasonings and potatoes. They were miners’ lunches, easy to take down into the mines and hearty.  We also enjoyed a trendy version stuffed with spinach and feta.

Michigan cherries!

Michigan cherries!

Breakfast on local cherry pecan sausages and Michigan maple syrup with oat pancakes. There are dozens of Michigan cheeses, jerky and all manner of foods. For the sophisticated set, there are a host of very good wineries to whet your whistle, most offering taste tours. Michigan has excellent fine dining restaurants, too, making dieting tough.

3. Everything else– There’re about a ga-zillion campgrounds, B & B’s, hotels, motels and cottages for rent.  The historic lakeshore cottages, especially in Petosky are simply gorgeous.  Speaking of Petosky (I love that name), we spent a day hunting for the famous Petosky stones, which are coral fossils washed ashore and when polished, quite pretty.  Laura’s superior vision scored us some keepers.

A Petosky Stone fossil

A Petosky Stone fossil

More! Michigan is loaded with festivals and friendly people. Farms are out of picture books.  Went to a fabulous Frank Lloyd Wright home. There are a few hundred lighthouses and many can be toured. Museums galore. The arts and crafts industry is excellent, with high quality works.  Michigan is also known for its furniture makers, claiming the famous mid-century Herman Miller factory. The U.P. has the incredible Porcupine Wilderness with great backpacking. Keep sharp and you may get to see a black bear or gray wolf when you visit Michigan by RV!

I’ve not mentioned winter, as I haven’t experienced it, but saw spectacular photos and it looks like I’ll need to schedule another trip with my camera gear.

So if you get an invite from Laura P., take it! Not only is she a great tour guide, she is proud of her state and it shows. You may even get to meet Cammo Ken, if he isn’t busy making his custom fishing bait or out on one of those pretty lakes!

 

 




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  • Campskunk

    those pasties are the legacy the Cornish hard-rock miners left all over the place. everywhere there was hard-rock mining to be done, they’d show up and start making pasties, the taste for which lasted long after the mining strike did. i had no idea that the great lakes area was once a tropical sea full of coral, but ran into some Devonian fossils on the shore of Lake Erie a few months ago.

    i am going to have to figure out how to get to Michigan again – i hit it too early this year and the flies kept me moving. maybe this fall… we are talking about going back east and following the fall foliage down the east coast.

  • Cheryl

    How wonderful! On the bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

  • Laura HughesPostema

    Campskunk…If we’re here when you pass through we’d love to have you drop by our place. You can even boondock here if you like. Laura, loved having you here. And you are right…the winters are beautiful too.

  • Nancy

    You two sure had a great time. Laura P did a super job showing you our state in such a short time. Come back in the fall, the colorful foliage makes for a great picture when reflecting off the lakes and streams.
    Safe travels to ya!

  • Kristi

    Wow Laura, in a nut shell, you took in a lot of Michigan….noticed things I take for granted. Summer in Michigan is hard to beat! Was nice getting to see you again, and if you do come back in the winter time, we’ll have to plan a x-country ski weekend at the cabin.

  • Lisa

    Sounds like so much fun! I’ll have to check it out some day soon!

  • Jim Diepenbruck

    Laura, as you discovered, Michigan has endless things to do and places to see. I think you can appreciate Michigan’s motto “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”. For many years, the auto license plates displayed the motto “Water-Winter Wonderland so you’ll have to come back and enjoy the winter part.

  • Brian Barker

    Nice …Laura….I look forward to doing the same trip!!!

  • shari groendyk

    Wow, Laura, you really did capture a lot of the essence in Michigan on your travels here! I think Laura P. did a great job of pinpointing some of the highlights for sure.
    RT Campskunk, yes, the fall! You will love the northern Lower Peninsula, or if you choose to go further north, the Upper Peninsula, which is where the Cornish pasties are omnipresent. There is quite an enclave of Italian influence up around Iron Mountain too, as they also emigrated here in the 1800s to work in the mines.

  • Becky Selzer

    Laura,
    Sounds like an awesome adventure in Michigan!! You have revived my desire to vacation there. How could it miss with that LONG shoreline and great lakes within the state. ( Not to mention Mackinac and the wineries!)

    Becky

  • Betty Olsen

    We were there for two weeks and I wish we could have done another two weeks.

  • Charlie V. Smith

    .

  • Love !

  • Go back this summer

  • William Browne

    I think that it is the only reason we endure these cold snowy winters. ( Well that and grandchildren). Michigan has more to offer than people realize. RTers come and visit and stay awhile.

    • Gayle Fadden-Keffer

      RT ers?? whats that?

    • William Browne

      Roastrekers.

  • Michigan is a beautiful state. Made the most of seeing everything when I lived there.

  • We’re from Wisconsin. We went to Pictured Rocks last July – breathtaking. Michigan is truly a beautiful beautiful place. Most people think only of snow and cold when thinking of Michigan, especially the U. P. but is truly God’s country!

  • Porky,please pray for my sister Lori. She is in icu at Brunswick hospital.started with stomach virus sat.she really needs Gods touch! Thanks!

  • dont want to cross that bridge, no ty

  • Will be doing a long road trip from WA state to visit Michigan this year. Plan to walk across the “Big Mac” on Labor Day weekend.