13 days in Michigan & Madison Itinerary

13 days in Michigan & Madison Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Michigan & Madison Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  4​h 30​min
1
Dearborn
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + taxi + bus + ferry:  5​h
2
Mackinac Island
— 1 night
ferry:  30​min
3
Mackinaw City
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Empire
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Grand Rapids
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Madison
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  5​h 45​min
End: New York City

2
nights
Dearborn

Dearborn ©
Dearborn sits as part of the Detroit metropolitan area and was the home of Henry Ford.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The Henry Ford and Detroit Institute of Arts. You'll explore and learn at Greenfield Village and The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. When in Dearborn, make a side trip to see Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, approximately 1h 05 min away. There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Motown Museum, get engrossed in the history at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Old St. Mary's Church.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Dearborn trip itinerary maker site .

New York City to Dearborn is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from New York City in September: high temperatures in Dearborn hover around 75°F and lows are around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Mackinac Island.

Things to do in Dearborn

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Detroit, Toledo Museum of Art, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Highlights from your plan
The Henry Ford ©
The Henry Ford
Greenfield Village ©
Greenfield Village
Detroit Institute of Arts ©
Detroit Institute of Arts

1
night
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island ©
Mackinac Island is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): immerse yourself in nature at Mackinac Island State Park, then don't miss a visit to Fort Holmes, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Anne's Catholic Church, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Fort Mackinac.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Mackinac Island online travel route planner .

Do a combination of flight, bus, and ferry from Dearborn to Mackinac Island in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Dearborn in September, expect nights in Mackinac Island to be about the same, around 54°F, while days are little chillier, around 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can catch the ferry to Mackinaw City.

Things to do in Mackinac Island

Nature Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Mackinac Island State Park ©
Mackinac Island State Park
Fort Mackinac ©
Fort Mackinac
St Anne's Catholic Church ©
St Anne's Catholic Church

2
nights
Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City ©
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. On the 22nd (Sun), examine the collection at Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum Inc., then enjoy the sea views from Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, then snap pictures at Mackinac Bridge, and finally steep yourself in history at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Museum of Ojibwa Culture, walk around Colonial Michilimackinac, then visit a coastal fixture at McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site, then take an in-depth tour of Mackinaw Bridge Museum, and finally stop by JoAnn's Fudge.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Mackinaw City vacation planner .

Mackinaw City is just a short distance from Mackinac Island. In September, daily temperatures in Mackinaw City can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Empire.

Things to do in Mackinaw City

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Saint Ignace
Highlights from your plan
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse ©
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park ©

2
nights
Empire

Empire ©
Empire is a village in Leelanau County in the U.S. On the 24th (Tue), steep yourself in history at S.S. City of Milwaukee/ USCGC Acacia, then take a memorable drive along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, and then hike along Empire Bluff Trail. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sea views from Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, contemplate the long history of Fishtown, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Empire trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Mackinaw City to Empire takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Empire are 71°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can drive to Grand Rapids.

Things to do in Empire

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, S.S. City of Milwaukee/ USCGC Acacia, Fishtown
Highlights from your plan
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum ©
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum
S.S. City of Milwaukee/ USCGC Acacia ©

2
nights
Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids ©
The second largest city in Michigan and a hub of furniture manufacturing, Grand Rapids bears the nickname "Furniture City." However, the destination's original name came from the rapids of the Grand River that once ran through the downtown area.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): admire the landmark architecture of Meyer May House, then see the interesting displays at Gilmore Car Museum, then see the interesting displays at Gerald R. Ford Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Here are some ideas for day two: test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, then take in nature's colorful creations at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, then take in the waterfront at Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier, and finally savor the flavors at Holland Farmers Market.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Grand Rapids online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Empire to Grand Rapids in 3.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. In September in Grand Rapids, expect temperatures between 76°F during the day and 54°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Madison.

Things to do in Grand Rapids

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Gilmore Car Museum, Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier, Holland Farmers Market
Highlights from your plan
Gilmore Car Museum ©
Gilmore Car Museum
Gerald R. Ford Museum ©
Gerald R. Ford Museum
Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier ©
Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier

3
nights
Madison

Madison ©
Madison might be the capital of Wisconsin, but students rather than politicians give the city its identity.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Holy Hill, and then contemplate the long history of Old World Wisconsin. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a sense of history and politics at Wisconsin State Capitol, look for gifts at Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, then admire the striking features of Taliesin Preservation: Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center , and finally steep yourself in history at H.H. Bennett Studio.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Madison trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Grand Rapids to Madison takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or fly. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In September, plan for daily highs up to 75°F, and evening lows to 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Madison

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Old World Wisconsin, H.H. Bennett Studio, Taliesin Preservation: Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center , Holy Hill, Livsreise
Highlights from your plan
Old World Wisconsin ©
Old World Wisconsin
Olbrich Botanical Gardens ©
Olbrich Botanical Gardens

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