13 days in Michigan Itinerary

13 days in Michigan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Michigan Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  4​h
1
Detroit
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Grand Rapids
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Traverse City
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Mackinaw City
— 3 nights
ferry:  30​min
5
Mackinac Island
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + bus + taxi + Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

2
nights
Detroit

Detroit ©
Founded in 1701 by a French explorer and adventurer, Detroit exerted a profound impact on the world for most of the 20th century.
Popular historic sites such as Motown Museum and The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant are in your itinerary. Get a sense of the local culture at The Henry Ford and Yates Cider Mill. Step out of Detroit with an excursion to Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad in Flint--about 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Greenfield Village, admire the natural beauty at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, admire the masterpieces at Detroit Institute of Arts, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Islamic Center of America.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Detroit road trip planner.

Washington DC to Detroit is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. In September, Detroit is slightly colder than Washington DC - with highs of 75°F and lows of 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Grand Rapids.

Things to do in Detroit

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Dearborn, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad, Yates Cider Mill
Highlights from your plan
The Henry Ford ©
The Henry Ford
Greenfield Village ©
Greenfield Village
Detroit Institute of Arts ©
Detroit Institute of Arts

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.
On the 7th (Sat), admire the natural beauty at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, then examine the collection at Gerald R. Ford Museum, then examine the collection at Gilmore Car Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ninth Street Christian Reformed Church, take in the waterfront at Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier, then admire the landmark architecture of Meyer May House, and finally test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms.

To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Grand Rapids trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Detroit to Grand Rapids takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Grand Rapids can reach 76°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can go by car to Traverse City.

Things to do in Grand Rapids

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Gilmore Car Museum, Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier, Ninth Street Christian Reformed Church
Highlights from your plan
Gilmore Car Museum ©
Gilmore Car Museum
Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier ©
Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier

3
nights
Traverse City

Traverse City ©
Traverse City might be well known for its huge cherry industry, but its position along Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan endows it with fine scenery and a wealth of outdoor attractions.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and The Village at Grand Traverse Commons are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Popular historic sites such as Old Mission Lighthouse and Point Betsie Lighthouse are in your itinerary. Change things up with these side-trips from Traverse City: Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center (in Suttons Bay), Little Traverse Wheelway (in Petoskey) and Fishtown (in Leland). There's more to do: savor the flavors at Food & Drink and admire the natural beauty at Twisted Fish Gallery.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Traverse City itinerary builder app .

Getting from Grand Rapids to Traverse City by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. In September, daytime highs in Traverse City are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can drive to Mackinaw City.

Things to do in Traverse City

Historic Sites Parks Tours

Side Trips

Fishtown, Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Twisted Fish Gallery, Point Betsie Lighthouse
Highlights from your plan
Old Mission Lighthouse ©
Old Mission Lighthouse
Fishtown ©
Fishtown

3
nights
Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City ©
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site. Cross In The Woods National Shrine and USDA Iroquois Lighthouse will appeal to history buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mackinaw City: Sault Ste. Marie (Holy Name of Mary Church, Soo Locks, & more) and Tahquamenon Falls State Park (in Paradise). There's more to do: snap pictures at Mackinac Bridge and contemplate the long history of Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park.

For more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Mackinaw City online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Traverse City to Mackinaw City in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Traverse City in September, you will find days in Mackinaw City are a bit cooler (67°F), and nights are about the same (54°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to ride a ferry to Mackinac Island.

Things to do in Mackinaw City

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Sault Ste. Marie, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Cross In The Woods National Shrine, Mackinac Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Cross In The Woods National Shrine ©
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse ©
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

2
nights
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island ©
Mackinac Island is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. On the 15th (Sun), make a trip to Trinity Church, then immerse yourself in nature at Mackinac Island State Park, then explore the striking landscape at Arch Rock, and finally expand your understanding of the military at Fort Mackinac. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Caddywampus, steep yourself in history at Biddle House, identify plant and animal life at The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World, then contemplate the long history of Fort Holmes, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St Anne's Catholic Church.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Mackinac Island trip planner .

Mackinac Island is just a short distance from Mackinaw City. In September in Mackinac Island, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 54°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Mackinac Island

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Arch Rock ©
Arch Rock
Fort Mackinac ©
Fort Mackinac
St Anne's Catholic Church ©
St Anne's Catholic Church

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