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Classic Great Lakes Self-Drive

14 days from €3,250pp

Includes flights
What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary highlights

  • Visit the cosmopolitan city of Chicago.

  • Explore the tranquil shores of lakes Michigan and Superior.

  • Go walking or cycling on car-free Mackinac Island.

  • Look for wildlife in Michigan's unspoilt Upper Peninsula.

Price includes

Scheduled international flights
Fully insured vehicle hire
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  • Chicago
  • Milwaukee
  • Door Peninsula
  • Marquette
  • Mackinaw City
  • Mackinac Island
  • Mackinaw City
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Saugatuck, Michigan

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from Ireland.

Day 1 Chicago

International outbound flight , Chicago

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Chicago. Upon arrival, make your way to your hotel which is located in the heart of the city. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy.

Day 2 Chicago

Chicago

Enjoy a day in the 'windy city'. This morning, visit 360 Chicago, one of the city's tallest buildings, for far-reaching views of Navy Pier, the beaches along Lake Michigan, and the buildings and shops of the Magnificent Mile. No visit is complete without seeing Cloud Gate, or simply 'the bean' in Millennium Park and this area is also home to most of the city's museums. We have included an architecture boat cruise along the river in the afternoon, and then you will have some time to relax this evening.

Day 3 Milwaukee

Chicago , Milwaukee

Collect your hire car and drive along the western shore of Lake Michigan to the city of Milwaukee. There is time this afternoon to explore this lakefront city and enjoy its resurgent shops, restaurants and nightlife.

Day 4 Door Peninsula

Milwaukee , Door Peninsula

Spend a day exploring Milwaukee including the Pabst Theatre, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Greek Orthodox Church, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The highlight for many though is the Harley Davidson museum which celebrates over 100 years of these iconic motorcycles.

Accommodation

Day 5 Door Peninsula

Door Peninsula

Leaving Milwaukee, drive along the Door Peninsula to the little town of Ephraim. This scenic peninsula has 300 miles of shoreline, 11 lighthouses, and is known for its cherry and apple orchards. There are five state parks that provide opportunities for walking, cycling, swimming and fishing.

Accommodation

Day 6 Marquette

Door Peninsula , Marquette

From Ephraim, drive along highway 41, a scenic road that hugs Green Bay and passes through the Escanaba River State Forest and Hiawatha National Forest to Marquette, a town well-loved for its outdoor activities.

Accommodation

Day 7 Marquette

Marquette

Michigan's Upper Peninsula is lightly populated and full of picturesque forests, lakes and mountains. Its many state parks are a haven for wildlife including black bears, wolves, and bird life. Moose in particular thrive in large numbers here. There is also a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy including wonderful walking trails, fishing, kayaking and mountain biking. Marquette itself offers two lake-side beaches and is a diving hotspot.

Accommodation

Day 8 Mackinac Island

Marquette , Mackinaw City , Mackinac Island

Enjoy another scenic lake-edge drive today as you make your way to Mackinac Island. This coastline is dotted with small villages and pretty state parks. Park your car at Mackinaw City and then take the foot passenger ferry over to Mackinac Island. The afternoon is free to explore this car-free island.

Accommodation

Day 9 Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is a delightful natural retreat, with plenty of lovely walking and cycling paths affording magical sea views. Most of the island is a state park and transportation is confined to horse and carriage. Visit historic Fort Mackinac and the island's lovely limestone bluffs and emerald green forests.

Accommodation

Day 10 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Mackinac Island , Mackinaw City , Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

This morning, take the ferry back to the mainland and return to your car. Drive south along Lake Michigan, hugging Grand Traverse Bay as you go. Arrive in Sleeping Bear Dunes and explore for a couple of hours before retreating to your room overlooking the Crystal River and Lake Michigan.

Accommodation

Day 11 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Spend a full day exploring the amazing, and huge, sand dunes in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. You may wish to take the ferry to the little islands of North and South Manitou or take the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Other options include a visit to Grand Traverse Lighthouse or go wine tasting at some of the nearby wineries.

Accommodation

Day 12 Saugatuck, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore , Saugatuck, Michigan

Drive south along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to Saugatuck. You may wish to stop at Ludington Sate Park and the little town of Manistee on the way for lovely views over Lake Michigan. You might also like to stop at Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

Day 13 International return flight

Saugatuck, Michigan , International return flight

After leaving Saugatuck, take the two and a half hour drive along the shore of Lake Michigan back to Chicago. Drop off your hire car prior to boarding your onward flight.

Day 14 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Beth
Audley Travel specialist Alex

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to the USA will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
Chicago
 
 
 
Milwaukee
 
 
 
Door Peninsula
 
 
 
Marquette
 
 
 
Mackinac Island
 
 
 

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