Looking for points of interest along this route

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JudyJB

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What kinds of things do you like? A quick detour to Dearborn, which is on the far west of Detroit, will get you to the Henry Ford Museum, which is indoors and has tons of things Henry collected, including cars, industrial machinery, the car Kennedy was shot in, the back-of-the-bus bus, and his old camper-kitchen, plus some trains and thousands of other things. Worth several hours. Next door is Greenfield Village, which is an outdoor museum with historical buildings Ford bought and moved to the facility. Also worth several hours.

And from the Ford Museum you can get tickets for a tour of a very modern assembly plant. They will take you by buses and explain the assembly processes as you walk on a long catwalk.

Near Grayling, MI, is Hartwick Pines SP, which has a logging museum and a stand of virgin white pines to walk among. Campground has some full hookup sites and is nice.

And of course, you will want to spend a couple of nights near Mackinaw City, MI, and take the ferry to Mackinac Island to see a Victorian island that does not allow cars. You take a horse-drawn carriage tour or rent a horse drawn carriage or just ride your bike 8 miles around the island on the only Michigan State Highway that does not allow motor vehicles!! Visit the fort and buy some fudge while there. (Good parking in Mackinaw City, one block south of the main street or under the Big Mac Bridge, but be very careful of the one street that goes under the bridge with low clearance. If you take the ferry to the island, ask about where to park, and they will direct you to RV parking.)

Another detour north of the Big Mac Bridge will take you to Sault Saint Marie, MI, where you can watch the big freighters go through the locks. They are close enough that you can wave at the workers on deck! A basic campground a mile east of the locks, but with close views of the ships, is Aune Osborn Campground, which is owned by the city. There are electric hookups on dirt lots, but this is a case of location, location, location!! There is also a lake freighter nearby you can tour.

Heading west is Taquamanon Falls and Whitefish Point where you can tour the shipwreck museum and artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald, a 1000' frieghter that broke in half during a Lake Superior storm and was the subject of a Gordon Lightfoot song.

Also, you will enjoy the drive along either the Lake Superior or Lake Michigan coast.
 

Matt_C

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Mar 4, 2019
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SE - Mich
KVP,

If you miss a couple of days at The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, you will have missed a lot. <thehenryford.org> Read about it now. It is not cheap, but it is still a real deal. There are two FHU campgrounds in easy striking range. Plan at least two days - Three if you want the factory tour.

At Sault Saint Marie (another diversion you should not miss) there are three "museums" not counting the locks themselves. As soon as you get to town, drop someone at the locks visitor center to look at the passages board so you can come back and watch them move a ship. There is the River of History Museum that is not open Sundays, the Ship Valley Camp and the Tower of History. Unless the tower is free on the ticket, save that money.

Judy JB is correct about a lot, but the Fitz was only 729' (which matters not at all to my 29 friends lost that day). Go the museum at Whitefish point. It will be about a 50 mile diversion, but well worth it. My wife and friends all liked it, but I can't go there..

Matt
 

JudyJB

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Sorry for the length error! And sorry to hear that you lost friends in that sinking. I am sure you have been to the Mariners Church in Detroit where they ring the bell for lost mariners.

Also, you can get the schedule for ships passing through the locks in a couple of places:
I also vaguely remember that the Coast Guard also had a phone number you could call that would give you a recording of arrivals, but that was several years ago. Anyway, ship watching is fun here, even for adults. Not much going on right now because the lakes have ice on them in winter and shipping closes or slows down.

And I suppose I should have mentioned Belle Island in Detroit. It is a 982 acre island that was a Detroit-owned park for many decades, but the State of Michigan now has a long-term lease and has turned it into a state park. It is east of downtown, directly in the middle of the Detroit River with fantastic views of the river traffic. The people of the Detroit area volunteered by the thousands over the past few years to bring this jewel back to its shining self by picking up trash, helping to landscape, cleaning the famous Scott fountain, sprucing up the children's zoo and aquarium, and many more things. Most importantly, there is the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. I am hoping that someday they put in a big campground on the island!!
 

NBE

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If in Sault Ste Marie, consider taking a boat tour that actually takes you through the locks. They also do dinner cruises in the evenings (pre-pandemic). Mackinac Island is worth a visit leaving from either St Ignace or Mackinaw City, Pasties are a local food worth a try. Finnish miners carried them into the mines as their lunch. Meat and potatoes in a pie crust to made them a "finger food" for the miners. Gravy or ketchup is a good add on.
 

JudyJB

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Also, don't forget the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland.

And if you take the Ohio Turnpike and just want a quick place to camp for the night, there are RV parking areas with electric hookups at every other rest area along the Turnpike. Cost is $20, and there are also water fill stations and dump facilities at each RV parking area. They are just a special parking lot, but a lot quieter than the truck area.
 

bbishop3

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Oct 7, 2017
Posts
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Agree with all the recommendations for MI - Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum, Mackinaw Island, White Fish Point are all good!
 
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DutchmenSport

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Oct 30, 2021
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Anderson, Indiana
Wilderness State Park in Michigan, right near the Mackinac Bridge. While you are there, visit Mackinaw City. Lots to see and do there, lots of shops, nostalgic, site seeing, parks, and water front. Visit the fort right at the base of the bridge.

Stop in at Sandusky, Ohio. Several campgrounds in the area, and you can visit Cedar Point Amusement Park.
 
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