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Old 01-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
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looking for Great Lakes suggestions

In June we will be visiting the Great Lakes area and are looking for suggestions of places to visit. This will be 2 of us older parent types with 3 late teen delinquints. (We find if we lock the teens together in an RV for a few weeks, they actually get along).

Our tentative path is Rockford, IL, Marquette, MI, St. Ignace, MI, Sudbury, ON, Barrie, ON, Niagra, ON, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Clevland then back towards the house in S. Louisiana. For the most part, these towns were picked because of the route, so, if another town near this route is better, let me know.

Having never been around this area, we would appreciate any suggestion on places to see or towns to visit. We have 3 weeks.

Oh, This will be in June 2012

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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Marquette does have a Walmart which allows overnight parking, the whole city is safe, there is a city run camp ground very near by and I have a paved parking lot just off the highway that is free as well as the city works compound a few buildings down that has no overnight parking but does have a free dump site open 24/7 with easy in/out even with a toad.

Coming in off M28e there is a private campground just out side of Harvey, Mi. and one west of us in Ishpeming, Mi.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RottenRalph View Post
In June we will be visiting the Great Lakes area and are looking for suggestions of places to visit. This will be 2 of us older parent types with 3 late teen delinquints. (We find if we lock the teens together in an RV for a few weeks, they actually get along).

Our tentative path is Rockford, IL, Marquette, MI,
There are a couple of neat mining museums in t6his area, but I don't remember how far west but as you travel east on M-28 you will come to Munising and there are some beautiful Painted Cliffs that you can catch a tour boat to view. I recommend these for natural beauty.
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St. Ignace, MI,
Fort Michilimackinac on the south end of the Mighty Mackinac bridge is a great place, Fort Michilimackinac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Mackinac Island is a fun day trip via passenger ferry, traveling north on I-75 I would suggest a side trip out M-28 to Paradise MI and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, (http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/) also close by is the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and actually viewing the falls itself http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandt...pe=SPRK&id=428 Sault Ste Marie MI and ON have many great tourist things to do relatively cheap (free??) there is a viewing platform on the MI side of the Locks and on the Canadian side you can walk over the locks and wander the Island that allows you to get up close and personal with the St Mary's river rapids.
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Sudbury, ON,
On the way east along Trans Canada 17 there are some astounding tourist sites. About 35 miles out of Sault Ste Marie ON there is St Joseph Island (15 minutes off the main highway) with two or three small villages to see and peruse. Sudbury is a rather large place with some neat museums. The Big Nickle site is all about the mining that started the city and there is Science North that is a fun interactive museum my kids loved whenever we visited. From Sudbury South to Barrie, Toronto, and Hamilton you need a tour guide for all the various things to do.
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Niagara, ON,
The best views of the falls and the Niagara Gorge are from the Canadian side so I would recommend the "Maid of The Mist Tour Boat" (gets you up close and personal with the view from the bottom of the falls), the Whirlpool Rapids Cable Car Ride, Brock's Monument and the various marine exhibits in the area.
Quote:
Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland then back towards the house in S. Louisiana. For the most part, these towns were picked because of the route, so, if another town near this route is better, let me know.

Having never been around this area, we would appreciate any suggestion on places to see or towns to visit. We have 3 weeks.

Oh, This will be in June 2012

Thanks
Sorry I can't be of help on your swing south but I have not frequented that part of the USA to be of real help. Although I can recommend going to Chautauqua Lake and Chautauqua Institute in New York State near Jamestown NY. I really enjoy going to that area and hopefully my wife and I will be there around the 20th of June.

If your teens are even remotely interested in Narrow gauge Steam operations then I would recommend taking in he East Broad Top Railroad in Rockhill Furnace PA. (East Broad Top Railroad Preservation Association) If anything else comes to mind I'll let you know.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:37 AM   #4
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If you have an interest in seeing the world’s largest “Nickel”, stop in Sudbury it was a major nickel mining town for years. A lot of beautiful scenery getting there. You will be in part of the Canadian Shield so keep an eye out for Bear and Moose. When you get to Niagara Falls be sure and resist the urge to rush across to the States. Stop and camp on the Canadian side. The Horseshoe Falls, Clifton Hill, Marine land, The Casinos, Ride the Maid-of-the-mist and a ton of great dinning. Not so much on the States side. Cleveland is a Major city with all the major city problems camp away from the city and drive in. The water front in amazing. Might want to stop for the kids at “Darien Lake” amusement park in NY Lots of camping on site or the one in Sandusky, Ohio. Things will be more money in Canada but it is worth the trip.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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Michigan has so much to see it would take me hours to post it all if not days. And I type fast.

Since you are going to go first to Marquette, perhaps you'd like to travel east a bit to Grand Mare.. The town does not have a lot, but it has a nice little county park where you can spend a night and to get to Lake Superior you .. walk down a set of stairs.

On the way there stop off near Manistee, and hop on the boat for a tour of the Pictured Rocks national lake shore. Oh, there is a small waterall in Manistee too.

Many waterfalls in the UP by the way.

Heading farther east and south. Look for a small town called Paradise (you will be glad you made it) just west of there are a couple of state parks.. Check out the Falls (No I can't spell the name of that "Swiftly Falling Stream" even if I am currently reading "The Song of Hiawatha" in my spare time, Free Kindle Book, By the way, the Hiawatha national forest.... Is there too.


Now head for the big bridge and the Straights State Park, Lakes Michigan and Huron are there. Farther south is Indian River and the Big Lake State park. Of special interest to those of the Catholic faith is the shrine which shares a property line with the park. Happens to be the shrine to my daughter's confirmation saint and the country's first Native American Saint.

And that' just places I've been, and not all of them either.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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Hi RottenRalph,
In addition to what has been posted, consider Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. It is west of Traverse City on route 72. There is a nice visitors center and dad can bet the kids who can climb a sand dune the fastest. If you stay in the Mackinac Island area there is a CG right on Lake Huron. Take the kids to the CG beach. Have them put their feet in the water. It may be the coldest water experience they have ever been through. We were their for July 4th. There was no wind, it was just the coldest July 4th I have ever spent. Locals said the temps were normal!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RottenRalph View Post
In June we will be visiting the Great Lakes area and are looking for suggestions of places to visit. This will be 2 of us older parent types with 3 late teen delinquints. (We find if we lock the teens together in an RV for a few weeks, they actually get along).

Our tentative path is Rockford, IL, Marquette, MI, St. Ignace, MI, Sudbury, ON, Barrie, ON, Niagra, ON, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Clevland then back towards the house in S. Louisiana. For the most part, these towns were picked because of the route, so, if another town near this route is better, let me know.

Having never been around this area, we would appreciate any suggestion on places to see or towns to visit. We have 3 weeks.

Oh, This will be in June 2012
Thanks
Not enough time! You will need at least a year to see all the nice stops along your route. I will start with a day in St Louis. Take the tour of the Arch and stop and look at one of the Locks along the Mississippi River as it locks the barges thru. You might want to see a Ball game if the Cards are playing while you are there or take a tour of Budwieser. Although heading up I55 toward Rockford is probably your intention, and a stop to see all the history surrounding Abraham Lincoln is available in Springfield, the State Capitol is there as well. You may want to travel US hiway 61 north and make a stop in Hanibel, Mo to see what they have to offer about Mark Twain History, then cross the river and make a stop in Navoo, Ill where the Mormans started there travels west towards Utah. Making a stop in Milan Ill. to see the John Deere Museum and a bit more about the river is is always interesting as well as another chance to watch the barges locking thru at lock 15. They have several chances to take a paddle wheel boat ride there as well.
After leaving Rockford you could check out the House on the Rock (much more than just a house) in Wisconsin, or Wisconsin Dells, a good spot for the kids. Maybe a stop in Madison and a visit of the State Capitol. Door County Wisconsin is a must. Look it up on the internet to see why. Souix St Marie gives you a visit to the area where the Edmond Fitzgearld went down, and there is a great train ride taking you north along Lake Superior into an area of Canada that cannot be viewed any other way. Once at St Ignace, you must stop and visit Mackinaw, Island and taking a trip accross the bridge is a must. Look for the Great Lakes Freighter passing below and the historic Lighthouse's nearby.
On your way to Sudbury take a side trip on route 6 to Little Current and see how they live on a Great Lakes island. Maybe if you have a bit more time a side trip to Kilarney after Sudbury would be enjoyable. If you do you must stop for fish and Chips. The main street there is the water with the Marinas and the Float planes sharing space. Making a stop in Point Au Baril Station will give you a water front view and a spot where many Canadians will abandon their cars for a boat shuttle to their island vacation homes. Making a stop in Severn Falls area and watching the recreational craft use the Railway lock as the travel along the Trent Severn canal will be a treat. After Barrie a stop in Toronto is a must. With a city of several Million Canadians there is much to see and do. Others have mentioned Niagra, but a stop in the wine country while there is a good way to spend a day or two. Of course while doing that you are near the Welland locks that traverse the distance between Lakes Ontario and Lake Erie. The canal transits the Lake freighters and other craft to by pass the Falls. You can also start by getting a bit of history about the Erie canal while in the Buffalo area. After leaving Buffalo and you are skirting Lake Erie you will find yourself in another Wine country in Pennsylvannia. I am getting tired, There is way to much to see in just three weeks!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
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Check out The Great River Road THE GREAT RIVER ROAD Also, Google for information for specific states.

This is a series of existing secondary roads that run along the Mississippi river. The route from Missouri north is especially scenic. While the roads are two lane, there's no trouble driving; we have done this several times with a 29 ft MH towing a car trailer.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
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If you will be in cleveland take an extra hour drive west and you find Cedar Point, the largest amusement park,and more roller coasters than anywhere else in the country. They have a beautiful water park as well, along with a campground and a pool. I would imagine your kids would love this. If you are into the historic part of traveling you can visit the Hayes Presidential Home and museum. Thomas Edison's birthplace is 10 miles from Cedar Point. We live in this area so if you have any questions please ask. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great ideas. You obviously put a lot of time and effort into OUR vacation and I really appreciate it. I knew I could count on great help here!
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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Yes, Ceder Point is the place for roller-coasters. You can either stay on site at their campground ($$$) or about 15 minutes away there is East Harbor State Park.

Also in that area is Put-in-Bay / South Bass Island / Marblehead Lighthouse. If by chance you make a reservation at East Harbor SP., section "B" are all pull-thru sites (electric). They do have 30 or so full service sites also if needed.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:45 PM   #12
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We stayed at the KOA Sandusky years ago. They had a shuttle to Cedar Point and to the Ferry to go to Put in Bay. Put in bay has the Perry, as in Admiral, memorial with maritime museum. Rent a golf cart and explore. There is also a State Park there, too. Winery on the next island over. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:21 AM   #13
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X2 for East Harbor SP. This is our home away from home during the summer. And the "b" section is where we reside. Excellent state park.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Maumee State Park

Maumee State Park just east of Toledo is a really nice park. Hugh sites seperated by greenery and miles and miles of trailes. They also have bike rentals. Just a short ride on the trails to (I believe it was called) Maumee bay, part of Lake Huron. We loved our stay.
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