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Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

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Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

I will be visiting family in Michigan the last week in July with my husband and 2 daughters, ages 14 and 18. We have 3 destinations:

1. Petoskey, to visit my brother,

2. Grand Rapids, to visit my other brother,

3. Detroit (Birmingham) to see my Mom and other brother. (this is my hometown; currently live in Pennsylvania).

So far we know that Detroit will be our last stop, and we’ll fly home from Detroit airport.

But I’m struggling with where to start the trip... options are:

1. Traverse City —> Petoskey —> Detroit

(fly into Traverse City, drive up to Petoskey - perhaps stopping somewhere scenic along the way. Spend a few days in Petoskey, then drive to Grand Rapids for a day or so, then onto Detroit).

2. Grand Rapids —> Petoskey —> Detroit

(fly into Grand Rapids, visit for a day. Then drive up to Petoskey - perhaps stopping ‘somewhere scenic’ along the way, stay a few days in Petoskey, then drive down to Detroit - again perhaps stopping for a daytrip somewhere along the way.

I would love suggestions/advice etc on ...

1. Which option sounds best?

2. Ideas for brief ‘daytrips’ (or even an overnight trip) between:

- Grand Rapids and Petoskey,

- Traverse City and Petoskey

- Petoskey and Detroit

Thank you!!

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Emmet County, MI
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Kent County, MI
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Hell, Michigan
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1. Re: Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

I'd price out roundtrip flights Harrisburg to Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City. You likely will have a less expensive flight and lower rental car cost if it's a round trip.

Grand Rapids is about 2 hours from Detroit. Traffic going north is bad on Friday and southbound is heavier on Monday

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2. Re: Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

Thanks TRbeer for your response. I should have mentioned that I did my homework on flights and found the same prices for flights into Traverse City and Grand Rapids, and returning from Detroit (around $350). Surprisingly, the price was also the same for a round trip to Detroit. Pellston in Petoskey was more expensive.

I’m from Michigan, so I’m familiar with drive times ... but I’m drawing a blank on fun scenic places we can visit while driving btwn Grand Rapids and Petoskey, and btwn Petoskey and Detroit. (Frankenmuth is an idea for that one).

I always brag about Michigan to my daughters, so I wanted to show them some gems along our driving route. I cant remember exactly where Sleeping Bear Dunes is, but that crossed my mind if it’s somewhere btwn Grand Rapids and Petoskey....

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Emmet County, MI
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Hell, Michigan
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3. Re: Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

The entire Lake Michigan shoreline is a treat. Fly into TC and exit out of Detroit if you can. It saves you some time and you might get a direct flight home if you're flying Delta

You have the Tunnel of Trees above Petoskey but the drive south to GR can include the entire Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes area down to Frankfort, Manistee, Ludington.

Day trip from Grand Rapids over to Sagutuck, Holland, and Grand Haven. Nice shops, Musical fountain in the evening at GH

The GR to Birmingham leg can extend north to Frankenmuth or do the direct route on I-96. The State of Michigan museum near the capitol in Lansing is cool

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Delta by Marriott Grand Rapids Airport
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4. Re: Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

I was thinking the same thing. Flying into Traverse City, driving Petoskey, MI then to Grand Rapids, then Detroit. And hit Frankenmuth on the way back east.

A 45 minute out of your way trip from Petoskey https://www.petoskeyarea.com/do-and-see/

will put you in Mackinaw City for a nice day trip to Mackinac Island, MI. The #1 state destination. Castle Farms going back west is a great stop too. Drive to Traverse City, stop at 'the Village', and drive route m22 www.m22michigan.com and see the Sleeping Bear Dunes ( Empire, MI ) and enjoy many of the beach towns on your way down the coast. Perhaps the Silver Lake Mack Dune Rides www.thinkdunes.com and perhaps Michigan Adventure in Muskegon, MI. Certainly Grand Haven for the Musical Fountain. The gardens in Grand Rapids is a huge draw. www.experiencegr.com and on the way east consider a walk in Oak Park in Grand Ledge, MI beside rock climbers and 60 ft ledges. After a stop in Lansing, MI consider Durrand, MI to see the beautiful depot. Even Flint has it's treasures.

If you decide on going straight south from Petoskey consider the Jordan Valley two lookouts, Gaylord to see the Elk Farm or northeast of town to see wild elk. Maybe Baldwin for The Shrine Of The Pines Museum. Also consider a stop or short trip to Rockford, MI for canoing, shopping, dining, lovely damn/bridges and the museum. A couple other links www.lakemichigandestinations.com and www.beachtowns.org can help too. If skipping Frankenmuth maybe hit Gilmore Car Muaeum, Kalamazoo Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Jackson Prison Tours and Cascade Park, and maybe a pit stop in Ann Arbor. A ton of great possibilities.

Edited: June 13, 2018, 10:30 am
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5. Re: Help w logistics of trip to Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Detroit

Thank you both, TRbeer and francis k, for your great suggestions!! This helps tremendously.

I’ll definitely plan to fly into Traverse City. Then drive up to Petoskey (I love that town; brother lives on Pickerel Lake). Then head to GR, and make a couple stops along the way. You both suggested the Musical Fountain in Grand Haven (which I hadn’t heard of before), so that’s go for sure. can’t wait to learn more about it!

Thanks francis for all the helpful links!

I can’t tell you how much you guys helped me. Thank you again!

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Grand Traverse County, MI
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Emmet County, MI
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Ottawa County, MI
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