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Where to vacation in southern Michgan?


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3 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

And Michigan traded it for the entire U.P.

Louisiana Purchase

Sewards Folly

The UP for Toledo

Sharp GM there 

Edited by FairWarning
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2 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

#fireipchips here. I was on a full ride but took out student loans for keg money. #truestory Probably 70% of the concerts I saw in h.s. & college were at Wings Stadium.

:hifive:

Wow. Me too.  Used to play hockey there and at WMU as well.  Early, early mornings.  Did a little time at Kzoo but didn't finish.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/18/2021 at 4:31 AM, FairWarning said:

I live in Harbor Country.  No one is going to Benton Harbor, but many go to St Joseph.  South of Bridgman is Chicago-priced.  There are many wineries and breweries in this area if thats your thing.  A lot of hotels in Stevensville and New Buffalo also.  Red Arrow Highway runs along Lake Michigan.

Searching for places to stay, I see some place "Chalet on the Lake" in Stevensville. Looks like a nice place to stay from the website, but can't always trust that. You happen to know anything about that area?  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, dancer said:

Searching for places to stay, I see some place "Chalet on the Lake" in Stevensville. Looks like a nice place to stay from the website, but can't always trust that. You happen to know anything about that area?  

 

 

Yes, that’s a nice place for families, my brother worked there for a summer during college.

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Sawyer/south is Chicago-priced, Bridgman/north is a little cheaper.  If you like camping, Weko Beach has very affordable prices on Lake Mich. you’ll want to reserve those though.

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On 5/17/2021 at 10:36 AM, ffweasel said:

I’ll be in Ludington in mid-June and it’s a nice relaxing beach town. Technically I’ll be at Hamlin Lake, just north of there, fishing and family cabin time. My brother lives by Grand Haven and really anywhere around there on Lake Michigan is going to be nice. Coincidentally I have family that lives in Marshall. Not much there. heh 

I'll be on Lake Hamlin in July. Someone in my family has been going up for close to 40 years. I, myself, have been going for close to 20. I love the area. Not a ton to do other than the beach, fish, we float a river one day, and grill. I'm good with that. 

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any tips/tricks for Michigan's Adventure? looking like we're headed there and i want to take advantage of any local knowledge possible.

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30 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

any tips/tricks for Michigan's Adventure? looking like we're headed there and i want to take advantage of any local knowledge possible.

We went a few years ago.  Not sure what age your kids are, but there aren’t a ton of rides (at least not compared to a Cedar Point / Kings Island).  I felt like we were able to get through everything we wanted and then were done earlier than expected 

I did think the water park was really good though, if it’s a nice day I would plan on spending the bulk of your time there 

don’t get me wrong, we had fun, but I feel like if you had older (10+ kids) they may find the same rides underwhelming 

felt like the food was overpriced too, but IIRC you can leave and go to your car and come back 

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As for the OP I really haven’t spent much time on that side, have done Muskegon and Grand Haven.  grand haven is definitely a great beach town so I think that would be a good choice 

I prefer the north / northwest area.  traverse, petosky, Charlevoix, Indian river all really nice

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1 minute ago, Dan Lambskin said:

We went a few years ago.  Not sure what age your kids are, but there aren’t a ton of rides (at least not compared to a Cedar Point / Kings Island).  I felt like we were able to get through everything we wanted and then were done earlier than expected 

I did think the water park was really good though, if it’s a nice day I would plan on spending the bulk of your time there 

don’t get me wrong, we had fun, but I feel like if you had older (10+ kids) they may find the same rides underwhelming 

felt like the food was overpriced too, but IIRC you can leave and go to your car and come back 

10 & 12 year old girls.  

waterpark looks nice. hoping it's warm/hot so we can spend bulk of time there.

is the fast pass worth it?

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Just now, mr. furley said:

10 & 12 year old girls.  

waterpark looks nice. hoping it's warm/hot so we can spend bulk of time there.

is the fast pass worth it?

Michigan is a complete crap shoot when it comes to weather 

I don’t remember if we had it or not.  I’d lean towards us not having it.  Also don’t remember if we went on a weekday or weekend though either

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On 5/18/2021 at 9:27 PM, MAC_32 said:

My kids hear me talk about Michigan all the time and don't understand why we haven't been there.

We go to NW Ohio all the time, dad. Michigan's right there. You say it's awesome. Yet we don't go. 

Well, yeah. It is awesome. It's just that Adrian, Monroe, and Ypsilanti aren't.

Those are our buffer towns to keep the Ohioans out. 

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1 hour ago, mr. furley said:

any tips/tricks for Michigan's Adventure? looking like we're headed there and i want to take advantage of any local knowledge possible.

Check their hours, they are closing two days/week because of the labor shortage.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, mr. furley said:

any tips/tricks for Michigan's Adventure? looking like we're headed there and i want to take advantage of any local knowledge possible.

I'm 15 minutes from the park.. my daughters have all had season passes at one point or another..  I haven't been there in years, but heard some complaining via facebook about lack of workers this season.. I'll send you a PM

Edit to add:

I'm so old, I used to go there when it was "Deer Park" and they had actual live deer you could hand feed :D

 

Edited by playin4beer
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On 6/2/2021 at 6:13 PM, TheFanatic said:

I'll be on Lake Hamlin in July. Someone in my family has been going up for close to 40 years. I, myself, have been going for close to 20. I love the area. Not a ton to do other than the beach, fish, we float a river one day, and grill. I'm good with that. 

We (family & friends) have rented cabins on Hamlin for around 20 years as well. Always mid-June before the summer rates. lol  Yeah not a whole lot to do. Beside what you mentioned we always make a trip or two into town for House of Flavors, a dinner at Jamesport Brewery, and some pizza from Chuck Wagon. Also walk the pier to the lighthouse. Just a relaxing time. Have a great trip! 

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On 5/17/2021 at 12:29 PM, playin4beer said:

Definitely.. I'm right by the new 231 bypass so I can take that to M-45 and M-45 to US-31 just South of Grand Haven. The problem is, traffic gets backed up all the way thru GH with the drawbridge shut down to one lane both ways. It's going to be a nightmare in the Summer

 

I might live reeeeally close to you.  Roughly Lincoln and 231.  Sounds like you live in the Embassy.

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On 5/18/2021 at 7:45 AM, BobbyLayne said:

Marshall has some nice historic homes and not much else, but definitely hit Schuler's Restaurant & Pub before you blow town. They've been there over 100 years and it's awesome.

Grand Haven is exactly two hours NW of there. Avoid going through Grand Rapids and taking I-96 because 1) it's painful going in on M-104, a two-lane state road with traffic backed up, and 2) immediately after going through Spring Lake you'll hit a drawbridge that should be avoided even when they aren't in the middle of a two-year rebuild. So, I-94 West, US-131 North, exit 55 for the M-222. Follow your navigation and if you ever get lost (impossible with smartphones) just remember the whole friggin' state is a N-S/E-W grid.

Saugatuck has the best arts scene and some good restaurants and it's my favorite place to go via boat. Holland is a nice family town and if it were springtime I'd recommend the tulip festival. I don't think it's anywhere near as charming as the smaller beach towns. South Haven is another good beach town.

Grand Haven gets the most traffic from Chicago because they have awesome beaches. The dining is just good but not OMG that was amazing. Lots of quaint shops downtown for all these Lakeshore towns, but Holland is a bit more spread out and sprawling (something of a bedroom community for Grand Rapids.)

There are no big resorts that I'm aware of, the hotel lodging is hit or miss, I think the best option is a BnB like Looking Glass Beachfront Inn (across from the state park beach), Boyden House (bit longer walk), or Harbor House if you would like to be within walking distance of everything. Or find a house/apartment on VRBO, that's what I do when I visit my hometown.

There's a musical fountain with nightly concerts and a laser/light show. Try to be impressed, they think it's a big deal. Really nice riverwalk / boardwalk to the beach. The lighthouse has a lighted catwalk and it's beautiful at night. Tons of great beaches. Rosy Mound recreational area south of town is worth visiting for a few hours to walk through the dune woods, great vistas from the dune bluffs. It's not a town full of attractions but it's perfect to unplug and enjoy natural beauty.

Rosy Mound’s beach washed away about 3 years ago. That was our family’s go-to beach.

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48 minutes ago, Tick said:

Rosy Mound’s beach washed away about 3 years ago. That was our family’s go-to beach.

There was a beach? 
:P

What I mean is I prefer the North Beach Park (North Shore Estates Rd) or Kirk Park (county park down south of town in West Olive) or the overcrowded state park. But Rosy Mound, to me, is more about the whole experience. Walking through the towering pines. Hiking in the dune woods. Bite sized connecting with nature so to speak, it’s a perfect half-day for little kids.

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8 hours ago, Tick said:

I might live reeeeally close to you.  Roughly Lincoln and 231.  Sounds like you live in the Embassy.

I'm North a bit..  When I say I'm right by the new 231 bypass, I mean I'm pretty much straight North of it.  It's much quicker and easier for me than going 8 miles West to US 31 and then South.. I'm right off Maple Island and take that South to Nunica and jump on 231..

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9 hours ago, FishTacoTuesday said:

Also stay away from Holland, lots of kooks there. 

The State is loaded with kooks. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/3/2021 at 9:33 PM, ffweasel said:

We (family & friends) have rented cabins on Hamlin for around 20 years as well. Always mid-June before the summer rates. lol  Yeah not a whole lot to do. Beside what you mentioned we always make a trip or two into town for House of Flavors, a dinner at Jamesport Brewery, and some pizza from Chuck Wagon. Also walk the pier to the lighthouse. Just a relaxing time. Have a great trip! 

Yep, yep, yep, and yep. All of that.

The wife, kids and I will hit House of Flavors probably 4 times while there. We go hit Pentwater for some shopping and lunch and a little go-cart action. Manistee is a cool place to stroll around shopping and grab some lunch. We do the beach at the state park and hit the tidal pool where the creek exits into the lake. We bring little nets and catch little catfish. The kids love it. We have done a float trip the last couple years which is amazing. I think we are going to do a charter this year and go after the big salmon. 

We stay at Sauble up on the bluff on Hamlin. 

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A word of advice - please leave your dog at home.  We don’t want to see your dog in the breweries.  This goes for infants also.  
 

enjoy your stay in Michigan.

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I highly recommend Saugatuck. Being in Michigan all my life, my wife and I would take different weekend getaways but now we rarely go anywhere but Saugatuck. An awesome walkable downtown, many restaurants on the water, Oval Beach is one of the best beaches in the state. There is a local bus that will take you anywhere between Saugatuck & Douglas for $1, no need to worry about drinking and driving if we want to hit some brew pubs or outdoor patio bars in the area. The main downtown area has a great vibe in the evening, people walking about from dinner heading for a place to grab a drink with the sounds of live music in the air.

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2 hours ago, dmac37 said:

I highly recommend Saugatuck. Being in Michigan all my life, my wife and I would take different weekend getaways but now we rarely go anywhere but Saugatuck. An awesome walkable downtown, many restaurants on the water, Oval Beach is one of the best beaches in the state. There is a local bus that will take you anywhere between Saugatuck & Douglas for $1, no need to worry about drinking and driving if we want to hit some brew pubs or outdoor patio bars in the area. The main downtown area has a great vibe in the evening, people walking about from dinner heading for a place to grab a drink with the sounds of live music in the air.

somehow we have not been to Oval Beach. adding this to our list this year.  :thumbup:

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