August 24, 2018
Enjoy the sights and excitement of Chicago before traveling on to the Great Lakes region, where you will spend two luxurious nights at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Stops in Traverse City to soak in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, as well as in Dearborn to view the Henry Ford Museum, complete this exclusive tour of these Midwestern gems.
August 24-31, 2018
Day 1: Friday, August 24: Chicago, Illinois – Tour Begins
Get ready for a relaxing journey. After a hosted departure from RDU airport, you will arrive in exciting Chicago for a two-night stay! This evening, join your fellow travelers for an Our State Welcome dinner at a downtown Chicago restaurant. Dinner will be included.
Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Chicago
Day 2: Saturday, August 25: Chicago
After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, begin your day with a locally guided tour of Chicago’s remarkable and impressive architecture. The Windy City is sure to impress! Highlights of your tour include famous Michigan Avenue, the “Magnificent Mile,” the Wrigley Building, the Loop, the Lakefront, and a walking tour through Millennium Park, where the famous “bean” sculpture and water features are located. After working up an appetite, our group will enjoy famous Chicago deep dish pizza for lunch! This afternoon, you will have free time where you can perhaps visit one of Chicago’s many museums, relax during a scenic boat ride across the Chicago River, or visit the Chicago Cultural Center, which hosts the largest Tiffany dome in the world. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be included.
Day 3: Sunday, August 26: Chicago – Traverse City, Michigan
Today, our group heads north to the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. Here, we will visit the nation’s cherry growing capital: Traverse City. Michigan’s western coast boasts the perfect climate for cultivating grapes and is well known for its vineyards. And with the Great Lakes at their doorstep, sailing has a rich history. Enjoy the scenic area along the waterfront as well as quaint shops and restaurants during some free time this afternoon. This evening you will take part in the locals’ favorite pastime as you sail on the West Grand Traverse Bay aboard the Tall Ship Manitou. Breakfast will be included.
Hotel: Park Place Hotel
Day 4: Monday, August 27: Traverse City
Today, we’ll travel west to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Embark on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive upon arrival in the park. This 7.4 mile drive is a must see in the park! Drive through the Beech-Maple forest and sand dunes. Make stops at the scenic overlooks along the way for amazing photo opportunities. After exploring the park, you will have time to enjoy the beautiful waterfront in Traverse City, where our hotel is located, giving you time to enjoy dinner on your own in a local restaurant and take in the scenery. Breakfast will be included.
Day 5: Tuesday, August 28: Traverse City – Mackinac Island
All aboard the ferry that will take you back to a simpler time on Mackinac Island. Step back in time where the sounds of horses replace the roar of engines. You will be spending the next two nights in the breathtaking Grand Hotel, a Victorian-era resort. Both your hotel and the island itself are National Historic Landmarks. This gem of an island has more than 80 percent of its land preserved by Mackinac State Park, a wooded paradise surrounded by Lake Huron. After dinner at your hotel, the evening is yours to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll through the quaint village or relax on the Grand Hotel’s famous porch. Breakfast and dinner will be included.
Hotel: The Grand Hotel
Day 6: Wednesday, August 29: Mackinac Island
This morning, climb aboard your horse-drawn carriage for an island tour. You will visit the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum and Arch Rock on your tour before enjoying some free time to enjoy all of Mackinac Island’s quiet pleasures. Enjoy brilliant views while sitting on the front porch of the Grand Hotel or take a walk downtown to visit the shops and buy some fudge, a favorite item on the island. Later, choose from a menu of tasty delicacies when you dine at the elegant Salle à Manger, the Main Dining Room of the historic Grand Hotel. Chamber music and demitasse precede dancing to the refined sounds of the Grand Hotel’s orchestra. If you crave a secluded hideaway, retreat to the charming cupola. Breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 7: Thursday, August 30: Mackinac – Dearborn – Detroit
Today, enjoy some leisure time at the Grand Hotel to reflect on your stay at this iconic island. As you travel south to your next stop, visit Bronner’s, the largest Christmas store in the world! Then, we’ll travel to Dearborn, home town of Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company. Visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village for an experience in living history! At the Henry Ford Museum, learn how the automobile forever changed American life and society. At Greenfield Village, take in the historic homes and see the workshops where famous American icons like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Robert Frost were once inspired. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. Breakfast and dinner will be included.
Hotel: The Westin Hotel Southfield or Doubletree Suites by Hilton Detroit-Ft. Shelby
Day 8: Friday, August 31: Detroit – Tour Ends
Your tour ends today, leaving you with a bounty of happy memories from your visit to Mackinac Island the treasures of the Midwest. Breakfast will be included.