For the past few summers, we always plan an end of summer road trip. This summer we decided to hit up a few favorites as well as new-to-us destinations in #PureMichigan. On our Mitten State itinerary: Petoskey, Mackinac Island, Saugatuck area, and Holland. Not only did we explore these places, but we were able to test out the new 2020 Chevrolet Traverse which made it even more fun!

Disclosure: We were happy to partner with Chevrolet for this road trip. All opinions expressed are our own. Some links may be affiliate links.

All packed and ready to go!

Petoskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Things to do:

  • Grab donuts at Johan’s Bakery.
  • Take those donuts to Bayfront Park and munch while taking in the views. There’s also a playground here and a cute little waterfall. On our last road trip through the area we did get to visit this fun waterfall while going through M-119.
  • Walk on the Pier to see the Petoskey Lighthouse.
  • Go walk to downtown through the underground tunnel. Kids will love hearing the echo…echo….echo…
  • Shop til you drop! You won’t find a lot of those kitschy souvenir shops but rather cute boutique stores. Our favorites include Grandpa Shorter’s and Katydid. We did curbside pickup at McLean and Eakin. I surprised the boys with these books similar to Goosebumps but featuring Michigan cities like Petoskey and Mackinac Island. The books we picked up were even signed copies!
  • Grab food from the food trucks at the Back Lot. 
  • Hike Old Baldy Trail for a fun easy .5 mile hike up the stairs and down the dune.
  • Spend the day soaking up the sun on Petoskey Beach.
  • Not in Petoskey but pretty darn close, a visit to Pond Hill Farm is a must! Adults can enjoy a wine or beer tasting; the whole family can eat lunch, see farm animals, go gnome hunting, or play on the playground.

Where to stay:

We had points to burn and I was pleasantly surprised of our stay at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Petoskey. A newer hotel, great location, and even great views of the Valley. One of the highlights is its free limo shuttle!

Mackinac Island

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Things to do:

  • The adventure starts with a ferry to the island. We loved how efficient the team at Shepler’s Ferry was plus they enforced people wearing masks on the boat.
  • Rent the most adorable bikes from Mission Point Resort. With wicker baskets and brown leather seats, these Detroit Bikes will help you explore the island in style.
  • Dip your toes in the water. The crystal clear water of Lake Huron is inviting you in. We found the east side to be the calmer side of the island.
  • Take a personalized carriage tour with Carriage Tours and learn about the ins and outs of the island.
  •  Watch butterflies flutter around then take a peek at some of the most interesting insects at the Original Butterfly House and Insect World.
  • Wonder in amazement as you check out Arch Rock.
  • Take in the amazing view then learn a little bit more about history at the Fort Mackinac.
  • Going to both the Fort and Arch Rock? Our favorite trail between both points was the Botanical Trail so you can learn about the different varieties of plants and trees. Another plus?  Horses aren’t allowed on the trail so no horse poop to dodge.
  • Grab a quick lunch at the oldest grocery store in Michigan, Doud’s Market.
  • A picnic is always a good idea on the island. Bring your lunch to the Great Lawn at Mission Point Resort. With plenty of green space, Adirondack chairs, and a prime location by the water, you’ll have a picnic to remember.
  • Waking up is easy to do on Mackinac Island when you can look forward to epic sunrises!
  • Relax and rejuvenate with a lilac body treatment at Mission Point Resort’s spa, Lakeside Spa. 
  • Follow your nose to any of fudge shops on Main Street. You can’t go wrong.
  • Go shopping. My absolute favorite shop is Little Luxuries of Mackinac (You can also grab wine here!) Other favs include Canvas and Paddle, Poppins, and Pink Pony. For souvenirs on the cheap, we liked Big Store, Little Prices.

Where to stay:

Our newly renovated family suite at the Straits Lodge at Mission Point Resort was everything we needed for our stay. Modern, cozy, with 2 separate rooms. We absolutely loved it! Read all about our stay here in this family guide.

Saugatuck, Douglas, and Fennville

Things to do:

  • Parents and kids can both have fun at Virtue Cider. Adults can try a variety of hard cider while kids can say hello to their 12 pound bunny, huge 600 pound pigs, sheep, chickens, and ducks.
  • Fun in the sun at Oval Beach.
  • Try a beer flight AND pizza flight at Mitten Brewing Co.
  • Can’t get enough of flights. Try a pie flight and wine flight at Crane’s Pie Pantry in Fennville.
  • Get pickin’! Find fresh blueberries from the bushes at Dee’s Lakeshore Farm where Dee and family has been running it for over 40 years.
  • Fall in love with lavender and learn about its benefits at Summerhouse Lavender Farm.
  • Enjoy bahn mis (they even have vegan ones) and other delicious sandwiches at Farmhouse Deli.  
  • Get on the water and cruise down the Kalamazoo River in a donut boat with Retro Boat Rental 

Where to stay:

It felt like home at Hop & Vine Inn. Delicious breakfasts, amazing hosts, a fun backyard area with a playground, sand volleyball, and a pool. S’mores included along with amazing sunrises.

Holland

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Things to do:

  • Take a walk through the well-marked trails and have the kids play at the nature playground at Outdoor Discovery CenterDon’t miss seeing the raptors! This place is such a hidden gem.
  • Follow the yellow brick road to the Holland Oz Project.
  • Shop ’til you drop and walk downtown 8th Street. Don’t miss a stop at the Holland Peanut Store and a Nutty Paddle Bar.
  • Hungry? Grab a quick lunch at City Delicatessen.
  • Induldge in ice cream from Captain Sundae’s.

Where to stay:

 

We stayed at Holiday Inn Express Hotel Holland. My main reason was for trying out the Michigan shaped pool , but of course it was closed.  Another hotel to try is City Holland Flats and Home2Suites Holland.

Thoughts about Chevrolet Traverse:

We had a blast exploring the Mitten State with the all new 2020 Chevrolet Traverse High Country. It was the perfect car for a road trip. Let me tell you why.

  • Enough room for our family of 5. The Traverse can fit as many as 7 people with 3rd row seating. Not to mention you can easily fold down the third row with the push of a button.

secret trunk space

 

  • Wi-fi IN the car. Whenever we needed to stay connected, we could. The kids were super happy about that so they could access their tablets. (Don’t judge!)  After all, happy kids = happy driver.
  • Safety features. When  travelling at night we noticed the brights would turn on automatically. If there was another car in front of us, it would default back to the regular lights. Talk about smart! Another “smart” safety feature noticed was when we changed lanes. If we didn’t signal, it was as if the car could prevent you from doing so. Really useful if you’re drifting while falling asleep.
  • The little things. We loved that everyone had access to a USB outlet so that we could charge when needed. It was super convenient having a  wireless charger dock – perfect for our iPhones. Since we were always on the go, we consistently needed to plug in a new address. Having a touch screen navigation made it super easy to plug in an address.

 

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