You love our parks, and we do too. For every National Park traveler in 2016 we will donate $5.00 to support Tourism Cares and its works with the National Parks.
Donated funds will be used by Tourism Cares to support financial investments in parks and with the National Park Foundation, volunteerism, advocacy and communications for our national parks. In addition to regular updates, a final report on the impact of these efforts and their use of funds will be available in January 2017. Tourism Cares is registered 501(c)(3) public charity governed by a Board of Directors subject to annual external audit. www.TourismCares.org
- 11 Meals (4 dinners, 1 lunch and 6 breakfasts)
- Round trip airport transfers
- Spend 1 night in downtown Chicago with a guided sightseeing tour of the “Windy City”
- Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Visit the Music House Museum with its one-of-a-kind collection of rare antique musical instruments
- Embark on a full-day narrated scenic rail excursion through beautiful Agawa Canyon during autumn foliage time
- Spend 2 nights at The Grand Hotel, the crown jewel of Mackinac Island
- Spend 1 night at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in the Bavarian village of Frankenmuth
- Explore Frankenmuth with its 19th-century covered bridge and Bavarian-style shops
- Visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store
- $40 in Mayflower Money
Day One — Arrive in Chicago
Chicago is America’s third largest city and boasts a friendly, Midwest atmosphere. For those arriving early, your hotel is close to the Lake Michigan waterfront. Visit one of Chicago’s great museums or stroll along the “Magnificent Mile.” Your Tour Manager is available in the lobby at 6:00 p.m. to assist with check-in and can offer suggestions for dining this evening.
Day Two — Chicago to Michigan
This morning we begin with a panoramic tour of downtown Chicago with a local guide. Leave the big city behind for charming Traverse City, Michigan, known for its sparkling beaches, unique shops and cherry orchards.
Day Three — Traverse City
We begin our day exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that was named from an Indian legend. These expansive golden dunes stretch for more than 35 miles along the twinkling blue waters of Lake Michigan. A local guide tells the history and lore of the area including the peninsula and lighthouse. We are treated to a one-of-a-kind collection of rare antique musical instruments and music-making machines, from 1870 through 1930 at the Music House Museum. Nickelodeons, music boxes, pipe organs and a Belgian dance organ come alive.
Day Four — Agawa Canyon Autumn Foliage Train
Today we cross the border into Canada and board the Algoma Central Railway for a spectacular train ride through scenic Agawa Canyon during autumn foliage time. This all-day adventure takes us past massive rock formations, through thick forests of maple and birch and over pristine streams and lakes as we wind our way to Agawa Canyon. Explore the Agawa River and its waterfalls on the valley floor before returning to Sault Ste. Marie.
Breakfast and lunch
Day Five — Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel
A trip to Mackinac Island is a like a trip back in time. From its bluff cottages to its quaint horse-drawn carriages (no cars are allowed on the island), this peaceful resort island offers a glimpse into life during a simpler and more genteel era. Upon arrival, we tour the Island via horse-drawn carriage and step back in time as you enjoy the atmosphere of this unique treasure. At the end of the tour, the carriage brings us to the crown jewel of Mackinac Island, The Grand Hotel, the world’s largest summer hotel, built in 1897, and our home for the next two nights.
Breakfast and dinner
Day Six — Explore Mackinac Island
You will have the entire day at leisure on Mackinac Island. Browse the many shops, visit historic Fort Mackinac or rent bikes and pedal along the coast of Lake Huron. “The Grand” is a venerable island institution and the perfect place to enjoy a stroll in the beautifully landscaped gardens or enjoy afternoon tea. Don’t forget to sample some world-famous Mackinac Island fudge!
Breakfast and dinner
Day Seven — A Bavarian Welcome
Raise a stein of good cheer in Frankenmuth, also known as Michigan’s “Little Bavaria.” Stroll over Holz-Brucke, a 239-foot replica of an authentic 19th-century covered bridge, and visit the charming Bavarian-style shops that line the streets. A trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, is a Michigan must see.
Breakfast and dinner
Day Eight — Journey Home
Our journey ends with a transfer to the airport in Chicago for flights home after 5:00 p.m.
Hilton Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois
Days Inn, Traverse City, Michigan
Days Three and Four
Holiday Inn Express, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Days Five and Six
The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, Michigan
✈ Call for air rates and schedules from your city to and from Chicago
STAY ANOTHER NIGHT - Rooms for the night before the tour are available. Cost for a room in Chicago is $339, tax included.