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Michigan At Its Best
August 7 - August 13$2430 – $3100
This is one of our most popular tours. Each year we add new events and fine-tune previous highlights. This tour never gets old for previous participants. And newcomers will find it impressive well beyond their wildest expectations. Due to this tour’s popularity we have lengthened this tour from 6 to 7 days to give everyone the full and total experience of a major highlight – Mackinac Island.
Day 1: Sunday, August 7, 2022
7:00 AM – Depart for Saugatuck Michigan from Cedar Rapids Sam’s Club parking lot on Blairs Ferry Road Behind Burger King
Lunch and rest stops in route. Tbd.
Change to Eastern Standard Time.
3:30 PM – Arrive at Saugatuck Dune Rides, one of West Michigan’s Premier Attractions. Board the Dune Schooners for 30 minutes of entertainment, fun and edification. Tour one of Michigan’s treasures. Learn of the lost town of Singapore and discover the local vegetation and wildlife. Experience the beauty of pure Michigan!
4:00 PM – Dune Buggy scheduled to depart for the tour.
5:00 PM – Depart for Muskegon.
6:00 PM – Arrive Muskegon. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Muskegon Norton Shores
6:30 PM – Depart for dinner & and touring aboard the USS LST-393: – LST stands for landing ship tank (or as many soldiers called it a long slow target). The LST 393 was in many battles including D Day. The main deck held 28 Sherman tanks with jeeps and trucks on the higher decks. The LST is one of two remaining after the war. At the front of the ship are bow doors that the tanks and other equipment went through. This is a ship museum that honors all veterans throughout the ship. You may go through the ship after your dinner. Most of the artifacts are on the tank deck (main floor). Someone will talk about the ship and answer any questions during the meal.
Day 2: Monday, August 8, 2022
A continental breakfast is included at the hotel.
8:00 AM – Depart for Charlevoix, Michigan.
12:00 PM – Arrive for lunch at Castle Farms.
1:00 PM – Enjoy a walking and tram tour through this unique facility. Your tour guide will delight your group with the rich history of Castle Farms, from its original construction 1918 as the Loeb Farm, to the Van Haver art studio and gallery period, as well as the music concert era, and through the extensive restoration process from 2001 to present. The completed buildings and landscaped gardens are breathtaking.
3:00 PM – Depart with your guide for Charlevoix. Charlevoix Guide will meet group at Castle Farms. A local guide will show you the architectural diversity of this lovely city. Highlighted are the more than thirty homes designed by local architect Earl Young. Dating from 1921 to the 1950′s, these unique, “mushroom houses” are built out of native stone and sport cedar shake roofs.
4:00 PM – Depart for Mackinac City
5:00 PM – Arrive Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry.
5:30 PM – Ferry to the Island. As you step upon the island you will feel like you have stepped back in time. Horse drawn vehicles transport everything from supplies for the business on the island to passengers. Motorized vehicles are not allowed.
Accommodations tonight are at the Bicycle Street Inn. Located on Main Street in the center of downtown Mackinac Island, Bicycle Street Inn & Suites blends perfectly with the Victorian character of Main Street, while offering all the modern interior touches. The evening is free for you to explore this unique island at your leisure. Be sure to taste some of the famous Mackinac Island fudge.
Day 3: Tuesday, August 9, 2022
10:00 AM – The day begins with a tour of the Island. For anyone who has seen the movie “Somewhere in Time” there will be moments of déjà vu as a horse drawn taxi will meet you for a tour of the island. The tour ends at the Grand Hotel with its fabulous buffet or plated served lunch.
Following lunch take some time to relax on the hotel’s porch. At 660 feet, the Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the world’s largest and has one of the most spectacular views of the straits. Wander down Main Street and visit some of Mackinac Island’s unique shops. Be sure to taste some of the famous Mackinac Island fudge.
Following lunch, the afternoon is free to continue exploring the Island.
Day 4: Wednesday, August 10, 2022
2:00 PM – Depart on the ferry to St. Ignace.
2:30 PM – Meet your guide for a fascinating ride across the Mighty Mac. At one time, this was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Hear the dramatic tales of the brave iron workers who built this massive structure. Your guide will provide more than hearsay – in many cases these are eyewitness accounts of local history.
3:30 PM – Depart for Thunder Bay Resort.
5:00 PM – Arrive at Thunder Bay Resort. This family run resort offers the beauty of Northern Michigan combined with a friendly staff to give you a matchless Northern Michigan experience.
6:00 PM – This evening step back in time as you board a horse drawn carriage that takes you over the Thunder Bay River and into the woods at Thunder Bay Resort. Enjoy the scenery, the smell of pine, and the ever-changing face of the Thunder Bay River as the horses make their way deep in the woods to the beautiful Elk Antler Log Cabin. A blazing fire in a massive split stone fireplace welcomes you. Wonderful aromas mix with the scent of hardwood smoke and emanate from two antique wood cook stoves in full view. This elegant cabin maintains its rustic appearance while providing every amenity. Warm yourself by the fire and savor the delicious aromas put forth by the twin antique wood cook stoves as culinary artist Spenser James and his staff prepare your gourmet meal. Throughout your dinner, sample five to seven wines from nearby Stoney Acres Winery as attentive servers see to your every need.
Your Gourmet Dinner Includes: Pear & Apple Crepe, Shrimp Cocktail, Jan’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Thunder Bay Sweet Napa Salad and Croissant, Crown Roast of Pork with Roasted Red Skin Potatoes, and White Chocolate Mousse Filled Pizzelles with Fresh Raspberries.
Day 5: Thursday, August 11, 2022
7:00 – 8:00 AM – A hot breakfast is included in the Clubhouse
8:00 AM Depart for Frankenmuth, MI
10:30 AM – Arrive in Frankenmuth, MI
Explore the many shops. Take time to visit the 50-foot Glockenspiel Tower. It houses a magnificent 35-bell carillon, beautiful figurine movement and an illuminated clock, all imported from Germany! Before striking the hour, and on each quarter hour, the clock sounds the 5-bell Westminster chime. (At noon each day several selections are played which are immediately followed by 4 ½’ figurines depicting the legend of the Pied Piper of Hameln.)
12:15 PM – Depart for Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland
12:30 PM – Visit BRONNER’S CHRISTmas WONDERLAND, a fascinating year-round attraction for all ages. Bronner’s was founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner. When Wally painted his first sign, little did he dream that his small business would one day become the world’s largest Christmas store.
1:45 PM – Depart for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour
3:00 PM – Arrive at the Rouge Factory
Put yourself at the center of sheer manufacturing might. Beyond the awe-inspiring sweep, scale and action of the real-life factory floor where the new military grade aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150 is made, get set for some eye-opening encounters with the technology of tomorrow — today.
Ford Rouge Factory Tour is a self-guided five-part experience that includes:
- Legacy Theater: Learn about the triumphs and tragedies surrounding the Rouge, much of it told through rare, never-before-seen historic footage.
- Manufacturing Innovation Theater: A multisensory exploration of the manufacturing experience, from concept to highway. Filled with jaw-dropping special effects, from “floating” 3D laser projection mapping and high-energy audio to a breathtaking behind-the-wheel finale.
- Observation Deck Tour: View the ground-breaking living roof from our 80-foot-high Observation Deck.
- Assembly Plant Walking Tour: See where the new military grade aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150s are assembled in a lean and flexible manufacturing plant. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the final assembly process from an elevated walkway.
- Legacy Gallery: View five historic vehicles made at the Rouge, hop in a new F-150, and visit our Factory Store.
5:00 PM – Depart for the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant for a tour and dinner (catered by Slows BBQ)
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a former factory located within the Milwaukee Junction area of Detroit, Michigan. Built in 1904, it was the second center of automobile production for the Ford Motor Company, after the Ford Mack Avenue Plant. At the Piquette Avenue Plant, the company created and first produced the Ford Model T. It was also the first factory where more than 100 cars were assembled in one day.
Accommodations tonight are at the Best Western Greenfield Inn
Day 6: Friday, August 7, 2020
Breakfast is included at the hotel.
9:15 AM – Depart for Greenfield Village
9:30 AM – Arrive at Greenfield Village
Experience firsthand the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s fascinating formation, where over 80 acres brim with resourcefulness and ingenuity. Here, 300 years of American perseverance serve as a living reminder that anything is possible. Step foot in the lab where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment or the workshop where the Wright brothers taught us to reach for the sky. Walk through four working farms. Rub shoulders with world-class artisans and explore the place where America’s can-do spirit inspires you to go out and get it done.
2:30 PM – Depart for the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
3:30 PM – Arrive at Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is a mansion located at 1100 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores, northeast of Detroit, Michigan; it stands on the site known as “Gaukler Point,” on the shore of Lake St. Clair. The house became the residence of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford family in 1929. The tour begins with a video that provides an historic overview of the Ford family. Knowledgeable guides will lead you on a tour of the home to discover its stories and spectacular treasures. A highlighted walk through the grounds features a look at some of the most impressive areas of the 87-acre estate and a visit to some of the outer buildings, such as the PlayHouse, Recreation Building and Gate Lodge Garage.
Dinner is included in Detroit followed by a mini-tour of the city before returning to your hotel. Learn why Detroit is being called the “Come Back City.”
Day 7 Saturday, August 8, 2020
A hot breakfast is included at the hotel.
9:15 AM – Depart for The Henry Ford Museum
9:30 AM – Arrive at The Henry Ford Museum
Explore the many exhibits at the Henry Ford Museum:
- Driving America: The world’s premier automotive exhibition centered around an unparalleled collection of historically significant vehicles, this remarkable mix of authentic artifacts, digital media, interactive play and personal accounts focuses on the enormous influence the automobile has had on American culture.
- With Liberty and Justice for All: “With Liberty & Justice for All” is a groundbreaking exhibit that explores the proud and often painful evolution of American freedom: from the Revolutionary War through the struggle for civil rights. See and hear the past trials, tribulations and triumphs of the enduring spirit of Freedom.
- Heroes of the Sky: Visitors to Heroes of the Sky: Adventures in Early Flight will be awed and inspired by people’s stories from the first forty years of aviation. Historic airplanes bring to life the lofty accomplishments of America’s pioneering aviators. Come honor the men and women who shaped the skies with their minds, hearts, and even their lives.
- Presidential Limousines: Among the nationally renowned artifacts of the Museum are the vehicles in which 20th-century American presidents traveled. You’ll find this unique exhibit thoroughly fascinating and truly unforgettable.
- Made in America: Manufacturing and Power are the two sections of this exhibit that explores the legacy of American innovators from the 18th to 20th centuries who made America a manufacturing superpower! Hundreds of artifacts, including operating steam engines, help tell their stories.
- Have lunch at the Museum prior to departure for home.
12:00 Noon – Depart for Cedar Rapids. CHANGE TO CENTRAL STANDARD TIME. We will be making 3 TBD rest stops including one for dinner.
8:00 PM – Arrive Cedar Rapids Sam’s Club.
9:00 PM – Wake up all of your friends and tell them what a wonderful time you had.
- 6 nights lodging
- 1 night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Muskegon Norton Shores, Muskegon, MI
- 2 nights at the Bicycle Street Inn, Mackinac Island
- 1 night at Thunder Bay Resort, Hillman, MI
- 2 nights at the Best Western Greenfield Inn.
- 8 Meals
- 3 breakfasts
- Lunch at Castle Farms, Charlevoix, MI
- Buffet Lunch at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
- Dinner at the Ford Piquette Plant
- Gourmet Dinner and Elk Viewing Carriage Tour at Thunder Bay Resort
- Dinner aboard the USS LST-393
- Admission to The Henry Ford including:
- Rouge Factory Tour
- The Henry Ford Museum
- Greenfield Village
- All day tour from Muskegon to Mackinaw City to include:
- Admission and Tram Tour at Castle Farms
- Tour of Charlevoix
- Admission to Saugatuck Dune Rides
- Admission to the USS LST-393
- Tour across the Mackinac Bridge
- Ferry to and from Mackinac Island
- Carriage Tour of Mackinac Island
- Visit to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland
- Admission to and tour of the Ford Piquette Plant Museum
- Admission to the Edsel and Eleanor House
- Mini-tour of Detroit
- Baggage handling at included hotels
$2550 pp. Dbl. Oc
$3100 Sig. Oc.
$2430 pp. Tri. Oc