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  1. #1

    Default St. Louis to Traverse City, MI in late August

    We are considering visiting the Traverse City area in late August and wondering how to split up the drive. We normally try to limit each day to 8 or 9 hours and wondered where we should stop for our first night. Are there any "not to be missed" stops along the way. We are semi-active seniors who enjoy the arts, museums, gardens, etc, but are not into hiking (knee problems). Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Your halfway point is right around the IL/IN border on I-80, so you should go farther, I'd say at least to Indiana Dunes or into MI. 8 to 9 hours will get you considerably past that (as far as Grand Rapids), unless you get hung up in Chicago rush hour (hint - leave STL early). So - I'd look at somewhere along I-94/I-196 between the MI state line and Grand Rapids. Holland may hold some interest for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default I Feel Your Pain

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yeah, I can no longer lay down endless hours like I did when I was a kid either, and my wife likes long days in the car even less than I do. I will note that your drive, even so, is just over the edge of what can be done in 8-9 hours if traffic co-operates and you take the shortest possible route. But, on the other hand, you're going to lose an hour to the time zone change, so you will get into Traverse City an hour later than your travel time would indicate. The good part of all that is that you have a wide range of possible places to stop for the evening, pretty much anywhere in western Michigan. I'll make two suggestions. The first is that you avoid Chicago as much as possible. Trying to drive through, even around, it is physically and mentally draining. What you can do is leave I-57 at Gilman IL and take US-24 east to US-231 north to I-65. This adds a few miles to your drive, but they're much easier miles than the Tri-State Tollway. You'd enter the Chicago area at it's southeast corner and immediately be heading out to the east on I-94. For an overnight stay, I'd suggest Benton Harbor/St. Joseph. There are several lakeshore parks in the area to watch the evening sunset over the lake, and at 400 miles (even with the detour I suggested) it's well within reach of a relaxed 8-9 hour day on the road.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Coming from STL, they will more likely be on I-55. I've taken US-24 from I-57 to I-65, and it is not a fast road. Taking I-55 to I-80 isn't that bad these days as long as you avoid rush hour.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Coming from STL, they will more likely be on I-55. I've taken US-24 from I-57 to I-65, and it is not a fast road. Taking I-55 to I-80 isn't that bad these days as long as you avoid rush hour.
    Thanks for the input. We will be taking I-55 to I-80. We're hoping to leave St. Louis by 8:30AM, is that early enough to avoid the Chicago traffic?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Yes, it should be, as long as you don't get delayed. It's going to be busy, but it doesn't really start to jam up till after 3. If you plan on a real lunch stop prior to getting to I-80, I might want to try to leave earlier - especially if it's on a Friday. Once you get past the Indiana Toll Road entrance near Portage, you should be home free. From downtown STL, it's about 300 miles to there and you would be looking at 5 to 6 hours plus stops. When you reach the MI border, you lose an hour, you will be entering the Eastern time zone.

  7. #7

    Default

    You might pick up Business I-94 at Exit 23 and drive through St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. They are both interesting little towns and you might consider spending your first night in the area. Along the lake shore in St. Joseph, it's interesting to see how they have to constantly battle the sand blowing in from the beach. If you leave St. Louis at 8:30 am, you'd have no trouble getting to this area by 3:00 pm or earlier and missing the Chicago area traffic. Along the way, you might consider a stop at Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes Nat'l Lake Shore. Both are near I-94 Exit 26 and you can get an up-close look at a nuclear power plant.

    If you're planning on following the lake shore up, which I highly recommend, I would classify Silver Lake State Park and Sleeping Bear Nat'l Lake Shore as "must see" stops. At Silver Lake, Mac Wood's Dune Rides is great fun. At Sleeping Bear, you can see a dune that drops 450 feet almost straight down to the lake.

    While in Traverse City, be sure and take the drive out Mission Point Peninsula. It's a great drive with a number of orchards, several wineries and a great little country store along the way as well as the Old Mission Point Lighthouse.

    Have A Great Trip!!

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks. I'm trying to figure out where to stop (sleep at) on the way. I'd love to find a town thatwe could spend a few hours in the next morning before continuing on with our trip.

  9. #9

    Default Help with itinerary for driving thru Michigan towards Traverse City

    We (2 seniors) will be taking a one week driving vacation from St. Louis towards Northern Michigan in early Sept. and looking for help on highways, cities, etc. Our tentative itinerary is leaving St.L (8-9 am) Saturday and driving to South Haven - spend the night there and leave the next day for Traverse City (hoping for a scenic drive). Three nights in TC exploring the area and then head to Petoskey with stops in Charlevoix and Harbor City. Leave Petoskey and drive to Grand Rapids (we want to see Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park) for our final night before driving back to STL.

    Question 1 - whats the best drive from South Haven to TC and what side trips should we consider along the way?. Question 2 what are good day trips/drive around TC? Question 3 are there any not to be missed spots/towns/sites along the way?

    We enjoy leisurely days, shopping/art galleries, not big on hiking anymore (bad knees). We are foodies but prefer casual and are suckers for a great view. Thanks

    Merged with previous posts on the same trip. Please do not start multiple threads for this venture.

    Mod
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-22-2012 at 02:48 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    13 Ezra - I'm guessing that you made what is essentially a dupicate post because you couldn't find your way back to your original thread. If this is the case, you an find your way back by clicking on the "Quick Links/Subscribed Threads" tab.

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