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  1. Default 7 days Road trip from Madison, WI

    Hi everyone,

    We a young couple are looking for ideas for our first road trip this last week of May. We have 7 days off from school and would like to explore the nearby areas a bit but there are so many choices out there! The most important thing to us is to save money, so we don't mind staying in cheap motel to save $$, just want to enjoy the road.

    We have visited Chicago and Wis Dell so will cross that out of our plan. We do want to see the beach, or lake beach that's fine, too. Scenic drives would be valuable, as I am a fan of things like lavender field, daisy field (not sure if these flowers are there by the end of May yet?). We try to stay away from big cities, casino and such, and do not want to visit historical sites or museums because we have been to a bunch. Any idea would be very appreciated and helpful to us!

    Also, I heard about the circle tour around Great Lake but was not able to find more info about it. Has anyone done this before and how did it go?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here some places to start thinking about

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Here's a thread about traveling around the Great Lakes -- it was done on a motorcycle, but the information works for you too.

    And other one from AZ Buck that has parts of might work for you.

    We have published some routes in the Great Lakes region -- that might serve to provide some more ideas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Around a Lake (or Two) It Is

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As I was reading through your wish list for your trip, the possibilities that immediately came to mind were just the one(s) that you mentioned at the end, a circle tour of one or more of the Great Lakes. From Wisconsin, the obvious choices are one or more of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, or Lake Huron. To be honest, I don't think that Lake Michigan would quite suit you as it would entail a fair amount of urban driving around the southern end of the lake. While I haven't completed a full circuit of the two northern lakes, I have driven the southern shore of Lake Superior and the northern shore of Lake Huron/Georgian Bay and both drives were quite scenic, wild, and - it would seem - there's always something in bloom.

    Along the southern shore of Lake Superior there's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Then along the north shore there's Isle Royale National Park and Pukaskwa National Park. If you should choose Lake Huron, I think I might suggest that you split the difference between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay by leaving the Trans-Canada Highway at Espanola (assuming a clockwise circuit) and taking ON-6 down to South Baymouth and the ferry from there to Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula National Park, then crossing back into Michigan at Sarnia and hugging the southwest coast of Lake Huron on MI-25 to Bay City and using US-10/MI-115 to cut over and up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore before heading for home via either the Mackinac Bridge or the Ludington-Manitowoc Ferry.

    Of course, you will need to have valid passports to complete either lake circuit through Canada, but the last time I was driving up in that region (and it was admittedly quite a few years ago) many towns had local parks that were marked as "transient campgrounds" where you could park overnight and sleep in your car. If you were still around at say 7 or 8 in the morning, you might be asked by the local constabulary to make a donation for the privilege. There are also a ton of provincial and state parks with more developed campgrounds.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    You've already been given lots of great ideas, and I'd fully recommend any or all of them. I will tell you, that I've become a big fan of any trip around Lake Superior. I've taken several long weekend trips up to the UP and Minnesota's North Shore and had a blast every time. I've only spent a little time time on the Canadian side of Superior, but there is a ton more to do there too. I also have really enjoyed my time in the Georgian Bay area of Canada that Buck referenced.

    One note about beaches, it's unlikely that you'll find water warm enough to swim anywhere in the Great Lakes in May, and Lake Superior's waters can be flat out icy even in August!

    A couple other options you might also enjoy would be the Black Hills and Badlands in South Dakota, or heading towards the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. Both are within 2 days of Madison and could make for a very nice week.

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