Do you have a 50 state goal in your travel plans? In 2021, we finally checked off the state of Michigan in our RV travels. (By the way, there is a great map that use on the side of our RV. We put up a new state sticker for each state that we visit).
Having never been to Michigan before this trip, there were several stops planned. So, we made a brief stop in the Detroit area where we learned a great history lesson about the Birwood Wall. And we also got some new tires for our RV (this was quite the feat with the rubber shortage)!
Mackinac Island is a MUST visit place! This island lies at the top of the lower Peninsula of Michigan near where lake Huron and Lake Michigan join each other. This quaint island boasts NO cars, NO motorized vehicles, and no hotel chains. The only way to get to this island is by air or sea, meaning taking a ferry (boat) or plane. Interestingly enough, there is a small airport on Mackinac Island.
A great way you can explore the Island is riding bikes. There is an 8 mile loop that goes around the perimeter of the island. You can bring your bike on the ferry with you (there is an extra fee) OR you can rent bikes once you arrive. You can even rent a tandem bike if you want to give that a try! (We rented bikes vs. bringing ours with us). Something to be aware of is there are regulations regarding e-bikes. You can see the rules and regulations here, but in short e-bikes are not allowed unless you have a mobility disability. The whole entire island is a “motorized free” zone.
Did We Mention the FUDGE?
Mackinac is known for their many famous fudge shops! When you walk into these shops, the aromas will have you purchasing all the fudge! There are so many varieties from peanut butter, chocolate, and all sorts of blends. (Our favorite is the peanut butter chocolate)!
After eating the world famous Mackinac Fudge, we’re betting you will want to work it off with a good bike ride! You can also take a horse drawn carriage ride and experience all the charm of the island that way too if you’re not up for the physical activity.
The waters around the island are crystal clear (it reminded us of the Florida Keys at times). You can see the stones that comprise if lake bed and there are small, gentle waves. Take a break from the bikes and sit along the lake shore to enjoy the beauty! This is a must-do activity. (And a nice little break)!
Getting To Mackinac Michigan (You Can’t Take the RV)!
Taking a ferry can be a great ways to get to the island. There are two main ferry lines that depart from St. Ignace and Mackinac City. Ferry schedules and tickets are available for purchase online. You can also get to the island via airplane. And there are several private charter companies that offer flights to Mackinac.
Petoskey State Park
Another must see area in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, is Petoskey state park. This park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. There is a nice sandy/rocky beach where you can walk along and if you are lucky, you will find Petoskey Stones or Charlevoix stones. These fossils look like plain gray stones until they get wet. And then something magical happens! The best way to find these is while walking along the beach look for the wet stones, OR beach comb when it’s raining. You can also bring a spray bottle to wet down the stones while you are looking for them.
Petoskey stones are fossilized historic rugose coral, or Hexagonaria percarinata. There are also many Charlevoix stones that can be found. The Charlevoix stones are similar in appearance to the Petoskey stone. But they has some unique structures and features. The Charlevoix stone will have distinctive honeycomb-like appearance. They’re a bit more rare than Petoskey stones, but it’s not uncommon to find both of these unique fossils while exploring beaches throughout northern Michigan. Try your luck at looking for both of these unique fossils while Rving Michigan.
Where To Stay When Rving Michigan
A great RV park (where we stayed) is the Tiki RV Campground. This campground is located in St. Ignace, MI. We found great rates for this full-hook up RV park that will accommodate big rigs and larger RVs. There are also smaller RV sites available too. One thing to note about this area of Michigan when you are traveling by RV. You want to plan for transportation. There are no ride sharing options in the area (like Uber or Lyft). Rental cars in the summers months (the busy season) can also be hard to find. We have a “toad” so transportation for us is not a problem, but you will want to plan a way to get around. Especially if you choose to not bring a vehicle you can drive (other than your RV).
Make sure to add Michigan and Mackinac to your RV Travel plans (and during the summer months, LOL). It does not disappoint!
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