Itinerary Highlights
    • Visit two of the most beautiful Great Lakes: Lake Michigan and Lake Superior
    • Explore the musical history of Motown in Detroit
    • Visit Prince’s studios in Minneapolis
    • Soak up the bustling atmosphere and panoramic vistas while staying in picturesque lakeside towns.

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This 18-day itinerary is all about getting reacquainted with Mother Nature as you discover the Great Lakes in east-central USA. Explore the quaint towns dotted along their shores and immerse yourself in a landscape of forest, beach and serene waters. Your itinerary is sandwiched by stays in two vibrant metropolises: Detroit and Michigan.

Beginning in Detroit, spend time discovering the lively city and its musical history, before driving to the small lakeside town of Saugatuck, where you’ll get a taste of lakeside life over the next couple of days. It’s then onwards to Glen Arbor for three nights, a town nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. Enjoy a variety of outdoor adventures in the tropical-looking waters of the surrounding lakes and rivers.
Mackinac Island is your next stop, where you’ll step back in time to a car-free existence. Soak up the picturesque lake views and slow pace of life here. After two nights on the island, drive to the pretty town of Marquette, sitting on the shores of Lake Superior. Marquette’s impressive forests, waterfalls, beaches and vibrant downtown are sure to impress. Crossing state lines, it’s then time to drive to the beautiful town of Bayfield, the gateway to the natural wonders of the Apostle Islands. Get out on the water, discover the town’s cultural attractions and enjoy lovely Lake Superior. For the final few days of the trip, leave the Great Lakes behind and head to Minneapolis. You’ll have three nights in this energetic city, the perfect amount of time to soak up all the art, culture and history on offer, before catching your flight home.


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Depart for Detroit

Today, you’ll be departing for Detroit, Michigan, so it’s time to head to the airport. Chill out in the lounge before you hop on a direct nine-hour flight to the largest city on the USA-Canada border. Touching down late afternoon, you’ll catch a transfer to your artisan boutique hotel for the next two nights. Once you’ve settled in and freshened up, head to your hotel’s laidback restaurant for dinner, or explore the historic (and hip) neighbourhood of Corktown, where your hotel is located. Enjoy a nightcap in the hotel’s comfortable lounge area before hitting the hay.


Marvellous Motown

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in your hotel courtyard this morning or grab some food in a nearby café. Music lovers, you’re in for a treat; today, you’ll be discovering the fascinating legacy of Motown on a guided tour of the Motown Museum. Learn the story of Motown Records (where artists like Marvin Gaye recorded many a hit), tracing the iconic label from its humble beginnings in 1959 to its rise to fame. Founded as a museum in 1985 by a former Motown Records executive, you’ll see an extraordinary array of artefacts, photographs, apparel and memorabilia.

And for the rest of the day? Spend it however you please. For a culture fix, visit the Detroit Institute of Art, which houses an impressive collection and ranks within the top six galleries in the country. The Henry Ford Museum is also well worth a visit, chronicling the United States’ history of technological and industrial achievements. See the first steam locomotive, the car in which JFK was assassinated, and step back in time at the historic Greenfield Village. And if you’re in the mood for shopping, go hunting for treasures at the Detroit Antique Mall or the lively Eastern Market.

Come evening, we recommend consulting our Dossier for tried and tested eateries in the city, before heading back to your hotel for a well-earned rest.


Drive to Saugatuck

This morning, savour your final breakfast in Detroit, the head out to collect your rental car which is yours for the remainder of the trip. Your first pit stop is Saugatuck, located about a three-hour drive west of Detroit, in a curve of the Kalamazoo River, just before you reach Lake Michigan. The small town is scattered with art galleries, shops, marinas and beaches, providing a sweet contrast to city life. You’ll be spending the next two nights in a charming independent hotel here so unpack and settle in.


Explore Saugatuck

Fuel up with breakfast this morning before setting off to explore Saugatuck. There’s so much to get involved with in this picturesque holiday town but visiting the Dune State Park is a non-negotiable. Discover over two miles of shoreline and scrub-covered sand as you hike or ride (yes, ride) the dunes – some reaching up to an impressive height of 200ft. Other things to do include taking the historic chain ferry (the last vessel of its kind in the USA), climbing to Mount Baldhead for beautiful views across the shoreline, enjoying local wine tasting, cruising the Kalamazoo River and lounging on Oval Beach. Make sure to soak up the atmosphere in the bustling riverside town this evening, as you drink and taste your way around Saugatuck. You’ll return to your hotel for the night, well-fed and watered after a jam-packed day.


North to Glen Arbor

It’s time to wave goodbye to splendid Saugatuck after breakfast this morning and head to the next stop on your itinerary. You’ll be in the car for around three-and-a-half hours, driving north towards the lakeside town of Glen Arbor. Your accommodation for the next three nights is a welcoming lodge boasting panoramic views of the Crystal River Valley, Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan. Settle in for the evening and watch the sunset from your lodge, before enjoying dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants.

DAYS 6 & 7

Glorious Glen Arbor

You’ve got the next two days to explore the gorgeous town of Glen Arbor and its surrounding area. Rise and shine to a leisurely breakfast in your lodge as you admire the picturesque panorama (we’re talking thick forests, steep sand dunes and clear turquoise waters that could be mistaken for the Caribbean Sea). You needn’t stray far to explore, as your accommodation has its own stretch of beach with splendid swimming spots and more. Hiking and biking trails are plentiful in the Sleeping Bear Dunes or you can simply settle on the sand for the day. Nearby, there’s also the beautiful Crystal River if you fancy a kayaking adventure, or you can take to the waters of the tranquil Big Glen and Little Glen Lakes by boat. If you’re in the mood for going further afield, you can also catch a ferry over to the serene Manitou Islands to get some peace and quiet.

As well as the area’s natural wonders, there’s also a charming downtown area to explore. Spend some time wandering the quaint shops, and make sure to visit the quirky Cherry Republic for cherry-related goods; think cherry wine, jam, pie and ice creams, made from Michigan’s Montmorency tart cherry (which is grown nearby). Consult our Dossier for the best eateries in the area, and your hungry bellies will thank you.


Drive to Mackinac Island

This morning, it’s time to bid Glen Arbor farewell as you travel north to your next destination: Mackinac Island. You’ll be on the road for around three hours to Saint-Ignace, where you’ll leave your car behind and board a 20-minute ferry to Mackinac Island. Likened to Cape Cod, this dinky car-free island is nestled in the strait between stunning Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Your accommodation for the next two nights is a beautiful estate on the southeastern tip of the island. With five restaurants, a wellness spa and gorgeous gardens to become acquainted with, you’re in good hands for the next couple of days. Enjoy views across the peaceful lake as you settle in and freshen up, before heading for a sunset stroll around the grounds. Dine at the hotel this evening, or venture into the town to sample one of the island’s other establishments.


Magical Mackinac Island

Enjoy a leisurely morning at your accommodation, before heading out for the day. There’s so much to get involved with on the island, from horse carriage, boat and bicycle rides to shopping and strolling the downtown. A must-do is cycling along the lakeshores of the island’s perimeter, to admire the picturesque vistas and feel the lake breeze on your face. If you prefer to explore on foot, there are plentiful hiking trails which showcase Mackinac’s outstanding natural beauty, too. History buffs can learn all about the island’s role in the fur trade by visiting one of its museums and marvel at the iconic forts captured by the British during the war of 1812. Get a taste of the island’s art and culture at the Richard & Jane Manoogian Art Museum and Biddle House Native American Museum, and don’t leave without sampling some of the island’s world-famous fudge (you can also watch fudge-making in action downtown for the perfect break from a shopping spree). Come evening, enjoy a final dinner in one of our recommended restaurants from your Dossier.

DAY 10

Marquette Bound

It’s a short 20-minute drive north towards the small town of Marquette, which sits pretty on the shores of Lake Superior. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Marquette boasts a plethora of beautiful hiking and biking trails through the dense surrounding forest. You’ll be spending two nights here in a charming hotel with splendidly furnished interiors. For the rest of the day, we recommend exploring the buzzing downtown area’s shops, galleries and museums, before getting out in nature. Hike up to Sugarloaf Mountain for spectacular views over the forest and lake, and after working up an appetite, head to one of the town’s independent eateries or dine in your hotel’s lovely restaurant.

DAY 11

Lovely Lake Superior

Wake up early this morning to make the most of your day in Marquette. Today, the wild landscapes of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore beckon, boasting sandstone cliffs, miles of beach, rushing waterfalls and huge sand dunes. Pick one of the trails winding through the thick green forests, and you can’t go wrong. Lake Superior certainly lives up to its name, too, offering vast vistas and ample water-based activities. Try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding or fishing, and seek out Lake Superior’s picturesque lighthouses, which you’ll find dotted along the shores. For unrivalled views across the lake, head to the 323-acre Presque Isle Park, a forested peninsula filled with miles of trails. Stop at Sunset Point to watch the sun sinking over the horizon, and you won’t regret it. This evening, head back to your hotel to put your feet up after a fun-filled day of activity. Consult our Dossier for the best eating establishments in the area, to ensure you end your day on a high.

DAY 12

Bayfield Bound

Wave goodbye to the marvellous town of Marquette this morning as it’s time to head to your next destination: Bayfield, Wisconsin. While you might be crossing state borders, you’re not leaving the shores of Lake Superior just yet. Hitting the road for around four hours, you’ll reach the little lakeside town of Bayfield just in time for lunch. You’ll spend the next three nights here in a charming Victorian hotel located just a stone’s throw away from the lake.

Once you’ve settled in and had a bite to eat, we recommend sampling some of Bayfield’s cultural attractions, including The Maritime Museum, which has exhibits on local shipwrecks and lighthouses, and a scattering of independent galleries and boutiques. Find a spot for a delicious dinner and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere in the town before heading back to your hotel.

DAYS 13 & 14

Explore Beautiful Bayfield

Known as the gateway to the Apostle Islands, a group of 22 coastal islands, Bayfield is perfectly located for outdoor exploration. The best way to discover the islands’ beauty? By getting out on the water, of course. Hop on a boat cruise and see the famous red sandstone sea caves and historic lighthouses up close or get your blood pumping with a more active water sport like sailing or kayaking. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, and maybe even a bald eagle, and go hiking or cycling along the plentiful trails around the lake.

Back in Bayfield, look out for seasonal theatre performances, or catch some live music. Bayfield is the ‘Berry Capital of Wisconsin’ – owing to its distinct microclimate which allows fruit to flourish – so it’s also worth going on a day trip to one of the surrounding 14 farms and orchards. Depending on the season, you’ll even be able to try your hand at berry picking. And if you’re travelling in autumn, catch the Apple Festival in October. Enjoy spectacular sunsets across the lake, dine on fresh seafood (courtesy of Lake Superior) in the evenings, and quench your thirst with some local brews.

DAY 15

Drive to Minneapolis

Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to the Great Lakes, as you journey inland towards Minneapolis. It’s about a four-hour drive to the city, so buckle up and put our destination-specific playlist on the speakers. You’ll be spending the next three nights in Minneapolis, so when you arrive, settle into your comfortable, contemporary hotel room.

This afternoon, we recommend heading out to get your first taste of this energetic, bustling metropolis. Don’t miss the epicentre of the city’s art scene, the Warehouse District, where you’ll find warehouses that have been converted into eclectic shops, art galleries and restaurants. There are plenty of other cultural activities to get involved with, too, such as visiting the Walker Art Centre and Minneapolis Institute of Art. Come evening, make sure to consult our Dossier of the top places to eat and drink in the city. Then head back to your hotel and get a good night’s sleep so you can make the most of the final two days of your trip.

DAYS 16 & 17

Discover Marvellous Minneapolis

The next two days are yours to explore vibrant Minneapolis. The city is located on the Mississippi River, and encompasses 13 lakes as well as wetlands, creeks and waterfalls; it’s no wonder it’s nicknamed the ‘City of Lakes’. From world-class museums, countless parks and art fairs to exciting theatre shows and sporting events, you won’t be bored in this fabulous city. Make sure to bring a hearty appetite, too, as Minneapolis boasts an enviable gastronomic scene (Whittier neighbourhood wins on the foodie front). The Sculpture Garden is also a must-see, and the buzzing nightlife is not to be missed.

Music fans, you’re in for a treat, as on your final day, we’ve arranged tickets to the Paisley Park complex, the former home and studios of musical icon, Prince. Located just a 20-minute drive from the city, you’ll get to celebrate the art, music, fashion and culture of this creative visionary as you tour his fascinating world. If you’ve not quite had your music fix, you can also catch some live music in one of Minneapolis’ many bars (just don’t forget your dancing shoes).

DAYS 18 & 19

Home Time

Sadly, your Great Lakes adventure comes to an end today, so make sure your bags are packed, and final souvenirs are purchased. Pack in some last sightseeing and revisit your favourite spots, before heading to the airport this afternoon. You’ll be catching an eight-hour evening flight back to the UK, so try to get some shut-eye as you fly through the night.

You’ll arrive back on UK soil bright and early the next morning, spilling over with tales to tell friends and family from your trip.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £2,880 to £4,600 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £3,700 per person.
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