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Looking for info as to best time of year for temperatures, crossing the Mackinac Bridge, places off-normal as B&B or Mom and Pop hotels off the beaten path, better locally know sites to see and so on. Plan is for a two week ride next season(this one is shot to hell) and run up first from MO into IL into MI following the lake shore route. Run up and over the Mackinac Bridge, stay at Sault Ste. Marie maybe daytrip into Canananada (and yes I spelled that) then thru the UP down into WI dropping back into Chicago for a two night downtown before coming home to MO almost entirely BACKROADS.

Any and all help is appreciated! Want this to be a good ride.
 

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I had to buy a sweatshirt when I was in the UP the beginning of July. Of course the locals were in shorts and T-shirts.

Ate a nice Whitefish Sandwich and a rootbeer float at the Rapid River Grill in Rapid River, Michigan

They even have covered parking.
 

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I was using my Choice Hotel points so no recommendations for Mom and Pop hotels.

Here is my view from the EconoLodge in Menominee, WI
 

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There are a few good views of the bridge but you have to work at it for some views.

You just have to wander around the roads on the North and South side to find a vantage point.
 

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You do have to watch out for sugar sand at some of the roads that get you close. This is on the east shore.
 

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An of course you have to visit the sand dunes and maybe even try and walk to the top of one.

I only made it half way up. That soft sand sure makes it a challenge.
 

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Some might find riding on the grated part of the bridge a challenge. Wind shouldn't be an issue on the road glide.
 

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Crossing the locks going into Sault Ste. Marie. Then a walk along the River looking back into the US.
 

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Be sure to get on m22 north of manistee and follow to the end at northport some of the best riding and scenery michigan has to offer. From northport go along grand traverse bay to traverse city take 31 north to petosky to m119 at harbor springs. That will lead you to tunnel of trees and stop at leg inn at north end. Hug the lake shore and you will come up right underneath mackinaw bridge. Black flies are bad in u.p. in spring I would recommend late summer early fall. When on bridge if you are on grate and look down the bridge dissappears and all you see is water ...good for picking up the old blood pressure lol.
 

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Be sure to get on m22 north of manistee and follow to the end at northport some of the best riding and scenery michigan has to offer. From northport go along grand traverse bay to traverse city take 31 north to petosky to m119 at harbor springs. That will lead you to tunnel of trees and stop at leg inn at north end. Hug the lake shore and you will come up right underneath mackinaw bridge. Black flies are bad in u.p. in spring I would recommend late summer early fall. When on bridge if you are on grate and look down the bridge dissappears and all you see is water ...good for picking up the old blood pressure lol.
Man oh man......reading that brings back memories - As a Kid, we spent Summers in N Michigan up in the Mansalona / Kalkaska area on Big Twin lake - We use to go up to all these towns - Then College came and I worked at the Mackinac Kite Co and would camp and Mtn Bike on the Island every weekend.........dropped enough Acid to stone a small W African Village too - Good Times
 

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Having traveled a LOT around this fine state (Michigan), I have more tips than this post can tolerate. A lot of them are specific to my tastes, which could be quite different from yours. The third week of June is as early as I would go, and end of August is as late.
I like mom & pop motels, "doors on the outside". The further north you go, the more of these there are. The shore of Lake Michigan is great, but the roads right on the lake are limited. I ride M-37 north of Grand Rapids a lot. It's relatively low-traffic, woodsy, and beautiful. Mostly nice surface. A thought for you would be taking I-196 to Grand Rapids, exit on M-11/Wilson Avenue around the city, up to Fruit Ridge Avenue, which intersects M-37 near Kent City (GPS would help). Then M-37 to M-55, west to Manistee. In Manistee, take US-31 to M-22, north to Frankfort, then M-22 through Glen Arbor, to Northport, down through Suttons Bay to Traverse City. US-31 thru Charlevoix, to Petoskey, then M-119 Tunnel of Trees to Legs Inn in Cross Village for eats. Levering Road takes you back to US-31, to Mackinaw City. There quite a few small motels on the east side of I-75 along the water, I've stayed at Bell's and Sunrise Beach.
Now you're ready to cross the bridge. Of the 15 or so times I've crossed, I've been able to ride on the pavement (outer lane) once, all other times were the grating (inner lane), due to outer lanes being closed. They are usually painting the railings, and superstructure in the summer. It's only five miles or so on the grate :). It's amazing how quiet it gets when the noise of your machine doesn't bounce up from the road. The only thing to worry about is high winds, which are not common, but not unusual. I prefer to stay in St. Ignace, lots of mom & pops on the north side of town, on Lake Huron.
If you want to go to St. Ste. Marie, that's cool, but you will most likely miss what I think is the prettiest lakeshore ride in the country, along the north side of Lake Michigan on US-2 between St. Ignace and Naubinway. There is a little restaurant and a motel in Engadine, right on the bluff. If you go to the Soo, work a route through Paradise to Whitefish Point, then back down M-123, past Tahquamenon Falls, to Newberry, to M-28. A short hop on M-28 to M-77, to Grand Marais, home of Superior Brewing, and great whitefish sandwiches. From Grand Marais, take county road H-58 (once gravel, now paved, and very popular) to Munising, which is home to more mom & pop motels.
Back on M-28 west, to Marquette, then US-41/M-28 til US-41 heads north, through Baraga, Houghton, then take in Copper Harbor, and stay at Fitzgerald's in Eagle River. Rooms on second floor, over the restaurant, right on Lake Superior beach. No air conditioning needed!
Now we head south out of Houghton on M-26 to M-38, to Ontonagon, M-64 south, along Lake Gogebic, to US-2 west to Ironwood. US-51 south through Manitowish Waters area, and WI-47 to Rhinelander. The rest is up to you!
Check out a web site called upcruising. They have a lot of useful info.
I've heard good things about Oswald's Bear Ranch, near Newberry.
Nice Lake Michigan towns: South Haven, Pentwater, Frankfort, Leland, Northport, Suttons Bay.
Nice UP towns: Paradise, Munising, Marquette (larger), Houghton, Copper Harbor.
Good luck! (I think I want to go on another trip now):smile:.
 

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I posted a really detailed reply, as I have traveled around the west coast of Michigan, and the UP, extensively. Moderator still reviewing?
 

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Looking for info as to best time of year for temperatures, crossing the Mackinac Bridge, places off-normal as B&B or Mom and Pop hotels off the beaten path, better locally know sites to see and so on. Plan is for a two week ride next season(this one is shot to hell) and run up first from MO into IL into MI following the lake shore route. Run up and over the Mackinac Bridge, stay at Sault Ste. Marie maybe daytrip into Canananada (and yes I spelled that) then thru the UP down into WI dropping back into Chicago for a two night downtown before coming home to MO almost entirely BACKROADS.

Any and all help is appreciated! Want this to be a good ride.
Well, OK, here goes again. Although there some nice Michigan towns along the western shore of Lake Michigan, to ride hard along the lakeshore takes a while. After taking in St Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Pentwater, take US-31 to Manistee, then get on M-22 through Onekama, through Frankfort, Glen Arbor, Leland, to Northport. Once you get north of Manistee, you'll have some nice options for inns, B&B's, and small motels. Then, continue on M-22 (which goes back south along Grand Traverse Bay). This is wine country, lots of great wineries and places to stay. Suttons Bay is nice, and lots of options to stay around Traverse City. US-31 then heads north through Charlevoix to Petoskey, where you can pick up M-119 (the infamous Tunnel of Trees). The Legs Inn in Cross Village is much talked about, and cool to see. Good place to eat.
There are a few small motels along the Lake Huron shore just southeast of Mackinaw City, Bell's Motel, Sunrise Beach are two. There are also a few places along the beach in St Ignace, across the bridge.
The Upper Peninsula is awesome for riding. If you head west from St Ignace on US-2, you find several patches of roadway right along the beach, I think this is some of the prettiest road in the country. In Epoufette is the Skyline Motel, right on a bluff above the water, and next door to Epoufette Bayview Inn, great place for a meal on the deck overlooking the water. You may want to jog around the UP, taking in St Ste Marie, Paradise, Whitefish Point, Tahquamenon Falls, Munising. In Grand Marais is Superior Brewing, which serves fresh whitefish sandwiches, and pretty good beer. From Grand Marais, you need to take county road H-58 to Munising. Was gravel til a few years ago, now some nice, curvy, hilly, smooth roadway, very popular with motorcycles. From Munising to Marquette on M-28 is a really nice ride, you'll ride along Lake Superior there for a while. From Marquette, head west on M-28/US-41, and up through Baraga. Nice rides up through the Keewanaw. Copper Harbor is interesting, and in Eagle River, MI is the Eagle River Inn and Fitzgerald's, a motel/restaurant combo. right, and I mean right on the rocky beach of Lake Superior.
 

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I don't think they do that....
Well, I think they do. I posted again, when I hit "submit reply", a quick message popped up "your post will not be visible until the moderator has reviewed it". I guess I'm not posting enough stuff, but if none of my posts make it to the forum, that will be tough. To the OP, good luck on your Michigan trip, can't help you. It will be good, nonetheless.
 
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