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One Tank Trip for Michigan Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
173 miles – 3 hours, 10 minutes
With an overwhelming number of historic attractions, famous landmarks and scenic forests, Michigan has a whopping 12,000 inland lakes and more miles of coastline than any state except Alaska making it one of the most popular destinations for anglers and water lovers. Let’s dive head first into some of the best this unique state has to offer!
Our first stop in Michigan is Holland, which might just throw you off for a second when you first enter its borders. Taking a look around, you might think you traveled on autopilot a little too long and wound up in a fine European city. Rest assured, you’re where you need to be! Holland has managed to hold onto its beautiful Dutch architecture, ambiance and culture creating one of the most affable, charming cities in the state. Downtown you’ll find an eclectic mix of Victorian architecture, trendy shops and an endless supply of festivities year round. Head over to Windmill Island Gardens, and you’ll find the only authentic Dutch windmill in the US. Climb to the top and you’ll have a spectacular view of the 36 acre manicured gardens as well as the dikes and canals. Complete with costumed guides, an Amsterdam street organ and a beautifully hand painted Dutch carousel, the gardens are a great place to laze away an afternoon. Arrange your visit in May, and you’ll be treated to the Tulip Time Festival, a huge, multi-generational event featuring parades, Dutch Dance performances, concerts, Dutch food and much more!
30.7 miles – 38 minutes
From beautiful Holland, make your way to I-196 heading east and in less than an hour, you’ll be in our next destination, Grand Rapids. One a major lumber center, Grand Rapids earned the nickname, “Furniture City”, but today, Grand Rapids has a stellar reputation as a go-to city for cultural diversity and natural beauty. Start your exploration of the city at the acclaimed Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. It’s recommended you clear about 4-8 hours of your schedule to really enjoy everything within this incredible park. Explore nature trails, enjoy numerous sculptures, or venture to the largest tropical conservatory in the state. The park also features an Arid Garden, Carnivorous Plant House and a first class outdoor Amphitheater Garden. It’s the best 8 hours you’ll ever spend in Grand Rapids, we promise!
142 miles – 2 hours, 31 minutes
Heading to our final destination, make your way to I-96 heading west, merging onto US-31 north. Continue on US-31 along the coast, taking a left onto M-37 heading north into Traverse City. This is a little over 3 hour trip and one of the most scenic in the state. Traverse City lies in the heart of Michigan Wine Country and vintners find the area of the scenic Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas an exquisite area for growing and bottling. The first winery opened here in 1974, which may surprise you since Michigan is known for many things, but wine doesn’t usually come to mind. That should change once you take a little wine tour of the area where you can sample Rieslings, Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Take your time and enjoy the amazing scenery and don’t be afraid to spread out your tasting over several days with over 30 wineries in the area to choose from. Due to its location on the shores of Lake Michigan, this wonderful city is a top destination for sports fisherman and no matter if you’re looking to head out on the lake yourself, hire a charter or indulge in the solitude of fly fishing, you’ll find Traverse City easily accommodates the most discerning angler. If you want to keep your feet dry and firmly planted in some land-based activities, there are numerous top notch golf courses in the area and more than a few opportunities to dance with Lady Luck at one, or all of the first class casinos in the area. If you’re interested in a little side trip, head west on M-72 out of Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, about a half hour away. Words don’t do this area justice. From the moment you enter Sleeping Bear, you’ll be treated to some of the most magnificent views of Lake Michigan from atop high dunes. There are miles of freshwater beaches, hiking trails, historic farmsteads and forested wilderness islands to enjoy. We recommend you take the ferry out to Manitou Islands for a day long excursion to catch a glimpse into the lives of early settlers of the region on the South Manitou Island. You’ll find an old school house, farmsteads and the island cemetery among other sights. Travel to the North Manitou Island, and you’ll find yourself right in the middle of 15,000 acres to hike, or backpack and enjoy the solitude of this peaceful island.
Other Area Sponsors in Michigan:
Veldheer Wooden Shoe, Delft Factory and Tulip Farm
Windmill Island Gardens
Lake Leelanau RV Park
Kibby Creek Campground
Vacation Station RV Resort
Insta-Launch Campground & Marina
Silver Creek RV Resort
Dutch Treat Camping & Recreation
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Michigan
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Michigan
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Michigan
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