Helpful ReplyGreen Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago

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abe_froeman
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2018/05/16 17:36:01 (permalink)

Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago

Wow, there hasn't been a post in an a thread with "Michigan" in the title since 2009, as far as I can tell.


Don't mind me, just storing what I found here for the moment until I can look through them...
http://forums.roadfood.com/Northern-Michigan-m28613.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/The-Jam-Pot-Upper-Michigan-m21926.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/Northern-Michigan-m11488.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/Michigan-Upper-Peninsula-m237835.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/Saugatuck-Michigan-m215747.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/Favorite-place-in-Northwest-Michigan-m195462.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/UP-Michigan-and-Northwoods-Wisconsin-m146260.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/196-to-Holland-Michigan-m316549.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.com/Lake-MichiganSilver-Lake-Dunes-area-m322003.aspx
http://forums.roadfood.co...Y-MICHIGAN-m86143.aspx
 
...Anyway, Mr. Maki and I are taking a much-needed vacation in mid-June.  We are driving from Chicago to Green Bay the first day.  We want to explore Door County as much as we can before getting to our Airbnb.  We’ve only been there once for a few hours, but we’ve been to Green Bay itself a few times since we have friends who used to live there. 


We’re spending the night in GB, then our next night is in Rapid River, MI.  It will be the first time in the U.P. for both of us.  We aren’t planning on going too far north into the U.P.  We're not going to the western third of it at all.  We’re not prepared for camping and feel like really doing the U.P. right (with camping) could be a whole week by itself, so I’m trying to mostly stay along the Lake Michigan shore.  If we were going to go north, we’d like to see Painted Rocks National Lakeshore.


Next stop will be Mackinaw City for two nights.  We’ll have the first day driving from Rapid River to Mackinaw, then we’re spending a day on Mackinac Island, then returning to Mackinaw City and moving on the next day.  Looks like we’re going to miss the Lilac Festival by one day.  Bummer.


Currently, that is all we have mostly-set-in-stone with Airbnb reservations and puts us at Tuesday of that week.  We want to drive down the western side of Michigan and be home Saturday night, so we have about four days up in the air.  We want to go to Traverse City and Grand Rapids and I’d like to have dinner at Everyday People in Douglas, near Saugatuck.  Not sure if we’ll have an early dinner and drive home after that, or stay another night and leave in the morning.  Obviously, food is a priority (and keeping it as inexpensive as possible, except for that Everyday People splurge), but we also like history and culture.  We’re going to go to Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids.  We like seeing nature, but we’re not too “outdoorsy”- nothing too “off road”.  Any suggestions for food and things to do and see on any leg of this trip would be very appreciated!
 

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#1
abe_froeman
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/16 17:36:38 (permalink)
That map is the area we're sticking to, mostly along the Lake Michigan side.
#2
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/17 08:18:56 (permalink)
I heard on the radio this morning that according to some kind of survey/research, Green Bay is the most drunk city in America.  I'm not surprised.
 
More relevantly, Calumet County has the highest concentration of supper clubs in WI if you'll have time for a meal on your way up.  And Chili John's and Al's Hamburgers are Green Bay legends.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2018/05/17 12:14:51
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Wintahaba
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/17 14:12:55 (permalink)
I've been hearing a lot of good things about the tiny Joe's Texas BBQ in Green Bay.  http://www.joestexasbarbeque.com/
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lazycook
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/18 09:02:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby abe_froeman 2018/05/19 01:58:09
I live 40 minutes west of GR near lake Michigan.  Been here 25 years. I can recommend:
Traverse City:  7 Monks Taproom and Blue Tractor BBQ
(Take US-31 not US-131 as you head south out of TC - much better access to lake scenery.  You can cut over to GR on I-96 and get there in 40 minutes for your Founders stop, then use I-196 to rejoin the lakeshore route for your stop in Saugutuck/Douglas)
Ludington:  Bortel's Fisheries - fried to order fresh fish and smoked fish to go.  No dining in - picnic tables outside or there's a Township park on Lake Michigan a stone's throw to the south (but poorly signed, Google map it)
Silver Lake:  The Chicken Shack - best wings you'll ever eat according to those who like wings around here.
Pentwater or Shelby - two locations of The Brown Bear, a local favorite for burgers & beer
New Era: Country Dairy Farm Store - nice little lunch restaurant, but amazing ice cream, butter, steak, etc. from the company's own herds.  
Nearby also near New Era:  Lewis' Farm - a gift shop, petting zoo, bakery, produce market.  Not much fruit in season yet in this produce-heavy county (cherries, apples, blueberries, asparagus are big here).  It's a must-stop in mid-June for strawberries or in the fall for apples.  
Montague: Dog N Suds still has car-hop service for well-made drive-in fare - lake perch sandwich and onion rings are my two favorite menu items.  Also picnic tables overlooking the White River are pleasant.  Guard your french fries from the gulls.  There is also a Dog N Suds in Norton Shores to the south, but the location is not scenic AT ALL.
Norton Shores - Whippi-Dip - picnic tables surround this ice cream stand with a pretty big menu - if you haven't had enough lake perch yet, try theirs.  Is hugely popular with visitors to Hoffmaster State Park to the west.  
Grand Haven - Fricano's pizza.  Run out of an old house, very limited topping choices - thin crust only... and the line is always out the door on weekends.  
 
That gets you to about 30 miles from Saugutuck or Grand Rapids.  Hope you find something interesting here to try.  
post edited by lazycook - 2018/05/18 19:22:53
#5
buffetbuster
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/18 10:36:20 (permalink)
That's a lot of great info lazycook!  Thanks for taking the time.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/18 12:51:57 (permalink)
Wintahaba
I've been hearing a lot of good things about the tiny Joe's Texas BBQ in Green Bay.  http://www.joestexasbarbeque.com/ 

Have you heard much regarding T. Bacon's BBQ?  It's owned by a friend of one of my Green Bay coworkers, and she's told me several times that it's really good.
 
I don't know if the O.P. has had much exposure to barbecue, though.
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mousec
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/20 19:57:42 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby abe_froeman 2018/05/21 00:05:54
I have heard great things about the Chicken Shack in Silver Lake. I believe that it used to be called Frickin Chicken.

Cherry Hut in Beluah is worth the stop. Great cherry pie, main entrees and sandwiches were just okay.

Jolly Pumpkin brewery restaurant in Traverse City is great, bit spendy.

Lots of locals like Route 31 BBQ, including my wife who grew up in the area. Several locations.

Make sure that you stop and see the worlds largest weathervane in Montague/Whitehall.

Take advantage of the roadside produce stands, many of which are on the honor system. Wife is visiting her sister in Muskegon, hoping that she brings back just picked that day asparagus.
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abe_froeman
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/21 00:18:58 (permalink)
Yes, thanks so much, lazycook and mousec!  
 
I think I roughly finalized our route, pending the Airbnb search.

Fri, 6/15- Chicago to Green Bay (spend the day in Door County, dinner at Fred and Fuzzy's, Buddy's recommendation)

Sat, 6/16- Green Bay to Rapid River, MI
 
Sun, 6/17- Rapid River to Mackinaw City
 
Mon, 6/18- Mackinac Island
 
Tues, 6/19- Mackinaw City to Traverse City

Wed, 6/20- Traverse City to Manistee

Thur, 6/21- Manistee to Muskegon
 
Fri, 6/22- Muskegon to Grand Rapids

Sat, 6/23- Grand Rapids to Saugatuck/Douglas, then home!
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mousec
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/22 22:54:49 (permalink)
Asparagus update... $1.50 a pound at the roadside stands in Montague. $3.00 a pound at the 'tourist' stops.

The Wayside Inn, in Montague, hss wet burritos and fried asparagus. I've never had a wet burrito until I met the wife. Growing up in the Chicagoland area it isn't something we see. I believe the 'wet' part is enchilada sauce.
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Rocky Enfield
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/23 13:23:28 (permalink)
We went to the U.P. last year and had some really good food at couple of different spots.  Make sure you stop and find a pasty (a U.P. staple).  If you find yourself in the western UP at dinner time there is a restaurant called The Konetka where wild bears come into the back yard and feed on a nightly basis.
 
If you stop by Tahquamenon Falls (which I highly recommend both the upper and lower falls) you will be in the area of Paradise, Michigan.  A 1/4 mile outside of town is Browns Fish House.  This is a nondescript white building with green trim that has the freshest white fish imaginable.  The Brown's own the fishing boat that bring the daily catch to restaurant where they are cleaned and cook fresh - never frozen - and when the fish run out they quit serving.
 
On the southern route of the UP is Highway 2.  About 11 miles north of 2 if Kitchi-iti-kipi at state park with the clearest natural spring you have ever seen and huge trout swimming around (no fishing allowed ).  It is a worthwhile detour if you are not on a time crunch.  Further along 2 you will find Gustafson's Smoked Fish in a gas station.  If you like smoked meats and fish this place is OUTSTANDING!
 
In Mackinaw City I would recommend Mama Mia's Pizza.  This restaurant was founded by one of the construction crew that built the bridge.  It has a fascinating museum upstairs that you can visit while you wait for your pizza to be prepared.  The pizza is mighty fine as well.
 
On Mackinac Island we ate at the Gate House which is a Grand Hotel restaurant without the formality of the hotel.  Very stellar food.
 
If you have a chance stop in Petoskey, Mi a cute little town.  On the north side of town there is a old Chappaqua (a small community of houses) that you can drive through and see some beautiful old cottages.  There are some great places to eat and The American Spoon store for fresh made jams and jellies.
 
South of Traverse City, by about an hour, is an wonderful ice cream stand called Moomers.  Expect it to be very busy.
 
Down in southwest Michigan on your way home are two burger restaurants that are of note.  Laura's Little Burger Shack in Decatur and Redamak's in New Buffalo.  Both are excellent!
 
Have a great trip,
Rocky Enfield
#11
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Green Bay to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island via U.P. and Western MI to Chicago 2018/05/23 17:44:34 (permalink)
Rocky,
I'll second your motion for Redamak's with a caveat: They serve a "Working Person's Special" version of their famous Burgers, Monday-Friday, noon-3pm.  Skip it.  The problem I've experienced is, the offer is so popular, they precook many burgers at once, all to the same doneness; medium-well.  If you ask to get the "Working Person's Special" cooked to a particular doneness, you'll be denied.  Better to pay the full price and get a fresh hot Burger cooked to your taste.
 
Checking abe's itinerary, it looks like they'll be passing through New Buffalo on a Saturday, so the "Working Person's Special" is not available.  Still, good to remember for future visits.
 
EDIT: Had to jump back in here after scoping out Laura's Little Burger Joint.  Everything about this place screams Outstanding Roadfood.  From their back road location, to the outward appearance, to the tantalizing pix of the Burgers, Laura's looks like a must try!
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2018/05/23 17:53:39
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