RV Camping to Upper Peninsula Michigan—Three ‘Must-Go’ Places

Camping on Michigan’s U.P.—the state’s Upper Peninsula—is something every RV traveler should add to their ‘must-go’ camping list. Here’s why: the region’s rocky shorelines, lush forests and picturesque campgrounds promise the kind of trip you’ll think about for years.

There are so many special places on the U.P. that it’s hard to narrow down to just three. We’ll introduce our favorite Upper Peninsula picks, and then encourage each RV camper to find their own treasured spots on the U.P. (please share with our readers, too!)

Straits State Park – St Ignace, Michigan            

The Straits of Mackinac, a five mile waterway that allows ship traffic between Lakes Huron and Michigan, is also the boundary between the U.P. and the lower ‘thumb’ of Michigan. The spectacular Mackinac Bridge spans the Straits and thrills RV campers who take the drive from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace on I-75.

Straits State Park offers unforgettable views of Mackinac Bridge, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and easy access to the Mackinac Island ferries. The nearly four-thousand-mile-long North Country Trail has a section through this park, inviting hikers to explore the shorelines, granite cliffs and pine forests of the Upper Peninsula.

Indian Lake State Park – Manistique, Michigan

Skirt the shores of Lake Michigan west along US-2 from St Ignace to Indian Lake State Park near Manistique. A wide, shallow lake famed for its fishing holes, this favorite U.P. spot also features swimming beaches, lakeshore campsites and the vast beauty of Hiawatha National Forest on its boundaries.

The area surrounding Indian Lake is filled with historic towns, lighthouses and trails. You might also enjoy a stroll along the Lake Michigan boardwalk in Manistique.

Black River Harbor Recreation Area – Ottawa National Forest—Bessemer, Michigan

If waterfalls, hemlock forests and the scenic shores of Lake Superior call you to come camping, this is the place for you. A Western U.P. favorite, Black River Harbor is at the northern end of the fourteen-mile long National Black River Scenic Byway. Along the byway from Bessemer to Black River Harbor, you’ll follow the river past its five photo-worthy waterfalls.

Once you reach the Harbor, there’s a rustic campground with views of the water, or you can camp farther into the National Forest. Take the time to explore the beaches, a unique suspension bridge over the river and the trails that make up a section of the North Country Trail. One more tip for anglers—a number of Lake Superior sport fishing charters operate from Black Harbor, so why not book an outing before you come?

There’s so much more to see on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! Here’s a link to even more information on Michigan campgrounds and attractions.

RV camping to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers an almost endless variety of things to see, things to do and friendly campgrounds on the shore or in the forest. An RV rental makes it all affordable, so why not head to the U.P. this camping season?

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An RV Vacation of Beauty around Whitefish Bay, Michigan

The Great Lakes and Michigan have a lot more to offer than you may imagine. An RV vacation is the perfect way to experience this amazing countryside and the sparkling waters of Whitefish Bay. Starting out in Chicago, you can head north and start an adventure sure to please those of all ages.

Driving to northern Michigan to the Lake Superior region, you will take Interstate 75 North. The real start of your journey will be in Brimley, Michigan, but on the way there are some great places to stop. For instance, Mackinac Island is a definite must-see. Once you drive over the Mackinac Bridge, you’ll find signs to Mackinac Island State Park. No vehicles are allowed, so not only is it quiet and peaceful, the views are magical.

Another great place to visit for history and one amazing attraction is Sault Ste. Marie. The Tower of History soars 210 feet above the Soo Locks, with observation platforms from which you can see the world’s busiest shipping channel. Take a boat tour of the Soo Locks and witness this shipping lane up close and personal.

After all this sightseeing, you are ready to proceed to Brimley. Surrounded by plenty of outdoor recreation, you might prefer to try your luck in any one of the number of casinos. But Brimley State Park should be on your itinerary. Here you will hike, fish or camp along the shore of beautiful Lake Superior.

Continue your excursion on West Lakeshore Drive around Whitefish Bay towards Whitefish Point. Lighthouses are always a fascinating sight, romantic and inspiring. The Point Iroquois Light Station and Museum is all of this and more. This lovely spot is a perfect place to experience some of Michigan’s natural history, and a wonderful place to stroll with the family. Climb to the top for some panoramic views.

You are now in Hiawatha National Forest, and there is a lot more to do and see here. National forest campgrounds are located at Monocle Lake and Bay View. Wildlife watching, hiking and more history to absorb are here for you in this wooded wonderland. If you love waterfalls, there are dozens to captivate your attention and awe.

Continue on Highway 123/Whitefish Rd to get to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. You will simply have to get out and stretch those muscles. You will find many great hiking trails, from short treks of a mile in length on Tahquamenon-Emerson Trail and Tahquamenon-Nature Trail to the longer ones of Tahquamenon-Wilderness Loop (7.4 miles) and Tahquamenon-Clark Lake Loop (5.6 miles). Visit the Upper and Lower Falls for some picture-taking opportunities.

When you reach Whitefish, Michigan, be warned that this is fishing country, and you hopefully brought along your rod and reel. And if you’ve come at the right time of year, Paradise will be holding its annual Blueberry Festival. At Whitefish Point, you will certainly not want to miss the Whitefish Point Light Station which has been on duty protecting ships for many years.

After this wonderful trip in your RV, you can now head home knowing you have seen the best of northern Michigan’s Great Lakes region and have made some lasting memories.

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An RV Road Trip along Michigan’s Whitefish Bay

Well-traveled RV camping fans will attest there are few places in America more beautiful than Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One of the most scenic drives in that region is along Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay, reaching from the farthest East Michigan town of Brimley around the Bay to Whitefish Point.

If you’re coming north from Chicago, it’s about an eight hour drive across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, across the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula and then up to Lake Superior’s shore in the town of Brimley. You’ll then go west along Whitefish Bay on West Lakeshore Drive, join Lake Superior Shoreline Drive and then go north on Hwy 123 to Whitefish Point, the westernmost promontory on Whitefish Bay.

It’s a wonderfully scenic sixty-mile tour, but plan at least three days to enjoy the sights (and the fantastic Upper Peninsula RV camping!) You’ll find your own favorite spots along this scenic byway, but here are our suggestions for stops along the way (in order from Brimley to Whitefish Point):

  • Brimley State Park is a great place to catch your breath if you’ve driven in from Chicago. A modern campground on the shores of Lake Superior is just the beginning of a beautiful day spent learning to love the beauty of the Upper Peninsula.
  • Point Iroquois Lighthouse is just seven miles north of Brimley on West Lakeshore Drive. A beautifully preserved tower and keeper’s dwelling offer unforgettable vacation photo opportunities.
  • Paradise, Michigan is highly-rated by folks RV camping in Michigan as a place to stop and play awhile. Comfortably ensconced on the Lake Superior shore, it offers sandy beaches, access to first-rate hiking and biking trails and an August Blueberry Festival that’s not to be missed!
  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park is definitely worth the twenty mile side trip from Paradise! In addition to several RV campgrounds, the park offers spectacular views of both Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls. Active RV campers will want to follow the sixteen mile North Country Trail for the very best views of all.
  • Centennial Cranberry Farm is located between Paradise, Michigan and Whitefish Point near the northern end of your journey. Tour this historic farm to learn how cranberries have been grown since 1876.
  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – Whitefish Point Light Station: Explore a lighthouse built during Abraham Lincoln’s administration and then learn the tragic stories of lost ships in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.
  • Whitefish Point Bird Observatory is the jumping off point for Spring and Fall migrations for tens of thousands of hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and waterfowl.

These are just a few of the places that will capture your imagination along Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay. Let us help you with an RV rental for the trip, and plan to lose yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Lake Superior’s southern shore.

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RV Camping at Michigan’s Van Buren State Park

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Van Buren State Park is an active RV camping family’s wonderland. With a gorgeous beach, scenic hiking trails and affordable RV camping, this state park meets our seal of approval for a great vacation spot.

Just two hours’ drive from Chicago along I-90, the park is easy to reach. Once there, here’s what you can expect to enjoy at Michigan’s Van Buren State Park.

Van Buren State Park Campgrounds
Doesn’t it whet your RV camping appetite to read “220 campsites just 400 yards from Lake Michigan?” These up-to-date campsites offer electric hookups (some 50-amp), as well as clean, modern restrooms and showers just steps away.

The Van Buren State Park setting is best described as “rolling dunes, a mile-long stretch of sandy beach and beautifully-wooded recreation areas.” You can reserve your Van Buren State Park campsite here. At $22 for the most expensive site, this is definitely a bargain thrifty RV campers will appreciate.

The Van Buren Trail
One of the best reasons to travel to this Michigan state park is for the chance to travel the 14-mile Van Buren Trail. With a dirt and gravel surface suitable for biking, hiking and horseback riding, it’s a great day trip for active families. The trailhead is located just minutes away in South Haven, MI.

The trail is also very affordable, just seven dollars for a family day pass and three dollars for individuals. That pass will also give you access to the 33-mile Kal-Haven Trail from South Haven to Kalamazoo, if you’re planning to stay a little longer.

Van Buren State Park Beach and Dunes
We can’t mention a Lake Michigan campground without mentioning the beautiful beaches! Van Buren State Park’s mile-long stretch of beach is no exception. Lie on the sand beach and while away the day or splash in the waves of Lake Michigan. Photograph the area’s “high dunes” and watch for wildlife and birds through your camera lens. You decide how to spend your time on this state park’s idyllic beach front.

Area Attractions
Before you leave the South Haven, Michigan area, experience the charm of this historic resort town. Here are just a few ways to immerse yourselves in this Lake Michigan community:

The shores of Lake Michigan are a place all motorhome camping families should experience! Book your campsite at Van Buren State Park in South Haven to discover the lure this area has had for campers for more than a century.

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Traverse City – Michigan’s RV Travel Wonderland

RV travelers, you simply must plan a trip to Traverse City, Michigan, located on Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. This cheerfully scenic city on the 45th parallel is an RV travel wonderland, thanks to the amazing range of experiences available. Whether you’re hoping to attend a wine-tasting at an area winery or enjoy the fall foliage on a scenic drive, Traverse City, MI has everything RV campers want on vacation.

The Natural Beauty of Traverse City, MI
When you arrive in Traverse City, expect to be overwhelmed by the area’s visual delights. Lake Michigan itself offers endless waterscapes, windswept beaches and lushly forested shorelines. A favorite destination of RV camping fans is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where a hundred miles of hiking trails and year-round outdoor activities will keep everyone in your group in motion.

Arrive in Traverse City in autumn and the fall foliage will have you stopping to take photo after photo. Scenic drives fan out along Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and showcase the best in area leaf peeping. As you roam the wooded hillsides, plan to take a break for fresh-pressed apple cider at one of the historic cider mills; there’s nothing else quite like it!

Another favorite scenic attraction for Traverse City visitors is the collection of historic lighthouses. Here are four “must sees” on your RV lighthouse excursion:

  1. Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Museum on the Leelanau Peninsula
  2. Mission Point Lighthouse, owned by Peninsula Township
  3. South Manitou Island Lighthouse, within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  4. Point Betsy Lighthouse near Frankfort, MI

Before we move on, we must also mention that Traverse City is in the heart of Wine Country! Plan your own leisurely tour to such wineries as Chateau Grand Traverse, Peninsula Cellars and Bowers Harbor Vineyards, or take one of the escorted wine tours offered by local firms. These wine country tours are especially nice in Autumn, when the fall foliage adds even more sensory pleasure to the experience.

RV Camping Near Traverse City, MI

Here’s another tip for RV campers-picturesque RV campgrounds are everywhere in the Traverse City area, making this Michigan town a natural for RV travelers. Here are some favorites reported by seasoned travelers:

If you’re hoping for a Fall RV trip that packs in leaf peeping, wine tasting and plenty of outdoor activity, Traverse City, Michigan is your destination. You’ll soon learn why this beautiful city on Lake Michigan is truly an RV travel wonderland.

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It’s Time for Gearheads to Take an RV Trip to the Motorsports Hall of Fame!

Where better to locate the place honoring the greats in American motorsports than Detroit, Michigan? That’s where car-loving gearheads will find the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and the centerpiece of an exciting RV vacation.

Located at the Detroit Science Center, the Motorsports Hall of Fame honors American drivers, builders, designers and others who have furthered motorsports during their careers. The Hall of Fame’s annual August induction ceremony is held in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

What’s there to see at the Hall of Fame? Plenty! Geared toward those who love cars, the Hall of Fame and Museum exhibits feature great cars, legendary races and exceptional drivers. Interactive displays, video presentations and memorabilia fill the galleries where American motorsports are constantly celebrated. Expect to see such things as:

  • Champion and record-breaking race vehicles of all kinds: Indy cars, stock cars and dragsters, just to name a few.
  • Vehicles like the Miss US-1 piston-driven hydroplane.
  • Art Arfon’s jet-powered Green Monster, Cyclops.
  • Photos and other memorabilia honoring Hall of Fame inductees since 1989.

By the way, admission to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is included with your ticket to the Detroit Science Center. The Center itself is worthy of a road trip, filled with hundreds of hands-on exhibits and exciting presentations in the Chrysler IMAX Dome Theater and Toyota Engineering Theater. Plan enough time to see the entire museum; it’s not just for kids!

Now that you’ve decided an RV camping trip to Detroit’s Motorsports Hall of Fame is on your horizon, it’s time to choose a campground. Here are three possibilities:

  1. Detroit Greenfield RV Campground – about thirty minutes away in Ypsilanti, MI
  2. Beautiful Haas Lake Park – forty five minutes from the museum in New Hudson, MI
  3. Family-friendly KC Campground in Milan, MI – an hour away from the congestion of downtown Detroit

Planning to spend a few more days in the Detroit area? Here are some of our favorite area attractions:

  • Detroit Institute of Arts is located on the same street as the Detroit Science Center. Well worth spending a day at this enormous museum; there’s even a “Family Fitting Room” where museum docents can help you plan your visit.
  • For the chance to attend one of Detroit’s frequent festivals, head for Hart Plaza. This enormous riverfront park also features a fascinating collection of outdoor sculpture and is adjacent to the Detroit Riverwalk.
  • Take a cruise! The Detroit Princess and Diamond Jack are the best-known Detroit River cruise offerings. They’ll introduce you to a whole new Detroit in just a couple of hours.
  • Detroit sports! Depending on the time of year you visit Detroit, there should be a professional sports team playing nearby. Four pro teams make their home in Detroit, giving you the chance to see Pistons basketball, Tigers baseball, Lions football or Red Wings hockey. Pick your favorite and plan your road trip to include a game.

Motor City’s Motorsports Hall of Fame is a fascinating tribute to America’s automotive history. RV camping gearheads should definitely be making plans to visit the city where America’s love affair with cars began.

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