Mackinaw City (and of course Mackinac Island) is my favorite area in Michigan for a vacation. But, it's almost a 5 hour drive with pit stops, and it's pricey. I had been saving to take the kids to Disney, but it fell through after way too many bills and problems kept popping up.
So, I decided to go to Mackinaw City this summer instead. I took what was left of my vacation fund, and I called around.
My biggest issue is that I'm cheap. I'd rather spend money doing things, eating out, and having fun, than on the cost of where I sleep. Because of that, we always wind up staying at Mill Creek campground, just outside of town.
Last summer, we were able to do a cabin there, which was nice. However, the cabins were sold out when I called- of course, I opted to do the 4th of July week, which we've never done, so that didn't help.
My husband can't take the time off, and my 13yo son hates camping, so it'll just be me and my 16yo DD and 10yo DD going. We're tenting it, but at $25/night, I don't mind so much.
It'll also be one of the first times that I can afford to eat out from time to time. Most of the time, we eat breakfast at the site, pack a lunch to take with us, and eat dinner back at the site. We usually only budget $40 total towards eating/snacking out.
With less people, I can afford a bit more. I'm planning to eat 3-4 meals out over the course of 6 days, maybe more depending on what we spend. That frees up our time a bit.
This will be our 3rd time going as a family (I went once last summer with my aunt and cousin for a Girls Weekend, so this is my 4th visit in 3 years- once 3 years ago, twice last summer), I told the girls to pick 1 thing they absolutely wanted to do, then from there, I was finding us new stuff to do.
We usually do:
Seashell City on the way into town
Mackinac Island with the Fort, Carriage Tour, shopping, picnic at the park, etc
Mill Creek Historic Park with the Adventure Tour
This time, my oldest still wants to do the Mystery Spot, but I've added in the new Zip Line thing, because they love zip lines.
My youngest wants to do the outdoor waterpark. I compromised on that, and will do the afternoon "twilight" pass from 3:30-close, as it's $10 cheaper per person.
We always seem to be GOING GOING GOING when we're there, so I've planned days where we simply wander around town, or stay at the campground all day.
I was hoping to take them to Tehquamanon Falls, but with the area being the center of the huge wild fire right now, I'm not sure if we'll do that or not. I had been debating between that and going to Sault Sainte Marie instead- we've never ventured further north than St. Ignace before.
Neither of the girls wants to do the historic parks, but my 16yo told me if I want to do Michilimackinac, she'll take my youngest around to get ice cream, or shop, or play at the park, while I'm there. I love that park, not sure why- absolutely LOVE seeing the bridge framed by it.
I'm anxiously counting down the time now. Normally, I plan our summer vacation months in advance. I usually start saving and planning in January for a June trip. I always know how much we'll spend on food, how much on gas, admission, camping, etc. I always have it budgeted out to the penny. This time, not so much. I know I have enough to cover it, and then some, plus we'll be doing less this time, and more relaxing, so less money spent.
Do you have any summer vacations in Michigan planned?