The Great Lakes
Arrive in Chicago and pick up the rental car at the airport, then proceed to the hotel. Take the rest of the day to explore the many sights of the Windy City. Visit the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center, or the Amoco Building, some of the tallest buildings in the world, which offer observatory decks for a panoramic view of “Chi-town”.
Chicago – Wisconsin Dells – La Crosse / driving distance: 278 mi / 447 km
Leaving Chicago, drive northwest and enter the state of Wisconsin. Pass through the state capital, Madison, on the way to the circus city of Baraboo. Continue to Wisconsin Dells where boats and ducks take visitors to the scenic bluffs of the Upper and Lower Dells cut by the Wisconsin River. Then continue on to La Crosse where the Black and La Crosse rivers meet. German and Norwegian immigrants drawn by the extensive pine groves populated this area and spread their culture throughout the town.
La Crosse – Winona – Red Wing – Minneapolis/ Saint Paul / driving distance: 157 mi / 253 km
Today’s scenic drive follows the Mississippi River, made famous in American history by Mark Twain’s novels. Enjoy spectacular views in Minnesota, where the river begins, from atop the bluffs near Winona, once a busy steamboat landing in the 1800s. Make a stop in Wabasha at the National Eagle Center and find out about the national symbol’s resurgence. Continue along the Great River Road north to the city of Red Wing, a scenic river town brimming with Victorian architectural treasures. Proceed to the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Minneapolis / Saint Paul
Minneapolis, one of the Twin Cities, is home to America’s best known retailers along Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian walkway. Summit Avenue, the longest avenue of Victorian homes in America, leads to the cathedral of Saint Paul and the stately capitol building. In Bloomington, Mall of America® is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States under one roof. Enjoy savings with Minnesota’s tax-free clothing policy in over 500 stores. Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest indoor family theme park, Underwater Adventures ® Aquarium, restaurants, miniature golf and 14 cinemas offer hours of family fun.
Minneapolis / Saint Paul – Duluth / driving distance: 256 mi / 425 km
The city of Duluth is a blend of quaint homes and steep hills, offering tremendous views of Lake Superior, and the world’s largest freshwater port. The historic Depot and its museums within remind visitors of the region’s surge of European immigrants in the 1800s. In lakeside Canal Park, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, sightseeing cruises and ore boat tours entertain visitors. Cross back into Wisconsin to explore the lakeside village of Bayfield and the pristine Apostle Islands. Cruise the islands aboard an excursion boat or take a short ferry ride to Madeline Island to tour Big Bay State Park.
Duluth – Keweenaw Peninsula – Marquette / driving distance: 340 mi / 540 km
Travel into Michigan and explore the picturesque Keweenaw Peninsula. See historic Fort Wilkins and visit the Delaware Copper Mine before continuing by the L’Anse Indian Reservation to Marquette.
Marquette – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – St. Ignace / driving distance: 240 mi /390 km
Follow scenic State Route 28 to Munising. Cruise boats go past the Pictured Rocks celebrated in Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha.” This stunning area is revered as the nucleus of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Continue past the two striking Tahquamenon Falls to St. Ignace.
St. Ignace – Mackinac Island – St. Ignace
Take the ferry to the timeless resort island of Mackinac, where cars are prohibited, and bicycles and horse-drawn carriages rule the roads. Visit Fort Mackinac, perched on a bluff overlooking the harbor, and enjoy the view from the magnificent veranda of the elegant old Grand hotel. Return to St. Ignace in late afternoon.
St. Ignace – Colonial Fort Michilimackinac – Cherry Orchard Drive – Traverse City – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore / driving distance: 160 mi/ 256 km
Cross the impressive bridge over the straits and visit Colonial Fort Michilimackinac. Then continue to one of the world’s largest cherry growing regions and see some of the largest sand dunes along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Overnight in the resort town of Traverse City.
Traverse City – Ann Arbor – Detroit / driving distance: 295 mi / 470 km
Drive across the state of Michigan to the university town of Ann Arbor and on to Dearborn, where you may visit the Henry Ford Museum. Arrive in Detroit, the nation’s automobile manufacturing center, where the Civic Center and resurgent downtown core rise beside the river.
Detroit – Niagara Falls / driving distance: 240 mi /384 km
Cross into Canada and drive through the province of Ontario to one of America’s great natural wonders, Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls (Toronto)
A full day to enjoy the staggering power and beauty of Niagara Falls. A ride on the Maid of the Mist brings visitors close to the thundering waters (optional). Enjoy a spectacular view of the Horseshoe Falls from vantage points at the Table Rock Scenic Tunnels. Another option would be a day trip to the metropolis of Toronto.
Niagara Falls – Pittsburgh / driving distance: 242 mi / 389 km
Return into the United States and drive past Buffalo, through New York, and into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh – Cleveland / driving distance: 140 mi / 225 km
Enter the Buckeye State and discover the “New American City” of Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cleveland – Sandusky – Indiana Amish Country / driving distance: 250 mi / 400 km
Today continue on scenic Route 6 along Lake Erie by Vermilion to Sandusky, then enter Indiana. Discover the colorful and historic northern part of this state, home of the third largest Amish community in the country, and have a glimpse into the daily life of this extraordinary cultural group. Overnight in Nappanee, in the heart of Indiana’s Amish Country.
Indiana Amish Country – Chicago Departure / driving distance: 50 mi / 80 km
Drive along scenic U.S. 12 back into Illinois and to Chicago, the beginning and end of the Great Lakes tour. Return the car at the airport before the departure flight.
Prices, Dates, Hotels & Conditions
CHANGE CURRENCY€ £ $ A$ ¥ C$
The final price you will pay for this tour is that displayed in USD. Prices converted in other
currencies are for guidance purposes only and are approximate.
|DAILY DEPARTURES||PRICE FROM|
|May, June, July, August, September, October||1262|
|1||Chicago||Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Chicago Downtown|
|2||La Crosse||Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel|
|3-4||Minneapolis / St. Paul||Holiday Inn Bloomington|
|5||Duluth||Country Inn & Suites Duluth|
|6||Marquette||Best Western Country Inn|
|7-8||St. Ignace||Best Western Plus Harbour Pointe Lakefront|
|10||Detroit||Best Western Greenfield Inn|
|11-12||Niagara Falls||Days Inn Niagara Falls Clifton Hill Casino|
|13||Pittsburgh||Omni William Penn Hotel|
|14||Cleveland||Doubletree Hotel Downtown/Lakeside|
|15||Indiana Amish Country||Days Inn Plymouth|
This tour crosses the U.S./Canada border. Passengers should obtain relevant visas for both nations prior to travel where necessary.
- Gaze at Chicago’s Willis Tower, the tallest building in North America
- Tour the Wisconsin River for up-close views of sandstone bluffs that tower above the water
- See classic steam paddlewheelers and river traffic on the Mississippi’s waters at La Crosse
- Travel the Great River Road, the historic byway of the Mississippi River
- Bike or stroll along Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes, a paved loop linking its four largest lakes
- Spend a day at the Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment destination
- Cruise Lake Superior, the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes
- Explore the Keweenaw Peninsula, a hidden gem in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
- Tour Delaware Copper Mine, an authentic 1800’s mine
- Embrace serenity at America’s first National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Refresh your spirits in the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at St. Ignace
- Take a ferry to Mackinac Island and step into a world filled with the charm of a Victorian village
- Follow Cherry Orchards Drive along the shores of Lake Michigan
- Enjoy spectacular views across Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Stand 450-feet above Lake Michigan at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive’s Lake Michigan Overlook
- Pass through Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan
- Discover Detroit, the automobile capital of America
- Feel the thundering roar and tremendous power of Niagara Falls’ waters
- Adventure awaits at Toronto’s CN Tower, Canada’s most recognizable and celebrated icon
Admission fees not included