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This Great Lakes holiday takes in the wonderful region of America with its picturesque scenery and tranquil atmosphere. As well as visiting Lake Superior and the quaint Mackinac island this holiday also travels the iconic Route 66 and offers the opportunity to explore the city of Chicago. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this Great Lakes adventure.
Price per person includes:
On your first day you will arrive in St. Louis early afternoon which gives you plenty of time to explore The Gateway Arch Riverfront. A trip to the top of the arch will give you stunning views of the area including the mighty Mississippi river from 630 feet.No dinner in St. Louis is complete without sampling the local speciality toasted ravioli.
Distance: 100 miles
This is what America is all about – the freedom of the open road and no other road symbolizes optimism, freedom and the American Dream quite like Route 66. Only 97 miles to Springfield, but the drive is filled with fun retro roadside stops and main streets like you’ve seen in the movies. Once in Springfield make sure you stop at the historic Cozy Dog Drive Inn for lunch before hitting famous Route 66 icons like Shea’s Gas Station Museum. Downtown Springfield is chock full of specialty shops, antique stores, bakeries, art galleries and restaurants for every taste. Finish the day by taking in a movie at one of America’s last remaining drive-in theatres. Park under the stars and enjoy the latest Hollywood reel from the comfort of your car. Only in America.
As the capital of Illinois and the home of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield has a special story that stretches well beyond Route 66. You’ll be transported back to the late 1800’s with a visit to The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This state of the-art facility was designed with exacting historical detail to provide a life-like experience that will have you mesmerized. Other Lincoln attractions include the Lincoln Home, the Lincoln Law Offices and Lincoln Tomb. Another point of interest is the Old State Capital, where Lincoln served, which was built in 1863 and still in tact in its original location.
Distance: 344 miles
Once in Grand Haven, head for the beach. This part of the Great Lakes is blessed with beautiful beaches and Grand Haven is famous for its singing sands, a unique phenomenon to Western Michigan beaches. Talk a walk and listen for yourself.
Distance: 258 miles
Step back in time to a real Victorian Community – Mackinac Island. A 16 minute ferry ride will take you to this idyllic island believed to be a sacred place according to American-Indian tradition. All transportation is by horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. Start with a carriage tour around the island – then rent bicycles and enjoy the trails of the Mackinac Island State Park. Back in the heart of downtown you’ll find plenty of places to eat and shop and be sure to visit the Haunted Theatre which provides free babysitting for the really small ones. Take a sunset ferry back to the mainland.
Distance: 166 miles
Marquette is known as warm people – cool city. Walker-friendly with a revitalised, energised downtown it is sure to be a favourite. Plenty of cosmopolitan things to do in the city after you’ve explored the natural wonders. The Northern boundary of Marquette County is Lake Superior which is the largest of the Great Lakes and the largest fresh water lake in the world. The fine sandy beaches and unlimited recreation options will bring you back again next year.
Distance: 217 miles
Distance: 155 miles
Distance: 90 miles
Heading to Chicago, Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall is a shopper’s paradise and half way between Milwaukee and Chicago. With over 200 stores, attractions, and restaurants (including a Rain Forest Café) you’ll know we saved the best for last. Six Flags Great America is also located in Gurnee and has 12 world class roller coasters. Soar on the face down Superman Ultimate Flight coaster.
We recommend you plan on being in Chicago for dinner and it has to be a famous deep dish pizza at Gino’s East, then take in a great Chicago Blues club like Buddy Guy’s Legends.
Once in Chicago, there is a lot to pack in today. Start at the John Hancock Building and the stunning new observatory and on the 94th floor you’ll be able to see 80 miles and across 4 states, plus you can walk the open air skywalk for views 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. Head to the Magnificent Mile for some shopping, aptly named for the mile long stretch of fabulous shops – 460 at last count. Then you are off to Navy Pier which is also bustling with shops and restaurants. Sit outside and watch lakefront life pass you by.
Before heading back home you may wish to extend your Great Expectations Tour and spend a few more days exploring Chicago. Or perhaps you may want to visit one of the many other notable cities in the area such as Indianapolis?
Call the travel experts at Bon Voyage to discuss your ideal Great Expectations Tour of this region of America.