Midwest Road Trip Adventures: Plan One Today

Michigan, Midwest Travel, USA Travel

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From the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, a new anthology helps travelers re-discover their home state — even during a pandemic.

A new travel anthology titled “Midwest Road Trip Adventures,” retails for $19.95. You can find it in bookstores across the Midwest. The authors who penned the anthology live and work in the states they cover, connected as members of The Midwest Travel Network, a consortium of writers and bloggers who specialize in the region.

Book Cover for Midwest Road Trip Adventures

“The book takes travelers along some of the most storied highways and byways in the nation, including The Great River Road and Route 66. Stops include historic lighthouses along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, canyons in Kansas, the four of the five Great Lakes in Michigan, Underground Railroad history in Illinois, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and authentic fish fries in Wisconsin’s Door County. Movie fans can visit the ballpark from “A League of Their Own” in Indiana or tour Iowa covered bridges showcased in the “The Bridges of Madison County.”

How It Began

Hi, Piper here!

It turned out to be quite an exciting 2020 summer despite all that was going on with the pandemic. In June, Dannelle Gay, a writer from Wisconsin, contacted me about a project she was working on with the Midwest Travel Network. She was curating a travel anthology that would feature one chapter of each of the 12 Midwest states, and she wondered if I would be interested in writing the Michigan chapter. The first book scheduled was the Midwest Road Trip Adventures. However, they planned more books, over the next couple of years.

I immediately jumped at the chance, since my summer travel plans had been canceled and I’d just bought a new 2020 Chevy Equinox, so I was ready for some road tripping.

As a life-long resident of Michigan, I can’t wait to share with you the result of my summer road trip adventures. The Michigan chapter describes four of my favorite Michigan road trips and some of the extraordinary places they have to offer! Michigan has over 20 byways, so I chose four that represented various aspects of the state. While I was limited to four, I have to admit, choosing was difficult! I’m sharing some images of my adventures to entice you to plan your own.

Michigan Road Trips

With a view of the mighty Mackinac Bridge, US-2 Top of the Lake Scenic Byway starts in St. Ignace and follows the Lake Michigan shore to Manistique. Whether you’re a foodie who wants to sample your first pasty or an outdoor enthusiast who wants to explore state parks, you’ll enjoy this scenic route.

Kitch-iti-kipi (Big Springs) in Manistique, Michigan
Kitch-iti-kipi (Big Springs) in Manistique, Michigan

Then follow the Sunrise Coast (US-23) from the Straights of Mackinac along Lake Huron to Standish, where you’ll encounter an International Dark Sky Park, 16 lighthouses, and a shipwreck alley. Here are some of my favorite images from this road trip.

Lake Huron Where the Water Is Clear
Lake Huron Where the Water Is Clear
Tall Ship in East Tawas, Michigan
Tall Ship in East Tawas, Michigan on the Sunrise Coast (US-23)
Looking Out from the East Tawas Point Lighthouse
Looking Out from the East Tawas Point Lighthouse
East Tawas Point Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters
East Tawas Point Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters

Next, we’ll explore US-12 Heritage Route, an east-west corridor, from Detroit to New Buffalo, which leads history buffs and automotive enthusiasts on an adventure through time. Along this route you’ll want to have a meal at Olivia’s Chophouse in Jonesville.

Romaine Waldorf Salad at Olivia's Chophouse in Jonesville, Michigan
Fresh Salad at Olivia’s Chophouse in Jonesville, Michigan along US-12 Heritage Route
Allen Antique Mall
Allen Antique Mall

Just down the road, from Jonesville, doing some time travel will be as much fun as your road trip travel. You’ll find the antique shopping at Allen, a treasure hunter’s heaven.

Finally, explore the West Michigan Pike (US-31), which features Michigan’s Gold Coast. Charming small coastal towns that not only are a draw for boating enthusiasts but art lovers too.

The Waterfront on West Michigan Pike
The Waterfront on West Michigan Pike

One of these is sure to become a favorite Michigan Road Trip Adventure for you too!

Road Trips in Other Midwest States

Here are the other 11 Midwest states represented in the book and some of their road trips. The authors packed details in their chapters that only the locals would know. Take a look at their sites and get some tips to help you on your next road trip adventure.

  1. Illinois – Chicago begins the Mother Road Trip – Route 66
  2. Indiana – Indiana’s Historic National Road – US Highway 40
  3. Iowa – Great River Road
  4. Kansas – Explore Kansas’ “Little Switzerland” on Glacial Hills Scenic Byway
  5. Minnesota – Minnesota Valley River Byway give you a change to explore some of Minnesota’s German Heritage
  6. Missouri – Take in the Route 66 attractions around St. Louis
  7. Nebraska – Follow the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway
  8. North Dakota – Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway through the capital of Bismarck
  9. Ohio – Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail Scenic Byway where you’ll get a Bonus Region and learn about Put-in-Bay.
  10. South Dakota – Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway
  11. Wisconsin – Take the Lake Geneva Adventure from Kenosha to Racine

“The Midwest is a magical collection of twelve states that are frequently overlooked. As a lifelong Midwesterner, the most exciting aspect of this project is the passion the authors have for their individual home states and for the region as a whole. I’m passionate about finding what makes a place unique, and am a firm believer that you don’t have to go far to find adventure. Midwest Road Trip Adventures proves it!”

THERESA L. GOODRICH, Emmy-award winning writer

Order your copy on Amazon today and start planning your own Midwest Road Trip Adventure!

Pin this to your favorite Road Trip Board!

Book Cover for Midwest Road Trip Adventures

BOOK YOUR TRIP

Let’s get something on the calendar! Here are some of Piper’s Pro Planning links to help you book your trip.

Plan your flight and book your airline ticket with these links:

Plan your overnight accommodations anywhere from national chains to private homes with:

Plan to save on all of your activities, from tours to attractions. These links will help:

Visit my resources page for more planning help.

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    7 Comments

    1. Jamie

      There’s so much inspiration content here for the midwest. I’ve not spent a lot of time there but really appreciated the elements you highlighted – like the antiques and lighthouse. I’ve done road trips in South Dakota but that’s really the only extensive one. This is some great food for thought and inspiration!

      Reply
      • Piper

        Thank you, Jamie! I hope you come explore!

        Reply
    2. kavita favelle

      How great to be invited to participate in the book series, especially as this is your home region. The bric a brac in the Antique shop in Allen mall has my name all over it!

      Reply
      • Piper

        And there are so many shops and each shop has many booths. You could spend days there!

        Reply
    3. Carol Colborn

      We RVed through all these states and I am as excited about the book. We have missed some things from your list!

      Reply
    4. Pubali

      I can feel the passion for your state throughout the article. Also, it is nice that you got the chance to participate in such a wonderful collaborative effort for the book series, Congratulations!

      Reply
    5. ANNA MASCARO

      Definitely dont have TO GO FAR TO FIND ADVENTURE, BUT i’M ITCHING TO GET OUT!!

      Reply

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    Welcome to Follow the Piper! Discover interesting destinations, and practical planning tips for packing more travel into your everyday life.

    Our founder and author, Amy Piper, is a freelance travel writer, blogger, photographer, and author specializing in luxury and multi-generational travel. She is a native Michigander who travels through the lens of a food lover and has been to 41 countries and 45 states.

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