I Sure Do Love The West Coast
Hi All! I'm so excited you are here to share in a part of our love for all things travel. I'm the third Gadabout Gal, Michele, and not only do I love to experience all parts of the world, but I like to find interesting and exciting destinations that are road-trip easy from my place in Ohio.
So, I thought what better way to introduce myself than to share with you my favorite place to take an easy road trip. You may be thinking, "now wait, Michele, the West Coast is not an easy road-trip from Ohio." You'd be correct if I was talking about California (don't get me wrong, I love to vacation in California), but the west coast I'm talking about is an easy road-trip and it's only one state away - to the North to be exact.
Living in Buckeye country not many admit that they like the state up north, especially during football season. But I always proudly say that I love to vacation in the state of Michigan, especially the west coast of Michigan.
From South Haven, Grand Haven, Holland, all the way to Traverse City and Mackinaw Island with its waterways, beaches, sunsets and lighthouses in-between, Michigan is so incredibly beautiful and a summertime travel destination you must add to your list.
When not near clear and crisp Lake Michigan, one of my other favorite excursions is Sleeping Bear Dunes in Glen Arbor, Michigan just 28 miles from Traverse City. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was named the "Most Beautiful Place in America" on ABC's Good Morning America. These dunes are an incredible hike and take some stamina but boy they are breathtaking! Especially when you see the force of nature and realize that this area was formed by the powerful earth-moving forces of ice, wind, and water over time starting back in the Ice Ages.
This past Fall, my daughter and I took a fun mom and daughter trip. We thought Fall in Michigan would be cool and we envisioned sweaters and boots, but Mother Nature had other plans and the week we went the temperatures were actually in the 80's and 90's so the dunes felt more like the desert. But we didn't mind. We went early and loved every minute of it!
If you enjoy wine, another wonderful reason to visit Michigan is because of the numerous wineries across the state. When vacationing in South Haven I visited a couple with Fern Valley Vineyards being my favorite in the area.
But the area that has some of my absolute favorite wineries are the ones on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan. The peninsula is hilly, has winding roads and stunning sights. Many of the wineries have panoramic water views and it's gorgeous. A couple of my favorites that are must visits 1. 2 Lads Winery - very modern and I loved their Cabernet Franc, 2. Chateau Chantal - for the incredible view, 3. Mari Vineyards - for the Italian decor and incredible patio, and my all time favorite 4. Bonobo Winery - from the decor, views, food, Sauvignon Blanc and as an added bonus Carter Osterhouse, the handsome carpenter from Trading Spaces, is an owner. Unfortunately no visit or photo with Carter when I was there, darn! A photo with the huge Bonobo mural is a must though.
One day I want to do a West Coast trek of Michigan, starting at St. Joseph and heading up US 31 to Mackinaw. Once in Mackinaw I'd like to do a repeat bike ride around Mackinaw Island like I did many years ago. Maybe I can talk the other Gadabout Gals into putting this getaway on our list. We'll see!
I just shared my favorite road-trip locale with you, now I'd love to hear what your favorite road-trip destination is. Maybe the Gadabout Gals will put it on our list even if we need to get their by plane.
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