The state of Michigan offers many extraordinary opportunities for motorcycle touring. Miles of coastal highways and byways, sandy beaches, scenic farmland inland and barren country in the Upper Peninsula beg for a lengthy cruise. Along the way, points of interest include National Scenic Lakeshores as well as modern wonders such as the Mackinac Bridge, with its five-mile span across the straits between the two peninsulas that comprise Michigan.
Check out just a few of the awe-inspiring attractions that await your next motorcycle tour through Michigan:
Located on the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula, the spectacular dunes rise 400 feet above the waters of Lake Michigan. The scenic Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive highlights scenic and geologic points of interest. Leelanau County and its hub, Traverse City, is home to numerous wineries, fisheries and the annual Cherry Festival. From there, head north along the shore and discover the magic of Petoskey stones. If you don't know what they are, you should find out!
Mackinaw City and The Mackinac Bridge
First of all, pronounce them the same. Though spellings differ, the pronunciation ends with "aw". This can happen when a word from native language gets processed through a few centuries of French and British, then Canadian and American influence.
Mackinaw City offers plenty of dining and touring in a small, welcoming city. Use it as your base to explore the area and to embark on your ride across the five-mile span of the amazing bridge across the Straits of Mackinac. (Did you pronounce it right?) Before the bridge opened in 1957, you would have waited for a ferry to cross to the Upper Peninsula. Now the trip is a wondrous addition to your motorcycle tour!
The Upper Peninsula
The scenic and cultural attractions across Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or known to many as the U.P., will find you on your machine for lengthy scenic passages with numerous stops for superior views of the lakes and forests. The Soo Locks provide passage for tons of freight from the center of the continent to ports around the world via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Tahquamenon Falls, in the eastern U.P., is referred to as "The Niagara Falls of Michigan". Traveling west along the Lake Superior shore there are miles of sand beaches that are positively tropical on a hot July afternoon. From there, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore provides a 47-mile section of coastal roadway that will be the highlight of your trip.
Michigan's historic copper country has more great cruising and scenery. Be sure to motor through the tiny town of Gay. If you owned a bar in Gay, what would you name it? This homey spot for a sandwich and a cold one welcomes all and has plenty of fun for everyone, from their name, to their menu, to the merchandise they offer. They will tell you that tourists commonly stop to pose in front of their sign for selfies. Get in on the fun and get yourself and your bike up to beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula and Gay, Michigan.
This brief summary barely touches the high spots of the attractions you will find on your tour of Michigan. Pack the saddlebags, grab your buddies, and hit the road to experience the wonders of the Great Lakes and their scenic surroundings.
(Photo by the author)