Welcome to the ultimate journey through America's Midwest. Begin in the bustling city of Chicago, where you'll enjoy a city tour and leisure time to shop and explore on your own. Then you'll step back in time with a two-night stay at the world-famous Grand Hotel on picturesque Mackinac Island. A horse-drawn carriage ride past historical sites will introduce you to this beautiful Victorian-style island. Your overnight stay in Frankenmuth, an enchanting town with a rich Bavarian influence and gingerbread-style architecture, includes a wonderful Bavarian-style meal. Your final stop will be in Southfield, Michigan, where a full day visit to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum showcases the fascinating workshops of such famous Americans as the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone.
Day #1 Chicago, Illinois - Tour Begins - Beautiful Mackinac Island and the Great Lakes region are the setting for this unforgettable tour group vacation. This tranquil area boasts incredible scenery and old-fashioned traditions. Your tour begins in Chicago. Tonight enjoy a special welcome dinner.
Day #2 Chicago - Green Bay, Wisconsin - Begin your day on a high note, with a tour of “The Windy City.” Highlights include the Historic Water Tower, Pumping Station, famed Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, Wrigley Building, The Loop and Lake Front. This afternoon explore the Field Museum* where you will be intrigued by its many exhibits and collections. Later, depart Chicago for Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland,” and the city of Green Bay.
Day #3 Green Bay - Door County - Green Bay - This morning you travel through a picturesque green landscape dotted with farmlands, red barns and dairy cows. Arrive in Door County, an incredible region of Wisconsin boasting over 250 miles of scenic shoreline. Visit the Door Peninsula Winery for a tasting and learn how they make their unique fruit wines. A stop at the Door County Maritime Museum teaches you the rich maritime history of this region - if you are lucky, you will even catch a skilled craftsman at work on a traditional wooden boat! Explore some of the charming coastal villages in Door County before tonight’s dinner, an authentic Fish Boil, just the way the locals do it!
Day #4 Green Bay - Mackinac Island, Michigan - Ferry across the lake to incredible Mackinac Island. Almost as soon as automobiles reached Mackinac, islanders elected to ban them. Today, Mackinac is quiet, with the neighs, whinnies and clip-clops of horses replacing the roar of engines. As your ferry approaches the shore you can see your home for the next two nights, a glorious Victorian-era resort, the Grand Hotel. Both your hotel and the island itself are National Historic Landmarks. The island is a natural gem, with over eighty percent preserved by Mackinac State Park, a wooded paradise accented with limestone formations and ringed by Lake Huron. The evening is yours to enjoy, perhaps with a leisurely stroll through the quaint village or by relaxing on the world’s longest porch in front of the Grand Hotel.
Day #5 Mackinac Island - Begin your morning with a horse-drawn carriage tour of the island with stops at the Surrey Hills Museum and Arch Rock. Following your tour, take some time to enjoy all of Mackinac Island’s quiet pleasures. Get an exclusive look “behind the scenes” into the Grand Hotel’s kitchen from which over 300,000 meals are served every season! Under the guidance of a Grand Hotel chef, prepare and sample menu items from hors d’oeuvres to elaborate desserts. An elegant evening begins when you dine at Salle à Manger, where you have a menu of delicacies to choose from. Chamber music and demitasse precede dancing to the refined sounds of the Grand Hotel’s orchestra. If you crave a secluded hideaway, retreat to the Cupola!
Day #6 Mackinac Island - Charlevoix - Grand Rapids - This morning depart for Charlevoix, famous for its Earl Young houses. Later today, learn about the history of the radio and phonograph with a visit to the Music House Museum which is filled with rare working and antique musical instruments. Next, travel south to Grand Rapids.
Day #7 Grand Rapids - Holland - Frankenmuth - This morning depart Grand Rapids for the quaint village of Holland. Few places in the world evoke the feeling of spring like this town does year-round. Your first stop is at the Veldheer Tulip Gardens to view the extraordinary flowers in bloom. Later you will visit the Dutch Village, which recreates the old-world charm of the Netherlands. Klompen dancers perform, shops beckon, and the tunes from the Amsterdam Street organ invite you to dance. Later, arrive in Frankenmuth.
Day #8 Frankenmuth - Southfield - This morning learn how to roll your own pretzels during a pretzel rolling demonstration. Savor the old-world charm of Frankenmuth, an enchanting town with a rich Bavarian influence and gingerbread-style architecture. Visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store. This afternoon enjoy a German wine tasting before you feast on a wonderful Bavarian-style meal. Then, enjoy some time at leisure to explore the town’s many European-influenced shops and bakeries. This evening you arrive in Southfield, your home for the remainder of the trip.
Day #9 Southfield - Today you will visit Greenfield Village or Henry Ford Museum for an experience in living history: view historic homes and famous American workshops including those from The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Robert Frost.
Day #10 Southfield - Tour Ends - Your tour ends today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of your visit to America's heartland.