by Julia Borst
The clock is ticking... there isn't much time left until summer ends and the school year begins. While I'm certain that most of you are looking forward to the start of school, it's hard not to feel a little bit sad that summer is coming to an end.
So why don't you plan something that makes you look forward to the end of summer rather than dreading the start of school? Let me give you a few ideas of what you could do.
1. For the history lover: Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI)
Greenfield Village is a historic town that was painstakingly put together by Jenry Ford. It has 83 historic buildings, including Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory and the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. For you history buffs, Greenfield Village is a must -- it's like taking a step back into the past. You can ride in a Model T or in a 19th century steam train engine. Aside from the Village, the Henry Ford Museum is right next door, so if you like cars and airplanes, you should check it out.
The Village is open seven days a week from 9:30 am - 5:30 pm; adult tickets are $24.
Rediscover America in Greenfield Village. Visit their website for more info.
2. For the water lover: Michigan's Adventure (Muskegon, MI)
If the historic angle doesn't interest you, there are plenty of other things you can do that are relatively close by. If you're into roller coasters and amusement parks, call a few of your friends and take a trip to Michigan's Adventure, which is just north of Muskegon.
Typically, Michigan's Adventure is open from 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, but that can change from week to week. To find a complete list od when they're open, visit their website!
Their waterpark, Wildwater Adventure, isn't open as long as the amusement park, but you can find their hours under the tab "Wildwater Adventure" on the left of the screen on their website.
If you want to stay overnight, there is a list of hotels with customer ratings under the tab "Places to Stay" at the top of the screen. The rates go from as low as $50/night to as high as $113/night, so depending on your budget, you'll find something that'll work for you.
3. For the thrill-seeker: Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
If, on the other hand, you're a total wild-ride guru, then you'd probably want to to go Cedar Point, America's Roller Coast. They have a great variety of thrill rides -- visit their website to explore what you can do, and where you can stay if you want to spend the night close to the park.
Camper Village is probably the least expensive place to stay ($68/night). Accommodations close to the park can get pretty expensive, so if you're looking to save money, you might want to cut your trip to one day.
Typically Cedar Point is open from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm, but on Saturday's they stay open until midnight, so you can ride those roller coasters to your hearts content.
4. For the the perfect taste of Michigan: Marquette, MI
The next place may be a long drive for some of you. From Detroit, Marquette is about an 8-9 hour car ride. The UP holds many attractions for all kidns of people. Do you like to shop? Marquette has all kinds of shops, from Getz's Clothiers to Michigan Fair and Dead River Coffee. If you like to eat out, Marquette has plenty of great restaurants to choose from -- like Aubree's Pizza, Vango's for Italian fare, and The Vierling for fish.
Hikers can head up to Sugarloaf Mountain and go to the top for a beautiful view. Bring your bike, and you can ride through Presque Isle and see spectacular wildlife -- it's not unusual to see a few deer on the ride (be on the lookout for moose, too!).
The view of Lake Superior alone is worth it.
5. For the sights and sounds of Michigan: Munising, MI
Stop in Munising for the Pictured Rocks boat tour, or the Shipwreck Tours in a glass-bottom boat on Lake Superior. You can find more information about the Pictured Rocks here, and the Shipwreck Tours here.
Both tours offer gorgeous scenery (especially Pictured Rocks), and the Shipwreck Tours are fascinating. Either way, a tour is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
If you head up north, you'll need a place to stay. Some less expensive places are America's Best Value Inn for $65, or Days In Marquette for $84. Based on your budget, you'll find a place to suit your needs.
Enjoy the tail end of summer, and happy traveling!