"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." This spring, we will be traveling to the beautiful Lower Peninsula of Michigan from Detroit to Holland to fabled Mackinac Island. In "Motor City" we will learn about Henry Ford's Model T and the birth of the American automobile industry and at Thunder Bay we will hear about the devastating history of shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. We will take a private horse-drawn carriage tour of lovely Mackinac Island; explore sand dunes on Lake Michigan and see picturesque lighthouses on the shores of Lake Huron; we will tour the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids and "Hitsville USA," the headquarters of Motown. We hope you can join us on this exciting new tour!
Wednesday, May 15
Gather with staff and fellow travelers for our welcome dinner.
Overnight Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Detroit
Thursday, May 16
Our orientation of the “Motor City” begins with a bus tour highlighting the city’s historic landmarks. Sites to include: Fort Wayne (site of the Treaty of Spring Wells that ended hostilities between Indians & Americans in the War of 1812); International Underground Railroad Memorial; and the Guardian Building, an art deco masterpiece.
Following lunch, we will tour the Detroit Historical Society’s museum, which tells the history of Detroit and its environs. We’ll walk across the street to view the famous Diego Rivera “Detroit Industry Mural” located in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Two of the main panels depict workers at the Ford River Rouge Plant, which we will visit on May 24. We will also see Winslow Homer’s civil war painting “Defiance: Inviting a Shot Before Petersburg, 1864.” O/N Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Detroit
Friday, May 17
We will begin the day with a tour of the Motown Museum, known as “Hitsville, USA.” Next we will visit the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the original Model T Ford Factory.
Following lunch, we will proceed to Grosse Point to tour Edsel Ford’s Home designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn. We will continue to the site of the Fox Indian Massacre. In May 1712, French troops with Indian allies killed around 1,000 Fox Indians men, women and children in a five-day massacre near the head of the Detroit River. O/N Bay City Doubletree Hotel
Saturday, May 18
Depart Bay City for Alpena. We will visit The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, a visitor center for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which protects 116 historically significant shipwrecks. The exhibit, "Exploring the Shipwreck Century", includes a full-size replica of a wooden Great Lakes schooner and a shipwreck where visitors can walk the decks, feel a Great Lakes storm, and touch the massive timbers of the boat resting on the lake bottom -without getting wet!
We will drive north along the shore of Lake Huron from Alpena to St. Ignace. We will take a 15-minute ferry ride from the town of St. Ignace to Mackinac (MACK-in-awe) Island. We will transfer by horse drawn “taxi” to our hotel, the Mission Point Resort, our base for the next two nights.
O/N Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island
Sunday, May 19
We will spend a full day touring Mackinac Island by foot and horse carriage. During the Victorian era, Mackinac became one of the nation’s favored summer resort destinations. In fact, Mackinac National Park was a U.S. National Park for 20 years (1875-1895) making it the second American National Park after Yellowstone National Park.
The first thing you will notice is the absence of automobiles. Visitors and residents travel by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. There are only 600 year-round residents and during the summer, there are more than 500 horses.Our horse carriage tour of the island will include stops at Fort Macinac, a British fort built during the American Revolutionary War, and the Grand Hotel used as a location for the 1980 cult film Somewhere In Time, starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. O/N Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island
Monday, May 20
Check out of our hotel. Take the ferry from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace. We’ll drive across the Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Nearly 5 miles in length and familiarly known as "Big Mac," it is the world's 20th-longest main span.
En route to Traverse City, we will drive through the “Tunnel of Trees,” see Charlevoix’s famed “Mushroom houses,” and visit a vineyard for a wine tasting.
O/N West Bay Holiday Inn, Traverse City
Tuesday, May 21
This morning we will visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where we will take the Pierce Stocking scenic drive and visit the Maritime Museum on Lake Michigan. We will visit a cherry orchard before driving to Grand Rapids.
O/N Grand Rapids, Hilton Garden Inn
Wednesday, May 22
Today we will tour the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
We will have lunch in Holland, MI, and see the 250 yr. old De Zwaan windmill, the only authentic, Dutch, working windmill in the United States.
Continue to Lansing where we will tour the State Capital and view some of the battle flags carried by Michigan soldiers in the American Civil War.
Thursday, May 23
In Belleville’s Yankee Air Museum we will see a SPAD XIII (WWI French biplane fighter), and WWII aircraft including a B-17, C-47, B-25, and a B-52. One exhibit focuses on the Ford Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant and “Rosie the Riveter’s” significant contributions to the war effort. Other exhibits focus on the Tuskegee Airmen and the WASPs (Women Air Service Pilots).
In Monroe, we will make a brief stop at the Monroe County Museum to see exhibits on the life and family of Gen. George Armstrong and Libbie Custer. The museum is located on the site of General and Mrs. Custer’s first home.
We will finish up the day at River Raisin National Battlefield Park we will learn about one of the bloodiest battles in the War of 1812. The Battle of Frenchtown, also known as the Battle of the River Raisin, was the greatest victory for Tecumseh’s Indian confederation and a major defeat for the Americans. On January 22, 300 Americans were killed, about 60 men were seriously wounded, and more than 500 were taken captive. The massacre of some of the wounded American soldiers the following day shocked and enraged Americans throughout the Old Northwest Territory. This incident soon became know as “The River Raisin Massacre” and the rallying cry was “Remember the Raisin”.
We will check into the Dearborn Inn for two nights.
O/N Dearborn Inn
Friday, May 24
We will spend a full day at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the United States. The museum collection contains the presidential limousine President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theatre, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and the bus on which Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat, to name just a few highlights.
Greenfield Village, dedicated in 1929, was the first outdoor museum of its type in the nation. Henry Ford had nearly one hundred historical buildings moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country.We will end the day with a tour of the Ford Rouge River Factory.
Toast our adventure at tonight’s farewell dinner.
O/N Dearborn Inn
Saturday, May 25
* Services of an Historian Guide
(Ed Bearss is scheduled to lead this tour)
* Services of a Tour Manager
* 10 nights hotel accommodations
* Transportation on a full-sized coach
* All admissions and excursions
* Two wine/beer welcome receptions; daily breakfasts; 6 lunches; 6 dinners
* All taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book
COST: 11 DAYS/10 NIGHTS
Double Occupancy: $3895 per person
Single Occupancy: $4650
(NOTE: All costs are based on a minimum of 20 participants.)