Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, Tunnel of Trees & Traverse City, Michigan 2020

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  or 706-363-0341
 
Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
2020
 
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  • Come join us on a cyclist’s magical dream vacation, traveling to these must see locations for every cyclist:  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, Tunnel of Trees & Traverse City, Michigan and even an option to tour Mackinac Island! We will explore the most beautiful bike riding this area has to offer.
  • Traverse City is one of the most popular bicycling destinations and has been awarded one of “The Best Small Towns in the US for a Vacation” in July 2018 and named one of "The Most Beautiful Towns in America" by Conde Nast Traverler in 2019.
  • We are staying in Traverse City at one hotel for the entire week - The Hampton Inn that is currently undergoing a complete million-dollar renovation scheduled for completion six months before our arrival.
  • Our hotel is located across the road from the beach of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.
  • On our first day of riding, we will ride the famous Tunnel of Trees route and then join the Little Traverse Wheelway dedicated paved bike path to our final destination of Charlevoix. We follow the shores of the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan formed by the Leelanau Peninsula. Coincidently we join the bike path at the Petoskey Brewery.
  • Monday morning we continue our journey with our ride in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore on their dedicated bike paths. You will even have time to climb the dunes, if you choose.
  • As Tuesday rolls around, we will bicycle to the Old Mission Lighthouse taking back roads and riding along the East and West Arms of Traverse Bay past lakeside homes, vineyards, farms and orchards.
  • With Wednesday choices arrive: Stay and tour Traverse City on your own or take the optional journey to the renowned Mackinac Island (which does not allow motorized vehicles) and Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island is known as "The Bicycle Capital of the World."
  • On Thursday we ride on the paved dedicated bike baths of Leelanau Trail and the Traverse Area Recreation Trail, ending at our hotel. Or take the optional route to view the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Either way enjoy pedaling through coastal villages, small towns, vineyards, orchards, farms and forests.
  • Overall, we bike the best bicycle routes and experience why Traverse City is wildly popular with cyclists!
Day 1, Saturday - June 6, 2020
 
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Begin your adventure in Traverse City, Michigan. Bicycling magazine awarded Traverse City as one of the best Bike Cities in America in 2018. Also, Traverse City has become a great tourist destination in addition to its large beachfront and thriving downtown, it is known for its fresh cherries and apples as well as a great craft beer destination. Finally, if you like (or if you know about) Detroit pizza then downtown Traverse City has the best Detroit Pizza in the U.S. The city is also known for its safety. As we ride through the countryside, you will see fruit and pie stands with "cash boxes" where you just pay or even make change on the honor system, something that may have been common in years long past, but now is a definite reflection of the safety of the community.
Our welcome dinner will be at the unique and popular Trattoria Stella Italian with a farm-to-table philosophy with a high profile wine offering. Located in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, where one of the largest historic preservation and adaptive re-use developments in the country is underway. The Village is the unique renovation of dozens of historic buildings formerly known as the Traverse City State Hospital. Welcome meeting is scheduled for around 4:30pm.
 
Lodging:
 
 
(The above picture is our approximation on the appearance of the outside of the Hampton Inn in Traverse City after the exterior renovation are completed, based on other renovated properties.)
 
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(The above picture was of the Hampton Inn Traverse City before renovations began.)
 
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
- Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
Dinner:
 
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Trattoria Stella
Traverse City, Michigan
Salad:
  • Trattoria Herb vinaigrette & balsamic Salad
Entrée Choices:
  • Chef's Cut Steak - Herb-crusted and char-grilled, gnoccheti, classic marinara, opal basil, cipollini, marsala.
  • Great Lakes Walleye - Pan-seared, leek & parmesan risotto, arugula, lemon and chives.
  • Fettuccine - Carrot greens dough, white potatoes, green beans, spinach basil pesto.
  • Maltagliati - Whole wheat & egg dough, beef bolognese, fried sage leaves and parsley.
​Day 2, Sunday - June 7, 2020
 
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Tunnel of Trees + Little Traverse Wheelway Paved Bike Path
 
Sunday, we SAG Van to Cross Village Township and then bicycle through the Tunnel of Trees to Petoskey, Michigan. You must take in The Tunnel of Trees. It is beautiful any time of year, but especially in the spring. We start in Cross Village, Michigan. Like many of the area’s small towns was once a thriving center for lumber, because of its location on the lakeshore, it was also a popular fishing community and is now the starting point for The Tunnel of Trees. Petoskey, a charming resort community, is nestled along the shores of Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. Petoskey has much history with Victorian architecture and breathtaking views. We will ride on the scenic drive, viewing the beauty of Lake Michigan. We then join the Little Traverse Wheelway paved dedicated bike path riding next to Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay all the way to Charlevoix, known for its arts, architecture and educational attractions. There is plenty to see and do in Charlevoix. After taking in some culture or more importantly getting a bite to eat in Ernest Hemmingway’s old stomping ground, we will proceed back to the starting hotel. 

 

Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 29 miles, riding through the Tunnel of Trees and Petoskey; or 49 miles riding through the Tunnel of Trees, Petoskey and Charlevoix. [The route is a combination of flat areas and rolling hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
 - Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
Dinner:
On your own.
 
Day 3, Monday - June 8, 2020
 
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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore + Paved Dedicated Bike Path
 
On Monday, we SAG Van to Glen Arbor, which is nestled between Sleeping Bear Bay on Lake Michigan and the Glen Lakes. You can even try the climb up the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We will be riding on the dedicated bike paths to and through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore including Glen Haven Historic Village and the renown featured Dune Climb, where you can climb the sandy face. For the more adventurous, we will continue riding through the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, sharing a limited speed one-way road. After seeing the sights in the National Seashore, we will ride back to Glen Arbor for a well deserved lunch or relaxation before returning to Traverse City.

 

Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.

 

Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 20 miles riding on the dedicated bike paths; or 28 miles, riding the dedicated bike paths and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive option. [The bike path route has some rolling hills. The optional Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is hilly.]

 

Dinner:

 

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North Peak Brewing Company
Traverse City, Michigan
 
Soup or Salad:
  • Herb Vinaigrette & Balsamic topping a mix of fresh salad greens
  • White Cheddar Ale Soup with mustard pretzel crouton topping
Entrée Choices:
  • The Peak Burger - Grilled Natural Angus beef raised with no steroids, hormones or antibiotics with any of the following toppings: Gorgonzola, provolone, smoked bacon, curried haystack onions, white Cheddar, Basil Pesto, Sautéed Mushrooms, Swiss, Muenster, smoked cheddar.
  • Atlantic Salmon - choice of Cherry Porter BBQ sauce or basil pesto crust, brewhouse barley, fresh vegetables.
  • Hanger Steak - Honey Porter marinade, white cheddar mashers, curried haystack onions, fresh vegetables.
  • Grilled Fish Tacos - Chili-charred mahi-mahi, ultragrain flour tortillas, smoked cheddar, pickled red onions, sweet chili lime sauce, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, jalapeño crisps, tricolored corn chips. 
  • Pecan Crusted Walleye - Pan-seared Great Lakes fillet, pecan panko crust, brewhouse barley, cherry balsamic reduction, fresh vegetables.
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
 - Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
Dinner:
On your own.
 
Day 4, Tuesday - June 9, 2020
 
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Old Mission Lighthouse 
 
On Tuesday we ride from our hotel through the adjacent Traverse City State Park and then ride on the Traverse Area Recreation Trail paved bike path. We ride around the Grand Traverse County Park through Northwestern Michigan College and then finally we ride on the peninsula to the Old Mission Lighthouse. Riding along first the East Arm and then the West Arm of Traverse Bay and viewing the various lakeside homes, vineyards, farms, apple & cherry orchards on low traffic roads. After the ride, return and explore downtown Traverse City and restaurants on your own, taking the Traverse Area Recreation Trail to downtown. These routes are also popular for local rides/pelotons for their weekly 100+ person organized ride, so it has been bicycle tested many times and is the favorite local routes due to its low traffic and numerous sights.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 23 miles, riding to the Old Mission Lighthouse; or 45 miles riding to and from the Old Mission Lighthouse. [The route is flat with some rolling hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
 - Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
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Day 4, Wednesday - June 10, 2020

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Free Day or Mackinac Island - The only Michigan Highway Designed for Bicycles (No motorized vehicles are allowed)
 
On Wednesday, enjoy a day off to explore Traverse City on your own or take the optional adventure to Mackinac Island (pronounced “mackinaw”) from the original French pronunciation. Take a Star Line Ferry ($25) adjacent to the Michigan Welcome Center from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island and ride around the entire circumference of the island on Michigan State Highway 185, the only Michigan Highway that is dedicated to bicycles. Visit Fort Mackinac and explore the various highlights of Mackinac Island State Park which takes up 80% of Mackinac Island. Then tour downtown Mackinac Island or come back to Mackinaw City and the various shops in Mackinaw City including coffee, fudge and popcorn shops. If you are hungry, you may want to stop for a bite to eat at the Rusted Spoke Brewery situated across the street from the Star Line Ferry pier. After riding and seeing, what some people refer to as bicycling paradise, we return to Traverse City in the late afternoon.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel or touring Traverse City on your own; or 8.2 miles riding the circumference of Mackinac Island; or 20 miles riding thoughout Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. [The route is mostly flat.]
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Lodging:
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
 - Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
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Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 6, Thursday - June 11, 2020
 
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Leelanau Trail & Traverse Area Recreation Trail Dedicated Paved Bike Paths with optional riding from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse
 
On Thursday we take the SAG Van to Suttons Bay and then ride all the way back to hotel on paved bike paths. Suttons Bay is the gateway to Leelanau County and lies midway up the eastern shore of the popular peninsula. Check out the various shops in this year-round coastal village before joining the famous Leelanau Trial dedicated paved bike path to Traverse City and then joining the Traverse Area Recreation Trail to continue to the hotel. If you are feeling more adventurous, take the longer route as the SAG Van will continue to outside Leelanau State Park for a second drop-off and then you can see and ride from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. (Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state in the U.S.) On your journey maybe take time to stop at Barb’s Bakery for a doughnut in Northport then later joining the Leelanau Trail in Suttons Bay. On either route, enjoy riding by rolling coastal villages and through small towns, vineyards, orchards, farms and forests. Join the group for the farewell dinner in the evening overlooking Lake Michigan.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, stay at hotel; or 21 miles, riding from Suttons Bay; or 41 miles riding from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. [The routes are flat with rolling hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn Traverse City (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
 - Brand New million-dollar remodel to be completed in September 2019 -
Traverse City, Michigan
(Internet, fitness room, pool, coin laundry and hair dryer)
 
Dinner:
 
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West End Tavern
- Overlooking Lake Michigan -
Traverse City, Michigan
 
Salad or Soup:
  • Fresh Mixed Greens - topped with grapes, celery, apples, candied walnuts, feta cheese crumbles and poppy seeds
  • Classic Creamy Tomato Soup - slow roasted tomatoes blended with cream and fresh basil
Entrée Choices:
  • Prime Burger – Niman ranch prime beef, lettuce, onion, tomato, smoky mayo, house pickles.
  • Ruby Red Trout – Warm grain salad, brussel sprouts, charred scallion aioli
  • Tri Tip Steak – Smashed potatoes, scallions, creamed spinach, house steak sauce.
  • Half Rotisserie Chicken – Roasted in house daily, fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus
  • Tequila Lime Pasta – House made creamy, spicy sauce with fettuccini pasta, roasted red and green peppers with chicken or shrimp.
Day 7, Friday - June 12, 2020
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Take one last ride around the Traverse City area before heading home.
 
Breakfast provided by hotel each morning
 

Please note all trip information is based on previous trips and/or contracted lodging and restaurants and is subject to change based on availability or specific trip needs.
 
Riding difficulty:
  • Riders who are comfortable riding at least 10 miles per hour should have an enjoyable trip. The routes on some of the most popular bike routes in Maine. Please see the daily routes descriptions for additional information. Of course, if a rider is tired or does not feel like riding, the SAG vehicle will transport the rider. All riders may ride at their own pace, slow or fast or anything in-between.
Arriving by Automobile:
  • Drive to the Hampton Inn Traverse City, 1000 Us-31, Traverse City, MI 49686; parking your car at the hotel for the duration of the trip. 
Arriving by Plane:
  • Fly directly into Traverse City at the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Michigan about 2 miles (Yes, only 2 miles!) from the starting hotel. (Yes, it is nice to fly into a small airport; yet, serviced by Delta, American and United Airlines.)
Deposit:
  • $200 to reserve your spot and the remainder due 45 days before the trip start.
What is Included:
  • Hotel lodging
  • Ride packets, including maps & cue sheets (directions)
  • Fully sagged, including ride leaders, luggage transport, SAG vehicle transportation and rider assistance
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Dinner with the group three nights (see above)
  • Great riding, scenery, fun and enjoyment!
Additional:
  • If you have an America the Beautiful Interagency Pass (Annual / Senior / Military / Access / Volunteer Pass) with valid ID, entrance fees are waived for the pass-holder and up to 3 additional adults, provided they are on a bicycle and simultaneously enter Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore; otherwise there is an additional $15 entry fee per person. Please note: the National Park Service currently is evaluating all entrance fees into National Parks so the fee system is changing for 2020.
Bicycles:
  • Most participants bring their own bicycles
  • To ship your bike, we would suggest using shipbikes.com or bikeflight.com for shipping. Hampton Inn Traverse City, 1000 Us-31, Traverse City, MI 49686
  • If you fly, most major airlines including Delta, American, United and Alaska Air now waive the oversize fee for bicycles (sporting equipment) and just the standard luggage fee applies. Please contact your airline for all the details.
  • To rent a bicycle, please contact Einstein Cycles 231-421-8148 (about one mile from the hotel)
Weather for June in the Traverse City area:
  • Average High 75° in Traverse City
  • Average High 70° in Mackinac Island
  • Average High 75° in Glen Arbor

 

Contact Information:

Vacation Bicycling, LLC
1860 Barnett Shoals Rd, Ste 103-514
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: 706-363-0341 or email your question on our short Contact Form
 
Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
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