Home » 2000 Cross Country Road Trip

Cherry Orchards Drive / Mackinaw City, MI

Friday, July 14, 2000 - 9:00am by Lolo
170 miles and 4 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


After leaving Sleeping Bear, we decided to take the scenic Cherry Orchards Drive along the shores of Lake Michigan to Mackinaw City.

Herb and boys at Old Mission PeninsulaHerb and boys at Old Mission PeninsulaWe took the side drive out to Old Mission Peninsula, which juts out into Grand Traverse Bay. The peninsula road wanders through vineyards and the greatest concentration of cherry orchards in the country. Everywhere you looked there were roadside stands selling cherries and cherry pies. At the end of the road we stopped at the 1870 Old Mission Lighthouse and walked out on a boulder-strewn beach. Right by the lighthouse, there was a sign proudly displaying the fact that we were standing on the 45th parallel, exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

Back off Mission peninsula, we drove through pretty lakeside resort towns such as Traverse City and Charlevoix on our way to Mackinaw City, which we were going to use a base from which to explore Mackinac Island.

In Mackinaw City, we stayed at TeePee campground, right on Lake Huron. That evening, we wandered down to the small rocky beach, but none of us was in the mood to swim in the cool lake waters. There were lots of kids running around the campground, so after a little nudging we got the kids to mingle a little and play some volleyball and horseshoes with the other kids.

The next morning we rode our bikes from the campground to catch the ferry to Mackinac Island.


The Cherry Orchards Drive is a 100-mile drive between Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Mackinaw City that winds along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan through lakeside resort towns and cherry orchards.

Mackinaw City is a good base for exploring Mackinac Island. TeePee Campground is conveniently located in biking distance to the ferry.

Cherry Orchards Drive / Mackinaw City location map in "high definition"

Javascript is required to view this map.