Fly from London to Chicago. You won’t need a car during your stay because the city is easily navigable by public transport, so make your way downtown and settle into your hotel. Stay 2 nights at the Essex Inn (or similar).
Today, explore some of Chicago’s most famous attractions from the shopping along the Magnificent Mile to the world famous skyscrapers offering panoramic city views. Why not take a cruise along the Chicago River or head for one of the city’s great museums? You might also like to head out of town to nearby Oak Park where you can see some of homes designed by celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Day 3: Chicago – Milwaukee – Green Bay (approx. 204 miles)
Pick up your hire car today and head north out of the Windy City into the state of Wisconsin where you’ll make your first stop in Milwaukee. This former brewing powerhouse now boasts plenty of cultural and historic sites along with abundant beer halls and taverns. The Milwaukee Art Museum is worth a visit not only for its impressive collection of 30,000 artworks but also for its distinctive Modernist design. For petrol heads, the Harley-Davidson Museum is top of the list of attractions. The next stop is Green Bay, where you’ll spend a couple of nights. Stay 2 nights in the Aloft Hotel (or similar).
Day 4: Green Bay – Door County – Green Bay (approx. 148 miles)
Green Bay is known as ‘Title Town’ in honour of all the Super Bowl titles that the local Green Bay Packers team has won. It’s also the perfect base to explore Door County, the ‘Cape Cod of the Mid-West’. Boasting 300 miles of shoreline, five state parks and ten lighthouses, the peninsula is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Great Lakes region. Spend the day browsing quirky shops, hunting for lighthouses and beachcombing if the sun’s shining, before returning to Green Bay for the night.
Day 5: Green Bay – Marquette (approx. 177 miles)
Your journey continues north today to Marquette, the largest city on Michigan’s Northern Peninsula. This major port on Lake Superior offers plenty of opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, from relaxing on the beach to taking a scenic hike. In the summer months, there’s an extensive calendar of events and festivals to enjoy too. Stay 1 night at the Landmark Inn (or similar).
Day 6: Marquette – Mackinac – Traverse City (approx. 129 miles)
Drive to Mackinaw City this morning and board a hi-speed ferry for the 20 minute journey to Mackinac Island. Here you’ll feel as if you’ve gone back in time with a ban on cars and lovely Victorian architecture predominating. Take a self-guided walking tour or perhaps rent a bike to explore attractions including arch rock and British landing. You might also like to take a horse and coach ride or try some of the fudge that the island is famous for. After your day on Mackinac Island, return to the mainland and drive on to Traverse City. Stay 2 nights at the Grand Beach Resort Traverse City (or similar).
Day 7: Traverse City
Spend a day exploring the local area today. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is really worth a visit, boasting picture perfect freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands, historic farmsteads and magnificent views over Lake Michigan from high sand dunes. In the afternoon, why not take a tour of the wineries in the area? Traverse City is situated on the 45th Parallel and it is home to celebrated vintners who grow wines on the beautiful Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas.
Day 8: Traverse City - Detroit (approx. 256 miles)
Head south today through Michigan to Detroit, the state’s largest city. This sometime global capital of the automotive industry is also the home of Motown and there is plenty to see and do. Stay 2 nights at the Best Western Greenfield Inn (or similar).
Day 9: Detroit
Spend some time today visiting Detroit’s fascinating museums. The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is a National Historic Landmark and the largest indoor – outdoor museum in the USA, featuring a vast collection of memorabilia including John F Kennedy’s presidential limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. You can also walk in the footsteps of Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Jackson Five with a visit to Studio A of the Motown Museum, otherwise known as ‘Hitsville USA’.
Day 10: Detroit – Toronto (approx. 245 miles)
Have your passport handy today as you cross the Canadian border and make your way to Toronto. As one of the world’s most ethnically diverse cities, you’ll find plenty of delicious dining options here, whether in Chinatown, Little Italy along St. Clair West, Little Portugal or Gerrard India Bazaar at Gerrard and Greenwood. Stay 2 nights at Bond Place Hotel (or similar).
Day 11: Toronto
You have a full day to discover the sights of Toronto today. Head to the lakeside district of Harbourfront for craft shops, art galleries, theatres, restaurants and marinas, all against the lovely backdrop of Lake Ontario. Also not to be missed is the CN Tower, the city’s most recognisable landmark, where you can take in the views from a glass floored observation deck or enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant.
Day 12: Toronto – Niagara Falls , Ontario (approx. 79 miles)
Drive back towards the US border today, stopping for the night on the Canadian side of the world famous Niagara Falls. The best way to experience this natural wonder is to don your waterproofs and take a Maid of the Mist boat tour. This popular cruise starts in the calm part of the Niagara River and then sails past the Bridal Veil and American Falls before dipping into the spray inside the curve of the Horseshoe Falls. Stay 1 night at the Radisson Fallsview (or similar).
Day 13: Niagara Falls – Erie, Pennsylvania (approx. 117 miles)
Follow the National Scenic Byway called the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to Erie, the largest city on the lake of the same name. The area is known for its wineries and you might like to tour some of these this afternoon. Alternatively, visit the sandy peninsula of Presque Isle where you can enjoy outdoor pursuits including boating, fishing, swimming, cycling and hiking. Stay 1 night at the Sheraton Bayfront (or similar).
Day 14: Erie - Cleveland (approx. 103 miles)
Continue along the shores of Lake Erie to Cleveland today and pay a visit to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This museum traces the history of the genre and includes in its collection rare artefacts like Jimi Hendrix’s guitar and one of Michael Jackson’s gloves. In the evening, enjoy a meal along East 4th Street, the city’s most popular restaurant area. Stay 1 night at the Marriott Downtown (or similar).
Day 15: Cleveland – Nappanee (approx. 257 miles)
The last stop on your fly drive holiday is Nappanee Indiana, known for its Amish and Mennonite communities. Visit Amish Acres, a restored Old Order Amish farm and homestead dating back to the 1840s. Here, you’ll learn about the history of the Amish people and their ‘plain’ way of living. In the evening, you can choose to have dinner with a show in the Round Barn Theater. Stay 1 night at the Amish Acres Hotel (or similar).
Day 16: Nappanee - Chicago (approx. 257 miles)
Leave early today so that you have some time to buy last-minute souvenirs back on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Then it’s time to return your hire car to the airport and catch a flight back to London.