Day-Trips from Cadillac
Create Memories that last a lifetime as you ride our rolling hills, take a break along the countless lakes and rivers, and experience breathtaking views as you explore the area. Opportunities to stop, shop, or just let the miles roll under your wheels abound. Experience our small town festivals, golf, fishing, swimming and shopping, and even dirt track racing, we are sure you will find many memorable moments.
Follow the routes featured here, or simply find your own way along our beautiful highways and country back roads, either way, you won’t be disappointed.
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DAY TRIP ROUTES FROM CADILLAC
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This route takes in a few of the things that make Northern Michigan truly unique. On this ride, you will follow the shoreline of the largest inland lake in Michigan and spend some time among ancient giants at Hartwick Pines State Park. This 9,600 acre park is home to some of the only remaining virgin pines in the state. Along the way you will take in some absolutely unbelievable farms around Vogel Center and Prosper.
D: Heading east out of Cadillac on M-55 you will quickly find yourself rolling through some of the most beautiful farmland the state has to offer. Turning south on M-66 will bring you into McBain. Just east of McBain you will leave M-66 and turn onto a county road leading into Vogel Center. Turning north in Vogel Center will bring you to Falmouth Rd. Turn right onto Prosper and continue to the end of the road. Heading north will once again bring you back to M-55. Turning right will lead you into Houghton Lake. The roads winding around Houghton and Higgins Lakes will bring you into Grayling. Just north of Grayling is Hartwick Pines. Headed south from the Hartwick Pines, pickup M-72 west out of Grayling and take it to M-66 just outside Kalkaska. Head south on M-66 to Lake City. Head west on M-42 until you see the signs for Jennings. A ride along this tree covered and winding road will soon lead you back to M-55 and into Cadillac.
If a leisure ride and day at the casino is more to your liking, there are a couple of lazy little day-trips that will fit the bill.
D: Head west out of Cadillac on M-55 just before Caberfae Ski area. Turn south onto 13 Road and follow the twisting county roads, right onto 48 Road, right onto S 11 ¼ Road into Hoxeyville. Continue west on Hoxeyville Rd as it crosses M-37 and leads you into Dublin, home of the famous Dublin Store and some great locally made jerky. Leaving Dublin, head north back to M-55 in Wellston. Turn to the west and follow M-55 into Manistee. M-22 north will quickly deliver you to the Little River Casino.
If winding roads with spectacular views of the lakes and bays are what you enjoy, this is one ride you won’t want to miss. With dozens of quaint little towns like Leland, with its historic Fish Town and winery tours at just about every turn, you can spend the entire day stopping at points of interest along the way, or just let the miles roll away and take in the splendor of this wonderful ride.
D: From Cadillac, take M-115 west to Frankfort and get on M-22 North. This beautiful road will take you past countless opportunities to stop and take in some of the most breath-taking views northern Michigan has to offer. Wind your way through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which Good Morning America called “The Most Beautiful Place in America.” M-22 will turn to the south at Northport, but before you go forward, be sure to take the trip out to the lighthouse at Leelanau State Park. Following M-22 south from Northport will deliver you to Traverse City after passing through the century old villages of Peshawbestown and Suttons Bay. From Traverse City you will catch M-37 south to M-113 which will carry you east to US-131 south and back into Cadillac.
A leisurely day-trip with plenty of chances to stop and enjoy all the area has to offer, with some sight-seeing, a light lunch and still be back in Cadillac in time for dinner and to take in some night-life.
D: Head west out of Cadillac on M-115 until you find yourself in the little port town of Frankfort. Ask the locals about the ‘Elberta Lookout’ to get an awesome view of the village and Betsie Lake. Heading south from Frankfort on M-22 will bring you a scenic turn-out just North of Arcadia. Don’t miss this. The view is unforgettable. Continue south on M-22 until you are a few miles north of Manistee. Here you will turn east on Coates Highway. This is where this ride really gets interesting. Coates Highway will take you on a twisting and turning course following the flow of the Manistee River. Opportunities abound to see wildlife and take in the rolling panoramas of the ancient river bed your riding through. Tippy Dam, Red Bridge and the State Fish Hatchery at Harrietta are just a few of the places well worth the time spent if you decide to stop. Following this wonderful country road will eventually bring you back to M-115 just west of Cadillac.
LEELANAU CASINO/WINE TOUR
Our Casino & Wine Tour ride finds you in the Old Mission Peninsula and wraps around Traverse Bay where several wineries are located. And you’ll find two casinos tucked into the landscape along these beautiful rolling hills.
D: head north from Cadillac on US-131 into Kalkaska. Turn to the west on M-72 into Williamsburg where you will find Turtle Creek Casino. After some time spent here continue west on M-72 into Acme where you will get on US-31 headed south into Traverse City. On your way through Traverse City be sure to take a ride up M-37 through Old Mission Peninsula to Lighthouse Park. Here you will find a unique geographical point-of-interest. You will be standing on the 45th parallel, half-way between the equator and the North Pole. Look for Winery signs. Head back into Traverse City and continue west to M-22 where you will turn north to Peshawbestown (sha-be-town) and the Leelanau Sands Casino.
CHARLEVOIX/TUNNEL OF TREES
If an all-day adventure is what you’re looking for, this trip will deliver. Along the way you will discover many of northern Michigan's greatest treasures. You will ride along the shores of Lake Charlevoix, recently voted as Michigan's “Most Beautiful Lake”, through the “Tunnel of Trees” on a National Heritage Route and stop for lunch at a Historic Landmark restaurant, The Legs Inn in the tranquil little village of Cross Village.
D: Your adventure begins by heading north out of Cadillac on US-131. After arriving in Mancelona you will continue north on M-66 until you come into Ironton. Here you have a choice to make. Either continue on M-66 into Charlevoix and pickup US-31 or you can take the Ironton Ferry across Lake Charlevoix and catch US-31 on the other side. We recommend the ferry. This is an adventure after all!
Whichever way you choose, once you find your way onto US-31, heading north will bring you into the harbor town of Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay. Just outside of Petoskey you will take M-119 west into Harbor Springs. Plan on spending some time shopping in this amazing little town on the bay. Artists and antiques are everywhere. M-119 turns to the north out of Harbor Springs and delivers you into the Tunnel of Trees. This narrow, winding road twists its way along the lake shore at times hundreds of feet above the lake. It is an amazing 20 miles.
Coming out of the tunnel, you will find yourself at the historic Legs Inn. Lunch here is a must. Authentic Polish cuisine is on the menu and the deck affords a view you won’t soon forget. Once your lunch is settled, head out of town on County Road C66 to the town of Levering. Here you will once again catch US-31 to Petoskey and keep south on US-131 to head back to Cadillac for dinner. For more information on the 131 North corridor, visit Explore 131 North!