Elegance On The Edge of Wilderness

Mackinac Island & Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

June 10 – June 14, 2019

     Leave the ordinary at home and join us at picturesque Mackinac Island.  It’s an island suspended in a forgotten, more innocent time.  Relive the simple pleasures of life such as a leisurely carriage ride on silent, uncrowded streets. On Mackinac Island, every day is timeless and the Lilac Festival is being celebrated.  Join Laura and Gary Block when we set aside five days and four nights exploring Mackinac Island, Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. You may have seen other tour companies advertising trips to Mackinac Island, but none compare to what we have to offer.  It’s not just about Mackinac Island, this one also includes the surrounding area with sightseeing, Mother Nature’s beauty and numerous attractions. Our Andy’s Charter Service tour coach departs Little Falls at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 10 from the northeast corner of Wal-Mart.  Our journey will take us through central Wisconsin and over the border to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where we’ll check into the Comfort Inn in Iron Mountain, Michigan.  Dinner this evening is at the top of  Pine Mountain, accompanied by a local tour guide, Bill Cummings.  Enjoy the view, visit the on-site veteran’s memorial and there will be a delicious pasty dinner, a UP favorite, with all the fixings at the pavilion catered by the Pasty Oven.

    Day two begins with breakfast at the hotel and a Tuesday that includes Gladstone, Manistique and overnighting in Mackinaw City.  If you’ve been with us in the past when we traveled to the Upper Peninsula, you already know about step-on guide Fred Huffman, a native “yooper” who has hosted visitors from all over the world.  Fred has an unbelievable amount of knowledge when it comes to the UP and is one of the best guides you’ll ever experience.  Fred will be joining us for three days.  This morning we stop at the WW II Glider & Military Museum.  During WW II, the local Ford Motor Company built more Model CG-4A gliders for the U.S. Army than any other company in the nation, including in Minnesota, at less cost than other manufacturers.  The museum features one of only seven fully restored gliders in the world.  The premier reason for using gliders during the war was because the glider was a silent aircraft and could deliver troops or equipment behind enemy lines undetected at night.  Exciting footage of gliders in action and personal stories of rides and pilots is highlighted.  The military museum also includes Nazi artifacts, a restored WW II vintage jeep, a 1930’s Model AA Ford dump truck and a Model A Ford Tudor sedan.   Lunch today is at Terrace Bay Hotel in Gladstone, overlooking the northern tip of Lake Michigan.  Enjoy the hearty buffet lunch featuring herb roasted chicken, toasted corn Poblano meatballs, mashed redskin potatoes, buttered baby carrots, salad and dessert.  Back on the road as we travel to Manistique, where we’ll take a break at the Mackinac Trail Winery located on the Manistique River.  Enjoy tasting the fine hand-crafted wines at this family owned winery.  Travel to the scenic State Rest Area on the northern most point of Lake Michigan east of Naubinway where Mother Nature’s beauty will continue to thrill us.  Heading to the hotel, we now cross the Mackinac Bridge, the 12th longest suspension bridge in the world at 3.64 miles and considered by many as “the 8th wonder of the world”.  The view from the bridge is remarkable with Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east. This is a moment we’ll never forget.  The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s two peninsulas across the 4-mile Straits of Mackinac. After a busy day of sightseeing, we’ll be spending the evening in Mackinaw City, surrounded by spectacular beauty on the north side of the mighty Mackinac Bridge. Our home for the next two nights is the Baymont Inn by Wyndham.  Dinner this evening is a delicious buffet at Audie’s Restaurant, serving visitors of Mackinaw City since the Mackinac Bridge was built.   The buffet features fresh Great Lakes Whitefish, pasta primavera and chicken Cordon Bleu with five cheese AuGratin Yukon Gold potatoes and honey peas and carrots and salad bar.

      A hot breakfast is served at the hotel as we anticipate our journey today to the island.  Our coach will transport us to the dock where we’ll board a Star Line hydro-jet ferry that provides the smoothest and fastest ride to Mackinac Island.  As we near the island, we’ll see just how beautiful it is.  We step off the ferry into the yesteryears of a Victorian village

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where no motorized vehicles are allowed. See the island from a horse-drawn, covered carriage on an hour and a half narrated tour that includes historical, natural and geological points of interest.  A tour of Fort Mackinac is also included. The majestic white fortress on the bluff is a sight to behold.  A military outpost from 1781-1894, the fort now has costumed interpretive staff and preserved original buildings, that will capture our imagination.  Getting hungry for lunch?  Lunch will be at the over 120 year old world famous Grand Hotel, the island’s crown jewel with its wraparound front porch that’s the length of two football fields.  The Grand Hotel buffet lunch is an elaborate array of delicious hot and cold entrees, salads, vegetables and hotel specialties.  Save room for the dessert table with its 20 luscious pastry choices.  Arrangements have been made for taxi service to the downtown area.  After some shopping and sightseeing, it’s back on board the ferry to the dock in Mackinaw City where we’ll meet our motor coach.  Dinner is on our own this evening in downtown Mackinaw City where there are a number of great restaurants,

     Thursday morning relax with breakfast at the hotel before we check out of the Baymont Inn. This morning we travel to the Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse near Gulliver where we’ll tour the lighthouse, view the audiovisual program and visit two on-site museums.  Located in the northwest corner of Lake Michigan, the lighthouse was established in 1892 and is still an active lighthouse.  Fully operational, the lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and today the shipping industry needs the light as a navigational aid.  Lunch is on our own today at Big Boy Restaurant in Manistique.  Get ready for an exciting afternoon when we visit the Big Springs of Michigan in the Palms Book State Park and named the “Mirror of Heaven” or Kitch-iti-kipi by the early Indians.  Enjoy riding the self-propelled observation raft to view the wonders of The Big Spring. The spring is 45 feet deep and 200 feet across.  Water temperature remains constant at 45 degrees and is crystal clear.  Thrill at the view of large brown trout, strange formations and the sight of 16,000 gallons of water per minute “erupting” from the depths.  A Park Ranger will meet us and share more about the site.  A stop is scheduled at the Explore Munising Visitor Center which also features works by local artisans and the Falling Rock Café.  The largest city in the county is Marquette with a population of 22,000. Historic Marquette is a harbor town on Lake Superior and the principle port for the shipping of iron on the Marquette Iron Range.  Next we check into the Country Inn & Suites.  All of our rooms include a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, plus the hotel features an indoor pool/whirlpool and a fitness center.  Freshen up and prepare for dinner on our own this evening at Casa Calabria, a family tradition since 1981 and voted best restaurant, best service, best Italian restaurant and best atmosphere by Marquette residents.  It’s our final evening with Fred and he would like to do a Sunset Celebration Tour.  This will be a guided shoreline tour leading to Sunset Point at Presque Isle, a small peninsula that juts into the lake.  Presque Isle Park’s jagged shoreline is more than two miles long and contains some of the oldest exposed rock formations in North America with black lava-type Pre-Cambrian rocks that are over one billion years old. We’ll bring out the champagne or non-alcoholic beverages and toast a goodbye to Fred.

        The Country Inn always serves a nice breakfast and we’ll prepare for our final day together.  There are still a few events planned for the day including an early morning stop.  Remember the novelty songs “Second Week of Deer Camp” and “Da Turdy Point Buck” by Da Yoopers?  Before we leave Michigan, we’re going to make a stop in Ishpeming to “Da Yoopers Tourist Trap & Museum”.  We stopped here a couple of years ago and it was a hoot!  Wait until you see “Gravel  Gertie”, the largest motorized tricycle in Michigan and Eddy, the wood-burning tractor, one of only two that still exist in the nation.  That’s just a couple of the many inventions of the head Yooper, Jim Decaire.  Jim came on board the coach one of the times we visited and shared some hilarious stories.  If we can get Jim out of bed at this early hour, he just might do that again.  “Da Yoopers Tourist Trap” has been voted the best Michigan gift shop and has something rarely found at rest stops across the UP – two flushing bathrooms!  Outside you’ll also find crazy Yooper displays including “Big Gus”, the largest running chainsaw in the world that is 23 feet long and 6 feet tall, plus “Big Ernie”, the largest working rifle in the world.  Also on the grounds is a full fledged deer camp “Camp Go-For-Beer”.  Where do they get their talent to invent?  They say it’s from the long Yooper winters where there’s a lot of time to think, read and dream.   Lunch is on your own today in Ashland, Wisconsin.  When we arrive in Minnesota, we’ll take a break at the visitor center overlooking Duluth and Lake Superior; expecting to arrive in Little Falls around 7:30.  Bring your camera, as this will be a trip you’ll want to remember for years to come.  Sign up today for an outstanding five day and four nights. .          

    

Ø  Comfortable Andy’s Charter Service tour coach transportation

Ø  One night accommodations at Comfort Inn in Iron Mountain, MI

Ø  Two night’s accommodations at Baymont Inn by Wyndham in Mackinaw City, MI

Ø  One night accommodations at Country Inn & Suites in Marquette, MI

Ø  Step-on guide, Fred Huffman, from Marquette Country Tours

Ø  Upper Peninsula picturesque tour

Ø  Tour with step-on guide Bill Cummings in Iron Mountain

Ø  Catered dinner on Pine Mountain and the UP Veterans Memorial

Ø  Big Springs of Michigan at Palms State Park on Indian Lake

Ø  Park ranger guided tour and hand-powered raft ride on Big Springs

Ø  WW II Glider Museum

Ø  Wine tasting at Mackinac Trail Winery

Ø  Photo opportunity at scenic area near Naubinway

Ø  Star Line hydro-jet ferry to and from Mackinac Island

Ø  One and a half hour narrated horse-drawn carriage ride on the island

Ø  Historic Fort Mackinac tour & taxi transportation on Mackinac Island

Ø  Shopping and sightseeing in downtown Mackinac Island

Ø  Grand Buffet Luncheon at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel

Ø  Mackinac Bridge crossing

Ø  Seul Croix Pointe Lighthouse – tour an operational lighthouse

Ø  Explore Munising Visitor Center and Art Gallery

Ø  Sunset Celebration Tour of Presque Isle Park

Ø  Champagne & non-alcoholic beverages

Ø  Four breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners included

Ø  Fun and prizes

Ø  Hosted by Laura and Gary Block

$699 per person double occupancy                             $639 per person triple occupancy

$599 per person quad occupancy                                 $899 single occupancy

$100 deposit per person required within 3 days of signing up.  Remainder due on May 1, 2019

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Transportation and lodging hosted by Gary Block Tours is arranged with independent firms.  Bookings for entertainment are arranged through independent hotels, theatres and other entertainment venues.  We take great pride in our selection of reliable firms.  However, we do not control these independent firms.  Sometimes shows or celebrity appearances are changed or cancelled without notice.  We cannot be responsible for claims or losses arising out of injury, accident, death, loss of enjoyment, frustration or inconvenience that arises from the act or omission of any independent firm supplying services to Gary Block Tours, or for mechanical breakdowns, governmental actions, acts of God, strikes or acts of war beyond our control.  We cannot be responsible for the consequences of your failure to follow instructions, including but not limited to check in, check out and baggage handling.  If events or reservations are cancelled or changed, we will make every effort to provide a comparable substitute tour experience. Deposits and payments are non-refundable unless the tour is cancelled.

I have read and understand the Cancellation and Refund Policy notice.  All participants of this trip must sign below.

Mail registration and payment to: Gary Block Tours, 112 SE 4th Street, Little Falls, MN  56345

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