Day 1: Depart Chicago
Great Lakes Circle Tour members will arrive in Chicago’s Union Station throughout the day. This afternoon we will board Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service to Milwaukee.
We will transfer to the DoubleTree by Hilton, our home for the night.
A welcome dinner is included this evening.
Day 2: Door County
Following breakfast we’ll board our deluxe motorcoach and head north to Door County, described as “The Cape Cod of the Midwest”. Stretching 75 miles long and 10 miles wide, the Door Peninsula has received countless accolades for its natural scenic beauty and nautical history. In 2013 Fodor’s ranked it among the 10 best small towns in America, stating: “Five state parks, 300 miles of shoreline, hundreds of non-chain shops, galleries and restaurants, all amid the beauty of Lake Michigan – need we say more?”
Our first stop will be at the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay where we’ll discover the region’s rich history. Following an “on-your-own” lunch we will set out on a sightseeing tour of this unique nautical region before checking in to our home for the next two nights, the Bridgeport Resort. Tonight we will enjoy an included dinner at the Door County Fire Company!
Meal(s): B & D
Day 3: Washington Island
Following a Continental breakfast we’re heading north to the tip of the peninsula where we’ll board the Washington Island Ferry for, you guessed it, Washington Island. This five mile crossing where Green Bay and Lake Michigan meet was named Porte des Morts, or “Door of the Dead”, by early French explorers (from which Door County and Door Peninsula derive their names).
The island is 5 miles wide by 6 miles long and home to over 600 year-round residents. Among the places we’ll visit are the Commercial Fishing Museum, Stave Church, a lavender farm, School House Beach and Nelsen’s Hall Bitters Pub. Lunch is included.
This afternoon we’ll return to the mainland and visit Seaquist Orchard Market, the Village of Ephraim and Peninsula State Park with a stop at Sven’s Bluff. Tonight’s included dinner will feature regional fare at Pellitiers. We will return to the Bridgeport Resort for the night.
Meal(s): CB, L & D
Day 4: The S.S. Badger, Manitowoc to Ludington
This morning we’ll travel to Manitowoc where we’ll board the S.S. Badger, the largest cross-lake passenger service on the Great Lakes, and enjoy an authentic steamship experience. The 410 foot ship features outside deck areas, deli-style snack bar, buffet-style dining area, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, gift shop/ship’s store, free quiet room/museum, two TV lounges and a movie lounge! Relax on deck during the scenic four-hour, 60-mile cruise across Lake Michigan to Ludington.
Our home for tonight will be the Ludington Comfort Inn.
Day 5: Muskegon, Silverside Submarine Tour and Museum
Following a Comfort Inn Express Start Breakfast we’ll board our motorcoach and head south to Muskegon.
We will visit the USS Silversides Submarine Museum. The mission of the Museum is to honor the men and women of the military, preserve military history and provide experiences that educate the public about past and present military history and technology.
The USS Silversides was commissioned just a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and completed 14 combat war patrols during World War II. USS Silversides is officially credited with sinking 23 major Japanese ships (the third highest total for any U.S. Navy Submarine). Silversides received the Presidential Unit Citation and 12 Battle Stars for her wartime service. Portions of the 1943 film Destination Tokyo were inspired by the real-life events which occurred aboard the USS Silversides during the war.
The submarine was decommissioned from active service in 1946 and was moved to Chicago where it was utilized by the U.S. Navy Reserve until 1969. In 1987 she was moved to Muskegon and is maintained in its World War II configuration and is considered the U.S. Navy’s most successful surviving World War II submarine. In 1993, the Prohibition-era U.S. Coast Guard Cutter McLane joined the USS Silversides on display at the museum.
Following the tour we will board our motorcoach and travel to the beautiful city of Holland, MI. An “on-your-own” lunch stop will be made.
We will arrive at Nelis’ Dutch Village where you will have the opportunity stroll around the village. There are 30 structures in the Dutch Village, with architecture representing different provinces in the Netherlands. You’ll see costumed klompen dancers, street organs, a carousel, carillon bells, heirloom quality gifts and other Dutch treats. You will hear Carillion Bell Music on the hour plus the Westminster Chimes.
You can see a Wood Carver demonstrate the making of traditional wooden shoes by hand. Also Delftware making & the VanderWilt Antique Collection.
There will be Dutch Dancing and De Gouden Engel - Amsterdam Street Organ demonstrations. You may want to try some Dutch Cheese or a Brew.
We will transfer to our home for the night the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Holland.
You are free to continue exploring Holland. You’ll love the diverse, first-class shopping and dining - everything from trendy boutiques to upscale clothiers.
A Farewell dinner is included in the hotel.
Meal(s): B & D
Day 6: En Route to Chicago
This morning we will board our motorcoach and transfer to the Holland Amtrak Station for the 6:54 a.m. departure of the Pere Marquette for Chicago.
Arrival into Chicago is scheduled for 9:11 a.m.