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U.P.’s Black River Scenic Byway on Bucket List for Top 10 Road Trips

What’s the best “staycation” in Michigan? If your summer vacation plans mean sticking around home, where are the best bets?

Waterfalls, lush forests and expansive views of Lake Superior earned the Black River Scenic Byway a spot on travel author Jamie Jensen's road trip bucket list. (Photo by Ottawa National Forest)
Waterfalls, lush forests and expansive views of Lake Superior earned the Black River Scenic Byway a spot on travel author Jamie Jensen's road trip bucket list. (Photo by Ottawa National Forest)

Is driving the Black River Scenic Byway on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on your bucket list?

It should be, according to a list of the top 10 road trip destinations, as reported by USA Today. The list was compiled by Jamie Jensen, author of  Road Trip USA (Avalon, $29.99).

The little-known road in Michigan made the cut because of its thick forests, waterfalls and expansive views of Lake Superior.

"People who know ocean coasts think that's the only way to go, but lake views can be just as beautiful," Jensen said.

State Highway 513 is a scenic byway, but road trippers shouldn’t be shy about venturing off the main route. "There are old roads that don't really go anywhere but get you deep in the woods, He said.

Inclusion in the list of the best 10 road trip destinations is the latest in a string of accolades for Michigan’s tourism offerings.

Mackinac Island came in as the second-best island destination in a USA Today poll in May. Notworthy were “its lack of cars, and a pace which encourages exploration of this natural island by horse, foot or bicycle,” the newspaper said.

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  • What’s the best “staycation” in Michigan?

The legendary fudge shops and the rocking chairs  front porch of the Grand Hotel – the largest front porch in the world – earned a mention as well.

Saugatuck won a majority of votes in a recent USA Today/10Best poll for the best summer escapes, the Detroit Free Press reports. The destinations had to be within 150 miles of a major metropolitan area – in Saugatuck’s case, Chicago – to be considered.

The Lower Peninsula isn’t left out in all of the gushing.

Sleeping Bear Dunes was named the most beautiful place in America in 2011 by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In March, about half of the sweeping Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was designated a federally protected wilderness area under legislation signed by President Barack Obama.

» Find out more about tourism opportunities in Michigan.


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