Kris Williams’ Michigan Road Trip: Detroit to Traverse City

By | September 16, 2016 |

Summer is the unofficial season for road trips and one destination that truly shines during this time is Michigan. From the revitalized and vibrant metropolis of Detroit to miles of stunning lake shorelines, Michigan offers the best of the arts, culture, cuisine and outdoor activities that can be fully enjoyed under the summer sun.

That’s why we were thrilled to be a part of Kris Williams’ adventures on a road trip from Detroit to Traverse City. She had an amazing time exploring Michigan’s cities, food and unique heritage—as well as enjoying some relaxation time in between.

Enjoy some of the highlights of Kris’ trip and find inspiration for your own Michigan adventure.

Detroit: Heidelberg Project

For 30 years, the Heidelberg Project has intrigued and inspired visitors to Detroit’s east side with the transformation of discarded objects into a living work of art. A bright, eclectic open-air art environment, the project features two neighborhood blocks of funky art installations made from recycled materials. Kris had a great time wandering around the polka-dotted streets and taking in the reactions of other visitors.

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Holland: A Winning Sandwich & Windmill Island Gardens

holland-sandwich-kris-williams-joy-of-travelThree hours west of Detroit on Lake Macatawa sits Holland, Michigan—a city known for its Dutch heritage and annual Tulip Time festival. Kris headed downtown for lunch at Crane’s in City and discovered what she claims as the “Best. Sandwich. On. The. Planet.” We were slightly jealous (and very hungry!) to hear all the details:

The City Cristo (marked as their most popular sandwich) was made with ‘turkey, provolone cheese, apple slices, honey mustard, grilled on apple-butter bread & sprinkled with powdered sugar.’ When I first read the description I was like, ‘I don’t know about this…’ but when I started throwing it into my head, I didn’t know if I was having lunch or dessert!  … I have never had anything like it but I cannot say enough just how much I loved it. It was weirdly delicious!

Kris also visited Windmill Island Gardens, a 30-acre park with a 250-year-old working Dutch windmill “De Zwann.” The popular park also features manicured gardens, costume-guided tours and events, an antique Amsterdam street organ, Dutch carousel and more.

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Traverse City: Resort Relaxing, Winery Tour & Tall Ship Cruise

Traverse City is three hours north of Holland and known for its miles of sugar-sand shorelines, vineyards and orchards, National Cherry Festival and numerous outdoor activities. We were happy to have Kris stay at the Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach, located on the shores of the West Grand Traverse Bay. She made sure to relax at the pool and waterfront patio before heading out to explore.


Kris signed up for two tours while in Traverse City: a winery tour and a tall ship cruise on Lake Michigan. The winery tour picked up guests from their hotels and drove them around to multiple area wineries—making it not only a great way to get a taste of local Michigan flavor, but also to sit back and enjoy the area’s scenery. Kris even spotted a small craft store and picturesque farm to check out after the tour.

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Kris had been wanting to take a tall ship cruise for years and finally had her opportunity with a two-hour tour around Lake Michigan. She boarded the Manitou and enjoyed food and drinks while watching the sunset. If a sailing trip isn’t on your list, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the lake including swimming, paddling and fishing.

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We’re so glad Kris had a fantastic time seeing Michigan and experiencing the area’s strong appreciation for their natural surroundings, local culture and heritage. For more details and pictures from Kris’ Michigan experience, visit her blog.

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