Weekend Road Trip for River Tubing and Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Why Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI?

Tubing on Platte River – One of the best natural lazy river you would find around Chicago. Suitable for all ages due to low water depth.
Sleeping Bear Dunes – For the breathtaking views and the rich geological history.
Several biking paths around the place are a bonus!

View from the first dune

How to Plan your visit?

• For accommodation, Traverse City would be best as it has abundant dwelling options.

• Honor Trading Post for river tubing or kayaking. Please keep 3-4 hours if you are going to do full river kayaking. We typically go for a leisurely river tubing cruise down the Lower Platte river. It takes around an hour and has very low depth mostly, you can literally walk besides your tubes. You can gulp down some beer along the way too, so having a storage compartment in the tube helps!

• Run through this indispensable emergency checklist.

• Run though the tech essentials to turbo-charge your road trips.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Climb – For some, this is just ginormous amount of sand. For others, the dunes are one of the most rare sights on the planet. You can climb (or rather conquer) the dunes all the way to reach a serene beach on the Michigan river bank if you can manage 2 hours+ of walking on the sand with a ton of inclines. Choose a less hot day, if you love yourself. Even if you don’t want to take the dunes climb stress test, you can enjoy at the ascent like all the kids in our group did!


• Biking. We did from the River Outfitters.

• Don’t miss the 7-mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive which boats of many world-class vistas, including Lake Michigan Overlook.

You can find all other list of activities here.

• There are a few camping options as well. I would recommend the Platte River campground.

Tip: Please carry your own tubes, for starters – any Intex ones should hold well- they have the best bang for your buck; worst case you can rent one at the Honor Trading Post as well but the cost will be higher.

Don’t forget the 12v air pumps which you can use to inflate the tubes from your car itself.


Tubing on Platte River

The river culminates with a beautiful beach and a well maintained park.


Sleeping Bear Dunes Climb

The views during the dune climb were awe-inspiring.

When the tongue started to stick out during the arduous climb to the beach, the views took away some weariness.



The Bike Ride


All good things come to an end – the ride back home.


That’s it.

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