Posted by: Kath Usitalo | October 20, 2011

Have Tail, Will Travel

Tucker at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Tucker the Wonder Dog is a great traveler—he packs very lightly and has yet to whine, “Are we there yet?”

Relaxing at the State Park in Traverse City

Our mutt loves car rides and (knock wood) we haven’t had any motion sickness or other problems on the road trips between our home in the 313 and Blue Skies, our place in the Upper Peninsula.

But a trip to the UP, where he has the run of the house and can play on the beach, is different from vacationing with Tucker. As in staying in motels, visiting museums, eating in restaurants. What are you supposed to do if you want to use the hotel pool but can’t leave the dog in the room unattended?

Tucker eyes his birthday cone on the table at Traverse City's classic Dairy Lodge

We know folks (some are family members) who wouldn’t hit the road without their pups. We’ve tried it a couple of times, most recently in September on our way home from the UP when we detoured to Traverse City for a one-night stay.

I wanted to revisit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and check out Cherry Republic, the all-things-cherry emporium in Glen Arbor. And what’s a visit to the Grand Traverse area without a sampling of local wine?

Advance research revealed that dogs on leashes are allowed in certain areas of the national park, the indoor/outdoor Cherry Republic compound was pet-friendly, and L. Winery welcomed dogs on the patio tasting area.

After visiting the first two spots with Tucker in tow I can’t say we were disappointed that the winery had changed its policy and we had to leave the pooch in the Splattered Van.

Dog-free moment at L. Mawby Winery

It was nice to relax on Mawby’s covered terrace overlooking the vineyards, sipping a glass or two of bubbly, nibbling a little whitefish spread and crackers, with cool music in the background, and no leash to hold…

Fortunately, we had two days of great weather so we were able to enjoy a picnic lunch at the national park and other meals at Fido Friendly restaurants with outdoor seating.

Overall, it was a doggone decent experience; you can read a bit about it on the Pure Michigan Blog.

I’m still skeptical about the concept of vacationing with our four-legged friend, but we may give it another try.

I know Tucker will be up for it.

Visitor Info Clicks:

Traverse City

Pure Michigan

Sample and buy cherry products in the Great Hall, try the wine in the tasting room, or enjoy refreshments at the cafe at the Cherry Republic headquarters in Glen Arbor


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