300 miles on the Dixie Highway

In my last post, Steve and I enjoyed a couple days of sightseeing and visiting in Mackinaw City, Michigan. We left there on Wednesday, October 8, and headed south on Highway 23, following the path of the Dixie Highway for close to 300 miles. We took the old auto trail's path of the East Mainline from Mackinaw City through Cheboygan - Onaway - Rogers City - Lachine - Alpena - Spruce - Lincoln - Oscoda - Tawas City - Whittemore - Prescott - Sterling - Standish - Bay City - Saginaw - Flint.

Part of this beautiful drive is also designated as Heritage Route US-23 along Michigan's Sunrise Coast, from the Mackinac Bridge down to Standish. It was a chilly, windy day but the Lake Huron views were stunning and the fall colors were photo-worthy. We passed miles of adorable shoreline cottages painted in pastel colors with alluring vintage signs out front. Years and years worth of tourists have stayed, dined, loved, strolled, and vowed to come back here. I'm already trying to figure out when I can return for a week or two during warm weather!

Through the many towns we saw old theaters, vintage signs, quaint and interesting sites, and cozy coffee shops.

We had a little family history angle to our day's journey as well. Steve's dad grew up in Alpena, a former Rensberry stronghold.  We found Rensberry Road, Rensberry Point, and Rensberry Point Road, and there we found wildlife and brilliant fall foliage.

A little about the Dixie Highway:  It was part of the National Auto Trails system and was
planned in 1914 to connect the Midwest with the southern states. It was constructed, added to, and used from 1915 into the mid-1920s. The total length was said to be 5,786 miles, running through 10 states! The portion we drove was added in 1919. Michigan actually had a loop of the Dixie around the Lower Peninsula.

So we drove about 5% of the Dixie Highway...but it was a beautiful and interesting part! I plan to cover more miles of it when I make my annual trip to Florida during the winter. Time to start planning!


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