- If you are coming from the northeast (e.g., New York, Boston, Albany) and going to eastern Michigan, the easiest way is to take the Lake Shore Limited to Toledo and transfer to the Amtrak Thruway Bus operated by Metrocars right at the Toledo Amtrak Station to Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor or East Lansing. You are able to arrive in your Michigan destination no later than 10:00 am after leaving the previous afternoon or evening. On the return trip, you can have the full day in your Michigan destination and be back in the Northeast the next afternoon or evening. Very slick!
- All other trips will originate in Chicago. The Pere Marquette makes a daily four hour trip to Grand Rapids with stops in St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Bangor (serving South Haven), and Holland. In Grand Rapids, the best place to rent a car is at Enterprise at 5500 44th St. SE. They will pick you up at the train station. The Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown is the newest hotel in the area of the train station. Less than one mile from the Amtrak station, the hotel is a short taxi ride away. The hotel is close to DeVos Place, the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum and Van Andel Arena. The hotel has a restaurant, indoor pool and 24 hour fitness facility. The rooms feature lush pillow-top bedding, an easy chair and a 32" HDTV.
- The Blue Water service from Chicago stops in New Buffalo (home of Four Winds Casino which provides complimentary shuttle service to/from the Amtrak station), Niles, Dowagiac, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, East Lansing, Durand, Flint, Lapeer and Port Huron. The train leaves Chicago daily in the late afternoon (CT) and arrives in Port Huron just after midnight (ET). The Quality Inn and Suites Port Huron is less than three miles from the Amtrak station at the entrance to the Bluewater Bridge into Canada. The Port Huron Museum and Lake Huron Museum, and, of course, Lake Huron itself, are minutes away. The hotel features free deluxe continental breakfast, indoor pool and hot tub and exercise room. There is even a nightly manager's reception in the lobby. Although there are no rental car locations open at the time the train arrives in Port Huron, you can see if your hotel provides a shuttle or take a taxi to your hotel. The next morning, you can call Enterprise in Port Huron to pick you up at the hotel (they open at 8:00.)
- There are three trains a day between Chicago and Detroit. The trains leave at 7:30 am, 12:16 pm and 6:00 pm from Chicago and 6:48 am, 11:23 am, and 6:18 pm from Detroit. The trip takes about 5 1/2 hours. Although each Wolverine train has a different set of stops, they all serve New Buffalo, Niles, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit. All of the Detroit trains go onto Royal Oak, Birmingham and Pontiac. From Kalamazoo you can take the Amtrak Thruway Bus to Traverse City, Sault Ste. Marie and points in-between. From Battle Creek, you can take the bus to Saginaw and Bay City. Indian Trails provides both services. Detroit has a number of sport and cultural venues downtown but you may wish to have a car to go out to Dearborn to see the Henry Ford Museum and Greenville Village. The Enterprise at 7600 Second Avenue will pick you up from your hotel or train station. The neatest hotel for your stay is the Inn on Ferry Street, about one-half mile from the Amtrak station. The hotel consists of four restored homes and two carriage houses from the late 1800s. With advance notice, their shuttle can take you to the Inn from the Amtrak station and then, whisk you to restaurants, theatres and museums within a five mile radius of the Inn. The Inn has free buffet breakfast, wireless internet and secured parking. You will receive complimentary water and a cookie upon arrival and coffee, tea and fresh fruit will be available all day.
Michigan Start Pages provides a comprehensive Michigan Amtrak Train Station Directory that list cities served, the address of the train station, services such as staffing, parking and food service and accessibility. So enjoy the beauty and fun of the Great Lakes State!