FWIW the drive up the state can be entertaining if you head for the west coast and make a day or even two of it. This might make Chicago a reasonable starting point. I can give you some good points of interest. If this is your one and only visit to Michigan there are some things you really should see: Sleeping bear dunes (I can direct you to a secret beach), Tahquamenon Falls, pictured rocks and even Ludington needs to be seen (it has an incredible beach where the sand squeaks under your feet). The interior of the state and not too far from Bills place are some great canoeing and kayaking (no rapids). Possibly my favorite place in all of the lower P is Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor.