Updated July 14, 2020
With the increased interest in northern Michigan as a travel destination, more and more people in the country, and outside, will be planning vacations there. Without any major city in the area, many will wonder what the best way to get there is. The obvious option will be to fly to Detroit, Chicago, or Minneapolis (if you’re traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), then either, take a connecting flight to one of the local airports there, or rent a car and drive. Either one of these options adds many hours of additional time to your travel with layover and/or rental and drive time.
However, there is a third option – fly directly to Traverse City, in the northern Lower Peninsula, or to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula… Yes, these two cities have non-stop flight connections with few major airports throughout the U.S.
Cherry Capital Airport
The Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport (TVC/KTVC) has a year round flights from/to Chicago (ORD)(American, United) and Detroit (DTW)(Delta). Then, during the summer vacation time, there are the seasonal non-stop flights from/to the following airports:
– Atlanta, GA (ATL)(Delta),
– Dallas/Fort Worth, TX ( )(American)(begins Jun. 02, 2017 – ends Aug. 21),
– Denver, CO (DEN)(United),
– Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)(Delta),
– Newark, NJ (EWR)(United),
– New York, NY (LGA)(Delta),
– Orlando, FL (Allegiant Air),
– Punta Gorda / Fort Myers, FL (Allegiant Air),
– Tampa / St. Petersburg, FL (Allegiant Air),
– Wahsington D.C. (United, American Airlines).
Sawyer International Airport
The Sawyer International Airport (MQT) in Marquette in Upper Peninsula of Michigan has year round non-stop connections with the following cities:
– Chicago, IL (ORD)(American)(Monday through Friday),
– Detroit, MI (DTW)(Delta)(daily),
– Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)(begins Mar. 01, 2017).
Once you land at either destination, most likely, you will need a car to get around. Both airports house multiple car rental agencies.
There are following agencies located at Cherry Capital Airport: Avis/Budget, Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz and Alamo/National.
At Sawyer Int’l, you find Avis/Budget, Enterprise, Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz and National.
If you are thinking of taking advantage of flying direct to one of the above destination, plan your trip carefully, as the flights are not offered every day. Many of them are available only during weekend. They are not cheap, but not terribly expensive. For example a round-trip flight from New York to Traverse City will cost you about $400. And it will save you a lot of time. The average travel time is around 2 – 2 and ½ hours.
These direct flights will definitely simplify your travel and save you time, so they might be worth considering.