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Cadillac

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The City Park, featuring the Kris Eggle Memorial Fountain and the Rotary Pavilion

Cadillac [1] is a city in the state of Michigan. The community has a population of approximately 10,000 within city limits, and over 40,000 within the surrounding two counties. Established as an industrial town, Cadillac was originally known as the Village of Clam Lake. The Village was incorporated into a city in 1877, changing its name to Cadillac. The area became a popular tourist destination following World War II, and remains so today.

Cadillac is the gateway to northwest Michigan. Nearly a million visitors come each year to the area, to enjoy the scenic lakes and quaint small town. While popular, Cadillac is quiet and makes a great Northern Michigan destination for summer and winter recreation enthusiasts.

Understand[edit]

Lake Cadillac lies entirely within the boundaries of the City. This feature has led to a geographically unique community, with most city commerce taking place on the east shore of the lake—the downtown—while many businesses catering to tourists are located on the west shore. Locals refer to this western portion as Cadillac West. Knowing this terminology can be helpful if you plan to stay in the area.

The residents of Cadillac and the surrounding area, like most Midwesterners, are open and friendly. If you need directions, locals will be happy to assist. Visitors are also welcome to ask for advice on where to get a tasty lunch or, if needed, a quick repair for their bicycle.

Get in[edit]

Driving is the only practical means by which to visit Cadillac. The primary route, US-131, comes in from Grand Rapids. The state route MI-115 is used by visitors from the Detroit area. MI-55 comes in from Manistee and Lake Michigan, passing through Cadillac on its way to Lake Huron. Be sure to enjoy the scenery of Northern Michigan on your way to Cadillac.

Indian Trails [2] offers bus service to Cadillac from various Michigan cities.

Wexford County Airport [3], accessible to private aircraft, lies approximately two miles north of the downtown area.

Get around[edit]

By Land[edit]

Personal automobile is the most convenient means of getting around, with free parking available around the city. Parking downtown is convenient and plentiful, even during major events.

Biking is highly recommended for those staying on or near the lakes. Cadillac has a bike path along the shores of Lake Cadillac, so each-west travel between the downtown and the Cadillac West is convenient. Biking on the local streets is safe, and there are a number of nature trails in the area that provide great off-roading. Rental facilities are available [4].

Walking around the downtown area is easy and safe.

The Cadillac/Wexford Transit Authority [5] runs a demand response bus service. In the summer the Authority runs a mid-day fixed-route service. The line runs between Cadillac West and the downtown.

By Water[edit]

Cadillac surrounds Lake Cadillac and part of Lake Mitchell. The downtown is adjacent to the former, and public docks make it easy to tie up a boat and walk to shops and food.

Many of the restaurants around the lake provide docks.

Launching your own boat or renting is highly recommended. A number of local businesses rent out watercraft [6]. If you rent a campsite at Mitchell State Park, you are allowed dock up your boat alongside of the canal.

See[edit][add listing]

The downtown, which includes a number of quaint shops, a movie theatre [7] and a park, is picturesque. It is popular with tourists year-round.

  • Courthouse Hill Historic District, [8]. Adjacent to the downtown, part of the original Village of Clam Lake. Many of the homes in the District are large, Victorian-style residences built by the lumber barons and businessmen who helped establish Cadillac more than a century ago.
  • Clam Lake Canal, [9]. Constructed originally to transport logs from Lake Mitchell to the mills on the shores of Lake Cadillac. It is now used exclusively by recreation lakecraft. With the canal, the two lakes comprise approximately 3700 acres of open water.

Do[edit][add listing]

The Cadillac area is very popular with tourists who favor active recreation activities. The city surrounds Lake Cadillac and is adjacent to Lake Mitchell. There are a number of public boat ramps; there is a launch on the northwest side of Lake Cadillac, in Kenwood Park, while on the northeast end of Lake Cadillac, next to City Park and the downtown, there is another ramp.

Outdoor[edit]

  • Adventure Island, 6083 E MI-115, 231-775-2527, [10]. Waterslides, mini-golf, batting cages and go-carts. Arcade activities indoors.
  • Johnny’s Fish and Game Park, 5465 E 46 1/2 Rd., 231-775-3700, [11]. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Pond fish for rainbow trout, feed deer and other animals. Great for small children.
  • Sound Garden, [12]. Truly unique hands-on sculpture on the shores of Lake Cadillac. Native materials, primarily silver maple, beach, and ironwood were used to make this set of sculptural instruments.
  • Mitchell State Park, 6093 E MI-115, 231-775-7911, [13]. Located between the two lakes. It is home to the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center [14], which documents the history of hunting and fishing in Michigan. The Center is open year-round. There is also a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) nature trail that leaves from the Hunting and Fishing Center.
  • Cadillac Pathway, [15]. Lies east of Cadillac and is part of the Pere Marquette State Forest. The trails of the Pathway are well suited to biking, hiking and cross country skiing. Trail map
  • Manistee National Forest, [16]. Lies immediately to the west of Cadillac. The national forest is popular with ORVers [17].

Golf[edit]

  • Eldorado, 7839 E 46 1/2 Rd, 231-779-9977 [18]. 18 hole public golf course. The Cadillac Grill Restaurant is on site.
  • McGuire's Resort, 7880 Mackinaw Trail, 800-634-7302, [19]. 27 hole public golf course. Views of Lake Cadillac.
  • Cadillac Country Club, 5428 E MI-55, 231-775-9442 (Winter 231-775-8758), [20]. Established in 1910, the Cadillac Country Club course is a 6017 yard, par 70 classic.

Events and Festivals[edit]

  • UpBeat Cadillac, [21]. This jazz-in-the-park series is offered nearly every Thursday in the summer. Downtown Cadillac, City Park, Rotary Pavilion.
  • First Night Cadillac, [22]. Annual New Years Even celebration held at various locations throughout the city. Music, games, face painting, dog sleds, petting zoo, displays of local artists' works.
  • North American Snow Festival, [23]. Held every winter, over frozen Lake Cadillac. Events include snowmobile racing, sleigh rides and an ice fishing tournament.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Hermann's European Café, 214 N Mitchell St, (231) 775-9563, [24]. Selections change daily. Offers seafood and fine international cuisine.
  • G & D Party Store, 223 S Mitchell St, (231) 775-1229. Carry out and delivery. Locally famous for its pizza.
  • Lakeside Charlie’s, 301 S Lake Mitchell Dr, (231) 775-5332. American cuisine. Located in Cadillac West, on the shores of Lake Mitchell.
  • Marina Ristorante, 2404 Sunnyside Dr (MI-115), (231) 775-9322. Italian cuisine. Located on the southwest shores of Lake Cadillac, in Cadillac West. Docks available for boaters.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Shay Station Coffee & Wine Bar, 106 S Mitchell, +1-231-775-6150, [25]. Popular downtown eatery with live music every Friday night. Wine, beer, and mixed drinks, too.  edit
  • Cadillac Party Lounge, 516 N. Mitchell, +1 231 775-9073. Open until 2AM. Sports bar with a full kitchen. Easily the most upscale bar in town. Well lit.  edit
  • Roaring 20's Saloon, 210 S. Mitchell (next to Cadillac 5 movie theater), +1 231 775-8411. Open until 2AM. Loud music, usually crowded to the rafters on ladies' night. Go there to drink, not to talk.  edit
  • Sally's, 101 E. Harris (corner of Mitchell & Harris), +1 231 775-9666. Open until 2AM. Comprised of two separate bars: Sally's Northwood Lounge upstairs, Sally's Down Under in the basement.  edit
  • Busy Bee, 514 N. Mitchell (next to Cadillac Party Lounge), +1 231 468-2882. Open until 2AM. Primarily for bikers. May want to avoid if you are not a tough guy. Shares a building with Cadillac Party Lounge, use the left door for the Party Lounge.  edit
  • Curly's, 7880 Mackinaw Trail (Inside McGuire's Resort), +1 231 775-9947, [26]. Open until 1AM. Free popcorn. Attached to McGuire's Hotel. Features karaoke some nights.  edit
  • The Pines (Cadillac West), 5992 E. M-55, +1 231 775-6111. Attached bowling alley and pizza restaurant. Popular with the young folks (particularly the under-21 set).  edit
  • Coz's 8-Ball Lounge, 1341 N. Mitchell, +1 231 775-4494. Also known as "Stopless Topless". Topless dancing. Do not bring the girlfriend or kids.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Lodging[edit]

  • McGuires Resort, 7880 Mackinaw Trail, 800-632-7302, [27]. Standard rooms with double or king beds, studio rooms with fireplaces and deluxe suites are available. Tennis courts, pool and sauna, 27 holes of golf.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 7642 S US-131, 231-779-4656, [28]. 70 guest rooms and suites, indoor pool, whirlpool and fitness room.
  • Caberfae Peaks Resort, Caberfae Rd, 231-862-3000, [29]. 36 guest rooms in MacKenzie Lodge, with year-round heated pool and hot tub. Ski slopes with 34 Runs, rental shop, day lodge with cafeteria and bar; 9 holes of golf.
  • Cadillac Getaway, Lk. Mitchell Drive, 231-846-8220, [30]. 4 bedroom home on Lake Mitchell, beautiful lake sunsets. Close to many golf course, 2 ski resorts.

Camping[edit]

  • Mitchell State Park, 6093 E MI-115, [31]. This state park lies between Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell and in fact straddles the canal connecting the two lakes. There 221 campsites, with modern toilet buildings, showers and sanitation stations. Eight campsites are wheelchair-accessible. A mini-cabin is also available for rent. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially for the sites along the canal.
  • Camp Cadillac, 10621 E 34 Rd, 231-775-9724, [32]. Private campground, located 3 miles (5 km) to northeast of the city. It has a number of amenities including a petting zoo, a pool and internet access.

Get out[edit]


Routes through Cadillac
Ends at US-31.pngPetoskey  N noframe S  Reed CityGrand Rapids


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