Getting there & around
Greyhound (800-231-2222; www.greyhound.com) connects many local cities and towns. Upstart Megabus (877-462-6342; www.megabus.com/us) provides an efficient alternative between major Great Lakes cities. Note that Megabus has no bus terminals (drop-off and pick-up are at various street corners), and all purchases must be made in advance online (you cannot buy a ticket from the driver).
Southeast Michigan (including Detroit) is the least expensive place to rent cars in the region. If you are traveling on major interstate highways (such as I-80 in Ohio or I-90 in Illinois), piles of change are useful for the tolls.
Two car/passenger ferries sail across Lake Michigan, providing a shortcut between Wisconsin and Michigan. The Lake Express crosses between Milwaukee and Muskegon. The older SS Badger crosses between Manitowoc and Ludington.
Regional driving distances:
Chicago to Minneapolis 400 miles
Chicago to Detroit 278 miles
Milwaukee to Apostle Islands 375 miles
Minneapolis to Duluth 150 miles
Indiana Dunes to Sleeping Bear Dunes 255 miles