Vacation Ideas?

I just got back from one vacation, and now I feel like planning another. That may speak to the fact that the last one was kind of rushed, but very satisfying (details soon, I hope).

I have to take the week of July 4th off again this year, for what we call “Shutdown.” Traditionally, the engineering half of Ford shuts down (hence the name) during the summer for new model change overs, delayed maintenance, and etc. I’ve already had at least three emails reminding me about it, just in case I had forgotten.

On June 27, the Saturday that kicks things off, I am planning to run the Charlevoix Half-Marathon if everything goes well. (Insert copious amounts of knocking on wood.)

I have played with the idea of hiking/backpacking for part or all of the following week, although I’m not sure if I should do serious hiking after running my first half. I’ve considered the North Country Trail as one of the options high on the list, especially portions of the trail in Northern Michigan.

I also still haven’t been to the Upper Pennisula, so the timing and my location for the race could make that a convenient destination. Anyone know of any must not miss locations up there?

I’ve played with the idea of a cruise or a resort stay, but it being the week before the 4th of July might cramp that idea due to crowds, plus I’d have to be industrious and put together a plan to get others to come with because cruising by oneself can get awfully lonely, I’m sure.

I’m not terribly interested in heading back to Wyoming or Utah this year for the shutdown. I’d like to do something that I haven’t done yet, go somewhere I haven’t seen. I love both Utah and Wyoming, don’t get me wrong, but this year, I think I need something else.

I could sum up my requirements like this, I think:
1- New and different location / activity
2- At most a short drive or a direct flight from Detroit (I don’t want any layovers!)
3- Something that friends and/or family could / would join with me
4- Interesting, relaxing, rejuvinating, non-stressful

Anyone have any ideas for something / somewhere cool? Really, this post (and its excessive use of forward slashes) is intended to fish for ideas from you, because I’m not getting anything interesting by Googling “Is there anything interesting happening the week of July 1“.