Lake Superior Circle Tour - Economical Scenic Vacations. Interesting places to see and things to do without breaking the budget
Gas Saving Tips.
Discover Lake Superior - America and Canada's Inland Sea
Recently in 2012 rising gas prices reverted back to the $4 a gallon (and more briefly) we experienced in 2008. But as fall color time approaches, the prices are dropping back down.
Many may be tempted to cut back on their travel and vacation plans because of this increase. But we've found if you put a pencil to the actual cost of the increased $ per gallon it isn't that much. You'll discover the travel regions around Lake Superior offer an affordable yet uniquely scenic travel and vacation opportunity to get away and be renewed. ( For more details, see our travel directories for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula, and Ontario )
Here's an example of the actual cost changes using a very ordinary gas consumption of 20 mpg - which even Cadillacs, Trucks & SUVs can get these days. Our example is one of the most popular destination areas around Lake Superior: the Bayfield Peninsula and the Apostle Islands. Ashland, Wisconsin is the gateway to this travel region.
Round Trip Mileage & Fuel Consumption
to Ashland, Wisconsin on Lake Superior and return (@ 20 mpg):
From Chicago - 886 miles. 44 gallons of gas
From Madison, WI - 602 miles. 30 gallons of gas
From Minneapolis, MN - 442 miles. 22 gallons of gas
Now lets run the numbers. At a price of $4/gallon of gas the round trip from Chicago would cost you $177 in gasoline. Turning the clock back to when gas was $3/gallon, the same trip would have cost you $132. So compared to that more sanguine time, the round trip to Ashland, WI from Chicago, Illinois would have costed an additional $45. . . in our opinion an easy amount of money to offset. Go out to eat one less time than normal and you've paid for the difference. Stay at a budget motel one or two nights and you've made up the difference.
If your expected vacation trip is longer, just crunch the numbers to get the real cost of the difference in gas between $3 and $4 per gallon. For example it isn't that far to travel through Canada from Grand Portage, Minnesota to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan - about 460 miles. You can do this with only having to fill up gas in Canada one time (our old Mazda 626 could've done the full trip w/o stopping at all for gas).
So "put a pencil to it" - compute your anticipated mileage and mpg - and I think you'll find a way to fit a unique Lake Superior travel experience into your vacation budget. And with the price of air fare to distant locations going up and up you might find that a trip around Lake Superior or to one of its more remote vacation areas could be a heck of lot cheaper.
If you have a relatively new vehicle that gets 30 mpg or better on the highway the real cost of the added cost of fuel is even smaller. So yes, the gas pump prices are high but when you figure the actual out-of-pocket cost it adds very little to the total cost of your vacation.
Did you know?
-- Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world!
31,700 Square Miles
Miles of Shoreline = 2726 miles
10% of the world's fresh water supply
-- The total population of all the cities, towns, villages, and settlements around the lake is less than 800,000 people.
-- Some of the oldest rocks in the world exist along the Lake Superior shoreline in Ontario. And gemstone rocks like agates, jasper, quartz, chalcedony, unikite can be found on many of its beaches.
See more Lake Superior Facts here
Here's some regional mileage maps to help you plan your trip.
See our Travel Planning Guide