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Record 1.7M Michigan residents to hit road for Independence Day: What to know

 Toll plaza and traffic on the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan.
AAA Michigan predicts 1 in 6 Michiganders — about 1.7 million residents — will travel more than 50 miles this holiday weekend. (Shutterstock) PHOTO2:
  • Gas prices are far less expensive than last year
  • Campgrounds are at 94 percent capacity
  • Expect busy roads and warm temperatures

A record number of Michigan residents are expected to hit the road this holiday weekend, and they’ll be paying less for gas.

Nationwide, 50 million people will travel at least 50 miles this Fourth of July weekend, including 1.7 million in Michigan  eclipsing the record set in 2019 before the pandemic.


The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Michigan is about $3.53, 3 cents per gallon cheaper than the national average, according to AAA. Last year, a gallon of regular gas was about $5.04 in Michigan. 


Gas is typically higher farther north: In Cheboygan at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, a gallon of regular gas cost $3.61 per gallon, while it’s 12 cents more on the other side of the Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace.

Over the past three weeks, gas prices have declined as much as 30 cents per gallon. Prices are expected to fall again before the weekend. 

“Probably Thursday into the weekend, we should see prices declining,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which monitors gas prices.

Here’s what else to know before you hit the road for the holiday:

Warm weather expected this weekend 

Much-needed rain on Sunday and Monday has lowered the risk of fire for much of the state, the Department of Natural Resources confirmed

That’s good news for planned fireworks celebrations (see a schedule here), but rain is expected to return for most of the state on Friday


This weekend looks great: Temperatures are expected in the mid to upper 80s through Independence Day downstate and in the high 70s and low 80s in northern Michigan.

Campground outlook

State parks, especially along Lake Michigan, are expected to reach 95 percent occupancy, Ron Olson, chief of parks and recreation for the Department of Natural Resources, told Bridge Michigan. 

Nearly 36,000 campsite reservations have been made for the weekend. About 2,300 campsites around the state were still available as of June 27.

Holland State Park, Grand Haven State Park and Ludington State Park, which are already booked, are expected to be the fullest.

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