Michigan, also known as the Great Lakes State, covers an area of 96,810 square miles. Within its boundaries you’ll find sand dunes, lakes, Great Lakes, boating, beaches, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, forests, wineries, microbreweries, lighthouses, parks, hiking, golf, fishing, trails, festivals, amusement parks, casinos, planetariums, water parks, historic sites, zoos, museums and more. With so many choices, a vacation in Michigan has a lot to offer.
Here are some suggestions to put on your itinerary if you plan on visiting the northern part of the Lower Peninsula during the spring and summer seasons.
Enjoy Morel Mushrooms in May
Mushroom hunters will be popping up all over northern Michigan for the National Morel Mushroom Festival that takes place every May. The exotic morel is a springtime delicacy that draws hundreds of schroomers to the Boyne, Michigan area every year.
The National Morel Mushroom Festival is a four-day extravaganza about one thing and one thing only—the mighty morel. Some at the festival will try a morel for the very first time. Others will go home with new ways to cook up this tasty mushroom. Everyone can browse and choose a unique variety of souvenirs from a variety of vendors displaying their wares. The event also features seminars, carnival rides, shows and crafts. Festival attendees should put themselves in a sharing mood because recipes will be swapped and new dishes will be served up for sampling.
Schrooming in Michigan is all about the hunt. But before you can dig up a morel you have to know where to find them. Here’s a hint: you can usually find morels sprouting out from under dead or decaying trees where the ground is wet and sloppy.
Set your GPS for True North and travel to this Michigan hot spot! Traverse City is home to endless playtime and numerous accolades. If you like cozy and quaint vacation experiences, see why Fodor’s voted it one of the “Ten Best Small Towns in America.”
Foodies with a craving for fresh, farm-to-table cuisine can certainly get their fill in Traverse City. That’s because contemporary chefs are continually cooking up innovative dishes in the restaurants and eateries throughout the city Bon Appetite magazine calls a “Top Five Foodie Town.” Pairing a great wine with a meal in Traverse City is never a problem because the climate of the Old Mission Peninsula is perfect for growing grapes. In all, the region has close to 40 wineries—and some incredible microbreweries as well. Draft Magazine lists this area as one of the “Top Three Emerging Beer Towns in the USA.” Raise a glass or make a toast and enjoy a tasty adult libation.
In these parts, spectacular outdoor scenery is second to none. Sleeping Bear Dunes is a National Park located on national lakeshore in Michigan. As expected, you can climb high into the sky to the top of the dunes to experience magnificent vistas that earned this peak the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by viewers of Good Morning America. And then there’s the beauty of Lake Michigan. The sparkling waters provide the perfect backdrop for what USA Today calls “Ten Best Coastal Drives.”
No matter your experience, a vacation in Michigan fits like a mitten.
Michigan Lakes Booming with Boyne Thunder
The Boyne Thunder event is where boats race, really fast boats—cigarette boats to be exact. They’ll be smoking across Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan at high speeds for two days every July. The course covers 150 miles and features the very best high-performance boasts.
Keep your motor running and race to downtown Boyne City for the poker run and dinner auction at Veteran’s Park. Cars and boats will also be on display. For a truly unique experience, take a champagne cruise and see the Boats of Boyne Thunder up close and personal.
Step Back in Time on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island is a throwback to the past in a modern world. Here, folks still go from place to place on foot, by horse or in the back of a carriage. The island is filled with gracious Victorian mansions, a landmark hotel and a yachting harbor. If you fancy yourself a “yachtie,” or maybe just someone in search of a casual place to enjoy a drink or grab a bite to eat, stop by the Pink Pony at the Chippewa Hotel and soak up the vibe at the island’s premier place to enjoy live entertainment, big screen TVs and the sailing vessels passing by.
History buffs will want to explore Fort Mackinac, located on a bluff above the straits of Mackinaw, between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. This former American military outpost was in commission during the 18th and 19th centuries.
There’s also a sweet side to Mackinac Island. And visitors come from far and wide to indulge in one of its top products: fudge. For more than 60 years, Ryba’s Fudge Shop has been a Main Street staple selling 1 ½ and 3-pound boxes with flavors like Chocolate Pecan, Peanut Butter, Turtle, Sea Salt Carmel, Chocolate Peppermint, Maple Pecan, German Chocolate and more. You can even watch them make this delicious treat in person. Be sure to sample and take home a few boxes of your own. You don’t want to say: “Oh fudge, I missed out during my vacation in Michigan.”
Get Wet at Avalanche Bay
If you’d rather splash in a pool than play outdoors, dive in and soak up the fun at Avalanche Bay™ Indoor Waterpark. Michigan’s largest indoor water park. This fun-filled location feature 88,000 square feet of aquatic excitement including slides, rides, climbing walls, kids’ pools, a lazy river and totally radical Rip Zone Surf simulator. For those who prefer to enjoy their adventures on dry land, a multi-level arcade with over 100 games will keep kids of all ages entertained.