Like the saying goes: There’s no place like home.
And that’s especially true if home is here in the Great Lakes State.
After all we’ve endured over the past two years, many of us are itching to return to the summers of yore. If getting out and exploring once again is on your agenda, what better place to explore than our own backyard (figuratively speaking)?
Here’s a list of six spectacular Michigan spots that just may tickle your fancy. Whether you’re the never-one-to-sit-down type of traveler or if taking things slow and easy is more you’re speed, there’s something here for everyone…
(Maple City, MI)
Located at the northwestern tip of the Michigan mainland, this treasure boasts an unparalleled view of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan, hosts an expansive park site, and includes recreation in the forms of hiking (Dune Climb), canoeing (Crystal or Platte rivers), and biking (Heritage Trail). This place has it all.
State Park (Paradise, MI)
This Upper Peninsula gem possesses more than 300 waterfalls—the Upper Falls alone has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across, making it the biggest in the state. One can observe stunning beaches and lakes, too. Famous for its outdoor recreation, there’s also hiking, golfing, horseback riding, and biking here. (There’s snowmobiling, skiing, and ice climbing during the winter.) Oh, and there’s the dreamy prospect of gazing the amazing Northern Lights.
The Motown Museum
Ahhh, that distinct Motown sound. There’s nothing like it. And while that music provided the soundtrack of life for many Americans during the sixties, it lives on and continues to amass new fans. Immersing yourself in the stories of this legendary recording studio would be a perfect way to spend an afternoon. You can’t help but feel the energy of inspiration and creativity upon walking through the doors of this humble home-turned-studio-turned museum located on West Grand Boulevard. And coming soon, a highly anticipated, $50 million Motown Museum expansion project will grow the museum campus to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination.
(Grand Haven, MI)
As they say in Grand Haven: “Lose the shoes, forego the salt, and skip the sharks.” With 48 acres to offer, this state park resides on the shores of Lake Michigan and is considered among the best beaches in Michigan. It includes more than 150 campsites as well as a fishing pier, play area, and picnic sites. A postcard-perfect boardwalk will take you to the iconic red lighthouse standing tall in the blue water. Furthermore, an array of cafes and restaurants are located a stone’s throw away from Grand Haven Beach.
Tunnel of Trees
(Harbor Springs, MI)
This journey takes the phrase “going on a drive” to a whole new level. The Tunnel of Trees, the M-119 Heritage Route traveling from Harbor Springs to Cross Village, is a breathtaking display of northern hardwoods located this close to the roadway, which creates the feeling of traveling through a tunnel. The views along this 27.5-mile stretch promise the most stunning outlooks of Lake Michigan in the state, which make this drive spectacular all year ’round.
(Traverse City, MI)
I mean, c’mon: How could Traverse City not make the cut, right? The charm of this old-fashioned and enchanting locale is simply irresistible. Also known as Cherry Capital of the World, this city’s peaceful ambience, quaint architecture, and thoroughly enjoyable festivals have earned it a place among the best small town travel destinations and the top places to retire in the country. There’s The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Front Street, Mari Vineyards, Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, and so much more. Suffice it to say, if wineries and breweries, coffee shops, nature trails, farms, and 19th-century-themed cruises sound like a good idea, just know that you’ll be going to the right place.
Courtney Conover is wife and mom of two who has called Wayne home since 1995. She blogs at courtneyconover.com. and is a fan of traveling just about anywhere that has wine, scenic views, and a bit of solitude.