Michigan is a state with so much to explore, you could explore it for weeks and just barely be scratching the surface. In this midwestern gem lies hundreds of miles of shoreline, an interior filled with natural and man-made wonders, and the entire Upper Peninsula which is less traveled and an outdoorsman’s paradise. Here’s five destinations to consider when planning an expedition between June and September.
Pictured Rocks features a towering sand dune with views of both Lake Superior and the Grand Sable Banks and Dunes. Take the trail that runs along the overlook, heading west to the Au Sable Light Station. You’ll hike along the shores of Lake Superior as you descend, finally reaching water levels. At any point along the way, you can exit to enjoy your own little patch of paradise along the water. If you love to swim and hike, this is the perfect destination where you can find your own private slice of Michigan beach. Remember to bring a towel, sturdy hat, sunglasses and sun protection.
The Grand Hotel is located on Mackinac Island, a place worth spending a few days exploring on its own. No cars are allowed, keeping the island calm and serene. What better way to enjoy a summer’s day than with a view from the front porch of the Grand Hotel? It costs $10 to lounge on the porch, but the views of the hotel’s geranium flowers, Lake Huron, and the breathtaking Mackinac Bridge more than make it worth your while. In addition to the porch, your fee allows you access to the public areas of the hotel and its shops.
In Dearborn lies Henry Ford’s legendary museum of automobiles to Greenfield Village. This outdoor park offers a wonderful historical experience, where you can check out Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, enjoy an old-fashioned baseball game, or take a ride in a genuine Model T. The museum includes the first ever home that Edison wired up with electricity. The site also has an old-timey carousel, and sheep to pet. The best time to visit this replica of early American life isn’t summer though—at Halloween the whole park is lit with outdoor jack-o-lanterns and Christmas is a spectacle of ice skating, roasted nuts, and Christmas carols.
If you are looking for some nighttime fun, the place to go is Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. Definitely not family entertainment, this jazz club is the oldest in Detroit and claims to be the “world’s oldest jazz club.” The lounge is cozy, filled with historic art-deco era furnishings, and truly a trip back to a bygone era. In Detroit, the music scene is world-famous and a visit to Michigan can include a week or more of exploration here. At Baker’s the ambience is a trip but the music is also some of the best in town.
One thing Michigan has plenty of is lakes. It won’t break the bank to take a trip out onto the water and we highly recommend a boat trip on the famous Keweenaw Star. You can do any number of days and nights, leaving from the port at Charlevoix. From the boat, you’ll see lighthouses and the huge freighters that make their way across the lake. Day travels cover eastern Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, northern Lake Huron, and the Soo Locks. Bring your sunglasses and snapback hat to beat the glare and relax aboard this incredible ship. Make reservations for hotels along your route.