Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
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When it comes to Midwestern vacations, it doesn’t get much better than Michigan. This amazing state is a prime place to travel to for couples looking for romance and families looking for fun. Top vacation destinations in Michigan offer big-city attractions, serene waterways and beaches, lots of exciting festivals, and plenty of outdoor recreation. Better yet, there are things to do on vacation here in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Here are the best Michigan vacations to choose from!
Grand Rapids is an exciting Michigan city to visit for vacation if you love food, beer, and cultural attractions. It’s actually one of the best cities to be in if you enjoy craft beer because top breweries, including Founders and Brewery Vivant, are based here. There’s plenty of art and culture to experience here in the public art installations, sculpture park, and museums. Make a point to see the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum while you’re on vacation here.
Mackinac Island is an awesome vacation spot because it’s charming, family-friendly, and a short ferry ride away from the mainland. The island is between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas and about eight miles long. Come here to go for a horse-drawn carriage ride, ride a bicycle to explore the town, go horseback riding, sample delicious fudge, and embrace the tourist life.
Travelers love coming to Traverse City for vacation because it’s packed with adventure, gorgeous sunsets, and sandy beaches. This area is also home to dozens of wineries, microbreweries, and golf courses to keep you refreshed and entertained. Traverse City has been named the cherry capital of the world and is a wonderful place to visit during the cherry season in summer. For arts and culture, check out the City Opera House and the Traverse City Orchestra.
If you’re looking for pure Michigan charm, then look no further than the vacation destination of Holland. This lovely small town has opportunities to pick fruit, family-friendly attractions, hiking trails, and water sports. You can go paddling or swimming at the public beaches here, see the tulips in spring, and pick blueberries in the summer. The Kruizenza Art Museum and Holland Symphony Orchestra are popular spots in town. Of course, the Dutch windmills here are perfect for all your photo ops too.
Photography enthusiasts love taking a vacation to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to see the deep blue Lake Michigan in a stunning landscape. Here you can experience the solitude of nature and really immerse yourself in the beauty of Michigan. You’ll love getting in touch with nature with the lush forests and lovely lakes here while getting active with kayaking and hiking. In the winter, you can join a ranger-led snowshoe hike to see an entirely different personality of the park.
The city of Kalamazoo is an easy vacation to plan if you’re coming from either Detroit or Chicago. There are lots of museums here to keep you entertained, such as the Midwest Miniatures Museum and the Gilmore Car Museum. It’s also fun to get outside and active on your Kalamazoo vacation by biking along the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. Meanwhile, West Michigan Beer Tours offers walking tours in downtown Kalamazoo to experience the local craft beer scene.
An incredibly beautiful natural place in Michigan worth traveling to for your vacation is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This Upper Peninsula destination is filled with waterfalls, beaches, coastline, and hiking trails. You can also camp here, take a kayaking tour, and explore the winter activities of ice climbing and snowshoeing.
Another great shoreline vacation destination in Michigan is Saugatuck, which is all about the beach, charm, and art. This beach town has fun shops and galleries to explore downtown and a lovely beach to enjoy on a nice day. It’s become known as a top LGBT-friendly destination and great everyone who enjoys shopping for boutique finds and antique treasures. Other vacation ideas in Saugatuck include dune rides through the sand, Mount Baldhead Park, and Fenn Valley Vineyards nearby for the wine lovers.
Another natural area worth planning your vacation around is Isle Royale National Park along Lake Superior. This is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts because there are some great hiking trails with views of the waves, shoreline, and volcanic boulders. There are 36 campgrounds on the island that are accessible on foot or by watercraft to make your vacation here a true adventure. However, you should know that the island closes to visitors between November 1 and April 15.
A vacation to Battle Creek, Michigan is all about family fun because there are so many things to do here with kids. The Binder Park Zoo features lots of animals, wetlands, and forests. Meanwhile, the town hosts a National Cereal Fest in June for all you breakfast-lovers (cereal was invented in Battle Creek!), has free movies in the park, and there are some great golf courses in the area. Other top Battle Creek destinations for your vacation are the Firekeeper’s Casino, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg Discovery Center, and Historic Bridge Park.
We also love Grand Haven as a Michigan vacation destination, especially in the summer. Here you can enjoy a perfect day at the large beach and walk around the local lighthouse and pier. There are also some highly recommended restaurants to try here, including Jack’s Waterfront Bistro & Bar, Morning Star Café, and Fricano’s Pizza.
As the name suggests, Bay City is located right on the water, which makes it a lovely vacation spot in Michigan. It’s fun to take a boat tour on your vacation here with a local guide company and also to dine on delicious seafood at Bay City’s waterfront restaurants. While you’re in Bay City for vacation, make a point to check out the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, Wenonah Park, the Bay Antique Center, and the Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center.