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There’s no denying that winters in Michigan can be downright brutal if you are not absolutely in love with cold and snow. That’s why spring is such an amazing time to look forward to here – with the flowers blooming, the festivals kicking off, and so many fun activities to check out. To get you dreaming about springtime, here are some of the best things to do in Michigan in the spring.
Prefer the summer season? Check out the best things to do in Michigan in summer.
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What Is It? The Tulip Time Festival takes place in Holland, Michigan and has over five million tulips to enjoy. One of the most romantic destinations in Michigan, it has been a local tradition for over 90 years.
Why Do It? After the snow melts, there’s nothing more refreshing than bright colorful tulips to bring you out of the winter and into the spring. Not only are the tulips in bloom, but there are also cherry trees to add to the magic of Michigan.
Good to Know: The Tulip Time Festival typically takes place during the first week in May and features a run, artisan market, exhibits, and other fun events. Other traditional festivities include the parade, carnival, dance performances, and delicious Dutch food.
What Is It? Michigan is home to many wineries that grow their own grapes and serve customers with tours, tastings, and wines by the glass. Some recommended wineries include Chateau Grand Traverse and Tabor Hill. Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir are all popular local wine styles in Michigan.
Why Do It? May is Michigan Wine Month and a time when local wineries plan for lots of special events, wine dinners, and discounted bottles.
Good to Know: It’s fun to join a guided winery tour to explore multiple wineries and have someone else safely take care of the transportation. This way, you maximize your time at the wineries, especially if you’re in the Traverse City area with so many of them to explore.
What Is It? Michigan is known for its lakes and rivers, and there is no better way to experience them than out on a boat. There are over 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan and about 120 major rivers in the state.
Why Do It? Kayaking and canoeing are great exercises and help you “become one” with the body of water as you enjoy the crisp springtime weather and fresh air.
Good to Know: The Manistee River is a great place to get out on the water and join a guided canoeing trip. You can learn to paddle if you’re a beginner or even plan an overnight tent camping experience by the river for a real adventure.
What Is It? One of the top places to visit in Michigan, Isle Royale National Park is remote and rugged. It mostly closes down during the winter months, however; things open back up again in April and offer lots of outdoor adventure opportunities, including fishing, scuba diving, boat tours, and ranger programs.
Why Do It? There are some lovely wildflower hikes in Isle Royale National Park in the spring, as well as paddling on Lake Superior and 165 miles of trails to explore.
Good to Know: There are 36 campgrounds on the island that are accessible by watercraft or on foot. Bring your tent when you’re backpacking on foot or paddling in your kayak or canoe.
What Is It? When you’re in Michigan, you don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy live music outdoors. The outdoor concert season kicks off in the spring at many popular venues around the state.
Why Do It? After being cooped up all winter long, live music soothes the soul when it’s paired with pleasant weather and being surrounded by people you love.
Good to Know: Some outdoor music spots to check out in the spring are the Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts near Traverse City and the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre in Detroit. There are also weekend-long music festivals, such as Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit that takes place in May.
What Is It? There are some excellent golf courses in Michigan – around 800 of them, in fact! You don’t have to stray far from Detroit to find a good game of golf.
Why Do It? Playing golf in Michigan helps you to get outside to enjoy the spring weather and challenge yourself on a fun course.
Good to Know: Top courses to play in Michigan are Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club and Bay Harbor Golf Club along the Lake Michigan shore. The Marquette Golf Club, Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, and Treetops Resort course are also top golfing destinations.
What Is It? Michigan has some great indoor waterparks to get you and the kids splashing around without freezing outside. While many outdoor waterparks don’t open until summer, indoor ones are very popular for spring break.
Why Do It? Indoor water parks are ideal for letting the kids burn off some energy, especially until it’s warm enough to head to the beaches.
Good to Know: Some of the waterparks to check out are Avalanche Bay, the Great Wolf Lodge, and Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark.
What Is It? It’s not just planted tulips that are in bloom because wildflowers are also abundant in Michigan in the spring. Many national, state and local parks have areas that are known for spring wildflowers.
Why Do It? Wildflowers are hidden gems on spring hikes in Michigan and add color and surprise to your treks through the forests.
Good to Know: The Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are two of the many highly recommended places to view spring colors in Michigan.
What Is It? Tourist activity picks up in Mackinac Island in the spring for a fun family vacation or a romantic couple’s getaway. You can take the ferry over to Mackinac Island and enjoy Mackinac Island State Park in the spring.
Why Do It? Springtime is when the shops and restaurants reopen so you can enjoy all that delicious fudge and stay in your favorite local hotels.
Good to Know: The crowds tend to be lighter on the island in the spring and you can find better deals on lodging too. Many people visit Mackinac Island for Mother’s Day for a spring getaway.
What Is It? Michigan is blessed with some truly beautiful beaches that are nice to visit in the spring. Even if it’s not warm enough to sunbathe, it’s fun to head to the beach to go for a walk in the sand or play some frisbee with your dog.
Why Do It? Nothing says “goodbye winter” like packing the family up and heading to the beach for some Michigan sunshine.
Good to Know: The Traverse City beaches at East Bay Park, Clinch Park, and Bryant Park are nice for playing beach volleyball and beachcombing – even when it’s too chilly to go for a swim in the water. The Grand Haven State Park is also nice in the springtime.
What Is It? It’s no secret that Michigan breweries make some really amazing beer. You can find great local brew spots in Michigan’s big cities, mid-size towns, and even small villages.
Why Do It? After long days of adventuring in the outdoors, there are few things more refreshing than a cold local beer and good conversation at a Michigan brewery.
Good to Know: To learn more about local brewing, join a guided beer history walking tour, such as the one that takes you through the Eastern Market of Detroit that tells you all about pre and post-prohibition breweries that have thrived here.
What Is It? While much of Michigan is starting to warm up in the spring, you can hold on to the last lingering days of winter at the ski slopes too. Northern Michigan is mountainous enough and stays chilly long enough in the springtime so that you can get in a few runs well into mid-April.
Why Do It? Spring skiing is really pleasant with warmer temperatures and fewer crowds. Lift ticket prices may even be discounted too.
Good to Know: A few great spots to plan your spring skiing adventure are Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, and Nubs Nob near Petoskey.
What Is It? Michigan is known for being home to some of the best morel mushrooms in the world, and spring is the prime time to pick them. There are various mushroom-themed festivals that you can attend in May, such as the Mesick Mushroom Festival and National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City.
Why Do It? Morel mushrooms are healthy because they’re high in vitamin D and just simply fun to forage for in the wilderness.
Good to Know: Locals like to keep morel mushroom picking locations a secret, so it’s best if you know someone who’s familiar with mushroom hunting or join an experienced local guide. This way you’ll stay safe and not end up eating something harmful too.