Few states offer as much summer travel variety as Michigan, where lakes, dunes, forests, scenic routes and urban oases satisfy most every kind of adventurer.
Talk to the Animals
Llamas, ponies, bunnies, goats, peacocks, camels and parakeets are among the friends you could meet at Lewis Farm and Petting Zoo. The 700-acre New Era farm features a bee apiary, barrel train rides, play areas, a farm market and bakery, and a campfire site available to rent. The vicinity features several campgrounds and Double JJ Resort, which offers horseback riding, a water park, a golf course and more.
Photo Courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes-Hart Visitors Bureau.
Surf the Sand
Silver Lake Sand Dunes span close to three miles and three separate areas: walking, hiking, sandboarding; off-road vehicle driving; dune rides operated by Mac Woods, where all ages can enjoy a fun, safe, seven-mile, 40-minute dune ride conducted by skilled drivers. You'll also find beaches and campgrounds galore.
Explore a Summer Wonderland
Crystal Mountain is often associated with the snow-filled activities of winter. In summer, you'll be pleasantly surprised by all the excitement it offers. Explore the Edge Adventure Course, breeze down Michigan's only alpine slide, bike and hike, play paintball or disc golf, or enjoy other pursuits. Among the overnight accommodations are hotel rooms, condos and cottages.
Bask in the City by the Bay
Oh, Traverse City! Sleeping Bear Dunes, Leland and Fishtown, lighthouses and wineries, hiking and biking trails, arts and museum centers, an abundance of sparkling fresh waters—it's like an entire state in one small Northern city. And it's a city for play and for stay, with charming bed-and-breakfasts, lakefront rentals, luxury resorts, and RV parks and campgrounds. We can only begin to list it all!
Return to Simpler Times
Nestled in Sutton's Bay is Hillside Homestead, an authentic farm experience—or farmcation—for the whole family. Its proprietress and food historian invites you to relax on the porch swing, dine on homegrown meals and bread baked from scratch, wander the farm and historic home, take cooking and food preservation lessons, and even do farm chores. Each of the four cozy guest rooms has a private bathroom.
Celebrate the Place Where Michigan was Born
This year marks the 350th anniversary of the founding of Sault Ste. Marie—and you don't want to miss the festivities! The 350th Anniversary Festival, July 21-27, features food, games, music, entertainment, kid and teen zones, and learning about the city's history. While in "The Soo," don't forget a Soo Locks Boat Tour! Venture an hour or so further to view breathtaking Tahquamenon Falls, paddle The Great Waters, hike the North Country Trail and stay in one of the Upper Peninsula's historic inns.
Photo Courtesy of Belle Isle Conservancy.
Find Sanctuary in the City
Belle Isle, in the middle of the Detroit River between The Motor City and Windsor, is a natural resource-rich destination with a history dating to the 1800s. The "Jewel of Detroit" features a conservatory, a nature center, the country's oldest aquarium and Dossin Great Lakes Museum. Outdoor recreation abounds with bicycling and water sports, nature trails, fishing, golfing and playgrounds. Later in the day, stay in Detroit's bustling downtown and even watch a Tiger's game.
Don't forget the app!
Theses favorites* will help enhance your travels.
Google Trips | https://get.google.com/trips/
RV Parking | http://www.rvparking.com/
Oh, Ranger | http://www.ohranger.com/app/parkfinder
Dark Sky | $3.99 | https://darksky.net/app
Waze | https://www.waze.com/
My Aurora | http://bit.ly/MyAurora
*Free, unless otherwise noted.
Allison Kay Bannister, a West Michigan resident since 1987, professional writer since 2002 and Grand Valley State University alumna, recently launched her own freelance writing business. Allison enjoys travel, art, dance, food and exploring world cultures—and, of course, writing about all these and more.
Main Image Courtesy of Traverse City Tourism.