Summer in Michigan is a magical time: the kids are out of school, the weather is (usually) heavenly, and the beaches are open for business. It’s a time for exploration, excitement, and fun-filled trips with loved ones. If you’re looking for the ultimate Michigan summer this year, here are 15 spots you simply can’t miss.
1. DeGrandchamp Farms
Located near the shores of Lake Michigan in South Haven, DeGrandchamp Farms is the place to be if you’d like to pick your own delicious blueberries. If South Haven is too far from home, though, seek out one of Michigan’s many “U-Pick” fruit farms for some natural summer sweetness.
With its charming Bavarian architecture, sweet eateries, and quaint shops, Frankenmuth is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. After a day of shopping and a chicken dinner at Zehnder’s, stop in for a refreshing beer at Frankenmuth Brewery, which holds the title of Michigan’s oldest brewery.
3. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
If museums are more your speed, you certainly can’t go wrong with a visit to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. Museum-goers can peruse artifacts from various Michigan shipwrecks, including the famous wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
4. Frederik Meijer Gardens
You’re in for a unique experience during your trip to Frederik Meijer Gardens, which contains a 158-acre outdoor sculpture park, gorgeous botanical gardens, and incredible art installations. Be sure to pose for a photo with the memorable American Horse sculpture, which stands 24 feet tall.
5. Moomers Homemade Ice Cream
What’s summer in Michigan without a cold and creamy treat? Moomers Homemade Ice Cream is known across the state for its variety of flavors, all of which are created with products from an on-site dairy farm. With unique flavors like apple crisp and mocha almond fudge, there’s something to satisfy everyone at Moomers.
6. Nichols Arboretum
No trip to Ann Arbor is complete without a visit to the breathtaking Nichols Arboretum, affectionally known by locals as “The Arb.” Visitors will experience lush flower gardens, shaded paths, and peaceful spots to sit on the banks of the Huron River.
7. Ludington State Park
Campers and beachgoers will delight at the beauty of Ludington State Park, which is consistently named one of Michigan’s best parks. Tour the Big Sable Point Lighthouse - or, if you're looking for a lazy escape from real life - rent inner tubes for slow trips down the nearby Big Sable River.
8. Copper Harbor
Once a major hub for copper mining, Copper Harbor is now a spectacular location for visitors who want to spend their summer days enjoying the great outdoors. Bird-watching, hiking, and kayaking are popular activities in the area. If luck is in your favor, you might even get a breathtaking look at the Northern Lights.
9. Porcupine Mountains
Affectionally known as “The Porkies,” the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula are located near the shores of Lake Superior. They’re the perfect spot for camping, backpacking, and maybe even a little bear-watching.
10. Belle Isle Park
Spend a day exploring this 982-acre island park on the Detroit River, which houses everything from an aquarium to a golf course to a series of beautiful trails. If you want to waive your entry fee into the park, hop on a bicycle and pedal over from the mainland.
11. Historic Fort Wayne
Step back in time with a summertime tour of Fort Wayne, a historical landmark near Detroit that was used by the United States Army beginning in 1841. History buffs will love visiting the barracks, ports, and memorabilia that remain on site.
12. Michigan's Adventure
Nothing says “summer” like a day at the amusement park, and Michigan’s Adventure is an ideal destination for thrill-seekers of all ages. Scream your lungs out on Shivering Timbers, play a few carnival games, and cool off with a stop at the water park.
13. Old Mission Peninsula
Wine lovers rejoice! The wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, tucked away near Traverse City, are a relaxing and naturally stunning spot to be this summer. Sign up for a wine tour to cover all 19 miles of wineries that stretch across this beautiful peninsula.
14. Binder Park Zoo
Spend a summer afternoon going a little wild! Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo has attracted visitors from across Michigan since 1977. Children and adults alike will enjoy an up-close look at animals such as giraffes, red panda, polar bears, snow leopards, and monkeys.
Explore one of the state’s most quaint small towns with a trip to Saugatuck on the coast of Lake Michigan. Art galleries, charming boutiques, and restaurants for all budgets await those who visit Saugatuck. Top off the day with a peaceful walk down the boardwalk just steps from downtown.
There you have it! All the ingredients for a perfect summer in Michigan. So hop in the car, grab a few friends, and get ready to make some amazing new memories in our beautiful state.