While the weather might suggest otherwise as of late, spring is upon us – and that means warmer temperatures might appear at any given moment. Here in Michigan, we’re lucky to live among so many gorgeous bodies of water, from our Great Lakes to inland areas that feature seemingly endless natural beauty. When you’re looking to enjoy a fantastic springtime meal with stunning views, look no further than these ten lakeside eateries in Michigan.
1. Apache Trout Grill (13671 S W Bay Shore Dr, Traverse City)
As soon as you set foot in this cozy and welcoming establishment, you’ll be blown away by its service and setting. Indulge in a plate of mouthwatering ribs or Great Lakes whitefish as you gaze out upon the Grand Traverse Bay. For many Michiganders, visiting Apache Trout Grill is a beloved family tradition.
2. The Windjammer (7420 Huron Ave, Lexington)
Watch boats pass peacefully by on Lake Huron as you dine at the Windjammer, which offers up a wide array of dining options. From steak to seafood, there’s something here to satisfy your every craving - and you’ll be treated to a calming waterfront atmosphere during your meal. What’s not to love?
3. Boatwerks (216 Van Raalte Ave, Holland)
Situated on Holland’s Lake Macatawa, Boatwerks is a local eatery with a great deal to offer. Whether you’re renting it out for a wedding reception or party, enjoying drinks on the waterfront patio, or simply settling in for a meal with loved ones, you’re sure to enjoy your visit. Follow up your lakeside meal with a stroll through Holland’s charming downtown area.
4. Mackinac Grille (251 South State Street, St Ignace)
This unfussy eatery is the ideal place to stop when you’ve crossed the bridge into the Upper Peninsula and find your stomach rumbling with hunger. Since 1993, this charming spot has delighted locals and visitors alike with its top-notch service and delectable menu, which features everything from cheeseburgers to whitefish hoagies.
5. Dockers (3505 Marina View Point, Muskegon)
As soon as you’re seated at Dockers, you’ll appreciate gorgeous views of Lake Muskegon - a small but lovely inlet of Lake Michigan. While the restaurant doesn’t officially open for the season until May, we guarantee that it’s well worth the wait. Bask in the Caribbean-inspired atmosphere as you indulge in all sorts of seafood favorites and American classics.
6. Pink Pony (7221 Main St, Mackinac Island)
This historic Mackinac Island eatery, which opens for the season on May 3rd, might just offer the prettiest views in the state. Gaze upon the Straits of Mackinac as you enjoy a meal from this classic spot, which offers everything from mushroom risotto to whitefish tacos. As if that weren’t enough, Pink Pony also frequently hosts live music that will keep your toes tapping as you dine along the waterfront.
7. The Vierling (119 S Front St, Marquette)
Venture northward to Marquette for a fantastic experience at The Vierling, which has long delighted both locals and tourists who want to dine just a stone’s throw from the water. Indulge in a brew or two as you peruse the menu, which features items like salmon burgers, gyros, pasta, and everything in between.
8. Lockview Restaurant (329 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie)
If you find yourself in Sault Ste. Marie, you simply must sit down for a meal at Lockview Restaurant. From the eatery’s front windows, you’ll have a view of the Soo Locks themselves - talk about fascinating! In addition to an unforgettable atmosphere, Lockview serves up tasty eats that will have your mouth watering in no time. From pasties to fresh fish, there’s so much to love.
9. The Fusion (300 Main St, Frankfort)
Mix it up with a meal at this Pan-Asian fusion restaurant, which sits just steps from the shores of Lake Michigan. Build your own stir fry bowl, indulge in an order of roast duck, or dig into a plate of lemon chicken. Round it all off with a slice of flourless chocolate cake and a stroll along the waterfront. Can you imagine any better way to spend a spring evening?
10. PM Steamers (502 W Loomis St, Ludington)
This local fixture is a favorite in Ludington, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll have the chance to stare out at the port of Lake Michigan’s S.S. Badger ferry during your meal, but that’s only the icing on the cake. PM Steamers prides itself on a casual, welcoming atmosphere and some of the tastiest eats in town. You’ll surely be back for seconds!
Are there any other incredible lakeside restaurants that should have been included on our list? We’re always eager to hear from you, so share your suggestions in the comment section below!