It’s almost summertime here in Michigan, and the excitement is almost palpable. Our state is overflowing with fun ways to spend the long, warm days throughout the Great Lakes State — but there are a handful of Michigan pastimes that have remained constant throughout the years. Here are 11 summertime activities that will be familiar to every Michigander.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Going up north.
If you’re a Michigander, heading "up north" is a true rite of passage. No matter what your age or how many years you’ve spent visiting a family cottage, there’s always something magical about spending time with family and friends in one of Michigan’s many gorgeous waterfront towns. "Up north" means something different to everyone, but it’s always a happy association.
2. Running down sand dunes.
Whether you’re tumbling down the towering sand formation at Sleeping Bear Dunes or taking a more leisurely jaunt down one of our state’s other beautiful dune land areas, nothing says summer in Michigan like running down a dune toward the water. Sand in your hair? No big deal!
3. Taking a dune buggy ride.
While we’re on the topic of dunes, we can’t help but mention this heart-pounding Michigan pastime. When the weather gets warm, you’ll catch many Michiganders riding the hills at Silver Lake Dunes or watching their pals zoom across sandy wonderlands. There’s nothing quite so thrilling.
4. Indulging in a coney dog or two.
Coney dogs are delicious year-round, but there's something extra tasty about biting into a tasty dog on a hot summer afternoon. When the sun is out, you'll find Michiganders flocking to Coney Island eateries throughout the state — but there’s nothing like a classic from Lafayette or American in Detroit.
5. Sipping on Michigan-made beer.
Our state is well-known for its craft beer production, and we certainly aren’t complaining. On a balmy day, what’s more refreshing than a pint from New Holland, Bell’s, or one of our countless other fantastic Michigan breweries? Sit back, relax, and sip on that delicious brew — if you’re over 21, that is!
6. Spending the day lakeside.
They don’t call us "the Great Lakes State" for nothing, and every Michigander has a special connection to at least one of our breathtaking bodies of water. Whether you enjoy splashing in the cool waves of Lake Michigan, boating on Lake Huron, or appreciating the shoreline of Lake Superior, there’s a lake-related pastime to excite each and every Michigan resident. We absolutely love our lakes.
7. Watching a Lake Michigan sunset.
At the end of a long day of beachside fun, there’s no better way to round out the evening than with a gorgeous view of the sunset over Lake Michigan. Painted skies, calm waves, and great company — can you imagine a more peaceful scene?
8. Going on an "ice cream run."
There’s no doubt about it: everybody loves ice cream, and Michiganders are no exception. While this trait isn't specific to the Great Lakes State, we couldn't help but mention this beloved pastime. When your sweet tooth is tingling, head to one of our state’s most famous creameries — from Captain Sundae in Holland to Washtenaw Dairy in Ann Arbor — and indulge in a smooth, chilly treat.
9. Taking your time in Meijer to enjoy the A/C.
Admit it: you’ve made at least one trip to the grocery store just to appreciate the chilly temperatures on a hot day. While this might not be the most exciting adventure to enjoy in Michigan, Meijer IS open 24/7… so it’s always an option when you’re feeling a little bored!
10. Catching a Tigers game at Comerica Park.
Nothing says summer like a day at the ballpark. Michiganders young and old are thrilled each year when baseball season rolls around, and the Tigers always put on a great show. Watch your favorite players step up to bat, enjoy a hot dog or two, and spend quality time with loved ones. Is there anything better?
11. Catching a fresh fish or two.
With so much beautiful water to enjoy, Michigan also offers endless opportunities for fishing. You don't have to be an expert to catch a few freshwater creatures — just load up your fishing pole, attach some bait, and head out to the local dock. Whether you’re tossing your line from a boat or enjoying the benefits of a well-stocked pond, fishing is an undeniable summer pastime in the Great Lakes State.
Did we leave any of your favorite pastimes off our list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!