Your Northern Michigan Memorial Day Weekend Planner

Memorial Day Weekend in Northern Michigan is filled with things to do. Here are some of the best lodging options, attractions, and restaurants. Whether you live here and need a weekend staycation or are traveling for your getaway, this Memorial Day Weekend Planner will fill your trip with adult and family fun.


Restaurants By the Water

In the Traverse City area, average high temps for Memorial Day weekend are about 73 degrees, with record highs soaring to 92 to 95 degrees (yikes!). If Mother Nature complies, we suggest you find a restaurant on the water at least once this weekend. Here are 10 restaurants along the shores of Lake Michigan or Northern Michigan’s inland lakes and rivers.

But in case it does cool down, here are 8 Cool-Temp Memorial Day Weekend Ideas Around Traverse City.

Family Activities

Kids and adults will have a blast at one of several annual events that coincide with Memorial Day Weekend. In Traverse City, catch the Beach Bums—Northern Michigan’s own professional baseball team—at Wuerfel Park. Or have a rocking time at the Petoskey Stone Festival in Eastport, just a stone’s throw from Torch Lake.  From Mackinac Island to Ludington, there’s always something going down during Memorial Day Weekend, and the following links should guide you to family-friendly events and activities:

Memorial Day Activities by Area:

Pay Your Respects

Memorial Day has become something of a hectic holiday, yet at its heart, the day is a commemoration to veterans and active-duty servicemen and servicewomen.  A list of parades and memorials in Northern Michigan towns can be found below:

Northern Michigan Memorial Day Services and Parades

Calling All Runners

Two amazing races will be taking place over Memorial Day Weekend in Northern Michigan:

  1. Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race: Run the Mighty Mackinac Bridge from Mackinaw City! The 5.6-mile run costs about $45, depending on when you register. Entry includes race across the Mackinac Bridge, official race bib, race chip technology, official race T-shirt, commemorative medal, transportation to starting area, awards for division winners and hot breakfast.
  2. Bayshore Marathon: This Traverse City mainstay courses the Old Mission Peninsula; unless you’re already registered, you’re probably too late—the Bayshore books up quickly.

Adults Only

For those adults looking to get a taste of the many wine, beer and spirit offerings of Northern Michigan, might we recommend:

  • Beer & Brat Festival: Taking place at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa near Traverse City, sample over 50 of Michigan’s finest microbrews and ciders, specialty brats with a range of flavors from spicy jalapeno to tart cherry, giant Bavarian pretzels and live music. Tickets available at MyNorthTickets.com.

  • Wander the Wine Trails of Old Mission & Leelanau Peninsulas: Northern Michigan wine country is waiting to be tasted!  For Leelanau trail maps: lpwines.com, and for Old Mission: wineriesofomp.com.

For the Adventurous

  • Zipline and Ropes Challenge Course at Pirates Cove: Safely snap into Pirate’s Cove’s lofty pirate rigging, step off the plank and soar through the air for 750 combined feet on the zipline! Or, discover your “inner pirate” on the Challenge Course: you’ll enter a hidden buccaneer’s roost located high in the rigging of an old shipwreck and navigate your way through a series of rope obstacles on two levels, situated up to 33 feet off the ground! Fun and safe for all ages. Call 231.938.9599 or visit PiratesCove.com.
  • Zipline Adventure at Boyne: Open year round at Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain resorts. Lines measure up to 500 feet in length and up to 50 feet high. Call 800.462.6963, or visit Boyne.com.
  • Alpine Slide at Crystal Mountain: Michigan’s only alpine slide! Riders take the Loki triple chairlift to the top of the mountain, hop on a specially-designed sled, and cruise down one of two parallel 250-foot-high, 1,600-foot-long curved tracks as they curve and dip their way down the mountain. Call 231.378.2000 ext. 7000 or visit CrystalMountain.com.

More Northern Michigan Vacation Ideas:

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