Tip of Old Mission Peninsula- Lighthouse Park or Pelizzari Natural Area
The moment you embark on M-37 it is as if you have entered paradise. Orderly vineyards, unbelievably blue waters, rustic hilltop barns. Keep going and it only gets better. At the tip there are pristine trails and dreamy stretches of beach.
The gentle meeting of land and inland sea at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula once led a New York Times writer to mistakenly wax poetic about Lake Michigan’s unique “tidal flats.” Of course, we don’t experience tides on the Great Lakes, but this magical area, home to a lighthouse, beach and lovely trail network, is a spot you’ll return to over and over again. At the northern terminus of M-37.
Pelizzari Natural Area
Try a hike through Pelizzari Natural Area, where easy to moderate trails wind through a mix of meadows, woods and a lovely stand of old hemlocks; swimming at Haserot Park, a fantastic (and seldom busy) beach; and picnicking at the kid-friendly park on beautiful Bowers Harbor. (Find provisions, plus ice cream, antiques and souvenirs at the funky Old Mission General Store. 18250 Mission Rd., Village of Old Mission, 231.223.4310.)