Your Way to May: Northern Michigan Spring Travel Ideas

Springtime activities abound: two-wheeled adventures far north, inspired author meet-ups, regionally sourced eats, historic stays at local haunts … here’s your way to May.


Northern Michigan Spring Travel Ideas

Mountain Bikers: Head north to Copper Harbor for a family-friendly riding event over the long holiday weekend. Called “Ride the Keweenaw,” it happens Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28 rain or shine, features guided two-wheel tours, enduro racing and social events. New this year: the weekend is part of an expanded Experience the Keweenaw event that includes an outdoor expo and other special activities. Kick off Memorial Day weekend with a Friday bike or hike through the Adventure Mine (bring your headlamp), then hit the Michigan Tech Trails for Saturday’s guided rides. Also explore: Churning Rapids Trails in Hancock and Swedetown Trails in Calumet. Many events are free; early registration ends May 10. Book a two-bedroom cabin at The Mariner North Resort, Copper Harbor. Get your Lake Superior fish fix (and morning coffee and blueberry muffin) at Jamsen’s Fish Market and Bakery on the waterfront.

Bibliophiles: Meet Wall Street Journal reporter Andrea Petersen May 26 during a National Writers Series event. Andrea will talk about her new book, On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety, which reveals her deeply personal struggle with anxiety. Peruse Traverse City’s local independent bookstores, Horizon Books and Brilliant Books, to further indulge your love of the written word.

Foodies: Come May, morel mushrooms are poking their tops through the forest-floor leaves, enticing pickers near and far (here’s 6 must-know tips to find more morels). Head to the Bellaire Inn for a weekend of morel sleuthing, and in the off-hours savor the food and the lake views at Dockside, on Torch Lake (try the Sunset Salad with Michigan dried cherries and asiago cheese, or the pulled pork burrito if you’ve worked up an appetite). Round out your weekend with a hike at nearby Grass River Natural Area, where your wanders take you on wood-planked bridges and boardwalks alongside peaceful inland waterways with plentiful bird-watching. Cap the afternoon with a cold one at Short’s Brewing Co., in Bellaire—try the seasonal American wheat ale Nicie, released this month and brewed with orange and lemon zest, coriander and hint of peppercorn.

Arts & culture aficionados: Spend time at downtown Petoskey’s iconic Crooked Tree Arts Center, home to two art galleries, a 235-seat thrust-stage theater, and studios for dance, pottery, painting, culinary and music lessons. This time of year, the center’s Artisans & Farmers Market continues on Fridays. Enjoy a variety of locally grown and handmade goods from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; come June, this farmers market moves outdoors. Book a cottage room reservation at the historic Terrace Inn, in Bay View (up to two guests/from $129 peak season), built in 1910. Plan your stay to coincide with Petoskey Restaurant Week, May 20–27, featuring fare from eateries in both Petoskey and neighboring Bay Harbor.


More Northern Michigan Vacation Ideas:

Video: Visit Marquette’s Surging Waterfalls

Northern Michigan Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

Vacation Inspiration: Torch Lake is a Water-Lover’s Paradise

Guide to a Scenic Michigan Getaway: M-119 Tunnel of Trees in Harbor Springs

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