If it’s August in Michigan’s North, the lakes and rivers will lure you. Answer the call with 10 things to do in Northern Michigan. These perfect water/weekend pairings are must-dos on any Northern Michigan summer vacation!
A beach bonfire and a guitar. Bring your own instrument to strum; many area hotels and resorts offer nightly shoreline fires. Or better yet, opt for live music by local artists and a fire that’s already made for you at Ludington’s Stearns Park Beach in the center of town. Catch August’s offering in the Sunset Beach Bonfires series from 8 to 10 p.m. on August 25. pureludington.com.
Peaceful waters and an Adirondack chair, that’s what’s waiting at charming Hotel Walloon. Pull your Adirondack close enough to dip your toes into Walloon Lake or stick with one on the shady porch-with-a-view, and soak in the ambiance of a new hotel with historic vibes. hotelwalloon.com.
Camping and a canal. Generations of youngsters have made lifelong friends while riding bicycles from the camper to the canal connecting Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac at Cadillac’s Mitchell State Park. Regular fishing classes at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center on site help ensure bragging rights. michigan.gov/dnr.
Water to wine. Opt for a glass of Seas the Day or Sweet Seaduction, at Boathouse Vineyards, and carry your pour to the chairs waiting by Lake Leelanau’s Narrows. Gaze at passing pontoons or families of swans. Charming Fountain Point nearby gives easy access. The resort rents cottages by the week, hotel rooms for shorter stays, and a new water taxi ferries you to wine tasting and dinner. fountainpointresort.com.
Catamaran and a hula hoop. A steal at $15, the 1K hour Nauti-Cat Kids Cruise doesn’t require you to bring a kid, nor does the boat’s crew check your ID. So bring a little one or just your inner child, and let loose to Disney tunes, bubble blowing and hula hooping while sailing Traverse City’s bays. nauti-cat.com.
A dark shore and falling stars. Communities across the North will challenge each other to see who can keep skies darkest for the viewing of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower the weekend of Aug. 12 and 13. Your good odds are on the dark and gorgeous beach stretches at Emmet County’s Headlands International Dark Sky Park (midarkskypark.org), headquarters for the Aug. 12 challenge and the nearby Shepler’s Ferry Perseid Meteor Shower Cruise in the Straits of Mackinac, August 11.
A vintage resort and lawn games, and even the occasional pontoon ride with the charming proprietors of Lewiston’s Tee Lake Resort, where remodeled cabins kept the vintage feel but with a trendy vibe. Bonus: evening bonfires. teelakeresort.com.
Pictured Rocks and a paddle. Bring just sleeping bag and cookwear, Uncle Ducky Outfitters supplies the yurt, cabin or platform tent, and then provides the rental kayak (if you need one) for a paddle along unforgettably colorful rock cliffs, part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising. paddlersvillage.com.
A beach walk and treasure hunt. The sand’s like sugar along the whole of the tip of the Mitt’s Lake Michigan and Lake Huron shorelines, but a hunt for the state’s unusual fossilized Petoskey stones add to the sure-to-be-treasured getaway; aptly named Petoskey State Park is a great place to start. michigandnr.com.
Classic cabins with a river lullaby, yours at Rainbow Lodge at the Mouth of the Two Hearted River north of Newberry in the Upper Peninsula; bring a favorite Hemingway read and a fishing pole. Breathe. exploringthenorth.com.
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