The weekend of red, white and blue is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to plan your Northern Michigan vacation and put those days off work to good use. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few ideas to help you make the most of your fourth of July in Traverse City. Below are some of our favorite Fourth of July activities to make your holiday as stress-free and fun as possible.

Rise and shine! Start your day with a morning paddle. Head over to The River Outfitters to rent a kayak or canoe—whatever floats your boat—and see a different view of Traverse City while you paddle around West Grand Traverse Bay.

Fuel up. Now that you’ve had your daily dose of adventure, check out Traverse City’s food scene. There are tons of new restaurants and food trucks since last summer. Right now we’re loving MIddleBoys Savory Waffle Cones, Ziatun Cafe and Harvest (they recently moved to a bigger location!).

Head downtown. You’ve still got a few more hours to explore Traverse City before nightfall, so we’ll give you two options. If you’ve still got some energy left, peruse the eclectic collection of boutiques on Front Street for a true downtown Traverse City shopping experience. Or …

Wind down. Relax with a glass of wine or a cold beer at one of Traverse City’s award-winning wineries and breweries. If you haven’t visited Traverse City’s newest brewery, Monkey Fist Brewing Co., be sure to add it to your agenda. Find a complete guide to local beer here.

Ooh and ahh. The sun is setting and it’s almost time for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display over West Bay. Claim your sandy spot early on the beaches off of West Grand Traverse Bay or find somewhere quiet up on a hill overlooking the water. The fireworks start at dusk and are some of the best in Michigan (actually, they were voted the  #1 Red Hot Best fireworks!).

More 4th Up North Fun:

Photo(s) by Shea Haddad