Why do most of us live in Northern Michigan? Because of the stunning natural beauty, of course. The truth is, we can’t get enough of it. That’s why we love these outdoor home features, which will keep your lifestyle up close and personal with nature.

Home Feature #1: Outdoor Shower

Practical aspects aside (washing off the sand before you come in), there’s nothing like an outdoor shower to make you feel alive. Rub-a-dub as you gaze up at the clouds floating past tree canopies where birds tweet and squirrels scamper. This shower is set at a home designed by architect Ken Richmond and built by Midlake Builders.

Shower photo by Dave Speckman

Photo by Dave Speckman

Home Feature #2: Fire Ring

A fire pit is an excuse for sitting under the stairs, chatting with friends, eating s’mores or hobo pies, singing “Kumbaya” … whether they are tucked into small in-town patios, deep in the woods or by a lake, we love them. They can be as glorified as pieces of masonry sculpture, or as simple as an off-the-shelf fire ring. The beautiful outdoor setting pictured here is courtesy of Bay Area Contracting, who designed, built and landscaped this home.

Fire ring photo by Tricia Adams/Katie Bruinsma

Read Next: 3 Outdoor Fireplaces for Cozy Nights in Northern Michigan

Home Feature #3: Outdoor Kitchen

Even Spam tastes good on a camping trip. The point is, food just plain tastes better when prepared and eaten en plein air. Imagine how incredible ribs taste off the grill in this outside kitchen on the back terrace of a home renovated by Birchwood Construction and Drost Landscaping. Of course, a simple grill works, too. Just as long as you use it—often. We know plenty of Northerners who bundle in down coats to fire up the grill in deep winter!

Outdoor kitchen photo by Mike Guillon/Drost Landscape

Photo by Mike Guillon

Home Feature #4: A Deck (or Two)

Whether the view from it is rolling hills, hardwoods, a rippling lake or your flower garden, nine months of the year, a deck is the best room in the house. We love the double-decker version in this home built by Silverwood Enterprises.

Deck photo by Dave Speckman

Want to see the rest of this 936-square-foot home?

Photo by Dave Speckman

Photo(s) by Mike Guillon