Explore 10 of our favorite ways to get up close and personal with this region of colorful history and bold natural beauty. From the Straits of Mackinac to Petoskey, learn which spots should not be missed on your Northern Michigan adventure.

This article was featured in the 2021 Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. Download your free digital issue today to experience the full guide for yourself. 

Each icon on this map corresponds to one of the 10 stops listed below. Explore to find out what you can see at each different location.

  1. Cookies at Good Hart General Store
    Swing by Good Hart General Store in Harbor Springs for a delicious cookie. These famous cookies have a bit of a following and are available May through October only. From Grandma Kathy’s Chocolate Chip to Michigan Maple Snickerdoodle, there’s a flavor for everyone.
  2. Lavender Fields at Lavender Hill Farm
    Stop and smell the lavender at Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City. Start by exploring the fields and enjoying the scents and end with purchasing some lavender products or by picking a fresh bunch for yourself.
  3. Golfing at Boyne Resorts
    Choose from, count ‘em, 10 golf courses at Boyne Resorts—including the 9-hole Cuff Links Executive Par 3 Course where you can play for free. Additionally, Boyne also offers instruction and club fitting. If you don’t feel like bringing your clubs along, there are also rental services.
  4. Bike Around Harbor Springs
    Pick up the Little Traverse Wheelway on Bayfront Drive (near Beards Brewery) and bike to Harbor Springs and back. This exciting trail features gorgeous views, access to many parks and is family-friendly. You won’t need to ride the entire 26-mile Wheelway (unless you’re up for the challenge!) you can choose the route and length that is perfect for you.
  5. Pastys in St. Ignace
    An Up North trip isn’t complete without a pasty! Stop by St. Ignace on the waterfront Huron Boardwalk to snag a delicious pasty, then do the walking tour to historic markers around the area.
  6. Fishing in Harbor Springs
    Reel in a trout from a custom-built drift boat with Croff Craft Guide Service, based in Harbor Springs. Explore the four different trips to choose from and get ready to enjoy a day on the water fishing.
  7. Selfie with the Mackinac Bridge
    Take a selfie with Mighty Mac in the background. Don’t miss the opportunity to photograph the bridge before you head over it.
  8. Explore the McGulpin Point Lighthouse
    Stop by Mackinaw City to visit the historic McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, this lighthouse was built in 1869 and is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the Mackinac Straits.
  9. Paddle to Lake Huron
    Spend some quality time cruising or paddling the Inland Waterway. The waterway is a total of 40 miles from Pickerel Lake to Lake Huron. Take a shortened trip, or explore the entire route- if you’re up for the challenge!
  10. Head to Mackinac Island for the Day
    Hop on a ferry in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace for a trip to Mackinac Island or a sunset cruise in the Straits. Both Shepler’s Ferry and Star Line Ferry offer tickets to Mackinac Island and some additional family-friendly cruise options.

Find this article and more in the 2021 issue of the Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. If you’re not subscribed to Traverse Magazine, you can download the Vacation Guide for free.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner