Is there anything better than a crusty baguette, fresh cherries and a good view? We don’t think so. Spread out a blanket and enjoy these picnic spots in Northern Michigan!

1. Peterson Park, Northport

This park has the family stamp of approval. Playground equipment, grills, picnic tables, a volleyball area and 1,000 feet of beach for a post-picnic swim.

2. Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City

Specifically the front lawn for views of the towering state hospital. Find picnic treats inside at the Underground Cheesecake Factory, Michigan Farm Market and Cuppa Joe. Or, skip packing a picnic entirely and grab your meal to-go from Pleasanton Bakery or Spanglish.

Trails at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons
3. Magoon Creek, Manistee

A little off the beaten path, you’ll find a pet-friendly beach, hiking trail, restrooms, covered pavilions and plenty of picnic tables perched on a 150-foot bluff.

4. Point Betsie Light, Frankfort

There’s a reason the Point Betsie Light is one of America’s most photographed lighthouses. After lunch, head inside for a tour and a chance to go up the tower. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $2 for children (ages 6–11). Check the lighthouse hours before you go.

best michigan lighthouses to visit

Related Read: 3 Lighthouse Day Trips for a Northern Michigan Fall Color Tour.

5. Windermere Point, Mackinac Island

Watch the ferries whiz by while you chow down on your picnic goodies. Grab a hot dog or ice cream at the Doghouse restaurant stand if you need a little something extra.

6. Picnic Mountain, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Well, the name says it all, but if you need more convincing, there are plenty of picnic tables, grills, shade trees and you can walk to the Dune Overlook, which is stunning.

daily photo

Photo by Carly Simpson

7. Thorne Swift Preserve, Harbor Springs

Make it a day trip. Hike the trails, check out the Elizabeth Kennedy Nature Center, picnic at the pavilion and then head down to the beach.

8. Antrim Creek Natural Area, Atwood

The natural area offers a trail system, beach access and bathroom facilities. Bring water shoes—the beach is a little rocky, but the views are so worth it!

9. Elk Rapids Day Park, Elk Rapids

After lunch, check out the Walk of Art Sculpture Park featuring up to 30 works of art along wooded trails. Picnic tables, grills, pavilion and restrooms available.

Photo by Nick Hearn

10. Mt. McSauba Recreational Area, Charlevoix

In the summer, this ski slope offers hiking trails (that connect to Lake Michigan) and an 18-disc golf course. Awesome views, especially at sunset.

11. Suttons Bay Beach, Suttons Bay

Spend your morning exploring the shops of downtown Suttons Bay and head over to Suttons Bay Beach with your picnic basket for lunch. Bring your own basket or grab something to-go from one of the great downtown restaurants including Bay Burrito Co., where you can borrow a picnic blanket while you eat your burrito on the bay!

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12. Haserot Beach, Old Mission Peninsula

Repeatedly voted one of your favorite beaches on Old Mission Peninsula, Haserot Beach is the perfect spot for a picnic. Pack your own or swing by Old Mission General Store to grab some sandwiches or pizza to-go. Picnic already packed? Grab some ice cream or a delicious dessert like their homemade cinnamon rolls on your way out!