Welcome to the North in bloom! From trillium to sunflowers, here are my tips for catching what’s popping up now in Northern Michigan.

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It can be hard to feel in the moment during the fleeting spring and summer months. So much beauty to soak up, so little time! I like to start small—marking the days by what’s in bloom around me. When I recently found myself pining for more time—wishing April’s wild violets would linger just a little bit longer—I was comforted by May’s sunny dandelions popping up along my walking path, right on cue.

Our bounty of blooms makes a stunning backdrop for warm-weather adventures—maybe a leisurely wildflower walk, afternoon lavender picking or an impromptu sunflower photo shoot. Sometimes it’s just stopping to pull over and appreciate an orchard bursting with blossoms.

We have you covered with a road map of the season’s iconic, can’t-miss blooms. Take a hike, take a drive and take a deep breath in.

Note: Typical bloom times are listed below, but all are dependent on weather and geography.

@mynorthmedia Northern Michigan in full BLOOM! 🌻🌸✨ What flowers are your favorite to discover Up North? #Trillium #CherryBlossom #Lilac #Lavender #Sunflower #SpringBlooms #SummerBlooms ♬ I love you trending sound - CONTENT CREATION TIPS

Cherry Blossoms // May

Before the North’s orchards bear their prized fruity gems, delicate cherry blossoms coat their rows. Take one of these four memorable drives to fully immerse in this springtime romance, or go on a stunning bike outing on the Leelanau Trail along the blossoms (enjoyed best with friends and a stop at Shady Lane Cellars). The trail is 17 miles long, paved and runs from Traverse City to Suttons Bay. Note: there are more orchards on the northern end of the trail. 

Cherry blossoms in bloom.

Photo by Beth Price

Trillium // May

Hiking through budding trees and scanning the forest floor for elegant trillium and other ephemeral wildflowers is a spring tradition that never grows old. You can find these three-petaled beauties throughout Northern Michigan, but if you’re not sure where to start, I suggest heading to Pete’s Woods Trail in Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve, or Clay Cliffs Natural Area.

Trillium close-up

Photo by Allison Acosta

Lilacs // May–June

Is there anything better than lounging by a fragrant lilac bush on a breezy summer day? Have a backyard picnic to enjoy the ambrosial blooms—while sipping this summery lilac cocktail—and then plan a day trip to Mackinac Island for the annual Lilac Festival, June 7-16. (I recommend starting your journey with a lilac latte at Watercolor Café!)

Lavender tree on Mackinac Island

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Lavender // June–July

Lavender bushes start sending up their perfumed purple buds in June, and prime U-pick season usually falls in early July. Luckily, we have array of lavender farms across the North, from Maple City to Boyne City, that are waiting to welcome you, whether it’s to U-pick a bouquet, sip a lavender lemonade or just enjoy some old-fashioned aromatherapy.

Lavender from Brys Estate Secret Garden.

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Sunflowers // July–September

Drive the backroads long enough, and you’re certain to roll by one of the North’s beaming sunflower fields, shining bright in the late summer sun. I love stopping by the field near Maple Bay Natural Area for a quick photo op, or check out spots like Leabo Farm in Suttons Bay or Hall Farms in the U.P., where you can U-pick a few stalks of sunshine to take home.

Four sunflowers in a field.

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell