Michigan is one of the few places in the country where you can enjoy skiing, surfing and boating all in one state. Changes in the seasons make it possible to experience a myriad of activities. In addition to adventure, you can expect scenic views of the water and an abundance of state parks.
Traverse City is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts year-round. There are intricate trail systems in Traverse City including TART and the Vasa. These trails are populated by hikers and bikers during the summer and snowshoers and Nordic skiers in the winter.
A summer vacation wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Lake Michigan. The region boasts more than 180 miles of shoreline and nearly 150 lakes. Skiing and boarding are top activities to partake in at the beach, as is chartering a fishing boat to catch freshwater salmon and trout.
Schooners and steamships arrived on the shores of Traverse City regularly throughout the 19th century. As a result, there are lighthouses all over the region. Those who want to take a deeper look at the maritime history of the area should visit the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.
For a greater look at the history of the city, try the Magical History Tour. The nine-mile ride will take you through hot spots such as homes on Sixth Street, the city's oldest neighborhood, Slabtown, and the village at the Grand Traverse Commons, the former Traverse City State Hospital.
Lakeview Hills Golf Resort is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon playing a round of golf. It's just off the shores of Lake Huron and offers beautiful views of surrounding scenery.
If you're in the mood for outdoor recreation, head to one of the village's three public beaches on Lake Huron: Lake Street Beach, Simon Street Beach and the Public Beach. The Cros-Lex Bike Trail also makes it way through Lexington. This six-mile path takes you to neighboring Croswell and features hills, views of the water and past country farmland.
Try one of the Lexington's breweries and wineries to help you wind down at the end of the day. There's 3 North Vines, a vineyard and winery along the shores of Lake Huron, and Blue Water Winery & Vineyards, that covers 20 acres and serves up wines such as chardonnay, riesling, and pinot noir.
The city of South Haven is a great family-friendly destination or a relaxing getaway for a couple who just wants to escape for a few days.
The Fideland Fun Park features bumper boats, mini-golf, turtle racers, batting cages, kiddie cars and go-karts. The amusement park also has a video arcade, picnic area and a driving range, so there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
The Michigan Maritime Museum presents exhibits detailing the region's maritime history. You'll see marine art, maritime trades, artifacts and even get the chance to sail on a replica 1800s schooner named the Friends Good Will. For more maritime adventures, be sure to visit the South Pier Light. It was constructed in the early 1870s and remains an active aid for navigation operated by the Coast Guard.
Visit the Upper Peninsula and stay in Munising for breathtaking views of Lake Superior. Visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for more than 73,000 acres of shoreline that are perfect for boating, biking or just walking on foot. Miners Beach is part of the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore and an excellent spot for beach-goers.
Maritime lovers should seek out one several lighthouses that are located in and near Munising or explore one of the shipwrecks in the area. Bermuda is the earliest shipwreck and sank in October 1870. This site is a favorite among divers as is Smith Moore, a wooden steam barge that sank in July 1889.