Western Michigan encompasses the Lake Michigan Shoreline from Traverse City in the northern part of the state to the Kalamazoo area in the southwestern corner. This part of Michigan is known for its beautiful sunsets over the lake, its vast natural areas that await exploration and its ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Cottages are the most popular type of accommodations for visitors in western Michigan, followed by condominiums, rental homes and apartments. Cottages in western Michigan offer amenities such as private patios, cozy fireplaces and full-size kitchens so that you can dine on locally caught seafood.
Western Michigan is well known for its year-round outdoor activities. You can rent a canoe and explore the lakeshore or purchase a ferry ticket and take the ride all the way across Lake Michigan. Fishing and ice fishing are popular sports as well. Presque Isle cottages in northern Michigan are just a few hours away and offer additional opportunities for outdoor activities, including birding and rock climbing.
Western Michigan is home to many festivals and annual events that are ideal for single travelers, couples on vacation and families seeking an adventure. The Ludington Lake Jump, held each year in March, is a fundraising event in which people jump into the cold lake near Ludington in just a swimsuit or swim trunks. Another fun event to explore is the National Asparagus Festival, held each June in Shelby. Even if you do not like fresh asparagus, you will find other foods as well as dancing, music, arts and crafts exhibitors and fresh homemade fruit pies. If you like sailing or watching boating races, drive up to a Mackinaw City rental home and watch the 333-mile Race to the Mackinac, which is the world's longest freshwater race. This event takes place each year in July, with the race's finish line at Mackinaw City. You may also wish to visit some of these other great annual events held in Western Michigan.
If your family wants to experience life on the farm, visit Lewis Farm Market & Petting Farm. This working farm offers the chance to pet sheep, calves, bunnies and other farm animals. You can also purchase some of their fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider taking a side trip to stay at Boyne Mountain apartments and spend an afternoon teaching the kids how to ski or go sledding on some of the carefully maintained trails. At the Sandcastles Children's Museum, young children can try out some of the hands-on exhibits related to science, history and culture.
Western Michigan has cold, snowy winters, with January daytime temperatures around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer days are warm and humid, with average July high temperatures around 75 degrees. The best time of the year to visit is September and October, when the weather is warm and the days are usually sunny and dry.
You can drive your own car or get a rental car and take I-94, U.S. 10 or U.S. 131 into Western Michigan. You may also want to get there by passenger rail. Amtrak offers service into their Kalamazoo station, which is located just outside of the city's center. Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) offers regional flights into Western Michigan.