10 Best Michigan Vacation Spots, Destination and Ideas To Inspire Your Next Romantic Getaway or Family Trip

10 Best Michigan Vacation Spots | Travel-Mi.com

Are you looking for a fantastic Michigan getaway to relax and explore? Or maybe a perfect romantic getaway? How about a kid-friendly trip to make lots of family memories?

We've got you covered!

Our unique Michigan vacation destinations and ideas will help inspire your next trip!  Get ready to make lots of memories with these 10 Best Michigan Vacation Spots!

Saugatuck Michigan

Saugatuck Chain FerrySaugatuck Chain Ferry. Photo by Elizabeth of the Fearless Foreigner

By Elizabeth of the Fearless Foreigner

Saugatuck is a lakeside town in southwestern Michigan. With a mix of quaint shops lining the streets and fancy yachts along the boardwalk, Saugatuck is the perfect combination of charm and luxury. The town is small, but there are a lot of different things to do.

Tasty chocolate shops and ice cream parlors are dotted in between the many boutique shops that fill the streets. Along the water there are some delicious seafood restaurants that offer great views of the boats on the lake. You can go for a boat ride or take the chain ferry across the lake to Mt. Baldhead Park. At the park, climb up the stairs for a scenic view or check out the Pump House Museum to learn more about the area.   

Although the town is lovely, make sure to save some time to explore Saugatuck Dunes State Park. It's only a few minutes outside of town and offers a pristine beach to walk along and forest trails to explore. I can't forget to mention the giant sand dunes of course. They provide a fantastic view of the lake and an even better work-out! Compared to other beaches in the area the beach and park are not crowded at all. 

The lakeside location makes Saugatuck the perfect summer destination for a family or romantic getaway!

Marquette Michigan

By Emily Hines of Em's on the Road

Marquette, Michigan is a quaint college town on the coast of Lake Superior and a must-visit for any adventurous travelers. 

If you're thinking the Upper Peninsula is only for summer, think again. Winter is just as busy as the summer in terms of visitors and things to do. Marquette is one of the snowiest places in the country and people visit from all over to take advantage of the extraordinary snowfall.

There are miles of ski, snowmobile, and fat biking trails in and around town. If you love rock climbing, come to Marquette to try your hand at ice climbing (February is the best month for this). If you're not ready for those adventures try downhill skiing at Marquette Mountain or hit the trails with some snowshoes for a snowy hike. 

Summer in Marquette is all about Lake Superior. If you've got the guts, take the famous plunge of the prehistoric Blackrocks rock formation into the crystal clear water at Presque Isle Park. After a day on the water, head to one of the breweries for a great local beer and dinner from one of Marquette's food trucks. 

In the fall, the colors are truly incredible and the best way to experience fall is to go hiking. If you want to hike off the beaten path, head to Echo Lake, a Nature Conservancy property just outside of town. There are two loop trails that are perfect for all hiking levels and offer peaceful views of the pristine lake. 

Don't forget to explore downtown Marquette and visit the local breweries, restaurants, and boutiques for some fun off the trail. 

Holland Michigan

Holland MichiganHolland Michigan. Photo: Anjali Wadhwa of Cheerful Trails

By Anjali Wadhwa of Cheerful Trails

Holland is one of the prettiest and most popular holiday destinations in Michigan. The town finds its inspiration from the Dutch's history and culture. Vibrant, cosmopolitan, and steeped in Dutch culture, Holland greets visitors with fabulous floral farmlands, museums, beaches, lakes and greenness.

Holland Michigan is well known for hosting the delightful Tulip Time Festival during the spring season. Millions of blooming tulips, bulb fields and various colorful flowerbeds make the festival a magnificent spectacle of colors and scents. In addition to admiring the gorgeous floral landscape, visitors can also enjoy various flower shows, games, rides, food scenes and parades held here throughout the festive season.

Holland's real charm, however, lies in the relaxed atmosphere, which together with its gloriously preserved medieval old center and lakeside beaches makes for an unforgettable romantic getaway.

You can also spot the historical landmark, the Big Red Lighthouse that dates back to 1872, from the shores of Lake Michigan from the Holland State Park. You can also enjoy some mesmerizing views of Lake Macatawa at the Kollen Park located in the downtown area of Holland.

The picturesque and well preserved windmill, located on the Windmill Island Gardens, adds more to Holland's Dutch inspired traditional landscape. This picturesque windmill is around 250 years old! 

The Nelis Dutch Village, which is another must-visit in Holland, combines the charming medieval decors with wonderful displays of world-class Dutch cheese and vendors wearing traditional costumes. A trip to this Dutch village is like an authentic journey through the Dutch culture and traditions.

The best time of the year to visit Holland is during spring which falls in the month of May, when the tulip fields are in full bloom and can be admired in their entire splendor.

Midland Michigan

By Margarita Ibbott from DownshiftingPRO

Midland Michigan is a small town that is home to one of the largest companies in the world – The Dow Chemical Company. Dow was founded in Midland in 1897 by Herbert H. Dow. You can see the benefits bestowed on this area as you drive around and see the many parks, a baseball field and outstanding Botanical Gardens and Canopy Walk.

You will LOVE the beautiful flowers, greenery and gardens beds throughout the downtown area and the walking trails that start at the Tridge (a unique three way walking bridge).

Main Street invites you to wander into quaint boutiques, sit outside at the patios and enjoy a cocktail or indulge in an outstanding meal at a high-end restaurant at The H Hotel.  

There are many things to do in Midland but a highlight would be The Dow Botanical Gardens, Whiting Forest and Canopy Walk (all in the same area).  It's a relaxing place to spend a hot summer afternoon.

Visit The Canopy Walk, the nation's longest canopy walk, at 1,400 feet in length. It ascends 40 feet above the ground and provides spectacular views of Whiting Forest. Whiting Forest - located within The Dow Gardens - features 54 acres of woodlands, ponds, apple orchard, meadows and stream.

Insider's Tip: if you stay at The H Hotel, admission and transportation to Dow Gardens is free!

Later on, take in a baseball game at The Dow Field where the minor league team - The Midland Loons - provide great family fun.  There is a playground for when the kids get restless and a fire pit at the back of the field for a place to have a beer and a chat with your buddies.

Petoskey Michigan

By Theresa McKinney from Fueled by Wanderlust

Petoskey is a lovely small-town destination for a pleasant Michigan vacation.  Located up north, right on Lake Michigan in Little Traverse Bay, there is plenty to enjoy in this quiet town.  From trails, to wineries and quaint shops, Petoskey is perfect for a relaxing getaway.

The most ideal time of year for visiting Petoskey is during the summer, in order to best enjoy the beaches and cool breezes along Lake Michigan.  However, fall is also a nice time to catch the last few hot days of the year and comfortably stroll through Petoskey's little downtown.  There is also some beautiful foliage to see in northern Michigan during autumn.

If you choose to visit Petoskey when it's cooler outside, there is still plenty to enjoy.  You could visit a nearby winery, such as Maple Moon, which touts itself as "America's first maple winery". If wine isn't your thing, there is also some great craft beer nearby.  Right in downtown Petoskey, there is Beards Brewery and TAP30, both of which also serve good food.

If it's a pleasant day for a stroll, take some time to explore the adorable shops in downtown Petoskey.  A couple highlights include, first, American Spoon, where you can taste a number of tasty jams and preserves.  There is also Grandpa Shorter's for home décor and other unique finds, including cute socks, decorative coasters, beautiful picture frames, and more.

If you are searching for a low-key destination to escape to for some quiet time among beautiful scenery, then Petoskey is your perfect choice.

Warren Dunes and St. Joseph Michigan

By Kelly Johnson Snap Travel Magic

St. Joseph is a city nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. Quaint homes, great food, fun breweries, and amazing outdoor activities make this city the perfect choice for a summer vacation.
The crowning jewel of St. Joseph is the beaches. Visit St. Joseph in the summer so you can enjoy the water activities. Silver Beach County Park is a wonderful place to enjoy the water, play some volleyball, or take a stroll with your dog on the walkways. There is also playground equipment for kids, as well as an old-fashioned restored carousel.
Near Silver beach stands the St. Joseph lighthouse and pier-a great place for an evening stroll. Other great parks to visit include Jean Klock Park, Lion's Park, and Grand Mere State Park.
If hiking is your thing, visit Warren Dunes State Park. This park boasts miles of coastline and even more miles of hiking trails. The best part is the 260-foot dune that you can climb with spectacular views of the lake. Other outdoor activities include stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking on the St. Joseph River.
In the afternoons, check out the city's many attractions like the Curious Kid's Museum and The Box Factory for the Arts.
For adults, there are great wineries and breweries in the area. Among the favorites are White Pine Winery, Baroda Founders Wine Cellar, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, and Buck Burgers and Brew.
At the end of the day enjoy great food and a view at Plank's Tavern on the Water, a rooftop deck experience at RyeBelles Restaurant & Bar, train views and whistles at Silver Beach Pizza, or Arriba! Taqueria for some quick and delicious Mexican.

Mackinac Island Michigan

By Kimberley from Two Travelling Toques

Definitely my most favourite vacation spot that I've visited in Michigan is Mackinac Island.  Situated in the northern part of Lake Huron is this tiny, summer resort island that's simply incredible. Part of the charm of the island is your ferry ride over. You get a great view of the Mackinac Bridge in the background as your boat zips through the water. Then once you land, you feel like you've stepped back in time. No cars are allowed on the island, so your choice of transportation is cycling, walking, or taking a horse and buggy. 

Because of Mackinac Island's location, you'll want to visit this gem in the summer. Any time from May to October is perfect. The ferry is running, all the quaint shops are open, and the weather is warm enough for any outdoor activities. You don't need to book the ferry ahead of time, but I'd recommend booking any hotels, bnb's, or condo's early since many vacationers visit here each summer. 

Once on the island, you should definitely rent a bike. It's an easy couple hour ride around the whole island with gorgeous water views everywhere. You can even take a picnic lunch with you since there are picnic tables and benches along the way.

The island also has a fort at the top of a hill which is very interesting to visit. There are lots of different shops in the main village to browse. Fudge is the specialty here. And who can resist all the tempting flavors. 

I've been here twice now celebrating an anniversary. Just rent a place with a hot tub, breakfast included, and a horse and buggy ride through the village, and you've got the perfect romantic getaway

Northport Michigan

By Sherry Trautman of Traveling Michigan

We absolutely love spending time in Northport Michigan.  The marina and beach are so pretty and worth the visit!  Also take the time to wander the downtown shops. 

What is there to see?  Boardwalk, coastal town, marina and downtown shopping.

Northport is a great hidden gem that we just recently discovered.  We absolutely love walking along the boardwalk and looking at all the bobbing boats in the marina.  

Restrooms are located between the beach and the marina.

The cherry industry that is prevalent in Northport today had just begun in 1853 on Reverend Smith's farm. Farmers began producing cherries so much within those first few years that cherries were being shipped to nearby cities for their markets. The cherry industry in Northport and Leelanau County remains one of the largest in the world.

Northport is becoming famous for being an area where the rich and famous can live quietly and secretly.

According to the Leelanau Visitors Guide: "Chef Mario Batali lives north of town at Cathead point, and comedian and actor Tim Allen routinely spends summers in Northport. Mark Spitznagel, who manages a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, owns a 150 acre ranch in Northport. He summers in Northport Point, a posh community just outside the village."(Batali's and Spitznagel's Northport home and farm, respectively, both were featured in The New York Times.)

Leelanau State Park and Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Address: 15310 N. Lighthouse Point Road, Northpoint, MI

Restrooms: Pit Toilets across from the gift shop

Definitely take the time to visit Leelanau State Park as you can tour the lighthouse! (but check their website to insure tours are going on).  Generally the lighthouse tours are until 5:00 p.m. 

The grounds are absolutely breathtaking with wonderful views of Lake Michigan.  

Leelanau State Park offers 1519 acres to explore!  

Take the time to wander the short trails along the water and enjoy the exquisite views from several of the benches. Oh, and skip some rocks just because it’s fun!  

Just for a moment, breathe in the natural beauty of the area. At beautiful places like this, I always realize just how lucky we are to enjoy views like this in Michigan!

Leelanau State Park also offers lots of great photo ops too!

Leland Michigan

Time Allotment: 1.5 hours + depending on your interests, shopping, lunch!!

Restrooms: Public restrooms are at the top of the hill just as you arrive at the shanties.

Parking: Free, along the streets and there is a lot near the docks.  

There are several shops and restaurants along the main road, but the charm begins along the water.

Must Sees:

  • For something completely different, pop into Carlson’s, located at 205 River St, Leland, MI, for smoked Michigan whitefish or Lake Trout.  Many people say this is the only place to get it!  
  • The Village Cheese Shanty, located at 199 W River St, Leland, MI, is a favorite of visitors!  They offer over 60 different types of cheese with sandwiches and lunch offerings.
  • Be sure to pop into the shanties that now house tiny boutiques and shops!  Parking is free.


The Cove is a super popular Leland restaurant that is right along the water with cool views of the dam.  The thatch roof “umbrellas” visible in the photo above is one of the draws of the fun restaurant. Or try the Riverside Inn for river views while dining!

As you stroll along the docks, check out the nets hanging to dry.  It really adds such a cool vibe to the fishing village, don’t you think?

More Leland photos, history and information is here! 

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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