Epic Lake Huron Day Trip: Michigan East Coast Road Trip Getaway

Lake Huron Day Trip: Epic Michigan East Coast Road Trip | By Sherry Trautman 

Are you looking for a quick Michigan getaway? 

Michigan's east coast offers shipwrecks, huge Paul Bunyan roadside sculptures, secluded beaches, hiking trails, kayaking opportunities and adventures galore! 

Plus, this is an inexpensive Michigan road trip if you pack your own snacks and food.  We always bring a cooler with drinks, cheese, protein shakes and other snacks.  

We created this Lake Huron Day Trip Interactive Map to help you find your stops and aid in planning your trip. 

Helpful Map Tips:

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header. 
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. 

Are you ready?  Let's GO!  Be sure to use the map above to reference all our stops!

*TIP: Many of the sections below contain links that will take you to more specific information about the area, things to do, photos and must-see sights.  Be sure to follow the links and then click back to continue on your Lake Huron Day Trip adventure.

Let's Kick Off This Lake Huron Day Trip in Midland Michigan!

Midland Michigan is our hometown, so of course we are starting here!  Plus, there's a full day of fun in Midland! 

Be sure to check out the Tridge, Dow Gardens and Midland City Forest for epic photos, adventures and fun!

Let's Stop in Bay City To Explore the Riverwalk!

Bay City Michigan is a perfect stop for lunch at Real Seafood (they have fabulous views of the river!) and then wander along the gorgeous river front paved pathway. 

Take the path all the way downtown and explore the numerous shops including famous St. Laurent's vintage chocolate shop. 

Read more about things to do, see and eat on our Bay City page!  

East Tawas is Next: It's Pronto Pups, Marina Walks and Beach Time!

You will definitely want to stop in East Tawas for a delicious Pronto Pup, walks along the boardwalk circling the scenic marina and shopping on Newman street. 

Consider parking at the lot on Newman Street &, S U.S. 23, East Tawas, MI.  We love parking here as there are restrooms, the marina, pretty fountain and all the shopping and restaurants you need on Newman Street.

Read more about things to do, see and eat on our East Tawas page!


See Paul Bunyan and Babe!

Ossineke, MI 49766 (see location on the map above)

You just can't help stopping to take some selfies when you see a giant lumbar jack and his blue ox!!

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were built of concrete in the 1940's by Paul Domke.  Mr. Domke also built the giant creatures at the nearby Dinosaur Gardens.  According to the back of an old postcard, Bunyan is 25.5 feet tall and weighs 11.5 tons; Babe is 10.5 feet tall and weighs 4.5 tons.

Check Out Dinosaur Gardens

11160 U.S. 23 South, Ossineke, MI 49766 (see location on the map above)

See 27 Life Sized Dinosaurs!! Go on a self guided Historic Walking Tour along a one half mile walk around the park to read informational legends at each Dinosaur exhibit. 

See what life was like when dinosaurs ruled!

With many other property features such as putt-putt golf, miners sluice, fossil dig, frozen yogurt bar, and a dinosaur-themed gift shop, everyone will find something fun at Dinosaur Gardens!  

Alpena is Incredible for Hiking, Kayaking and Exploring!

We stayed overnight in the Ramada in Alpena as there is so much to do in this city. 

You can go on a glass bottom boat tour to see Michigan shipwrecks (incredible experience!), go kayaking at Duck Lake (another must-do), hike the island and see outside concerts!  

Alpena Restaurants - Definitely great spots to get your drink and eat on!

Fossil Hunting - Try your hand at finding fantastic fossils!

Rockport State Park is a dark sky park and THE spot for fossil hunting!  See the quarry and bat hibernaculum!  

Alpena's Island Park is so fun to explore!  So much to see on your Lake Huron Day Trip!

40 Mile Point Lighthouse and Shipwreck

40 Mile Point Lighthouse40 Mile Point Lighthouse

Check out our video of this magnificent lighthouse and surrounding area!

7323 US 23N, Lighthouse Park, Rogers City, MI

40 Mile Point Lighthouse is a gorgeous area offers magnificent views of Lake Huron, walking trails, chances to learn about the Lake Huron Graveyard of Ships and actually see a Michigan shipwreck!  You can walk directly to it without getting wet!

Read more about the Joseph S. Fay shipwreck and walk a short distance to see it safely from the shoreline! 

It's truly a magnificent experience! It was a highlight on our Lake Huron day trip adventure.

Check out Downtown Cheboygan and Their Magnificent Lighthouses!

We love to visit the beach and downtown area of Cheboygan Michigan

The lighthouse is so picturesque and connects to the beach with a boardwalk.  There is a children's play area also. So grab a snack and stay a bit!

BONUS UPDATE!  A photography group that I'm apart of just mentioned there is a beautiful waterfall west of Roger's City called Ocqueoc Falls (pronounced ah-key-ock).  Photos look spectacular so we will go check it out!

And the Grand Finale'....Mackinaw City!

Mackinaw City MichiganMackinaw City Michigan

There is SOOO much to do in Mackinaw City!

Ziplining, viewing the magnificent Mackinac Bridge, visiting the fort and shopping name just a few!!  If you are just visiting the city just for the day, be sure to eat at Mama Mia's pizza, take a scenic Sheplar's ferry tour and wander the downtown area for great fudge and souvenirs! 

If you have more time, be sure to spend the day on Mackinac Island, one of our favorite places in Michigan! 

Read more about Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City here!

Pin This Lake Huron Day Trip Page!

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Sherry Trautman Bio Picture

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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