Hit the Water in Michigan with These Extreme Sports

Summertime in Michigan means many things, but typically the most popular and memorable activities happen on the water. Between swimming, boating and fishing, there are countless ways to relax while taking in the Great Lakes state.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, however, check out these five thrilling sports that can serve as the highlight of the season.

1. Shipwreck Diving

Since Michigan is surrounded by large bodies of water, it is one of the best places to explore shipwrecks. Experience history firsthand by visiting one of the many sites where you can visit ships now resting on the lake floor. Even if you aren’t a diver, there are options for charter tours with glass bottoms perfect for making memories while staying dry.

Explore shipwrecks resting at the bottom of the Great Lakes

Suggested locations: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Alpena), Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve (Traverse City) and the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve (Port Sanilac).

 2. Kiteboarding

Want to try something new and exhilarating? Look no further than kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing and paragliding, among others, into one extreme sport. This sport is made possible through a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard.

Kiteboarding lets you harness the water and the air in one great sport

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @thawanderer88

Suggested locations: St. Clair Shores, Traverse City and East Tawas.

 3. Sea (Lake) Kayaking

A “silent sport,” kayaking speaks to our souls. Explore sea caves, channels and coves or travel pristine rivers, enjoying the serenity of a peaceful paddle or the thrill of riding heart-stopping rapids. Kayaking is also your best chance to experience the spectacular seasonal scenery and abundant wildlife of the water’s edge. Sea kayaking is more rigorous than regular kayaking, so expect a healthy arm workout when heading out onto one of the Great Lakes.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the U.P. is an ideal sea kayaking adventure

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Kotewa

Suggested locations: Port Austin and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Munising).

4. Parasailing

This high-flying experience is the thrill of a lifetime. Take in the sights of your surroundings as a giant parachute sends you soaring hundreds of feet above the water. Through parasailing, you’re able to see many unique Michigan destinations from an aerial perspective while being refreshed by the splashing freshwater below.

See the Mackinac Bridge from above through a parasailing adventure

Photo Courtesy of Mackinaw Parasailing

Suggested locations: Mackinaw City and Harbor Springs.

5. Great Lakes surfing

Surf’s up! Though it is believed that Great Lakes breakers were first surfed nearly a century ago, and possibly much earlier by native peoples, the first significant wave of participants arrived in the 1960s. The west coast surf craze was leaking into Middle America, and small surfing communities sprouted across the Great Lakes. Michigan was at the forefront and today, surfing on the ‘Third Coast’ is more popular than ever. The waves are typically small in the summer, which makes it the perfect time to learn to surf. The big waves and prime surfing time is during the fall, winter and spring.

St. Joseph offers great surfing for both beginners and veterans depending on the season

Photo Courtesy of Josh Nowicki

Suggested locations: New Buffalo and St. Joseph.

Which of these extreme water sports have you tried? Share with us by commenting below!

Celebrate Summer with these 9 Pure Michigan Items

With literally thousands of lakes to kayak, canoe, and fish on (among many other things!), the Great Lakes state has countless ways to enjoy Pure Michigan Lake Effect, making our Michigan one of the best summer destinations. If you love showing off your Pure Michigan pride, check out a few practical summer items from the Pure Michigan Store perfect for yourself or gifting to a friend.

1. Pure Michigan Iceberg Cooler

This cooler has a unique design meant to capture everyone’s attention. Its hard sides are covered with custom Pure Michigan artwork that will remind you of our state’s beauty every time you look at it. Suitable for all of your cold drinks, it is fully insulated and includes an ice pack. Be the envy of your friends with this distinctive and durable cooler.

Perfect for: Camping, picnics, beach or cottage trip

Pure Michigan iceberg cooler

2. Pure Michigan Koozie 3 Pack – Assorted

Speaking of drinks, these koozies will keep you in style while hanging out at the beach. Each koozie in this pack has a different Pure Michigan design so you have a variety of options for showing off your pride!

Perfect for: Cold drinks at the beach, cabin or even at home!

Pure Michigan Koozie 3 Pack Assorted3. Pure Michigan Fruit Fusion Bottle

Stay hydrated this summer with this cool, portable water bottle. The 25-oz. bottle includes an infuser where you can insert strawberries, lemon, cucumber or whatever your heart desires for a flavorful boost to plain water. This makes it even easier to drink more water and keep from being dehydrated while having fun on the beach. As an added bonus, it has a recyclable PET body.

Perfect for: Anywhere!

Pure Michigan Fruit Fusion Bottle

4. Pure Michigan Grilling Spatula

This grilling spatula comes with a cool, unique laser cut design and is made of heavy stainless steel. Even better, at the top of the hard maple handle is a super convenient bottle opener, which would go great with your new koozies and cooler! You’ll be the talk of the party with this interesting piece.

Perfect for: Backwoods camping, beach and park barbecues and grilling at home

Pure Michigan Grilling Spatula

5. Pure Michigan Apron

Grilling wouldn’t be complete without this Pure Michigan apron. The two front pockets make it incredibly easy to store any important items so you don’t have to step away from the grill. Combined with the spatula, you’ll be adding a touch of Pure Michigan to all of your favorite summer dishes.

Perfect for: Outside grilling, indoor baking or just about any time you cook!

Pure Michigan Apron

6. Memories are Made in Flip Flops Wooden Wall Art

Previously, we shared a few Pure Michigan Lake Effect signs and this one remains a favorite. This wall piece, made from pine wood, has been hand painted by local Michigan artist Redeemed and Renewed. At 11×14, this summer wall art will remind you of what’s important: spending the summer with loved ones in Michigan.

Perfect for: Your cabin, cottage, workplace or home

lake sign flip flops

7. 3 Tray Tackle Box

Michigan is one of the best destinations to reel in a fish, no matter the season! The next time you go on a fishing excursion, take this all-weather, worm-proof tackle box to fit your necessities all in one place. There are 37 customizable compartments which makes it easy for different types of fishing trips.

Perfect for: Summer fishing and ice fishing

3 Tray Tackle Box

8. Pure Michigan Bucket Hat

If you are heading out on the water to reel in a big one, you need this bucket hat. Keeping your head protected from the sun has never been more imperative and this khaki hat will do just that. This is especially important for children who might be accompanying on an outdoor adventure.

Perfect for: Any summer outdoor activity, especially fishing

Pure Michigan Bucket Hat

9. Fishin’ Again in Michigan Toddler T-Shirt

Your little one will love this t-shirt. If they regularly join on fishing excursions, this is a perfect clothing item in which to dress them up. Pair with the bucket hat and they are good to go on a Pure Michigan Lake Effect adventure!

Perfect for: Toddlers with an affinity for fishing

Fishing Again in Michigan Toddler Shirt

Now you’re all set for a Pure Michigan summer outing! Check out the store for even more perfect summer items that demonstrate your state pride.

What is your favorite item on the list? Share with us in the comments below!

Here’s Where to Go and What to Do in Cheboygan

Summertime in Michigan is unlike anything else. Between the waves, beaches and trails, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. There are many areas in particular that make for incredible summer fun, and Cheboygan is near the top of the list. Read more on a few areas, and things to do, when visiting Northeast Michigan this summer and let us know what else you love to do when visiting the area!

Welcome to Cheboygan

At the confluence of the Cheboygan River and Lake Huron sits a community far and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located on the picturesque Straits of Mackinac, Cheboygan is the gateway to the famous “Inland Waterway” – a navigable series of waterways encompassing three rivers, three lakes and 40+ miles of inland boating pleasure. A cruise from the mouth of the Cheboygan River into Lake Huron can take you to Bois Blanc or Mackinac Islands, both a leisurely boat ride away.

The Cheboygan area is a boaters paradise

Photo Courtesy of Missy Koszegi

Cheboygan offers opportunities for fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, kayaking, hunting, and numerous other outdoor activities. For those that prefer to stay indoors, our local merchants will warmly welcome you to a variety of novelty shops, retail outlets, entertainment facilities, casual and fine dining, and much more. You will find that our way of life here is warm, genteel, and inviting.  Locals will be glad to show you around, give you recommendations, and make your experience memorable.  Base your “up north” vacation here and be in the center of all that the area has to offer.

Explore Indian River

Indian River is at the center of all that makes Northern Michigan a treasured vacation destination and place to call home. Indian River, named after the river which flows through it, is nestled between Burt Lake and Mullett Lake along the 40 mile long Inland Waterway. Conveniently located off I-75, 25 miles south of the Mackinaw Bridge, Indian River is a place that visitors of all ages find many pleasures to enjoy during any season of the year. Truly Nature’s Mecca, Indian River is the ideal location to boat, fish, hunt, camp, bike, golf, kayak, canoe, raft, tube, stand up paddle board, sail, snowmobile, Off-Road Vehicles (ORV), motorcycle, ski, bird watch, mushroom hunt, hike, skate, dine, and shop. By water or by land, quiet sport or motor, fun with nature is certain with so many activities available to you.

Indian River's waterways are perfect for summertime fun

Photo Courtesy of Indian River Chamber of Commerce

Discover Mackinaw City

Historic Mackinaw City is one of Michigan’s leading vacation destinations. From world-famous fudge to the impressive beauty of the Straits of Mackinac and Mackinaw City, this “Up North” region offers plenty for visitors. Mackinaw City offers incomparable natural beauty, historical museums, state and local parks and forests, two marinas, boutique shopping, free music concerts, laser light shows, fine dining, and of course, that famous fudge. The Mackinaw City area is the place to come if you appreciate the beauty of nature, adventure and old-fashioned hospitality. Mackinaw City is renowned for its summer beauty, but all four seasons provide countless breathtaking views and numerous activities for all ages. There are beautiful sunrises over Lake Huron, gorgeous sunsets over Lake Michigan, and acres of unspoiled woods filled with numerous wildflowers in the summer and brilliant colors of the fall palette. Marked trails are perfect for hiking, biking, and geocaching.

Mackinaw City is a perfect destination to catch sight of the Mackinac Bridge

Photo Courtesy of Straits Area Printing

Experience the world-famous inland waterway

Northern Michigan’s Inland Waterway offers you a boating trip unlike any in the world. The approximately 42 mile trip takes you through three rivers and three lakes and surrounds you with some of the most beautiful scenery and captivating communities in Michigan. A voyage on the Inland Waterway can begin at the north end in Cheboygan, the middle in Indian River or the south end in Conway. Boat launches are conveniently located at many places along the route. The trip can be made in a day or over a weekend, with the communities of Cheboygan, Topinabee, Aloha, Indian River, Alanson, Oden and Conway all located on the water. Dining, lodging, supplies, and banking facilities can be found in most of these communities. Numerous marinas also dot the Inland Waterway where marine fuel, boat rentals, and ships stores are situated for your convenience. Whether you choose to make the Inland Waterway journey in a day or make it a weekend, you will see a side of Northern Michigan that cannot be seen along a highway or freeway. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a boating excursion unlike any other!

The cool water in Indian River provides a great time for boating, swimming and watersports

Photo Courtesy of Indian River Chamber of Commerce

Ride along the area’s incredible trail system

The Cheboygan area is blessed with one of the finest multi-purpose trail systems in the United States.  Michigan has a larger rails-to-trails system than any other state in the nation, and Cheboygan County has more of those trails than any other county in Michigan. The highly acclaimed North Central State Trail and the newly finished North Eastern State Trail (Mackinaw City to Alpena) are more and more the destinations of choice when it comes to groomed trails for cyclists and hikers alike. And the trails intersect right in Cheboygan. The Black Mountain Recreation Area offers a vast network of marked trails for hiking, ATV excursions, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. With over 30 miles available for hiking, 60 miles for off road vehicles, and 80 groomed miles for snowmobiling, the area is ideal for any type of outdoor adventure. Parking and trail access at Black Mountain are conveniently located.

Don't miss exploring the winding trails in the Cheboygan area

Photo Courtesy of Top of Michigan Trails Council

What is your favorite thing to do in the Cheboygan area? Share with us by commenting below!