Use These Mobile Apps To Plan Your Perfect Pure Michigan Road Trip

To make the most of your Pure Michigan vacation, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, it helps to know what the great finds in the area are. With these travel apps, you can find exactly what you’re searching for with one download!

Crisp Point Lighthouse

Crisp Point Lighthouse

Michigan Lighthouses

View, learn and visit over 120 Michigan lighthouses on 3,126 miles of coastline! For each lighthouse you’ll see photos, historical descriptions, which lighthouses you can visit, towers you can climb, museums to enjoy, lighthouse locations, phone numbers, times to visit, links to national parks, additional sites, and more. Click here for the Android version.

Michigan Road Trips

Venture away from the everyday norm and into the beauty of Michigan. Find a restaurant whose cherry pie is from fruit grown just down the road or where the chef finds local produce to serve. Discover kayaking along a fast moving river, snowboarding down a Michigan mountain, spending the night in a charming bed and breakfast, or peer through glass bottom boats at shipwrecks from the 19th century. The app takes you on 12 road trips covering 128 destinations each loaded with 5-10 recommendations. Click here for the Android version.

MI Art Tours

Discover the nearest public art to you, information about each piece, the artist, and directions to get there. The app from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs also has built-in tours highlighting multiple works. Tours can be local or statewide – with over 658 art works and 42 built-in tours. Click here for the Apple version.

The Wilds of Michigan

This app is a one-stop shop for travelers to find all they need to know about Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan -from hikes and waterfalls to hotels and campsites. With in-depth information at your fingertips, the Wilds of Michigan app will be your guide. Click here for the Android version.

Visit Manistee County

Explore self-guided tours with turn-by-turn directions to over 500 Manistee County outdoor spots. Take advantage of a list of area events, shopping, dining and lodging – this app is a must when visiting Manistee County! Click here for the Android version.

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room

Michigan By The Bottle

Explore 70+ wineries, one bottle at a time. From the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsula of the north to the rural Lake Michigan Shore and Pioneer wine trails of the west, Michigan truly is wine country. These bloggers will guide you through opportunities available to wine lovers traveling to Michigan, or new spots for locals to check out. Get a glimpse into winery histories, specialties, tasting room atmospheres and more. With a variety of tours and wines to choose from, you’re sure to find a new favorite. Click here for the Android version.

Leelanau Club

Leelanau Club

Traverse Traveler

Traverse Traveler will help you plan, discover and navigate your way around the Traverse City, Michigan area. Whether you’re a foodie, wine lover, adventurer, history buff, or you are looking for family fun – Traverse City has it all. Find wine tasting, craft beer and spirits, restaurants and bars, attractions, accommodations, shopping, events and more. With geo-location enabled, you can find near-by dining, lodging and activities. Click here for the Apple version.

Greater Lansing Michigan

Discover hundreds of things to do in the Lansing area with this app. Plan a customized tour and use the “Nearby Me” feature to see listings of things to do, current events, dining, shopping and more, closest to your location. You can also share your experiences to your social networks through the app. Click here for the Android version.

Experience Alpena, Michigan

Located in Northeast Lower Michigan, Alpena is the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes, a place to relax, unwind, and refresh. Making the most of your trip to Alpena is made easy with this app – find libraries, parking, events, interactive tours, utilize a near me function and more. Click here for the Apple version.

Explore Frankenmuth

Find self-guided tours that provide suggested stops to make your experience in Frankenmuth unforgettable. Discover things to do depending on your specific interests – from family-fun to foodie stops to adventure. A historical perspective on familiar attractions along with hidden treasures you’ve yet to discover, offer great new ways to enjoy this fun town! With excitement year round, anytime is the perfect time to visit Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Little Bavaria!” Click here for the Android version.

Michigan Mitt Maps Road Trip

Plan your road trip adventure, draw your route and place decals on the locations as you explore, discover and experience the ultimate Michigan road trip. This is a free Android app that lets you share your adventure with your family and friends through social media, email and more. Click here for the Android version.

For more ways to take full advantage of your Pure Michigan vacation visit

There are plenty of other great Michigan travel apps – Coldwater. Keweenaw Peninsula, and Pure Ludingtonfor example – to check out. What is your favorite Michigan travel app?  

10 Grand Things You Might Not Know

Since 1887, Grand Hotel has been a defining feature of historic Mackinac Island, where horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the preferred modes of transportation. Here are 10 things you never knew about Grand Hotel that make it a true American icon.

1. No two guest rooms are alike

Every one of Grand Hotel’s 390 guest rooms has its own unique character, artfully decorated by Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. in New York City. Varney is also known for his design consultancy at the White House.

Hotel Room

2. Five U.S. Presidents have visited Grand Hotel

Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all experienced the elegance and unique atmosphere of Grand Hotel.

3. Grand Hotel is a third-generation family business

Taking over for his father, R. D. Musser Jr., President Dan Musser III currently handles all-day-to-day operations of the world’s largest summer resort.

4. The world’s longest front porch

At 660 feet long, no other hotel in the world can match it. That includes relaxing in a rocking chair while enjoying stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac.


5. Grand Hotel maintains over 125,000 flowers

More than one ton of flower bulbs are planted each fall to create the many gardens on Grand Hotel grounds. Varieties include 25,000 tulips, 15,000 daffodils and more than 5,200 geraniums, the hotel’s signature flower.


6. You can find Grand Hotel Somewhere in Time

This 1980 classic film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed on location at Grand Enthusiasts of the film meet every year in October to celebrate the cinematic secrets of the timeless classic and meet cast members. In fact, Jane Seymour is planning on attending this year.

7. A pool named for a star

The Esther Williams swimming pool at Grand Hotel was named for actress Esther Williams, star of the 1947 movie This Time For Keeps, filmed at Grand Hotel.

Architecture Photography by Michigan Photographer Don Johnston

8. The legacy of Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

Scottish Terrier Sadie, owned by hotel proprietors Amelia and R.D. Musser, Jr., was awarded Best in Show at the 2010 Westminster Dog Show. Named for this much-loved dog, Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor features Grand Hotel Pecan Ball Ice Cream, inspired by the hotel’s signature dessert and made using Michigan’s own Hudsonville ice cream.

Ice Cream

9. More than 6,000 pounds of pecans are used annually

Fresh pecans are a necessity for Grand Hotel’s signature dessert. Made with vanilla ice cream and Grand Hotel’s original fudge sauce, more than 60,000 balls are served each season.

10. A grand way to golf

Grand Hotel’s award-winning golf course, The Jewel, is the only course in the world where players are transported between the front and back nine via horse-drawn carriage.

Learn more or make reservations at or call 1-800-33GRAND.

What is your favorite thing about the Grand Hotel?

Don’t want to leave Spot at home? No problem at these dog-friendly Michigan destinations

When it comes to road trips, Michigan is a dog owner’s best friend. Bring the pooch to an array of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and hiking trails. Below are some dog-friendly things to do and see in Michigan.

On the ferry to Mackinac  Island!

On the ferry to Mackinac Island! Photo by Sarah Cunning.

Upper Peninsula

Mackinac Island State Park – a landscape characterized by high limestone bluffs, beautiful vistas of sparkling water and vibrant forests – is a family friendly destination (Spot included). Visit Fort Mackinac and visit the state historic parks with your dog by your side. Pet-friendly lodging is available on the island at Mission Point Resort.

Marquette's North Beach is Bella Mae's favorite dog friendly spot!

Marquette’s North Beach is Bella Mae’s favorite dog friendly spot! Photo by Sharon Matulewicz.

With trails all throughout the Upper Peninsula, there are plenty of places to walk or run with your dog. There’s plenty of room to walk on the 24 miles of Lake Superior shore at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The park near Ontonagon contains more than 25 trails, from flat and smooth to hilly and rugged. Westmore Landing in Marquette offers scenic hiking trails for you and your pup to adventure. The Upper Peninsula has numerous pet-friendly motels, cabins, cottages and resorts.

Lake-loving owners and their canines are welcome aboard the Isle Royal Queen IV ferry for sunset cruises in Copper Harbor. Motor past Great Lakes freighters and lighthouses while listening to stories about the Keweenaw as the sun dips below the Lake Superior horizon.

Northern Michigan

On your way to the U.P., stop at Ruff Life Pet Outfitters in Petoskey to find your dog gear for the outdoor lifestyle in Northern Michigan. If you’re heading to Charlevoix, visit Mt. McSauba beach which includes a short wooded trail that leads to the sand dunes and is a locals favorite.

The same natural attractions that make Traverse City such a popular place for outdoor recreation – miles of forest trails, wide open spaces and long beaches, make it a popular destination for dogs and the people who love them. Many local hotels and resorts (and even a few restaurants) are dog-friendly, although it’s always smart to check ahead and understand the rules and conditions that can sometimes apply. Other pets may require special consideration and stronger restriction. But if you’re a dog owner, you’ll find Traverse City a very welcoming place. Here is a list of more than fourteen friendly places in Traverse City.

West Michigan

Take a trip to Grand Rapids – fur-babies welcomed! With plenty of pet-friendly places to stay, there are no worries finding the perfect one for your needs. Stop by Hillcrest Dog Park , an off-leash park, to let loose. With two fenced in areas for large and small dogs, the park is perfect for everyone. When it’s time to grab some chow, you and your dog are both welcome at One Trick Pony. While you enjoy your meal, your dog can relax with a water bowl and a special marrow bone to snack on.

Norman F. Kruse Park in Muskegon is a win-win when traveling with your pooch. With a section of beach designated to man’s best friend, it is a great spot to soak in the sun at Lake Michigan – including picnic areas for the family and space for your pup to swim.


Teddy on the Kruse Park dog beach in Muskegon

Teddy on the Kruse Park dog beach in Muskegon. Photo by Stephanie Branam.

Another option is one of the many pet-friendly parks in Grand Haven. Pups are welcome to run freely on the southern beach area at Kirk Park. The park features acres of dunes, woods and hiking trails with scenic dune overlooks. Dogs are also welcome at East Grand River Park and Mulligan’s Hollow. Venture just outside Grand Haven to Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg for off leash fun. On leash options abound, with bike paths, the boardwalk and North Ottawa Dunes. Grand Haven offers many pet-friendly lodging options for the family as well.

East Michigan

Head to Frankenmuth, Michigan’s little Bavaria, for a welcoming vacation. Visit Hund Platz Dog Park, designed for dogs, includes dog agility equipment your furry friend is sure to love! You’ll find great toys for your pet at Hello Cats and Dogs, complete with a “Barkery.” Frankenmuth has a variety of dog-friendly lodging options available.

From the Riverfront and pet-friendly shops, to welcoming lodging, Metro Detroit is an ideal destination. You’ll find everything you need to have a successful trip with the pup. Your canine pal can loll at your feet while you dive into seared salmon or a hanger steak sandwich on the patio of Detroit’s Fountain Bistro in Campus Martius Park. During warm months, the south lawn of the downtown park gets covered with sand, so pups can roll around while masters sip cocktails at the adjacent Beach Bar and Grille.

These are just a few of the many places to bring man’s best friend on your trip to Michigan. Click here to find more dog-friendly destinations in Michigan. Check out our past pet-friendly blogs for more travel ideas. Where is your favorite place in Michigan to take your dog?