Lake Advice from Our Fans: What to Do in Mid-Michigan

All summer long, our amazing community of Facebook fans have been giving us advice on their favorite things to do around the different regions of Pure Michigan. Next on our series of Lake Advice is Mid-Michigan, home to such destinations as Mount Pleasant, Midland and Lansing

Still planning your summer vacation in Pure Michigan? Check out our Lake Effect planning page or view photos from around the state at our gallery.

Iargo Springs, Hartwick Pines, hidden dams in the center of Mt. Pleasant, hiking trails with a swinging bridge west of the city. Also the best natural sledding hill hidden in the woods is there. The natural springs swimming beach hidden in the Amish cornfields near Clare. The same Amish have pie stands in the summer. Picking strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples and peaches on the many farm orchards of mid-west Michigan. – Cathy Kavanaugh

Clare has incredible fruits available during the summertime and fall, perfectly ripe for tasting

Clare has incredible fruits available during the summertime and fall, perfectly ripe for tasting

Crossroads Village & River Place Shops in Frankenmuth– Monica Masters Gomez

Frankenmuth! – Christine Snyder

A paddleboat floats along the river in Frankenmuth

A paddleboat floats along the river in Frankenmuth

In Clare you can still catch a movie without breaking the bank at the cozy Ideal Theatre. Musicians, check out Central Michigan Music for gear or lessons – it’s the only music store around and they’re good people who know their stuff. Go eat at The Whitehouse or Heart of Michigan Cafe which also features local singing talent weekly, or get a donut at Cops and Doughnuts.

Stroll out the back doors of any of these and check out the Art Alley. There’s live music every Thursday night in the city park all summer. Ride bikes on the Rail Trail. Lots of parks around for kids to play, or bigger ones for more hiking like Deerfield Park in Mt. Pleasant or Chippewa Nature Center in Midland. Get ice cream at Doozie’s in Mt. Pleasant on a hot night. Also in Midland: catch a Loons baseball game at Dow Diamond (with fireworks, if you’re lucky), explore Whiting Forest and Dow Gardens. – Heidi Schanhals Langley

The bridge at Dow Gardens in Midland makes for a spectacular view

A Bridge in Midland’s Dow Gardens, Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @he_lium

The campground at Paris, MI and Paris Pizza – Gregory Dault

The Dam Site Inn in Pellson on the Maple River! – John Ward

Is anything missing? Let us know below!

7 Charlevoix Waterways to Explore in 7 Days

If you seek a definition of Pure Michigan Lake Effect, simply look at Charlevoix. Surrounded by three different lakes and located within minutes of other area waters, Charlevoix has a reputation as the water enthusiast’s paradise. Here you can enjoy Michigan summers at their best: water, sun, and sand. Plan a vacation (or two) using the list of our favorite bodies of water and the activities to enjoy on each.

1. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan offers unlimited access to sailing, motor boating, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving and many other fun adventures. Spend the day exploring the coastline of Charlevoix, or head over to Beaver Island for an amazing day trip. Lake Michigan beaches in the Charlevoix area provide some of the best hunting ground in the state for the elusive Petoskey Stone. Make sure to see a sunset over Lake Michigan during your visit!

Stunning sunsets are just some of the beautiful views to be found in Charlevoix

Photo Courtesy of Mark Haveman

2. Lake Charlevoix

Lake Charlevoix was voted the best lake in the eastern half of the country, via a USA Today vote, for good reason. Nestled between Charlevoix, Boyne City, and East Jordan, Lake Charlevoix guarantees a day of adventure and beauty. If you’re a thrill seeker, Lake Charlevoix is great for wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing. Paddlers can access the lake from the many beaches that dot the shoreline. Fishing on Lake Charlevoix is diverse because of the two distinct sections. After a day in the sun, enjoy the courtesy docks at the Charlevoix, Boyne City and East Jordan marinas to grab a bite to eat.

3. Round Lake

Located between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake is a gateway between waterways. Don’t let this small lake fool you! Be sure to check out the beautiful houses located on Round Lake and see if you can spot several Earl Young buildings. Paddle through the hidden river next to the Coast Guard Station to explore the wildlife and historic homes.

The lakes and waterways around Charlevoix are a boater's paradise

Photo Courtesy of Kelly Kazmierski

4. Torch Lake

Did you know that Torch Lake is the second largest inland lake in Michigan as well as one of the most popular boating destinations? Known for its amazing turquoise blue water, this lake is a must see. Stop by the large sandbar in the southern portion of the lake and enjoy a picnic in the sun.

5. Jordan River

Spend the day tubing, rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River. At a moderate pace, the Jordan River offers great meandering views of northern Michigan’s natural beauty in a serene setting. There are rentals available for kayaks, canoes, or tubes. Make sure you wear water shoes…this river likes to steal flip flops if you tip!

Explore the pristine waterways around Charlevoix on the coast of Lake Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Alan Leese

6. Walloon Lake

Walloon Lake is a perfect mix of natural beauty and boater’s paradise. This inland lake offers boaters and sailors the perfect opportunity for both exciting adventure or leisurely travel. Looking for a great place to fish? Walloon Lake is home to perch, walleye, northern pike, trout, and small mouth bass. If you’re looking for a great paddling destination, Walloon Lake is the perfect size lake to explore.

Explore the many waterways in and around Charlevoix via speed or sailboat

Photo Courtesy of Michael Murphy IV Photography

7. Chain of Lakes (Six Mile, St. Clair, Ellsworth, Wilson, Benway, Hanley, Intermediate, Bellaire, Clam, Torch, Skegemog, Elk)

This area is a hidden gem and a popular place to go fishing! The inland grouping of lakes winds its way through East Jordan, Ellsworth and ends in Elk Rapids. Spend the day exploring the waterways and waterfront towns. When planning, make sure to check which lake connections are navigable for your choice of watercraft.

Whether you are a motor boat enthusiast, beach lover, fisherman, kayaker, standup paddle boarder, adventure seeker, a sailor, or simply looking for beautiful water views, the Charlevoix area offers amazing water voyages. For more information on getting out on the water, renting or chartering boats and paddle sport equipment, or for planning your next summer vacation go to visitcharlevoix.com.

 What is your favorite thing to do when visiting Charlevoix? Share with us by commenting below!

3 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

Michigan’s Sunrise Coast stretches from Au Gres to Rogers City along the blue waters of Lake Huron.  This picturesque Northeast coast of Michigan has pristine beaches, spectacular views and endless outdoor activities.With more than 20 miles of sandy beaches, the Au Sable River and 35 thousand acres of unique trails, the Oscoda area is a great destination for your summer vacation bucket list.

Here are three ways to get your feet wet and enjoy the sun, sand and fresh air in Oscoda.

Oscoda is a paradise destination on the coast of Lake Huron

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Bailey

1. Explore Oscoda’s Water Trails 

Take in the beautiful scenery and catch a glimpse of wildlife in their native habitat during a canoeing or kayaking trip along the mighty Au Sable River.  The Au Sable is one of North America’s best canoeing rivers and runs through Northern Lower Michigan.

Whether you’re looking for a two-hour trip or a weeklong adventure, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

 2. Go Fish 

If you’re looking for a trophy size fish, Oscoda is the right place for you.  The area is known for walleye fishing, but the Au Sable River and other inner lakes and streams attract trout, salmon and perch.

Once you decide where you want to fish, ,make sure you stop by the local bait shops and spend some time talking with the locals to determine what lures are hot and what is being caught.

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3. Life’s a Beach

The pristine beaches along Lake Huron, the Au Sable River, Cedar Lake and Van Etten Lake offer something for everyone.

Want a quiet afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of nature? Take in a sunrise at Huron Sunrise Park, along the Lake Huron’s shoreline. Stay for a picnic, wildlife observation, swimming or fishing.

Kids and kids-at-heart can spend a day at Oscoda Beach Park swimming, skateboarding, playing on the playground and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach where there will be more than 150 artisans display and sell their handmade arts, crafts and hobbies.

Don't miss the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach

Art on the Beach is the can’t-miss event of the summer in Oscoda

If you want to take your boat out for a day on the lake, take off from Van Etten Beach Park. This park is a fresh water lake that has all the recreation activities for swimming, boating, water skiing, wave running and of course, fishing.

After all that exploring, you’ll want a place to rest your head.  Oscoda has everything from cottages, Bed and Breakfast resorts and hotels – many of them with views along Lake Huron.

From relaxing on the beach to fishing for walleyes in the lakes and rivers, Oscoda offers endless outdoor recreation activities. It’s perfect for your next family vacation!

What are you looking forward to doing in Oscoda this summer?