Lake Advice from Our Fans: What to Do in West Michigan

For the last month or so, our Facebook fans have been giving us great advice on their favorite things to do all around Pure Michigan. First up on our list is West Michigan, home to fantastic destinations like Traverse City, Ludington and Kalamazoo. Here is a round-up of what to do in the western part of the Great Lakes state.

Find your lake this summer by visiting

Grand Haven, Ludington, Traverse City, Holland, Manistee, Sleeping Bear Dunes all are such wonderful locations to visit. We love the west coast of Michigan most of all. We Buckeyes cannot wait to return.  In any season!” – Sondra Snyder

“Don’t miss Grand Haven! Love the beaches, lighthouses, boardwalk, Musical Fountain, trolley and sunsets!” – Stefanie Herder

Photo Courtesy of Trevor Billinghurst

Grand Haven, Photo Courtesy of Trevor Billinghurst

South Haven anytime of the year; sand dunes, lighthouses and magnificent sunsets.” – Amanda McGauley

“Benzie County in the north and the wineries in the south.” – Steven Lynn

Allegan is a super charming small town in West MI on the Kalamazoo river with a beautiful boardwalk.” – Peg Eileen

Empire Bluff Trail has the most incredible view of Sleeping Bear Dunes.” – Gregg Burian

Photo Courtesy of Tamie Pietrantonio

Empire Bluff Trail, Photo Courtesy of Tamie Pietrantonio

Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Holland and Windmill Island. South Haven Lighthouse. St. Joseph Silver Beach.” – Marvin Darling

“Leelanau Peninsula! Sleeping Bear Dunes!” – Kerri Tang

Leland (fishtown) and Traverse City area and wineries!” – Trudy McLeod

Photo Courtesy of S. Young

Carlson’s Fisheries in Leland, Photo Courtesy of S. Young

“Walking and riding on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes! And laying on anything that floats on Silver Lake.” – The Sand Box

“Go to a concert or performance at Interlochen Center for the Arts!” – Valerie Beth Gilbert

Is there anything we missed? Let us know what you love to do in West Michigan by commenting below!

5 Ways to Celebrate Michigan’s 177th Birthday

The state of Michigan turns 177 on Sunday! To help kick off Michigan’s birthday weekend, we asked Alex Beaton of The Awesome Mitten to share her recommendations on ways to celebrate.

Do you plan to celebrate Michigan’s birthday? Share with us in the comments section below!

Host a Michigan Birthday Party!

What better way to celebrate Michigan’s 177th Birthday than with a birthday party? Invite over some fellow Michiganders, drink Michigan beer, enjoy a plethora of MIchigan foods, play some Euchre – and our extra awesome “Michigan Bingo” that we’ve created just for the occasion! Not going to be in Michigan to celebrate the momentous event? Create a Google hangout with some other displaced Michiganders and enjoy all those activities virtually! We hosted our own and here’s the story about it.

Drink a Michigan beverage.

Michigan is home to several amazing drinks. Faygo and Vernors are some classic favorites, but in honor of Michigan’s 177th, branch out and try one of the newer Michigan pops; feel free to make your drink a little more adult with some local gin or whiskey. With Michigan’s craft beer industry booming, you also have the option to go to your favorite local specialty drink shop and create your own six pack of Michigan beers you haven’t tried before. And last but certainly not least, you can drink some of Michigan’s delicious wine! There are over 50 wineries in both Southwest and Northwest Michigan, so it’s easy to find something you’ll like that’s local too!

Enjoy some Michigan fudge or a pasty!

If there’s something Michigan does right, it’s food. For those with a sweet tooth, Michigan fudge is a must-have–grab some from Murdick’s in Traverse City or any Kilwin’s location across the state. If you’re looking for something a little more robust, try a pasty and argue with your friends about the pronunciation of this delicacy along with whether to top yours with ketchup or gravy.

Get outside!

We’re lucky in Michigan to have so many outdoor activities just outside our door! Even if you usually grumble about the snow and cold, take time on Michigan’s Birthday to be thankful for it: get outside and go ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, or just take a walk and revel in Michigan’s natural beauty. There are plenty of ski runs and hiking trails around the state–we’re certain there’s at least one near you.

Plan your next weekend getaway.

Thinking about staying home this spring break to save some money? Why not plan a long weekend somewhere in Michigan? Enjoy the wine trails in Traverse City, plan a craft beer weekend in Beer City USA (Grand Rapids), or head over the bridge and enjoy all the Upper Peninsula has to offer!

How will you be celebrating Michigan’s 177th Birthday? Comment below, or share on Instagram & Twitter using the hashtag #177YearsofAwesome!

Alex Beaton is the Founder of The Awesome Mitten. A Michigan native, she grew up in Traverse City, went to college in East Lansing, and now calls Grand Rapids home. A foodie and lover of Michigan craft beer, she enjoys going on weekend adventures throughout Michigan, which can be followed on the Awesome Mitten’s social media accounts:  FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.