Beat The Heat in the Mitten State with These Summer Activities

After our record-breaking winter, we’re not complaining about warmer temperatures! But when the long mid-summer days get muggy and humid, here are five ways to beat the heat in the Mitten State courtesy of The Awesome Mitten.

Ray's ice Cream - Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Ray’s ice Cream – Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Michigan summers are many things. Predictable, however, does not make the list. One day may be a beautiful 75 and sunny, and the next a sweltering 95 and muggy. Though the former is obviously preferable, there are plenty of awesome activities in Michigan to get you through the latter. Here are a few of my favorite ways to beat the heat in the mitten:

In light of the fact that it’s National Ice Cream Month, and since (inarguably) one of the best ways to beat the heat is with a cold, tasty treat, first on the list is ice cream.

Without a doubt, my first choice for ice cream in Michigan is the MSU Dairy Store. Though I worked at Coldstone Creamery for more than a year while living in East Lansing, I still made near weekly stops at the Dairy Store for a cone or a shake. If you haven’t been, make your way to East Lansing and stop in for a scoop of Michigan State Sesquicentennial Swirl post-haste. (Though I’m actually a fan of the more traditional Mint Chocolate Chip, myself.)

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Now that I’ve left East Lansing for metro-Detroit, I’ve had to find new locales to get my ice cream fix. Luckily, a short one mile walk from my apartment in Royal Oak is the delicious Ray’s Ice Cream. A staple in the area for more than 50 years, Ray’s consistently tops lists of best ice cream parlors in metro-Detroit. Before I wrap up the ice cream shout out’s, I also have to mention Treat Dreams in Ferndale, whose unique and creative flavors I first had and became enamored of at BRU Fest 2013 and have been enjoying ever since.

Possibly the most popular way to beat the heat in Michigan is to head to any number of the gorgeous lakes in the mitten state. Oft-overlooked, however, is the Detroit waterfront. Beautiful Belle Isle Beach is always a great option for just laying out and working on your tan, but you can also take a ride down the waterslide, walk the trails, or (if the weather takes a turn for the worse) check out the wildlife at the Belle Isle Aquarium.

And Belle Isle Beach isn’t the only place to enjoy Detroit’s riverside; Chene Park Amphitheater is another great way to experience the waterfront in the Motor City. With the ever-popular Jazz Series, as well as many other awesome summer performances, Chene Park is a great way to enjoy some tunes while basking in the breeze from the river.

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Speaking of the river, Riverside Kayak Connection has events such as the Detroit Eastside Canal Tour that offer a unique and adventurous way to explore the Motor City. (Don’t worry, novice kayakers, Riverside Kayak Connection has classes and events for all skill levels!)

And when the weather is just too unbearably scorching to enjoy the great outdoors, my personal favorite way to beat the heat indoors is with a few delicious Michigan craft beers. Obviously, everyone clamors for Oberon long before summer (“Oberon Day” was way back in March this year), but there are plenty of other delicious brews that have my mouth watering come summer. On my list are Atwater Brewery’s Dirty Blonde, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co’s Simcoe Silly, and Short’s Brewing Company’s Soft Parade (admittedly a year-round favorite of mine).

Since this list obviously doesn’t cover all of the ways to get through the hot days of a Michigan summer (and, as you may have noticed, it is somewhat biased to the metro-Detroit area), I would love to know: what are some of your favorite ways to beat the heat in Michigan?

HS PhotoHayley Serr writes for The Awesome Mitten and works for Vectorform, a Royal Oak-based interactive design company. Born and raised in metro-Detroit, this Spartan alumna relishes any opportunity to share all of the wonderful things there are to do in Michigan. Hayley loves spending time with her family, cooking, and, of course, any opportunity to explore all the fun there is to be had in the mitten!

 

 

From Our Community: 17 Reasons We Love Summertime in Michigan

As the temperature heats up, Michiganders and visitors alike are reminded of the sights and sounds that make summer in Michigan so special! From long days on the lake to outdoor festivals and camping, the season holds unique traditions and special meaning for everyone! 

With summer officially underway this Saturday, we asked our fans on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ “What do you love most about summertime in Pure Michigan? Below is a roundup of just some of our favorite responses from fans. If yours is missing, tell us in the comments section below what summer in Michigan means to you!

JumpingI think it’s more than just a single place or thing about Michigan that makes it special. It’s more of a feeling, an emotion which are born out of memories of good times. Sleeping Bear Dunes area, the Lake Michigan shore, Mackinac Island and too many more to name here. Just so many special places, all with attached memories. -Mike Bostwick

How the further north you are, the light at dusk still lingers as late as 10 pm, then gives way to a spectacular star-filled sky, mother nature willing. Nothing like sitting by a campfire with friends and family watching the night unfold with loons calling in the distance. -Jill Schultz

Everything to do with water. And the Lake Michigan sunsets. Wish I was there. – Karen Boudreau Covington 

Fishing, camping, going home to the UP to visit my family, hiking in the woods, walking on the beaches…there’s no where else like our beautiful state! – Lindsey Betzner

The smells of smoke from the bonfire in the morning mist off Lake Huron! – Diane Hartley

Every day is unexpected. You never know what it will bring. – Louise Sager Larry

My new forever home: Leland, Michigan; and my family’s two cottages on Big Whitefish Lake. – Ems Dantechuan

Summertime in Pure Michigan to me..is seeing the sky blue water of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and then, there’s the opportunity to climb the stairs in Arcadia and stare in wonder at the sights in each direction. Or perhaps its the Grand Haven Lighthouse, Ludington State Park, the peninsula in Traverse City—oh the vineyards, Sleeping Bear Dunes, of course mighty Mac, and stepping on to the porch of the Grand Hotel, or, perhaps its Cedarville and the quaint-ness of this area, I guess I don’t have room to go on to truly explain the beauty of pure Michigan… – Lynne Lenfesty

Warm weather, cool breezes off Lake Michigan, gorgeous sunsets … All of it. – Tamara Stevens

1009378_10152008225443289_365014519_oSunsets over the lake, the hot sun, the warm breeze, the occasional thunderstorm, with bright lighting, loud cracks of thunder, and pouring rain. The wildlife. Bonfires at camp, cooking brats, dogs, burgers, corn, beans, everything on the grill. Yumm. Walking around bear foot, shorts, capris, sandals, sunglasses. – Kelly Illikainen

Living at the lake cottage in northern Michigan and visiting all the towns for shopping, craft shows, car shows, boat shows, etc. Also, swimming, boating, and northern Michigan products! Being a laker for the summer is awesome! – Kimberly Dean

Fishing, blueberry picking, eating breakfast, lunch & dinner by the lake, swimming with the minnows, and catching up with our up north neighbors. – Christine Hawn Wood

Floating on the water early morning or evening, smelling the moist air, and hearing the water lap against the side of whatever “float” you are on! – Judy Taylor-Kirby

So many things to love about Michigan summers!! Bonfires, cookouts , beach, hiking in woods, visiting lighthouses, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, camping, UP, boating and swimming, fishing, beautiful weather! Silver Lake Sand dunes! Just enjoying and learning new places to explore in my home state! – Nancy Phillips

Knowing during this time there is nowhere else I would rather be. – Alex Chamberlain

Kayaking and sailing, taking friends from out of state to the Straits of Mackinac to go deep water diving (upcoming! So excited!), long walks in forests along beaches and in rivers, the summer ferns, the trilliums, actually… all the native Michigan plants, sweeping instead of shoveling, finding rocks that show their markings when you get them wet, BBQs bonfires and picnics, sunsets I can’t stay awake for and of course, all the wineries and berry picking. Just the short list… – Liz Storm

Every. Single. Moment. – Leeann Wright

What is your favorite thing about summer in Michigan?