Five Things to Keep in Mind on a Lake Michigan Lighthouse Tour

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state and all of them have a unique look and story, making it the perfect place for a summer lighthouse tour. Today, guest blogger Kendra Higgins from Spring Lake gives us five helpful tips to keep in mind on a Lake Michigan lighthouse tour.

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

As the name implies the Great Lakes Circle Tour follows state highways around Lake Michigan, through Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan creating one of the most memorable road trips where you can see over 80 of the iconic lighthouses that lace the Lake Michigan shoreline. The trip was inspired by our annual Glowing for Grand Haven event that takes place in July to help raise funds to restore and maintain the Grand Haven Lighthouse. We wanted to explore, learn more maritime history, and further cultivate the meaning behind our event. What better way to do so than to hit the road and learn firsthand along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. So what does it take to accomplish such a road trip? Well you’re just in luck, we’ve narrowed down the top 5 Michigan musts!

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

1. Patience. If you set out with a plan for your road trip, you better pack a lot of patience. Let us just remind you the joys of traffic and road construction as they are a usual hurdle in everyday life, let alone a week’s voyage. Your phone doesn’t always get a signal, your GPS will take you on some strange path because you mistyped one number when typing in the coordinates, and heaven forbid you have car trouble! So, whether the trip is to see lighthouses, national monuments, explore state parks, or just go off the beaten path, just remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Be patient and enjoy the ride!

2. Plan for more time than you anticipated. While it correlates with being patient, we also suggest if you’re in it for the adventure, to plan for a couple extra days. Not all small lakeshore towns are tourist traps. Some are rich with locals that have lived in the same town for generations who can’t wait to hold the door open for you to explore the best local breakfast joint, or the long dirt road that opens up to unsurpassed views of Lake Michigan. Their shared secrets just may become a tradition in your family.

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

3. Michigan Weather. While Michigan weather is unpredictable, make sure you enjoy the season(s) you set off in. We had the luxury of starting out and ending in the warmer spring climate along the Southwest Michigan coastline; an intense 50 degrees. Yet in the U.P. we personally witnessed the feet (yes, feet) of snow and ice caves left as reminders from the polar vortex. Whether you enjoy 70° and sunny sun bathing on the beach, or snowmobiling across miles of trails, pick your season…or in Michigan’s case you may just experience all four!

4. Avoid Being Hangry. We get that when traveling with kids they’re hungry, bored, have to pee, dropped their snacks, and then starts the screaming. However, don’t doubt that the same can’t and won’t happen with grown adults who begin to experience the symptoms of being “Hangry” (anger caused by hunger). We recommend throwing out the rules of the new trendy diet you’re on, and load up on the snacks, and then get a few more “just in case”. There’s nothing like driving along the circle tour curves, with the sun roof open (or gloves on, depending on your season), jamming to the greatest hits of all time sharing a bag of Better Made chips.

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

5. Collect. Take in everything you see and share it! We’re not suggesting you continuously post on Facebook or Twitter every second something happens, but share the newest hotspot you found to grab dinner or share about the fabulous staff you encountered at one of your overnight stays. Travelers today are more prone to go off the beaten path and take suggestions from family and friends on what direction to head. When you begin to share, you’ll start to realize the things that are most important to you, bettering your vacation or overnight staycation experiences.

Kendra Higgins, Director of Marketing and Social Media for Holiday Inn Spring Lake. Sprouting from Mid-Michigan farm country, Kendra has a new found love and appreciation for Michigan’s golden coast as an active community member and newly fashioned lighthouse enthusiast.  She encourages you to visit the Grand Haven area and follow the hotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Blog to learn more about their lighthouse tour!

Five Incredible Instagram Photos from Our Fans in June 2014

We might be biased, but of all 50 states, we think Michigan is the most photogenic. No matter where you are in the mitten, you’re sure to find a beautiful setting sun, white-capped waves, or vibrant blooming flowers. This June, our Pure Michigan Instagram community ventured outdoors to find some captivating Pure Michigan moments. From blue skies to kayak rides, here are just a few of our favorites from June. 

For more fan photos, check out our March, April and May roundups and follow us on Instagram

A stretch of beautiful unspoiled nature at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains captured by @brob40. What a perfect view! 10375647_239190046292110_620682336_n

A swirl of beautiful pastel colors light up the sky as the sun goes down over Ann Arbor. Photo by Instagram user @klc_ina2.AnnArbor_klc_in_a2

Bright stars speckle the dark sky over Duck Lake in Muskegon. Photo by Instagram user @skeetownjay.DuckLake_Skeettownjay

No matter the temperature, Pictured Rocks will always take your breath away! Photo by Instagram user @amateer14.PicturedRocks_amateer14

 A glowing sun dips below the Lake Michigan horizon on a tranquil evening in Leelanau County. Photo by Instagram user @john_a_gessner.John_a_gessner

Have you captured a fantastic Pure Michigan photo recently?

If you’re on Instagram, follow us @puremichigan! If you’d like us to share your photos from across the state, please tag them with #PureMichigan to give us permission to “re-gram.”

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?