1st Street Beach
Two miles of boardwalk stretch from downtown Manistee—past cottages and a marina—to a free public beach. Relax on this family favorite hangout complete with a playground (877/626-4783; visitmanistee.com).
Clinch Park Beach
Ships bob on the horizon as a train chugs by this Traverse City hot spot. Relax, play and swim the day away (800/872-8377; traversecity.com).
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s cliffs frame a secluded beach outside of Munising. The scenic daytime spot is nestled into the Lake Superior shore with 40 miles of hiking trails, scenic overlooks and rustic campgrounds (906/387-3700; nps.gov).
New Buffalo City Beach
Soft sand squishes on your way to the water where plenty of flat rocks make for a great afternoon of skipping stones on Lake Michigan. Rolling grassy dunes and a town lighthouse add to the scenery (269/469-1522; newbuffalo.com).
Cycle along a shore-side trail of Marquette’s public beach or sit back to see teens (and some adults) perform flips and cannon balls off Presque Isle’s big black rocks into the cool waters of Lake Superior (888/578-6489; marquette.org).
South Haven’s most popular beach is just steps from downtown. The stretch of white sand along Lake Michigan is decorated with grills, picnic tables, a concession stand and lighthouse (269/637-0726; southhaven.com).
More Boat Tours
Charity Island Cruises
The ultimate boat excursion ships guests to Charity Island to indulge in dinner on the beach after touring a restored 1857 lighthouse. Kickback and relax on the ride back to Tawas City or Caseville, as the return trip is timed to match the sunset (989/254-7710; charityisland.net).
Lindy Lou River Cruise
A float down South Haven’s Black River replicates a piece of history, when visitors would cruise into their inns on the same route from Lake Michigan. Pass by marinas, wetlands as well as riverside inns and cottages (800/747-3810; michiganmaritimemuseum.org).
Pictured Rocks Boat Tour
Coast along the Lake Superior shoreline from downtown Munising while hearing the legends of the painted sandstone cliffs towering overhead. Tours run multiple times each day including breathtaking sunset tours in the fall (800/650-2379; picturedrocks.com).
Port City Princess
Whether sailing in Lake Michigan or Muskegon Lake, dressed up as pirates or lumberjacks, tour guides deliver solid history information. Get the facts on local landmarks such as Buster Keaton’s once home, the Milwaukee Clipper and Pigeon Hill (231/28-8387; portcityprincesscruises.com).
Don’t forget to look down! In between glances at cliffs surrounding Munising, gaze through glass viewing panes on the bottom of the boat for views of three shipwrecks that have been preserved in the cool Lake Superior water (906/387-4477; shipwrecktours.com).
Soo Lock Boat Tours
Packed with history, this boat tour takes passengers through the world’s largest waterway traffic system and the state’s oldest city, Sault Ste. Marie. Choose between a narrated tour of the Locks or a leisurely dinner cruise (800/432-6301; soolocks.com).
More Inns and B&B’s
Agate Cross Bed and Breakfast
Cedar walls and wood furnishings give an Up-North feel that perfectly fits Grand Marais. The inn is surrounded by bike and ski trails and two decks (one has a hot tub) and large windows overlook Lake Superior (906/494-2990; grandmaraismichigan.com/AgateCrossBB).
While blending in with the other homes on Mackinac Island, this bed and breakfast stands out for its comfortable, homey feel. An impressive breakfast spread, afternoon treats and the clip-clop of horse carriages passing by compliment each spacious guestroom (906/847-4000; cottageinnofmackinac.com).
The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inn
This 1890s Queen Anne mansion in Bellaire still shows signs of the Victorian Era. Each room adorned with intricate furnishings and decor also has modern amenities like private baths. Walk out into Richardi Park where a woodenware factory once stood, or venture two blocks to downtown (877/438-6111; grandvictorian.com).
Lake Country Inn
Grab the big, colorful beach towel from the guestroom and walk to downtown New Buffalo’s lakefront. The train depot is also a short walk from this bed and breakfast complete with private balconies and fireplaces in some rooms (269/612-0606; lakecountryinn.com).
Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast
Almost a century old, this South Haven inn has been kept up to date while maintaining its history. Faded photographs of yesteryear hang in the hall while flat screen TVs and large baths keep the rooms modern. Enjoy a short walk to Lake Michigan and downtown or take advantage of the on-site tennis courts and outdoor pool (269/637-6414; victoriaresort.com).
No two rooms are alike in this Traverse City bed and breakfast, the walls of each have been hand painted to restore the original early 1900s look. An inviting comfortable lounge is stocked with sodas, wine and snacks for guests to enjoy and downtown shops and restaurants lay just a block away (231/922-9900; wellingtoninn.com).
For More Information, contact:
Alpena Convention & Visitors Bureau (989/354-4181 or 800/425-7362; alpenacvb.com).
Bays de Noc Convention & Visitors Bureau (906/789-7862 or 800/533-4386; travelbaysdenoc.com).
Four Flags Area Council on Tourism (269/684-7444; fourflagsarea.org).
Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/506-1299 or 616/394-0000; holland.org).
Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau (906/847-6418 or 800/454-5227; mackinacisland.org).
Oscoda Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (989/739-0900 or 877/867-2632; oscoda.com).
Saugatuck-Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau (269/857-1701; saugatuck.com).
St. Ignace Visitors Bureau (906/643-6950 or 800/338-6660; stignace.com).
Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau (231/947-1120 or 800/872-8377; traversecity.com).
Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association (906/774-5480 or 800/562-7134; uptravel.com).