20+ Things to Do in West Michigan to Inspire Your Greatest Summer Yet

Petoskey Stones
Photo Courtesy of crystal_lee_gallery

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West Michigan is home to some great best kept secrets and attractions. No matter where you go, there’s something new to experience. To help you get the most out of your getaway, here's a list of things of new and fun things to do in West Michigan this summer.

1. Visit a Lighthouse

Lighthouse Michigan Shore

Climb to the top of one of Lake Michigan’s many lighthouses, or volunteer for one of the keeper programs offered at a handful of the lighthouse museums in northwest Michigan. Did you know Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state?!

2. Search for Tree Treasure

Complete the tree scavenger hunt on the Nature Trail at Stokes Homestead Farm Market in Grand Junction and get rewarded with a free ice cream cone!

3. Make a Feathered Friend

Visit Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall, a family-owned restaurant nestled on a 400-acre farm where turkey is king. Throughout the summer months, Cromwell's offers a full calendar of events including Camp Turkeyville, flea markets, antique, arts & crafts events, and even the chance to kiss a turkey!

4. Travel the Tunnel of Trees

Drive the Tunnel of Trees to the end, where you can enjoy an authentic Polish pierogi overlooking Lake Michigan at Legs Inn in Cross Village.

5. Set Sail in South Haven

Embrace your inner pirate when you sail on the tall ship “Friends Good Will” in South Haven, and visit the Michigan Maritime Museum when you’re back on land for a look into the past.

6. Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Hand feed a giraffe at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek or Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto.

7. Wake a Sleeping Bear

Hike, swim, and explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, with 64 miles of beaches, coves, islands, and hills on the west coast of the Leelanau Peninsula.

8. Hunt for Petoskeys

Hunt for the state stone, the Petoskey Stone, along the shores of Lake Michigan. No license required to pick up the fossilized coral, but what a cool feeling when you find one!

9. "Wine" Down

Cycle down the paved Leelanau Trail and enjoy a picnic lunch while you visit up to seven wineries just off the trail with Grand Traverse Bike Tours.

10. Reel In Some Fun

Learn to Fly Fish at the Red Moose Lodge on the Pere Marquette River in Baldwin with their full day trips out on the river & cozy accommodations at night.

11. Visit a Shrine

One of Michigan’s most visited shrines, the 55 foot tall Cross in the Woods in Indian River is a must-see.

12. Enjoy a Brews Cruise in Grand Rapids

Peddle your way around town on the self-propelled Great Lakes Pub Cruiser, the first and only “Green Pub” in Michigan, located in Grand Rapids.

13. Ride a Windmill in Holland

Ride the Fins of a Windmill on Harry’s Windmill ride at Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland, which combines a restored 1940 Eli Bridge #5, 45ft high Ferris Wheel matched with a reproduction of a Netherlands windmill.

14. Travel Back to Prehistoric Times

See the Big Yellow Dinosaur on US 31 at Kampvilla RV Park (her name is Sunny!).

15. Join the Navy for a Night

Stay overnight aboard the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, which is officially credited with sinking 23 major Japanese ships and is considered the U.S. Navy’s most successful surviving World War II submarine.

16. Paddle for Pints in Rockford

Take a “Paddle n’ Pints” trip with Rockford Brewing Company, where you’ll fill up plastic growlers at the brewery before spending two hours floating down the river and enjoying the outdoors.

17. Attend Grand Haven's Annual Coast Guard Festival

Tour a Coast Guard Ship, dance in the streets of Grand Haven at the yearly street dance, and then settle in to enjoy the fireworks and musical fountain from the waterfront at the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival each August.

18. Get in Some Target Practice

Try your hand at the Sporting Clay course at Blendon Pines Gun Club in Zeeland and see how many clay pigeons you can hit with a shotgun over twelve different shooting stations.

19. Take a Cruise

View many of Michigan’s remote lighthouses aboard a multi-day boat cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star, based out of Charlevoix.

20. Get Lost in a Garden

Visit Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids and marvel at the 24-foot-tall bronze horse statue.

21. Wish Upon a Star

Northern Lights

Visit the Headlands International Dark Sky Park Discovery Trail in Emmet County, which is one of just 13 prestigious International Dark Sky Parks in the United States.

22. Take It All In

Watch a sunset from the middle of Lake Michigan with nothing to obstruct your view on Beaver Island.

About the Author: Courtney Sheffer considers herself a professional when it comes to exploring all West Michigan has to offer. As Marketing Director for the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA), Courtney is always on the lookout for new West Michigan experiences to share with visitors.