Michigan bucket list

Journeying Through the Heartland: A 10 Step Michigan Summer Bucket List


Well, hello there, fellow wanderers! This is taking you off the beaten path into the wild heart of America, Michigan. Known for its iconic lakes and vibrant cities, Michigan has a unique allure that’s hard to resist. So, let’s pack our bags and prepare for the ultimate Michigan summer bucket list.

Michigan summer bucket list

Michigan Summer: The Grand Stage

Michigan in summer is a true feast for the senses. From the vibrant hues of wildflowers in full bloom to the crystal-clear waters of the Great Lakes, every corner of the state is a visual delight. The air is filled with laughter and music as festivals and fairs pop up in towns big and small, celebrating everything from cherries to jazz. The local spirit is infectious, with friendly faces eager to share their love for their home state. And let’s not forget the food – from farm-fresh produce to freshly caught fish, every meal is a celebration of Michigan’s bounty. Whether exploring the rugged beauty of the Upper Peninsula or soaking up the sun on a Lake Michigan beach, a summer in Michigan is an experience not to be missed.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

This colossal sand structure is the stuff of legends, with towering dunes overlooking the serene Lake Michigan. The climb to the top might leave you breathless, but the surreal panoramic vista of the lake and surrounding wilderness is worth every drop of sweat.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac island harbor
Mackinac Island Harbor

Mackinac Island is like a time capsule, preserving the quaint charm of yesteryears in the heart of modern America. Motorized vehicles are banned here, giving way to bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. The whole place is a postcard from the past, with Victorian-style houses lining the streets and the sweet aroma of homemade fudge wafting through the air.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Mother Nature outdoes herself here. These multicolored sandstone cliffs, kissed by the clear, sparkling waters of Lake Superior, paint a picture that no camera can truly capture. Be it hiking, camping, or kayaking, this place is an adventurer’s dream come true.

Traverse City Cherry Orchards

Blossoming red cherry trees in a park
Photo by Noel Blck on Pexels.com

Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World, is a sight to behold during the annual Cherry Festival. Walk through cherry orchards brimming with plump, ripe cherries, engage in cherry pit-spitting competitions, and savor cherry-infused delicacies.

Tall Ship Manitou in Traverse City

The Tall Ship Manitou is a piece of floating history. This replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner sails Lake Michigan, providing a unique perspective of the coast while you savor a gourmet meal paired with the finest local wines.

Lower Michigan: The Cultural Hub

Lower Michigan is a region steeped in industrial history, yet it is also experiencing a cultural renaissance that is attracting visitors from near and far. From the bustling city of Detroit, known for its automotive industry and Motown music, to the charming towns and villages that dot the landscape, there is something for everyone in Lower Michigan. Whether you’re interested in exploring the state’s rich history, indulging in its vibrant arts scene, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the Great Lakes, there are countless must-add entries to your bucket list. From visiting the Henry Ford Museum to taking a scenic drive along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Lower Michigan offers an entirely different flavor of adventure that is not to be missed.

Detroit’s Art Scene

Detroit’s comeback story is inspiring, and a significant part is its thriving art scene. The Detroit Institute of Arts houses over 65,000 artworks, but the street art and local artists’ passion really captures the city’s spirit.

Michigan’s Finest Wines

If you’re a wine enthusiast, Michigan’s vineyards are a must-visit. Nestled in the rolling hills of Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula, these vineyards offer a stunning landscape and exquisite wines. If you can’t make it there, you can try buying Michigan wine and have a piece of Michigan delivered to your doorstep.

Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park

Comerica park

There’s nothing quite like the buzz of a live baseball game. The roar of the crowd, the smell of hotdogs and beer, and the excitement of the game – it’s a uniquely American experience that’s not to be missed.

Henry Ford Museum

Dive into the revolutionary industrial era with a visit to this comprehensive museum. It’s not just about Ford’s contributions but about America’s journey of innovation and progress.

Grand Rapids’ Beer City USA

Beer lovers, welcome to your paradise. Grand Rapids boasts over 80 breweries, each with its unique brews. From traditional ales to innovative craft beers, the city’s beer culture is worth a deep dive.

Motown Museum

This humble studio, where Motown Sound was born, remains untouched. It’s an homage to the artists who revolutionized American music and a reminder of Detroit’s significant cultural contributions.

Signing Off: A Michigan Summer Bucket List An Undiscovered Gem

In all my travels, I’ve learned that the best experiences come from immersing yourself in the culture, savoring the local flavors, and connecting with the people. Michigan provides all of these and more. Ready for more adventures?

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set off on your Michigan adventure. It’s an underrated gem that’s waiting to be explored. And remember, as we locals say, it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.

Happy travels, my friends. See you on the road!

Michael Hardy

Michael is a travel writer and local historian. His work can be found on a number of websites and print publications.

View all posts by Michael Hardy →

Discover more from Better By The Lake

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading