Lifestyle Travel

Road Tripping Through Michigan

June 23, 2021

From downtown Detroit to the tip of the Upper Peninsula, take the ultimate road trip through Michigan this summer with these stops along the way

By Zoe Makhool

1.  The Detroit Riverfront

Detroit skylinePhoto via @detroitriverfront

The Detroit Riverwalk offers spectacular views of the Detroit River and city skylines. Walk, bike or ride a Segway along the riverfront during your visit! Bike rentals are available through Wheelhouse Detroit and Segway rentals are available through Detroit Segway.

2. The Michigan State Capitol

Michigan State CapitolPhoto via Michigan State Capitol Facebook page

Learn about Michigan’s past on a tour of the Michigan State Capitol, where you can watch the legislature meet for session and view nine acres of hand-painted decorative art throughout the building. Under current COVID-19 guidelines, tours for 10 people or less are offered 9am-4pm Monday through Friday. Face masks are required and visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing. Call (517) 373-2353 or (517) 373-2348 to book your tour.

3. Frederik Meijer Gardens

Meijer GardensPhoto via @meijergardens

Spanning 158 acres, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids a must-stop spot for interactive art and nature. Check out the Meijer Garden’s website for current hours and rates.

4. Port Sanilac

shipwreckPhoto via @doubleactiondivecharters

Explore the history of the Great Lakes through shipwreck diving with Double Action Dive Charters. Not a certified diver? No problem! Courses and equipment rentals are offered through Dive Action’s local partners. Visit their website for more information.

5. Roscommon State Forest

Hike the trails of the Roscommon State Forest Area and take in beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. Vehicle entry into all state parks, recreation areas, and state forest campgrounds requires a recreation passport. If you want to stay the night, check out Northern Nights Family Campground near Higgins Lake.

6. Sleeping Bear Dunes

DunesPhoto via @sleepingbeardune

Climbing the Sleeping Bear Dunes is a quintessential Michigan experience. If you’re looking for a more challenging climb, take a hike through the dunes all the way to Lake Michigan. Afterwards, check out Glen Arbor Wines for award-winning local wines and hard ciders.

7. Torch Lake

Torch LakePhoto via @torchlakeofficial

Torch Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning sunsets, and water sports. (Check out Vacation Water Sports, a local boat and jet ski rental service that delivers right to you!) Staying overnight?  Book a stay at this incredible treehouse within walking distance of the lake.

8. Rockport State Recreation Area

If stargazing is your thing, check out Rockport State Recreation Area in Alpena, an official Dark Sky Preserve where visitors can catch clear views of the night sky free of light pollution. Negwegon State Park is also a designated Dark Sky Preserve that offers backcountry camping spots.

9. Mackinaw City

light house

While stopping in Mackinaw City, be sure to check out the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, which marks where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet and was used to help ships navigate through the treacherous waters. The lighthouse has been restored and now features exhibits with original artifacts, fog signal demonstrations and more!

10. The Arch Rock

Made of natural limestone, the Arch Rock is a picturesque rock formation located on Mackinac Island. It can be reached by foot, bike or even horse-drawn carriage. If you’re staying for longer, book a room at the beautiful Grand Hotel, known for its old-world hospitality and charm.

11. The Soo Locks

The Soo Locks are a waterway traffic system that connects Lakes Superior and Huron. Famous Soo Locks Boat Tours offers excursions where visitors can learn about the history of the locks and even pass through them. Schedule your boat tour here!

12. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

pictured rocksPhoto via @picturedrockskyaking

Known for its stunning multicolored rock cliffs, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a gem in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. To get the best view of the rocks, Pictured Rocks Kayaking tours will take you close enough to see the geological layers in all their beauty. Book your tour here!

13. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park 

Hike through the scenic U.P. forests and roaring waterfalls of Michigan’s largest state park. The area offers tons of fun things to do, including disc golf, wildlife exhibits and the Summit Peak Observation Tower, the highest point in the Porcupine Mountains with stunning panoramic views.


Looking for more fun things to do in Michigan this summer? Check out these articles:

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