Traveling the Great Lakes

Exploring Michigan is one of my family’s favorite things to do. We live in such a beautiful state with so much to offer. We are so lucky to be surrounded by the Great Lakes with beautiful beaches.

Traveling as a family of five can get pretty expensive. On top of work schedules and children’s activities, sometimes a weekend getaway is all we can do. Being able to drive sometimes as short as three hours away for a vacation is the absolute best. Sometimes we get so caught up in planning a vacation down south that we forget how truly beautiful our state really is.

Port Austin

Every summer I try to take the kids up to Port Austin for the day as it is only two hours from our home in Macomb. We will spend our entire day at Veteran’s Waterfront Park. They have restrooms, picnic areas, and a nice park for the kids to enjoy. You can rent kayaks, bikes, and canoes as well. My kids absolutely love it.

After spending some time at the beach, we usually walk across the street to Blue Moon Ice Cream to of course, indulge in some yummy ice cream! We usually stay until after watching the sunset.

If you are not looking for a day trip, the Beach Comber Motel is right next to Veterans Waterfront Park on the beach with an outdoor pool. I have yet to stay there myself, but every summer I say, “Next year we will stay here!” Another fun activity to do is to rent kayaks and kayak out to Turnip Rock!

Grand Haven

If you haven’t been to Grand Haven, I highly recommend it. It is probably one of our favorite places to go to in Michigan. Grand Haven Beach is along Lake Michigan with an absolutely beautiful beach. The beach has public restrooms, concessions, and we have even seen a few food trucks when we have gone there. The kids absolutely love walking down the pier to check out the Grand Haven Lighthouse, as well as watching the musical fountain show. The downtown area has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, as well as shops, ice cream, and candy shops. You’ll never be bored when traveling here.

A fun time to check out Grand Haven is when they host the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. This year the festival runs from July 29th through August 7th. Holiday Inn Grand Haven is a wonderful spot to stay, with an indoor and outdoor pool.

Pictured Rocks

Two summers ago, we decided to take a trip to Pictured Rocks National Park in Munising. This was such a memorable trip. You can book a tour to take you to see Pictured Rocks. Check out Miners Falls with just a .6 mile walk and spend the day at Miners Beach which is on Lake Superior. Miners Beach stretches just over a mile long. It doesn’t offer all of the amenities the larger beaches offer, but it is absolutely beautiful.

Another beach along Lake Superior is Twelvemile Beach. When getting to Twelvemile Beach, there is a small parking lot, a few picnic tables, and grills. Twelvemile Beach is absolutely breathtaking. The beach is full of rocks, so water shoes are highly recommended. The kids loved searching for different, colorful rocks. With the beach stretching out so far, there is so much room and it is hardly ever crowded.

There is a camp ground along Twelvemile Beach that did seem really nice. My family stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Munising and we have zero complaints. It was very family-friendly, offered a breakfast, and had an indoor pool that the kids loved!

These trips are some of my favorite trips that we have taken as a family. The best part is that all of these locations offer campgrounds! You don’t need to stay in a hotel, you can just pitch a tent and take in everything Michigan has to offer.

For more beautiful Michigan destinations, check out Melissa’s list of state parks to visit!


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