Northern Michigan is among the nicest summer vacation spots in the nation.

Let’s take a trip Up North and pick the places to be from Alpena to the U.P.

Alpena is known as “Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.” Alpena offers an array of aquatic activities such as paddling and sailing on Lake Huron.

Hop on a Glass Bottom Boat Tour with the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and view the state’s historic shipwrecks up close.

Rockport State Recreation Area is a 4,237-acre hamlet that’s fantastic for fishing, hiking, and fossil hunting. The more adventurous ones can try stand up paddle boarding.

If you want to see local maritime history in 3D, check out Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Beaver Island is an enchanting enclave at the northern end of Lake Michigan. It’s a stellar spot for stargazing as well as kayaking and scuba diving.

The charming coastal city of Charlevoix is 32 miles away. Charlevoix sits on the western slope of Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula between Mackinac and Traverse City.

Among the city’s attractions are: the lovely Lake Charlevoix and artisan Earl Young’s eccentric Mushroom Houses. 


Less than 20 miles east is the pretty town of PetoskeySearch for prized Petoskey stones or snap pictures on the promenade at Bayfront Park. Enjoy the relaxed pace of this sleepy resort community.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a popular summer destination near Glen Arbor. The park features miles of sandy beaches with downy bluffs towering 450 feet above Lake Michigan.


About a hundred miles north on US-31 is the waterfront haven Harbor SpringsThis summertime Shangri-La is set on Little Traverse Bay.

Star gazers will be delighted by Headlands International Dark Sky ParkThe Mackinaw City mecca measures 550 acres with two magnificent miles curling over the coast of Lake Michigan.

Northern Michigan’s marquee destination has to be Mackinac IslandThe Mackinac Island Fudge Festival is the main draw August 23 to 25.

Sutton’s Bay is smack in the middle of Leelanau County wine country. This tiny municipality borders Grand Traverse Bay.

Traverse City has been crowned Cherry Capital of the World.” The National Cherry Festival takes center stage June 29 through July 6.

Aside from that, Traverse City has countless choices for recreational activity.

Upper Peninsula

Grand Island is an aqua arcadia on the southern shores of Lake Superior. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful black bears that inhabit the island, by boat cruise or kayak tour.

Isle Royale is an idyllic retreat on Lake Superior located just below Thunder Bay. Hop a ferry from Copper Harbor and explore a new frontier.

Isle Royale is ideal for backpacking, boating and camping. A number of campgrounds can be found spread around the island.


A permit is required for anyone who stays overnight on Isle Royale, in a designated cross country camping zone, by anchor or dock.

Keweenaw Peninsula

Take a scenic drive up US-41 toward Copper Harbor and soak in some spectacular sights. The peninsula has a host of hotels if you want to stay the night. 


Traverse the peak of a deep gorge to a viewing area at trails end. Watch Manganese Falls drop at least 45 feet from the top of this rocky gorge to the bottom past sheer moss-covered walls.

Alger County’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches 42 miles along the southern coast of Lake Superior between Grand Marais and Munising. 

From “The pebbled beaches along the shore glisten bright colors (red, purple, green) when wet, each one almost perfectly rounded. The eastern side of the island holds high cliffs and long sandy beaches. You can bike around the entire island, it’s about 20 miles.”

Presque Isle River is a picturesque passage that cuts through Porcupine Mountains State Park. The river is a natural wonder that winds north toward Lake Superior.

Tahquamenon Falls spans almost 50,000 acres in the eastern U.P. region. Snorkeling and searching for stones are among the preferred pursuits in this Paradise.


Whitefish Point peers east over Lake Superior, a few nautical miles from the Canadian border. A big attraction is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

As for upcoming events, Indian River Old Fashion Days is fast approaching. The late spring soiree in Cheboygan County kicks off June 13 and lasts through June 16.

The East Jordan Freedom Festival lands on the lower lip of Lake Charlevoix June 19 lasting until Sunday, June 23. The fest is only minutes away from both Charlevoix and Boyne City.

Look no further than Michigan for your ultimate vacation destination.