First off, let me apologize for my tardiness in posting. I was on a roll with timing for a while, and then you know, life happened again! As always, I’m back and ready to share some fun things with you all over the next few weeks. Now, onto the real deal…
I’m sure you have all heard a Pure Michigan commercial. That ultra soothing voice (Tim Allen) comes on the radio or television, talking about the most beautiful, historical and picturesque places in Michigan, or as the locals call it, the Mitten. I’m one of those locals and I’m proud to call Michigan my home state. It’s one of those places, that growing up, you think is a little boring, but once you actually become an adult and are away from it, you realize how much it actually has to offer! First of all, for me, most of my family is there, so that is a BIG reason why I love Michigan. But secondly, it’s just a wonderful state. Everything that is described in those commercials is accurate.
The towns that line the beaches are gorgeous and quaint. And those said beaches truly are spectacular, with water as blue as you can imagine, and sand as clean as can be.That historical bit I mentioned; that is prominent all over the state. No matter where you go, history seems tp be booming in Michigan. From the car history in Detroit and Flint, to the fur trading history in the UP (upper peninsula), you are bound to learn something about the past. One of the greatest things about Michigan, making it so PURE, is that it’s surrounded by water. It is the Great Lakes State after all! So, if you, like me, love water, it’s the perfect place. There are endless places for boating, swimming, playing at the beach, etc. Think about it, there is an an entire mitten surrounded by water. So many options! And today, that’s what I am going to share with you…my recommendations for Pure Michigan beach towns that I think you should visit.
- Mackinac Island/Mackinac City: One of my favorite spots ever! The city is great, but the island is where you want to be. Victorian charm everywhere you look, stunning old hotels (including the Grand Hotel), fun shops and restaurants, and best of all, there are no cars on the island. Your options…biking, walking, or horse and buggy. See more on my most recent visit here!
- Traverse City: Home of the annual cherry festival! But oh so much more. Great food, great shopping, great wineries, and best of all great beaches.
- Harbor Springs/Petoskey: These towns are just minutes apart, both with ideal settings. Lush greenery, beautiful lakes all around and really a true sense of what it means to be “up north” in Michigan. Great place to be since you are so close to many nearby towns.
- New Buffalo: This is definitely small town living at it’s best. Just a few shops and restaurants (all great though, especially The Stray Dog), but gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. If you are from Chicago, it’s a must, as it is only one hour from the city. What a great little escape for the day, or the weekend.
- Holland: Michigan’s Dutch community is a big draw to this area. Have you had food from the Dutch? If not, try it and you will know what I mean. On top of that they have FANTASTIC shopping, and tulips galore. It is home to the annual tulip festival, which is one of the biggest festivals in Michigan.
- Saugatuck/Douglas: Again, towns just minutes from one another, and both equally as great. Small beach communities, in beautiful settings, but the real draw here is the art. Both areas are known for their amazing community of artists. So it probably goes without saying that the shops and galleries are wonderfully stocked!
- East Tawas: Great for those on the eastern side of the state that want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Huron, without the hustle and bustle of the cities down south. Small town, fun restaurants, great campground right on the lake, and a wonderful marina.
- Houghton Lake: I grew up going here, since my grandparents called it home. Maybe that is why it has a special place in my heart. The setting sure does help though. It’s on an inland lake, so quite different than the coast of Michigan. Think more cabins and camping, as opposed to luxury hotels. It’s got a lot of quirky shops and roadside stops, which makes it a fun place for people of all ages.
- Caseville: Home to the annual Cheeseburger In Caseville festival. Jimmy Buffett music in the background, lake views in the foreground, and a cheeseburger in hand. Need I say more?
- Drummond Island: The U.P. isn’t for everyone. It is very remote and in many places, very rustic. But, boy oh boy is it beautiful. It is a place that seems to be untouched by the modern world. Sometimes we all need an escape like that. Drummond Island definitely fits the bill. But, with fun places to stay, like the Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center, you can still escape while having the comforts of home. Great golfing and star gazing here. (It’s where I saw my first shooting star!)
- Munising: Who knew Michigan could look like another world. Well, here you certainly get that feeling. Munising is home to Pictured Rocks. What’s that you ask? The picture below kind of says it all don’t you think! Imagine kayaking around these waters. Heavenly.
- St. Ignace: A great foray into life in the U.P. This town will make you cross the famed Mackinac Bridge (so fun to drive over!) and will get you into the U.P. but you won’t have to go far. It’s right on the other side of said bridge. Definitely a small town, but easy access to other parts of the U.P. and a quick ferry ride to Mackinac Island.
While I may not still call the Mitten home, it is a place I go back to whenever I can. The saying is true, home truly is where the heart is! That was a big draw to Chicago for me. I get my big city life, but am just a drive away from the beauty I grew up with. Now, hop in your car (or plane if needed) and start exploring this beautiful place that truly is as Pure as it gets.
Signed with Style,