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petoskey-marinaIf you’re looking for a gorgeous place to vacation and enjoy the best of Michigan, look no further than Lake Michigan. This natural wonder is home to a diverse range of water sports, stunning scenery, and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful waterway. The lake stretches across about two hundred miles of land and water. (Click here to see all Northern Michigan Waterfront Lifestyle Homes for Sale)

To the west lies Milwaukee and Wisconsin. In the east are Chicago and Indiana. All along its shores live people who call it their own. They create unique cultures and traditions that make this wonderful destination special. This makes it one of the most scenic vacations in America for both tourists and those looking for Lake Michigan homes for sale to settle there. Here are various vacation rentals on Lake Michigan and how to have a great vacation.

Lake Michigan Beaches

Lake Michigan Beaches

The first thing you will notice when traveling from city to city on the lake is that it’s always sunny. There are many beaches along the shoreline where you can get away with wearing your bathing suit without anyone being too judgmental. And while you’ll find plenty of sandy beaches, you should also know about the sandbar areas which aren’t as sandy but offer some exciting adventures.

One of these sandbars in Muskegon State Park, where you can paddle around and experience breathtaking views. Another location like this is called Whitefish Dunes Resort. It offers over five hundred acres of dunes and beachfront property where you can go kayaking, canoeing, surfing, swimming, and more. Nearby, you’ll find Cedar Point Beach.

This large public park has many different activities available for visitors throughout the year. When summertime rolls around, families come to visit its playgrounds, baseball field, softball fields, volleyball court, bike path, soccer pitches, tennis courts, fishing piers, picnic area, basketball courts, pavilions, concession stands, restrooms, showers, drinking fountains, and a marina that rents boats.

Michigan Museums

Michigan Museums

One of the biggest draws to the lake is the state museums located along with the waterfront towns and cities. Each town has a museum that showcases artifacts found during excavations and gives insight into human history. Some of the sites include:

  • South Haven Museum – Located in the heart of downtown South Haven, they feature collections from the local history, geology, archaeology, art, and fine arts.
  • Huron Shores Historical Society – Visitors can learn about the region’s history at this site located in the small town of Huron Shores.
  • Port Austin Museum – This little museum is tucked away at the east end of the lake. It tells the story of the village through exhibits with information about the culture and lifestyles of those living here.
  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – This world-class art institution was founded by Dr. Charles Eames. This museum features contemporary, modern art exhibits. Its permanent collection includes works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, and other renowned artists.
  • Saugatuck Public Library – Visitors can check movies, books, magazines, music CDs, videos, and DVDs at this library located just off I-94. It covers three floors and has a vast selection of materials. There are children’s activities and programs held here regularly. They even have a section with puzzles and games so kids can do schoolwork before heading back to the shore.

Petoskey StonesPetoskey-stone-in-Petoskey-Michigan

The stones are made up of two separate rocks from Northern Michigan that were naturally joined together. These smooth rounded stones look similar to agates or jasper because of their green color. Although no one knows exactly how old the Petoskey Michigan stones are, there are records showing some people believe them to be Native American petroglyphs. Others say they’re natural formations shaped by wind and water; however, others blame erosion caused by humans who mined them centuries ago.

The history behind the Petoskey stone was popularized within the literature in the 1920s by author Zane Grey whose short stories inspired the name “Petosky” for the stones. Today residents still use the stones for jewelry and decorate them while outdoor enthusiasts enjoy climbing on top of the stones. This has made it a scenic vacation for travelers visiting northern Michigan each year.

Lake Michigan Marinas

Lake Michigan Marinas
Lake Michigan Marinas

There are different types of marina facilities available to visitors, including seasonal (open year-round) and year-round (closed in winter). Many offer moorage for boats up to 150 feet, allowing boaters to stay near the water instead of traveling farther inland. Boats may go as close to the shoreline as possible within the length of the dock.

Year-round marinas are also equipped with amenities such as restrooms, showers, laundry services, cafes, convenience stores, boat rentals, and fueling stations. Most offer sailing lessons and yacht charter services. Since tourists often spend time exploring the local area, many of these facilities provide bike rental services, boat tours, ice skating, and other things to keep you busy when you want to step away from the lake.

Harbor Springs, Michigan

Harbor Springs, Michigan

Harbor Springs is an unincorporated community in Emmet County of the US state of Michigan located approximately eight miles north of Mount Pleasant along Interstate 75 and about four miles south of Grayling. The springs offer the only fresh drinking water directly connected to the Great Lakes system.

Residents rely on the water to quench thirst, but locals also use the spring water for cooking, irrigation, and sanitation. The town of Harbor Springs is home to many attractions, including a historic lighthouse, a marina, restaurants, and shops. When considering places to visit, it is a great choice since it offers something for everyone.

Charlevoix, Michigan


A small vacation destination right between Mackinaw City and Cheboygan, Charlevoix is known for its beautiful beaches, charming downtown, and various attractions. If you love fishing, you will enjoy this town since it boasts one of the best lakes in Michigan and multiple locations where anglers can cast their lines. Charlevoix is also well known as a tourist attraction because of its historical sites like Fort Mackinac, Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse, the Chasseloup-Laubat Museum, the Crooked Tree Distillery, Fort Griswold State Park, etc.

Another great thing about this part of Michigan is that you are never too far from the ocean here in any direction. There are so many options for fun activities and adventures, whether it’s the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, the Apostle Islands, or Bayfield Marina. There are numerous events throughout the year at local parks, museums, and galleries.

During the summer months, the annual Strawberry Festival attracts thousands of visitors. And during the fall, there are exciting fall festivals like the Harvest Festivals, Pumpkin Fair, Indian Village Festival, Art & Wine Festival, and more. Click here to see all of our vacation rentals in Charlevoix, Michigan.

Lake Michigan Watersports


No matter what kind of water sports you pursue in your free time, there are amazing opportunities to do them right on Lake Michigan. From powerboating to wakeboarding, jet skiing to waterskiing, parasailing to parasol snorkeling, boogie boarding to windsurfing, there are endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts who have a passion for water sports.

If you want to learn how to surf without spending money on classes, then you can rent boards by day, week, month, or year. Moreover, if you’re interested in learning how to sail, take a sailing lesson, kayak, paddleboard, bodyboard, or scuba dive, all kinds of marine gear are sold at major retailers like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Kmart, Sears, and Kohls. Lake Michigan’s water temperature makes it easy to swim easily even if you don’t own equipment when it’s warm out, but cold is another story.


There are some fantastic national and state parks right in the heart of Michigan. Even though they can get quite crowded, camping is allowed in these areas. They include Glacier Forest State Park, Manistee Forks Park, Lost River State Park, South Bass Island State Park, Crystal Falls State Park, Silver Lake Beach State Park, and more. Some people consider hiking one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to spend time outdoors, especially in these beautiful natural forests.

Many people find that biking is a perfect way to see wildlife and other scenery while enjoying the views of nature. If you’re looking for something a bit easier, you might be interested in horseback riding, which gives you an excellent opportunity to explore the woods and wetlands on a horse. If camping isn’t your style, you could opt to stay in cabins instead.

These accommodations aren’t permanent like camping tents, but they offer campsites the same amenities and safety requirements. In addition to staying in campgrounds, you can look into renting houses and condos near these places.

Sizzling Hot Dogs and French Fries

Michigan has a long history of serving up delicious food every season. From hearty soups and salads in winter to fried chicken and waffles in the spring to juicy burgers and steaks in summer, you’ll have no problem finding a mouth-watering meal anywhere in the state. If you’re not yet ready to settle down after exploring all the abovementioned destinations, feel free to go to the nearest grocery store to stock up on meat and produce before setting off to explore the rest of the state.

But remember that fast food restaurants are everywhere in Michigan, and you don’t need to worry about being hungry or tired! The state doesn’t lack coffee shops and cafes either. This means that you’ll always have plenty of options in case you get too excited and indulged.

Art and Music Museums

Michigan has a lot to celebrate and showcase, especially when it comes to art and music. Whether you enjoy seeing masterpieces in person or listening to live performances by artists and musicians, there are lots of opportunities waiting for you here. While the Detroit Institute of Arts has many famous paintings, sculptures, and other artwork, many of its pieces were acquired during the 20th century through eminent auctions.

Therefore, you won’t find any works attributed to ancient Egyptian painters. Fortunately, another museum in L. Michigan called the Museum of Contemporary Art features many unique artworks by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol. Another great place to check out is the Royal Oak Music Theater because it hosts some amazing concerts with legendary performers each year. The theater is also the home of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, so if you love classical music, it’s worth checking out.

Outdoor Activities

this is a picture of someone ice skating

Michigan has dozens of outdoor activities you can participate in, regardless of how adventurous or casual, you want to be. If you prefer skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating are just some of the sports you can practice here.

You will also find plenty of beaches where you can walk along the shoreline or even swim in the ocean. As for golf, the city of Traverse City offers some championship courses and country clubs you can visit. Although you can try rock climbing at various locations around the state, many fans say that the area is known for this activity.

To summarize, Michigan is full of surprises and incredible places where you can meet people from all over the world. There’s something for everyone, whether you like spending time outdoors, shopping, dining, relaxing on the beach, or getting busy sightseeing. And speaking of getting busy, there are hundreds of thousands of exciting attractions, hotels, and events where you can stay overnight, vacation, or spend days in this beautiful, scenic, and welcoming state.

However, Michigan is more than its capital city, which may tell you why other cities in Michigan should be included in your top 10 list. Lake Michigan real estate also offers an excellent option for anyone who wants to own property but isn’t interested in living there. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire Midwest, and for a good reason.