Michigan Summer Bucket List

Ahhhh Summertime in Northern Michigan. Is there anything better? Let me answer that one for you… No. No, there is not. Just ask (Kid Rock, yo!)

Growing up, Northern Michigan was my backyard. And I personally believe it’s at it’s best in the summer. Summer in the Mitten tastes like cherries, sounds like waves, feels like sunshine and looks like paradise.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out and cross off your Michigan Summer Bucket List!

Michigan Summer Bucket List 2017 

  1. Eat Ice Cream. It was Number 1 on my list last summer, and it’s Number 1 again this summer. Why? Because ice cream is the quintessential summer treat, and Michigan makes some of the best there is. My favorites are Moomer’s in Traverse City and House of Flavors in Ludington and Manistee.

    Ice Cream at Moomer’s!
  2. Take a Hike. Hiking is good for the soul. Whether you’re trying to escape into nature, clear your head, and just looking for something fun to do, hiking is always the answer. While we might not have mountains, we do have picturesque dunes, rocky lakeshore and lush forests you can explore. You’ll find hundreds of hikes around our great state, but I think some of the best call the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks home.  (PS… IMO Keens are the BEST choice of footware for hikes in Northern Michigan. (People ask me what I recommend all the time.) Why? Because chances are, you’re going to encounter sand on your hike and it won’t get all stuck in your shoes. Plus they’re super comfy! Find mine (similar) here… and get 20% off if you order today!)

    Hiking through mud to Chapel Rock in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 
  3. Head to the beach. It’s not summertime in Northern Michigan without a beach day… or 10. Grab your sunscreen, pack a picnic and go enjoy a perfect day at the beach.

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    Beach days are the best days. 
  4. Catch a festival. Michigan has SO.MANY.FESTIVALS. Think of Star’s Hallow… only on a grander scale. If you’ve never been, The Cherry Festival should be your number one choice! Or, find a small town packed with charm and check out their local festival. (If it has the word “Days” behind it, it’s probably going to be good. No joke! Bear Lake Days, Arcadia Daze, Onekama Days… maybe thats just a Northern Michigan thing, but small town festivals rock.)

    Manistee National Forest Festival; Manistee, MI. 
  5. Say SUP. SUPing is one of my favorite ways to spend a day out on the Lake. However, it isn’t for everyone. So grab a SUP, kayak, canoe and spend a day floating on your favorite little lake.

    SUPing in Glen Arbor, MI. 
  6. Cheer on the Tigs… and come say “Hi!” to me! I’m working at Comerica this summer and would love to meet you!

    *Not what we look like at Tigers Games this year. HAHA 
  7. Go fishing. In the words of my husband “Eat.Sleep.Fish.”

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    Pier fishing in Manistee. 
  8. Play in a waterfall. The UP is full of them! Check back next Monday for a few of my favorite waterfalls to visit in our great state!

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    Laughing Whitefish Falls; Rock River Township, MI.
  9. Find a Summer Brew. Michigan is home to hundreds of incredible craft breweries! Most have special summer brews. Take some time to taste as many as you can to find your new summer favorite. Might I suggest Short’s Soft Shandy?! 🙂

    Short’s Brewing in Bellaire, MI. 
  10. Find Your Park. The National Park Service encourages everyone to find their park. And while I’ll tell you without hesitation my favorite national park is Grand Teton (find all my Jackson Hole posts here) my heart belongs to The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. If you don’t fall in love with The Dunes the second you step foot on them, you just may not have a heart. 😉

    Empire Bluff Trail, Sleeping Bear Dunes. 
  11. Get Picture(d) Perfect. Earlier this month, I went back to the Pictured Rocks for the first time since I was little… and oh boy did I fall in love with them all over again! Pack up your family (friends, or yourself!) and head to Munising. I promise you will not be disappointed! (Be on the lookout for more Pictured Rocks posts the next few Mitten Mondays!)

    Miner’s Castle, Pictured Rocks.
  12. Find a hidden gem. Michigan is filled with Hidden Gems. Get out there and find them! (And then tell me what you find so I can go explore them too!) My most recent favorite hidden gem? Kitch-iti-ipi! (Read all about it here.)

    Looking into the water at Kitch-iti-kipi.
  13. Get on island time. One of my absolute favorite summer trips in my great state is to Mackinac Island. Click here to see everything I love about this place in the summertime!

    Biking around the island. 
  14. Go Shopping at a Farmer’s Market. Fresh coasts = Fresh flavors. With thousands of farms, orchards and vineyards, Michigan is one of the best places to get the freshest ingredients for your summer dishes. While there are some awesome big ones in bigger cities, I love the little local markets that are sprinkled up and down M22!

    Manistee Farmers Market finds.  
  15. Seek a pleasant peninsula. LOL taking our state motto super literally here… but seriously. I think you need to head to the UP this summer. I’m not going to lie to you, I legit HATE driving across the UP. It seems like it takes forever, and it’s boring. However, their are so many great “final destinations” once your there, that it’s totally worth the drive. Last summer, I shared this itinerary from a family trip we took. I still stand by it… it’s so fun! Especially if you have little ones. However, if you’re looking for a bit more of an outdoorsy adventure stay tuned to my Mitten Mondays! (Or sign up to receive my blog in your inbox so you don’t miss out!)

    Bet ya can’t guess where I am! HAHA
  16. Eat Outside. Something about summer just makes me want to eat outside. Whether it’s picnics in the park, food trucks on the side of the road, or picture perfect patios, food tastes better under the sweet summer sunshine.

    Coffee outside The Fillmore; Manistee, MI.
  17. Snuggle up by the fire. Arguably my favorite summer tradition is sitting around the fire with my family. We sit there for hours laughing, talking and playing lawn games. Some of my favorite memories are around the fire. And if you already have a fire roaring, you might as well…3fb039de-3671-44f0-b603-18e046012509
  18. Make Hobo Pies. Is this what everyone calls them? Or just us Northern Michiganders? I’ve heard them called campfire pies too. Either way, grab your fillin’s and make a delicious treat! In my family we like to have Hobo Pie night and make all sorts of dinner ones, like pizza or nachos. But we almost always have everything we need on hand to make dessert Hobo Pies any night of the week.DSC_0147
  19. Hit a Star Party… or have your own! The wide openness makes the stars seem bigger and brighter. You can find star parties at The Sleeping Bear Dunes, but all you really need is a beach and a dark, cloudless sky to enjoy stargazing in Northern Michigan.

    *NOT MY PICTURE. I took it off MLive… because every time I take a picture of the stars its just a big black blob!
  20. Catch a sunset. Because Michigan Summer Sunsets are the prettiest in the whole entire world.

    Sunset at 5th Avenue Beach in Manistee, MI. 

And there you have it my friends. My Michigan Summer Bucket List guaranteed to make sure you make the most out of your summer in Michigan! What are your plans to make the most of your summer?!

I’m back tomorrow for Travel Tuesday! See you then. Have a wonderful Monday loves!


3 thoughts on “Michigan Summer Bucket List

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