Camping Gems - Places to Eat in Michigan
Pike Street Restaurant, 18 W. Pike, Pontiac 248-334-7878
Zingerman's Roadhouse (2501 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor)84 East, 84 E. Eight Street, Holland 616-396-8484
Strawberry Fields (51070 S. Foster Road, New Baltimore)
Yeck Family Drive-In Restaurant (1304 Mackinaw Ave., Cheboygan)
Bath City Bistro (75 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens, MI 48043)
Shalimar, 29200 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills 810-855-4150)
Mangiamo! (1033 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids)
Mitchell's Fish Market (Livonia, Rochester)
Corky's Steakhouse (5100 Bay City Road, Midland 517-839-0541)
Camping Gems - Michigan
In his "Song of Hiawatha," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described the Tahquamenon Falls area as undisturbed forests, tranquil rivers, and abundant wildlife. This is still true today. Although most visitors come to see two of Michigan's most beautiful waterfalls, the park also has more than 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 inland lakes, 24 miles of the Tahquamenon River.
Set on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, this historic town is a haven for fishing, boating, antique shopping, theater, and more. You can hike to the 100-year-old lighthouse, visit in wintertime for amazing scenes of snow on the beach, or do some summer golfing on the championship course. Spend an afternoon hiking or biking on the many trails, canoeing on the lake, and visiting one of the nearby wineries or apple orchards.
Grass River Natural Area
Wildlife lovers won't want to miss a visit to the Grass River Natural Area, 1,325 acres of protected Michigan habitat that's set in the hills of Antrim County. The area includes five distinct eco-tones with lakes, a river, rushing streams, and crystal clear creeks. Follow the three-mile long boardwalk trail to watch for birds, mammals, and other animals.
Your visit to Fort Mackinac will let you step back in time with the help of re-enactors portraying the US soldiers and Victorian ladies that used to call this fort home in the 1880s. As you wander the grounds, you can tour 14 original buildings, listen to military music, and attend a court martial. Children in your party will enjoy the Kid's Quarters.
Holland's Tulip Time Festival
During this 10- day festival, the town of Holland wraps itself in its Dutch Heritage. You will find the locals in wooden shoes, doing the Klompert dance, and entertaining you with parades. The festival also has a Taste of Holland, a Volksparade, a Children's Costume Parade, and name entertainers almost every day. (171 Lncoln Ave 616-396-4221)
Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad, Flint
Step into a by-gone era in this living-history village. Visit the school, see the cider mill, and meet the barber. On the grounds you'll find over 30 historic buildings, the state's oldest operating gristmill, and a General Store just stocked with goodies to tempt you. (6140 Bray Rd, 810-736-7100)
2,200-acre Houghton Lake is jumping full of walleye and northern pike. The lake is a haven for boating and fishing, but if you tire of warm-water fishing, just head about 10 minutes away to Higgins Lake for trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch plus a whole lot of natural beauty. Don't care for fishing? Then enjoy swimming, canoeing, and hiking.
Mackinac State Historic Park
Only 2 miles wide and 3 miles long, this island started out as a gathering place for the local native tribes. Over the following years this little patch of land has been home to French missionaries, fur traders, British soldiers, American troops, fishermen, Confederate prisoners, and railroad barons. Rated as one of the top ten islands in the world, you'll feel yourself relax as you enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride, wander through a historic fort, and stroll one of the porches at the Grand Hotel. (231-436-4100, open early May through early October)
With both the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Traverse Bay nearby, the Leelanau Peninsula can't help being beautiful. Beyond stunning views, the peninsula has scores of vineyards, orchards, and charming villages to explore.
Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory
A visit to the Butterfly Conservatory will give you a chance to see 200 different species of butterflies from around the world. Gentle instrumental music accompanies the butterflies in their dance.
Camping Gems - Places to Go in Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Explore some of the most magnificent shoreline on Lake Michigan at this phenomenal lakeshore park. Encompassing 35 miles of the lake's eastern coast, this park includes sand dunes to climb, two islands to explore, and a robust logging and shipping history to learn about. You can enjoy a day on the beach, building sand castles and swimming in the lake, or go hiking on the more than 100 miles of trails.
Founded by German missionary families in 1845, this little town has become a major tourist draw because of its old world charm. To learn more about local history, drop by the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. You'll find more fun exhibits at the Weathervane Folk Art Show and the Zeesenagel Italian Village.
Island Lake Recreation Area
Hiking, biking, fishing, mountain biking? You can do it all at this recreation area that's conveniently near Detroit. Island Lake has canoeing areas, great fishing grounds, a shooting range, and 12 miles of trails for hiking and biking.
Sarett Nature Center
Looking for a place with incredible birding? Then head to this center southwestern Michigan for the chance to see groups of cardinals and stroll the five-miles of trails. You'll see amazing views of the Paw Paw River bluffs, get to explore a fen ecosystem, and see colorful wildflowers.
Henry Ford Estate, Dearborn
Here you can tour the 56 room mansion with its 300-foot underground tunnel to its own power plant, eight different intricate fireplaces, some carved with Henry's own philosophies, and pool room with steam-heated benches and rare Swedish green marble. (4901 Evergreen Road, 313-593-5590)
Set in southwestern Michigan, Holland is filled with Dutch spirit. Be sure to visit Windmill Island and DeZwaan, a working 200-year-old 12-story high Dutch windmill. To learn more about local history, head to the Cappon House Museum, and the Holland Museum.
Seven Ponds Nature Center
Hike the centers five miles of trails and you'll travel through as many different ecosystems. This is a great place to see sandhill cranes, bobolinks, bluebirds, tree swallows, and swamp sparrows. Keep your eye open for muskrats and beavers in the wetlands. Don't miss the spring wildflowers.
Isle Royale National Park
Accessible only by boat or seaplane, visitors come to experience this island park through hiking its trails, paddling its inland waterways, exploring its rugged coast, or venturing into the depth of its shipwrecks. You'll need time to visit Isle Royale, but the effort is certainly worth while.
Waterloo-Pinckney Recreation Hiking Trail
West of Ann Arbor lie two superb outdoor spaces: Big Portage Lake Day Use Area and Silver Lake Beach. Running between them in the 36-mile long Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. This is a haven for hikers and mountain bikers (26 miles of hiking trails are open to mountain biking).
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
During spring and fall, Whitefish Point is one of the best birding sites in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Spring migration begins in mid-March and peaks in mid-May. During this time, up to 25,000 raptors pass by the Point–as many as 3,000 in a single day! Sharp-shinned, broad-winged, and red-tailed hawks are most common.
Camping Gems - Things to Do in Michigan
Climb a sand dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
See a beaver in its natural habitat (try Seven Ponds Nature Center).
Go fishing in the Upper Peninsula.
Bike the trails at the Island Lake Recreation Area near Detroit.
Experience Holland during the annual Tulip Time Festival.
See the view from the Mackinac Bridge.
Visit a living history site and step back in time (try Fort Mackinac or Flint's Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad).
Climb up a lighthouse for the Great Lakes view.
Photograph the massive waterfalls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Tour Henry Ford's Estate in Dearborn, exploring the 300-foot underground tunnel, the power plant, the pool room, and more than 50 other rooms.