9 Under-the-Radar Favorite Locales for a Mitten-cation

Summer’s just about here, which means you’re ready to plan a perfect summer stay-cation. So where should you go? While the obvious answers are places like Traverse City and Mackinac Island, there are many unique and beautiful destinations around the state without the crowds.

These nine lesser known lake towns have amazing views, attractions and culture:

  1. Pentwater: Pentwater’s white sand beaches, local farmers markets and small town charm all add to its appeal. Whether you’re a solo camper, a couple looking for a bed-and-breakfast or a family wanting to stay in a lakeside cottage, Pentwater is one of West Michigan’s best kept secrets.
  2. Cheboygan: In the northern part of the state Cheboygan’s sweeping beachfront, beautiful lighthouses and scenic landscape make it a favorite getaway during the summertime season. The quiet town offers charm, delicious restaurants and up-north favorites like ice cream and fudge shops.
  3. Saugatuck: Sailing and fishing charters are just one of the many attractions Saugatuck boasts. The city also has several great diners, dives and breweries, so bring your appetite.
  4. Ludington: Ludington has gained popularity in recent years for its active downtown scene and unique attractions. Visit the Country Dairy, local marina and wineries for a one-of-a-kind experience. And be sure to catch the S.S. Badger as it pulls into port transporting visitors from across Lake Michigan!
  5. Tawas: Tawas’ many parks and small town feeling along Lake Huron is everything we love about Michigan. The town is known for its quaint community that brings big charm. Be sure to check out the neighboring town of Oscoda for golf and other attractions as well.
  6. Gladwin: Quiet, picturesque and isolated, Gladwin is great for campers and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy a walk through the mid-Michigan wilderness or a relaxing boat ride on local waterfronts.  
  7. Eagle Harbor: It can take a little bit of effort to get to this UP spot, which is one of Michigan’s earliest settled towns, but the views and the local experience are worth it. Enjoy kayaking, canoeing or fishing bayside, or venture into the wilderness for bird-watching or outdoor activities like camping and hiking.
  8. Caseville: Although Caseville is loved for its waterfront and cottages, the annual Cheeseburger Festival is what makes it a summer staple. This year’s fest takes place August 12th through the 21st.
  9. Escanaba: This town, in the southern part of the UP, was originally fueled by the lumber industry. It now serves as a treasured favorite for hunters and those looking for a dose of serenity.

Looking for more ways to enjoy Michigan during the summer? Read these blogs:

Photo credit: Ray Dumas

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