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Your Guide to Summertime in Northern Michigan

Spring is the perfect time to start planning summer vacations. When it’s hot and humid in July and August, consider taking a trip to Northern Michigan. The area offers pristine lakes, fun family activities, great food and shopping, charming towns, outdoor sports such as hiking or biking, fun breweries and wineries, and more! Read through our guide to Northern Michigan to plan your perfect getaway.

Fun Towns To Visit

  • Traverse City is ideally located around many sites that you’ll want to visit in Northern Michigan. While in Traverse City, enjoy the excellent food, great shopping, public beaches, and more. If you are a foodie, dine at Trattoria Stella, Georgina’s or Mission Table. Voted one of the “Ten Best Small Towns in America” by Fodor’s, the city combines breathtaking attractions with a rich blend of adventure and relaxation. Bon Appetit rated Traverse City as a “Top Five Foodie Town,” while Draft Magazine proclaims it’s one of the “Top Three Emerging Beer Towns in the USA.”
  • Fish Town in Leland is a historic and picturesque small town about 25 minutes away from Traverse City. Walk around the town and take in the shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. There are public beaches and boat launches on each lake. Fish Town, Leland’s historical district, features rustic shanties and docks reminiscent of life and commercial fishing one hundred years ago. Today, shops fill these shanties, and charter fishing trips and the only public ferry to the popular Manitou Islands depart from those same docks.
  • Mackinac Island is one of the most popular locations in Northern Michigan. Voted one of the “Top 10 Islands in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler, Mackinac Island is a great experience. Step back in time (no cars are allowed on the island), and enjoy outdoor activities, breathtaking coastal views, carriage tours and bike riding. Stay at The Grand Hotel to take in the full Mackinac Island experience.
  • The Petoskey Area includes the lakeside communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne City, and Bay Harbor. The area features a Victorian setting along the lake, easy-going pace and breathtaking views. Petoskey has been named one of the Top 20 Places to Visit by Smithsonian magazine and is also famous for Petoskey Stones. The quaint waterfront community of Harbor Springs invites you to explore an array of art galleries and enjoy a variety of culinary attractions. Boyne City is nestled along Lake Charlevoix, voted second most beautiful lake in the country. Bay Harbor touts the Village at Bay Harbor upscale shopping boutiques and a year-round equestrian center. In this area, you’re never far from nationally ranked golf courses, first-class recreation, and a beautiful sunset.
  • Charlevoix is a cute town that offers numerous art galleries and shops. View the clearn blue water aboard a chartered cruise or hit the trails on foot or bike. You can also enjoy paddling and other water sports.

Wineries & Breweries

  • Located just outside of Traverse City, venture to Old Mission Penninsula where you will take a scenic drive and visit many wineries. Be sure to stop at Mission Table for a bite to eat while enjoying the view.
  • Northern Michigan offers a vast majority of breweries. Some of the breweries we’d recommend are Short’s, Mackinaw Brewing Company, Right Brain Brewing, and North Peak Brewing Company.

Lakes & Outdoor Activities

  • There are many lakes and beaches to choose from when it comes to Northern Michigan. If you’re looking to rent a boat or jet-ski, we’d recommend visiting a city or town that would allow for rentals. Plan for a day or an afternoon enjoying the many lakes in Northern Michigan. Or, consider renting a canoe or kayak.
  • If you’d prefer to take a boat tour rather than rent, check out these listings in the Traverse City area.
  • There are many opportunities to go for a hike. For a complete list of hikes in the area, click here.

Other Sights

  • Featured in the image for this blog post is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, located just outside of Traverse City. Climb to the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes, voted the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by Good Morning America viewers. The glistening waters of Lake Michigan make a stunning backdrop for the crisp, winter panoramas along one of USA Today’s “Ten Best Great Coastal Drives.”
  • Pictured Rocks features sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, streams, and more!. You may choose to explore this area in many ways including camping, kayaking, backpacking, or taking a boat tour.

To learn more about the area, visit,, or Call Angie at 513.777.8221 or email her at today to begin planning your trip.

About joytourandtravel

JOY TOUR and TRAVEL has been in operation since 1985. We are fully bonded and insured. We are specialists in many areas of travel. Our staff has traveled extensively to bring you first-hand knowledge of the world. It is our goal to provide quality travel experiences that are of exceptional value to our clients. We are an active member and Co-Owner of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP). This is your assurance that this agency meets the highest standards of financial stability. We have to meet certain criteria to be a member of TAP. TAP is 29 of North America's premier tour operators. We are also a member of (which allows us to get special discounts); the Greater Cincinnati BBB, Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), which allows us to book international, as well as domestic airline itineraries

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