Northern Michigan Vacation Destinations

Northern Michigan vacation choices are so many with such a varied style of living and budget considerations there must be one perfect vacation spot for you and your family to enjoy!


Marcia and Kathy are sure that one of our favorites will be just perfect for your next vacation.

If you and your family love the great outdoors with a more simplified life style and enjoy each season - spring, summer, fall and winter - than a northern Michigan vacation is a fantastic choice.



Here's Our 8 Favorite  Northern Michigan Vacation Towns
(in alphabetical order)

  • #1. Bay Harbor, Michigan is on the shores of Little Traverse Bay between Petoskey and Charlevoix. Bay Harbor is a luxurious resort community with a small village for shopping and dining, a beautiful fresh water yacht club and marina, an equestrian facility plus golf courses that are absolutely the best that northern Michigan offers. It's open year round and is a four season resort for your family to enjoy.
  • #2. Boyne City is a small village but with spectacular outdoor activities. It's on the shores of Lake Charlevoix which has direct boating access to Lake Michigan. It's also near beautiful Walloon Lake which offers exquisite Michigan lake living to the max. Great fishing, world class golf courses and is home to Boyne Mountain which is one of the best downhill ski resorts in the Midwest.
  • #3. Charlevoix is known for its drawbridge that is right in the center of this thriving summer community. The bridge goes up on the hour to allow large yachts and sail boats to cross from Lake Charlevoix to Lake Michigan. If you love boats this is the place! The Beaver Island ferry also is stationed from the marina. The active downtown shops and restaurants, as well as, all the community events make this a great place to vacation. In the winter months it's pretty quiet so its best to choose it during the spring, summer or fall.
  • #4. Harbor Springs is between Petoskey and Mackinaw City on Route 119. The harbor is absolutely beautiful and the community itself has "Norman Rockwell" charm throughout. There aren't many hotels but there are wonderful opportunities to rent a summer home or cabin on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan or in the many near by resort communities. Nubs Nob and Boyne Highlands are great 4 season resorts just outside of Harbor Springs.
  • #5. Hessel is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and if you are looking for remoteness plus beauty then this is the best northern Michigan spot for you. Its located in the beautiful Les Cheneaux Islands near Drummond Island and the Saint Mary's River which is on the shores of the U.S. and Canada. Great fishing, fantastic kayaking and a chance to either camp or choose small quaint cabins for your lodging. Of course, you can find vacation homes to rent too.
  • #6. Mackinac Island is one of the most unique and charming northern Michigan vacation destinations. It was given AOL Travel Award for 2010 as one of America's 10 Best Islands. History is everywhere on this Island and also the loving warmth of a community who devote their lives to keep the Island's way of life preserved for future generations. AOL Travel has awarded Mackinac Island as one of the "America's 10 Best Islands which is a very prestigious honor. The Iroquois Hotel is designated as one of the best small hotels in the U.S. and also the historic Grand Hotel is a chosen resort for people world-wide. And, of course, Mackinac Island is Marcia and Kathy's first choice for their northern Michigan vacation destination!
  • #6. Mackinaw City is a great choice if you love history and want to enjoy all the terrific Mackinaw City attractions with your family. It's the best northern Michigan vacation location if you are planning to visit Mackinac Island on a day trip rather than extended stay. All three ferry lines are located in Mackinaw City, as well as St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. There are many national chain hotels to stay at and most have very economical rates. There are some great campgrounds near Mackinaw City if you enjoy camping.
  • #7. Petoskey is the community where most northern Michigan vacationers visit for at least a day or longer. Located high on a bluff overlooking Little Traverse Bay makes it a joy in all seasons to watch the Bay's changing colors and conditions. In fact, it's such a wonderful community to enjoy year round, Kathy and her husband chose it when they recently retired and moved from Washington DC. Great fishing, great shopping, great beaches, great boating, great golf makes just one big great place to live or to vacation! Its smack in the middle of Mackinac Island and Traverse City. It has many choices of lodging as well numerous small Michigan lakes to vacation on.
  • #8.Traverse City is the "big" northern Michigan city to visit if you want some night time action spring, summer, fall or winter. Located on the Grand Traverse Bay which is 32 miles long and in some places 620 feet deep makes the Bay a focal point for this town. It's known as the Cherry Capital in the Midwest with a large Cherry Festival each year. It's an active community with many festivals, cycling & running events, fantastic golf courses and is becoming known for its wonderful culinary restaurants too. Many national hotels are along the Grand Traverse Bay which makes it a popular destination spot for your northern Michigan vacation.

Marcia and Kathy's Insider Tip: Choosing a Northern Michigan vacation is a great way to build family memories and family fun all year round.  There are outdoor activities in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter! Come and Enjoy! Many people find they want to retire in northern Michigan when their children leave the nest. That's what Kathy & Todd have done.

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