LANSING (WWJ) – With 3,200 miles of fresh water coastline – more than any other state, courtesy of four of the five Great Lakes – accented by 115 lighthouses, plus more than 800 golf courses, 81 wineries, 11,000 inland lakes, and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, visitors can enjoy a perfect Pure Michigan summer escape on land or water.
“Summer in Michigan is pure delight for our visitors and residents. In Michigan you are never more than six miles from a lake or stream. Stand anywhere in the state and you are within 85 miles of a Great Lake,” George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, said in a release.
“With warm temperatures our beachtowns and charming ports on the Great Lakes are just a part Michigan’s special allure. There are a few hundred ways to cap off a vacation with family fun destinations and a myriad of annual events in two beautiful peninsulas, including some hot times in cool cities like Bay City, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Traverse City,” he continued.
Those lazy, hazy days of summer kick off Memorial Day weekend with a variety of events and activities for all ages.
The long weekend is perfect for a Pure Michigan getaway to enjoy biking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, or paddling. Book a charming Bed and Breakfast for a snug retreat, or a weekend package at one of many destinations coast to coast.
Muskegon’s Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park opens its summer season with the new “Beach Party” attraction, a giant, interactive water playground in the park’s WildWater Adventure Waterpark. A 90-foot blast from a huge geyser will set the playful mood along with 150 water play features including several waterfalls. Guests can drench each other with fire hoses and water guns for a good soaking.
During the summer months there are more than 150 events to attend for food, entertainment, arts and crafts, parades, fireworks and games.
Memorial Day weekend includes a wee bit of Scotland at the Alma Highland Festival, a chance to meet President and Mrs. Lincoln at Coldwater’s Civil War Days, or tune into Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival in the birthplace of the techno sound.
All levels of anglers are welcome to attend the Annual Memorial Weekend Amateur Salmon and Trout Fishing Derby in Pentwater, or cast a line in any of Michigan’s lakes and streams.
Michigan has 81 wineries and vineyards with tasting rooms and culinary events. Visitors can explore five beautiful wine trails: Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail, Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association and the Sunrise Side Wine and Hops Trail.
Sail into summer aboard the 65-foot Appledore V Schooner on the Straits of Mackinac. This beautiful tall ship leaves from the Mackinaw City Straits Harbor for up to 2-hour excursions. Daytime and evening sails are a great way to view the 5-mile span of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island.
Be your own captain and kayak on the Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail that extends over 100 miles along the Lake Huron shoreline with 34 launch/landing markers.
Tee off the summer at any of the 850 public and resort golf courses. Seek out award-winning courses like the Marquette Golf Club’s Greywalls in the Upper Peninsula or Forest Dunes in Roscommon. There are many golf weekend deals at northern Michigan retreats like the Boyne, Grand Traverse and Crystal Mountain resorts and spas.
With 98 state parks to choose from there are plenty of options for camping, hiking, nature trails, horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. Most of the parks offer special activities for kids and adults.
In addition to the state park campgrounds, throughout Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula state forest campgrounds provide over 3,000 campsites in the nearly 4-million acres of state forest. Campers are encouraged to reserve space early. There are 80 state park and recreation areas that offer campgrounds and rentals of cabins, teepees and yurts.
For more ideas on how to enjoy a perfect Michigan summer, visit michigan.org, where you can order a free copy of the 2011 Michigan Travel Ideas, a 120-page, full-color travel guide packed with tips for exploring the Great Lakes State in all four seasons.