Visiting Michigan: a best-kept secret?

September 9, 2013

Michigan, USA for Kids

We have lived in the Midwest for 5 years and somehow in all the trips we have made to see family and friends in the US, we have yet to explore our own backyard. Since we live in Ohio, visiting Michigan has been on my “Midwest Bucket List” for a while. Finally this August we made that wish a reality and visited Traverse City and Mackinac Island.

I was not sure what to expect. Usually when people talk up a place it tends to disappoint me. I tried not to get too overly excited about going to Michigan – I mean, who goes to Michigan, right? Right!


I decided on visiting the north side of Michigan because after all the road trips we did last year, as far as Orlando and Maine, I figured 7+ hours in the car would not be a big deal.  I was right, and I would drive even further to have this little slice of paradise.

We stayed on the beach. We swam at the pool. We played.

North Shore Inn, Traverse City Visiting the beach Traverse City

Most vacations are not near as relaxing but when traveling with kids you really can’t plan too much each day. Yes, we would have liked to do more but we came home feeling refreshed, well-rested, and closer as a family. It was just what we needed.

We also biked every morning, as the cooler morning’s made it nice to get out and explore while the afternoons were for swimming.

Biking Traverse City Bike Paths

We also spent a couple of days on Mackinac Island (said Mack-i-NAW as the “c” is silent). What a wonderful place! If this island was only 3-4 hours from central Ohio (instead of the 7-8 hours) I think we would be here a lot! It was fabulous.

Visiting Mackinac Island

Continuing on our bike, as Mackinac Island does not allow any cars, we stayed central to everything and enjoyed good food, good views, and an ABUNDANCE of fudge!!! I swear every 5 stores was a fudge shop. I was very glad for all our biking so I could enjoy a bit of it and not feel guilty!

View from Fort Mackinac

No matter where we were on the island, we enjoyed the beautiful views.

Overall, I discovered that Michigan may be the Midwest’s best kept secret and is a wonderful place to travel with kids to. I’ll share more over the coming weeks. For now, I wanted to tell you that our week was all sunshine and all smiles!

Mackinac Island with Kids

Ferry to Mackinac Island

Have you been to Michigan? If so, where and what did you think? I’d love to hear about your experience as we get out and try to explore even more!

Related Articles

How to Relax on Vacation
Weekend Getaway with Kids
Making the Most out of a Driving Vacation

11 Responses to “Visiting Michigan: a best-kept secret?”

  1. Karen Dawkins Says:

    Mackinac Island is on my top three list — worldwide! So glad you got to go. Looks as wonderful as I would expect it to be.


  2. sharon Says:

    I saw Lake Michigan for the first time this year. Didn’t make it to the actual state – just from the IN side. But we were wowed! and we want to go back! Beautiful smiles! Glad you had a great time!


  3. Michelle H Says:

    I haven’t been to Michigan yet, but there’s a place called the Finger Lakes that I really want to go someday. Your trip looks so relaxing!


  4. Renuka Says:

    Wow…nice! Michigan seems to be perfect for such cool, laid-back biking excursions!


  5. Raymond Waruhari Says:

    I haven’t been to Michigan but it is a destination that I have always want to go. This post has really inspired me.


  6. Lance | Trips By Lance Says:

    I’m hoping to visit Traverse City next year. Unfortunately it will be a longer trip from Memphis.


  7. Elizabeth Towns Says:

    My MI family would love this post. As an OSU Buckeye its like kryptonite to me to say this, but there are a lot of amazing things to do in Michigan. Great post.


  8. Terri @ Travel 50 States with Kids Says:

    We visited Michigan this summer too, but didn’t make it to Mackinac Island. Looks like you had a great time!


  9. Tonya {The Traveling Praters} Says:

    Can you believe that I have never been to Michigan? I had hoped to visit last summer but it didn’t happen so I moved it to my current bucket list. Maybe this year.


    • Kiera Says:

      Tonya, I said the same thing after living in Ohio for 5 years. In fact, someone just asked me about other midwest destinations and I realized how little I have explored this part of the country. Time to change that this year! You and I should sneak off to Michigan during beach season lol! You must go though – I was amazed at how much I really loved it. Even now we talk about it being one of the best vacations we’ve taken.


Leave a Reply