Michigan Summer Travel Guide

Thank you to Mission Point Resort, our Premier Sponsor for the Detroit Moms Blog 2018 Summer Travel Guide. All views expressed in this post are our own. Happy travels!

Is there any place more beautiful than Michigan in the summer?! What an amazing place we live! The Mitten offers all kinds of great destinations and activities for adults and children alike. 

Detroit is the perfect place to start your summer vacation, and that is exactly where our Michigan Summer Travel Guide begins! The Detroit Metro area is buzzing with family-friendly activities.

Next, we head north on I-75 into Mid-Michigan. We continue our summer travels “Up North” to Michigan’s world renowned northern destinations. We then head to the west side of the state, which boasts some amazing hot spots! A short car ride north and then a little east, and you’re in the beautiful Thumb area of the state. 

What are you waiting for?! Pack your bags, hop in the car, and get ready for a summer full of road-tripping fun!

Where will your travels take you? Share them with us, using the hashtag #dmbtravels.

:: Premier Sponsor :: Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island

One of our favorite northern Michigan destinations is Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island. If you’ve never been, put this amazing, family-friendly spot on the top of your summer bucket list! Voted the best place to stay in Michigan by Condé Nast Traveler, Mission Point is located right on the shores of the Island.

Things to Do

Sit on the Great Lawn in an Adirondack chair and watch the freighters roll by while enjoying your morning coffee, or evening glass of wine.

Fly a kite, play a game of Bocce Ball, or Glow Golf with your family. Visit the pool, check out the Kids’ Club {complimentary for little guests}, or the arcade. Rent a bike on site, and take the eight-mile scenic ride around the entire Island. Watch a movie in the on-site theater, or play a family board game in the vast and comfortable lobby of the resort. The possibilities are endless!

The Food

Oh, how we love food! Mission Point has five restaurants within the resort, each offering something different. An added bonus? Kids under 12 eat free!

Enjoy house-made pastas and delicious signature entrees at Chianti. If you’re lucky, your waiter will sing for you! The piano playing and singing are lovely, and the breeze from the water as you dine inside or out is heavenly. Don’t miss the dessert. Everything is amazing, but the lemon bars are legendary!

Enjoy made-to-order omelettes and a beautiful breakfast spread at the Round Island Bar and Grill. Casual, delicious food is offered all day. You may dine outside on the picturesque patio overlooking the Great Lawn and water, or enjoy your meal inside.

Bistro on the Greens is located right on the 18-hole putting course. The outdoor bar and seating area is perfect for lunch or dinner. In the evening, enjoy the lounge area and cozy fire pits, while overlooking the straits. Everything is delicious, but you must not leave without indulging in an order of Mission Point’s signature Truffle Fries with a hand-crafted Lavender Lemonade on the side. Trust us: pure bliss.

Pop into the Reserve, an on-site wine bar featuring Mission Point wines. Enjoy a wine tasting and charcuterie board in the cozy dining area, or take your meal onto the patio. Located on the same level, Boxwood Coffeeshop and Cafe features signature coffee and drinks, made-from-scratch pastries and house-made foods that you can grab and enjoy on the Great Lawn or patio.


A visit to Mission Point would not be complete without a trip to Lakeside Salon and Spa. A true oasis, the spa is a full-service health and wellness retreat. Enjoy a massage! The relaxation room alone evokes a feeling of Zen, and that’s before the massage even begins. 

Treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure. Mission Point uses all-natural products, which we love! Their nail polish is made in Michigan – how cool is that?! – and offers vibrant and unique colors, perfect for vacation!

We can’t say enough about this lovely, family-friendly destination. Check it out, and reserve a time with your family to enjoy all that Mission Point has to offer!



Head downtown! Detroit is a great destination for a family day trip, or a couples’ overnight stay. 

Take in the sites, visit local attractions and enjoy one of the many amazing eateries that are popping up all over the city. Click on the tabs below to see more!


Check out any of these amazing spots downtown, and spend the day with your family!

Belle Isle
Comerica Park
Campus Martius Park
Detroit Riverwalk
Dequindre Cut
Eastern Market
Ford Fireworks

One of our favorite things about Detroit is all of the amazing food! We put together a Foodie’s Bucket List in year’s past, paying homage to some of our area favorites. New dining establishments are popping up all the time. There are so many options, you are sure to please the whole crew. Overall, the list of choices is endless, but here are some of our favorite family friendly spots:

Brome Modern Eatery
FOLK Detroit
Suppino Pizzeria
Mootown Creamery
Dime Store
Royale With Cheese
Green Dot Stables
Jolly Pumpkin
Mercury Burger Bar
Slows  BBQ

Make it a girlfriends of couples staycation, and spend the night downtown! There are some great hotels to choose from! US News and World Report recently ranked the 15 best hotels in the Detroit area, including the Detroit Foundation Hotel and the Westin Book Cadillac

For more dining, entertainment, and shopping options in downtown Detroit, might we suggest: https://visitdetroit.com/

Heading North

Away we go! Pack the car and head north to one of these great Michigan spots.

Are you new to road tripping with your family? DMB has you covered! For road trip tricks and tips, check out out DMB’s post, The Long and Whining Road {Survival Tips from our First Road Trip with Kids}

If you’re a seasoned road tripper, share some of your favorite tips with us! We can never have too many tricks up our sleeves when it comes to traveling with kids! 

Either way, one thing’s for sure: don’t forget to pack the snacks!

:: Spotlight :: Zehnder's Splash Village

About an hour north of Detroit, Michigan’s Little Bavaria is a great family friendly destination! Located in Mid-Michigan, Frankenmuth is a quaint, charming town full of history. Enjoy the day shopping, taking in the scenery, and eating world famous chicken.  If you’re traveling with children, Zehnder’s Splash Village is one of our favorite Mitten destinations! 

Spend a day or a weekend at Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, with over 50,000 square feet of aquatic excitement! Take a sneak peek inside, and start to plan your day, weekend or week of fun.

The Waterparks

Yes, there are two! Check out the Atrium Waterpark and the Splash Waterpark, each offering something different to enjoy. Take a six-story family raft ride and super loop drop slide, zero-entry activity pool with water geysers, water basketball and volleyball, Action River, Splash Landing play area, Dumping Bucket, four story tube slides, the Giggling Gorge and Perilous Plunge. If you’re more in the mood to relax, enjoy the Whimsical Whirl Hot Tub or just float along Zehnder’s Lazy River. 

The Outdoor Pool

Looking to soak up some sun? Enjoy the outdoor pool overlooking the Tantrum Twist slide. Take a seat on a lounge chair and enjoy a snack and drinks while you recover from all of the amazing fun that you’ve had inside!

Visit the Arcade

What little {and big!} kid doesn’t love an arcade?! Splash Village’s arcade offers over 2,000 square feet of fun, with over 40 plus of the latest and greatest arcade games. Don’t forget about the prizes! The arcade offers a large selection for kids to enjoy. 


Waterpark play builds quite the appetite! Enjoy a family meal at Elf Hollow Café, located in the main lobby. A full breakfast buffet is available daily in the Elf Hollow Cafe, as well. Spending the day in the Atrium Park? Check out The Mushroom Grille. The Waterpark Snack Window is a great option, too,  featuring pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, deli sandwiches, onion rings, fries, cheese sticks, fresh fruit, slushes and soft drinks! Both Elf Hollow and Mushroom Grille offer a Bar & Gourmet Coffee Station. 

More Family Fun!

Wind down each evening with a complimentary movie night. Located in the main lobby, families can enjoy current Disney classics and lounge in their pajamas after a long day of fun!

Check out all that this Mid-Michigan destination has to offer today! Family vacation packages are available, or you may book a Day Pass online. 

If you’re looking enjoy over 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun during the weekdays this summer, take $30 off an Eat and Sleep package now through August 30th, Sunday through Thursday!

Other Mid-Michigan Favorites

As you head north of Detroit, there are some pretty great spots to enjoy. Check out these Michigan gems with your family this summer. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

Flint Farmer’s Market
Sloan Museum
Longway Planetarium
For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum
Bay City Fireworks + other 4th of July Fireworks Displays!
Impression 5 Science Center
Flint Children’s Museum

Up North

“Up North”. A local phrase synonymous with all of northern Michigan. Where it begins is up for debate. Many Metro-Detroiters point to the “Are You on the Right Road” Jesus landmark, or the Zilwaukee Bridge as being the starting point of the Up North gateway. Others deem Gaylord, or even as far north as the Mackinac Bridge, the beginning.  Either way, any Up North traveler will tell you that there is a subversive yet palpable shift in the atmosphere as you continue to travel north up I-75. The traffic clears, and the sky seems to open. As you gaze at the endless, towering rows of white pine trees that line the highway, conversation begins to flow, minds start to wander, and relaxation sets in.

Everyone has their favorite Up North destinations. Here, we share our favorites with you!

Other Mackinac Favorites

Mackinac Island is a place rich with Michigan history. Take your time exploring and enjoying the main drag {and of course, the fudge!}. But be sure to venture further, past the happy crowds, and enjoy some of our favorite spots. Fun fact: over 80% of Mackinac Island is part of Mackinac Island State Park, which was the first state park in Michigan. There is so much to do, see, discover and enjoy!

Fort Mackinac
Bike the Island!
The Butterfly House
Cannonball Drive In at British Landing

West Michigan

Michigan’s west side and coast offer some pretty amazing scenery! There are so many family-friendly spots to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down. Here, we share a few of our favorites!

:: Spotlight :: Holland


Things to Do

There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Holland. Start by renting a canoe or kayak and paddle along Macatawa Bay. Cast a line, fly a kite or simply take a walk along the beach at Holland State Park and enjoy the views of the iconic Big Red Lighthouse.

Head north to Tunnel Park, another popular spot with its dune climb. It’s the perfect spot for swimming or a summer cookout in their park complete with a children’s playground.

Check out Centennial Park’s Art in the Park where hundreds of artists from all over come to display their work for this annual festival. 

Experience a bit of Dutch culture with a visit to Nelis’ Dutch Village where the kids can slide down the giant wooden shoe, take a goat out for a walk at the petting farm and join the famous Dutch dancers in learning a few folk dances. 

Downtown Dining

Dine on the water or try one of the fabulous downtown establishments, like the Curragh Traditional Irish Pub or for the craft beer lover grab a bite and sip a craft beverage at New Holland Brewing Company, complete with rooftop patio.


This summer take a stroll downtown on 8th street and check out the many locally owned boutiques or stop and enjoy the Street Performer Series on Thursday evenings where you’ll find musicians, caricature artists, magicians, jugglers and many other entertainers.

Other West Michigan Favorites

Thumb Area

North of Detroit, and a little east, Michigan’s Thumb area offers plenty of summer fun for families! Here, we share some of our favorites with you!

:: Spotlight :: Marine City

Things to Do 

Head to the beach! Marine City Beach has all that you need to enjoy a picnic and a day of fun on the water. Head to Nautical Park and visit the Peche Island Lighthouse. Play sand volleyball, have lunch al fresco, or take a walk at dusk along the lighted walkways.

Enjoy fishing, kayaking and boating. Bike or walk the the Bridge to Bay Trail, offering 54 miles of biking/walking connecting the Blue Water Bridge to New Baltimore.

Check out the Port Huron Float Down. Held on the third Sunday in August at Lighthouse Beach in Port Huron and ending at Chrysler Beach in Marysville. This area event is being held on August 19th this summer.


Enjoy a riverview meal at Marine City Fish Company or Riviera Family Restaurant. Top it off with a visit to The Sweet Tooth, a unique old-fashioned candy store offering delicious, handmade sweets for all ages! 

Other Thumb Area Favorites

No matter your “Thumb” destination, there is so much to enjoy! Here are a few more DMB favorites to check out with your family!

Caseville is a great summer spot!

Port Austin

There are so many amazing spots in the Mitten to enjoy during the summer, and all year long. Would you love to see something added to this list? We’d love to hear from you!

Where will your Michigan summer travels take you and your family? Share it with us! Use the hashtag #DMBtravels for a chance to be featured in our Instastories!

Wishing you safe + happy travels!

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