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« Previous Edition   |   This Michigan Travel Edition Posted on 02/10/15

Visiting Northern Michigan | Spring 2015

While northern Michigan prepares to emerge from another frosty winter, communities all across the region provide plenty of fun ways to keep warm and even some ways to embrace the cold. From Sault Ste. Marie and Escanaba in the north, to the Lake Michigan-facing Ludington, and east across the Southern Peninsula to Alpena, on the shores of Lake Huron – there's never a shortage of things to do in northern Michigan.

Sault Ste. Marie's deliverance from winter cold is signified by the arrival of the first ship through the Soo Locks on March 25th. Visitors and residents gather at the Soo Locks Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the spring by sharing stories, pictures, and more while enjoying coffee, hot chocolate, and other goodies.

For a one-of-a-kind experience, Sault Ste. Marie visitors can also head an hour west to the community of Paradise and visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Light Station. The only attraction of its kind, the museum is dedicated to the perils of early maritime transport on the Great Lakes and the bravery it required.

St. Ignace, on the south side of the Upper Peninsula, and Mackinaw City, on the northernmost tip of the Southern Peninsula, are both just a short ferry ride away from Mackinac Island – year-round host of a wealth activities and events. Explore Mackinac Island landmarks like Arch Rock and the Avenue of Flags at Fort Mackinac via relaxing, horse-drawn Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, which run daily from May 4th to 31st.

Southwest of Mackinaw City in Cheboygan, the snow remains and folks aren't ready to fold on frozen fun. Known for its ample snowmobile trails and cross-country skiing opportunities, Cheboygan State Park host the 2015 Latern-Lit Cross-Country Ski on February 28th. Ski over three miles of groomed trails before gathering around a campfire for hot chocolate and more at 14 Foot Shoals Cabin.

When the snow does melt at Cheboygan State Park, walk, hike, and bike along the park's well-marked trails to enjoy breathtaking Lake Huron vistas or launch a boat on Duncan Bay. There are also great trout fishing spots along the bay and on Little Billy Elliot Creek.

Budding biologists and young nature lovers will get a kick out of the 2015 Eagle Eye Naturalist Series, April 14th at the Round Lake Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs. Designed for kids of all ages, the event explores northern Michigan bird life through presentations, stories, nature hikes, crafts, and other activities.

Further south in Traverse City, the 9th Annual Suds & Snow event is an afternoon of beer, wine, and cider. Sample the suds of over a dozen northern Michigan breweries while listening to live music by local musicians. Bring your snowshoes and be ready for a blast, northern Michigan's premier "Party in the Woods" is March 7th, from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Then, if you're still thirsty, the 2015 Spring Sip & Savor Wine Tour is May 2nd and 3rd. Travel along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and visit up to eight wineries, where you're invited to sample a variety of classics and new releases alike – each with their ideal food pairing.

Northern Michigan Hotel Map

Northern Michigan Events

July 2015

July 31 - August 1, 2015
Mackinaw Historic Festival

Join this family-friendly Mackinaw festival, which includes numerous activities and delicious festival foods.

July 18, 2015
St. Ignace Fish Feast

St. Ignace lives up to its reputation as the home of the 'Great Lakes Fish Fry.' Enjoy a meal while being entertained by live music.

July 4 - 11, 2015
National Cherry Festival

Colorful parades, marching bands, music shows, sporting events, amusement rides, and cherry tastings make up this fun-filled Traverse City event.

August 2015

August 4, 2015
Sault Summer Arts Festival

This annual Sault Sainte Marie festival involves the exhibition and sale of fine arts and crafts by artists from all over the country. 

August 9 - 15, 2015
Northwestern Michigan Fair

This Traverse City event features the latest exhibitions in Michigan agriculture, horticulture, and fine arts. See livestock barns, midways, and more.

August 2015

August 15, 2015
Suds on the Shore Craft Beer & Wine Festival

Ludington City Park offers visitors access to over 50 brewers from across Michigan. Spend an afternoon sampling, socializing, and listening to local music.

August 25 - 30, 2015
Emmet-Charlevoix County Fairgrounds

The 109th annual instance of this county fair near Harbor Springs includes grandstand events like country music performances, monster truck events, horse pulls, petting zoos, and more.

September 2015

September 11 & 12, 2015
2015 Hopps of Beer & Wine Festival

Over 50 award-winning micro brews and 40 carefully selected regional wines will be available for two days during this annual city, hosted at Macinaw Crossings in Mackinaw City. The event begins at 5 p.m.

September 21, 2015
2015 Taste of Harbor Springs

An annual fall festival held in Harbor Springs, this event will feature the best culinary creations and beverage retailers Harbor Springs has to offer. The event begins at 12 p.m. at the Harbor Springs waterfront.

Best Western Rewards

10 Best Western Hotels
in Northern Michigan

    of Alpena


    Scenic Hill Resort


    River Terrace


    Pioneer Inn & Suites


    of Harbor Springs

    Harbor Springs



    Dockside Waterfront Inn

    Mackinaw City

    Harbour Pointe Lakefront

    Saint Ignace

    Sault Ste. Marie

    Sault Sainte Marie

    Four Seasons

    Traverse City

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