It’s officially the dog days of summer and I’m left standing here with my mouth hanging open not sure where my entire summer has gone. I mean, seriously! How is it already August 1st? I feel like with the whole “getting married and going on a honeymoon” deal, most of my summer wasn’t really spent doing typical summer things. (And I’m totally okay with that!)
I spent the last month playing “catch up” on all my favorite things to do during a Northern Michigan summer. Every year, I try to make a bucket list of everything I want to do before my summer comes to an end. Not sure how I did it, but during the month of July, I crossed off my entire bucket list!
Do you feel like your summer is getting away from you too? Lucky for you, my bucket list is the perfect way to beat that end of summer sadness, and make sure you’ve lived out your summer to the fullest. Here is a list of all the fun things you can still do before Labor Day Weekend arrives, ever too quickly.
- Eat Ice Cream. Lots and lots and lots of ice cream. It always tastes the best on a hot summer day, paired with a sunset. My absolute favorite place to get ice cream is Moomers in Traverse City. This place is amazing! I mean, they weren’t named “Best Ice Cream Shop in America” by USA Today for nothing!
- Spend a day at the Beach. It’s not a Northern Michigan summer without a day at the beach! And while you’re there…
- Take a swim in one of our BEAUTIFUL Great Lakes. However, might I suggest not choosing to swim in Lake Superior? You don’t want to get hypothermia. My personal favorite is Lake Michigan. And since you’re already on the water you might as well…
- Get Paddling! Whether you’re standing or sitting, paddle sports are at their best with the beauty of Northern Michigan as the backdrop.
- Eat at a food truck. Cities in Michigan are finally catching on to the food truck craze that’s sweeping the nation. So take advantage of it! Up North? Check out The Little Fleet in Traverse City. Down south? Head to Mark’s Carts in AA. Then after you eat, wander over to Bill’s Beer Garden to…
- Fall in love with a craft beer. Michigan is home to hundreds of incredible craft breweries! Most have special summer brews. Take some time to taste as many as you can to find your new summer favorite. (However, I will say, it’s awful hard to top Oberon!)
- Cheer on your Tigers… even if they are hard to watch this season. Can’t give up on your team!
- Take a boat ride. Michigan has some of the best lakes to head out on a boat. Whether its a small boat or a yacht, I promise, one of the best ways to spend a summer day is out on the lake!
- Catch a Lake Michigan sunset. I’m telling you, there is no better place in the world to see a sunset than Northern Michigan. The colors are absolutely jaw dropping, and you always feel like you can’t take enough pictures. Plus there is nothing more relaxing than wrapping up in a blanket and watching the sun sink below the sky line.
- Go Fishing. Around here, EVERYONE fishes. It’s been a part of my summers ever since I was born. I can’t imagine not going fishing at least once every summer. And you never know… maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch yourself a record setting muskie.
- Check out a waterfall. Michigan actually has some pretty stunning waterfalls in our Upper Peninsula. The biggest, and classic, is the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls. However, I found this awesome trip circling on Facebook a few months ago. I’ve been to most of these waterfalls throughout my life (they’re all beautiful!), and I think this would be a really fun weekend trip to take!
- Take a hike! Hiking is my favorite summertime activity. I love hiking in the mountains more than anything, however, my heart has a soft spot for hiking The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. My favorite hike is Pyramid Point. You can read more about it here.
- Spend an evening cuddled up by a bon fire. Arguably my favorite summer tradition is sitting around the fire with my family. We sit there for hours laughing, talking and playing lawn games. Some of my favorite memories are around the fire. And if you already have a fire roaring, you might as well…
- Roast Marshmallows! S’mores and Summer are practically the same word… right?
- Put your grill to good use. Brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob. You name it, you can grill it. Summertime BBQs make my heart so so happy.
- Visit a winery. Duh.
- Walk on a pier. Any pier. There are SO MANY to choose from. My personal favorite happens to be at 5th Avenue Beach, in Manistee. I grew up strolling down the pier at sunset, and jumping off into the lake on hot days. It truly is beautiful, especially now with it’s brand new face lift.
PS… This photo was taken pre-face lift 🙂
- Take a drive up M22. Spend a day driving up M22. It is seriously the prettiest place in Michigan, and summer is my favorite time to visit! While you can make it a day trip, I highly recommend spending a weekend exploring the Leelanau Peninsula. You can read more about the things I love most about the Leelanau Peninsula here! And if you’re already on M22, you can cross off my next bucket list item…
- Climb The Sleeping Bear Dunes. Where else do you get a solid workout in, AND get rewarded with some of the prettiest views in the world. And bonus… you get to sprint down the massive dune climb and feel like a 5 year old again. You can read more about the things I love at The Sleeping Bear Dunes here.
- Try your hardest to find a Petoskey Stone. This is not an easy task. But it’s the perfect souvenir of your summer.
And there you have it my friends. My Michigan Summer Bucket List guaranteed to make sure you make the most out of your summer in Michigan, and leave you cheesin’ like this.
Now hurry up and get to planning! You’ve got 34 days until Labor Day.