If you are looking for a fun place to visit in Michigan this summer, consider the Irish Hills. Here you will find Hayes State Park, which is located on the southern shore of Wamplers Lake in the heart of the Irish Hills – an area in southcentral Michigan known for its 52 inland lakes and rolling hills.
About Hayes State Park
Hayes State Park spreads across 78 acres and offers trails, camping, a swimming area, and two places to launch your boat. During the summer months (from Memorial Day to Labor Day), seasonal naturalists offer weekly nature-based programming for all ages as part of the State Park Explorer Program through Michigan State Parks.
Hayes State Park is one of the best locations to stay in the Irish Hills. It offers close proximity to many beautiful experiences.
More to Do in Irish Hills
The Michigan International Speedway is just a few miles away, so make sure that you plan a trip to watch one of the many races and events that take place there all throughout the summer months.
Hidden Lake Gardens is another area attraction that you really cannot miss while you are in the area. This is the most extensive botanical garden in the entire state, and it sits right in the lush hills. There is a demonstration garden, flowerbeds, a plant conservatory, and an arboretum. The beauty of these gardens is simply breathtaking. If you are not up for walking through the 755 acres, there is a network of roads that allow you to drive to the many different offerings found within Hidden Lake Gardens.
Arts and Culture Galore in Lenawee County
Lenawee County is well known for the art and culture that thrive throughout the area.
- The Croswell Opera House is the longest-running performing arts center in the area. This theatre has been operating since 1866. Broadway musicals are the specialty here, but you can also see plays, fine art exhibitions, musical performances, and even children’s theatre.
- Tecumseh Center for the Arts is another spot where you can attend professional theatre shows.
Hudson, Brooklyn, and Adrian provide many excellent historical sites that will allow you to glimpse the history of the area.
- The Lenawee County Historical Museum in Adrian is a must-see. This Castle-like building has been transformed into a home for Civil War, Underground Railroad, and industrial artifacts.
- In Hudson, you will find the William G. Thompson House Museum, which offers extensive collections of jade carvings, Japanese woodblock prints, and Chinese porcelain and glass.
- Just down the road in Brooklyn, you can tour Walker Tavern, which was at one time a stagecoach stop.
Best Restaurants in Lenawee County & the Irish Hills
While you are visiting Lenawee County, make sure that you check out some of these great restaurants in the area. If you are looking for a fine dining establishment, Hathaway House in Blissfield is a perfect choice. You really cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, from risotto made with local morels to sweet corn bisque.
When you are in the Irish Hills, you should take the time to enjoy some great pub food. Jerry’s Pub is in Brooklyn and offers a place to eat right on the lake. Here you can enjoy some incredible seafood. Another excellent pub option is JR’s Hometown Grill with three Irish Hills locations in Brooklyn, Adrian, and Tecumseh. JR’s offers some of the best onion rings you will ever eat.
If you’re looking for dinner and show, be sure to book a ride on The Old Road – Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Blissfield. You’ll enjoy a ride through farmland, a lighthearted murder mystery performance, and a highly-rated five-course dinner.
Where to Stay in the Irish Hills
If you’re looking to extend your Michigan summer bucket list fun in the Irish Hills and southern Michigan, here are a few Irish Hills camping, vacation rental, and hotel options:
- Hayes State Park
- Super 8 by Wyndham Brooklyn
- Bring Your Boat – Island Cottage on Evans Lake
- Quaint Cottage on Wamplers Lake, Perfect for Family Getaways
- Waterfront Cottage in Irish Hills
We've included local campgrounds in most of the #MIAwesomeList posts to help you get the most out of your Michigan summer bucket list adventures!
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Whether you want to pull it behind you or have it all set up at your destination, renting an RV is the best way to enjoy all your summer adventures in Michigan!