The Ultimate Michigan
Spring Bucket List

Michigan's Spring Bucket List Adventure

#MIAwesomeList is the ultimate spring bucket list in Michigan where you can experience everything that makes Michigan great — from popular destinations to hidden gems to your own discovery of unique parts of the state.

ALL of Michigan is so fun to explore and when the weather warms up and the sun shines bright after a long winter, spring is the perfect time for exploration. Whether you want to check out places in your own backyard or take a trip to visit another part of the state, you really can’t go wrong.

This ultimate spring bucket list includes dozens of ways to explore Michigan and includes links to more detailed guides on each activity to help you plan an unforgettable experience.

So shake off the cabin fever, shed your heavy winter clothes, and get ready to make memories in Michigan this spring!

Click on an item below to zip right down to that adventure!

Bucket List Table of Contents

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Make Waves at Zehnder's Splash Village in Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is well known to scores of Michiganders as Michigan’s Little Bavaria. From iconic restaurants to quaint shops to the experience of shopping Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth is a magical place to visit any time of year.

But if you’re visiting in the spring, especially in early spring, Zehnder’s Splash Village is one of the best places to go for family fun.

The Splash Village features everything a family wants in a water park: A lazy river, an action river, a seasonal outdoor pool, hot tubs, towering tube slides, a play area for younger kids, water sports, and so much more.

Having so much to choose from means there’s something for everyone to do here, even for parents!

Once you’ve had your fill of water-based fun, head to Elf Hollow Cafe for a bite to eat. There’s also a 2,000-square-foot arcade with dozens of classic games to enjoy.

If you’re looking for more family fun at an indoor splash park, you’re in luck because Michigan has them all over the state.

Splash Universe in Dundee can be thought of as a hidden gem among Michigan splash parks. The park is kept at 84 degrees, which makes it perfect for warming up in early spring. The park has a toddler splash pool, a water fort, waterslides, and more.

Avalanche Bay in Boyne Falls is also kept at a constant 84 degrees and offers visitors 88,000 square feet of watery awesomeness. There’s the Splasherhorn, a water fort complete with dumping buckets, a water obstacle course, and the Big Couloir, the state’s steepest waterslide.

Antique Center

Search for Treasures at the Bay City Antique Center

Going antiquing is one of the most fun activities if you’re looking to shake off the dust of winter.

There’s just something so fun about searching for treasures and coming upon something you may not have intended to buy, but you absolutely must have.

The Bay City Antique Center is a must-stop spot if you love antiquing. Located right in the heart of downtown Bay City, this antique mecca is open seven days a week and offers three floors of antiques to explore.

If you like to take your time perusing all the treasures in front of you, plan to spend the day here. Who knows, you may find some well-worn books, a piece of antique furniture, or the perfect tchotchke for your living room mantle.

If you love antiquing, buckle up and travel to some of the state’s other great antique stores and markets.

The Allegan Antiques Market is open on the last Sunday of every month from April-September and will definitely make you say, “Wow!” There’s an expansive selection, a chance to find something cool or unique, and prices on most items are pretty affordable.

The Not 2 Shabby Red Barn on Flint’s south side offers visitors a chance to shop in a unique barn packed with antique (or vintage if you prefer) items. Here, everyone can find a treasure to take home.

Nature Trail

Explore the Pine River Nature Center

Located at the base of Michigan’s thumb area, Pine River Nature Center is a fantastic spot to have some outdoor fun and learn about the preservation of Michigan’s natural resources.

Across 90 acres in St. Clair County, Pine River has a little bit of everything for outdoor enthusiasts. 

There are more than three miles of trails. There are a variety of ecosystems to explore like wetlands and hardwood forests. But the piece de resistance may just be the state’s first universally accessible and publicly-owned treehouse.

The treehouse is located near the center of the Nature Center and rises 22 feet above the ground at its farthest point. Anyone of any age can come and visit since it’s universally accessible and it offers fantastic views.

Looking for more outdoor spring adventures in Michigan? Add these destinations/activities to your bucket list.

The For-Mar Nature Preserve in Burton has a barrier-free treehouse of its own that’s been open to the public since 2016. Not only is it fun and unique, but it’s also home to The Preservers — nature’s Avengers who teach kids about protecting the state’s natural resources.

The Howell Nature Center just outside downtown Howell has been operating for decades and offers 230 acres of exploration in Livingston County. The main mission here is wildlife rehabilitation and the center is known as one of the state’s top animal rehab centers, helping thousands each year.

Kids will love playing on playscape areas and catching a glimpse of a variety of animals.

LaFurge Woods Nature Preserve in Washtenaw County may be considered a hidden gem, tucked away in southcentral Michigan. The preserve spans 325 acres of woods, meadows, and restored wetlands. The preserve protects a sizeable section of southern Michigan wetlands and there are even chances for some wildlife viewing.

Book Store

Browse Great Reads at Totem Books in Flint

There’s lots to do outside in Michigan when spring arrives, but sometimes the best way to avoid April showers is to curl up with a good book.

If you’re looking for your next great read, Totem Books is one of the best independent bookstores in the state. Lose yourself in stacks of new and used books, vinyl records, wearables, and so much more.

If you love reading and supporting local businesses, a trip to Totem Books is a must. You’ll find great reads and records and you’ll feel great knowing your money is staying in Michigan.

If you’re an avid reader, make the trip to these other great Michigan bookstores.

Horizon Books in Traverse City prides itself on being “The Third Place’,” which is an anchor of community life. This family-owned bookstore, located in downtown Traverse City, has been going strong since 1961 and offers a wide selection of books, including a section dedicated to the former Northern Michigan Asylum.

Kazoo Books in Kalamazoo offers its visitors a chance to “excite their mind” with a great selection of books, both new and used. There are also groups and workshops, and even book trade-ins if you’re looking to pare down your collection. If you’re looking for Michigan-based and local writers, you’ll want to make the trip here.

Curious Book Shop in East Lansing offers visitors books upon books upon books. In fact, there are 50,000 on the shelves here, but there’s a knowledgeable staff to help you find what you need. Peruse thousands of books, which include books on Michigan history, kids’ books, old magazines and so much more.

Bird Watching

View Migratory Birds at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is beautiful in the spring and one of the most beautiful spots is just north of Paradise.

Birding and outdoor enthusiasts should definitely make the trip to Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, arguably the bird migration hot spot in Michigan. In springtime, this point on Lake Superior is a migration hotbed for birds and dozens of bird species have been sighted here.

Bring your binoculars and train your eyes on the sky. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with sights of both common and rare birds alike, not to mention an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Not only can birding lovers make a trek here to see the sky filled with birds, but the observatory conducts research to increase knowledge of bird conservation, bird migration, and public awareness of birds.

If you’re looking for spots to see more of Michigan’s magical wildlife, consider visiting these spots.

Pilgrim Haven Natural Area near South Haven allows visitors to get up close and personal with nature in a place that also protects nature. Traverse pebbled beaches and lush forests while keeping your eyes peeled for butterflies and birds.

The Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary in White Cloud is another great spot to see wildlife in spring and it’s a great spot to catch a glimpse of spring colors.

Spring Wildflowers

See Spring Wildflowers at Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Deep in the heart of Michigan’s U.P. is the picturesque Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Here, you can take a load off and enjoy the beautiful landscape in front of you.

As you gaze around at the best that Mother Nature has to offer, you’ll see winding roads, lots of local wildlife, and stunning vistas.

Birders will love coming here because this refuge is a birder’s paradise. It’s not uncommon to see loons, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, osprey, and dozens of other bird species.

Keep your eyes peeled too for fox, deer, bear, and other wildlife!

If you love being outside in the spring, Michigan has lots more for you to explore.

Head to Cadillac’s William Mitchell State Park. Here you’ll traverse over boardwalks and bridges through scenic wetlands and a 70-acre marsh. The main trail offers plenty of space to sit and enjoy nature and you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the 10 interpretive signs that tell you more about the park’s wildlife.

Alpena’s Duck Park in Northeast Michigan is the perfect spot to enjoy nature right on the banks of the Thunder Bay River. There are picnic areas, a butterfly garden, and even some great fishing spots.

The Applewood Estate in Flint is both a historic home and a farm. Among its 65 acres, visitors can enjoy walking through a historic orchard or marveling at the beautifully landscaped gardens.

Native American

Celebrate the Native American Festival at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture

There’s lots to see and do if you head just over the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace. If you love history, this museum is one not to miss!

In Northern Michigan, The Museum of Ojibwa Culture is one of the most prominent spots and celebrates and showcases St. Ignace’s history as a historical gathering place.

This annual spring festival (May 27, 2023) invites visitors to watch expressive dances, hear tribal drums, and even taste traditional food that’s been made for hundreds of years. 

The museum is open seasonally from about May through Halloween and is free to the public (donations are encouraged and accepted). Take your time strolling past unique artifacts, clothing, equipment, weapons, and other items that showcase Michigan’s rich history.

Looking for more marvelous Michigan museums to visit? Add these to your bucket list!

The International Frisbee Hall of Fame is located in Calumet and really is a sight to see. It’s situated on the second floor of the Calumet Coliseum and features information on USA Guts Frisbee (which was invented in the U.P.) as well as past and present frisbee greats.

The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience in Kalamazoo relates the history of air and space exploration in a way that the whole family can enjoy. There are flight simulations, hands-on exhibits, rides, and more.

The Thomas Edison Depot Museum in Port Huron is a way for Michiganders to see the Mitten State’s connection to the famous inventor. For five years, he worked as a news reporter in Port Huron and this depot offers a look at his fascinating early life.

Farmer'S Market

Get Inspired For Spring Gardening at Horrocks Farm Market in Lansing

Sometimes one of the best things to do on a picture-perfect spring day is to visit a local farmer’s market. In southcentral Michigan, that means paying a visit to Horrocks Farm Market.

The market — which has locations in Battle Creek and Lansing — has been going strong for more than 60 years in Lansing and more than 20 in Battle Creek. It offers hungry customers a little bit of everything from bulk produce to meat, to beer and wine to snacks like gourmet popcorn and caramel apples.

Bring the whole family and make a day of it. We bet you can’t leave with just one thing!

Looking for more of the freshest produce in town? Visit these other inviting Michigan farmers markets!

Head to Cadillac and visit the Cadillac Farmers Market. Farmers, crafters, and food trucks all congregate here, so come prepared to peruse a wide selection of items. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to listen to live music as you look at herbs, jams, honey, baked goods, and more.

The Grand River Farmers Market in Jackson is packed full of Michigan-grown produce. Visitors will love the selection of items, which includes organic fruits and vegetables, flowers, pasta, jewelry, and more.

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market has been going strong for more than 100 years and routinely features more than 100 vendors from Michigan and Ohio. You can find all kinds of fresh goods here and even some unique offerings like Polish food, hot sauce, and gluten-free pastries.


Experience Spring Glamping at Tree Vistas in Ionia

Many Michiganders love being outside in spring, but if you’re looking for a more unique way to enjoy nature, Tree Vistas in Ionia is the spot for spring glamping.

Have you ever wanted to sleep in a treehouse? Now you can! These picturesque vistas are perfect for a spring getaway and put glampers 13 feet above the ground, offering beautiful views as well as tranquility you can’t find just anywhere.

The vistas do come with amenities, but this is a great way to get in touch with nature, enjoy the sights and sounds, and just get away from the rat race for a while.

If you love springtime camping, consider staying at these other great Michigan spots.

The Kal-Haven Outpost in South Haven offers campers an oasis for every camping style. There’s space for rustic tent camping, RVs, and even a fully furnished house. Campers can also find glamping tents decked out with amenities, including king-size beds.

Port Crescent State Park Campground near Port Austin in Michigan’s thumb gives campers a chance to enjoy the wonders of Michigan’s natural plant life and wildlife. It’s also the home of Pinnebog River, one of Michigan’s Dark Sky preserves.

For Northern Michigan rustic camping, try staying at Straits State Park in St. Ignace. It’s just a mile from the Mackinac Island ferry docks if you’re planning a trip there and sits right on land that overlooks the Straits of Mackinac as well as Lake Huron.

Baseball Game

Catch a Great Lakes Loons Baseball Game

Baseball and spring go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re longing to hear the crack of a baseball bat, see a home run hit, and enjoy some classic ballpark food, the Great Lakes Loons are a fun, affordable trip for the whole family.

The Loons, who play at Midland’s Dow Diamond, are the Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Minor league baseball games are great for so many reasons. Tickets and concessions are reasonably priced so you can bring the whole family for a day (or night) of affordable fun.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Loons also have an action-packed promotional schedule every year that includes Kids Eat Free and Run the Bases on Sundays, Thirsty Thursdays, Paws and Claws, which allows visitors to bring their dogs to games, as well as special theme nights.

Can’t get enough baseball this spring? Try these other great Michigan ballparks.

No Michigan spring (or summer) would be complete without a trip to Comerica Park to see the Detroit Tigers in action. This is a chance for fans of all ages to see their favorite big leaguers up close and soak up the Tigers’ incredible history.

Jimmy John’s Field in Utica is home to four teams — all from Michigan — and is part of the United Shores Professional Baseball League. The most expensive seats in the house will cost you $35 and lawn tickets are as cheap as $6, so you can watch some great ball at an affordable price.

Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City offers baseball fans a chance to watch the Traverse City Pit Spitters — arguably one of the most unique team names around. The team is part of a collegiate summer baseball league and is a great way to watch young stars in action.

Midland Tridge

Bike Along the Pere Marquette Trail to the Tridge in Midland

If exploring new places is on your Michigan spring bucket list, then head to Clare and start exploring the Pere Marquette Trail.

The trail is paved and scenic and extends for 30 miles between Midland and Claire, making it perfect for a bike ride.

Believe it or not, it’s one of more than two dozen Rail to Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame in the nation.

Go at your own pace and soak in the scenery in front of you. The south segment extends from Clare to Reed City; the northern segment extends from Reed City to Balwin; and the Chippewa Trail goes for 3.5 miles to the Tridge in Midland.

Traverse these other trails to see more spectacular Michigan spring scenery!

Ludington State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline is home to 18 miles of trails and appeals to travelers of all ages. Go at your own pace and pass by a lighthouse, scenic overlooks, shipwrecks, and more.

Warren Woods State Park in Three Oaks is popular for fall hiking, but it’s great for a spring hike too. The main trail through the woods goes for 1.6 miles and visitors will delight in seeing a majestic forest and crossing a footbridge over a river.

If you want to see some Upper Peninsula waterfalls in spring, head up to Marquette and hit the trail to visit Dead River Falls. It takes some work to get there, but the views are incredible and the waterfall is amazing.


Enjoy a Round of Golf at Forest Dunes Golf Course in Roscommon

This course, designed by Tom Doak, is a newer course at Forest Dunes Golf Club. Nonetheless, it’s been singled out by prestigious magazines like Golf Magazine and Golf Digest as one of the state’s best courses.

The cool thing about it is that it’s designed to be reversible and offers golfers a throwback to golf’s simpler days with walking-only policies and undefined teeing areas.

If you’ve been itching to golf 18 holes all winter, you’re in luck because  Michigan has some awesome and unique courses.

American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven was designed by the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus. There are lots of twists and turns here, but it makes for a fun round and all course profits are given to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Fans of links golf will enjoy playing a round at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris. The course features rolling hills, tough bunkers, and water features, offering golfers a challenging test. The course is also highlighted by its 15th hole on an island green.

PohlCat Golf Course in Mt. Pleasant is frequently cited as a must-play Michigan course and is situated around the Chippewa River. The course offers great scenery, championship-level golf, and even some links-style golfing too.

Beach Clean

Participate in a Beach Clean Up With Great Lakes Great Responsibility

The five Great Lakes are perhaps Michigan’s greatest resource and it’s important to take steps to protect them. Organizations like Great Lakes Great Responsibility allow you to do your part to help!

Throughout the year, the organization holds cleanup events all over the state.

That makes it easy to attend a cleanup event in your neck of the woods!

So take time to do your part and participate in a cleanup event. It’s a great feeling to help protect the Great Lakes and it will give you a new perspective on how great they really are.

Want to see and experience more of the Great Lakes this spring? Put these attractions/places on your to-do list!

Climb aboard the Lady Michigan in Alpena and take one of Alpena’s famed glass-bottom shipwreck boat tours. Lake Huron is home to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which protects almost 100 shipwrecks and you can see many of them up close on a boat.

Plan a trip to Muskegon and visit the USS LST 393. This tank is one of two surviving ships of its kind built for the Navy during WWII. The tank also serves as a museum and also hosts movie nights during warmer months.

Michigan has dozens of beaches, so pick one and plan a beach day (during the warmer part of spring of course). We recommend a beach like Port Crescent State Park in Port Austin, which is one of the few places on Lake Huron with sand dunes.

Wine Tasting

Taste Maple Wine at Maple Moon Sugarbush & Winery in Petoskey

Spring is the best time for all things maple in Michigan and one of the more unique offerings is maple wine, which you can find in Petoskey.

Between glasses of delicious maple wine, you can learn all about the extensive process that goes into tapping trees for sap and then turning that sap into tasty syrup.

After you’ve sampled the maple wine and all their other flavors, stop by their shop and grab some maple goodies to take home. The taste of syrup is one of the best parts of spring, so don’t miss out on a chance to treat yourself.

Looking for other wineries to visit this spring? Add these great spots to your bucket list.

The Leelanau Peninsula in Northwest Michigan is known for its great vineyards and has lots of wineries to visit. We recommend Chateau Fontaine in Lake Leelanau, which is family-owned, quaint, and offers delicious wines like its famous Woodland White.

White Pine Winery in St. Joseph is part of a growing wine region in Southwest Michigan and offers tasty wines all made from local grapes. Sample pinot grigios, merlot, and many more.

Holland is home to a variety of great wineries and breweries too and it’s hard to beat the time you’ll have as you sip your favorite wine in a cozy tasting room with an incredible lakefront view.

Mushroom Houses

Tour the Earl Young Mushroom Houses in Charlevoix

Builder Earl Young had a design style all his own, building houses to fit a site rather than trying to manipulate the landscape. What emerged, as a result, are the mushroom houses in Charlevoix.

This collection of four commercial properties and about two dozen houses are mostly made of stone. But each of them is unique in its own way, designed to blend in with the landscape and featuring many of his signature design elements.

These properties are privately owned and not available for inside tours, but you can do a self-guided walking or driving tour and marvel at the magnificent designs.

Want to see more cool structures in Michigan? Check these out!

If you want to tour a castle that’s been turned into a museum, then you must pay a visit to Curwood Castle in Owosso. Opened in 1922, it has served as a writing studio as well as a family home. The home was built by writer James O. Curwood in the 1920s and sits on the banks of the Shiawassee River.

If you don’t like castles, try visiting a Michigan lighthouse. Michigan has dozens of lighthouses dotting the shoreline and all of them are cool to visit. We recommend the Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington.

Fairy Forest

Stroll Through the Fairy Forest of Grass Lake Village

If you’re looking to add a sprinkle of whimsy to your family fun this spring, head to the Fairy Forest of Grass Lake Village, located outside of Jackson.

For residents and out-of-towners who visit, the village is filled with plenty of enchantment. The displays here are immaculate and visitors can look at brilliantly decorated fairy villages.

As you explore the village, keep your eyes peeled for friendly gnomes, leave a note for the village fairies in the on-site mailbox, and be sure to take lots of pictures.

If you’re looking for more Mid-Michigan spring fun, consider these great activities.

Take a trip to Lansing and tour the state capitol. Tours are usually offered Monday through Friday and the capitol really is a cool place to visit with hand-painted surfaces and impressive architecture.

The Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson offers a great place to learn about the history of the city and includes history and science exhibits as well as a planetarium.

Take a bike ride along the Border-to-Border Trail, which spans the way across Washtenaw County and is a great trail for a leisurely bike ride.

Eastern Market

Purchase Spring Produce and Flowers at Detroit's Eastern Market

Metro Detroiters know that for the freshest produce, flowers, and so much more, a trip to Eastern Market in the spring is a must.

Michigan has some excellent farmers’ markets, but Eastern Market is undoubtedly one of the best. It’s Michigan’s largest open-air market and the venue features vendors selling everything from flowers to fruits to vegetables to meat, and much more.

When you’re done exploring the different stalls and perusing the items for sale, don’t leave just yet. In the vicinity of those stalls are restaurants, specialty food shops, meat markets, and other spots where you can get some of the freshest food to make the perfect meal.

Dnr Outdoor Adventure Center

Explore Nature Indoors at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center

Situated on the riverfront in the Globe Building, the Outdoor Adventure Center offers visitors a taste of Michigan’s great outdoors (which as Michiganders know are truly great!)

Visitors can get in touch with the outdoors with a variety of hands-on activities, simulators, exhibits, and more. The experiences visitors have here may be unlike anything else in the entire state.

Step onto a boat and reel in a fish, explore a forest canopy, ride a snowmobile or mountain bike on the trail, and much more.

Not only will you have an excellent time, but you’ll also come away with a stronger appreciation for the outdoors.

If you love hands-on learning and exploring, check out these excellent Michigan museums.

The Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City offers visitors the chance to see an impressive collection of fine art and allow includes a hands-on gallery for kids.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids offers the chance to learn all about the 38th U.S. President through a series of interactive and stationary exhibits.

The Saginaw Railway Museum in Saginaw reminds visitors of the impact the railroad used to have in the Great Lakes Bay Area. It includes outdoor displays of boxcars, cabooses, and a diesel locomotive.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Flex Your Muscles at DYNO Detroit's Indoor Rock Climbing Gym

DYNO Detroit is Detroit’s first indoor rock climbing gym and is state-of-the-art. Whether you love climbing or you’ve never been before, this is a great spot to go.

There are a wide variety of climbing types, including top-rope, bouldering, sport climbing, and auto belay. Bottom line, DYNO caters to climbers of all skill levels.

So strap up, tighten your helmet, and get ready to climb. No matter what kind of climbing you do, you’ll have a great time and you may even get in a little workout.

If you’re searching for more rock climbing experiences, check out these awesome places. 

Planet Rock has locations in Madison Heights and Arbor you can visit for more rock climbing. Both locations offer fun and challenges alike for climbers of all abilities. You can do some specialty climbing or keep things simple and climb the tread wall — the rock climbing version of a treadmill.

Maple Sugaring

Experience Maple Sugaring at Kensington Metropark in Milford

Do you enjoy maple syrup on waffles or pancakes? Have you ever wondered how maple syrup is made?

Michigan has maple sugaring events all over the state in spring and Kensington Metropark in Milford is one of the best spots to go.

Here you can watch sap being extracted from maple trees, watch the sap boiled down into maple sugar and then see how that maple sugar is turned into syrup and other delicious treats.

Take a tour and see for yourself just how the syrup is made. It’s a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the sweet taste of syrup.

If you love maple syrup, you’re in luck because there are spring maple festivals aplenty in Michigan.

The Kalamazoo Nature Center Maple Sugar Festival has been held since 1966 and features a pancake breakfast, tours, and kids activities.

The Old-Time Maple Sugar Festival in Chelsea offers maple treats as well as a history lesson with short films and antique equipment on display.

The Michigan Maple Festival in Jones is touted by some as Michigan’s premier maple syrup festival. Over two weekends in March, visitors can enjoy a maple breakfast,  try other goodies, take carriage rides, and more.


Take a Spring Fishing Trip on Lake St. Clair

Spring fishing is a popular pastime in Michigan and Lake St. Clair is one of the best lakes to fish.

Located between Michigan and Ontario, Lake St. Clair is filled with bluegill, bass, walleye, and many other species. You can take a boat out to your favorite spot, or you can find a spot near the docks to cast.

Whether you catch one fish, two fish, or no fish, a day spent fishing on the lake is a day well spent. So bring some cold drinks and snacks, cast a line, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

Can’t get enough of Michigan fishing? Take a trip to these other great fishing spots.

Fishing in the Upper Peninsula is a great way to spend time, especially if you head to the St. Mary’s River.

Find your favorite inland lake and try your hand at kayak fishing. It’s affordable, it’s fun, and it combines two great spring water activities into one.

Northern Michigan lakes, especially Mullett Lake, Burt Lake, and Lake Charlevoix around the Gaylord area have made it the bass fishing mecca of Michigan.


Wander Through the Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

Make the trip to Niles in Southwest Michigan and marvel at this beautiful preserve on the shores of the St. Joseph River.

Spanning 105 acres, this garden offers visitors a chance to see 10 different ecosystems and is therefore one of the most diverse botanical gardens in Michigan.

The garden is designed to be a place of calm and refuge from everyday life. Visitors will feel calm as they stroll on miles of trails and explore a nature adventure garden, a Japanese garden, a reconstructed prairie, and much more.

If you want to see more beautiful gardens in Michigan, make the trip to these spots this spring!

Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek was founded by the widow of the Post cereal founder in Cereal City and this arboretum features a kaleidoscope garden, a fantasy forest, and a peace labyrinth.

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in Detroit is located in Belle Isle Park and is free to the public. In the springtime, visitors love coming here to see the lush, green gardens, tiny waterfalls, and variety of landscapes.

Windmill Island Gardens in Holland features an authentic Dutch windmill as its focal point. Spring is the best time to visit, especially in late April and early May when all the tulips burst from their blooms.


Celebrate Oberon Day (March 21) at Bell's Brewery

There’s nothing to shake off the shackles of winter than enjoying a cold Michigan brew and Oberon is one of the Mitten State’s favorites from Bell’s Brewery.

If you love Oberon, you can show your love on March 20, the first day of spring — otherwise known as Oberon Day.

Bars around the state plan their own fun event, ranging from local tappings to live music, and more.

Enjoy the pleasing fruit aromas and spicy hoppiness of Oberon Ale, which is available from March to September.

For scores of Michiganders, Oberon Day is a sure sign that spring has finally arrived and winter has finally gone. So head to your favorite local bar and get a glass of Oberon Ale. It goes down easy all spring long.

Beer enthusiasts around Michigan can enjoy all kinds of tasty brews with lots of great spring beer events.

The Festival of the Angry Bear in Marquette happens every April in downtown Marquette. It’s modeled after traditional European beer festivals and has great food, great music, and more.

The Annual Spring Beer Festival in Traverse City brings beer lovers to Turtle Creek Stadium to sample the wares of some of the state’s best breweries. Make sure to dress for the weather.

The Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival in Jackson takes place in March at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. It brings more than 150 beers as well as ice carving and lots of other great activities.

Petting Farm

Hold Baby Farm Animals at the Critter Barn in Zeeland

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity the kids will love, the Critter Barn in Zeeland is definitely a spot you’ll want to visit.

Your kiddos’ eyes will light up as they browse the farm and catch a glimpse of chickens, donkeys, turkeys, pigs, and more.

Kids can also spend time hugging baby animals in the spring. This is a great way for kids to learn about and interact with animals and create some great memories.

You can bring a picnic lunch and make it into a fun day trip. Bring your camera too to take plenty of pictures.

Looking for more fun with animals, make plans to visit these great Michigan zoos!

The Saginaw Children’s Zoo opens seasonally, but it’s a favorite among families looking for a more intimate zoo experience. The zoo is home to more than 150 animals, including an eagle, penguins, and more. Train rides and fossil finds are also on the activities list.

The John Ball Zoo in Kalamazoo is broken into sections for exploring and features an aquarium, a forest realm, and a hobby farm with farm animals, not to mention other great activities.

The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak may just be the cream of the crop among Michigan zoos. Hitch a ride on the zoo train near the entrance and ride it all the way up to the top of the zoo. That makes it easier to walk back and explore the different areas of the zoo. 

Holland Tulips

Tiptoe Through the Tulip Time Festival in Holland

The Tulip Time Festival in Holland is perhaps one of the surest signs of spring in Michigan — not to mention one of the best flower showcases in the state.

The festival has been held for decades and celebrates thousands of colorful tulips as well as Holland’s Dutch culture.

What began with the purchase of 100,000 bulbs from the Netherlands has turned into an eight-day celebration where tulips can be found in just about every corner of town.

Come for an incredible time that includes a Tulip Time parade, traditional klompen dancing, a carnival, tulip walking tours, and a whole lot more.

Michigan has many great spring festivals and you’ll want to attend these as well.

The World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth each May is Michigan’s largest beer sampling event and features more than 350 beers from around the world.

Paczki Day isn’t a festival per se, but if you love these delectable doughy treats, you’ll want to get your hands on some in Hamtramck. No matter which flavor you pick, you’re in for a treat.

White Cloud’s Cupcake Festival in May is another place to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are cupcake decorating contests, a kids’ carnival, a car show, and more.


Pick Fresh Asparagus at Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm

One great thing about spring is the chance to get to local markets and get your hands on some fresh Michigan produce.

It’s even better when you get the chance to pick it yourself! You can do just that at this Grand Rapids farm, which has kept its family farm going for more than 100 years.

Today, visitors can pick a variety of fresh produce, plucking cherries off of cherry trees, as well as fresh asparagus, apples, strawberries, and more.

Not only are visitors getting some of the freshest produce around, but they’re also picking on the same land that the Dunneback family started on in 1922.

So bring your family and friends for a day of u-pick fun. Load up on your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies and make sure to visit the bakery and tap room too!

Butterfly Garden

Admire Butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Spring means bird singing, the sun shining and butterflies blooming.

If you love seeing majestic, colorful butterflies, Frederick Meijer Gardens is the mecca for these colorful creatures.

Make the trip here in March and April to marvel at the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit. Visitors can experience the life cycle of a butterfly here. Make sure to visit the Tropical Butterfly Garden, where you can see 60 different species and more than 7,000 butterflies.

Wear bright colors to attract butterflies (you may even have one land on you) and bring your camera for lots of colorful pictures. You’re not allowed to touch the butterflies, but you can get lots of awesome pictures.

So pick a spot (we recommend a Butterfly Feeding Station) and keep your eyes peeled for the marvelous colors that will pass in front of you.

Looking for more fun at Meijer Gardens? Don’t worry because there’s plenty of it!

Meijer Gardens periodically holds plant shows for serious gardeners and plant lovers alike. During spring, Meijer Gardens holds Michigan All-State bonsai shows and in June, there are iris shows.

As the weather turns even warmer, Meijer Gardens holds a summer concert series and classes and camps for children and families all year long.


Savor the Last of Spring Skiing at Snowriver Mountain Resort

If you’re looking to soak up as much of Michigan’s ski season as possible, the Upper Peninsula is the place to be.

Snowriver Mountain Resort in Wakefield is the perfect spot to hit the slopes a few more times before spring arrives for good.

Snowriver is actually the largest ski resort in the U.P. with 15 lifts and 56 total runs on the combined ski hills.

If you’re looking for family fun, that’s what Snowriver aims to provide, and offers families a chance to ski at one of two ski areas: Black River Basin and Jackson Creek Summit.

Looking for more spots to ski this spring? Try these U.P. skiing destinations.

Ski Brule resort in Iron River offers something fun for every member of the family. The resort offers everything from snowboarding to snow tubing to skiing — both downhill and cross-country.

Mount Bohemia in Houghton has some of the longest ski runs in the Midwest as well as some of the highest verticals and deepest snow. It’s a spot for true adrenaline junkies and even offers SnowCat skiing for those who like skiing in a remote setting.

For something with a little bit slower pace, try heading up to Tahquamenon Falls in early spring and get in some last-minute cross-country skiing. The trails are always well-marked and well-groomed, offering a chance to have some fun and see some incredible sights. 

Hogback Mountain

Take a Spring Hike Up Hogback Mountain in Marquette

If you’re looking for a hidden gem of a spring hike, you can’t go wrong with a hike up Hogback Mountain.

It’s a great place to get away — though be mindful that there is no cell service. It’s about a half mile up the road from Sugarloaf Mountain and has been described as just a little bit more than Sugarloaf — a little more challenging, a little more remote, and a little taller.

Hikers have said the hike lasts a few hours and make sure you leave some time to soak in the view and to get back out. The whole trail is just under 3 miles, but it takes some time to reach the summit.

If you’re looking to stretch your legs and take in some spectacular spring views, try these other spring hikes.

The Empire Bluff Trail, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, offers a wondrous view of Lake Michigan and is a pretty easy hike at less than two miles.

Whether you want to walk, run, or bike, the Kal-Haven trail spans 34 miles between Kalamazoo and South Haven and has an all-season maintained pathway that’s perfect for exploring and exercising.

If you’re looking for a hike that’s always a little different, take a stroll through Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary in White Cloud. It’s the most fantastic spot to see colorful Michigan wildflowers and no two visits are the same since there’s always something new and colorful.

Disc Golf

Play a Round at the Tailings Disc Golf Course in Iron River

Michigan has some truly excellent disc golf courses and one of the best can be found in Iron River in the Western Upper Peninsula.

Not only can disc golfers get some great views, they can also play a challenging round through a heavily wooded area and elevation changes. The course layout is welcoming to disc golfers of all skill levels and disc golfing enthusiasts can get all the equipment they need at the course pro shop.

If you’re all about disc golfing, check out these other great courses in the Mitten State!

Flip City Disc Golf Course in Flint has been tabbed as one of the state’s best courses, thanks to 24 holes and the perfect blend of open and wooded areas and rolling elevation changes.

The Kalkaska Log Lake Campground’s disc golf course is short but challenging because it requires a good amount of skill. Precise shots are a big help and there are even chances to record an ace.

Earle Brewer Park in Byron Center offers visitors two different courses to choose from. One is a beginner’s course, the other is for more advanced players. The courses are easy to navigate and offer some great scenery through woods and rolling hills.

Morel Mushrooms

Hunt for Morel Mushrooms in Escanaba

Springtime means warmer weather and outdoor fun, but for morel mushroom hunters, spring also means it’s time to hunt for one of nature’s tastiest treasures.

There are more than 2,000 kinds of mushrooms found in Michigan, but May is prime morel hunting season.

Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula is a great spot to hunt for these beauties. It’s known as the Banana Belt, so warm weather arrives and stays longer than other U.P. spots, creating the perfect conditions for morels to grow.

Searching for morels is a lesson in patience, so be patient when you’re hunting. Walk in a zig-zag pattern and keep a sharp eye, especially in wooded areas.

If you love hunting for, harvesting, and eating morels, check out one of Michigan’s great morel mushroom festivals.

The Mesick Mushroom Festival held in May has been held for more than 60 years in a city known as one of the world’s mushroom capitals. The celebration includes mushroom-hunting contests, carnival rides, and more.

The National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City is held in May and has been going strong for decades. The festival brings mushroom enthusiasts worldwide and includes a very competitive mushroom hunt, songs about morels, and plenty of morel dishes.

If you want to search for morels in your own neck of the woods, make sure to find public land to search on, know what you’re looking for, and make sure you pick morels correctly, pinching the stem at the ground level.

"This list was amazing. We haven't taken a trip together in the ten years we've known each other... We decided life was too short and there were too many great places we were missing because we weren't making adventures a priority. I’m sure this sounds super cheesy, but having this list was a true blessing for us.”
Love On Lake Michigan.
Past #MIAwesomeList Participant