April Things To Do
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21 Must-Take Michigan Day Trips in April

If you’re looking to stretch your legs and get out of the house in April, these Michigan day trip ideas offer plenty of options. Which destinations will you add to your adventures this month?

Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island | photo via @samiiphoto

Mackinac Island

Early season visits offer a quieter experience of the island’s historic charm and natural beauty.

In April, Mackinac Island begins to awaken from its winter slumber, with businesses gradually opening up towards the end of the month. While the island is known for its busier season from May to October, there are several places you can enjoy if you’re planning to visit in April.

  • Ferry services from Mackinaw City and St. Ignace by Mackinac Island Ferry Company and Shepler’s Ferry start to operation in mid-April, ensuring access to the island.
  • For a sweet treat, the famous fudge shops like Murray Hotel Fudge Co., Original Murdick’s Fudge, and Sander’s Fudge & Candy Shop begin to open their doors at the end of the month.
  • As for activities, bike rentals through Mackinac Wheels start early in April, providing a great way to explore the island.

It’s important to note that April on Mackinac Island can be quite wet and muddy, with melting snow and spring rains. If you’re visiting, prepare for unpredictable weather by bringing layers, rain boots, and a rain jacket.

Related: When is the Best Time to Visit Mackinac Island?

Interior Of Great Hall Showing High Arched Ceilings, Chandeliers, And Knights' Armor On Display.
Inside the Great Hall at the Detroit Institute of Arts. | photo via Stefanie Caloia

Detroit Institute of Arts

Home to one of America’s most significant art collections, spanning the globe and centuries.

Visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) in April can be a delightful experience. April marks the beginning of spring in Detroit, with the weather typically becoming milder and more pleasant, making it a great time to explore both the museum and the surrounding area.

  • The Detroit Institute of Arts houses an extensive collection of art spanning various cultures, periods, and styles.
  • The DIA also frequently hosts special events, lectures, workshops, and performances throughout the year, so check the DIA website before your visit.

Visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts in April offers the opportunity to enjoy both the museum’s extensive art collection and the rejuvenating atmosphere of spring in Detroit.

Tulip Time-Holland
Tulip Time | photo via karfar

Tulip Time Festival in Holland

Catch the beginning of this vibrant festival celebrating Dutch culture and the beauty of tulips

The Tulip Time Festival is an annual celebration of spring and Dutch heritage. It’s a springtime favorite when thousands of tulips bloom throughout the city, transforming it into a colorful and vibrant destination.

  • Holland’s streets, parks, and gardens are adorned with millions of tulips in a variety of colors and varieties.
  • The Kinderparade, Volksparade, and Muziekparade are among the most popular parades during the festival. These parades feature marching bands, traditional Dutch dancers, floats adorned with tulips, and more.
  • Visitors can enjoy Dutch food and drinks, traditional music and dance performances, art and craft shows, and demonstrations of Dutch traditions such as wooden shoe carving and Dutch costume displays.

Whether you’re admiring the colorful blooms, enjoying the parades and entertainment, or immersing yourself in Dutch culture, the festival provides a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Empire Bluff Trail-Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore | photo via stephanie.travelss

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Offers stunning landscapes with fewer visitors in April, perfect for hiking and exploring.

Visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in April can be a beautiful experience, but it’s important to be prepared for varying weather conditions. While it’s officially spring, temperatures can still be chilly, especially early in the month, so dress warm.

  • Hiking trails may also be less crowded compared to the summer months, offering a quieter and more serene experience.
  • April can be an excellent time to enjoy the scenic beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The views of Lake Michigan of the springtime landscape add a unique charm with budding trees and the possibility of early wildflowers.

Visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in April can be a rewarding experience for those who enjoy outdoor adventures and stunning natural scenery.

Pictured Rocks Formations
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore | photo by Heather Stern

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The sandstone cliffs and Lake Superior’s shores are breathtaking, with hiking trails open for exploration.

Visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in April offers a unique experience characterized by the transition from winter to spring. Dressed warmly, visitors can enjoy a scenic day trip along Lake Superior.

  • Visiting Pictured Rocks in April can provide stunning views of the icy cliffs, frozen waterfalls, and Lake Superior’s dramatic shoreline.
  • April can be a great time for wildlife viewing Keep an eye out for migratory birds returning to the area, and mammals such as deer, foxes, and possibly even black bears emerging from hibernation.

Visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in April offers a chance to enjoy the park in a quieter and more serene atmosphere, with the added beauty of winter’s remnants juxtaposed against the emerging signs of spring.

Colorful Orchids - Meijer Gardens Butterfly Exhibit
Frederik Meijer Gardens I photo via Leah Tennant

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

A beautiful spot to see spring blooms in the indoor and outdoor gardens.

Visiting Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in April can be a wonderful experience as the gardens come to life with the arrival of spring. In April, the gardens start to awaken from winter dormancy, and you can expect to see a variety of spring blooms. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other early spring flowers add vibrant colors to the landscape.

  • The outdoor gardens may be in full bloom or just beginning to bloom, depending on the weather.
  • Indoor gardens, including the Tropical Conservatory, Arid Garden, and Seasonal Display Greenhouse, offer a lush and verdant escape, with exotic plants, colorful blooms, and tranquil water features.
  • April offers a great opportunity to explore the Sculpture Park as the gardens come back to life and the sculptures stand against the backdrop of emerging greenery and blooming flowers.

Visiting Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in April offers a delightful opportunity to experience the beauty of spring blooms, explore outdoor sculptures, and enjoy the tranquility of nature in this world-class botanical garden.

Ann Arbor Michigan: University Of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan campus, museums, and the lively downtown area offer a mix of culture and leisure.

Ann Arbor in April can be a delightful experience as the city awakens from winter and comes alive with springtime activities. Visiting Ann Arbor offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the city’s springtime beauty, outdoor activities, cultural events, and culinary delights.

  • The city’s parks, particularly the University of Michigan campus, and the Nichols Arboretum, are adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.
  • Ann Arbor boasts a diverse culinary scene with numerous restaurants, cafes, and eateries offering a wide range of cuisines, including mainstays like Zingerman’s. Don’t forget to check out the Kerrytown Market & Shops for a taste of Ann Arbor’s local flavors.
  • April is a great time to visit the University of Michigan campus. Be sure to stop by the Law Quadrangle and the Diag as you admire beautiful architecture and explore the museums and galleries.

Whether you’re exploring the cherry blossoms, attending a concert, or simply taking in the sights and sounds of the city, April is a wonderful time to experience all that Ann Arbor has to offer.

Downtown Saugatuck
Downtown Saugatuck | photo via pitcherperfecthair

Saugatuck

This artistic community is great for exploring galleries and enjoying early spring walks on Oval Beach.

Saugatuck offers a chance to experience a quaint Lake Michigan town as it emerges from winter and prepares for spring. April offers opportunities for outdoor recreation, art exploration, shopping, dining, and more.

  • April is a beautiful time to visit Saugatuck, as the town begins to come alive with spring’s colors. The area’s scenic beauty makes it a great time for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or strolling along the waterfront.
  • Saugatuck is known for its thriving arts community. Visitors can browse a wide variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, pottery, and more, created by local and regional artists.
  • April is a great time to enjoy outdoor recreation. Visitors can hike along the trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park or Oval Beach or go birdwatching at the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area.

Whether you’re enjoying the area’s scenic beauty or discovering its vibrant arts scene, April is a wonderful time to visit Saugatuck and explore all it offers.

Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth | photo via nspiredadventures

Frankenmuth

Experience “Little Bavaria” with its unique shops, architecture, and famous chicken dinners.

Frankenmuth in April can be a delightful experience as the town starts to shake off the winter chill and welcomes the arrival of spring. The Bavarian-style architecture of the town combined with the beauty of spring blooms creates a picturesque setting for exploration and photography.

  • Visitors can explore the scenic walking paths along the Cass River, ride a bike ride, or stroll through the town’s charming streets.
  • Stop by the Bavarian Inn Restaurant or Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth for traditional German fare, such as sausages, schnitzel, and pretzels.
  • Explore the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, and the River Place Shops for unique shopping experiences.

Whether you’re taking in the spring blooms, sampling German delicacies, or browsing the shops, Frankenmuth has something to offer for everyone to enjoy.

Kitch-Iti-Kipi-Manistique
Kitch-iti-kipi | photo via theglassway

Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring)

 Michigan’s largest natural freshwater spring offers clear waters and visible trout.

Kitch-iti-kipi is a stunning natural attraction near Manistique that can be a fantastic experience as the spring begins to thaw and nature awakens from winter.

  • The transition to spring can make the surroundings of Kitch-iti-kipi especially beautiful, with the sound of rushing water and the sight of emerging greenery.
  • The crystal-clear waters of the spring offer a mesmerizing sight as you peer into the depths below. The water is so clear that you can see sand dunes and underwater features.
  • Kitch-iti-kipi is located within Palms Book State Park, which offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Exploring the trails and natural surroundings of the park can complement your visit to the spring.

Kitch-iti-kipi in April offers a unique opportunity to witness the natural beauty of this remarkable spring as it emerges from winter. Whether you’re exploring the surrounding nature, or simply soaking in the tranquility of the landscape, Kitch-iti-kipi provides a memorable and immersive experience in the heart of the U.P.

Porcupinemountains Grungehippie87
photo courtesy of @grungehippie87

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

A haven for nature lovers seeking solitude and stunning natural landscapes.

Visiting Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offers a unique experience as the park transitions from winter to spring. In April, the Porcupine Mountains are beginning to emerge from the icy grip of winter.

  • While there may still be snow and ice in some areas, especially at higher elevations, the warmer temperatures of April begin to melt the winter snowpack.
  • April offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities in the park. Hiking is a popular activity and fishing, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing are also popular activities in the park.
  • April can also be an excellent time to visit the park’s waterfalls as the snowmelt increases creating impressive cascades and providing excellent photo opportunities.

Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the natural scenery, the Porcupine Mountains provide a peaceful and rejuvenating escape in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Belle Isle Park-Detroit
Belle Isle Park | photo via chrisahernphotography

Belle Isle Park

Features attractions like the Belle Isle Aquarium and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.

Visiting Belle Isle Park in Detroit in April can be a wonderful experience as the park starts to come alive with the arrival of spring. The Belle Isle Conservatory’s botanical gardens are a highlight, featuring a variety of exotic plants and flowers in full bloom.

  • Belle Isle offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities along the island’s scenic trails, which offer stunning views of the Detroit River and downtown skyline.
  • The Belle Isle Aquarium showcases a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish species, while the Belle Isle Conservatory houses tropical plants, flowers, and cacti.
  • Anglers can cast their lines from designated fishing piers.

Belle Isle Park in April offers a chance to enjoy the beauty of spring, outdoor recreation, and iconic attractions in the heart of Detroit. Whether you’re admiring the spring blooms or exploring the trails, Belle Isle provides a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Impression 5-Lansing
Impression 5 | photo via exploremichiganmore

Lansing

The Michigan State Capitol and the Impression 5 Science Center provide a mix of educational and fun experiences.

Lansing in April can be an enjoyable experience as Michigan’s capital city begins to emerge from winter and welcomes the arrival of spring.

  • Visitors can take guided or self-guided tours of the Michigan State Capitol to learn about its history, architecture, and role in Michigan’s government.
  • Impression 5 Science Center offers interactive exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages on topics such as physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.
  • Visitors can check out the Michigan History Center, which features exhibits on the state’s history and heritage.

Whether you’re exploring the State Capitol, engaging with hands-on science exhibits at Impression 5, or simply enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, Lansing has something to offer for visitors of all interests.

Vineyards &Amp; Cherry Blossoms Traverse City
Traverse City

Traverse City

Famous for its wineries, offering unique tasting experiences away from the peak season crowds.

Visiting Traverse City in April can be an exciting experience as the city starts to emerge from winter and welcomes the arrival of spring. April marks the beginning of cherry blossom season in Traverse City and the blooming cherry trees create a stunning display of pink and white blossoms throughout the area.

  • You can explore the city’s numerous parks and nature areas, hike or bike ride along the TART Trail or Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, or take a scenic drive along the Old Mission Peninsula or Leelanau Peninsula.
  • April is an excellent time to go wine tasting and explore the area’s wineries, many of which offer tastings, tours, and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Visitors can check out the Dennos Museum Center, which features a diverse collection of art and artifacts, or attend a performance at the City Opera House.

Visiting Traverse City in April offers a chance to experience the city’s natural beauty, outdoor activities, wine tasting, and cultural attractions in a more relaxed and less crowded setting compared to the peak summer months.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse - Ludington, Michigan
Big Sable Point Lighthouse | photo courtesy of @giffordoutdoors

Ludington State Park

With diverse landscapes, it’s perfect for hiking and nature exploration in cooler weather.

Visiting Ludington State Park offers a chance to experience the park as it transitions from winter to spring. Biking, fishing, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing are also popular pursuits. While some trails may still be muddy or snow-covered in April, many are accessible for hiking and exploring.

  • April can be an excellent time to stroll along the beach, search for unique shells and rocks, or simply enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.
  • While the interior of Big Sable Point Lighthouse may not be open to visitors in April, you can still hike or bike to the lighthouse and admire its picturesque setting along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
  • Camping in Ludington State Park provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the outdoors.

Whether you’re hiking, beachcombing, camping, or simply enjoying the peaceful surroundings, Ludington State Park provides a memorable outdoor experience for all visitors.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, Shepherd - Spring Festivals
Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival | photo via Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

Celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring at this delightful festival in Shepherd, Michigan.

The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival celebrates the maple syrup season and the local maple syrup industry. Visitors can learn about the process of making maple syrup, from tapping the trees to boiling the sap to produce the syrup.

  • One of the festival’s biggest highlights is the pancake breakfast, where visitors can enjoy freshly made pancakes served with locally produced maple syrup.
  • The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival typically features parades, including a grand parade with floats, marching bands, and community groups.
  • The festival has a strong community atmosphere, with residents coming together to celebrate their town and its maple syrup heritage. It’s a family-friendly event that offers something for everyone to enjoy.

The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival is a beloved annual tradition, offering a taste of local flavor and community spirit in celebration of the sweetest season of the year.

45 North Vineyard &Amp; Winery-Leelanau
45 North Vineyard & Winery | photo via fatimawearsscrubs_

Ride the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

April is a quiet month for wineries, making it perfect for leisurely tours and tastings without the crowds. The Leelanau Peninsula offers stunning views and exquisite local wines.

Riding the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail in April can be a delightful experience as the vineyards begin to awaken from winter dormancy.  In April, you can expect to see the landscape coming to life with budding trees, blooming flowers, and vibrant greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wine tour.

  • April is an excellent time to visit the wineries and sample their latest releases, including white wines, red wines, rosés, and dessert wines.
  • Some wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula offer guided vineyard tours, allowing visitors to explore the vineyards, learn about the grape-growing process, and gain insight into winemaking techniques.
  • In addition to wine tasting, many wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula offer culinary experiences such as wine and food pairings, gourmet picnics, or farm-to-table dining.

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or simply looking for a scenic and relaxing getaway, a wine tour on the Leelanau Peninsula, an April visit offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the region’s wineries, sample award-winning wines, and immerse yourself in the beauty and bounty of Northern Michigan’s wine country.

Marshall
Marshall | photo via gift_supisara

Explore the Historic Town of Marshall

Step back in time in this quaint and beautifully preserved town known for its historic architecture, charming shops, and the American Museum of Magic.

Visiting Marshall offers a delightful experience as the town awakens from winter and embraces spring. Marshall is known for its charming historic downtown district, featuring well-preserved 19th-century architecture, quaint shops, and local eateries.

  • You can visit a Marshall museum like the American Museum of Magic, which showcases a fascinating collection of magic artifacts and memorabilia, or explore the Honolulu House Museum, a historic mansion built in the exotic “Italianate” style.
  • You can explore nearby parks and nature areas, such as Stuart’s Landing and Rice Creek Wildlife Area, for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing.
  • Visitors craving comfort food, farm-to-table fare, or international dishes will find plenty of options to satisfy their appetite in Marshall.

Visiting Marshall in April offers a chance to experience the town’s historic charm, cultural attractions, outdoor recreation, and culinary delights in the refreshing springtime air.

Dow Gardens-Midland
Dow Gardens | photo via myaberger

Midland’s Dow Gardens

Featuring a variety of gardens, woods, and a stunning canopy walk that’s accessible year-round, Dow Gardens is a beautiful place to experience the early signs of spring.

Visiting Dow Gardens can be a delightful experience as the gardens come to life with the colors and fragrances of spring. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of early spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, and flowering trees and shrubs in bloom.

  • Dow Gardens is home to a diverse collection of botanical gardens, each showcasing different plant species and garden styles.
  • The Dow Gardens Butterfly House is a popular attraction that allows visitors to experience the enchanting world of butterflies up close.
  • Visitors can participate in programs focused on gardening, horticulture, and environmental stewardship, providing valuable insights into sustainable gardening practices and plant care.

April offers a chance to experience the beauty and tranquility of one of Michigan’s premier botanical attractions as it awakens to the sights and scents of spring. Whether you’re admiring the spring blooms, exploring the themed gardens, or marveling at the butterflies in the Butterfly House, Dow Gardens provides a memorable and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

Waterloo State Recreation Area-Chelsea
Waterloo State Recreation Area | photo via mymichigantrips_com

Waterloo Recreation Area

Just a short drive from Jackson, the Waterloo Recreation Area is the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula.

With over 20,000 acres, the Waterloo Recreation Area offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and fishing. April is a fantastic time to visit as the park comes to life with spring wildflowers and migrating birds, offering a peaceful retreat into nature.

  • In April, you can explore more than 40 miles of trails as they come to life with the sights and sounds of spring, including budding trees, wildflowers, and migratory birds returning to the area.
  • You can cast your line for bass, bluegill, and other freshwater fish species, or launch a kayak or canoe for a leisurely paddle on one of the park’s scenic waterways.
  • In April, visitors may have the chance to spot these animals as they emerge from winter dormancy and begin to forage for food and establish territories.

Whether you’re hiking, fishing, camping, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, Waterloo Recreation Area provides a refreshing and rejuvenating escape for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Ocqueoc Falls &Amp; Bicentennial Trail
Ocqueoc Falls I photo via @mxrynx_

Ocqueoc Falls

As the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula, Ocqueoc Falls is a unique outdoor destination.

April’s meltwaters make the falls particularly impressive, and the surrounding state park offers hiking trails that are perfect for an early spring exploration. Visiting Ocqueoc Falls offers a scenic and tranquil outdoor experience as the waterfall and surrounding landscape come to life with the arrival of spring.

  • The waterfall flows at full force as snowmelt and spring rains contribute to higher water levels. The surrounding forest begins to awaken from winter dormancy, with budding trees and emerging wildflowers adding to the beauty.
  • Ocqueoc Falls offers hiking and nature trails for visitors to explore. April is an excellent time to hike in the area, with milder temperatures and fewer bugs compared to the summer months.
  • Pack a picnic lunch and spend some time soaking in the sights and sounds of the waterfall and surrounding forest. April provides a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere compared to the peak summer season.

Visiting Ocqueoc Falls in April offers a chance to experience the beauty and serenity of Michigan’s outdoors as it awakens to the sights and sounds of spring.

Plan a Fun April Day Trip in Michigan

No matter if you’re seeking serenity along a shoreline, looking to expand your horizons at a restaurant or museum, or simply wishing to take a scenic drive, there’s a Michigan day trip waiting for everyone. Make plans to visit a specific attraction or city, or hop in the car and start driving. You never know where you may end up as you explore Michigan’s spring wonders.

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