If you are like us and always looking for what other states have to offer, then a visit to Northern Michigan is a must! Not only does it have more freshwater shoreline than any other state (and its watercolor resembles the Caribbean), but the state has so much variety when it comes to nature, dining, and wineries/breweries (our favorite!). We hope that this three-day itinerary, will help you plan out your own Michigan adventure!
Before you head to your hotel, make sure to stop by St Ambrose Cellars for some delicious mead, beer, wine, or even food: they have it all! The best part is you can try it all in a flight, and then grab a bottle to go.
After you are well fed, it’s time to head to Crystal Mountain resort. Here the activities are endless! If you are staying at Crystal Mountain over winter, you can try fat tire biking, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or even a spa service. During other seasons you can check out their golf course, try out Edge Adventure Course and Zip Lining and so much more. The beauty is: this resort has so much to offer without leaving the actual resort. You can easily spend a weekend just here, exploring the grounds.
Before heading to Traverse City on an empty stomach, a must-stop is the Crescent Bakery for a little coffee and pastry time in Frankfort. You will find a cozy and peaceful town positioned right by the lake. After that, we will head to Frankfort North Pier Lighthouse for a morning walk by the beach. While in Traverse City, enjoy the outdoors and and do some fun holiday shopping.
As we head back to the resort, stop by Rare Bird for a delicious feast. Their nachos and wings were on another level! We really loved the architecture and the industrial, but cozy, feel to it.
Now we are back in the resort for some well-deserved spa time! Crystal Mountain has a fully serviced spa so you can indulge in a facial, massage, along with sauna, jacuzzi, and steam room. When it’s chilly outside, this place lets you immerse yourself and fully relax. I had the pleasure of getting the Eminence Gemstone Facial and my esthetician Trish, was amazing and super knowledgeable. Highly recommend having a service here, even if you end up not staying at the resort.
End your day at Iron Fish Distillery where you can enjoy hand crafted cocktails and wood-fired pizza! It is Michigan’s first farm-based distillery which makes one-of-a-kind whiskey and serves some unique dishes with it as well. You can even rent a tent for a more intimate dinner experience. They have a full calendar of events going on, so more than likely, there will be something going on when you stop by.
Before we leave this paradise, there is still a bit more we should do. First stop at Bella’s café for some delicious bagels and the coziest vibe! Once we are done here, we will head out for a bit of nature sightseeing. Our first stop will be the Point Betsie Lighthouse. The shoreline is quite beautiful and the lighthouse makes for an awesome photo op. Fun fact: you can spend a night at the Keeper's Quarters apartment. Make sure you check out their website for details since some of the lighthouse’s attractions are seasonal.
Now, we will continue driving to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As you head up via Scenic Highway (M22), stop at the Riverside Canoe Trips for some epic views. We stumbled upon here by accident, and what an amazing, secluded area this is! Take a stroll along the river for some serene natural beauty of this place.
Finally, we are at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and more precisely at the Dune Climb. I have to say, this is one of very popular spots in this area regardless of the season. Even though it is only a 3.5-mile hike, you are constantly walking up and down in the sand, so be ready for some exercise. Plan ahead if you are attempting to do the whole thing 😊
End your last day with a stop at Five Shores Brewing: who’s roots run deep into Michigan soil. They opened just a couple of years ago, and are located in downtown Belulah. Not only do they have amazing beer and delicious snacks to go with it, but they also host trivia nights along with open mic, and so much more.
We hope this quick three-day itinerary will help you make your trip to Northern Michigan your own! If you need any additional intel, always feel free to reach out to us. We are an open book. 😊
Adri & Kam