Michigan is a beautiful place to vacation in the summer and fall. You can find free things to do around Michigan all year long. Here’s a list of some of the popular places to visit in Michigan and free things to do!
FREE Things To Do Around Michigan In These 9 Popular Areas
We’ve had a pretty awesome Michigan summer. As the boys head back to school, and I return to work full-time, I’m reflecting on all of our summer fun. I had quite a long list of things to do, but we were not able to cover everything. However, we were able to check off a few things on our bucket list. And with a few weeks left of summer, I’m hoping to squeeze in a few more road trips around Michigan.
If you live in Michigan, I don’t need to convince you of how beautiful this state is in summer and fall. Our winters lately have not been THAT bad, but still, summer and fall around here are gorgeous! I’m sharing a few of my favorite highlights from this summer, and how we were able to save money on these adventures!
- Keep in mind everything in life is not free (it should be, right? lol), but I’ve highlighted free things to do in each area, plus other cheap/frugal ideas!
Mackinaw Island. This island is known as the BEST vacation spot in Michigan (and around the U.S). People come from all over to visit this picturesque island. I can’t blame them; it’s beautiful. I’ve been there a few times, but this year I was able to stay on the island, and find a lot of ways where you can save money, and even do stuff for free!
Petoskey. I love this little town. I love small towns; it’s just something about their quaint character, cheerful people, of course, great food makes me fall in love with Petoskey. There are quite a few things you can do in Petoskey for FREE as well. You can also read about some places to stay and eat while vacationing in the Petoskey area.
Lansing. Of course, I have to mention my town! I’ve been living in Lansing, Delta Township for the past ten years. I’ve grown to love this place, and we have some of the BEST foodie spots (I mean, come on, y’all know I’m all about the food!) Golden Harvest is the best breakfast spot, along with great BBQ from Meats and Saddleback (they both hold their own, respectively), HopCat, Soup Spoon Cafe, Zaytoons, and the list goes on and on. There is a LOT to do here, with festivals, vintage shopping, the Common Ground Festival, and more. I’ve written about things to do here in Lansing, including a list of over 150 FREE things to do!
Pictured Rocks. This has been on my bucket list for a few years, and I made time to head up there last weekend. I plan to write about some of the things you can do there for free, but um, the views alone are worth the drive and those are FREE! Plus, they have quite a few gorgeous waterfalls in the UP that are also worth the drive and hike!
Chicago. Yes, I know this is not located in Michigan, but it’s a short drive for most of us Michiganders. Plus, there’s a TON of free things you can do in Chicago. I’ve listed over 51 FREE things to do, plus their food scene is on point, and you can catch quite a few festivals and other events going on. And if you have girls, a stop at the American Girl store (on a budget) is a must! Tip: Plan a road trip from Michigan to Chicago
Grand Rapids. GR offers a lot of activities for the families, couples, and the younger (ahem) crowd! It’s a close drive from Mid-Michigan and a fun place for a day trip. You can check out over 15 free things to do in the Grand Rapids area.
Detroit. Detroit offers quite a bit of fun things to do for everyone. Not only can you go for a game, but you will also find a lot of music festivals, Broadway shows, and more. And if you’re looking for free/frugal things to do, we’ve got you covered with 51 free things to do in Detroit!
Traverse City. TC is another gorgeous area to visit, with plenty of things to do. You can find quite a few free things to do in the Traverse City area like geocaching, hiking, visiting the lighthouses, biking, and of course, visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes! Be sure to get some ideas on my post: 7 Things To Do in Traverse City
Saugatuck. Another place on our bucket list this summer. Besides laying at the beach and walking the sand dunes for free, it’s also a great place to go hiking. Picking berries at Krupka’s is a fun thing to do for the whole family. While this is not free, going on a dune ride is a blast! Our boys had so much fun, plus you learn a little history along the way. How about that for some educational fun?! We also explored the downtown area, which was a lot of fun.
There’s a lot of FREE things happening around Michigan throughout the year, especially in the summer and fall. From free concerts, free movies, and the list goes on and go. You can find a lot of ideas on the 100+ Michigan Summer Bucket List post.