Drive the Michigan Coast This Summer


Did you know that Michigan boasts the longest freshwater shoreline in the world? Many assume that the most scenic coastal drives include saltwater spray and the sounds of the ocean. However, those from the Midwest understand that the Great Lakes provide many opportunities to explore beautiful lakeside landscapes. If you’re in the mood for an amazing summer drive, consider one of these routes along Michigan’s expansive shore.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers travelers a wealth of exploration opportunities. If you recently treated yourself to that new Honda for sale you’d been wanting, then skip hiking the dunes and travel instead on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Stop along the way to enjoy amazing overlooks of the Glen Lakes, the dunes, and Lake Michigan. It won’t take long to understand why the United States stepped in to protect the area within the National Park System.

US 23 by Thunder Bay

This route from Tawas City to Alpena offers travelers amazing views along the “Sunrise Coast” of Lake Huron. Along the way, consider stopping at Harrisonville State Park for a picnic or even an overnight stay. Pause at the park adjacent to Thunder Bay to watch the boats sail by. The drive may not take long, but you’ll want to budget plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.

Michigan Wine Trail

Consider checking out the Lake Michigan shore on the Red Arrow Highway from New Buffalo to St. Joseph. This route not only includes fabulous views of the iconic lake but also the opportunity to taste some of Michigan’s finest wines at over a dozen wineries. If antiquing is your thing, you’ll also find many places to shop for treasures along this route.

US-2 From St. Ignace to Manistique

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge not only provides breathtaking scenery, it also opens up a wealth of opportunities for scenic summer drives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The route from St. Ignace to Manistique along US-2 is considered one of the best. Again, allow for ample time to stop at roadside parks and feel the sand between your toes as you gaze out at the vastness of Lake Michigan. You may even be lucky enough to see one of the iconic Great Lakes freighters glide by on its way to the Straits of Mackinac.

M-134 from Hessel to Drummond Island

Consider traveling M-134 in the UP for views of Lake Huron as well as the Les Cheneaux Islands. For many, this remote cluster of islands and its many hideaways reminds them of similar formations along the coast of Maine. Stop to admire the historical boathouses and get up early to catch a sunrise. You won’t regret taking this journey back in time.

Explore a Freshwater Coast This Summer

If you’re looking for the perfect summer drive, consider a shoreline route with a freshwater feel. No matter which coast of Michigan you decide to explore, you’ll be amazed by the stunning beaches, the breathtaking overlooks, and the majesty of the Great Lakes.