Looking to take a trip "Up North" to Northern Michigan?
Check out my list of the best places to visit Up North, written by someone who's been exploring Northern Michigan for years!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase a linked item, I will make a commission, at no extra charge to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Post updated November, 2023
Looking for the best places to visit Up North in Michigan?
When I was in college out East, I had a poster, not unlike the picture below, of The Sleeping Bear Dunes adorning the cinderblock walls of my freshman dormitory. No one seemed to believe me that this idyllic scene was tucked into a cozy corner of the Midwest. I've had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time exploring Northern Michigan, including trips nearly every summer of my life, and happily continuing to this day!
For those of us "from the middle," and especially "the mitten," we know Northern Michigan to be one of the most geographically remarkable regions of the U.S.. Nestled along the stunning grandeur of Lake Michigan are some of the quaintest small towns in the Midwest, boasting a lovely mix of family fun and high-end relaxation. Low humidity, meandering miles of trails, stunning sand dunes, the best sandy beaches I've ever seen, and, if you're lucky, some of the farthest southern sites for seeing the northern lights, or the aurora borealis. Oh did I mention cross-country skiing in the winter?
Northern Michigan is an excellent, family-friendly destination that has something to keep everyone interested, from the obvious beach activities for the kids, to historical sites for Grandad, and wineries and breweries for Mom & Dad.
So let's walk through my list of the best places to visit Up North in Michigan!
Love road trips? Check out my 8 Best Midwest Road Trips!
FAQ: What exactly is "Northern Michigan?"
"Northern Michigan" or "Up North" refers to the Northern portion of Michigan's lower peninsula. If you're looking at the state of Michigan as a hand, it's roughly 'above the knuckles,' north of Grand Rapids. If they are referring to Michigan's "Upper Peninsula," they would say "the U.P." I recognize that this is confusing for non-Michiganders.
Up North, Michigan:
FAQ: What's the difference between Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City?
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