12 Best Family Vacations in Michigan [for 2023]
Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the United States for families with kids. This family-friendly haven offers the state’s breathtaking scenery as well as fun attractions and affordable prices. From kid-friendly museums and pristine beaches to charming small towns where you can make some sweet memories, you’ll find this fabulous destination.
If you are planning a trip to Michigan, look at our list of best family vacations in Michigan and enjoy your holiday with your loved ones!
1. Mackinac Island
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Mackinac Island is a wonderful and beautiful place to have the best family vacations in Michigan, and what’s even better, the island is open year-round where you can have old-school fun regardless of the weather!
Here you will find a lot of resorts, stay in any of these prestigious resorts; Enjoy the holidays in Michigan with families and enjoy lawn games, ice cream socials, and even full carriage rides.
Mackinac Island is car-free, so enjoy biking. There are plenty of options to rent a bike, which is one of the best ways to explore the island. Here you can also go exploring the state park as well as visit Fort Mackinac, a historic fort that offers an immersive experience into the island’s history.
2. Traverse City
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Traverse City is known to be a wonderful place for couples and honeymooners but you cannot say that it is just a great place for couples and honeymooners, today it is considered one of the family-friendly beach travel destinations.
It is famous around the world for its natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, and biking and hiking trails. Here you can enjoy accommodation options, from resorts to hotels and even go camping if you like.
Traverse City is also one of the most popular spots for watersports and with its pristine sands, one can enjoy spending days at the beach! You can also visit the many lighthouses in the area, each with its own characteristics and stories. You can also go shopping here and have a taste of the world-famous cherries here.
3. Bay City
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If you want to have a great weekend getaway in Michigan with kids, then a great option for you is Bay City, which is known for its art, culture, and water-related fun. Located near Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, it’s extremely kid-friendly, with a variety of activities for your kids to enjoy.
And there’s plenty more you’ll love, such as enjoying a walk along the Riverwalk Rail Trail, taking a cruise boat ride, or visiting attractions such as the Sunrise Pedal Trolley, the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, and the Delta College Planetarium.
If you like fishing then you can do that here too and you are going to have a lot of fun with the great shows at the State Theater making this one of the best family vacations in Michigan.
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
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Apart from being a protected area, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is also one of the favorite places for family vacations. Located on the southern shore of Lake Superior, it is popular for its colorful sandstone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and diverse forest landscape.
This can be a great place for the best family vacations in Michigan where you enjoy a number of recreational activities like hiking, fishing, boating, and kayaking on the lake.
Other attractions here include the Chapel Basin 10-Mile Loop, which offers views of the spectacular cliffs, Miner’s Castle, Sand Point Beach, Grand Sable Banks, and the towering mounds of dunes.
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Holland is where you and your family experience the best of the Netherlands without ever stepping outside the Midwest! What a beautiful journey it truly is, your eyes fill with color, and more than 4.5 million for you in May! Tulips are in bloom. If you’ve got kids with you, they’re sure to love this place too, as there’s no shortage of parades and kid-friendly activities.
If you want to enjoy the authentic taste here, then you must visit the Dutch Village, where you can enjoy the taste as well as fun festivals and activities Visit this beautiful city’s gorgeous parks, build sandcastles on the beaches, and don’t forget to explore other kid-friendly options like the lighthouse.
6. Grand Rapids
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If you really want to enjoy the best family vacation in Michigan, then head to Grand Rapids, which is open all season to its guests. Here you will find tons of beautiful museums, beaches, and more. You can create some lovely memories and also enjoy hiking trails here.
The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Coopersville Farm Museum can be wonderful places for kids to see and learn a lot, as well as get a closer look at the rural Michigan lifestyle. You can enjoy a whole lot of fun and adventure in the amusement and water park here. If you happen to visit in June, you can also enjoy the many arts and music festivals.
7. Sleeping Bear Dunes
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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a great place to enjoy the natural environment is located in the northwest part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Here you can enjoy hiking, swimming with the family, kayaking, camping, and even fishing.
All of this makes it a great choice for family-friendly activities and visitors will find massive sand dunes where visitors can climb the dunes to explore this unique landscape, hike trails, hike or enjoy a dune buggy ride.
There are also several campgrounds for visitors that offer a variety of camping options, along with information on history, geology, and ecology, as well as maps, guides, and ranger-led programs.
As we all know, Sleeping Bear is located in one of the more remote parts of Michigan, so cell reception is hard to find; Kids will be forced to put away their beloved cellphones and be in the lap of Mother Nature, but they will definitely love the natural environment here!
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Saugatuck, a small and beautiful family-friendly city located on the shores of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River, draws visitors for its natural beauty. If you’ve got kids with you, take them to Oval Beach, as it offers excellent views of the lake and dunes and is frequented by many locals who enjoy the beach.
There are many other things you can do here, such as climbing Mount Baldhead for beautiful Oval Beach views, visiting Saugatuck Dunes State Park, and enjoy watching dune rides. You’ll also find several locally owned B&Bs here and the best part is, you now have great, affordable options if you have young kids with you.
9. Battle Creek
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Battle Creek is family-friendly with lots to do and see, and is sure to be a fun place to visit with your kids! With Tikes and Tots visit the Binder Park Zoo, where you can see and talk to over 600 animals from around the world, including tigers, lions, bears, and giraffes.
There is also a children’s zoo, train ride, and zip line. Relax at Full Blast Water Park; This water park has water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a children’s play area to enjoy. During the summer months, you can head to Mill Race Park, where everything from sports to movie screenings will keep you entertained.
10. Great Lakes Bay
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Great Lakes Bay is a great choice for the best family vacation in Michigan, this is where you enjoy your vacation regardless of the weather. You’re Here Zander’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark is one of the top family-friendly attractions in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
The 50,000-square-foot indoor water park is a great place to enjoy some thrills and splashes with the family or take some time to head to the lazy river and enjoy a leisurely swim; You can simply rent a family-sized cabana if you want to stay here for a while!
Visit the Roll Arena, a feature on USA TODAY’s list of the 10 best roller rinks in the country, or head to the Midlands Valley Lanes Family Entertainment Center for a ton of family-friendly entertainment, including a 32-lane bowling alley and miniature golf.
Both the Roll Arena and the Valley Lane Family Entertainment Center offer a variety of options for families to enjoy a day of indoor entertainment in the Great Lakes Bay Area. Whether you like roller skating, bowling, or miniature golf.
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Frankenmuth is one of the popular tourist destinations which offers a close view of its Bavarian-style architecture and hosts various festivals throughout the year that you can enjoy watching. In this beautiful city, you will get an amazing experience of the unique culture and lifestyle of the Bavarian people.
Here you will find attractive themed shops and visit the giant Christmas store and do some shopping after you are done with shopping you can go to the Bavarian Belle, where you can have a lot of fun with paddle boats.
You can visit during one of the local festivals like Scarecrow and Big Country Fest, where you’ll get to experience Bavarian culture and enjoy the beautiful fall weather in Michigan.
12. Ann Arbor
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As the home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is truly considered the center of educational programs in the state of Michigan. You can participate in engaging and interactive educational programs that make learning a fun and enjoyable experience.
Younger children will especially love the Blocks to Bricks exhibit, which features a giant stack of colorful building blocks, while the interactive exhibits on Michigan’s flora and fauna are wonderful for older kids.
While you’re here, be sure to visit the Leslie Science and Nature Center, which has butterflies, stargazing, and a vegetable garden. If you want to enjoy a wonderful evening here, then head to the Wild Swan Theater and enjoy the performances of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Strega Nona’. To whet your appetite, visit Zingerman’s Delicatessen, where you’ll find the best sandwiches and baked goodies you’ll taste.
Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions about Michigan
What part of Michigan should I visit?
Michigan offers diverse regions and attractions to visit. You might consider exploring picturesque Mackinac Island, Traverse City’s cherry orchards, the revitalized city of Detroit, Ann Arbor’s arts and culture scene, or Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s stunning views.