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Michigan Family Vacations

Updated on July 30, 2012

With lakes, camping, quirky tourist attractions and city fun, Michigan is a great destination for a family vacation. What’s more, a Michigan family vacation can be fun and exciting without breaking the bank.


With acres of woods, lakes and rivers, Michigan offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. All year round Michigan’s families love to head “up north” to camp, hike, canoe, fish and hunt. In the fall the changing colors of the leaves are a spectacle, and in winter cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are the rage. While there are good campgrounds all around the state, the ones farther north tend to be more remote and woodsy.


Michigan is home to more than 64,000 inland lakes, many of which support a thriving tourism industry. Water lovers can head to one of the Lake Michigan towns along that great lake, opt for a large lake within the state like Walloon, or go for a family vacation in rental cottage along one of the myriad small lakes in Michigan.


When winter rolls around, Michiganders flock to the ski resorts located around the state for Michigan family vacations. Some of the larger resorts are Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain and Iron Mountain, all located in Northern Michigan. There are several regional ski hills as well, like Pine Knob in the Detroit area and Cannonsburg in Grand Rapids.


Michigan’s cities offer lots of family fun for vacationers. In Detroit families must visit Greenfield Village, a step back in time to the turn of the century where guests can ride in a real train and vintage autos, see the actual laboratory where Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, visit a typical jeweler’s, buy goodies from the village bakery and more. Next door at the Henry Ford museum there are vintage and antique cars, as well as vehicles of historic importance, like a presidential limousine or the Rosa Parks bus. The Detroit Zoo is another family fave, with lions, giraffes, monkeys and more.

Grand Rapids also has a zoo, though much smaller than Detroit’s, as well as a children’s museum where younger kids can build, climb and explore. In winter, there’s ice skating downtown at Rosa Parks circle, and in summer, there’s a splash pad and a beach along the river at Millennium Park.

Lansing and Saginaw all have zoos, and Ann Arbor has a fun children’s museum. Kalamazoo has the traditional Binder Park Zoo as well as the Air Zoo, an airplane museum with rides and simulators that kids love.


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