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Inside West Michigan
Welcome to West Michigan
Come with me to visit the small towns and big cities in the western lower penisula that is West Michigan. From rural towns, apple orchards, farm markets, cities on the big lake,Lake Michigan, or quaint towns on inland lakes, to the urban world that is Grand Rapids. It is an area full of opportunities for fun, learning, and entertainment for kids and kids-at-heart. (Walk through the peaceful Michigan woods and discover the beauty of the wildflowers.)
Canoe and Kayak Race on the Muskegon River
Check out the canoe and kayak experience on the Muskegon River in Newaygo, MI.
Reserve Your Campsite Now for Summer Camping in West Michigan
Campgrounds fill up quickly, especially those state parks near the beautiful beaches. Reserve them now!
Camping in West Michigan is a delight for the rustic tent camper or the RV'er. This area is a haven for natural beauty including the expansive beaches of Lake Michigan shores, peaceful surrounds of the many inland lakes, the hiking and biking trails through dense forests or open prairies, and the opportunities to see wildlife and bird watching in the nature preserves.
Take it from this Michigan Insider, I have listed some of my favorite little known West Michigan campgrounds:
FREMONT LAKE PARK, Fremont, Michigan 231-924-5227
Located on an all sports inland lake, small town atmosphere
HENNING COUNTY PARK, Newaygo, Michigan 231-652-1202 Located on the mighty Muskegon River for great fishing, boating and tubing
Pioneer Park, Muskegon County Park http://co.muskegon.mi.us/parks/pioneer.htm
White River RV Park and Campground, Montague, Michigan 231-894-4708 Woods, creek, outdoor swimming pool near Lake Michigan
If you are looking for gorgeous sunsets and the best sand beaches, then camp at these Michigan State Parks. For more information on each park, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr
LUDINGTON STATE PARK, Ludington, Michigan Lazily tube down the little river that connects Hamlin Lake to Lake Michigan. Visit the lighthouse nearby.
CHARLES MEARS STATE PARK, Pentwater, Michigan Not only does this park have a great beach, but the small village of Pentwater is a delightful get-away from all the big box stores and franchises. It's a fun shopping area along the waterfront.
SILVER LAKE STATE PARK, Mears, Michigan Rev up those dune buggies for the most spectacular sites from atop the jaw dropping sand dunes. This is a great vacation spot.
MUSKEGON STATE PARK, North Muskegon, Michigan Spend your days and nights on this gorgeous beach which has been ranked among the most beautiful in the world.
HOFFMASTER STATE PARK, Muskegon, Michigan Climb the boardwalk over the sand dunes for amazing views of the spectacular Lake Michigan. Visit the Gillette Nature Center well know for its exhibits and nature programs.
You'll have a fun and relaxing time staying at these campgrounds.
Links for Finding Campgrounds in West Michigan
- MICHIGAN CAMPGROUND DIRECTORY
The 2010 Michigan Campground Directory, published by ARVC - Michigan, is now available. You can plan now for a great camping trip. The West Michigan area provides abundant streams, rivers, inland lakes, and the Great Lake Michigan with wide, sandy be
- MICHIGAN STATE PARKS
Michigan State Parks at this site include great camping and trail facilities. Make your reservations early!
Enjoy West Michigan - Click on these links for information about, festivals, shopping and lodging.
Here is your list of places to visit in West Michigan for winter sports, beaches, water sports, shopping, dining, and a whole lot of fun.
Find out what is happenin' at the new Up North destination, Muskegon.
- SOUTH HAVEN
Beaches, sunsets, wineries, shopping and dining in South Haven
- PETOSKEY-HARBOR SPRINGS-BOYNE CITY
Resort communities offering lakeside beauty, unique shopping and world class golf.
- GREATER LANSING
Lansing is the Capitol of Michigan, but also offers great activities for summer fun.
- HOLLAND, MICHIGAN
Preserving the Dutch heritage--windmills, wooden shoes, quaint downtown, and summer concerts.
Great state park for camping, tubing, world class sport fishing, golfing and lighthouses--dee-licious ice cream too.
- CAMPING AND RV TRAVEL GUIDE
This site is packed with information for campers on Michigan campgrounds, places to visit, RV shows and articles on camping.
- MICHIGAN CANOEING
Planning a canoe trip? Check out the info on this site.
Great fishing, camping, antiques, small town atmosphere, festivals
National Baby Food Festival in July, summer concert series, harvest festival, lakeside resorts, and camping.
- NEWAYGO COUNTY
Escape to beautiful Newaygo County for fishing in blue ribbon streams, kayaking/canoeing rivers and streams, camping along the river or lakes, shopping, and festivals.
- LOWELL, MICHIGAN
Quaint city famous for the Showboat Concert Productions on a docked showboat.
- MDOT MICHIGAN STATE MAP
Click here for interactive maps of Michigan and cities.
- PURE MICHIGAN
Michigan's Official Travel and Tourism site...Click in here for information on your West Michigan destination area.
- GRAND HAVEN
Walk along the 2.5 mile boardwalk from downtown to Lake Michigan, visit quaint shops, watch the kites fly in the clear blue sky, and stay for the music and dancing waters at the world's largest musical fountain.
The affordable family vacation destination in Michigan with something for everyone. Begin your Michigan family vacation adventure here in Cadillac!
Charlevoix Convention and Visitors Bureau. The unrivaled beauty and charm of this classic resort town makes it the crown jewel of northern Michigan vacation destinations. Its setting in the midst of Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and Round Lake provi
- SILVER LAKE SAND DUNES/HART
This little beach town is famous for the awesome sand dunes where you can actually drive across mountains of sand in a private vehicle. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are the only dunes East of Utah to drive a private motorized vehicle from April 1st thr
- TRAVERSE CITY
Award winning golf courses, beaches, water sports, shopping and wine country. There is something for everyone in this beautiful area.
- WINTER ACTIVITIES IN WEST MICHIGAN
Do you ski, snowboard, jet ski, make snow angels, or sip cocoa in the warm lodge? Check this out for destinations for all the winter sports.
This delightful port city of 6500 offers a true West Michigan atmosphere with water for boating, fishing, water sports, quaint downtown for shopping, and even Little River Casino nearby.
Zeeland is a beautiful area that shows pride in its historical background and its strong religious heritage.
- Saugatuck/Douglas Area
The best things in life are Saugatuck / Douglas Michigan!
Information for visiting Allegan.
- Grand Rapids Tourist Guide from a Squidooer
This squidoo lens highlights many sites to visit and experience in Grand Rapids.
Destination Guides for Michigan Visitors and Residents
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - In northwestern Michigan, voted the most beautiful place in the USA by Good Morning America Viewers
Empire, MI-- Enjoy these breathtaking photos of the beauty found in this unique place. No photo can convey the exquisite mix of sand, sky and water in this place. You've got to experience it. Click the link below to take you to the GMA contest information and the winning, stunning video of Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Sleeping Bear Dunes Named the Most Beautiful Place in America - Click to watch this breath-taking video.
Check out this stunning video from Good Morning America's abc News.
- GMA Most Beautiful Place in America--Sleeping Bear Dunes
This video explains the contest for Good Morning America viewers to choose the most beautiful place in America from ten locations. Tough choices. But our Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore won!
Fantastic pictures and information packed articles about farms and fishermen of Michigan. Dairy farmers, vegetable growers chocolate makers, and, fishing industry. Great coffee table book and for gift giving.
Muskegon River links West Michigan in recreation and fishing. Learn its history all the way to the restoration of this important life-giving river.
If you are a woodworker, artist, or decorator, you'll love the anecdotes and 200 photos of this grand furniture collection
Incredible scenery and small towns make cycling in West Michigan a treat. Find out where to go and what to see in thie information packed book.
MAKE MUSKEGON COUNTY YOUR UP NORTH DESTINATION
Muskegon has it all. Beaches on the breathtaking Lake Michigan, water sports, concerts, festivals, symphony, fine arts, museum, heritage homes, and shopping. Go for a day, go for a weekend, and enjoy the crisp fall air and foliage in a great place for people of all ages.
- Pere Marquette Beach
A great beach for kids and grown ups. Want to just sun worship or let the kids play in the waves and on the play equipment. Nice bath house for changing and concession area.
- Port City Princess Cruises
Cruise Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake in this comfortable ship. Day or evening cruises.
- Lake Express Ferry
Board the ferry in Muskegon and 2.5 hours later you will be stepping off in Milwaukee, WI.
- Bike Trails
Enjoy biking these three bike trails in Muskegon County--The City of Muskegon Lakeshore Trail, The Musketawa Trail on the east side of the county and the Hart-Montague Trail State Park in the northern section of Muskegon County.
- Camping in Muskegon County
Click for a list of camping opportunities. Whether you prefer the water or the woods, there will be a place for you to set up your campsite in Muskegon County.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MUSKEGON THROUGH THESE BOOKS
Summer Vacation in West Michigan - Beaches and activities for your family and friends
Summertime and the livin' is easy in West Michigan. Follow these links to find activities that will keep your summer blazin' with fun!
- Festivals and Events.
Check out the festivals and events for easy and money-saving festivals and events.
- Beaches on the West Coast of Lake Michigan
Catch a breath-taking sunset on the shores of Lake Michigan. These beaches are the gems of West Michigan with white sand stretching as far as you can see. The beach towns are quaint or contemporary. One of these will fit your style.
- Wine Trails of Michigan
Be prepared to taste the fresh fruits of Michigan in a bottle of wine. Experience a wine tasting of riesling, chardonnay, pinot grigio, cabernet and more.
- Lake Express Ferry Schedule and Tickets
Express crossing Lake Michigan between Muskegon, MI and Milwaukee, WI in 2 1/2 hours.
West Michigan Bike Trails for Family Fun - Biking--a fabulous way to see beautiful West Michigan
- West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition
For bikers-- this site is loaded with information and links to trail maps in the West Michigan area.
GILMORE CAR MUSEUM INFORMATION
- Gilmore Car Museum
Located midway between Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, MI and just 15 minutes from I-94 and US-131. After a visit to this gleaming exhibit. you will appreciate the car maker's technical knowledge and ingenuity for the development of the aut
BOOKS ON MICHIGAN CAMPING AND GARDENS - So many activities in Michigan as well as beaches and abundant fruits and vegetables
Check out these Michigan based titles.
Video: Exciting, Energized Grand Rapids, Michigan
Newsweek magazine had to take back their mean remarks about Grand Rapids after seeing this fabulous lively lip dub in Grand Rapids.
VISIT FREDERICK MEIJER GARDENS AND SCULPTURE PARK IN GRAND RAPIDS
Whether you are a gardener or not, you will enjoy a visit to the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The immense conservatory filled with collections of arid plants, tropical beauties, carnivorous garden is the landmark for finding the gardens. Walk through the conservatory and then outdoors to experience the walkways that wind through the 30+ acres of the most comprehensive collection of outdoor sculputres in the MidWest. My favorite is the behemoth bronze sculpture of The American Horse based on Leonard da Vinci's Horse sculpture. The powerful horse. although stationery, gives the impression he could race the wind and win with his strong legs and body. There are 30 pieces of sculpture at this writing with area available for 80. Great artists such as Rodin and Maillol are on display in the peaceful setting.
The Lena Meijer Children's Garden is a fantastic place to escape with your kids, big and little. The centerpiece of the garden is the Great Lakes display filled with water where children can float boats and splash. The five lakes are built to scale so you can understand the relationship of the lakes to each other and to the states surrounding them. The tree house and story telling area and fossil gardens are all fun for kids. Your little ones will learn about gardening, wildlife and nature in the Great Lakes area and not even realize they are learning by playing in this beautiful area.
Don't leave without seeing the Michigan Farm Garden. This 1930's family farm includes a replica of an 1880's farmhouse, 100 year old barn, animal pens with bronze sculptures of the animals such as a pig, goat, sheep and horse, and an heirloom plant vegetable garden. Sitting in a rocker on the front porch of the house is one of the most peaceful experiences you will remember. And don't forget to sniff all the roses in the rose garden.
Plan to spend at least 4 hours touring the gardens and more depending on your interests.
Concerts are held in the Amphitheater Garden during the summer. Check the website for the schedule.
Frederik Meijer Gardens Chihuly Glass Exhibit
Dale Chihuly, world famous blown glass designer, displays his works throughout Meijer Gardens through October 31, 2010. Breathtaking vistas and inspiring creations will make your visit to the gardens a memorable experience.
FALL COLOR TOUR OF WEST MICHIGAN - Colorful Michigan.
The season doesn't last very long. Get out and enjoy the fall foliage and crisp days while it is here. The following links will help you plan your fall color tour of Michigan. Whether you drive, bike, walk, canoe or kayak, check out these links and links below for information.
- West Coast Beachtowns Tour
Follow the shoreline along Lake Michigan for spectacular scenes of water and brilliant foliage. Enjoy shopping and dining in Harbor Country which includes the winery region of southwest Michigan (southwesterly portion of Berrien County, Michigan, whi
- Michigan Biking Trails
Bike or walk the trails to experience the colors, sights, and smells of autumn up close and personal.
Farmer's Markets for Locally Grown and Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Enjoy the harvest from West Michigan orchards and farms. Visit these farmers markets for field fresh and organic veggies and fruits. Click on the links to find information on location and days the markets are open.
- Grand Rapids area Farmers Markets
Farmers markets from Ada to Zeeland and everywhere in between...Find out locations and market days.
- Coopersville Farmers Market
Fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers - both annual and perennials, bedding plants, fresh baked goods, and Stanley products are among the favorites you'll find every Wednesday from May through the end of October. Hours of the market are from 8:00 a.m.
- Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Located South of the Lakes Mall in Muskegon, this farmers market operates year round at the Hackley Health at the Lakes Building. (indoor market in winter)
- Montague Farmers Market
The Montaue Market's summer hours are 8 am to noon Wednesday and Saturday, from mid-June through the last Saturday in October
- Newaygo Farmers Market
The Market will run Fridays, June - October, from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM through Labor Day and from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM after Labor Day.
- Fremont Farmers Market
Located in the new "Market Place" pavilion, downtown Fremont behind The Artsplace along Dayton Street. Seasonal fruits, plants, and a plethora of iinteresting items from furniture, soap,jewelry and more. Fremont Farmers Market Season Tuesday Hours:
Ski, Snowboard, Sled, and Slide in West Michigan
Whether you want downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding, sledding...Michigan is the place to be this winter. Check out these sites for information.
- Michigan Snowsports Industries Association
Loaded with information for skiing.
- Traverse City Area Snowsports
Lots of fun in beautiful Traverse City.
- Grand Rapids Area Snowsports
Beautiful cross country ski trails.
- Cadillac Area Snowsports
Something for everyone here.
- Cannonsburg Area Snowsports
Lots of hills and trails.
Video: Chance of Snow in Pure Michigan
Video from Pure Michigan. Do you love snow and snow sports? You'll love this!
Snow Time in Michigan
Watch these sledders and snow boarders having fun in the snow in Michigan.
FARM MARKET TOUR IN WEST MICHIGAN
Farm markets in West Michigan are in the center of the best fruit and vegetable growing areas in the US. Not only do these markets sell the freshest produce, but they also are now an experience the family can enjoy. Many markets offer you-pick apples where you can spend time in the fresh air and beautiful West Michigan orchards selecting your own fruit for your table. Choosing a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch on the market property is fun for the kids, bumping along on the hay rack rides, feeding the animals such as goats, ponies, alpacas, camels, bunnies, kitties, winding through a corn maze, and eating fresh donuts right from the market's bakery are experiences offered by many of the family friendly markets. There are fees for some activities. Use the following list to choose a farm market to visit for your next family outing.
- Klackle Orchards
Greenville, MI--Pick your own apples, pumpkins, by riding the wagons or trains to the orchard and pumpkin patch. Lots of carnival activities for kids and petting zoo.
- Heritage Farms and Market
Fremont, MI--Fresh fruit and vegetables, corn maze, animals, hay rack rides, ice cream and donuts,In the bakery, watch as they make fresh donuts, caramel apples,muffins, and several varieties of fudge. mmmm...yummy!
- Fruit Ridge Hayrides
Kent City, MI--You-pick apples, horse-drawn hay rides, animals, pony rides, corn maze Charge for hayride and corn maze.
- Steffens Orchard and Market
Sparta, MI--You-pick apples, orchard tour
- Ed Dunneback and Girls
Grand Rapids, MI--You-pick apples and pumpkins, caramel apples, NEW 6 acre John Deere corn maze
- The Country Basket
Sparta, MI--You pick apples and pumpkins, petting animals, straw maze, delicious donuts
- Frozen Creek Floral
Cannon Township--You-pick pumpkins, Indian corn, gourds. Farm grown flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Nine rooms of freeze-dried florals and herbal arrangements
- Creekside at Knott's
Caledonia, MI--You-pick pumpkins, scavenger hunt, kids activities, five acre corn maze, hayrides on Friday and Saturday
- Lewis Farm Market and Petting Farm
New Era, MI--You-pick apples and pumpkins, clever petting farm setup with barns and enclosures, feed the animals, kiddies train ride, bakery, ice cream,