Sunset Beach Paradise at Lake Michigan

Michigan Summer Destination Ideas  

The pandemic presented unique challenges when it came to traveling across the world and even Michigan, for that matter. The Pure Michigan brand that has showcased the state throughout the U.S. for years saw it as an opportunity to pivot, and ultimately, to share a message of unity.  

“We felt that we could use the brand in a different way, because Pure Michigan, as a brand, has always brought us together. It’s a kind of putting a flag in the ground and saying, ‘I’m proud of this place and who we are,’” explained Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan.   

The Pure Michigan Pledge is now delivering this message of treating each other with respect despite differing points of view about the pandemic and the best approach for reducing the spread of COVID-19. That message is resonating as people are ready to explore the state again and want to do it in a safe manner.    

On the latest episode of A Healthier Michigan Podcast, hosted by Chuck Gaidica, he and Lorenz discuss some of Lorenz’s favorite hidden gem destinations across the state.   

Small historical towns 

Lorenz likes small historical towns like Centreville in southwest Michigan’s St. Joseph County. The small town, with brown brick buildings constructed in the 1800s, was a stop along the Sauk Trail as people traveled between Detroit and Chicago.  

“It’s a big Amish town, so you can still see horse-and-buggy riding quite often there, with the covered bridges and such. Little towns like that I love, and we have many, many of them,” he said.   

Lorenz, a Michigan native, says he recently fell in love with Oscoda in Iosco County in the state’s northwest Lower Peninsula after a visit in the fall.   

“We stayed at a little place called Mai Tiki Resort, one of those places where there are a bunch of cabins and cottages. That’s kind of like how we grew up. There aren’t many around anymore. The Oscoda area probably has a dozen of those types of stay opportunities. We had a blast just listening to the water lapping along the Lake Huron shoreline,” Lorenz said.   

Rosy Mound Natural Area 

Lorenz lives near Rosy Mound Natural Area, south of Grand Haven. Visitors often spend their time exploring Grand Haven’s downtown and the city beaches but don’t see Rosy Mound.  

“At Rosy Mound, you go through this path and it goes through the sand dune, so you’re up and down, up and down. It’s not for the meek, even though it’s a short little trek to get to the beach. Before you walk down that last final set of stairs to the beach, you have this view from the top of the sand dune, and you think might be on part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,” said Lorenz. “It’s that same type of awesome view. It’s just beautiful. When you get down there on the beach, you have another winding trail that goes along on a kind of an elevated wooden path. It’s beautiful, but you can’t go wrong at any of our lakeshore communities.”  

Looking for more ideas? Listen to the newest episode of the A Healthier Michigan podcast to hear the entire conversation, and check out Michigan.org where you can find blogs about the state’s many hidden gems.    

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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