How to Have the Most Epic Summer Road Trip in Michigan

Ah, the days of sweet summer sunshine mixed with endless backyard barbecues and children laughing while running through sprinklers are finally upon us. After a long winter like the one we just had, I’m extra itchy for some sort of epic family adventure – a “Mother-of-all-trips.” Something to be savored at a relaxing pace and that will be reminisced about to grandchildren and great-grandchildren alike. No, this isn’t some mythical unicorn of a trip that only happens in my head during those rare moments alone on the couch. It is real, and here is how you can make it happen this summer.

Lakes to visit in Michigan

Overlooking the Straits of Mackinac near the Arch Rock at Mackinac Island State Park.

Imagine a road trip that took you through a bustling major U.S. city, scuba diving for shipwrecks, camping in the woods, lounging on the beach, fishing, boating, hiking, visiting an island without cars, exploring local vineyards, falling in love with art AND seeing four of the five great lakes. It’s real folks, and you’ll need about 10 days in Michigan to do it. 

Lakes to visit in Michigan

10-Day Michigan Lakes Road Trip Itinerary

In this month’s Alamo Scenic Route blog post, I share a detailed 10-day itinerary for the Ultimate Summer Driving Tour of Michigan Lakes complete with what to do, where to stay and the best eats to be had. 

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw

Rarely caught without a camera, Jeana is an adventurous traveler with a passion for people, cultures and food that has led her to 38 countries in 5 years. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and building LEGOs with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in her husband's underwear drawer.

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  1. August 4, 2017 at 11:56 am — Reply

    I would love to go on a road trip to Michigan and visit all these lakes! Are there any other highlights of your road trip except the lakes?

  2. July 12, 2017 at 3:11 am — Reply

    Thanks for the guide! I don’t exactly know much about where to go and what to do in Michigan, I do know that there’s plenty to explore there with the kids!

  3. My Teen Guide
    July 12, 2017 at 2:35 am — Reply

    This must be one of the most awesome road trips anyone can take. I love the scenic views, the activities and other things only Michigan can offer. I have to ask my husband if we can consider this and include it in our travel bucket list this year.

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc
    July 11, 2017 at 11:39 pm — Reply

    I have been to Michigan only once, to visit my aunt and her family. I haven’t toured the place extensively, but I hope to do that the next time I visit. My mom has been asking me to take her there. She said she hasn’t seen her sister in ages!

  5. July 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    I’ve wanted to visit here so many times. It sounds gorgeous. Road trip!!!

  6. July 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm — Reply

    I’ve never been to Michigan before, but I would love to go someday. Love the lakes you find in Michigan!

  7. Mary Edwards
    July 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    I have yet to travel to Michigan. I have heard wonderful things about Mackinac which you mentioned. Definitely adding it to my list of places to visit.

  8. ROsey
    July 11, 2017 at 9:06 am — Reply

    Michigan has some COLD lakes, lol. Even in the summer. ;) Spent some of our best times in ’em too. :)

  9. July 11, 2017 at 8:40 am — Reply

    Sounds amazing and I’ve always heard great things about Michigan! Thanks for the guide, I’ll make sure to check it out!

  10. July 11, 2017 at 7:47 am — Reply

    That looks like a great trip to 4 lakes and what a way to keep cool. I loved the little Michigan geography lesson.

  11. July 11, 2017 at 7:41 am — Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Will save your tips and itinerary!

  12. July 11, 2017 at 7:33 am — Reply

    Despite living in Wisconsin since 2000, I’ve only just begun to explore Michigan. I love that this trip is all laid out and can’t wait to try it out!!

  13. July 11, 2017 at 4:49 am — Reply

    I love the idea of taking a road trip through an area you have not visited before. Michigan seems like such a beautiful place to visit!

  14. July 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm — Reply

    So many wonderful lakes in Michigan, the coastline looks so beautiful! A road trip throughout the state would be great!

  15. July 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm — Reply

    Oh this is great! A lot of my family lives in Michigan and it would be cool to plan for some fun things when I visit them.

  16. Meagan
    July 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    I would love to do a road trip in Michigan with the family. Well.. I would love to do a Summer trip. Nothing in the Winter.

  17. Pam
    July 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm — Reply

    This does sound like a pretty epic road trip! I would love to drive this one day.

  18. robin rue
    July 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm — Reply

    Michigan sounds like an awesome place to go. I sure hope to get out there someday.

  19. July 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    I love this post! I have to bookmark it. We’ve only been able to get up there once, but we really want to get back again.

  20. July 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    Michigan is one of the most beautiful states in the country. I LOVE the beaches there. They have such beautiful coast line.

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