Yay! It’s officially spring. Over the next several months there will be lots of days full of sunshine and swimming, beaches and boating, festivals and fall color, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing...the list could go right through to next winter.

With so many ways to experience the beauty of Michigan’s upcoming seasons, it can help to make a list. So, here are seven classic activities for a healthy dose of Mitten State fun: 

Dune Climb

Run Down the Dune Climb

The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor is by far the most popular spot in Michigan to toss your shoes aside and enjoy a gravity-aided run over the smooth, soft sand. At 284 feet high, the trip down is quite a thrill! 

Of course, in order to run down you first have to hike up. It’s a challenge, no doubt, but manageable for visitors of all ages. And once you reach the top, the view of Glen Lake is awesome. 

If you’re seeking a really big challenge, you can keep heading west and eventually find Lake Michigan beyond a handful of other dunes. At about 3.5 miles round trip to the lake and back, it’s hard work. But a dip into the cool, blue water at the end makes it so worth the journey.

For anyone in your travel party who’d prefer to stay at a lower elevation, the Dune Climb has a picnic area, gift shop, modern restrooms, and a trailhead for the paved Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail right by the parking lot.

Shopping With Blossoms at Cherry Republic

Eat Something With Cherries

After conquering the Dune Climb head into nearby Glen Arbor to Cherry Republic, an iconic Michigan destination right along scenic M-22 where there are more than 200 cherry-based items that are tons of fun to find (and lots of ‘em are super tasty, too).

Did you know Michigan produces 75% of all the tart cherries in the entire country? Celebrate our state’s agricultural prowess with some cherry salsa or perhaps cherry coffee or even cherry cookies for your dog!

Another great option for some cherry-themed cuisine is Grand Traverse Pie Company in downtown Traverse City. In addition to a full menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, and more, the café serves up sweets including the bestselling Cherry Crumb Pie, the signature pie of the National Cherry Festival.

Moomers Sampler

Eat Farm-Fresh Ice Cream at Moomer’s 

If a summer stop at the ice cream shop is as American as apple pie, then a visit to Moomer’s just west of Traverse City is as Michigan as cherry pie. Moomer’s serves up more than 150 flavors of premium ice cream including no fewer than 10 cherry flavors such as Cherries Moobilee. 

You can customize a giant waffle cone with your own personal concoction or try a flight of five small scoops to sample some of Moomer’s many specialties – all while soaking in the surroundings of an 80-acre family farm where you can see real cows roaming the pasture

A Walk on the TART Trail

Walk the TART in Town

For one of Michigan’s most scenic non-motorized paths in an urban area, check out the TART Trail. The paved route runs right through the heart of downtown Traverse City along the bay and past destinations including Clinch Park and the Clinch Park Marina. 

While many people bike, skate, or jog the trail, it’s also a delightful stretch to walk right on the waterfront with restaurants along the way. The boats in the marina make for some dreamy gawking and the nearby beach features picnic tables, restrooms, a splash pad, a rope climb, a snack bar, and lots of sand to sift through your toes.

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Watch a Magical Michigan Sunset

The Great Lakes State is full of spectacular sunsets, and the Traverse City area has more than its fair share of super spots to see them. From Frankfort north through Sleeping Bear Dunes to Leland and beyond, there are places all up and down the Lake Michigan shore to watch that big, bright orb melt into the horizon. Grand Traverse Bay is another sun-kissed setting, while there are scores of inland lakes with breathtaking vistas, too.

Old Mission Lighthouse

Go to a Great Lakes Lighthouse

We’re getting to the time of year when you can appreciate the stunning beauty of Michigan’s beautiful beacons and go inside some of them to really get a feel for what life was like in the old days as a lighthouse keeper. 

The Traverse City area has several lighthouses to discover including a few that are open for tours from spring through fall. Explore the charming history of Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau State Park, Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, Mission Point Lighthouse at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula or catch the ferry from Leland out to South Manitou Island for a tour of the incredibly scenic 150-year-old, 100-foot-tall lighthouse there.

Glasses of wine at Chateau Chantal

Enjoy Craft Beverages Made in Michigan

With nearly 50 wineries, a couple dozen breweries, several distilleries and a few cideries and meaderies, too, the Traverse City area has a craft beverage scene that’s unparalleled in the Mitten State. 

Come on up and meet the unique personality of the Traverse Wine Coast in each season. Embark on a memorable beer tour with the Brew Bus, reserve a TC Cycle Pub, or sign up for a Kayak, Bike & Brew excursion.

There are so many cocktail bars, taprooms, and tasting rooms to experience, and so many handcrafted flavors to taste.