Summer is sublime in this region that's full of lakes, nature areas, cool cities and laid-back small towns. And it doesn't tend to get too steamy, even in July and August.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Mich.
The 400-feet-tall sandhills along the state's lower peninsula offer superb sunning and stunning views of the crystal waters of Lake Michigan. Spanning 65 miles of shoreline, the dunes, Lake Michigan and the adjacent smaller lakes attract kayakers, bird-watchers and tranquility seekers. You can bike the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, get a license and fish for salmon or trout, or relax on the beach. Drive a half-hour east to sample the “farm-to-fork” foodie scene in Traverse City — from creatively prepared walleye at the Cook’s House to melt-in-your-mouth tamales and tacos at Spanglish. Stop to buy the area’s famed tart cherries (the area gets packed for the National Cherry Festival that starts at the end of June) and do some wine tasting at vineyards like Chateau Chantal outside Traverse City. Rent a cottage at one of the many inland lakes in the region or stay close to downtown at hotels such as the Bayshore Resort.
The benefits of an urban getaway are many, including near-endless dining and entertainment options and things to do. Music lovers can hear the blues at the Beale on Broadway or Blues City Deli (try their