Hugging the Canadian and American shores, Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes, stands as a natural wonder worth a spot on any travel list. This freshwater lake is situated in the northeastern region of North America, bordering the U.S. state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. With its pristine shores and shimmering waters, there are so many things to do in Lake Huron.
Attend Local Events and Festivals
When visiting Lake Huron in Michigan, make sure to explore local events and festivals. You can attend high-energy street fairs, like the annual Blue Water SandFest – a sand sculpture competition held at Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. There, you can witness the amazing artistry of the participants, grab delicious food, and enjoy the live music.
Visit Cultural and Heritage Sites
Take some time to explore Lake Huron’s rich cultural and heritage sites. You’ll find a trove of history at the Great Lakes Maritime Center, which showcases the history of the Great Lakes’ shipping industry and shipwrecks. Another must-visit heritage site is the Huron Lightship Museum, where you can step aboard a historic lightship to learn about its role in maritime navigation.
During your stay, take a stroll down Thomas Edison Parkway Boardwalk. This picturesque waterfront promenade offers stunning views of the river, a perfect spot to take in the area’s natural beauty.
Another highlight in the region is the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. As the oldest lighthouse in Michigan, it holds a significant place in Great Lakes maritime history. Climb to the top for a fantastic view of the surrounding scenery.
Engage in Traditional Experiences
Finally, immerse yourself in the area’s traditional experiences. Lake Huron is home to many iconic lighthouses that played crucial roles in the region’s maritime past. Plan a lighthouse tour to explore these historic structures and learn about their unique stories.
To indulge in the sweet flavor of Michigan, make sure to stop by one of the charming local shops and treat yourself to some mouth-watering fudge – the area’s famous signature delight. Enjoy the rich taste and take a box home to share with friends and family!
Things to do in Lake Huron: Outdoor and Nature Activities
Nature Trails and Hiking
The beautiful Sunrise Side of Lake Huron offers stunning nature trails and hiking routes perfect for you to explore. In the Lower Peninsula, Albert E. Sleeper State Park has scenic trails through lush forests perfect for a relaxing stroll or more challenging hikes. Naturally, Port Austin features breathtaking landscapes, with the famous Turnip Rock being a must-see landmark.
Lake Huron, being one of the majestic Great Lakes, offers numerous water-based activities for you to enjoy. Crystal-clear freshwater and picturesque beaches make this area perfect for anything from swimming to sunbathing. Grab a kayak or canoe and paddle through the serene waters, admiring the beauty of the Sunrise Side. If you’re more of a fishing enthusiast, cast your line in the hopes of catching the likes of trout or salmon.
For the more thrill-seeking adventurers, Lake Huron doesn’t disappoint. Dive into the waters around Thunder Bay and East Tawas to explore fascinating shipwrecks waiting below the surface. With a mix of guided shipwreck tours and well-equipped diving centers, you’re sure to fully experience this unique aspect of Lake Huron.
Remember, it’s not all about diving. Embark on a thrilling boating adventure, or if you prefer, simply rent a boat and enjoy the calm waters of the lake as you watch the sun rise on the horizon.
Relaxation and Wellness
Spas and Wellness Centers
Looking for an escape from your daily hustle? Lake Huron offers a variety of spas and wellness centers that not only delight but rejuvenate your senses. Why not treat yourself to a soothing massage or a revitalizing facial and let the skilled staff pamper you? You’ll find many of these centers close to the Michigan shoreline.
Beaches and Pools
The shoreline of Lake Huron is home to a plethora of beaches that provide the perfect spot to kick back, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the water. Harrisville State Park, for example, has a designated swim beach where you can enjoy the soft sand, and the pet-friendly area at the north end of the campground beach will ensure any four-legged friends won’t miss out on the fun.
In addition, the blue water near the Blue Water Bridge and the Thomas Edison Parkway Boardwalk also makes for a great day trip. So, grab your sunscreen and head on out to one of these beautiful beaches!
Parks and Gardens
While you’re in the Lake Huron area, you’ll definitely want to explore the parks and gardens located throughout the region. For a picturesque walk, visit the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse to experience an iconic symbol of Michigan’s history and enjoy the stunning views.
If you’re interested in something a little more whimsical, why not visit Dinosaur Gardens? This prehistoric-themed attraction features several life-sized dinosaur models situated within a lush landscape perfect for an easy afternoon stroll.
As you delve into your Lake Huron vacation, immerse yourself in relaxation at the spas, beaches, and parks – and don’t forget to take in the extraordinary sights it has to offer.
Food and Culinary Activities
Local Cuisine Tasting
Experience the diverse flavors of Lake Huron by sampling local cuisine at various restaurants. If you’re visiting the Detroit area, you’ll find numerous dining options that offer a taste of Michigan’s east coast food scene. Savor the catch of the day at a local seafood restaurant, or enjoy the comfort of a home-cooked meal at a cozy eatery. Don’t forget to try some of Michigan’s famous cherries in a mouth-watering dessert.
Why not expand your culinary skills while you’re at Lake Huron? Sign up for a cooking class and learn new techniques from talented chefs who specialize in local produce and seafood. You’ll not only perfect your cooking abilities, but you’ll also get to bring the taste of Lake Huron home with you. Cooking classes are a great way to bond with your family and friends while enjoying your vacation.
Visit Local Markets
Immerse yourself in the Lake Huron community by visiting local markets. These bustling hubs offer a glimpse into the daily lives of locals and the region’s culinary traditions. Discover seasonal produce, fresh seafood, and specialty items unique to Michigan’s east coast. Don’t be shy—strike up a conversation with vendors and learn about their favorite recipes. Visiting local markets gives you the opportunity to support small businesses and taste the authentic flavors of the region.
Entertainment and Nightlife
Live Shows and Performances
While you’re visiting Lake Huron, make sure to catch some live shows and performances. For example, Frankenmuth offers various entertainment options, including local bands and theater shows. Mackinac Island also hosts a range of events throughout the year, from music concerts to comedy nights, ensuring a memorable experience.
Bars and Nightclubs
Looking for a fun night out? Check out the bars and nightclubs in the Lake Huron area. East Tawas has a lively nightlife scene where you can enjoy a drink with friends, dance to live music, or just relax in a cozy pub. Don’t forget to grab a drink at one of Mackinac Island’s historic bars, like the Pink Pony, where you can unwind after a day of exploring.
Evening Cruises or Tours
One of the most memorable experiences around Lake Huron is an evening cruise or tour. Whether you take a sunset cruise under the iconic Mackinac Bridge or a guided tour to explore shipwrecks along the shoreline, these excursions offer unique and breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. So, make sure to book a tour and create unforgettable memories during your stay.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Local Artisan Shops
While exploring Lake Huron, don’t miss out on visiting the local artisan shops. These gems offer unique, hand-crafted items that capture the essence of the area. You’ll find everything from exquisite jewelry, pottery, and paintings to handmade clothing and accessories, all made by talented local artists. Stop by the Lake Huron Gift Shop for a taste of Amish foods, flowers, greeting cards, and more.
Popular Shopping Districts
You can’t visit Lake Huron without taking a road trip to some of the region’s popular shopping districts. In Saginaw, you’ll find numerous boutiques and malls offering a wide variety of products to suit your needs. Nearby, in Bay City, you’ll come across charming antique shops and modern retail spaces, ideal for a unique shopping experience. Don’t forget to head up North to Mackinaw City, where you’ll find plenty of souvenirs and mementos to remind you of your visit.
- Mackinac Island is a must-visit destination for its vibrant shopping scene, offering everything from classic fudge and handcrafted items to luxurious clothing and upscale boutiques.
- Grand Bend Beach is known for its bustling shops and food vendors, perfect for grabbing a bite while browsing beachwear and accessories2.
- Tawas Point State Park has a charming lighthouse gift shop, where you can find exclusive gifts and mementos representing Lake Huron’s maritime history.
Remember to stroll through the local markets and thrift stores in search of unique finds during your trip. You never know what treasures you’ll come across to take back home as a keepsake from your memorable Lake Huron adventure.
Children’s Museums and Attractions
If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience for your kids, consider visiting some of the children’s museums and attractions in the Lake Huron region. In Port Huron, the Port Huron Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on history lessons. If you find yourself in Alpena, don’t miss the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan, which features art, history, and science exhibits.
Parks and Play Areas
There are numerous parks and play areas around Lake Huron that are perfect for families. In Oscoda, you can visit the Oscoda Beach Park for playgrounds, picnic areas, and sandy beaches. Ada Township Park in Ada offers sports fields, playgrounds, and nature trails. If you’re in Cheboygan, Gordon Turner Park, located on the banks of the St. Clair River provides a great play area for kids and scenic views for parents.
For a more hands-on experience, check out some of the interactive workshops and classes available around Lake Huron. In Presque Isle County, the Presque Isle District Library offers a variety of workshops and events for kids of all ages. Moreover, many locations in the Upper Peninsula, like the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, frequently host fun and engaging activities for the whole family to enjoy.