Grand Traverse County encompasses Traverse City, the Leelanau Peninsula, Grand Traverse Bay and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Not only will the scenery amaze you, but there is so much to see and do in this area of Northwest Michigan. From swimming and boating all summer long, to the thrill of hitting the slopes in the winter, Grand Traverse County has something for everyone.
Welcome to West Michigan!
This online guide will help you discover many West Michigan destinations along the Lake Michigan shoreline as well as communities further inland. Michigan is a beautiful state with scenery as varied as it is magnificent. From the vast wilderness of the Upper Peninsula to miles of sugar-sand beaches along Lake Michigan to rural countryside and picturesque towns, the opportunities for discovering a new adventure or a new destination are never-ending.
Vacationing along the Lake Michigan shoreline is amazing and so is living that dream. This guide also provides information for those who enjoy West Michigan year round.
From vacations to staycations — West Michigan has all you want in a fun adventure. Discover our featured destinations...
There are very few places left where you can feel happy, safe, and relaxed. Pentwater is that kind of place. This small village creates memories for you and your family that won’t soon be forgotten. With Charles Mears State Park nestled along the coast of West Michigan, beach days are perfect in Pentwater. Visit the downtown district to find eclectic shops and great restaurants.
Pere Marquette River is a designated National Wild and Scenic River, covering 66 miles over four counties. It flows westerly from Lake County, through Baldwin, Branch, Walhalla, Custer, Scottville, and Ludington, draining into Pere Marquette Lake and eventually Lake Michigan. The river is extremely popular for fishing, as well as kayaking or canoeing, and many businesses cater to those visiting to enjoy it.
The Hamlin Lake area offers terrific recreation, including swimming, boating, tubing, and fishing. At over 12 miles long and 5,000 acres large, there's plenty space for everyone. The Ludington State Park is located along the western shore of Hamlin Lake The Hamlin Dam is a great spot for catching salmon in the fall and Hamlin Lake Beach is popular with swimmers and sunbathers.
This is where history, beauty, and nature come together in a unique town that's a favorite destination in Michigan. Manistee, Michigan's Victorian Port City, has so much to offer today’s traveler and it’s a terrific getaway for families. With highlights like the Manistee Riverwalk, Manistee National Forest, Historic Ramsdell Theatre, and a great downtown district with shops and restaurants, there's something for everyone in Manistee.
Far removed from the hustle of the big cities you'll find the friendly town of Ludington. With Lake Michigan as the backdrop, a delightful downtown district with many restaurants and shops to enjoy, and two lighthouses to discover, Ludington has something for everyone. Visit the most popular Stearns Park Beach to swim or sunbathe, also enjoy FREE parking, concessions, playground, Skate Park, mini-golf, and shuffleboard.
Scottville is a small community in the heart of Mason County. Scottville’s recorded history began in 1874 and it remains the agricultural center of Mason County today. Camping is a favorite in Mason County and Scottville Riverside Park, situated along the Pere Marquette River, is a popular spot. Scottville is also home to the Western Michigan Old Engine Club and "the world famous" Scottville Clown Band.
One of the most beautiful sections of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is found in Leelanau County, which is a peninsula northwest of Traverse City. Home to many fine wineries, you will definitely want to spend more than a day on Leelanau Peninsula. This is where you'll find the very famous Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, with spectacular views of Lake Michigan and 35 miles of coastline.
Decades of prevailing westerly Lake Michigan winds transformed a ridge of sand on Silver Lake into 2,000 acres of spectacular, living sand dunes along four miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The area offers numerous opportunities for exciting outdoor activities. Dune rides, jeep tours, water sport rentals, golf, horseback riding,and miniature golf, are just a few of the attractions that are available at Silver Lake.
Set in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, Baldwin is a haven for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Surrounded by many lakes and rivers, visitors to Baldwin love the area as a place to fish, camp and hunt. Here you won’t find large hotels and restaurants–just cozy campgrounds, comfortable cottages and family-owned restaurants. The locals welcome you with friendly smiles and small town hospitality.
Benzie County is filled with “Up North” scenery and that Northern Michigan feeling. Whether Benzie County is your destination, or if you are passing through on your way to Traverse City or the Sleeping Bear Dunes, there is so much to see! Should you travel up scenic M-22 or US-31, stop into one of the small towns in Benzie County like Frankfort, Elberta, Benzonia, and Beulah.
Small businesses are the heart of West Michigan’s communities, providing more than just the necessities. All of the restaurants, pubs, stores, fishing charters, golf courses, florists, and other businesses help create West Michigan’s unique character and culture.