As the sun peeks over the horizon and the days lengthen, it’s that time again to embrace the lure of open roads and the beauty of the outdoors. Summer is meant for road trips with the windows down, music up, and good times on the horizon. Fortunately for Michiganders, and for those who visit us here in the Mitten, there are plenty of options for beautiful drives that showcase the beauty of the Great Lakes State. These are some of the best summer drives in Michigan, a collection of journeys where the journey truly is the destination.

Navigating Michigan’s Hidden Gems

Before setting off on your adventure, it’s important to have your affairs in order. Unexpected car trouble or expenses can certainly put a damper on your summer fun. Thankfully, options like Title Loans in Michigan are available for those needing quick funds. With your financial safety net in place, let’s begin the journey.

M-22 Scenic Drive

Begin your summer voyage with the M-22 scenic drive. This 116-mile highway stretches along Lake Michigan’s shoreline and winds through picturesque small towns, vineyards, cherry orchards, and sand dunes. The route starts at Manistee and finishes at Traverse City, and every mile offers stunning lake views.

This highway is particularly beautiful in the summer when the local flora is in full bloom. Stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for a sun-soaked beach day, or take a detour to Fishtown in Leland, a unique historic district filled with quaint shops and smokehouses.

Tunnel of Trees (M-119)

Up next is the iconic Tunnel of Trees. This stretch of road is a must for nature lovers. As you drive along M-119, you’ll feel embraced by a leafy canopy. The route is enchanting and serene, running from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

In the summer, the leaves form a lush green tunnel that provides a pleasant respite from the summer sun. Along the way, be sure to stop at the Good Hart General Store for a treat, or take a break at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve and enjoy a peaceful walk on the boardwalk.

Red Arrow Highway

For a more laid-back drive, venture along the Red Arrow Highway. This route offers an easy drive between St. Joseph and New Buffalo, dotted with charming coastal towns and sandy beaches.

Explore the antique shops in Harbert, enjoy a wine tasting in Baroda, or stretch your legs with a stroll on the New Buffalo Beach. The Red Arrow Highway serves as a gentle reminder that summer is as much about leisurely moments as it is about grand adventures.

Copper Harbor

Finally, for those seeking the tranquil isolation of the Upper Peninsula, there’s the drive to Copper Harbor. Here, the winding roads trace the rugged coastlines and delve into dense, fragrant forests.

There’s plenty to see and do along the way, including visiting lighthouses, hiking trails, and historical sites. Once in Copper Harbor, a breathtaking view of Lake Superior awaits you. It’s the perfect culmination of your summer drive.

As you journey through these Best Summer Drives in Michigan, remember that it’s not just about the destination, but also about the experience along the way. Each road tells a story, each turn brings a new vista, and each town has its own unique charm. So pack your bags, roll down the windows, and let the Pure Michigan summer sweep you off your feet. After all, the best part of summer is the freedom of the open road and the promise of the journey ahead.


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