Working Vacation: Michigan

June 2022

Things to Do When You're Traveling Through - Restaurants, Sites in Michigan

East Lansing

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Poké Fresh, in East Lansing. 
Photo courtesy of Ella Signs 

This college town is three miles from Michigan’s capital. Heather Majano is the director of the East Lansing Art Festival, which is May 21-22. “Any Lake Michigan beach is the right beach to explore. The sand dunes are also a fun weekend activity,” she said. “There is a farmers’ market and/or art show every weekend in some community in Michigan. Michigan is committed to supporting all things local.” 

Majano recommends these restaurants: 

Site Majano recommends: 

  • Impression 5 Science Center 

    200 Museum Drive, East Lansing, MI 48933

    “Making science fun for kids and adults,” Majano said. 

St. Joseph

This city is in southwest Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Matthew Bizoe is Krasl Art Center’s marketing manager. This year’s Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff is July 9-10, in St. Joseph. He suggests visiting, because it is “your connection to all of the downtown businesses in the area.” Bizoe also said is a “great resource for all fun things to do when visiting southwest Michigan.” 

Bizoe recommends these restaurants: 

An evening in St. Joseph. Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki
  • Silver Beach Pizza 

    410 Vine St., St. Joseph, MI 49085 

    “Some of the most tasty and unique pizzas around,” Bizoe said. 

  • Silver Harbor Brewing Company 

    721 Pleasant St., St. Joseph, MI 49085

    “A great atmosphere and fantastic beer and wine selection,” Bizoe said. 

  • Caffe Tosi 

    516 Pleasant St., St. Joseph, MI 49085

    “Great bistro with healthy options,” Bizoe said. 

  • Kingfisher Cocktails and Tacos 

    210 State St., St. Joseph, MI 49085

    “Who doesn’t love a great taco?!” Bizoe said. 

Cool site Bizoe recommends: 

  • Krasl Art Center 

    707 Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph, MI 49085

    “Dynamic art exhibitions indoors and throughout the community,” Bizoe said. 

Grand Haven 

This city on Lake Michigan is known for its sandy beaches, boardwalk, lighthouse, and outdoor activities. Antoinette Martin is the director of the Grand Haven Art Festival, which is June 24-26. 

Martin recommends these restaurants: 

  • Odd Side Ales 

    41 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417

    This brewery serves unique, craft beers in the historic Story & Clark Piano Factory. It has live music nights. 

  • Kirby House 

    2 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417

    This former hotel features American food, live music, and has second-floor water views. 

  • Snug Harbor 

    311 S. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417

    This space has a waterfront view, with a rooftop deck that offers eclectic dishes and a varied wine list. 

  • Lucy’s Market & Deli 

    133 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417-1223

    A counter service that specializes in sandwiches, including grilled, cold, and breakfast options. 

Martin recommends these sites:

The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is one of this city’s attractions. 
Photo courtesy of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain Committee 
  • Rosy Mound Natural Area 

    13925 Lakeshore Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417

    The Great Lakes dune system has a 0.7-mile hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline that includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes with scenic views. 

  • Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium 

    1 N. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417

    “Free concerts on Friday evenings,” Martin said. 

  • Grand Haven Musical Fountain 

    101 N. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417

    This synchronized display of water and lights is not far from the Grand’s mouth at Lake Michigan and Grand Haven State Park. 


Muskegon is on the shore of Lake Michigan. Carla Flanders is the director of Lakeshore Art Festival. This year’s festival is June 25-26, in Muskegon. “Michigan is one of the most beautiful states there is. Surrounded by fresh water, you’re always close to a lake or beach,” she said. “There’s a lot of great entertainment and outdoor activities to enjoy!” 

Flanders recommends these restaurants: 

  • The Lake House Waterfront Grille 

    730 Terrace Point Road, Muskegon, MI 49440

    “It is right on Muskegon Lake, and the food is great,” Flanders said. 

  • The Deck 

    1601 Beach St., Muskegon, MI 49441

    “It’s on a beach! Always has good music in the summer and is super fun!” Flanders said. 

  • Dockers Fish House 

    3505 Marina View Pt., Muskegon, MI 49441

    “Also positioned on a lake. You can drive your boat right up to it, dock, and grab a bite,” Flanders said. 

  • Hearthstone Bistro 

    3350 Glade St., Muskegon, MI 49444

    “Great food!” Flanders said. 

Sites Flanders recommends:

  • Pere Marquette Park Beach 

    3510 Channel Drive, Muskegon, MI 49441 


    “Beautiful beach, and the Deck Restaurant is there,” Flanders said. 

  • Muskegon Museum of Art 

    296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440

    “The most amazing collection of art!” Flanders said. 

  • Muskegon Farmers Market 

    242 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440

    “It’s quite large, diverse, and amazing,” Flanders said. 


Ludington is on the coast of Lake Michigan. Andrew Skinner is the event coordinator for West Shore Art Fair, scheduled for July 2-3, in Ludington. “The great state of Michigan’s west coast features thousands of miles of sugar sandy public beaches,” he said. 

Skinner recommends these restaurants: 

  • House of Flavors Restaurant 

    402 W. Ludington Ave., Ludington, MI 49431

    The 1950s-themed ice cream parlor and restaurant is on Ludington’s main avenue. 

  • Jamesport Brewing Co. 

    410 S. James St., Ludington, MI 49431

    “Award-winning beers and great food in a renovated, historic building,” Skinner said. 

  • Ludington Bay Brewing Co. 

    515 S. James St., Ludington, MI 49431

    It serves burgers, pizzas, salads, as well as beers brewed on site. 

  • Starving Artist Brewing 

    634 S. Stiles Road, Ludington, MI 49431

    The farmhouse brewery is located between Ludington and Scottville. 

The main gallery at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, which is one of three galleries at the art center, features monthly exhibits from local and regional artists. Photo courtesy of Andrew Skinner 
Full Cord Bluegrass performs at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. The center has a 300-seat performance hall. Photo courtesy of Manny Valdez 

Sites Skinner recommends: 

  • Ludington State Park 

    8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431 

    This public recreation area is two miles north of Ludington. It occupies 5,300 acres between the shores of Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. 

  • Ludington Area Center for the Arts 

    107 S. Harrison St., Ludington, MI 49431 

    The volunteer organization engages, inspires, and strengthens the community through arts advocacy. It features monthly art exhibits, workshops, classes, music, and theater. It hosts a Summer Concert Series on Wednesdays from late June through Labor Day. 

  • Port of Ludington Maritime Museum 

    217 South Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, MI 49431 

    The museum is in a former U.S. Coast Guard Station, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The three-story museum looks over Lake Michigan’s wild shoreline. 

  • S.S. Badger Car Ferry 

    701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, MI 

    The passenger and vehicle ferry has been in service on Lake Michigan since 1953. It shuttles between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 

Rochester Hills 

This city is about 30 miles north of Detroit. The Village of Rochester Hills is an outdoor lifestyle shopping center there with places to eat and shop. Donna Beaubien is the director of Fine Art at the Village. This year’s art show is July 30-31, in Rochester Hills. 

Beaubien recommends these sites: 

The exterior of Meadow Brook Hall, in Rochester Hills. 
Photo courtesy of Meadow Brook Hall 
  • Meadow Brook Hall 

    350 Estate Drive, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

    Beaubien said it was built by Matilda Dodge Wilson and Albert Wilson. Completed in 1929, it is a National Historic Landmark. 

  • Meadow Brook Amphitheatre 

    160 Festival Drive, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

    The outdoor theater is on the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall, Beaubien said. 

  • Meadow Brook Theatre 

    378 Meadow Brook Road, Rochester, MI 48309

    Plays and musicals are performed there, Beaubien said. 

  • Innovation Hills 

    2800 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

    This new park includes a playground and many other fun things to do, Beaubien said. 

Bloomfield Hills 

Bloomfield Hills is about 10 miles from Rochester Hills. Beaubien said there are several Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the area people may tour. 

Beaubien recommends these sites:

  • Cranbrook Institute of Science 

    39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303

    It has ever-changing exhibits that are a delight to people of all ages, Beaubien said. 

  • Cranbrook Art Museum 

    39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303

    The gallery showcases cutting-edge artwork, Beaubien said. 

Other must-sees in Michigan: 

In Detroit, Majano recommends: 

  • Belle Isle Park 

    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207

    “This island has a lot of history and charm and plenty of things to do from the conservatory and aquarium to hiking and fishing,” Majano said. 

In Grand Ledge, Majano recommends: 

In Lansing, Majano recommends: 

  • Lansing River Trail 

    The 25-mile trail’s end points are Dietrick Park and Moores Park, in Lansing.

    “This trail connects Lansing, East Lansing, Okemos, Bath township, and more cities. It’s paved for all abilities,” Majano said. 

In Okemos, Majano recommends: 

  • Red Haven 

    4480 S. Hagadorn Road, Okemos, MI 48864

    “Delicious, rotating menu with local, farm fresh ingredients,” Majano said. 

In Benton Harbor, Bizoe recommends: 

  • Water Street Glassworks 

    140 Water St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

    “A glass school and studio right next to a delicious coffee bistro,” Bizoe said. 

In Ferrysburg, Martin recommends: 

  • North Ottawa Dunes 

    18201 N. Shore Drive, Ferrysburg, MI 49409

    These 593 acres of wooded dunes are just off the Lake Michigan shoreline. There are 10 miles of hiking trails, with the property featuring tremendous topography.