Best Scenic Drives in Michigan (10 Most Beautiful Roads)

Michigan is a beautiful state full of stunning landscapes and amazing sights. From the evergreens of the Upper Peninsula to the rolling hills of the Lower Peninsula, Michigan has a diverse and spectacular array of scenic drives. Whether you are looking for a day trip or an extended journey, the roads of Michigan provide an unforgettable experience.

One of Michigan’s most popular routes is M-22, which winds along Lake Michigan’s coast from Manistee to Traverse City. Along this route, travelers can stop at charming towns like Leland and Glen Arbor where they can take in views of crystal blue waters while enjoying local restaurants and activities. Further north lies Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where visitors can explore towering sandstone cliffs topped with lush pines and bright wildflowers. The Sleeping Bear Dunes nearby offer miles of sandy beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

For those seeking more rural scenery, the winding roads through central Michigan provide some truly breathtaking views. The AuSable River Valley winds through dense pine forests for over twenty miles between Grayling and Oscoda Township; travelers will be rewarded with expansive views from river overlooks along the way. Further east lies Mackinac Island, which offers stunning views of Lake Huron from its iconic limestone bluffs as well as quaint Victorian-style homes along hilly streets perfect for biking or walking tours.

From small towns to large lakes, there is no shortage of scenic drives in Michigan to explore – each offering unique landscapes sure to inspire awe in any traveler. Whether you are visiting for a single day or taking an extended road trip throughout Michigan’s diverse terrain, these routes promise a memorable experience that will stay with you long after you leave!

Overview Of Michigan

Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the United States and is bordered by four of the five Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. Michigan is the tenth most populous state in the US with 9.9 million people living within its borders. The capital of Michigan is Lansing, while the largest city is Detroit.

Michigan has a long history that dates back to before European colonization when it was inhabited by multiple indigenous tribes. Europeans first arrived in 1611 when French explorer Étienne Brule encountered a group of Ojibwe Indians near Sault Ste. Marie. The British purchased land from the Native Americans in 1763 during the Treaty of Paris and formally took control of Michigan after winning the Revolutionary War. The territory became part of the United States in 1783 under terms established by the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolutionary War, and later became a state in 1837.

Michigan’s economy relies largely on manufacturing, especially cars, and car parts; tourism; equipment manufacturing; health care; information technology; finance; energy production; insurance; and natural resources such as timber, minerals, and agricultural commodities like wheat, corn, and soybeans. Automotive-related industries account for almost one-third of Michigan’s total economic output and are responsible for an estimated 800,000 jobs statewide—the highest concentration nationwide—with Detroit at its center as home to three major automakers (Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

The tourism industry also plays an important role in Michigan’s economy as destinations such as Mackinac Island lure millions to explore its beautiful beaches along Lake Huron or visit iconic sites like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City or historic downtown Detroit’s Riverfront area each year. With over 3 million acres of public land including national parks (Isle Royale), forests (Huron-Manistee National Forests), trails (North Country Trail), or lakes/rivers (Great Lakes Fishery Commission); there are plenty of options for outdoor recreation activities like fishing, hunting, camping or hiking throughout all four seasons across this great state!

In addition to great attractions and scenery across Michigan’s diverse landscape stretching from sand dunes to farms reminiscent of rural America’s past; cultural attractions include world-class museums (Detroit Institute Of Arts), orchestras & symphonies (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), theaters & opera houses (Mason Street Warehouse) as well as professional sports teams like baseball – Detroit Tigers & Toledo Mud Hens (minor league), basketball – Detroit Pistons & Grand Rapids Drive (minor league) hockey – Red Wings & Griffins (Grand Rapids minor league). With so much natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and modern conveniences it’s no wonder why Michiganders take pride in their state!


Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Michigan

Scenic drives are a great way to explore Michigan and all its beauty. From the majestic Upper Peninsula to the bustling metropolitan areas, Michigan offers an abundance of stunning landscapes that are perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of nature. The state is full of rolling hills, lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and vibrant meadows that make for an unforgettable driving experience.

When it comes to exploring Michigan’s scenery, there is no shortage of scenic drives available for any traveler’s needs. The M-22 National Scenic Byway offers a picturesque journey along Lake Michigan from Manistee to Traverse City as you take in panoramic views of beachfront bluffs and forested dunes. For history buffs or those who love a good roadside attraction, the US-12 Heritage Trail winds through quaint river towns in the Lower Peninsula with plenty of historical sites along the way. And if you want to take your scenic drive up north, be sure to visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Highway US-41 where you can view awe-inspiring sandstone cliffs with beautiful waterfalls cascading down into Lake Superior.

Michigan’s scenery doesn’t stop at the roads either—there are plenty of recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, hiking trails, and biking routes along many of these routes to make your drive even more enjoyable. No matter which route you choose, you will always be surrounded by breathtaking views combined with unique wildlife sighting opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Even after experiencing every inch of Michigan via car or bike ride, there will still be new sights and sounds around each corner waiting to be explored!

M-22, Manistee to Traverse City

M-22, Manistee to Traverse City is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenic drives in Michigan. The route follows Lake Michigan’s shoreline, winding through picturesque towns, rolling hills, and pastoral landscapes. With its deep blue waters, towering sand dunes, and lush green forests, the drive offers magnificent views that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Starting at Manistee, you will be sure to be captivated by the beauty of the Michigan coastline. As you journey north along M-22 you will pass by tranquil beaches such as Orchard Beach State Park and Onekama Beach – perfect for beachcombing, kayaking or just relaxing on a summer day. Further north there are several lighthouses to admire along your route including Little Sable Point Lighthouse, Point Betsie Lighthouse, and Big Red Lighthouse near Holland State Park. These iconic structures offer a glimpse into Michigan’s rich maritime history while providing stunning views of Lake Michigan’s vast expanse of blue water.

Continuing north towards Traverse City, you will pass through many quaint harbor towns including Frankfort and Northport – known for their delicious cherry pies which line the streets in the summertime! Along this stretch of M-22 enjoy rolling hills filled with farms producing some of the finest fruit grown in Michigan.

Leelanau Peninsula is also worth visiting during your scenic drive between Manistee and Traverse City. Here you’ll find incredible views of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as well as numerous vineyards boasting unique wines made from local grapes and fruits. This region is also home to Grand Traverse Bay which offers plenty of recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating and swimming in crystal clear waters!

For those looking for an even more immersive experience along M-22, consider stopping off at one of the many campgrounds located along the route – they provide an ideal spot to take in all Mother Nature has to offer while experiencing a true sense of peace amongst nature’s grandeur. So if you’re seeking a truly unforgettable experience head out on M-22 from Manistee to Traverse City – it’s one scenic drive that won’t disappoint!

Manistee to Traverse City

Tunnel of Trees, Harbor Springs to Cross Village

The Tunnel of Trees, a breathtakingly beautiful and serene stretch of road that runs from Harbor Springs to Cross Village along the northern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, is one of the most celebrated and picturesque scenic drives in America. Along this 20-mile route, travelers will be mesmerized by the stunning views of crystal clear waters, rolling hills and lush foliage. The air is filled with the sweet scent of pine and wildflowers as you make your way through this enchanting drive.

The Tunnel of Trees is a perfect way to spend a day exploring. You’ll find yourself admiring the lakeside homes and resorts along M-119 which is also known as the “Tunnel Of Trees” or “Northernaire Drive”. Enjoy peacefully quaint villages such as Harbor Springs, Good Hart, Cross Village, Levering and Oden. Get lost in nature’s beauty as you explore its parks like Petoskey State Park and Wilderness State Park where you can hike trails, kayak on Lake Michigan or just watch the waves crash against the sandy shoreline.

As you continue your journey down this winding path take time to stop at some of its roadside attractions like Legs Inn (a historic restaurant) or St Ignace Maritime Museum. Also experience family-friendly mini golf courses, wineries & more! There are plenty of places to shop along the way including locally crafted arts & crafts stores and farm markets that offer products ranging from homemade pies & jams to organic produce picked fresh from family farms daily.

Be sure also to take advantage of one of Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring wonders; Mackinaw bridge which connects Michigan’s Upper & Lower peninsulas. From here enjoy panoramic views of Lake Huron all around it! If you have extra time try visiting nearby towns such as Mackinac Island for its unique shops & activities or traverse Traverse City for its renowned vineyards & foodie havens.

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or an outdoor adventure for the whole family; The Tunnel Of Trees will surely provide memories that will last a lifetime! If you’re staying in Michigan don’t miss out on this incredible drive!

Tunnel of Trees Harbor Springs to Cross Village

Lake Michigan Circle Tour, along the Lake Michigan shoreline

Embarking on a Lake Michigan Circle Tour along the majestic shoreline of Michigan is truly an unforgettable experience. As one of the five Great Lakes, it covers 22,404 square miles and reaches depths of 923 feet. It borders four states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. While traveling this circle tour you will be able to take in a plethora of beautiful sights and sounds that make up the lake’s distinct character.

The drive encompasses several cities located along the lake’s shorelines, including St. Joseph and Muskegon in Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin; and Gary and Michigan City in Indiana. Each area offers its own unique attractions so you can customize your journey however you’d like!

Additionally, there are plenty of historical sites to explore such as the Fort Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City which was once a French trading outpost during the 18th century. Travelers can also take advantage of recreational activities including swimming, fishing, sailing and boating—all popular pastimes on Lake Michigan.

One of the most visually spectacular features on this route is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Glen Arbor, MI which consists of two pristine beaches that span more than 35 miles with incredible dunes reaching heights over 450 feet tall—an awe-inspiring sight! Other points along this scenic drive include Whitefish Point Light Station—a former Coast Guard station offering tours; South Manitou Island lighthouse which is one of several found across Lake Michigan; Holland Harbor Lighthouse—the “Big Red” lighthouse used as a beacon for ships; plus many other lighthouses ranging from old to new.

Whether you’re simply looking for an enjoyable ride or craving adventure out on open waters, taking a trip around Lake Michigan Circle Tour is sure to satisfy both desires.. With its beauty displayed through unspoiled landscapes, numerous recreational activities available throughout each season, a vast history rooted within its boundaries and many cultural attractions along the way — there’s something here for everyone to enjoy!

Lake Michigan Circle Tour, along the Lake Michigan shoreline

Upper Peninsula Peninsula Scenic Byway, Newberry to Seney

The Upper Peninsula Peninsula Scenic Byway provides travelers with a truly unique and breathtaking journey through the pristine wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Starting in Newberry and ending in Seney, this scenic drive captivates visitors with its dramatic landscapes, including rolling hills, dense pine forests, and the picturesque shores of Lake Superior.

Along the way, you’ll pass through some of the area’s most beloved destinations, including Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which is known for its magnificent cascading waterfalls and rugged beauty. As you make your way to Seney National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll be immersed in a natural wonderland featuring over 5 miles of hiking trails that showcase an array of wildlife from moose to bald eagles.

If you continue on the scenic byway past Seney you will find yourself at the incredible Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum located just outside of Munising. This fascinating museum features a variety of artifacts showcasing ships that sunken here hundreds of years ago. There are also many charming small towns along the route offering a variety of local shops and restaurants that provide travelers with delicious meals and authentic souvenirs.

No matter what type of traveler you are or what interests you may have, there is something special waiting for you when experiencing this spectacular scenic drive along the Upper Peninsula Peninsula Scenic Byway in Michigan!

M-119, Petoskey to Cross Village

M-119, Petoskey to Cross Village is a spectacular scenic drive in Northern Michigan. Winding through the beautiful countryside, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of crystal-clear lakes and endless forests. The drive takes roughly an hour and a half and offers plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. Along the way, you’ll pass through quaint small towns such as Alanson and Harbor Springs, each filled with interesting local architecture and character.

As you cruise along M-119, take time to enjoy some of the state’s most stunning natural attractions. Stop at Legs Inn, an iconic roadside eatery that has been serving up delicious Polish cuisine since 1924. You can also enjoy some quality beach time at Sturgeon Bay or marvel at the majestic Horsehead Lake Bridge near Alanson. Petoskey State Park is also worth checking out with its miles of trails and jaw-dropping views of Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay.

Cross Village marks the end of your journey with more charming photo-ops. Here you can admire a 20th Century lighthouse perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan or explore the picturesque grounds of Mission Point Lighthouse Park. There are also plenty of unique shops and restaurants to choose from if you’re looking for something to eat after all that driving! No matter what brings you to this corner of Michigan, M-119 provides visitors with an unforgettable excursion full of captivating sights, sounds, smells and experiences that will leave them wanting more!

M-119 Petoskey to Cross Village

Mackinac Island Loop, Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Loop is a scenic drive located in Michigan, offering breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island. From the moment you set off, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. The roads are winding and filled with plenty of curves that make for a challenging yet rewarding drive. Along the way, you can explore historic sites like Fort Mackinac and stop at popular tourist attractions like Mackinac Bridge and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. For those looking for a longer adventure, there are several hidden gems along the route, such as secret beaches, secluded forests and ancient Native American ruins.

The drive takes you through some of Michigan’s most stunning landscapes; rolling hills blanketed in green grass in summertime or snow-covered terrains during winter months. As you make your way around the loop, take in spectacular views from historic points like Arch Rock or British Landing and savor breathtaking vistas of Lake Michigan from highpoints like Sugar Loaf Mountain or McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Be sure to catch glimpses of Bald eagles soaring overhead or other rare birds while exploring the area!

To further enhance your experience on Mackinac Island Loop, be sure to visit local restaurants for a chance to try some delicious regional cuisine made with seasonal ingredients found locally on the island. Get lost amongst alluring shops that line Main Street or admire colorful Victorian architecture peppered throughout town—there’s something here for everyone! With nearly 70 miles of road to explore, this scenic drive offers endless possibilities full of fun and discovery awaiting around every turn.

H-58, Munising to Grand Marais

H-58, a 73-mile route in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is an absolute must for anyone looking to explore the area’s stunningly beautiful landscapes. Beginning just west of Munising and winding its way up the Lake Superior coast to Grand Marais, H-58 offers breathtaking views of the majestic cliffs and forests that define this part of Michigan. Whether you decide to make it a day trip or opt for a longer excursion, H-58 is sure to leave you feeling inspired and refreshed.

First things first: gas up your ride! The journey starts at Munising – take M-28 south towards Wetmore before merging onto H-58 just east of town. From here, prepare yourself for some awe-inspiring sights! As you drive along the scenic route, you’ll be surrounded by soaring white pine trees and towering sandstone cliffs; think of it as being enveloped by nature from start to finish! You may even spot some wildlife along the way – deer, moose, foxes and bald eagles have all been spotted in these parts.

The route meanders up the lake shoreline before eventually reaching Grand Marais; however, there are plenty of smaller towns and scenic spots worth exploring in between. Christmas is one such destination – tourist attractions here include a historic Finnish church dating back to 1899 as well as a replica post office from 1910. Another stop not to be missed is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This area features sandy beaches perfect for lounging, as well as several trails leading up through dense woods lined with colorful wildflowers – an ideal place for getting those Instagram shots!

No matter where you choose to pause along H-58’s dramatic landscape – whether it’s at a campsite overlooking Lake Superior or atop one of the many local lookouts – it promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories. So pack your bags (and your camera!), gas up your car and head out on this Michigan road trip adventure – H-58 awaits!

M-123, Newberry to Sault Ste. Marie

M-123 is a scenic drive that runs from Newberry to Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan. This route is known for its stunning views of the Great Lakes, lush forests, and rolling hills. The drive usually takes about 2 hours to complete, but can be extended if you take the time to explore some of the many attractions along the way.

Begin your journey in Newberry, which offers a variety of historical sites and attractions to explore. Visit the historic Newberry Opera House, built in 1889 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places; or tour Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and get a glimpse into Michigan’s military past. Make sure not to miss out on exploring Tahquamenon Falls State Park with its majestic Upper Falls cascading almost 50 feet into the Tahquamenon River. Or if you’re looking for something more low-key, take a leisurely stroll along Whitefish Point Beach where you will find picturesque sand beaches, boardwalks, and breathtaking sunsets over Lake Superior.

As you continue your journey down M-123 towards Sault Ste. Marie, make sure to stop at Grand Marais and experience one of Michigan’s most picturesque towns with its charming harbor village lined with shops and galleries, natural wonders like Miner’s Castle Rock formations and Log Slide Overlook offering stunning views of Lake Superior, as well as plenty of outdoor activities including kayaking, hiking trails, fishing spots and campgrounds for those looking for an overnight stay.

Further on down M-123 lies Sault Ste. Marie where you can enjoy historic lighthouses like St. Mary’s Light Station Tourist Complex or even visit Shipwreck Museum & Whitefish Point Bird Observatory or just relax by strolling along St. Mary’s River Walk taking in views of the Soo Locks connecting Lake Huron to Lake Superior. No matter what activity you choose during your journey down M-123 from Newberry to Sault Ste Marie, it will be an unforgettable adventure full of spectacular landscapes and unique experiences!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Empire to Glen Arbor

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a spectacular national park located in Michigan. Spanning over 35 miles of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, the park is filled with towering sand dunes, lush forests, crystal blue waters, and picturesque views.

The drive from Empire to Glen Arbor is an especially breathtaking trek through the park. From Empire, you can take M-22 north along the lakefront until you reach Glen Haven. Here you will find a restored 19th-century village consisting of several historical buildings that offer insight into what life was like during the time period.

Continuing on M-22, you will pass along pristine beaches, rugged bluffs, and crystal-clear rivers as you make your way to Glen Arbor. Along your journey, there are plenty of opportunities to pull off and relax at one of many breathtaking overlooks or take part in some of the park’s recreational activities, such as hiking and camping. Every mile brings something new to explore!

As you reach Port Oneida Road on your way to Glen Arbor, be sure to take some time and enjoy an incredible view of Pyramid Point which juts out into Lake Michigan’s vast expanse and provides stunning panoramic views for miles in each direction.

Once in Glen Arbor visitors can wander through quaint downtown streets lined with unique shops, restaurants and galleries before exploring nearby Good Harbor Bay beach. This beach offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience two different ecosystems—a quiet lakefront spot surrounded by sand dunes and on the other side a wilder Great Lakes shoreline complete with crashing waves and colorful sunsets over Lake Michigan’s horizon.
Make sure not to forget about skiing down Sleeping Bear Dune’s iconic 450-foot tall sand dune! An exhilarating adventure for any brave enough to attempt it!
Finally experiencing all these wonders it is easy to understand why this area inspired President Gerald Ford when he declared it Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore almost 50 years ago!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

The Heritage Route, Saginaw to Bay City

The Heritage Route, stretching from Saginaw to Bay City in Michigan, is a great choice for any scenic drive. This route takes you through some of the most beautiful countrysides that Michigan has to offer, with plenty of opportunities to explore and learn about the history of this historic region.

Starting in Saginaw, visitors can choose from a variety of stops along the way. In Saginaw itself, visitors can check out historic districts and buildings such as the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum and Bancroft House. The Castle Museum of Saginaw County History is another popular stop on the Heritage Route and offers a glimpse into the area’s past with exhibits highlighting industry and immigration.

Continuing downstream along the river brings you to Bay City, where you can take in views of Lake Huron as well as get an up-close look at some of Michigan’s historical structures. Notable attractions include the iconic Liberty Bridge and Veterans Memorial Park which honors veterans from all branches of service. The entire city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to many other sites related to its industrial heritage such as Wenonah Park, Uptown Bay City Historic District, and West Side Business District.

For those looking for outdoor activities along this route, there are multiple state parks including Bay City State Recreation Area, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Tittabawassee River State Game Area, & Shiawassee River State Game Area offering plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching or recreational activities such as fishing or biking. Nature lovers will also enjoy taking a trip downriver from Bay City via riverboat or canoeing down the Cass River which runs parallel to part of the Heritage Route near Frankenmuth.

Overall this drive promises something for everyone whether it’s seeking outdoorsy adventures like camping or hunting in some very unique spots or simply exploring Michigan’s rich culture by visiting local museums or historic sites – The Heritage Route is sure to satisfy!

Heritage Route Saginaw to Bay City

Tips for Enjoying the Drive

Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful scenic drives in the United States. From the Upper Peninsula to the various lakes and rivers, Michigan has something for everyone when it comes to taking in nature’s beauty on two wheels or four.

Here are some tips for making your road trip even more enjoyable:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you start out. It’s important to have a reliable vehicle before taking any long trips, especially if you plan on driving off-road or through rural areas with limited access to services. Make sure all the fluids are topped off, the tires are properly inflated, and you have a full tank of gas before setting off.
  2. Bring along snacks and refreshments. Nothing ruins a great drive more than having to hunt down food when you should be enjoying the scenery. Pack up some drinks, sandwiches, or granola bars as something easy and convenient while on the go so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stop every hour or so.
  3. Don’t forget your camera! This is one of those times when it really pays off to bring along an extra battery pack since you don’t want your photography efforts cut short by having a dead battery halfway through your trip. Taking pictures will also help capture memories so that once you get back home, you can look back fondly on what was seen and experienced during your journey through Michigan’s many scenic drives.
  4. Plan for stops along the way so that you can stretch your legs, use the bathroom if needed, and just take in all the beauty around you at each location. There may even be interesting historical sites or natural attractions that are worth checking out while stopping along your route too – do some research ahead of time so that these moments of discovery don’t pass by unnoticed!
  5. Keep safety in mind as well – make sure all occupants wear their seatbelts at all times and keep distractions like cell phones away while driving – this is especially important if there is any wildlife nearby as animals can dart across roads unexpectedly! Additionally, keep an eye out for potential hazards such as potholes or debris along roadways which could cause damage to vehicles if not avoided properly.

Best Time to Visit:

Michigan is a great place to go for a scenic drive, no matter the time of year. During the winter months, travelers can take in the breathtaking beauty of snow-covered landscapes and icicles hanging from trees. The winter season also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

In the springtime, nature explodes with vibrant shades of green and wildflowers blooming along the roadsides. Summertime brings with it long sunny days perfect for taking leisurely drives to explore nature’s hidden gems. Fall is another excellent time to drive around Michigan and witness Mother Nature’s showstopping display of reds, oranges and yellows as foliage changes color throughout the state’s forests and meadows.

No matter what season you choose to visit Michigan for a scenic drive, there are plenty of beautiful locations to explore. In the northwest corner of the state lies Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where visitors can enjoy sandy beaches, sweeping dunes and crystal-clear Lake Michigan waters. To the south lies Lansing’s Fitzgerald Park where you can get a glimpse of wildlife while taking in views of rolling hills and meadows dotted with colorful wildflowers during the summer months. Those looking for more secluded trails might want to head towards Keweenaw Peninsula which is located on Lake Superior’s coastline offering stunning views over rugged cliffs that downward into deep blue waters below.

If you’re looking to combine your scenic drive with some local culture then make sure to visit Traverse City located in the Grand Traverse Bay area renowned for its affordable lodging options and local wineries offering wine tastings throughout the year. Further east lies Detroit which boasts spectacular scenery along with many cultural attractions such as Motown records museum and Belle Isle State Park – both ideal stops on a road trip through this region of Michigan.

Of course, no trip through Michigan would be complete without hitting up Mackinac Island or heading up north towards Petoskey or Charlevoix for jaw-dropping views along M-119 dubbed “the Tunnel of Trees” by locals due to its twisting path lined with towering pines trees lining its sides creating an awe-inspiring sight in any weather condition throughout the year!

Preparing for the Drive:

Before heading out on your adventure, it is important to plan ahead and know what to expect. When picking your route, make sure you choose a road that offers plenty of scenic views. There are countless roads in Michigan that lead through forests and along coastlines, giving you beautiful vistas along the way. If possible, try to pick one with limited traffic so that you can truly enjoy the sights without distractions. In addition to a scenic drive, make sure you include stops that let you take in some of the unique attractions Michigan has to offer such as lighthouses, historic sites and natural parks.

When planning your route, try to pick roads with minimal construction work so that you don’t have to worry about detours or closures slowing down your journey. You should also check ahead for any potential weather-related issues such as flash flooding or snow and ice – both of which can be quite common throughout Michigan’s seasons. While planning your route make sure you also include fuel stops at regular intervals as well as places where you can get food and snacks during your journey – these will help keep everyone energized during their travels!

Finally, it is important not to forget about safety when it comes time for setting off on your adventure! Make sure all passengers understand the need for seat belts and proper car maintenance before taking off on any journey. Ensure that everyone has access to contact information (such as emergency numbers) should something go wrong along the way; having this knowledge available can provide peace of mind if any unexpected issues arise during your scenic drive in Michigan!

Must-Have Supplies:

When planning a scenic drive in Michigan, you must be sure to have all the necessary supplies on hand. Whether your journey takes you along the majestic Lake Michigan shoreline or around the beautiful rolling hills of the Upper Peninsula, there are certain items that should always come along.

First and foremost, make sure you have a reliable vehicle if you plan on making any extended trips. A good road map of the area is also essential for navigating unfamiliar roads. You should always bring extra oil, antifreeze, and other car fluids just in case of any mechanical issues that might arise during your trip.

It is important to pack enough food and water for yourself and any traveling companions that may accompany you. In addition to snacks and meals, make sure you bring along a cooler full of cold drinks. It’s also a good idea to pack some insect repellent and sunscreen since Michigan’s summertime temperatures can reach high levels.

Always be prepared for changing weather conditions when driving in Michigan. Pack a few blankets or camping chairs in case you get stuck in an area with low temperatures or rain showers. Having a few spare clothes on hand will help keep everyone comfortable while they wait out the storm inside their vehicle.

One last item that could prove useful during longer drives is an emergency kit stocked with a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, flares, duct tape, and other items that could come in handy during unexpected breakdowns or emergencies. Having these supplies at your disposal will help ensure that your scenic drive through Michigan remains safe and enjoyable for everyone involved!

Road Conditions:

Road maintenance throughout Michigan can vary greatly with seasonal weather changes, so it’s always important to check current conditions before setting out on any long-distance drive. In general, state highways are well-maintained but secondary roads may be less so – especially during winter months when snowplows may have difficulty reaching them.

Keep in mind that road surfaces may become icy or snow-covered in certain areas at any time during the year, including summer months in higher elevations or remote locations. It’s also wise to be aware of possible construction closures along your route as these projects are often unannounced and may not be reflected on available maps or navigation apps.

During peak tourism seasons (spring through fall), traffic can become congested along popular routes such as M-22 between Traverse City and Manistee or Old Mission Drive near Traverse City – especially on weekends or holidays. It’s best to plan accordingly and allow yourself extra time if you plan on driving one of these routes during busy times.

Additionally, due to poor cell service in some rural areas, drivers should plan their routes ahead of time instead of relying solely on navigation devices while driving through sparsely populated regions.

No matter where your travels take you in Michigan’s great outdoors, having a good understanding of current road conditions can help ensure that your journey is a safe and enjoyable one!


The scenic drives in Michigan provide an idyllic environment and a truly one-of-a-kind experience for travelers. From the iconic beachfront to the sprawling wilderness, the state offers numerous opportunities for exploration and adventure. With its majestic forests, stunning shorelines, and vibrant cities, Michigan is sure to deliver on any traveler’s expectations.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day out or an adrenaline-packed outing, the picturesque routes of Michigan are sure to satisfy. For nature lovers, there’s the incredible Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City; for those seeking vibrant city life, Detroit’s Belle Isle Park is ideal; and for thrill seekers, the backroads of upper Michigan offer thrilling twists and turns.

No matter what kind of journey you seek within Michigan’s borders, a scenic drive is sure to please. With their breathtaking natural wonders and diverse landscape, these drives will provide lasting memories that stay with travelers long after they leave their destination. So whether it be to reconnect with nature or simply take in the beauty of the Great Lakes State, be sure to explore Michigan’s incredible roads!