Skip to main content
Header image

Northwest Michigan Coast

Cool summer breezes, sandy beaches and inviting lakefront resorts draw visitors to Northwest Michigan by the thousands. This route offers a sampling of the best the area has to offer, passing vineyards, cherry orchards, rustic farmland and wooded country lanes with frequent stunning views of Lake Michigan and the islands offshore.


Traverse City to Charlevoix


Beginning in Traverse City—a resort town popular with tourists thanks to its mild summers, sandy beaches and scenic lakeside setting—this route follows US 31, passing cherry orchards, farmland and vacation homes with frequent glimpses of Grand Traverse Bay's blue waters.

Recommended Stops


Charlevoix to Mackinaw City

Wikimedia Commons/Bobak HaEri

The route continues from the charming waterfront resort of Charlevoix to Petoskey, known for Petoskey stones, polished bits of fossilized coral available in souvenir shops and, if you look hard, along the shore. Following the contours of Little Traverse Bay, SR 119 is particularly pretty after Harbor Springs, where it's known as the Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route.


Mackinaw City to Manistique


Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas “meet” at the 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge, which raises traffic nearly 200 feet above the water. The resort destinations of Mackinaw City and St. Ignace lie at opposite ends of “Mighty Mac” and nearby, accessible by ferry, beautiful Mackinac Island is known for its historic architecture and relaxing, car-free ambience.


Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!