With more than 11,000 inland lakes that are five acres or larger and 3,288 miles of shoreline, visitors to Michigan are never more than more than six miles from an inland lake or 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. If you're looking for unbridled beauty mixed with adventure and wilderness this summer, consider touring the Great Lakes state to experience some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. You can fly into the Detroit International Airport and rent a car from Alamo Rent A Car. Starting in the metro Detroit area, you can take a 10-day trip from the bustling city to the Upper Peninsula and back, exploring four of the five Great Lakes, the many beach towns and even the famous Mackinac Island along the way. The following travel guide provides insider tips on must-visit lakes as well as what to do, where to stay and the best eats. Happy driving!
Lake St. Clair
This freshwater lake connects Lake Huron to the north with Lake Erie to the south, through the St. Clair and Detroit rivers, respectively. Just a short drive from the airport, spend a day here relaxing before embarking on your driving trip. Head over to Lake St. Clair Metropark to enjoy the beach. The park also features a paved trail along the shore for biking and skating; boat access; a squirt zone playground; and an Olympic-sized pool with waterslides. Visit nearby Belle Isle, just south along the Detroit River, which has free access to an aquarium, museums, an arboretum and playgrounds. Be sure to check out the River Rat Restaurant for dinner, but do not let the name fool you – they serve up delicious Italian-American dishes and offer a great atmosphere for families.
- Drive Time: 45 minutes from Detroit Metro Airport
- Recommended Stay: 1 Day
- Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Express Chesterfield, Mich.
With 23,000 square miles of surface area that stretch all the way to the eastern side of Upper Peninsula, Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes and the final resting place for more than 1,000 shipwrecks, making it a popular destination for scuba divers, snorkelers and kayakers hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious ships.