Ah, yes. The Mitten State, as Michigan is colloquially known due its shape.  Ask a Michigander where in the state they live, and they’re liable to point to it on one of their hands. Michigan is also the Great Lakes State, surrounded by five wondrous bodies of water that can resemble small oceans. With summer approaching, and the kids soon out of school, it’s a great idea to plan a trip that showcases the state’s gorgeous coastlines. Here are some ideas, and to help fund your road trip, you may want to consider a Michigan car title loan.

M-22 From Arcadia to Frankfort

Along this very scenic coastal highway, a great place to start is the village of Arcadia, which features a lovely beach where one can get in a swim before aiming northward for comely vistas from the Lake Michigan port city of Frankfurt. There, you’ll find a picture-perfect lighthouse, and awesome viewing opportunities from the tops of wooded hills. There’s also a scenic turnout just outside Arcadia called Inspiration Point. Head up the stairs for outstanding views while above the bluff.

Red Arrow Highway from New Buffalo to St. Joseph

Point your car north from New Buffalo on this highway to check out the picturesque villages of Harbert, Lakeside, and Union Pier enroute to St. Joseph. You’ll see an abundance of antique shops and art galleries, in addition to several Lake Michigan beaches, and vineyards, and orchards. There’s also a cool surfing vibe in St. Joseph and New Buffalo.

River Road Scenic Byway to AuSable River to Oscoda

This drive features a number of viewpoints above the AuSable Valley, as well as a peek into the area’s former life as a major hub in the state’s timber industry. You will need hiking shoes for trails and what can be steep stairways to the water’s edge.

US 23 from Tawas City to Alpena

Dubbed the state’s “Sunrise Coast,” this beauteous route travels along Lake Huron’s shoreline on its way to Alpena, with the coastal villages of Harrisville and Oscoda in the middle. Alpena’s waterfront park is a good place to take in the scenery, and there are campsites right on the lake at Harrisville State Park.

US-2 from St. Ignace to Manistique

For a taste of what the state’s Upper Peninsula has to offer, take a trip across the Mackinac Bridge then head west from St. Ignace and enjoy the stunning scenery. For several miles after passing the famous Mystery Spot on the edge of town, the highway rejoins the Lake Michigan shoreline. You can picnic among the dunes and take a dip in the Lake Michigan surf.

M-134 from Hessel to Drummond Island

Boat enthusiasts and those seeking soothing scenic views would do well to set out east on M-134 from I-75 just north of St. Ignace. You’ll have views of Lake Huron in addition to the 36 Les Cheneaux Islands with which many people are unfamiliar, including those who live in Michigan. With their classic boathouses and century-old cottages, the islands are widely considered by people in the know as being reminiscent of the east coast hideaways along coastal Maine. If your drive is in the morning, make sure your camera’s poised for a shot in the early mist of a sailboat moored in one of the lovely harbors.  

With its natural beauty, including its vast lakes, Michigan is a wonderful place to explore anytime, but particularly in the summer. Pack up the car and hit the road – and don’t forget to take a camera.