Stretching for 15 miles along Lake Superior between Munising and Grand Marais, an expanse of sandstone cliffs towers in the upwards of 200 feet above lake level. Take a closer look during Pictured Rocks Days at Bayshore Park. With its mosaic of colors, textures and nature-sculpted caves, arches and castle-like turrets, this freshwater coastline was the first officially designated National Lakeshore in the U.S., back in 1966. It’s also home to pristine beaches, waterfalls, marshes, forests and more than 100 miles of hiking trails. (906) 387-2138; algercounty.org.
The Leelanau Conservancy’s Annual Friends Picnic & Auction is one of the most anticipated culinary events in Northern Michigan. Gather with nearly 800 like-minded nature lovers at the 110-acre Chippewa Run Natural Area for a locally-sourced outdoor meal and pre-picnic hike. Youngsters can enjoy a scavenger hunt or take part in activities in the Kids’ Tent, while parents bid on a wealth of silent auction items following the dinner. (231) 256-9665; leelanauconservancy.org.
Bring the whole family to tour tall ships, research vessels and fishing boats during the 15th Annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival in Alpena. See small boat workshops, explore the shipwreck century exhibits and learn more about this expansive underwater Lake Huron dive preserve. The festival site is also in the heart of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail. (989) 356-8805; alpenacvb.com.
Dubbed a “Symphony for the Senses,” the Michigan Lavender Festival in Armanda celebrates the “Grandmother of Herbs” in all her splendor. A true Michigan event, the open-air market features one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from more than 100 local artists, craftspeople and area farmers. Enjoy a gourmet lunch in the shade while sipping on a glass of ice-cold lavender lemonade; attend workshops, demonstrations and wellness classes centered around this fragrant purple plant; or take tours and wagon rides to nearby farms and orchards. (810) 523-9853; michiganlavenderfestival.net.
For 50 years, the Reeds Lake Clothesline Art Fair has graced the community of East Grand Rapids, presented by the Grand Valley Artists — the oldest art group in Michigan, and one of the oldest in the Midwest. Spread out in white tents along Wealthy Street, John Collins Park and the Reeds Lake shoreline in the historic Gaslight Village District, this June 20 festival is considered among the best in the region. The festival also includes live music and local food booths. grandvalleyartists.com/reedslake.
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Photography courtesy U.P. Travel; Thinkstock; Joanne Swann