Making a date with the state

While to-do lists can wait at your favorite vacation getaway, enhance time spent at home away from home by taking in a parade, partaking in a contest, sampling spring’s top wines or hitting carnival lines.

Going to the Dogs in Northeast Michigan

iStock Dog JumpingThose partial to four-legged friends shouldn’t miss the chance to attend Dog Bowl 2013, the “Nation’s Largest Olympic-Style Event for Dogs” May 25-26. This high-energy event showcases canines running, jumping, diving and retrieving at Frankenmuth River Place. Attractions include a Best Costume Contest, 50-Yard Doggie Fun Run, Fashion Show, Disc Dog Competitions, Wiener Dog Races, pet retail vendors, Dog Bowl 2013 King and Queen, Dog Breeds of the World Show, Annual Canine Cruise of the Bavarian Belle River Boat, DockDogs Competition and hot air balloon rides (800-600-0105;


Get your Blue on in Southwest Michigan

iStock Blueberries PancakesWhile the United States is the world’s largest producer of blueberries, Michigan leads the U.S. in cultivated blueberry production, harvesting 72 million pounds in 2011. The best spot to enjoy these juicy blue gems this year in particular is at the 50th Annual National Blueberry Festival in South Haven Aug. 8-11.  Pop in to take part in the celebration’s entertaining blueberry pie-eating contest, blueberry pancake breakfast, Blueberry Parade and many more berry fun activities geared for fans of all ages (269) 637-5252,; and 


Catch a Sweet Scent of the Upper Peninsula

iStock Lilac BushA 10-day celebration holding rein as Mackinac Island’s first and largest summer event, the 64th Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is expected to draw thousands over the Bridge and into the Straits this year to soak in the sumptuous scent of this top historic spot’s signature bloom, a variety of which were first brought here during the mid-1800s. Highlights throughout this botanical array of days include coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen, a 10K run, Movies at the Mission, a grand parade, Taste of Mackinac Culinary Event and more (800-454-5227;


Break down for the hip moves in Northwest Michigan

Soul Street Dance CompanyThe Soul Street Dance Company takes off on April 13 for two performances at the City Opera House in Traverse City with a unique combination of entertainment and art featuring family-friendly hip-hop, classical and new dance styles with urban-fashioned costumes and comic delivery. The youthful troupe attracts highly diverse audiences including kids who enjoy watching these athletic moves set to the music of Leonard Bernstein; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Hacienda Propellerheads; Debussy; Kodo Drummers; Michael Jackson; Nat King Cole, Vivaldi and others (231-941-8082;


iStock Classic CarCruise on through to Southeast Michigan

Chirping birds and buzzing bees intermix with motors revving and engines roaring in Ypsilanti come May when the first three of numerous car shows get underway. Join the Ypsi Area Street Rods for their annual show at Riverside Park in historic Depot Town on May 5 during the 34th Annual Ypsi Area Show & Shine; catch the best traditional hot rods and customs on May 18 during Billetproof’s Motor City Mania, then peruse the finest in vintage VWs on May 19 at the Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Car Show (800-265-9045;




Excursions legend

Commonly requested tourist information listed below:

Travel Michigan

Upper Peninsula Tourism & Recreation Association

West Michigan Tourist Association

Southwest Michigan Tourist Council

Michigan’s West Coast

Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Bureau 

Traverse City CVB 

Northern Michigan Tourist Association 

Boyne Country CVB

Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau

Michigan’s Sunrise Side

Blue Water Area

Detroit Metro CVB 

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