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You may not be able to go on an exotic vacation to another country right now, but there’s lots to explore right here in Michigan.

Michigan offers some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the U.S.– or, at least Michiganders think so.

From Pictured Rocks to Beaver Island, read on for a few choice Michigan destinations that make a late-summer or fall road trip more than worth the drive.

Note: Check the websites below for information on coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and developments, as policies are fluid.

Mackinac Island

Going to Mackinac Island is a rite of passage for any Michigander. From the famed Grand Hotel to the island’s picturesque bike trail, there’s lots to take in when visiting Mackinac Island. Fall is a great time to go, too, so even if you missed your chance this summer, think about venturing up this autumn.

Online: https://www.mackinacisland.org/

The S.S. Badger over Lake Michigan

For many years, the S.S. Badger has taken passengers and vehicles across Lake Michigan between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. If you’ve never taken a ride on the Badger, now is a good time.

Note that due to coronavirus, passengers are required to wear a face mask in order to board the ship. Capacity is also reduced by 50%, and social distancing of six feet is mandatory where possible. For more on the ship’s COVID-19 restrictions, go here.

Online: https://www.ssbadger.com/

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park offers a gorgeous, 150-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park. It draws visitors from all over Michigan and beyond.

Located near Downtown Grand Rapids, the gardens and sculpture park feature works from famous artists and lots of color.

Online: https://www.meijergardens.org/

Beaver Island

Beaver Island is a beautiful Michigan gem, with only about 600 residents. You can take a ferry or fly from Charlevoix to the island and tour the remote island to get away from it all.

Online: https://www.beaverisland.org/

Downtown Holland

Downtown Holland is located just minutes from the Lake Michigan Shore. Even outside of Holland’s famous Tulip Festival, there’s lots to enjoy, including the award-winning Holland Farmers’ Market, the Windmill Island Gardens and various restaurants and shops.

Online: https://www.downtownholland.com/

Bronner’s

It’s never too early to start getting into the Christmas spirit, right? In that case, anytime is a good time to visit Bronner’s.

The Frankenmuth store is the world’s largest Christmas store, and it’s open all year. Ho, ho, ho!

Online: https://bronners.com/

M-22

M-22 is famous for it’s Michigan scenery, especially when the fall colors start to pop. The state trunkline highway begins a bit north of Manistee, goes along the Lake Michigan shoreline and runs right up to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. It also winds through Glen Arbor, Leelanau Peninsula and more before wrapping up in Traverse City.

Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a favorite Michigan spot, and every time you visit, it’s easy to find something new to take in. Set in Munising in the U.P., Pictured Rocks extends for 42 miles along the shore and covers more than 73,000 acres. It’s known for its rock formations, waterfalls and sand dunes.

Online: https://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!