Planning camping trips during the summer months in Michigan is always a gamble. Will it be too buggy? Too warm? Too chilly? Too wet? Is there a festival going on in the area you’ll be visiting that will clog up traffic on the “main” road going through town?
Sadly, you can’t plan for all of these things. I certainly didn’t plan on having made the camping reservation dates on… other dates! Totally my bad – and very not like me. Though we did pay for three nights of camping on a weekend we didn’t actually camp, the weekend wasn’t a total loss! I’ll try to focus on the positive points – as my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Brewer encouraged me to do when she made everyone in the class start keeping a journal:
The Pita Pit (Birch Run, MI off I-75)
Chicken souvlaki pita from the Pita Pit in Birch Run, MI. Great sandwich selection – and great alternative to Subway and “greasy” fast food joints! The Pita Pit is attached to a gas station/party store and you can snag some condiment packets to stuff into your cooler!
The Manistee River
The Manistee River may be a huge dick tease and make you drive miles around her before you get to actually see her – but it’s worth the trip! Also…did you know it’s the fourth longest river system in the state of Michigan (behind Grand, Muskegon and St. Joseph)?
Tippy Dam Recreation Area (campground)
We managed to have a small fire while we stayed one night at Tippy Dam Recreation Area before the ranger booted us off our site. The camp sites are nicely spaced out, one of the two water pumps worked really well (the other one not so well) and we had a butterfly hanging out on our site with us! It is a bit “out of the way,” so have a good map of the area handy or be sure to have GPS!
Fifth Avenue Beach (Manistee, MI)
Though the water in Lake Michigan was a bit chilly when we took a dip, I can’t say enough good things about this beach! Clean, white sandy bottom, snack bar, picnic area and the best part – THE BEACH HAS WI-FI! Definitely worth another visit when we come back “Up North.”
Sigh…I now have to keep a pair of reading glasses in the glove compartment to help me read maps. And if I keep them situated down my nose a bit I can read maps AND navigate the roads in front of me… and look like a crazy old lady at the same time, lol! And NO….I don’t need “real” glasses yet!