4 Fun Small Town Michigan Day Trips from Grand Rapids

18

Oct

I did a fall road trip in the Midwest starting with a drive through Michigan, and there are so many cute towns to explore! I definitely want to go back to see more, especially with all the beautiful fall foliage. If you’re staying in Grand Rapids, bigger cities like Detroit and Lansing are a pretty easy drive, but if you’re looking for some smaller towns in Michigan to explore, these are 4 great day trips from Grand Rapids!

4 Fun Small Town Michigan Day Trips from Grand Rapids

Luna Pier

Luna Pier is the furthest of these day trips from Grand Rapids at about 2.5 hour drive, but if you’re looking for a fun beach day, I recommend getting heading to Luna Pier! It’s a cute town with a pretty beach and a pier with a red lighthouse on Lake Erie.

When I was there, it was pretty empty and quiet, so it was a nice place to take a stroll around the beach.

Houses on Luna Pier in Michigan

Houses on Luna Pier in Michigan

Red lighthouse on Luna Pier in Michigan

Ann Arbor

I loved exploring Ann Arbor! It’s a little under a 2 hour drive from Grand Rapids, and it isn’t far from Luna Pier so you could combine those spots into one trip.

Ann Arbor has a nice downtown area near the university, and lots of beautiful houses. I really enjoyed just walking around the town and taking in all the pretty sights. If you’re looking for some more things to do, you can explore the parks, visit Michigan Stadium or go to a football game, visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, and try a fragel!

Stone church in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor, Michigan

State Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Stone church with tower in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Brick Victorian house in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Blue Victorian house in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Holland

Did you know that Michigan has its own little Dutch town? Holland is a super easy day trip from Grand Rapids because it’s only a 30 minute drive! It’s such a unique town with a cute downtown area, parks, a cuckoo clock store, bakeries, and a replica Dutch town complete with windmills in Windmill Island Gardens.

And if you visit in the spring, you can see all the tulips in bloom! Holland was one of my favorite spots in our road trip because it was so different from everywhere else we visited, so if you’re looking for something unique or a taste of Europe in the US, I definitely recommend visiting Holland!

Dutch buildings in downtown Holland, Michigan

Downtown Holland, Michigan

Windmill on river in Holland, Michigan

Dutch buildings in Holland, Michigan

South Haven

South Haven is an hour from Grand Rapids, and it’s a great place to hang out at the beach! It was busier than Luna Pier, so I recommend getting there as early as you can in the day.

South Haven is on Lake Michigan, and the water was absolutely gorgeous! The water was a little rough (and cold when we were there), but it was still a really pretty area to walk around and take in the sights.

Pier on water in South Haven, Michigan

Sand dune on beach in South Haven, Michigan

Pier with red lighthouse in South Haven, Michigan

Pier on water in South Haven, Michigan

Girl on rocks by beach in South Haven, Michigan

So those are my 4 small town Michigan day trips from Grand Rapids! Each one has different sights to see and different things to offer. And if you’re staying in Grand Rapids, check out my guide for things to do there.

I definitely want to go back to Michigan soon, so let me know if you have recommendations for other towns to visit πŸ™‚

Blog, Michigan, North America, Travel, USA

  1. I love how much attention Michigan got this summer! I need to visit Holland for the tullips!

  2. Jan says:

    I have never been to Michigan. These day trips to the Luna Pier, Ann Arbor and Holland – the dutch town iare all interesting. Will definitely look them up when I am in Michigan. πŸ™‚

  3. Cosette says:

    4 Cute towns to visit. Would love to do the road trip and visit them all. Holland would be funny to see, since I’m from the Netherlands.

  4. Intan says:

    Love the architecture! They give off this old town American vibe that I’ve never experienced elsewhere in the world.

  5. Amy M Dent says:

    <3 love those photos!

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