spring crocus in Michigan
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Fun Spring Events & Places to Visit in Michigan in April

(Last Updated On: April 8, 2024)

As the air becomes warmer and the snow melts in March and April, a Michigan spring is coming. When flowers start to bloom with the arrival of spring, April is a month filled with hope and new beginnings. For me, April in Michigan holds a special place in my heart, as Michigan is home.

spring crocus in Michigan
Image by Scott from Pixabay

Spring events and places to visit in Michigan in April make it a perfect place at a great time for me to take in a special event or visit a favorite destination before the busy summer months arrive.

Table of Contents

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Things to Do in Michigan Come Alive in April

The start of spring is when I escape the confines of my everyday routine and embark on adventures that rejuvenate my soul. There is something magical about this time of year, and Michigan offers the perfect backdrop to experience the coming of spring with plenty of events and fun things to enjoy.

The April Michigan Event Calendar is Full of Day Trip Options and Getaways

Whether it is spending spring break in my home state, taking a day trip to participate in events or activities that I love, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of the awakening outdoors on a weekend getaway, spring in Michigan fun is everywhere!

Key Takeaways (Best Things to Do in April in Michigan):

  • Discover charming places to visit in Michigan in April
  • Experience a spring festival or two and enjoy outdoor adventures
  • Explore the natural beauty of Michigan’s coast and inland destinations
  • Immerse in the rich history and culture of Detroit
  • Indulge in the tranquil beauty of Mackinac Island
  • Taste the incomparable flavors of Michigan maple syrup

Traverse City: The Cherry Capital of the World

If you’re looking for a vibrant destination to visit in April, Traverse City should be at the top of your list. Known as the Cherry Capital of the World, this charming city in northern Michigan is famous for its annual Cherry Blossom Festival and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.

lake michigan near traverse city
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traverse City’s Cherry Blossom Festival, held in late April, is a celebration of the region’s abundant cherry orchards. The city comes alive with colorful blossoms, live music, parades, and delicious cherry-inspired treats. It’s a perfect time to indulge in locally-made cherry pies, cherry wine, and other cherry-infused delicacies. If you can’t get enough, plan to return in July for the National Cherry Festival!

But Traverse City offers more than just cherry-themed festivities. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with miles of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque vineyards. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing in the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

“Traverse City is truly a hidden gem. The combination of cherry orchards, beautiful beaches, and stunning lake views makes it one of the world’s most unique and unforgettable destination.”

Additionally, Traverse City boasts a thriving food and drink scene. The city and surrounding area is home to numerous award-winning Leelanau County wineries, craft breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants. You can take a tour of local wineries and sample their delicious wines, or indulge in fresh cherry-inspired dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients.

leelanau county vineyard with lake michigan view
Image by robinsonk26 from Pixabay

Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Traverse City has something to offer everyone. It’s no wonder why it has earned the title of the Cherry Capital of the World.

Where to Stay In and Around Traverse City

Cherry Capital of the World – Fun Facts

FactsDetails
Cherries producedTraverse City produces over 75% of the tart cherries in the United States.
Cherry productsThe city is known for not only fresh cherries but also dried cherries, cherry jams, cherry pie fillings, and cherry-infused spirits.
Cherry Blossom FestivalThe annual Cherry Blossom Festival attracts visitors from near and far to enjoy cherry-themed events, including a parade and a cherry pit-spitting contest.
Cherry capital titleTraverse City received the official title of Cherry Capital of the World in 1987.

With its stunning cherry orchards, beautiful beaches, and a wide range of outdoor activities, Traverse City is a delightful destination to explore in April. Don’t miss the chance to experience the enchantment of the Cherry Capital of the World!

Exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

When it comes to natural beauty and unique experiences, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a hidden gem. From the majestic shores of Lake Superior, to the remote wilderness of Isle Royale National Park, to the dramatic splendor of Tahquamenon Falls State Park, this region offers many outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts.

Start your exploration where breathtaking Lake Superior awaits. The largest of the Great Lakes (and I say the best lake in the group!), Lake Superior offers stunning vistas and opportunities for water activities such as kayaking and fishing.

isle royale region map of u.p.
U.S. National Park Service, restoration/cleanup by Matt Holly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the highlights of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is Isle Royale National Park. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, this remote sanctuary is a hiker’s paradise on Michigan’s largest island. Traverse the miles of trails and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the wilderness. Opens April 16 – see more information here.

For a taste of maritime history, head to Copper Harbor, located on the northern tip of the peninsula. This charming town was once a bustling copper mining hub and now offers quaint shops and restaurants overlooking Lake Superior.

places to visit in michigan in april - copper country information
Photo by Betsy Wuebker

To truly embrace the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, consider embarking on a portion of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. This scenic drive takes you along the shores of the lake, showcasing picturesque lighthouses, the rugged cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and charming coastal towns.

Consider stopping at Whitefish Point to see the lighthouse. While the adjacent Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, which is located in a historic compound of buildings dating back to the 19th century, isn’t open until May 1, note that it honors the memory of ships and lives lost on the inland sea.

places to visit in Michigan - whitefish point lighthouse
Photo by Betsy Wuebker

“Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. From the pristine shores of Lake Superior to the untouched wilderness of Isle Royale National Park, there are endless adventures waiting to be explored.” – Explore Michigan Magazine

Whether you’re hiking, fishing, or simply enjoying the serene landscapes, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers an unparalleled outdoor experience. Plan your visit and discover the wonders of this hidden gem!

DestinationHighlights
Isle Royale National Park– Remote island wilderness
– Miles of hiking trails
– Abundant wildlife
Copper Harbor– Scenic views of Lake Superior
– Charming shops and restaurants
– Rich copper mining history
Lake Superior Circle Tour– Picturesque lighthouses
– Magnificent cliffs
– Quaint coastal towns

Where to Stay in the Upper Peninsula

Cultural and Outdoor Adventures in Grand Rapids

When it comes to outdoor activities, visiting Grand Rapids will have you exploring the breathtaking Frederik Meijer Gardens. But then, immerse yourself in art and history at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Rapids Art Museum to round out your experience.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

One of the highlights of Grand Rapids is the Frederik Meijer Gardens. Spanning over 158 acres, this outdoor paradise offers a diverse collection of sculptures, scenic pathways, and stunning gardens. Explore the Japanese Garden, get lost in the serene beauty of the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, or relax and admire the natural surroundings.

“The Frederik Meijer Gardens is a true gem. The sculptures, gardens, and exhibits provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.” – Visitor Review

Best Places to Visit in Grand Rapids for West Michigan Culture Buffs

In addition to the gardens, Grand Rapids is also home to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. History enthusiasts like me enjoy stepping back in time to explore the museum’s exhibits, which showcase the history, culture, and natural beauty of the region. From the planetarium to the collection of artifacts, there’s plenty to discover and learn.

For art enthusiasts, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is a must-visit. As Michigan’s oldest art museum, it houses a wide range of art collections and exhibits, showcasing both contemporary and historical works. Immerse yourself in the world of art as you admire masterpieces and gain a deeper understanding of the creative process.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or art enthusiast, Grand Rapids offers a wealth of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Plan your visit to this vibrant city and be prepared to be captivated by its charm and beauty.

Where to Stay in Grand Rapids

Lakeside Delights in Holland Make It One of the Best Places to Visit in Michigan in April

Experience the beauty of Lake Michigan and immerse yourself in Dutch culture in Holland. Don’t miss a visit to the picturesque Windmill Island Gardens.

windmill park vintage postcard
Tichnor Brothers, Publisher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Holland, Michigan, is a charming lakeside town that offers a delightful mix of natural beauty and cultural experiences. As you stroll along the shores of Lake Michigan, you’ll be captivated by the sparkling blue waters and the stunning views that stretch as far as the eye can see. The lake provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, from relaxing on the beach to taking a scenic boat tour.

But the true highlight of Holland in April are the tulips. Millions of colorful tulips begin to bloom throughout the city, creating a breathtaking display of beauty and fragrance.

“The tulips in Holland are a must-see floral spectacle. The tulips’ vibrant colors and sweet fragrance fill the air, creating a truly magical experience.”

– Betsy Wuebker

No visit to Holland is complete without a stop at the Windmill Island Gardens. This picturesque park is home to an authentic Dutch windmill, De Zwaan, which dates back to the 18th century. Take a guided tour to learn about the mill’s fascinating history and see firsthand how it operates. The surrounding gardens offer a serene and tranquil space to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a vibrant cultural experience, Holland has something for everyone. With its stunning lakeside setting, this town is a true gem on the shore of Lake Michigan.

See more at Find the Best Place to See Tulips in Holland Michigan

Where to Stay in Holland, Michigan

Exploring Southeast Michigan and Detroit’s Rich History and Culture

Delve into Detroit’s rich history and culture by visiting iconic landmarks and institutions. Embark on a journey through time at the Henry Ford Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating legacy of Henry Ford and explore exhibits showcasing innovation, industry, and Americana. Marvel at the historic artifacts, vintage cars, and interactive displays that bring Detroit’s automotive heritage to life.

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts is a must. This world-class museum houses a vast collection spanning over 65,000 works of art, including masterpieces from renowned artists like Vincent van Gogh, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo. Take a leisurely stroll through the museum’s diverse galleries and discover the rich cultural heritage of Detroit and the world.

places to visit in Michigan in April - Detroit Institute of Arts
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another significant stop on your cultural exploration of southeast Michigan is the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum located in nearby Ann Arbor. Learn about the life and presidency of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. Engage with interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations that offer insights into Ford’s leadership, political career, and profound impact on American history.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant sports culture of Detroit by catching a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park. Experience the excitement of Major League Baseball and cheer on the home team as they take on their opponents.

places to visit in Michigan in April - Comerica Park
Gary Shear gshear93, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

No visit to Detroit is complete without experiencing the natural wonder of the Detroit River. Take a boat tour and cruise along the river, marvelling at the breathtaking cityscape and picturesque waterfront. Learn about the historical significance of the Detroit River and its role in shaping the city’s development.

“Detroit is a city rich in history, culture, and resilience. Exploring its museums, landmarks, and vibrant sports scene is a captivating journey through time.” – Anonymous

Where to Stay in Detroit

Natural Beauty in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

When it comes to natural beauty, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a true gem. With its towering sand dunes, breathtaking vistas, and miles of pristine beaches along Lake Michigan, this destination offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, located on the northwestern coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, is home to some of the most impressive sand dunes in the country. These towering hills of sand, shaped by wind and water, provide a mesmerizing landscape that will leave you in awe.

Exploring this natural wonder is a delight for adventurers of all ages. Whether you prefer hiking, birdwatching, or just soaking up the sun on the beach, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has something for everyone. The park boasts miles of well-maintained trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the dunes and the surrounding forests.

For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the Sleeping Bear Point Trail offers an easy walk to the top of a dune, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Dune Climb, a challenging hike to the top of a massive sand dune that rewards you with a breathtaking vista of the surrounding landscape.

sleeping bear point beach
MSwierenga, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition to its natural wonders, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also offers a range of outdoor recreation opportunities. From swimming and fishing in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan to camping under the stars, the possibilities are endless.

So, if you’re looking for a destination that combines stunning natural beauty, miles of trails, and a variety of outdoor activities, look no further than the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s a place where adventure meets tranquility, and where memories are made.

Where to Stay Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Mackinac Island: A Step Back in Time

When it comes to experiencing a charming and nostalgic atmosphere, Mackinac Island in Michigan is the perfect destination. Situated in the serene waters of Lake Huron, this island takes you back in time with its unique transportation system and timeless beauty.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Mackinac Island is its restriction on cars. That’s right, cars are prohibited on the island, creating a peaceful and tranquil environment. Instead, visitors can explore the island’s 1,800 acres of natural wonder and historical landmarks by foot, bicycle, or the iconic horse-drawn carriages. Imagine strolling along the charming streets, surrounded by colorful blooms and the clip-clopping sound of hooves on the pavement.

mackinac island history
Notorious4life (talk) (Uploads), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Be sure to visit the picturesque Mackinac Island State Park, a true oasis of natural beauty. With stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and incredible views of the Straits of Mackinac, it’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Take a leisurely hike, enjoy a picnic by the shoreline, or marvel at the breathtaking scenery from one of the park’s many viewpoints.

No visit to Mackinac Island is complete without a stop at the world-renowned Grand Hotel. This iconic Victorian-style hotel is a symbol of elegance and charm, offering luxurious accommodations and impeccable service. Step inside and be transported to a bygone era, where impeccable hospitality and grandeur reign supreme. Treat yourself to a delightful afternoon tea or indulge in a gourmet meal while enjoying panoramic views of the island.

Don’t forget to take a stroll along the famous Mackinac Bridge, a magnificent engineering marvel that connects the island to the mainland. This suspension bridge is not only an impressive feat of human ingenuity but also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including the stunning Straits of Mackinac and Mackinaw City.

In Mackinac Island, cars may be absent, but the memories and experiences are ever-present. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and tranquility that this enchanting island has to offer.

Where to Stay on Mackinac Island

Indulge in a Maple Syrup Festival in Michigan

maple syrup
LadyDragonflyCC – >;< from Michigan, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The last full weekend of April should go on your calendar to enjoy the taste of a Michigan classic: maple syrup, one of my favorite spring getaways. These classic Michigan April events offer the opportunity to see how maple syrup is made and sample delicious products. While they’re held across Michigan throughout April, see some of the best syrup producers and artisans at one or both of my picks for the best maple syrup festivals:

Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival

You won’t want to miss this original producers event which dates back to 1940. There are plenty of things to enjoy here, including a spring craft show, carnival rides, a flea market and petting zoo, and even a princess pageant. Vermontville’s quintessential April Michigan event gets better each year. Get directions and more information here.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

Not to be outdone, this festival dates from 1958 when the Village of Shepherd held a community-wide pancake supper. The free event has grown and now includes a classic car show, a 5K run, concerts, a festival of quilts, tractor and horse pulls, a pancake-eating contest, numerous children’s activities, and parades. Get directions and more information here.

Warm Weather Brings Fun Festivals Throughout Michigan This Spring

National Trout Festival

Kalkaska celebrates the annual Michigan trout fishing opener with activities for the whole family. Choose from fishing and eating contests, activities for kids, live music, a classic car show and a bump and run derby. Local service clubs sponsor a pancake breakfast, pig roast, craft show, golf outing, 5K run, dodge ball tourney and more. See the lineup here.

Festival of the Angry Bear

Spring Street in downtown Marquette closes to motor vehicles for a weekend in April as revelers return to Michigan for this festival, sponsored by the Ore Dock Brewery. Featuring a lineup of special brews and musical acts, as well as food trucks, agility games and feats of strength, and a street dance, you’ll want to come out of winter hibernation and head to the U.P. for this one! See more here.

Capital City Film Festival in Lansing

Lansing wakes up the Michigan state community in the middle of April with an eclectic mix of curated art experiences that lasts ten days. See a variety of independent films, live music acts and interactive media installations in multiple venues throughout Lansing. Check things out here.

Beerfest at the Ballpark

Overlapping the end of the film festival, downtown Lansing hosts an outdoor beer, spirits & wine festival with live music at Jackson Field, home of the Lansing Lugnuts. Taste more than 300 offerings – beer, mead, cider, and a variety of Michigan wine and spirits from craft brewers, distilleries and wineries. For more information, click here.

Michigan Events and Fun Things Make the Great Lakes State in April a Lively Place

Michigan in April is a true paradise for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and culture seekers. Whether you’re exploring the charming towns along the coast of Lake Michigan or immersing yourself in the bustling city life of Detroit, the Great Lakes State is a great place with diverse landscapes, small town friendliness, and exciting activities to celebrate emerging from the winter months.

One of the highlights of visiting Michigan in April is the chance to witness the state’s natural beauty coming to life. From the breathtaking cherry blossoms in Traverse City to the stunning sand dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, there are countless opportunities to embrace the outdoors and reconnect with nature.

But Michigan is not just about scenic landscapes. The state is also home to a rich cultural heritage. Take a step back in time on Mackinac Island, where horse-drawn carriages replace cars and the historic charm of the island takes you on a journey to a bygone era. In Detroit, explore the fascinating history and immerse yourself in art and culture at world-class museums like the Henry Ford Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

So, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, Michigan in April is the perfect destination. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the things to do in Michigan that I recommend to create memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your trip now and discover why Michigan is truly Pure Michigan.

fun things to do in michigan in April

FAQ

Can you see cherry blossoms in Traverse City in April?

Yes, Traverse City is known as the Cherry Capital of the World and hosts the world-famous Cherry Blossom Festival in April. This is one of my favorite things to do in April.

What are some activities to enjoy in Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids offers a range of outdoor activities, including exploring the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. While you are in the city, I suggest you plan to visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

What is there to do in Holland in April?

In Holland, you can experience the beauty of Lake Michigan and immerse yourself in Dutch culture ahead of the famous Tulip Time Festival. Don’t miss a visit to the picturesque Windmill Island Gardens.

What historical sites and museums can I visit in Detroit?

Detroit is rich in history and culture. You can visit the Henry Ford Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (in nearby Ann Arbor). Don’t forget to catch a Detroit Tigers game! Opening day in Detroit is a special tradition in Michigan during spring. I also recommend a boat tour on the Detroit River during your time in southeast Michigan.

What outdoor recreation opportunities are available at Sleeping Bear Dunes?

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers stunning sand dunes, miles of hiking trails, and a range of outdoor recreation activities for nature lovers.

What is unique about Mackinac Island?

Mackinac Island is a step back in time, as cars are prohibited, and horse-drawn carriages transport visitors. Explore the beauty of Mackinac Island State Park and experience Victorian elegance at the Grand Hotel.

What can I expect when visiting Michigan in April?

In April, Michigan offers a blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. From charming towns along the coast of Lake Michigan to historic sites and museums in Detroit, there is something for everyone in the Great Lakes State.

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