When it comes to summertime hot spots in Michigan there are the usual suspects, right? Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Saugatuck (one of these was actually was just voted 2nd best small coastal town in the U.S.) - however, NONE of those cities show up in a new study on the best summer travel destinations in the country...


READ MORE: Own a Floating Restaurant on this Gorgeous Michigan Lake

As 4 out of 5 of the Great Lakes surround Michigan, of course vacationers are drawn to the seemingly endless miles of coastline in the summer. That's what interesting about the three cities that WalletHub has deemed the best summer travel destinations in Michigan - they are all basically landlocked, unless you count rivers.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with these towns, they're great - heck, I live in one! They just don't scream "summer vacation" to me...

READ MORE: Michigan Community Ranked Among 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in U.S. 

To determine their ranking, WalletHub analyzed data like the cost flights, number of attractions, and average cost of a two person meal in each location. When you take into consideration that WalletHub is looking for the spots that offer travelers the most bank for their buck, then the cities they chose do make more sense... It can be tough to find an affordable place to stay and play along the lakeshore! I have a trip to Traverse City coming up and was hard pressed to find a room under $300 for a weekend night on the water.


Wallethub's picks for the best summer travel destinations and their rankings are:

  • No. 22 - Grand Rapids-Kentwood Metro Area
  • No. 36 - Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metro Area
  • No. 92 - Lansing-East Lansing Metro Area

It makes even MORE sense that these are the picks when you realize WalletHub analyzed 100 of the largest metro areas in the U.S. So basically, these are the best "big city" summer travel destinations in Michigan. You could also look at it like out of the 100 biggest metro areas in the U.S., Lansing actually didn't do so hot...

In terms of the very best summer vacation spot, WalletHub deemed the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Metro Area No. 1.

Michigan's Top Vacation Rental

Vrbo has ranked a Michigan beach home among the top ten vacation homes in the U.S. in 2024. Sandy Lakehouse is located on Baptist Lake in Sand Lake, Mich. The spectacular, luxury residence boasts multiple fireplaces, a chef's gourmet kitchen, game room, pickleball court, hot tub, and more. Sleeping up to 14 people, the average cost per night is $996,

Gallery Credit: Janna