Attention all adrenaline junkies: West Michigan offers endless opportunities to stimulate all five senses. With zip lining, kayaking, skydiving and more, travelers can get their fill of active fun all within the breathtaking natural beauty that is West Michigan.
If you are a thrill seeker, come to Marshall and take to the skies! Go for a Glider Ride and release 3,000 feet about Marshall lasting 20 to 30 minutes. Or, for an even bigger thrill, skydiving is also available in the area. And if something a little calmer is more your speed, take a ride and see the skies in a hot air balloon. In Marshall, the sky’s the limit… literally.
There’s no feeling like the excitement of experiencing beautiful West Michigan while enjoying live outdoor music. This September, Allegan County Fair has a series of fun concerts lined up:
- Friday, September 9th at 6:00 pm — “ROCK THE GRANDSTAND” — with Bret Michaels, RATT, Warrant, FireHouse & LA Guns.
- Saturday, September 10th at 5:00 pm — BREW ROCK — With Wayland, Royal Bliss & Mutual Live.
- Sunday, September 11th at 7:00 pm — CHRIS STAPLETON with Aubrie Sellers
- Monday, September 12th at 7:00 pm is the PARADE (Free)
- Tuesday, September 13th at 7:00 pm — X AMBASSADORS, Rachel Platten & A Great Big World
- Wednesday, September 14th at 7:00 pm — TRACTOR PULLS
- Thursday, September 15th at 7:00 pm — RODEO (Grandstand is Free for this event)
- Friday, September 16th at 7:00 pm — RASCAL FLATTS , Kelsea Ballerini, & Chris Lane
- Saturday, September 17th at 6:30 pm — DEMOLITION DERBY
South Haven is the ideal location for action water sports during the summer months. Rental shops supply everything from jet skis to stand up paddle boards, so all your water adventure needs are covered. The Van Buren State Park has an abundance of dunes and scenic nature trails for travelers to hike or bike through. The state park is located just minutes outside of downtown, making it convenient to travel to.
Additional thrills in South West Michigan:
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Amtrak may have the solution for you. Something Michiganders and Chicagoans alike have grown to appreciate, the Pere Marquette is the perfect way to travel West Michigan’s breathtaking coastline. Plus, up to two kids ages 2–12 can ride free with each adult rail fare for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday travel between Grand Rapids and Chicago. Leave the traffic and the city behind and have yourself an unforgettable West Michigan adventure.
Take in 10,000 years of Michigan History as you walk along a trail through the woods at Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall. Visit a Native American Wigwam Village, learn about the art of the trade at the Fur Trader’s Post, explore a Civil War Camp and stretch out on a bunk in the lumbering shanty. Park admission is charged: $10 for adults, $8 for 65 and older, and $5 for 2–12. For more information including hours and directions, contact Lakeshore Museum Center.
Muskegon County is graced with 26 miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan beachfront and many beautiful smaller lakes, which allows for many opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, paddle boarding, and more! There are numerous kayak, boat and more water adventure rentals available to make the most of your time on the water. And, after you’ve had your fill of natural adventures (if that’s possible!), travelers can still get their adrenaline fix at Michigan’s Adventure Amusement and Water Park and take on over 60 rides and attractions featuring roller coasters, wave pools, rafting rides, and more! Or, head over to Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and check out their new fiberglass luge, the only wheeled luge in North America.
Life is more fun in the trees! Just outside the booming city of Grand Rapids lies Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park. For those adrenaline junkies, they offer more than just zip lines, but an aerial high tops adventure course where visitors are taught how to use their gear, full body harness and belay system. With a three-hour climbing experience at heights of 10-40 feet, this is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure opportunity in central West Michigan.
Additional thrills in Central West Michigan:
- Benz Aviation, Ionia
- Cannonsburg Ski Area, Belmont
- Cran-Hill Ranch, Rodney
- Double JJ Resort, Rothbury
- John Ball Zoological Garden, Grand Rapids
- West Michigan Skydiving, Holland
Traverse City is a top destination for “silent sports” – the kind of outdoor actives where the only sound you make is the rustle of footprints, the swish of skis, or the splash of a paddle cleaving the water. No matter the season, the Grand Traverse area commits itself to that concept, and much of summer recreation is centered on Grand Traverse Bay attracting fishermen, yachtsmen, and more. Hikers and mountain bikers can tackle backwood trails, forests, and dunes, while cyclists can enjoy miles of lightly traveled country roads along the Lake Michigan shoreline. For those who don’t mind getting a little wet, paddlers are drawn to the many rivers, lakes and bays each with their own difficulty. Plus, within an hour of the city limits, anglers can find miles of blue ribbon trout streams and prime areas for lake trout, steelhead, perch, walleye, and more.
Charlevoix offers thrill seekers amazing opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. Try skydiving over Charlevoix and enjoy a free fall at 120mph and fantastic views of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Charlevoix, Mackinac Island and Beaver Island — truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Or, enjoy a canopy tour at Michigan’s largest outdoor zip line adventure. With 9 zip lines and 5 sky bridges, an average speed of 40mph and a grand finale of a 1200 feet triple racing zip line, this is one adventure we’re positive you’ll never forget.
Northern Michigan is blessed with umpteen opportunities to enjoy the Great Lakes. Here, you’re invited to turn off your cell phone, set your email on auto-reply and set sail on the inland seas for one of the multi-day excursions aboard the tall ship schooner Manitou. The Traverse City Tall Ship Company is offering a series of educational and entertaining cruises throughout September and October. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Northern Michigan shoreline while reaching ultimate relaxation levels.
In Bellaire, each day a new adventure awaits! Stop at one of their local wineries to enjoy some wine while you hit golf balls at their 130 yard driving range. Plus, get a hole-in-one and win a bottle! Or, experience Torch Lake and its surrounding chain of lakes aboard a beautiful Bennington or Premier tritoon or the day and enjoy the “Caribbean of the North!” And, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay to get the most out of your trip, Shanty Creek Resorts is the ideal place for your family after a day of sunshine and water adventure.
Do you want to be a water sports enthusiast, but need a little help? Now’s your chance. Check out Hotel Walloon:
- Take lessons from Tommy’s Ski and Wake School, just next door to Hotel Walloon! Try your hand at wake boarding, waterskiing, wake surfing, kneeboarding, tubing, and more! Schedule your lesson today. Or, for a different water experience, Tommy’s has boat rentals including speed boats and pontoons.
- Classes featuring yoga on paddle boards will be offered at different times throughout the summer from Thrive, the new wellness center that Vogue Salon and Spa has opened.
- Visit Walloon’s new shop: Wookiee’s Place, specializing in kayak rentals, lake-lifestyle goodies, doggie accessories, and fun!
Additional thrills in Northern West Michigan:
- Adventure Mining Company, Greenland
- Big Bear Adventures, Indian River
- Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
- Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls
- Crystalaire Adventures, Frankfort
- Leelanau Adventures, Glen Arbor
- Wildwood Rush Canopy Tours, Boyne City