10 Things to Do on Father’s Day in Northern Michigan

What should you do with your Dad this Father’s Day? Celebrate Up North, of course! Here are our top picks:

1. Explore Traverse City from the Water

Rent a ski boat or jet ski from Sunset Watersports or TC Watersports. Then head to the bay for some fun in the sun.

2. Take a Drive Up M-22

Crank up some classic rock and explore one of Michigan’s most iconic roads. Start your road trip with a hearty breakfast at Café 1907 in the Victorian Port City of Manistee. Then head north on M-22—stop at the famous Arcadia Overlook—and get lunch at Stormcloud Brewing Co. in Frankfort. From Stormcloud you can walk down to Lake Michigan and the lighthouse. Next, it’s on to Empire and Glen Arbor (pit stops must include the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb on M-109 and Cherry Republic). Continue north to stop at Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern in Northport for dinner. Finish your drive in Traverse City—book a room at Hotel Indigo and head up to the rooftop bar for a nightcap at sunset.

3. Spend the Day on Mackinac Island

Getting reservations at a hotel on Mackinac Island can be tricky this time of year. But you don’t have to spend the night to enjoy all the island has to offer. Rent a bike or relax on a horse-drawn carriage ride around Mackinac—Dad’s pick. Then grab some fudge and head over to the historic Grand Hotel to snag a seat on their porch—the longest in the world.

4. Head to the Beach

What’s the best day to get a tan? Sunday, of course! Grab your beach chairs and sunscreen and head to Empire Beach. You can rent a stand-up paddleboard downtown at Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak. Or just spread out your towel and chill. 

5. Take Dad on a Pub Crawl

TC Cycle Pub combines the best of beer and bikes. Pedal a 14-passenger bike bar to some of Traverse City’s best breweries. (Smaller groups? The TC Circle Cycle seats four to six.) Each tour is two hours and starts and ends at the Filling Station. Want to be on the water? Check out Paddle for Pints with dad. Whatever floats your boat! 

6. Grab Your Clubs

Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls is home to two championship golf courses—the Alpine and the Monument. The Alpine offers beautiful views and strategically placed hazards while the Monument serves as an ode to golf’s great course architects. At Bellaire’s Shanty Creek Resort, you can book “stay and play packages.” The resorts’ four courses have received recognition from Condé Nast Traveler, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. If you’re heading to Gaylord, Treetops Resort has 1,500 green acres stretching as far as the eye can see. Have a ball. 

7. Go Wine Tasting

Head out to Old Mission Peninsula for bay views and some of Northern Michigan’s finest wines at Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse and Mari Vineyards. Then come back to Traverse City and visit Left Foot Charley’s tasting room at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

8. Fire Up the Grill

Create a Father’s Day feast using Northern Michigan ingredients. Maxbauer’s Meat Market in Traverse City has steaks, house-smoked brats, sausages, hot dogs, jerky—the goods. Head to Fustini’s for fresh oils and salts for seasoning (the Scorpion Salt is spicy!). Pick up local whitefish and asparagus at Burritt’s Fresh Market. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of local wine or a six-pack.

9. Go Ziplining

Wildwood Rush is home to Northern Michigan’s ultimate ziplining experience. The Boyne City attraction has more than 7,000 feet of zip lines and five suspended sky bridges. Dad will be treated to views of Lake Charlevoix from the tree-top platforms, and you can race each other on the 1,200-foot racing zip line. It’s the only one of its kind in the Midwest with three parallel lines and speeds over 40 miles per hour.

10. Take Him Out to a Ball Game

On Father’s Day, the Traverse City Pit Spitters take on the Rockford Rivets at home. As a member of the Northwoods League, the roster is full of top tier prospects who will be drafted by Major League teams—it’s gonna be a good game!