The Great Lakes, the largest chain of freshwater lakes in the world, are surrounded by charming towns perfect for summer getaways. These Great Lakes vacation spots capture the beauty of summer on the water with peaceful beaches, adventure-filled parks, quaint shops and exquisite restaurants.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
You won’t find any chain hotels or cars in this charming four-square-mile town on Lake Huron. The island’s preserved Victorian-era architecture, antique shops, pristine accommodations, and old-fashioned horse and buggy transportation make it one of the most unique Great Lakes vacation spots. The island, recognized as a National Historic Landmark, also offers plenty of memorable museums, quaint bike paths, sandy beaches, lush golf courses and spectacular restaurants, bars and eateries.
Indiana Dunes, Indiana
The Indiana Dunes State and National Parks are one of the most popular Great Lakes attractions. You’ll find miles of coastline, world-class beaches and breathtaking scenery along the soft sand and calm waters of Lake Michigan. Swim, paddle and sunbathe at a beach, hike or bike miles of trails, pamper yourself at a local spa, or street shop in one of Indiana Dunes Country’s charming small towns.
Home to the Great Lakes’ largest port, Duluth is a heavily populated tourist destination that sits on the north shore of Lake Superior. The bustling hillside city is filled with attractions that include museums and galleries, water sports, recreational activities, breweries and nightclubs. Duluth also hosts vibrant lakefront festivals, luxury harbor cruises and historic tours.
Fair Haven, New York
This quiet, peaceful village along Lake Ontario’s southern shore surrounds Little Sodus Bay. The small beach town offers wineries, restaurants, beach parks, nature preserves, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, sailing and so much more. Nearby, you’ll find a dramatically sculpted landscape on the shore called the Chimney Bluffs. You can hike through the nature trails of Chimney Bluffs State Park, or enjoy a picnic lunch accompanied by incredible views of Lake Ontario.