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Money Matters Blog

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Money Smart Vacation Ideas in Michigan

Looking to get away this summer, but don’t want to break the bank? There are plenty of activities and places to visit right in your home state. Here are just a few ideas to get you inspired for this summer.

Beach Day 
Michigan has dozens of splendid beaches where you can swim, build a sandcastle, and explore! Check out to see which ones have free public access. "Parents" magazine named Silver Beach one of the top 10 family beaches in the United States for its clean, wide beach; swimming; children's playground; and other activities. Michigan state parks also have hundreds of mini-cabins, rustic cabins, camper cabins and even yurts, $45-$80. Many are in prime locations on Lake Superior or in Lake Michigan beach parks.

Must See Museums
Looking for something educational and fun to do? Why not visit one of Michigan’s famous museums and maybe even venture back in time? The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village and Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn all provide activities for the whole family to enjoy. Sign up for Model-T rides, watch artists as they work with glass, clay or tin, or take the only Detroit automotive plant tour available to the public. Michigan is also home to some fantastic art museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. With low cost admission, both options provide a great way to get out and explore your creative side!

Prepare for Takeoff 
The Air Zoo of Kalamazoo was voted the "Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family" by the "Kalamazoo Gazette" for good reason. Kids of all ages can enjoy amusement park rides, experience a historic mission in the 4-D theater, navigate a World War II fighter over the South Pacific in full-motion flight simulators and view 50 historic aircraft. Entrance fees are inexpensive, and several local hotels often partner with the Air Zoo to provide package deals. Kids with an interest in airplanes might also like the free viewing park at Gerald Ford International Airport. The airport viewing park provides entertainment for aviation buffs and families, and the park-like space is furnished with picnic tables and litter barrels for picnickers.

Fun on the Farm 
Visit your local farmers market to sample area products and stock up on fresh goods. It’s a great way to support local farmers and also learn about other local businesses in your area. Another inexpensive idea is to visit a local farm or petting zoo. Visit for a complete list to take the kids to. And if you really want to experience farm life and have a little extra in your budget, take a farming class or consider a stay at Hillside Homestead in Sutton Bay. Experience what life was really like living on a farm in 1910!

Road Trip 
Lastly, what better way to experience Michigan than by taking a road trip? With gas prices relatively low now is a great time to adventure around the state. The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a scenic route across Michigan that showcases the most beautiful vistas in the Mitten State. Travel around the great lakes, visit lighthouses, and explore campgrounds along the way!

Have any inexpensive Michigan vacation ideas of your own? Share them in the comments section below!

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