Smack dab in the middle of northern Michigan, Houghton Lake refers to the small, tourist-friendly town on the southwest corner of a lake of the same name, and adjacent to the equally quiet town of Prudenville. Not only is Houghton Lake a picturesque and fun midway point between Michigan’s busier southern cities like Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids and the less-traveled northern wilderness, it’s a prime destination for water sports, fishing, hiking and family-friendly activities in and around its shallow lake.
Lakeland Recreation and Funland Amusement Park are 15 minutes away from one another on W Houghton Lake Drive, and between the two parks one can enjoy go-karts, bumper cars, mini-golf, batting cages, a roller coaster and an arcade. Drive just 20 minutes to South Higgins Lake State Park, a beloved campsite with a sandy beach, several hiking trails, areas for hunting and fishing and an even smaller body of water, Marl Lake, inside its park borders. To wind down or satiate your athletic appetite, put in some orders at a lively local bar/grill like the Limberlost, North Shore Lounge or Shenanigan’s Pub.
If the thrill rides found in Houghton Lake have you itching for more adrenaline rushes, head out to Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark in Boyne Falls, about 75 minutes away from town and packed with attractions, slides and opportunities for visitors of all sizes and ages. In nearby Boyne City, push your limits even further by zip lining with Wildwood Rush, where those who dare can take a “trip” on zip lines that overlook Lake Charlevoix. In the opposite direction, drive under two hours south on Interstate 75 to Frankenmuth, a German-style town that’s sometimes called “Little Bavaria”. Along with Oktoberfest (of course), events like the World Expo of Beer, Dog Bowl and SnowFest are held in this hub of culture, and if there’s no overt celebration going on, indulge in the sweets and treats in local eateries, like Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen and Zehnder’s Bakery.
Scattered along the main drag of W Houghton Lake Drive, the cute for-rent houses are usually a stone’s throw from the lakeshore and include great features like fire pits and sunrooms. These charming log cabins and cottages are reasonably priced for the amount of guests some of them can house, making Houghton Lake a good choice for week-long stays and large family outings.
Those traveling to Houghton Lake outside of Michigan by plane will have to fly into Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, which has plenty of connecting flights from Chicago O’Hare. From the airport, it’s a two hour drive north on Highway 127 to Houghton Lake. Alternatively, take an Amtrak connecting train to the East Lansing bus depot and hop on an Indian Trails bus to Houghton Lake. Uber and Lyft do not operate in town, as the area is rather far-flung.
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For travelers planning for an extended stay, long-term lodging and corporate rentals only cost an average of $25 a month. Save hundreds with Tripping.com and even book instantly with properties marked “Instabook.” Houghton Lake has 71 gorgeous homes with 21 pet-friendly rentals to choose from, perfect for your furry friends. Check out our listings now to get the latest deals, and book the right vacation rental for you and the whole family. Feel at home wherever you are and experience an unforgettable vacation with Tripping.com.Search properties from 4 rental sites in Houghton Lake where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. There are 46 HomeAway rentals, 16 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 5 Booking.com vacation rentals.