When you talk about getting away from it all, Lake Huron is the place to do it. Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island are two of the most popular places to plan a vacation, and you can also find beautiful retreats in small towns along the edge of Lake Huron. There are lots of things to do for families visiting the area, and you’ll have no shortage of fun options that are close to your home base. Here is our list of our top nine favorite family activities that are easy to access from your Lake Huron vacation rental.

 

1. Have a Beach Day

beach chairs at the lake shore

Enjoy a day in the sun on one of Lake Huron’s many beautiful beaches. Thompson’s Harbor State Park, Hoeft State Park, Cheboygan State Park, and Mackinac Island State Park are just a few of the many places where you can have a real beach day. Bring a picnic, a good book, and relax for the entire day.

2. See Tawas Point Lighthouse

lighthouse
Source: Flickr/Don Henise

The Great Lakes are famous for their historic lighthouses, which make beautiful pictures. They are also interesting places to visit. On Lake Huron, head to Tawas Point Lighthouse, which is in Tawas Point State Park. It was originally built as a response to a sunken ship in the 1870s, and then reconstructed and expanded in 1875.

3. Take a Boat on the Water

lake huron
Source: Flickr/taaoo

Make some waves at Lake Huron by taking a boat out on the water. There are many rental shops in the Lake Huron area where you can choose to rent a wave runner, pontoon, jet ski, or a motorboat by the hour, day, or week. All rentals include appropriate fuel, life jackets, and instructions for safety and operation. Some rental companies will even deliver your boat to your vacation rental location in the Tawas Bay area and Mackinac Island.

4. Canoe AuSable River

au sable river
Source: Flickr/Kyle Stopczynski

Head down to AuSable River Kayaking Company in Oscoda for a beautiful canoe or kayak tour of the AuSable River. Remember to take a camera along to capture the breathtaking scenery along the river — and to get some great pictures of the kids!

 

5. Go Rock Climbing

male rock climber

Take your little climbers, ages five and up, to Planet Rock to climb to their little hearts’ content. As one of the largest indoor climbing facilities in the country, it offers terrains for beginners to experts of all shapes and sizes. You can purchase day passes and rent ropes and climbing harnesses on-site.

6. Visit Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

science experiment

Take a day trip to charming Ann Arbor, Michigan! Little hands love touching everything, so take them where everyone encourages them to get their hands full. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum features over 200 exhibits for all ages. Some of the highlights include a toddler space with water activities and a ham radio station for tweens and teens.

7. Go on a Bike Ride

bike ride
Source: Flickr/Calypso Orchid

If your family loves biking, experience the scenic paved bike trail along Highway 23 beside the Lake Huron shore. It covers over 10 miles through Tawas to Tawas Point Lighthouse at Tawas Point State Park. The start and finish of the trail feature dense woods, but along the middle, it is clear with great views of the lake.

8. Take a Hike

hiking michigan
Source: Flickr/ellenm1

The best way to see the Huron National Forest is from the inside out. Highbanks Trail, near Oscoda, gives you eight miles for hiking and sightseeing from April to November. Seasoned hikers know to put bug spray, first-aid kits, water, and high-energy snacks in their backpacks. Plan to stop several times to re-energize the kids and keep everyone feeling well.

9. Go Geocaching

geocaching device

Put those smartphones to good use in a family-centered activity called geocaching. Use the GPS feature to find treasure troves hidden by other people. Take a souvenir from the cache, leave something in its place, and sign the cache log.