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4 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Michigan

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lighthouse lake michigan
Lake Michigan lighthouse
Photo: Pixabay

If you’re in the mood for a back-road drive to soak in breathtaking scenery, Michigan has quite a few options. Here are four routes you should explore the next time you’re looking for a scenic road trip in The Great Lake State.

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Tunnel of Trees

Hit up the stretch of M-119 that connects Cross Village and Harbor Springs, running adjacent to the Lake Michigan shoreline, for some gorgeous views of the water. The route passes through lush hardwood forests, which are picturesque no matter what time of year you’re driving it. Though, fall is one of the best times to cruise this road if you want to catch the trees at their peak autumnal colors.

Tahquamenon Scenic Byway

Take a joy ride from Newberry to Eckerman when you travel the 27-mile Tahquamenon Scenic Byway. Located in the Upper Peninsula, the route provides views of forests and mountains. Though, many people claim that the highlight of the drive is Upper Tahquamenon Falls anchored in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. It’s one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, with a drop of 50 feet and a width of more than 200 feet.

River Road Scenic Byway

For more water views, venture on the River Road Scenic Byway that spans from Hale to Oscoda Township. The route parallels the AuSable River to Lake Erie, offering many places to pull over and try your luck angling for salmon, trout, or bass. If you’re into fowl, consider stopping at Tuttle Marsh National Wildlife Area or Tawas State Park to do some birdwatching.

Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway

One of the most beautiful drives in the Upper Peninsula is located within the Hiawatha National Forest. Start in Paradise then take FFH42 till the route ends near Point Iroquois. As its name implies, the byway offers views of Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay and the sandy beaches that border it. There are also pull-off areas, picnic spots, a lighthouse, and state campgrounds, in case you need a break from driving and want to get out of the car for a closer encounter with nature.

Make your Michigan adventures more fun when you add these roadside attractions to your itinerary. Or see some of the covered bridges that the state has to offer.

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