Summer is officially in full swing. Some of us may be on summer vacation looking for something fun to do. Others may be working a 9-5 job five days a week and need a little weekend getaway or just a day trip.
Although you may be craving an adventure away from home, you may be worried about having to fork over an entire paycheck to take the trip. Luckily, there are many places in Michigan to visit that are only about a two-hour car ride from Sturgis.
Here are 10 places in Michigan, no more than two and a half hours away from Sturgis, to consider for your next weekend getaway:
1.) Grand Haven’s Coast Guard Festival. This festival runs July 29-Aug. 7 and it is meant to honor the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. It is a week jam-packed with live music, beer tents, fireworks, carnival rides, street sales, cardboard boat races, ultimate air dogs, and a real coast guard ship in the harbor. Some of these events are free and others are no more than $25. The drive to Grand Haven is a little over two hours. Just pick which day you want to attend and enjoy what Grand Haven has to offer.
2.) Warren Dunes state park. This is a beach you can relax and enjoy the sun, but you can also stay at their campground. To enter the beach area is $9 per car. Meaning grab your friends and pile them into the car. If you want to camp on the campground prices vary. For one night on the non-electric site, it is $30 and for an electric site, it’s $38-$42. If you do choose to camp on a Friday or Saturday the price increases by $3. At the campground, they have many hiking trails. Warren Dune is just over an hour away.
3.) Binder Park Zoo. This is about a 50-minute drive from Sturgis and is located in Battle Creek. Admission to the zoo varies on the age of the person, for ages under 2 it’s free, for ages 2-10 costs $13.75, for 11-18 costs $15.75, for 19-64 it’s $15.75, and for 65+ costs $14.75. You will also have to pay for parking which is $3 a car. They also have special military and AAA member discounts. The zoo has many different animals and plants.
4.) Potawatomi Zoo is another great zoo to see some cool animals. Admissions for this zoo are free for kids 2 years and younger, $10 for 3-14, $12 for 15-61, and $10 for 62 years and older. You can host birthday parties. If you take a look at their website you can learn more about how to book a party. Getting to Potawatomi Zoo is about an hour car ride.
5.) St. Julian Winery is a great place to visit for those 21 and older. It is about an hour and 20-minute drive to Paw Paw from Sturgis and they have many upcoming events in July. One of those events includes a wine Wednesday, which is the 3rd Wednesday in the month and you get $1 off all drinks all day long. This event will be on July 20 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and is free to attend all you have to pay for is your drinks. If you are looking for something quick and fun, grab your friends for the wine tasting they offer. It costs $10 for a flight of six different drinks. The drinks they offer for the flights are wine, spirits, and ciders.
6.) Michigan Adventure amusement and waterpark are sure to be a destination to enjoy this summer. This destination is home to 60 rides, including seven roller coasters. You don’t have to leave to get food because they have many places to eat or grab a quick snack. If you are just looking for a day trip it will cost you $39.99 for a ticket, but if you are looking to spend the weekend here for two days it will cost $65. From Sturgis, it will be just over a two-hour car ride.
7.) Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. This garden is located in Grand Rapids about an hour and a half away. Rates for the garden are free for children 2 and younger, $8.50 for 3-13-year-olds, $18 for 14-64, and 65 and up is $13.50. If you are a student and have a valid student ID it will only cost $13.50. This place is 158 acres of many varieties of art and plants. This place includes a gift shop to buy a souvenir and a cafe for when you get hungry after exploring.
8.) Wellfield Botanic Gardens located in Elkhart is only about 40 minutes away from Sturgis. Admission is free for children 3 years and younger, ages 3-12 is $5, and for ages 13 and older is $10. They have both gardens for adults and young adults to enjoy, but for the younger audience, they have a children’s garden.
9.) Ideal Beach Water Park is also located in Elkhart and is only a 30-minute drive away. This beach has many different activities to keep everyone occupied. They have a beach for those who want to relax in the sun. There are playgrounds, volleyball courts, and two corkscrew waterslides for those who want to have some fun in the sun. They also have concession stands and picnic areas for when you get a little hungry. Admission to the beach is free for kids 2 and under, ages 3-5 are $3, and everyone else is $8.
10. Shipshewana Flea Market is the midwest’s largest outdoor flea market. The market is the size of 30 football fields, includes auctions and food vendors. The Shipshewana Flea Market is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, May 3 through Sept. 28 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Shoppers can find bargains on home decor, clothing, produce, plants, tools, crafts, books, beauty supplies, accessories, handmade items, vintage items and everything imaginable. Shipshewana, Ind. is only about 20 miles from Sturgis.
This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: 10 ideas for a quick Michigan summer trip from Sturgis