Lake Michigan, MI
Beaches, Buggies, & Blooms
Veldheer Tulip Gardens,copyright
When spring returns to the Great Lakes, a string of shore towns shake off the snow and get ready for another kind of flurry -- tourist season along the Michigan coast.
Up and down U.S. Highway 31, coastal cities come alive after the thaw. The fountains of Grand Haven start to dance. Dune buggies begin bouncing along the sands of Saugatuck beaches. And an explosion of color greets flower lovers at Tulip Time Festival in Holland, where windmills twirl above an authentic Dutch village.
A long weekend is all that's needed to hit all the hot spots along this scenic 80-mile route, from St. Joseph in the south to Grand Haven up north. Our recommended itinerary includes these favorites (if you're coming from the north, just take the tour in reverse order):