Muskegon’s Summer Symphony: Free Outdoor Concerts

young female deejay with long hair in yellow headband stands at music board in sunlit park filled with trees and light.

Sunshine, warm nights, and the sweet sounds of live music.

young blonde woman with side braid and denim jacket sings into microphone and plays violin in park

That’s the soundtrack of summer in Muskegon County, Michigan!

Looking for a fun, free way to experience the best of the season? Look no further than Muskegon’s incredible lineup of outdoor concerts.

Unwind, Connect, Discover: The Magic of Muskegon’s Free Summer Concerts

Ditch concert tickets for a picnic basket and surround yourself with live music. This beachtown’s picturesque parks, waterfronts, or even lighthouses provide stunning backdrops for free concerts. Imagine grooving in the grass, boogieing on the beach, or swaying under the stars. Muskegon’s outdoor concerts offer the perfect soundtrack for your Michigan summer adventures.

Crowd sits in front of park bandshell listening to outdoor musical performance. they are surrounded by green grass and trees with a bright blue summer sky above.

Endless Choices

The melodies of Muskegon are truly endless! Options range from lively “Parties in the Park” at Hackley Park to the serene at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Listen to the West Michigan Concert Winds along the shores of Muskegon Lake.  Or dance under the stars at The Deck and Dockers Fish House.

This is just a taste! With summer concerts offered at White River Light Station, McGraft Park, Pomona Park, the Montague Bandshell, and even more locations, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect setting to create your own summer symphony.

crowd on beach watches band on outdoor stage. Lake michigan is in the background and white clouds streak the blue sky.

Find Your Perfect Harmony

Ready to find your summer soundtrack in Muskegon? Head over to the Concerts & Live Music Page on the Visit Muskegon website. Here you can use the handy search filters to find concerts by date and location.

Whether you’re looking for family-friendly music, a chance to discover new artists, or a relaxing evening under the stars, Muskegon’s Summer Symphony has something for everyone.

mom and daughter dance on wide sidewalk in park surround by people

So, grab your friends and family, pack a picnic basket, and get ready to experience the joy of live music under the Muskegon County summer sky!

 

Spring Break in Muskegon: Plan for Family Fun

Lakeshore Museum Center

Looking for family-friendly activities during spring break? Look no further than Muskegon County!

Whether you’re seeking indoor or outdoor fun, this Lake Michigan beachtown has something for everyone.

Let’s explore Ten Spring Break Ideas for Families:

Bowling Fun for All Ages

“Strike” it lucky at the bowling alley! Gather the family and head to one of the 6 bowling centers in Muskegon County. From traditional bowling to the unique duckpin bowling at Socibowl by Pigeon Hill, indeed, there’s excitement for all ages.

Hands-On Learning at the Museum

Venture to the Muskegon Museum of History & Science at the Lakeshore Museum Center. Here, children can immerse themselves in hands-on exhibits while learning about local and Michigan history. Don’t forget to snap a photo with Moxie, the life-sized bronze mastodon welcoming visitors at the entrance. Dive deeper into exploration with a visit to the STEM room and the “Coming to the Lakes” exhibit. Grab a guide at the Visitors Center or the Museum and embark on a scavenger hunt. There are 20 “Mini” Moxies hidden throughout downtown Muskegon. Can you find them all?

6 foot bonze statue of mastodon with large bright blue tusks in front of museum seats and balcony viewed from stage in historic theater

Movie Magic on Rainy Days

Rainy spring days call for a cozy family movie outing, because after all, spring weather is not always predictable! Explore your options, including multi-screen theaters like Cinema Carousel and NorthStar Cinema, offering a variety of films for all ages. For a nostalgic experience, head to the Getty Drive-In, one of Michigan’s few remaining outdoor theaters, where you can enjoy double features under the stars. Alternatively, experience the splendor of the Frauenthal Center. Being that historic theater hosts monthly Free Family Movies from September to May.

Hockey Excitement at Trinity Health Arena

Feel the excitement as you cheer on the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks at Trinity Health Arena! With their kid-friendly theme nights, these hockey games promise fun for the whole family. And what better way to bond than over some tasty tacos from Rad Dads before or after the game?

large, climbable, plastic turtle sits on floor at STEM play area in Montague Library brightly colored STEM play area in Montague Library

Literary Adventures at the Library

Dive into the world of learning at Muskegon County libraries! With engaging STEM play areas, interactive programs, and story trails, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities to enjoy. Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the learning gardens – especially sure to inspire curiosity in young minds.

Thrills and Adventures 

Seeking adventure? Look no further than Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, where you can embark on a thrilling Trail Quest, solve riddles, and soar through the air on the dual zipline. Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at archery or tackle the 38-ft outdoor climbing wall.

child on zipline covered by canopy of green leaves trees covered in green foliage stand with trail sign readin g"spring trail"

Spring Strolls Through Muskegon

Slow down and savor the beauty of spring with a leisurely family walk through Muskegon’s parks, trails, and along the pier. Take in the blossoming scenery and keep an eye out for public art displayed along the trails – without a doubt, an outdoor treat for everyone!

Maritime History Exploration

Immerse yourself in maritime history at the USS Silversides Museum. Tour historic naval vessels, including a WW2 submarine and Coast Guard cutter, and gain insight into their roles in history. With each step, you’ll create lasting memories and deepen your appreciation for our maritime heritage.

ww2 submarine docked in muskegon channel  

Be a Butterfly

Strike a pose and spread your wings at the Kelsey Montague mural “What Lifts You” in downtown Muskegon. As part of Kelsey’s ‘Wings Around the World’ series, this mural serves as the perfect backdrop for a memorable family photo – a true testament to the uplifting power of art.

Make a Splash

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuits. Obviously, during your stay the kids will love playing in the pools at our hotels. Especially at Delta Hotels Marriott, Shoreline Inn and Fairfield Inn & Suites.

With all this in mind, remember to book your family getaway at one of Muskegon’s inviting hotels, cozy vacation rentals, charming cottages, or welcoming inns. With convenient locations, and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, you’ll undoubtedly create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Holiday Shopping in Muskegon: Hidden Gems and Local Delights

Small shopping chalets are decorated with pine and red ribbon. Snow frosts the decor.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping!

Grab your list and your favorite shopping buddies for a delightful outing in Muskegon County. With walkable shopping areas and unique options, there’s something for everyone.

Shopping Areas with Social Districts

mitten covered hand holds beverage up against glowing holiday lights

Muskegon County boasts three pleasant walkable shopping areas. As a matter of fact, each possesses a distinct personality and offers a treasure trove of gift options. Furthermore, they all have social districts! This means you can enjoy your beverage while moving between shops.

Start your adventure in Downtown Muskegon, presently adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. From stylish fashions to vintage finds and handmade crafts, you’re sure to check items off your list. Don’t miss the diminutive and charming Western Market Chalets.

Next, head to the Lakeside Business District, nestles next to Muskegon Lake. Here, you’ll discover even more locally owned stores, an art gallery, and the historic Wasserman’s Floral and Gifts, all beautifully decorated for the holidays.

For a small-town charm, make your way to Montague and Whitehall, collectively known as White Lake. Boutiques to antiques, and everything in between, promise hidden gems.

Shop Small, Shop Sustainable, Shop Muskegon

blue mug with text that reads "visit muskegon" sits on "shop small" bag among small pines and berries. holiday lights glow in background.

If sustainable shopping is your style, Muskegon has you covered. All in all, the County is an undeniable treasure trove of antique, vintage, and thrift shops. Given that “Treasure Alley” boasts four vintage shops it is a must-stop. Likewise, they are conveniently located near and next to each other. Find them on Pine Street in downtown Muskegon.

Enter Through the Gift Shop

green and red felted gnome characters with long white beards sit on shelf in art museum gift shop

Equally exiting are Muskegon’s museum gift shops! The Hackley and Hume Historic Site, Muskegon Museum of History and Science, Muskegon Museum of Art, and USS Silversides Museum are stocked with Santa-worthy goodies.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Remember, holiday shopping is not just about finding gifts but also creating cherished memories. Support local businesses and connect with the community while enjoying this festive season.

 

 

Experience Muskegon County’s Beautiful Autumn and a Fun Fall Tradition.

Visit Muskegon invites you to the Take your car or bike on this self-guided color tour, stretching from19th Annual Depot to Depot Self-Guided Fall Color Tour and Photo Contest!

Take your car or bike on this self-guided color tour, stretching from the Muskegon South Pierhead Light to the White River Light Station. Wind your way along Lake Michigan. Travel the historic West Michigan Pike Byway. Not to mention the thrill of soaring over a canopy of fall colors on a dual zipline. And of course, see the scenic roads of Muskegon County in all their autumn glory.

Local shops, restaurants and attractions will be offering specials during this month-long event.

You can also enter the photo contest to win an overnight stay at Shoreline Inn in downtown Muskegon (block-out dates apply) and two round-trip passenger-passes aboard the Lake Express High-Speed Ferry (for the 2024 sailing season). Snap a photo or selfie at scenic stops and designated locations (found on our Deals Page HERE). Share your photos on Facebook and/or Instagram with the hashtag #D2D23. Enter your favorite images with this link (Entries not accepted before October 1, 2023)

Download a map HERE. Or stop into the Muskegon Union Depot or White Lake Train Depot to pick one up.

This event is FREE. Click HERE to see Photo Contest details.

Fall in Muskegon County, Michigan: A Season of Splendor and Beauty

Make the Most of your Autumn Experience

Visit Muskegon County, where you will find beautiful beaches, dunes, parks, trails – and forests filled with fall foliage. Muskegon County is not only a nature lover’s paradise. There are also exciting fall events, outdoor sports opportunities and unique outdoor activities. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Stunning Natural Scenery

Firstly, let’s talk about the natural beauty. With plenty of hardwood trees like maple, oak, birch, and aspen, Muskegon County’s forests are a show of vibrant colors. The fiery reds and oranges to warm yellows and golds are set against the brilliant blues of Lake Michigan and 23 inland lakes. This display draws visitors from far and wide to wander the trails and drive the scenic routes. With three state parks, seven county parks and many public parks – there’s no shortage of space to roam.

For the Adventurous

Head to the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park for a unique and exhilarating autumn experience. Feel the thrill of zooming over a canopy of fall colors on a dual zipline. Climb a 38 ft. outdoor climbing wall or take a scenic hike through the park’s picturesque trails.

Take a Tour

For a more laid-back experience, check out the Depot to Depot self-guided fall tour. This month-long event invites you to soak up the autumn scenery. Pick up or download a map from Visit Muskegon. Then, enjoy special offers along the way as you explore local cuisine attractions, and shop for unique treasures.

Fall is for Family Fun

The little ones love it here too! Find fall-fun ranging from orchards and mazes to Trick or Treating at a historic lighthouse. New in 2023 is Michigan’s Adventure’s Tricks and Treats Fall Fest. Families will be able to enjoy select rides (including attractions at Camp “Spooky”), decorations, activities, entertainment and costume contests.

Make Your Plan

Experience the beauty and excitement of a Midwest autumn in Muskegon County. It’s all right here; from natural beauty to exciting seasonal events and fun outdoor adventures. So why not book your trip today and start exploring all that this hidden gem has to offer?

 

Discover a Hidden Gem in West Michigan: Muskegon

blue surfboard with wave and sun design stands in beach sand in front of muskegon mural

Looking for a fun-filled summer vacation? Muskegon, Michigan is a must-visit destination for anyone! This beach-town is a hidden gem in West Michigan. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, relaxation on sandy beaches, or a taste of local culture, Muskegon has it all.

Beautiful beaches, stretch for miles along the shores of Lake Michigan. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a place to enjoy water sports, there’s a beach for you. There is even a beach to bring your dog at Kruse Park!

rollercoaster and seadragon rides are reflected in small lake at Michigan's Adventure amusement park

When you’re done soaking up the sun, there are plenty other things to do in Muskegon. One popular attraction is Michigan’s Adventure. This “two parks for the price of one” is the state’s largest amusement park and includes a water park. For those who prefer a more active vacation, check out the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. Experience thrilling summer activities like ziplining, wheel luge, archery, rock climbing and more!

Two red light towers stand in front of blue sky filled with cumulus clouds. a sailboat with white sails is seen to the right of pier that leads to one of the lighttowers.

If you’re interested in history and culture, Muskegon has you covered there too. There are three lighthouses worth exploring. And two to tour: Muskegon South Pierhead Light and the White River Light Station. Tour historic homes, a WW2 landing ship or submarine – or visit one of many museums. The Muskegon Museum of Art features works by noted American & European artists. There are galleries of rotating and traveling exhibitions.

When the sun goes down, visit one of the 9 drive-in theaters that remain in Michigan.  The Getty Drive-In Theatre offers double features on 4 outdoor screens. Tune your car radio to the cinematic sounds coming from the big screen.

When it comes to accommodations, there are hotels from names you know and trust. Or, if you prefer a cozy cabin or spacious beach house, there are vacation rentals to fit your needs – and budget!

Overall, Muskegon, Michigan is a summer destination sure to please. From sandy beaches to outdoor adventure to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to make lasting memories in Muskegon, Michigan!

Visit Muskegon Depot to Depot Fall Color Tours

Experience Michigan’s Beautiful Autumn; and a Fun Fall Tradition.

Visit Muskegon presents the 18th Annual “Depot to Depot Fall Color Tour”

This October we invite you to celebrate the vibrant colors of our woods, dunes and water…and win prizes! Take your car or bike on this self-guided color tour; stretching from the Muskegon South Pierhead Light to the White River Light Station.

Wind your way along Lake Michigan. Travel the historic West Michigan Pike BywaySoar over a canopy of fall colors. And see the scenic roads of Muskegon County in all their autumn glory.

See the sites, snap some “selfies” and discover our local shopsrestaurantsattractions and more.

Depot to Depot Details

🍁 Depot to Depot 2022 takes place October 1 – 31, 2022
🍁 Stop in to the Muskegon Union Depot and White Lake Train Depot to pick up a map
🍁 Maps will also be available to download
🍁 White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will have refreshments and donuts. There will also be pumpkins for the little ones throughout the month of October (while supplies last)
🍁 Contest photo entries can be submitted through this link: https://bit.ly/SubmitD2DPhotosHere
🍁 At the end of October there will be drawing for for an overnight stay at the Shoreline Inn in Downtown Muskegon (standard room, blackout dates apply based on availability)
🍁 This event is FREE

Click HERE to Download Map of Suggested Scenic Routes 

Instructions to Enter the Contest

  • Snap photos or selfie at your favorite scenic stops, businesses and attractions
  • Share the photo with a check-in on Facebook and/or Instagram. Include the hashtag #D2D22
  • Submit your favorite photos of scenic stops, businesses and attractions through this link https://bit.ly/SubmitD2DPhotosHere
  • Contest begins October 1, 2022
  • Entries must be received by November 1st, 2022
  • Include location of photo and photo credit preference
  • Each entry should should include one photo attachment. If you would like to submit multiple photos entries, please enter each separately.
  • Winner will be drawn November 2, 2022
  • Prize must be claimed by November 9, 2022

2022 Depot to Depot Specials

Many local attractions and businesses are offering samples, specials and discounts throughout the month of October to those participating in the self-guided tour. Simply present your paper or downloaded 2022 Depot to Depot map to receive your offer.

Click HERE to Download Special Offers And Map 

Peak Leaf Peeping

🍁Click here to view the interactive Pure Michigan Fall Color Map; anticipating peak colors for Michigan.

Historic Depots

🍁  Muskegon Union Depot
Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau
610 W Western Ave, Muskegon, MI
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 am – 3 pm

🍁  White Lake Train Depot
White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
124 W Hanson, Whitehall, MI
Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm

#VisitMuskegon  🍁  #D2D22  🍁  #LiveWhiteLake

How to Halloween in Muskegon!

Muskegon offers SO many unique ways to get your chills and thrills!

We love this time of year; and know you will too!

The chills and thrills range from historical to hysterical.  We have compiled a list of not too frightful fun for the little ones, eerie entertainment for the entire family, and ghostly good-times for the grownups. 

👻 All Ages
🎃 Kid Friendly
🍂  Grown Up Fun (Not recommended for little ones)

 

Friday, October 25

🍂  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Full Moon Cookies & Canvas by Wine and Canvas Grand Rapids: Sherman Bowling Center
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Frankenstein Friday: Jumpin Jupiter Skate Center
👻 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Obituary Tour: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
🍂  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Haunted Hall: Muskegon Conspiracy Exposed: The Lakes Mall
👻 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Trail of Terror Holton: 7582 Crocker Rd
🍂 11:00 pm Rocky Horror Halloween Show: Harbor Cinema

 

Saturday, October 26

👻 Halloween Extravaganza at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo
👻 9:00 am – 5:00 pm FREE Halloween at The Crue
🎃 10:00 am – 5:00 pm FREE Spookley the Square Pumpkin Fall Activities: Weesies Bros. Garden Centers & Landscaping
👻 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE Zombie Walk: Harbor Cinema
🎃 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE Mini Pumpkin Painting: Hackley Public Library
🎃 2:00 pm – 2:54 pm Kids Yoga – Halloween Edition: Rootdown Yoga·Juice·Greens
🎃 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Trick or Treating at the Muskegon South Pierhead Light (FREE for kids in costumes with paid adult)
🍂  3:30 pm – 11:55 pm Celtic Halloween Samhain Party featuring The Barley SaintsUnruly Brewing


👻 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm Halloween at the Getty Drive-In Theatre:
……4:30 PM – Doors Open
……5:30 PM – Trunk or Treat
……7:00 PM Goosebumps & Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
……7:30 PM Halloween 1978 & Halloween 2018
……7:30 PM Psycho & The Birds
……8:00 PM Rocky Horror Picture Show

🍂  6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Halloween Game Night: Bardic Wells Meadery
👻 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Obituary Tour: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
🍂  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Muskegon Conspiracy Exposed: Lakes Mall
👻 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Trail of Terror Holton: 7582 Crocker Rd
🍂  8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Downtown Halloween Pub Crawl: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
🍂  8:00 pm – 11590 pm Downtown Muskegon Halloween Pub Crawl: Hennessy’s Pub
🍂  9:00 pm – 1:00 am Halloween Party featuring Borrowed Time: PUB ONE ELEVEN

Sunday, October 27

👻 Halloween Extravaganza at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo

Monday, October 28
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 Pimp Your Pumpkin: Old Homestead Tavern
👻 6:30 pm – 8:00 Cumbia Halloween Dance: Orchard View Early Elementary

Tuesday, October 29

👻 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM FREE Paranormal Muskegon: Hackley Public Library
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Monster Mash Boo Bash: Jumpin’ Jupiter Skate & Fun Center
👻 6:30 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Friends of the Norton Shores Library
🍂 7:00 pm FREE Halloween Trivia: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company

Wednesday, October 30

🍂  6:00 pm FREE AhFest (Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival) Film Fest, Surprise Horror Film: Muskegon Museum of Art
🍂  8:00 pm Founders Brewing Co. Film Series “Scream” with Underground Mountain Brown: Celebration Cinema

Thursday, October 31

🎃 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM FREE Halloween Story Time: Hackley Public Library
👻 3:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Visually & Physically Disabled Branch of the Muskegon District Libraries

Trick or Treaters

Friday, November 1

🎃 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm 6th Annual Little Goblins Boo Bash: Watermark 920
👻 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Haunted Car Wash: Van’s Car Wash
👻 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Tellabration – A Night of Storytelling: Muskegon Museum of Art
🍂 8:30 pm Day of the Dead Costume Party: Unruly Brewing

Saturday, November 2

🍂  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Delicious Demise: Art of Cookery – Cooking School
🍂 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Passion and Perversity: The Inner Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe: Muskegon Museum of Art
👻 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Haunted Car Wash: Van’s Car Wash
🍂  8:00 pm Adult Halloween Party: Jimmy’s Pub Montague
🍂  8:00 pm – 12:00 am Adult Halloween Party: 46 Bar
🍂  9:30 pm – 2:00 am Adult Halloween Party: Old Homestead Tavern

Monday, November 4
👻 3:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Muskegon Township Library

Tuesday, November 5
👻 6:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Holton Library

Thursday, November 7
👻 6:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Montague Library

Friday, November 8
🍂  5:00 pm Hackley Attic Escape Room: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
👻 5:00 – 8:00 FREE Beyond The Day Of The Dead: Latinos Working for the Future

To find more information on all these events and more, head over to the Visit Muskegon Calendar of Events 

#VisitMuskegon 🍁

Visiting Muskegon, MI on a Budget

White River Light House
Downtown Muskegon Splash Pad: Photo Credit Adam Alexander

Visiting Muskegon, MI on a budget

Traveling on a budget can be hard, with transportation and accommodations taking up a chunk of the budget, it can be hard to find interesting places and activities to visit while on a trip. Muskegon, MI, however, plays host to a range of activities that will satisfy all travelers, all at an affordable price.

Located in the state of Michigan, Muskegon is also the largest populated city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan and has a plethora of activities for the budget traveler. From unwinding and relaxing at a picturesque park to strolling down a scenic beach, and wandering through insightful museums, we’ve compiled a list of activities for you to do – all without breaking the bank.

Muskegon Lighthouses: Photo Credit Barb Lowry

 

Photo Credit: Adam Alexander

Take a stroll at Pere Marquette Beach

Either than having the largest complimentary beach on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, it’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in the state. It’s a pristine beach that’s Clean Beaches Council certified and has hiking trails and even a playground to cater to the little ones. There’s also a dog beach that’s just a block away if you’re thinking of bringing along a furry friend.

At Pere Marquette Beach, there’s plenty to do from playing volleyball at one of the courts to cycling around the beach area and taking in the stunning shoreline. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a windsurfing, kiteboarding or professional volleyball competition taking place as tournaments are commonly held there.

See two historic lighthouses while there.  Walk the one-half mile pier to visit the South Breakwater Lighthouse,  a 63-foot tall pyramidal light tower built in 1931. Then catch a tour and climb to the top of the 48 foot tall, ironclad Muskegon South Pierhead Light, built in 1903 The lighthouse boasts unparalleled views from the lantern room at the tower top. During summer, children will enjoy free Storytime with the Lighthouse Lady every Monday at 2 p.m.

The Blockhouse at Muskegon State Park

Go on an adventure at Muskegon State Park

After you’ve had your fill at the beach, it’s time to explore Muskegon’s State Park that’s situated on the shore of Lake Michigan and peppered with hiking trails, lush forests, and gently rolling hills. While most parks are closed during the winter time, you’re still able to enjoy Muskegon State Park’s breathtaking beauty during the winter months. Be sure to visit the Blockhouse while there. Open year round, with no admission fee, this historic replica of Fort Dearborn offers amazing views of Lake Michigan.

While there are campgrounds, picnic areas, swimming, and fishing available during the warmer months, there are also a variety of winter recreation options available at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex during the colder months. From an Olympian-designed luge track to a sledding hill, and an ice skating trail through the woods, there’s plenty to do. Day passes start at an inexpensive price of $5 during the weekdays and $10 during the weekends. Children under the age of five can even enter for free.

Sunset at Heritage Landing

Relax at Heritage Landing

Heritage Landing is essentially the waterfront of Muskegon Lake and is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer day. During the summer months, there’s also a lot that goes on at Heritage Landing from concerts to carnivals, music festivals, and events. Either than partaking in the festivities, you may even get to see fireworks display while having a drink at a beverage tent.

Heritage Landing is also an ideal location to unwind as it has a large children’s playground area, as well as picnic, and fishing areas. Since it’s conveniently located, you can easily head there for a day out from downtown Michigan.

Take in the views at Kruse Park Lake Michigan Beach, with you dog!

Another fantastic beach to head to is Kruse Park Lake Michigan Beach, offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, it’s also a fantastic picnic area since it has a total of four picnic shelters and an accessible ramp to the beach and dunes.

While children will enjoy the playground, there are also nature trails for the avid hiker, barrier dunes, and even a basketball court. At the northern section of the park.  There’s also a designated beach for you and your furry friends., complete with “doggy stations” to keep the area clean and safe.

Hackley House and City Barn: Photo Courtesy of Lakeshore Museum Center

Go back in time at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site

Once you’ve had your fill of beaches and parks, time to go back in time by visiting the Hackley & Hume Historic Site. While it isn’t complimentary (adults pay $10, and children 5- 17 pay $5 with children under 4 getting in for free), it does allow you access to four locations. And, you can combine this with a visit to the Lakeshore Museum Center for more affordable tickets.

The historic site consists of the Hackley House, Hume House, City Barn, Scolnik House of Depression Era and City Fire Barn Museum. Both historical Victorian homes were built around 1889 and are preserved to feel as though you’ve traveled back in time to 1913. The Hackley House is a unique example of both Victorian architecture, and 19th-century interior decorative arts. The Hume House, on the other hand, is tastefully decorated and has over nine bedrooms. The City Barn was shared by the families and was used to house horses, equipment, and coachmen.The Scolnik House of the Depression Era tells the story of families living in Muskegon during the Great Depression. The house is also a gentle-touch historic house. Visitors can try on period clothing, help do laundry, and explore the garden all while learning of the hardships brought about by the Great Depression. The Fire Barn Museum serves as a living memorial to the brave men and women who have served as Muskegon County firefighters and  featurs a collection of antique fire fighting apparatus.

 

Admire the pieces at the Muskegon Museum of Art

The Muskegon Museum of Art is the perfect place to immerse yourself in a variety of art with exhibits that change frequently. There’s also an extensive collection of art pieces that are painted by women and African Americans. In every decade since the 1940s, the Walker family has continued to give significant works of art to the museum.

While wandering around the museum, take your time to appreciate the permanent art collection that’s the envy of many other museums in the art world. Otherwise, enjoy the temporary exhibits that display art pieces from artists that reside all around the world. Access to the Muskegon Museum of Art is complimentary on Thursday’s from 4 pm to 8 pm. On other days, you’d have to purchase a ticket to admire the amazing art collection.

Mastodon at Lakeshore Museum Center: Photo Courtesy of Lakeshore Museum Center

Expand your knowledge at Lakeshore Museum Center

You can easily spend a day at this museum that’s comprised of the main building along with five historic structures. Focusing on natural and cultural topics, the museum has both temporary and permanent exhibits to pique one’s interest.

At the permanent exhibits, you can take a 10,000-year journey and see a Great Lakes Schooner, mastodon and sawmill. Children can also participate in hands-on activities such as building a meal, riding an exercise bike, and visiting other interactive stations. Combine this with a visit to the Hackley & Hume Historic Site for more affordable tickets. Otherwise, tickets are $3 for adults, while children two and under get in for free.

White River Light Station and Museum

While at Muskegon Michigan, don’t forget to visit the White River Light Station that was built in 1875. You’ll be able to delve into history by climbing a spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse tower, browse vintage photographs, and examine a collection of nautical artifacts. Don’t forget to take in the view of Lake Michigan while you’re at the top of the lighthouse.

After visiting the lighthouse, pop by the museum to take a look at photographs, paintings, and stories as you immerse yourself in the knowledge of Maritime history. You’ll also get to take a look at navigational devices such as a bilge pump, chronograph, ship helms, and more. You can do all of the above at an affordable price of $5 for adults, and $2 for children 12 and under.

Conclusion

At Muskegon Michigan, there are plenty of activities for you to partake in even while traveling on a budget. Take your time to explore all the sights, museums, and beautiful scenery that Muskegon has to offer. Heading to Michigan and looking for more travel tips? Check out Trip101.

Make Muskegon Your Maritime Stop!

Silversides Outdoor

Make Muskegon Your Maritime Stop!

Known for their abundant history in lumber, manufacturing and shipping, Muskegon is also home to two, very important, World War II maritime vessels.

The USS Silversides is a historic Gato class (built for the US Navy launched between 1941–1943) submarine. During her service, she received 12 battle stars and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for cumulative action over four patrols. She is credited with sinking 23 ships – the third-most of any allied World War II submarine! According to JANAC (Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee) the USS Silversides has the most prolific combat record of any still extant American Submarine.

In her retirement, the Silversides found a home in Muskegon, where she is part of the USS Silverside Museum. Docked in the Muskegon channel, she floats behind the US Coast Guard Cutter McLane, also available to tour. A two story museum center, filled with historic naval and interactive exhibits, completes the setting.

Where else can you sleep on a submarine? Overnight stays are offered for groups and families which is very popular among scout troops. Overnighters do need to bring their bedding and meals; though the museum has partnered with several local restaurants, offering a discount to overnight guests. According to Dan Holroyd, of Southern Michigan Paranormals, the USS Silversides is the second most haunted place in West Michigan, making overnight stays even more exciting!

A bit of a movie star, the Silversides was recently featured in an episode of “Hell Below” on the Smithsonian Channel, and was used for exterior scenes in the 2002 film “Below”.

A 14 minute drive along the Muskegon Lake shoreline brings you to the USS LST 393, an LST-1-class tank landing ship originally launched in 1942.

She is one of only two LSTs to survive in their original configuration. During her service she won battle stars for the Sicilian occupation, Salerno landings, and the Invasion of Normandy. The LST 393 made 75 voyages to foreign shores and was one of the only LSTs to be equipped with an airplane.

During the 1950’s she found a new name, the MV Highway 16, and career shipping new automobiles across the Great Lakes.

In the 2000’s the USS LST 393 was restored by committed veterans, their families and supporters, into a veterans museum boasting thousands of artifacts. Along with ship tours and the expansive collection on board, memorial and special events are hosted onboard. Truly unique experiences include summertime “Movies on the Deck” in the evening and Sunday Yoga on the Deck. (Again, where else can you do that?)

Overnight sleepovers are also available for scouts…be warned, she was named the fourth most haunted place in West Michigan!

A recent addition to her grounds was the dedication of the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” sculpture in honor of Muskegon native, and inspiration for the Andrew Sisters song, World War II bugler Clarence Zylman.

The Silversides is accepts visitors year round and the LST welcomes you aboard April through September.