Summer Traditions in Michigan – If you grew up in Michigan, you definitely did these

Spread the love

Michigan has always stood out from the rest of the 49 states. Maybe it’s the mitten-like shape or perhaps the residents’ notorious Michigan accents; either way, it’s safe to say this state is definitely one of a kind, especially in the summertime (cue Kid Rock).

After battling Mother Nature’s bipolar tendencies for months on end, Michiganders welcome the summer season with open, Vitamin D-depleted arms. So as the sun starts to shine and berry picking season begins, Michigan’s summer traditions also commence. Below are five traditions every Michigander remembers doing or continues to do during the summer:

  1. Go “Up North”

In Michigan, “going up North” for the weekend doesn’t necessarily mean driving eight hours to visit the Upper Peninsula. Whenever anyone says they are going up North, it literally means they are simply traveling more north than they currently are located. For those based in the Lower Peninsula, we look forward to going up North every summer to visit our cottages, which we also don’t call cabins for those of you that aren’t from around here. But be warned, leave earlier rather than later if you don’t want to get stuck in traffic.  

  1. Lake Days vs. Beach Days

We aren’t called the Great Lakes State just because it rolls off the tongue. Michigan meets the shores of four out of five of the Great Lakes in the nation and contains about 11,000 inland lakes, so our beach days consist of fresh water and lots of tubing, water skiing and wakeboarding. Buckle up your life jackets because Michiganders love making memories out on the lake.

  1. Catching Fireflies

While fireflies live in a variety of different places around the world, a Michigan summer would not be complete without these little guys lighting up our moonlit sky. Especially as kids, catching fireflies in a jar as we watch them flicker through the night is a coveted past time. And don’t even think about calling them lightning bugs. It’s like saying soda instead of pop. Who does that?

  1. Camping

Do you really live in Michigan if you don’t camp at least once in the summer? With beautiful camping sites all throughout the state, Michiganders find themselves exploring the outdoors even more throughout the summer months. Just don’t forget to pack the bug spray!

  1. Bonfires

With camping comes bonfires, and no summer night would be complete without sitting across a bonfire and making s’mores with some of your favorite people. Whether the bonfire is up North or right in your backyard, it makes for one of our favorite traditions as we celebrate summertime in Michigan.


Diana Nicoletti is a senior pursuing a double major in professional writing and creative advertising. When she isn’t typing away, she is jamming out to Fleetwood Mac and discovering new albums to spin on her record player, appropriately named Stevie. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @dnicks23.


Tags: diana nicoletti, Michigan, Pure Michigan, Summer, traditions