Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

The magical mountains of rainbow are located in Cusco, Peru high up in the Andes. The peak of rainbow mountains has an altitude of 17,060 ft / 5,200 m above sea level. The city of Cusco sits at an altitude of (11,152 ft / 3,399 m). The rainbow mountains are called Vinicunca, Winikunka, or Montaña de Siete Colores by Peruvians. If you’re asking yourself “is it worth going to Peru rainbow mountains?” the answer is YES.

Her Life Adventures Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

Rainbows and mountains are both beautiful. And I’m obsessed with anything colorful/shiny/that sparkles. So when I heard you could hike to a RAINBOW MOUNTAINS in Peru (rainbows + mountains = Chelsea’s favorite things) I knew I had to go.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

Visiting Peru’s Rainbow Colored Mountains

I was nervous for the ascent up the mountain- Instead of acclimating like most people I had been sick for a good majority of the trip from the altitude in Cusco (for whatever reason my body absolutely HATES altitude, and anything over 9,000 ft makes me nauseous and uncomfortable). This trek would be pushing my body to limits i’d never pushed it to before- and I worried these beautiful mountains could very well be the death of me.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Hiking Trail

How do I get to the rainbow mountains?

The morning of the hike starts EARLY, or late if you want to look at it that way- the van picked us up from our Airbnb in Cusco at 2:30 a.m. We all instantly regretted not bringing a pillow for the 3 hour ride ahead of us. Blankets were provided for us, so we attempted to sleep on each other and catch up on some zzz’s (we didn’t get to sleep till 10 p.m after the Machu Picchu trip ). The rough ride made that difficult, and nobody got much sleep. I’m pretty sure there are more speed bumps in Peru than the entire continent of South America…

Rainbow Mountain Village

We arrived at a village 15 minutes from the trailhead where we were fed a light breakfast by the locals. Breakfast consisted of breads, jams/butter, a plate of scrambled eggs, and some tea (it’s highly recommended you drink the coca tea- it will help with the altitude sickness). I was nauseous from the van ride and/or altitude so I skipped breakfast.

When we arrived at the trail head around 6:30 a.m. we were at 14,000 ft and it was cold! Layers on layers was key to this trek. There were locals selling wool gloves, hats, scarves, parkas and other souvenirs- a couple people from the group bought some hats and gloves. We still had 2000 ft in elevation to gain and it was already cold…

Rainbow Mountain Sherpas

You Can Ride Horses to Rainbow Mountains Peak

There were horses for rent that you could ride up the mountain for 60 soles (about $18 USD). SOLD. And that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Half our group decided to rent horses, while the other half decided to brave the mountain on foot.

Rainbow Mountain Horses
Horseback Riding Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

The horse came with a local guide who led the horse up the mountain for you- these guides were the real heros. They were wearing sandals on their feet- and made the trip up and down the mountain MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY, sometimes running past other hikers on the way down.

It was impressive and made me feel like a whimp on my horse- but then I’d try to take a deep breath, and considering I was having a hard time breathing just sitting there, I knew the horse was a wise decision.


Wildlife Along the Vinicunca Trail

Riding the horse up the mountain allowed me to relax, and enjoy all the incredible views along the way. These views included cuteness overload, with thousands of alpaca, llama, and farm animals.

Animals on Rainbow Mountain Hike

Reaching the Peak

The horses do not go up the last quarter mile of the hike- the mountain is too steep, and the air is too thin- so you know what that meant? It was up to us to make it through the hardest part of the hike. Since we had left at 2:30 in the morning- we were the first tour group to arrive to the mountain.

Hiking up to Rainbow Mountain

There was only 4 people in sight, and we had the opportunity to be some of the first people up the mountain that day. So I moved as fast as I could before the other tour groups started arriving to summit. The key was slow and steady, I would take 5 steps and be panting and out of breath.

Her Life Adventures Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

Rainbow Mountain Peru Hiking Trail

Is hiking up Peru’s rainbow mountains difficult?

The photo above doesn’t make it look very daunting, does it? I remember being so frustrated I couldn’t breathe, my stomach was rolling with nausea, and I was in tears just 10 feet away from reaching the top. I didn’t think I was going to make it, I thought for sure I was going to die by asphyxiation right there on that mountain in Peru.

Hiking up to Rainbow Mountain

When I finally took my last step to the top- I collapsed to the ground, gasping for air, trying to catch my breath for a couple minutes. I felt like a fish out of water. Finally my breathing slowed- and as I lifted my head to look up at what I had just worked for- a smile of pure joy spread across my face, and I knew instantly it was all worth it.

Hiking up to Rainbow Mountain

**This hike is extremely difficult for all levels of fitness, due to the high altitude and low oxygen levels. Please consult with your physician if you have any questions. It is recommended that hikers do not spend more than 30 minutes at the peak (the air is too thin)**


Arriving at the Peak

Making it to the top of the peak was a huge accomplishment for me. I fought through physical and mental exhaustion not allowing myself to give up (believe me, I wanted to) Everyone cheers each other on at the top, those that’ve reached it, know that it’s those last few steps where people hit their wall and almost give up, and they NEED that encouragement.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Peak
Rainbow Mountain Peak View

We were offered the horses again on the way down. I was confident enough that I could make it down on my own, so I declined the assistance. The trip down as always- was easier than the trip up.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek
Rainbow Mountain Peru Llamas

Homemade Peruvian Lunch

When we got to the bottom we were served a homemade authentic Peruvian lunch, and I had no issues stuffing my face this time around. It was after all, Thanksgiving 🦃


My Peru Crew!

Rainbow Mountain Peru Trek

Helpful Hints for Visiting Rainbow Mountains

Our group of 6 did a tour package with Flashpacker Connect- they were awesome, and our guide Johnathon was extremely knowledgeable. Our package was for the 2 day inca trail hike, 1 day Machu Picchu, and 1 day in the rainbow mountains. They provided transportation to and from each expedition, an over night stay after the inca trail in the town aquas calientes, and a good majority of our meals.

**If you are concerned with the altitude, please consult with your doctor before your trek**

The mountain trek takes place above 4000 meters; the terrain is challenging, and weather is unpredictable ranging from hot and humid to rain and wind. Hikers should be in reasonable shape, and healthy. Ensure you have proper gear and be prepared for variable weather conditions throughout the day.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Hike

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13 Unique Eco Friendly Gifts

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for retailers and airlines alike. Whether you’re traveling to visit family, traveling with friends, or traveling home-Americans are estimated to spend over 700 BILLION DOLLARS this holiday on gifts, travel, and goodies for the holiday season. My Eco Friendly Gifts list is great for travelers and other sustainability supporters. Let’s help to minimize carbon footprints globally with these 15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts!

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

700 Billion USD?!? That’s an INSANE amount of money. I find it slightly embaressing that we can’t stop climate change when we have that type of cash at our disposal. AMERICA! That hurts my soul! Has our country become so materialistic and wasteful that we care more about filling our lives with meaningless “things”, then we do the generations that come after us?

Ko Tao Island, Thailand

As a traveler myself, I have seen first hand the affects climate change is having on our planet and those who suffer as a result. Rivers are drying up, communities with them. Cities are sinking, others are flooding. I ask myself, what can I do? How can I make a difference?

Salton Sea, California, USA
15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

Take an active role by being a responsible consumer- buy “Eco-Friendly”. We have SO MUCH POWER as consumers… we decide what goods get produced based on our demand for that good. Don’t buy or “demand” products that are killing our planet! “Eco Friendly” means they are either made with sustainable or recycled materials, prevent waste, and do not harm the environment. By supporting companies and products that are working towards an eco-friendly future- you’re making a difference.

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

Unique Eco Friendly Gifts

To save you the research (you’re welcome), I’ve put together this list of 13 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts for travelers, which I hope helps to improve the climate change crisis in some small way. Happy Holiday’s Friends!

Reusable Toiletries Bottles

My favorite part about the travel bottles is that they eliminate the need for single use travel toiletries. Give the gift of green, and help travelers contribute to sustainable travel practices.

PS: recycling a stack of newspapers just 3 feet high saves one tree, how cool is that?

Eco Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush Kit

These sets can come with bamboo toothbrushes, dental floss, and even a bamboo toothbrush holder for safe and hygienic storage. This eco-friendly toothbrush is made from sustainably sourced bamboo wood, so you can opt out of using plastic toothbrushes! The set comes in recyclable packaging, and your purchase will help save the environment in several ways.

Soap Bar & Tin

Naked bar soap will keep thousands of plastic body wash bottles out of our oceans. They’re TSA friendly, and travel much better then leaking soap bottles. I use naked bars for all my shower needs, and there is nothing worse than trying to pack a soggy bar of soap. Grab a tin/soap container to pair with your bar soaps.

Hemp Body Scrubber

Reusable Water Bottle

Never spend money on plastic water bottles again. For the sake of all of us, in addition to the planet. In Michigan, Nestlé Waters has been pumping vast amounts of groundwater out of Michigan’s springs to feed growing consumer demand for freshwater in convenient plastic bottles.

Thats right, your Ice Mountain gets pumped for practically NOTHING out of Michigan’s rivers and lakes. It doesn’t come from a mountain… we have no mountains in Michigan. In 2018 Nestlé requested to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to increase pump amounts to 576,000 gallons of water EACH DAY. Draining fresh water fields from the White Pine Springs well in the Great Lakes Basin. Despite deep public opposition, with 80,945 against and 75 in favor – the request was approved by the agency.

Reusable Coffee Mugs

Adventure Savings Box

Gift the gift of experience, with an adventure fund box. The box is a symbol of any and all adventures pulling at your heart. Drop your spare change and fill it while you plan your best adventure yet!

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

Travel Utensil Kit

Another unique eco friendly gift is a travel utensil kit. Did you know over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States? Why are we generating extreme waste for minimal convenience? Buy a travel utensil kit made from natural materials. They’re free from BPA, phthalates and other cancer-causing toxins plus they don’t kill turtles when you’re done. Buy these for every person you know.

Nomadik Adventure Subscription

Nomadik is a monthly adventure package full of best-in-class gear delivered right to your doorstep. The Nomadik subscription boxes come in multiple packages, making it a great gift opportunity over the holidays, special road trips, family outings, or weekend getaways! Subscriptions are tailored to explorers, campers, hikers and adventurers who appreciate time exploring.

Travel Photo Canvas

Create a travel photo canvas for wall art or travel adventure displays. Check out my Her Life Adventures Etsy Shop for gorgeous travel photography downloads.

Scratch Off Map

I have a scratch off map to keep track of all try adventures in a fun, creative way! Feeling crafty? You can frame the map in a recycled wood frame, and add a hook to make some wall art.

Water Purification Tools

Unfortunately, plastic water bottles are especially popular in developing nations due to lack of clean drinking water. Travelers can bring portable water purification tools to ensure they are not contributing to the plastic takeover.

Reusable Tote Bag

Reduce your plastic use AND carry your everyday essentials with this cute tote. Snag a reusable tote from Wholesome Culture | HerLifeAdventures | #travelbag #ecofriendly #giftideas #giftsfortravel #travelgifts #formen #forwomen

There are 7.7 billion people on Earth. If we join together as a global community and each make small lifestyle changes towards being more eco-friendly and kindness focused – we can make a real and lasting difference. Reduce your plastic use AND carry your everyday essentials with this cute tote.

Airplane Mode Gear

There’s something about airplanes that just lulls me right to sleep. As soon as I step onto the plane my body is in airplane mode. Sleep masks, ear plugs, and comfortable clothing help me stay cozy & rested. Great for time change from overseas or long summer nights in Iceland where it doesn’t get dark at night. Check out my 8 Day itinerary to Iceland HERE!

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

Experience Gifts

15+ Unique Eco Friendly Gifts for Travelers. The best list of unique zero waste gifts for both experienced travelers and beginners. All will enjoy these amazing travel products and gift ideas. | Her Life Adventures | #travelgifts #travelgiftideas #forwomen #formen #whattoget #giftsfortravel #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlygifts #holidaygifts #fortravel #ecofriendly #giftguide #travelgiftideas

For more gift ideas check out my post on 10 Gifts Every Traveler Needs for more great ideas!

2018 Year Review

Happy New Years Friends! 

WOW! Was 2018 a life changing year or what!?

One of the Many Michigan Lighthouses

For me 2018 was filled with curveballs being thrown at me constantly. By life, my career, and my family. Reflecting back over the year, and going through my photos from 2018 brings forward a lot of different emotions. My apologies for the delay in this post… at this rate I’ll be lucky to get this out before the end of 2019.

January

JThe year started with Logan and the fur babies moving in 🏡 I went from living single in my one bedroom apartment to a household of 4 with a 2:2 human:fur baby ratio. Quite the change! On top of consolidating homes, I kicked the year off ✈️ visiting my first National Park of 2018- Death Valley 🏜 camping under the desert stars with the love of my life celebrating our 1 year anniversary. Not a bad month!

Check out my post HERE on Death Valley, this park is out of this world gorgeous!

February

Not our favorite month this year! Our fur babies both had very expensive, debilitating surgeries. Putting our whole family out of commission, with no time to travel as Logan and I spent the next couple months home nursing our babies back to recovery.

March

April

April brought warmer weather and hope that winter was nearing it’s end. The fur babies were doing much better and the recovery was getting easier on everyone. I took my first trip since the girls surgery- and flew to California for business. Logan hadn’t been to California since childhood- he flew out for the weekend to explore the Los Angeles area and visit Harry Potter’s castle at Universal Studios.

May

May was a giant whirlwind! I made up for the lack of traveling the past few months. As I spent most of the month traveling. It started with Grace and I packing up her life in Chicago and heading west to Seattle. Along the way we made a few stops…

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Check out my post HERE on Badlands National Park, the park you never knew you had to visit.

Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

May was an extra special month this year. Because I turned 30!!! And almost instantly grew at least 50 grey hairs. I celebrated my birthday surrounded by my favorite travel crew.

Check out my post HERE on how to spend 8 Days Driving Iceland’s Ring Road!

Palms Book State Park; Big Spring

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer in the midwest. Logan and I still had our suitcases from Iceland packed as we headed north for the weekend. After 10 days away from our fur babies we were looking forward to a weekend away with them to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the holiday weekend.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Check out my post HERE on The Perfect Weekend in Michigan’s UP!

June

June my little sister tied the knot 💍 and made the most beautiful bride. Logan and I spent the summer weekends camping around Michigan ⛺️ and chasing lighthouses.

Lake Michigan

July

Olympic National Park

July started by exploring Seattle with Logan for the first time. We spent a couple days camping and hiking in the Olympic Peninsula. Another quick trip to Los Angelas for work, and ended with a baby shower to celebrate the future princess 👑 Charlotte Long. 

Ice Cream Taco in North Hollywood California

Check out my post HERE to read about my 3 Days Exploring the Olympic Peninsula of Washington!

August

August was 4 new Michigan State parks along the west coast of Michigan with all the family!

Check out my post HERE for the Perfect Weekend Camping Michigan’s West Coast!

September

Tulum National Park, Mexico

September I explored the Mexico for the first time! I spent a week in the state of Quintana Roo exploring cenotes and celebrating Logan & Grace’s birthdays!

Check out my posts HERE for the Perfect Weekend Camping Michigan’s West Coast!

My third trip to Los Angeles for work ✈️

Los Angeles Street Art

With little time to breathe- ✈️ a weekend in Boston visiting family and exploring the historic city

Freedom Trail, Boston

October

October Logan and I bought a 1965 Cree! Our Michigan made camper joined us for just 1 of our 3 Michigan U.P. Trips this year (Rest assured it will be on 100% of 2019 camping adventures 👏🏻). October is my favorite month in Michigan- all the leaves begin to turn colors. The green leaves turning into bright yellows, or bursting orange and reds. The whole state transforms into a magical place.

Porcupine Mountain State Park
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Munising Falls

November

Joshua Tree National Park

A work trip took me back to LA for my last flight ✈️ of the year, and an experience I’d never forget. Logan joined me after the work week for the weekend, we drove outside of the city into Joshua Tree National Park.

Check out my post HERE for more on Joshua Tree National Park!

Salton Sea, California

With the time difference across the country, we only had one day to explore before we had to catch a plane home. After we spent the day exploring the park, we stopped at the Salton Sea. It was hard to see the disaster we were witnessing in front of us. As we were driving back to our campsite, we were rear ended on the freeway. Thankfully no one was physically injured, however I couldn’t help but feel this was an omen of sorts.

December

December began a new chapter in my life 🌱that will continue into 2019. The journey hasn’t been easy and I anticipate it will only get harder with the new year. But I learned long ago that what doesn’t kill you- makes you stronger. I am so thankful for each and every person in my life- thank you all for another amazing year!

Read about my 2017 Year Review HERE for more adventures!

The Perfect Weekend Camping in Michigan’s UP Eastern Region

The U.S. state of Michigan is made up of two major peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula (UP), is the northern of the two. My favorite time to visit the UP is the fall season, when the trees are bursting with bright colors. A year ago, my boyfriend Logan and I went camping in the eastern region of the UP.

Lake Superior Fall Colors

It was the end of the season in late October, we had JUST made it to see the fall colors. It was the last weekend the campground was open, and we were the only ones crazy enough to be camping there.

Find out why, in this edition of THE PERFECT WEEKEND featuring Michigan’s UP Eastern Region!

Tahquamenon Falls Michigan

Where To Camp

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

We camped directly on Lake Superior at Brimley State Park, one of the oldest parks in the UP. In typical Logan/Chelsea fashion we arrived at our campsite in the dark. Setting up at night was never a concern of mine, in fact I kind of like it… waking up in a new place, really seeing it for the first time that morning. It’s like a surprise, or a present waiting to be unwrapped.

Lake Superior

Our gift the first morning was waking up to a snow-covered tent… in October. Really neither of us were surprised…welcome to The UP. 

Brimley State Park

Take a Drive

Tunnel of Trees Michigan

Freezing and in desperate need of caffeine we went in search of coffee. We fueled up and hit the road, enjoying the views as we sipped our way back to warmth.

Michigan Fall Colors

Pro Tip: Take the scenic route along W Lakeshore Dr on your way to Tahquamenon Falls. This route will take you along Whitefish Bay giving you gorgeous lake views and the opportunity to see a lighthouse! 

Point Iroquois Lighthouse

Point Iroquois Lighthouse

Just a short 15 minute drive from Brimley, this historic lighthouse is worth the stop. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic back in 1975. Its name meaning “Place of Iroquois Bones” derived from a battle fought back in 1662 by local Native American’s of the Chippewa and Iroquois. The lighthouse was closed for the season so we couldn’t climb the tower but we were able to explore the grounds.

Logan Fall Colors

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls

Located in Paradise, Michigan- this state park is one you won’t want to miss. Experience one of the largest waterfalls this side of the Mississippi- Tahquamenon Falls. It’s beautiful rust colored falls are caused from leached tannins of the cedar swamps which the river drains. Explore the park, and stop into the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub for some local made beer!

Go on a Hike

Prayer of the Woods

There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout the eastern region of the UP. Hiking in the fall is my ideal hiking conditions- beautiful fall colors, crisp air, lower temperatures.

Trailhead

UP NEXT: What to do in Michigan’s UP Central Region!

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The Perfect Weekend Camping Michigan’s West Coast

Lake Michigan touches four US states- Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Around 12 million people reside on this magnificent great lake. It’s crystal clear turquoise waters are lined with 275,000 acres of sand dunes, making it the largest freshwater dune system in the world! Lake Michigan has so many beaches it’s often referred to as “The Third Coast” of the United States. In my completely unbiased opinion, it’s the best of the coasts. The fresh water lake comes shark and salt free!


The Perfect Weekend Along Michigan’s West Coast

This past weekend Logan and I explored a new part of Michigan with his family, complete with fur babies and adorable nephews. We headed to the west coast over to Warren Dunes State Park where we camped for the weekend. The west side of the state is so beautiful, and just a short drive from Detroit or Chicago.

Lake Michigan South Haven Beach

Where to Camp

As if setting up in the dark isn’t bad enough, it started to monsoon type rain as soon as we pulled into our campsite (and every weekend we camp, ever). Once again Logan and I questioned if tent camping was still our best option. We’ve been debating all summer if we should bite the bullet and buy a used camper to keep us dry on the rainy weekends (all in favor, say “i”). There are state campgrounds all up the coastline, here’s some of my favorites I’ve camped at along Lake Michigan.

Warren Dunes State Park Pet Friendly beach

Warren Dunes State Park: Three miles of rare PET FRIENDLY shoreline along gorgeous Lake Michigan. The park also includes around six miles of hiking trails through forest and sand dunes. Modern & rustic sites available.

Ludington State Park: My favorite Michigan state park has everything- a lighthouse, hiking trails, lakes, sand dunes, dense forest, adventure activities and so much more. This is a must visit park! Check out my post on 5 Reason’s to Love Ludington. Modern & rustic sites.

Leelanau State Park: Another park home to a magnificent lighthouse. The drive up the peninsula to Leelanau State Park takes you through Michigan’s wine country with water views on both sides. Rustic campground.

Wilderness State Park: This park is a night photographers dream spot, as it’s just a few minutes’ drive from Headlands International Dark Sky Park. Modern & rustic sites.

Drone shot of Lake Michigan colors

Lighthouse Hunting

Take a drive along the coast and explore the waterfront towns while looking for lighthouses. The western coast of Michigan is dotted with around 35 lighthouses. Two of those reside side by side in the town of St. Joseph. It was about a 30 minute drive from our campground, 80 f degrees and the sun was shining. Perfect lighthouse hunting weather!

Lighthouse hunting on Lake Michigan
South Haven Lighthouse, Michigan

St. Joseph North Pier

Each lighthouse is unique and has its own fascinating history, road tripping around the shorelines of Michigan you’re bound to run into a lighthouse or two.

Saint Joseph Lighthouses, Michigan

South Haven South Pier

South Haven Lighthouse, Michigan

Go for a Swim

Like I mentioned earlier, Lake Michigan is a freshwater lake that comes salt and shark free. Immerse yourself in the crystal clear blue waters to cool down from the summer sun and Michigan humidity.

Lake Michigan Swim

Search for Petoskey Stones

Searching for stones as you walk along the beach shore was a tradition growing up. If you were lucky, you would find a Petoskey stone- the Michigan state stone. The stones are unique to the Great Lakes, and can only be found along the shores of Michigan’s lower peninsula.

Petoskey stone, Michigan state stone

The lake temperatures range from 60s in early summer to high 70s in late summer. The beach entrance at Warren Dunes State park has a sign showing the water temp each day so you can plan accordingly.

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Relax on the Beach

Pack a beach bag, your furry friend or adorable nephew, and a picnic lunch- then head to the beach. If you’re feeling really adventurous you can hike to the beach on one of the many trails that runs through Warren Dunes State Park.

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Hike a Sand Dune

Enjoy the world’s largest dune system, and go for a hike! At 400 ft the highest dune resides in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The dune formation pictured above was the largest at Warren Dunes State park. The dune rises 260 feet above the water with Lake Michigan views from the top.

Sand dunes at Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan

Drink Local

We stopped at the local Three Blonde’s Brewing for lunch and a drink to cool down. Michigan’s west coast is crawling with local watering holes. Beer, Wine, Cider. We do them all impeccably well. The craft beer craze has swept through the state like wildfire, with hundreds of local breweries statewide. Just as Michigan has its own west coast, we have our own wine country, much of which resides on the beautiful Lake Michigan. You haven’t tasted anything like the sweet nectar Michigan’s cideries create. Cider is easily my beverage of choice, and I would highly recommend any produced locally, a few of my favorites include Blakes, JK Scrumpys, and Vandermill.

three blondes brewery.jpg


Treat Yourself

After our boozy lunch we decided dessert was a must. Good thing icecream is yet another thing Michigan is awesome at. There was a local dairy farm mere seconds away from the brewery we ate lunch at. Sherman’s Dairy Bar didn’t disappoint. I had a hard time deciding between the yellow cake batter flavor and the birthday cake. With over 70 different flavors of homemade recipes featuring all the Michigan classics, can you blame me? (I went with yellow cake batter 😊)

Spend your weekend getaway road tripping along the Great Lakes shoreline in Michigan. Beautiful lighthouses, pristine beaches, and no salt or sharks. #michigan #travel #roadtrip #destinations #weekend #getaways #thingstodo #summer #winter
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Ready for your Michigan West Coast road trip? PIN IT!