In northern Michigan lies charming Cadillac, home to 500,000 acres of national forest, hundreds of miles of rivers, well-designed golf courses, a pristine ski resort, and a charming downtown area with historical sites, cultural attractions, and family-friendly restaurants. Spring, summer, autumn, or winter—no matter the time of year, travelers will find an abundance of things to do from fishing or kayaking on the gorgeous waterways to camping under the stars at William Mitchell State Park, and exploring local landmarks such as the Wexford County Historical Museum, a fascinating place in the former Carnegie Library showcasing the community over the years since being incorporated in 1877.
1. William Mitchell State Park
Outdoor adventure abounds in the arresting 334-acre William Mitchell State Park, nestled between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac; which are connected by the Clam Lake Canal. The latter is known as a tranquil haven for anglers with perch, walleye, panfish, and bass swimming beneath the surface. Along with boating, the scenic site is also home to sandy beaches, and a modern campground with 50 amp service, among other convenient amenities. Winter is also a wonderland with cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Over at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, visitors learn about the area’s sporting and wildlife through interpretive displays and interesting workshops. For those who want to explore on foot, the 2.5-mile Heritage Nature Trail is ideal for hikers of all levels.
6093 M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-775-7911
2. Huron-Manistee National Forests
© Pink Badger/stock.adobe.com
Every year more than 4 million people visit the Huron-Manistee National Forests to enjoy nature and incredible recreational opportunities spread across 976,043 acres. Occupying lower Michigan, the two forests share a name but are separate entities. While the forests are known for fishing, boating, and camping as well as cross-country skiing, there are other activities including mountain biking on the North Country National Scenic Trail, horseback riding on three different trails and prime spots for nature viewing. Other highlights include interpretive exhibits at the Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center on the banks of the Au Sable River, the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, and the Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary featuring over 238 pretty plant species.
Michigan, Phone: 231-775-2421
3. Wexford County Historical Museum
© Wexford County Historical Museum
The Wexford County Historical Museum transports visitors to another time through engaging exhibits focusing on daily life in Northern Michigan back in the day and a comprehensive collection of artifacts, photos, maps, and paintings. Housed in the original Cadillac Public Library, a classical revival style building that was part of the Carnegie Foundation’s collection of libraries, and for a short while, the Cadillac Police Department in the early 1970s, the museum features authentic, recreated elements of the area during its earlier years such as a rural one-room school, a barbershop where customers at the time could also get dental work done, a watch shop for pocket watch repair, and a general store on Main Street.
127 Beech Street, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-775-1717
4. Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort
Situated in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Cadillac, the Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort is a year-round destination for fun and adventure. The resort, named after the Gaelic word for “stag’s head” offers activities for all skill levels. Warmer months see golf enthusiasts hitting the green on the Peaks Course, known for such design features as tree-lined fairways, beautiful wetlands, and not to mention serious yardage. Winter is prime time for skiing and snowboarding with the highest peaks and challenging terrain in Michigan, and relaxing après ski at The Blackmer Lodge. As for beginners, they need not worry because the resort offers ski lessons so that they can make their way down the mountain in no time.
1 Caberfae Lane, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-862-3000
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5. Eldorado Golf Course
Golfers who head to the Eldorado Golf Course, located at the US-131 & M-115 interchange will encounter a well-designed course surrounded by the natural beauty of northern Michigan. Here, elevated tees along with 4,900 to 6,900 yards of bentgrass fairways, sloping greens, hidden valleys, water elements, and towering trees at different angles keep it aesthetically interesting. So not only will visitors appreciate a challenging game especially when taking on popular Hole #4 with fairway bunkers providing a visual hazard, they can’t help but be captivated by the stunning surroundings. After a few rounds, players head to the Cadillac Grill Restaurant for its relaxing atmosphere and delicious food.
7839 46 ½ Road, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-779-9977
6. After 26 Depot Cafe
© Hoda Bogdan/stock.adobe.com
Located in the historic Ann Arbor Railroad building, the After 26 Depot Cafe and Unique Gifts is a special place, with a mission to provide jobs to adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. Spearheaded by retired school teachers, municipal workers, private business people, and other concerned citizens, the community-wide effort? became a reality when the restaurant finally opened its doors in 2013 to give a group of ‘Project Workers’ a much-needed chance. Today, the friendly, helpful staff is always ready to provide attentive service during breakfast, lunch and private events. As for the menu, omelets, salads, sliders, and other tasty options tempt the appetite.
127 W. Cass Street, Cadillac, Michigan 49601, Phone: 231-468-3526
7. 13th Street Market and Restaurant
© 13th Street Market and Restaurant
What began as a popular breakfast spot has since expanded to become a full-service restaurant also open for lunch and dinner. The 13th Street Market and Restaurant welcome guests with warm hospitality and hearty dishes including its savory platters including Country Fried Steak, Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf, Smoked Pork Chops and more. During the warmer months, guests enjoy meals alfresco out on the lovely patio surrounded by beautiful flower blooms.
3075 W. 13th Street, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-775-1207
8. Burke's Waterfront Restaurant
© Burke's Waterfront Restaurant
Since opening its doors in 1956, Burke’s Waterfront Restaurant has been making diners happy with its friendly service and fine food. While sock hops and jukeboxes may be a thing of the past, the beloved establishment sticks to its long-standing tradition of offering a mouth-watering menu and fantastic views right from its scenic location on Lake Cadillac. When it comes to what to order, there is quite a variety with Landlubber’s Choice such as Blackened Ribeye Steak and Neptune’s Net dishes such as the Maple Glazed Salmon, among others.
2403 Sunnyside Drive, Cadillac, MI 49601, Phone: 231-775-7555
9. Adventure Island
© Adventure Island
Adventure Island is a family fun park where visitors of all ages can spend a few hours enjoying a variety of fun activities. The large outdoor park is attractively landscaped and offers an 18-hole Mountain Golf course (mini golf for all ages), an exhilarating go-kart track, batting cages and a games arcade. There is also a fun playground for children to enjoy, free of charge. Families can buy package deals for the activities – there are different deals available each day of the weekend. When you need a break from the activities you can visit the concessions to grab an ice cream or snack.
Adventure Island, 6083 M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601, 231 775 5665
10. Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center
The Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center is located in Mitchell State Park where if offers a range of outdoor workshops and activities for all ages. Visitors who would like to learn archery or how to hunt with a pellet gun can visit the outdoor range for lessons or practice during the summer months. You can also buy hunting and fishing licenses at the center before setting off to catch some fish at several near-by fishing areas. However, the center is not just about hunting and fishing; they also offer guided hikes along the 2.5-mile Heritage Nature Trail where you can admire insects, plants and beautiful spring wild flowers.
Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, 6087 E. M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601, 231 779 1321
11. KISS Monument
© Marble Texture/stock.adobe.com
Commemorating a great moment in the history of Cadillac High School, the Kiss Monument stands tall and proud just outside the school’s football field. Back in 1974 an enterprising football coach decided to play rock and roll music by the controversial KISS band in the change rooms, to inspire the team to perform to the best of their abilities. The band heard about it through the grapevine and decided to reward the team for their success by playing a homecoming concert in the school gym in 1975. The impressive monument, installed 40 years later, consists of a large slab of black granite (imported from India) which has been laser-engraved to record the events of 1975.
KISS Monument, 501 Chestnut Street, Cadillac, MI 49601, 231 775 0657
12. Evergreen Resort Golf Courses
A golfing holiday at the Evergreen Resort in Cadillac is ideal for golfers of all abilities. The resort offers two brilliant courses, each designed to offer an enjoyable but challenging round of golf regardless of your handicap. Younger players and those who are just starting out will feel right at home on the casual 9-hole Norway Course, which is a little shorter and less intimidating than the championship Spruce Course. That said, the beautifully designed Spruce course offers three sets of T-boxes, which means that everyone can find a Tee to suit their abilities. The Spruce course is very beautifully positioned, winding through forested areas and gentle hills. You are invited to come and try them both.
Evergreen Resort Golf Courses, 7880 Mackinaw Trail, Cadillac, MI 49601,
800 634 7302