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
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
8 Best Things to Do in Cadillac, MI