BringFido's Ruff Guide to Michigan

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of surprising your Spaniel with a trip to Michigan? If so, he’s one lucky dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in The Wolverine State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the 2021 edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code WOLVERINE.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in Michigan.

Go For a Joy Ride With Fido

Mears, MI
“Eyes on the road, Dad.” Photo by Judi Rippee

Take your pooch on a wild dune buggy ride with a rental from Silver Lake Buggy Rentals in Mears. Pick up a two-seat or four-seat cart for an off-road adventure between the shores of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. Your dog is welcome to ride along as you speed across the sand. You’ll need eye protection when navigating the dunes, so don’t forget to pack Fido’s goggles! Bring a change of clothes and a towel for your pup, too - you’ll probably get wet. When your ride is over, bring your pup on a walk or bike ride through the nearby Hart-Montague Trail State Park, a scenic 22-mile paved path that was formerly a railroad line. Pack a lunch and take a break at one of the picnic tables found along the trail.

Hop off the trail in Montague for a stay at The Weathervane Inn, a waterfront property on beautiful White Lake. Guest rooms feature hot tubs, fireplaces, and private balconies overlooking the lake. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before taking your pup for a walk on the adjacent Hart-Montague Trail. Kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and bike rentals are available on-site through WaterDog Outfitters.

Take a Tour of “Turtle Island”

Mackinac Island, MI
“Build tiny bridges, not walls!” Photo by @iamlaughy

Mackinac Island is filled with fun activities you can enjoy with your pup, and nearly all of the historic sites and buildings allow leashed pets. Your adventure begins with a 15-minute ride to the island aboard Shepler’s Ferry. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island, so you’ll have to get around on two (or four) legs. With a circumference of only eight miles, it is possible to walk around the entire island. However, if you’d prefer not to ‘hoof it,’ you can pay a horse to do it for you! Mackinac Island Carriage Tours offers fully narrated two-hour tours of the island with stops at Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac, and several other points of interest.

Extend your visit to Mackinac Island with a stay at the pet-friendly Mission Point Resort. Plan ahead and book the hotel’s ‘Pooch at the Point’ package, which includes accommodation in the resort’s historic Straits Lodge, roundtrip transfers on Shepler’s Ferry, an assortment of welcome amenities for the doggos, and daily breakfast for the humans.

Paddle With Your Pup

Ann Arbor, MI
“I’m smiling because she thinks I’m paddling, too.” Photo by @molly.ariel.ellie

Meander down the Huron River with Fido in beautiful Ann Arbor. Start your day at Argo Park Canoe & Kayak, where you’ll get outfitted with a life jacket and canoe or kayak. Although you’re in the heart of the city, you’ll enjoy the peaceful vibe of the river as you spot turtles, cranes, and ducks. End your float 3.7 miles down the river at Gallup Park, where you can return your equipment and get a van ride back to your starting point. Fido can stop to stretch his legs at several points along the way, including Broadway Park, which also features an off-leash dog run (permit required). Plan ahead and pack a picnic for a lunch break at Fuller Park. After your river adventure, take a stroll along the garden paths of Nichols Arboretum.

After your day of floating fun, call it a night at the Graduate Ann Arbor. Furry guests are greeted with treats, bowls, and blankets. You will enjoy the retro cocktail lounge, 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary bike rentals. When it’s dinner time, walk to Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, where you can grab a cold one and Fido can order from their ‘Pups on the Patio’ menu.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to Michigan preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code WOLVERINE to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do in Michigan? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by Melissa Halliburton.