Memorial Day is just around the corner, and what better way to kick off the summer than by exploring the beautiful state of Michigan? From picturesque beaches to historic landmarks, Michigan has something for everyone. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for a fun day out with family and friends, there are plenty of exciting activities to keep you busy over the Memorial Day weekend. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of Michigan this Memorial Day!

Find more events to add to your summer planning on the events calendar

South West Michigan 

  • Kick off your summer at The Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph’s Dockside Bar with live music starting Memorial Day weekend. Join them every Saturday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the summer. Relax by the harbor and enjoy the vibrant tunes of talented local musicians while sipping on refreshing cocktails and savoring delicious bites from their menu. Life's short, go Dockside. 
  • Join the Michigan Maritime Museum on Friday May 24th from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a celebration of the 2024 summer season. Festivities begin with their annual Blessing of the Fleet where Tall Ship Friends Good Will, Museum vessels, and other South Haven harbor boats are part of a ceremony for a safe and successful season. The Blessing is followed by the summer kick-off celebration and fish fry from the most picturesque location in the heart of South Haven's Maritime District. 

  • Experience the heartwarming tradition of honoring our heroes with not one but two vibrant parades. On May 27th, the Saugatuck Memorial Day Parade, kicks off at 9 a.m., followed by the Douglas Memorial Day Parade, starting at 10 a.m. down Center Street. But the festivities don't stop there. From May 24th through 27th, the Campit Outdoor Resort will be hosting a Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, Campit welcomes all members of the LGBTQ+ community, along with friends and allies, to celebrate unity and diversity. Active and retired military veterans will receive a discounted stay. Get ready for a weekend filled with dance parties, pool time fun, a progressive cocktail party, and a summer kick-off after-party. 
  • The Air Zoo welcomes you to personalize a luminaria for display at the Air Zoo's Memorial Day Luminaria. The Luminaria will be displayed on Memorial Day, and throughout the night, as a tribute to those who died while serving in the armed forces. 

  • In Kalamazoo, Memorial Day Weekend bursts with pride: parades, solemn remembrance, and vibrant festivities honor those who served, while families revel in community spirit and joyful gatherings. Check their list of must attend Memorial Day events here
  • Plan your Memorial Day Weekend for a special Stay & Play partnership with Off Map Glamping & Lake Arvesta Farms. Book a 3-night stay at Off Map over Memorial Day Weekend and receive Two all-access passes to Lake Arvesta Farms where disc golf, putt-putt golf, pickleball, and 15 miles bike trails await. 
  • Join Hastings as it honors veterans who have given their lives in service to their country. The parade starts in downtown Hastings at 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, stopping at memorials for wreath laying ceremonies complete with the playing of Taps and a 21-gun salute. The parade ends at Riverside Cemetery with a final memorial ceremony.

Central West Michigan

  • Start the summer season right with picnics, campfires, and s’mores in Ludington! This is the kickoff to the summer season at Stix, Trippin Billies is the nation's most renowned Dave Matthews tribute band touring the U.S. for close to 25 years, and they are coming to Ludington. Head to Stix for this 8 p.m. show on May 25th, where crowds gather every weekend for these casual community concerts, complete with food, drinks, and backyard games.  
  • Your ultimate stay and play getaway awaits. Indulge in comfort and culinary delights with the Experience Amway Grand Package. Enjoy Overnight room accommodations in a luxurious guest room featuring plush bedding with pillow top mattress and cozy linen sheets, and a $100 food and beverage credit for use at any hotel restaurant or lounge. Book your Stay today.

  • Embark on an unforgettable adventure with Muskegon Lake Sunset Cruises with Aquastar Cruises as they kick off the season with their first sunset sail on May 23rd. Capture breathtaking moments with your camera as you glide across the lake, basking in the afternoon breeze and enjoying live music with friends and loved ones. Upgrade your experience with added perks like live bands and food for a slightly higher price. Then, on May 25th, join Muskegon Lake Afternoon Cruises for a scenic journey, complete with narrations about the area's history and natural beauty, and a fully stocked onboard bar. Finally, on May 26th, immerse yourself in the Muskegon Lake Tradition with the Blessing of the Boats, where you can witness the ceremonial lighthouse washing marking the start of the boating season. 
  • Holland community members gather downtown on Memorial Day to honor living veterans and to remember those who died in service to our country.  Beginning at 9:30 a.m., onlookers fall in line behind a parade that starts at 8th and Central, heads down Columbia Avenue, and ends at the historic Pilgrim Home Cemetery. A program of remembrance and music takes place in the cemetery following the parade.

North West Michigan & Upper Peninsula

  • The staff of Mackinac State Historic Parks will hold a brief and informal Memorial Day observance to pay tribute to the soldiers who served at Fort Mackinac. Soldiers will assemble at 8:30 a.m. at and march to the Post Cemetery in a similar fashion to what soldiers did in the late 19th century. At the cemetery staff will perform a short ceremony and salute, which includes remarks from Mackinac State Historic Parks' Director Steve Brisson. 
  • Explore the charming streets of Mackinaw this Memorial Weekend for an unforgettable experience. Kick off your festivities with the renowned Mackinaw City Memorial Parade, recognized as the largest in the state on May 25th at 1:00 p.m. Revel in the excitement of live bands, pay homage to the esteemed veterans, and delight in the procession of floats, queens, clowns. Then, on Memorial Day, May 27th, join them as they come together to honor the departed friends and relatives at the Memorial Day Service, held at Marina Park, commencing at 10:00 a.m. It's a weekend filled with remembrance, celebration, and community spirit. 

  • Come experience some savory and whacky mushrooms as Black Star Farms celebrate the spring harvest. Kick off your summer on May 24th, with a fabulous wine paired mushroom inspired dinner with their incredible culinary and winemaking team. 
  • Kick-off summer at the 17th Annual Michigan Beer & Brat Festival at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. Enjoy live entertainment from The Drew Hale Band and The RockShow Band while sampling an enormous selection of Michigan's finest microbrews, meads, hard ciders, wine, liquor and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets. This can't-miss event is happening rain or shine on May 25th. 

  • Summer doesn’t start until Memorial Day kicks off. While most Mackinac Island businesses open at the beginning of May, Memorial Day signifies the complete opening for almost all businesses on the island. This generally includes tall water activities and outdoor dining options. Look for lodging specials from island hotels and book your stay today
  • Memorial Day weekend in the Upper Peninsula typically boasts clear skies and delightful, breezy temperatures and in a town with plenty of outdoor adventures, the ways to celebrate with friends and family are endless. Local favorites include heading to Wetmore Landing or McCarty’s Cove for a fun day on the shore. For more information on outdoor recreation in Marquette, visit their website.