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Cadillac Michigan 2023 ULTIMATE Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Cadillac MI

park in Cadillac Michigan on Lake MItchell

Cadillac Michigan Roadtrip: Best Things to Do in Cadillac MI

Have you been to the city of Cadillac Michigan lately?

You’re in for a treat. This charming city packs a lot to do into its area, with pretty lakes for boating, swimming and fishing; forests for hiking, biking and exploring, and historic downtown Cadillac with fun shops and restaurants.

What I like best about Cadillac is that it’s the perfect four-season destination.

In the summer, splash on the shores or explore the lakes by kayak. In the autumn, you can take in Michigan’s stunning fall colors and in the winter, downhill or cross country ski or hit the snowmobile trails. In the spring, hike the trails and grab a bite to eat downtown.

If you’re planning a visit to Cadillac, MI, we put together a travel guide to help you plan your trip and make sure you don’t miss a thing in this fun northern Michigan vacation destination.

highway in cadillac michigan in the fall

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About Cadillac Michigan: Four Seasons of Fun

Located about 50 miles south of Traverse City and approximately 40 miles west of Houghton Lake, Cadillac has the third biggest city population in Northern Michigan.

With attractions for every season, Cadillac is an exciting place to venture, with an abundance of sights to see and activities to do.

Whether you explore a nature trail in one of the many state forests and parks, go sight-seeing, have a beach day, grab a tasty meal with drinks and more in this historic Michigan town, you’ll find lots of things to do here.

Read on to find more trip ideas and attractions in Cadillac.

book nook in cadillac michigan

Best Things to Do in Cadillac Michigan

Check out the Books at the Book Nook
120 E Pine St, Cadillac, MI 49601

This used bookstore is one of my favorite spots in the entire state of Michigan to find unique and interesting reads. One of the largest used book stores in MIchigan, you’ll find more than 100,00 volumes including a mix of children’s books, paperbacks and a great non0fiction section, too.

Visit the Wexford County Historical Society
127 Beech St, Cadillac, MI 49601

This library turned museum is a non-profit dedicated to maintaining the history of Wexford County in Michigan. Artifacts, photographs, maps, paintings, documents and exhibits span its 5,000 square feet detailing history and life in Northern Michigan since Cadillac’s beginning. Originally built as a Carnegie Library, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tickets for non-WCHS members are $5 for adults and $10 for a family. Admission is free to anyone under 18.

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Cadillac Sound Garden
398 Chestnut St, Cadillac, MI 49601

This outdoor attraction on Chestnut Street in Cadillac showcases beautiful art pieces including a rustic musical art sculpture, 20,000 daffodils in the spring and hundreds of perennials, ground sun dial, kinder tulip sculpture and a stone child memorial collection.

The Sound Garden started as a single piece of artwork and grew into a nature hub with its robust greenery along the water.

Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center
6087 E M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601

Located at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac, the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center offers an aquarium, guided hikes as well as classes on hunting, fishing, archery and more.

A Michigan recreation passport is required for entry into the facility.

Kiss Monument Cadillac Michigan
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KISS Cadillac Monument
501-599 Chestnut St, Cadillac, MI 49601

\Who knew that the Cadillac Area Public Schools and the famous rock bank KISS are bound in history forever? Fans of KISS won’t want to miss this attraction in Cadillac. Visitors can find it between Lake Cadillac and the Cadillac High School Viking football field.

The monument came to be in 2015 after the city hosted the KISS Cadillac Homecoming 40th Anniversary to celebrate the time KISS performed at Cadillac High School’s homecoming. It is the only monument in the world dedicated to the group.

Adventure Island
6083 E M 115, Cadillac, MI

This outdoor excursion is great if you’re visiting Cadillac during the summer. Adventure Island offers 18-holes of mini-golf, go-karts, an arcade, batting cages and a playground.

If you can’t choose just one activity, the island offers packages, including one for the whole family.

hiking trail in cadillac michigan

Nature Adventures in Cadillac MI

Lake Cadillac

Located in the heart of the city, Lake Cadillac spans 1,150 acres, offering swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing in the summer and snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter.

Huron-Manistee National Forests
1755 S Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601

The Huron and Manistee National Forests were combined in the 1940s and span 978,906 acres of public lands, which include 5,786 acres of wetlands.

The national forest is open year-round to visitors. Try camping and water activities in the spring and summer or take a hike through the fall foliage or snow in the winter.

William Mitchell State Park
6093 M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601

Located between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac, this state park is another great option for visitors who are looking to get out into nature. Park guests can go camping, fishing, boating and more among its 660 acres. Hike the Cadillac Heritage Trail, a more-than-three-mile nature trail. In the winter, you can try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along the trail.

Kenwood Heritage Park
Kenwood Heritage Park, Cadillac, MI 49601

Kenwood Heritage Park sit along Lake Cadillac. Visitors can go to the beach for swimming, use the playground, play disc golf course and barbeque in the picnic areas. There is also a boat launch for water activities.

Explore the Clam River Greenway

You can walk or bike this 1.3-mile trail that connects Lake Cadillac and the Cadillac Area Sports Association Soccer & Baseball fields. Part paved trail and part wooden boardwalk, this trail along the Clam River will take you by a sundial, a sound garden, wildlife viewing areas and perfect spots for fishing.

Visit Lake Missaukee in Lake City

Lake City, just a 20-minute ride east of downtown Cadillac is home to Lake Missaukee, a large inland lake popular for swimming and boating. Visit Miltner Park in downtown Lake City for public beach access.

Best Places to Grab a Bite or Drink in Cadillac MI

Clam Lake Beer Company
106 S Mitchell St., Cadillac, MI 49601

This brewpub is fondly named after the city’s original name, Clam Lake. The menu features an assortment of American-style food including soups, salads, burgers, and brick-fired pizza.

Visit the bar for 40 Michigan craft brews on tap and an assortment of wine and cocktails, including a Michigan Manhattan.

Herraduras Authentic Mexican Bar & Grill
1700 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac, MI 49601

If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, check out Herraduras Authentic Mexican Bar & Grill for some of my favorite food in the city of Cadillac. The menu features tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas and more. Adult guests can check out an assortment of margaritas, wine and beer.

Mr Foisie’s Pasties
154 Leisure Rd., Cadillac, MI 49601

Located on Leisure Road in Cadillac, this cozy shop offers fresh made pasties, pies, apple dumplings and cinnamon rolls.

Primos BBQ
916 S Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601

If you’re looking for something different come lunch or dinner, check out Primos Barbecue located inside Willow Market.

This authentic Texas-Style BBQ joint smokes fresh brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, ribs daily. Dine-in or place a takeout or catering order.

B.C. Pizza
6184 E. M-55, #110, Cadillac, MI 49601

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner or lunch, pick from an array of gourmet pizza or build your own at B.C. pizza. With a thick, fluffy crust, an abundance of cheese and dozens of toppings, this is guaranteed to be some of the best pizza in Northern Michigan. The breadsticks alone are to die for!

Other menu items include grinders, subs, salads, pasta and desserts.

cadillac MIchigan hotel room

Where to Stay in Cadillac Michigan

Evergreen Golf Resort
7880 Mackinaw Trail, Cadillac, MI 49601

Evergreen Golf Resort sits just outside Cadillac on 327 acres of land and is the perfect lodging for anyone looking for an outdoor getaway. With over a dozen room options to choose from, guests can pick anything from a standard room to a suite.

Guests can play a round (or two) or golf, hike or bike nearby trails, fish and swim. If you visit in the fall you can hunt in the state and national forests around the resort or during the winter months, try snowmobiling and skiing.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cadillac
7642 S. US 131, Cadillac, MI 4960

The Holiday Inn Express and Suites is a great, affordable option in Cadillac. The rooms and suites are renovated, and each reservation comes with a complimentary breakfast.

Guests can feel free to use the on-site pool and fitness center during their stay.

Lake Cadillac Resort
6319 E M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601

Newly renovated and sitting dirrectly on the shores of Lake Cadillac, you can site on your balcony and enjoy peaceful lake views in this cozy spot htat features a nice indoor pool.

Located in Cadillac, 1.1 miles from Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, Lake Cadillac Resort has accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking. Each room has a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and certain rooms contain a balcony.

Sunset Shores Resort Cadillac
1246 Sunnyside Dr, Cadillac, MI 49601

These vacation rental condos are located along the shore of Lake Cadillac. The spacious units, which include washer and dryer, can accommodate up to six guests. There is also a pool on site for visitors to enjoy.

Pilgrim’s Village Resort
181 S Lake Mitchell Dr, Cadillac, MI 49601

Pick from the cozy cottages, private cottages, motel rooms or the Lakefront house at the Pilgrim’s Village Resort. This resort is located on the East shore of Lake Mitchell, on M-115. Guests can enjoy fishing, boating, golfing, mushroom hunting, snowmobiling and more.

hotels in cadillac michigan

Camping in Cadillac Michigan

Cadillac has a handful of campgrounds for any visitors looking to spend some time outdoors.
Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a lengthy vacation, Cadillac has fun activities, yummy food and cozy lodging for every season of the year. Go book your trip now!

Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau and the Cadillac Are Chamber of Commerce

Need more ideas of things to do while you’re visiting Cadillac? Stop by the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, 201 N. Mitchell St., Suite 102. Cadillac, MI 49601 or the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, 222 N Lake St, Cadillac, MI 49601 for more inspiration.

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About the Author-

Madeline Warren is a content writer for After growing up in the Lansing area, she now attends Michigan State University where she majors in Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. In additon to My Michigan Beach, she has bylines in The State News at MSU and The Lookout at Lansing Community College. In her free time, Madeline loves spending time with her family, friends and dog, attending concerts and sporting events and of course, finding new places to travel.