We do summers best in Michigan.  Don't get me wrong, I love all of our seasons, yes even winter, but there is something so magical about Michigan's summers.

One of the best ways to spend a summer evening, in my opinion, is dining lakeside.  Grabbing a meal while enjoying magnificent water views is pretty easy to pull off in Michigan since we are basically no more than 30 minutes away from a lake no matter where you are.

Being surrounded by our great lakes gives you lots of restaurants to choose from. Don't overlook some amazing restaurants that offer lakeside dining on many of our inland lakes.

One of those lakeside restaurants is in Stanton, Michigan. I have spent many summer evenings on the deck at the Clifford Lake Inn. Great food and a beautiful view of Clifford Lake. Food and wine just seem to taste better when it is served with a waterfront view.

Another wonderful lakeside restaurant is located in Houghton Lake.  The Back Door Saloon is not only a favorite place for the locals, but it is a destination spot for anyone who loves great food and an award-winning burger.

Summers in Michigan are not long enough so we have to enjoy our outdoor dining while we still can.  The Back Door Saloon is definitely a spot to check out and enjoy a good meal with a marvelous view of Hughton Lake and one of the Saloon's highly recommended Bloody Marys.

Moving a bit north, let's head to Grayling. Here you will find the best little fishing spot on the Au Sable River. Gates Au Sable Lodge not only offers the best fishing around, but the lodge is a clean, charming place to stay and the food is 4-star good.

My siblings introduced us to the Gates Au Sable Lodge a couple of years ago, yes this place is absolutely charming, and the food is amazing. One of my favorite restaurants of all time.   This jewel is located in Grayling and it is a 'must see'. If you are coming for dinner you will need to make a reservation, the word is out about the fabulous food at Gates Au Sable Lodge.

One of my favorite spots in Michigan

The Lake House Waterfront Grille in Muskegon.  One of my favorite spots to chill on Lake Michigan and enjoy a great meal with an amazing sunset. There is something about lakeside dining, the water view just seems to make the meal taste better.

Heading over to the east side of the state, you will find a great restaurant in Port Huron that has an amazing view.

Freighters Eatery and Taproom located on Harker St. in Port Huron has a lot of fans.  I was reading some of the glowing reviews and now I need to check this place out.  Fans of this restaurant all seem to agree that the Bloody Marys at Freighters Eatery and Taproom are the best, and the food is delicious.


Our final stop is up in Traverse City, at the Apache Trout Grill.  The food at this waterfront restaurant is fresh and delicious.  This place is located in one of the most beautiful spots in Michigan.

The menu features the best-smoked whitefish dip, delicious burgers, and sandwiches.  I recommend the Prime Melt, you will love it.  Lots of different salads on the menu and of course lots of fresh fish.

To sum up, whatever side of the state you go to, there is a wonderful restaurant on the waterfront waiting for you.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

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