Download GPX file for this article
44.243611-86.321389Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Manistee is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the northwestern lower peninsula of Michigan, about 65 miles south of Traverse City. Manistee offers small town charm with beautiful beaches, great fishing, and the Manistee National Forest. For vacationers Manistee has a lot to offer but it may be more notable for what it doesn't: large crowds, high prices, heavy traffic and tacky tourist traps.

Get in[edit]

Map of Manistee

  • Most visitors to Manistee will arrive by car from US 31 that runs north and south through town or via M-55 that ends just north of town at US 31.
  • For boaters there is a municipal marina with easy access from Lake Michigan.
  • You can fly in from Chicago Midway Airport via North Country Sky to Manistee's Blacker Airport.


  • You can tour the town on one of the trolley buses that depart from the Dial-a-Ride on Memorial Drive just north of the Manistee River. The drivers offer some history of the town including the claim that Manistee had more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the U.S. in the late 1800s. The tour passes by some of the old Victorian style homes that housed the lumber barons years ago.



  • The Riverwalk offers a wonderful way to take in Manistee. It runs along the south side of the river from US 31 all the way to Lake Michigan, about a mile and a half altogether. If you're lucky you'll see a 700 foot lake freighter slowly making its way through the narrow river channel on its way from Lake Michigan to Manistee Lake.
  • You can take a nice walk along the beach and walk to the tip of the lighthouse. The beach sand is very nice and on the side of the lighthouse you can usually see some nice fish since the water is so clear.
  • Go Fish! Manistee offers great fishing from fly fishing in the Manistee River to small catches in Manistee Lake to the big King Salmon in Lake Michigan. Dozens of charter boats are available at Fish Manistee
  • Little River Casino. Offers gaming, entertainment, and dining just north of town.
  • Golf at nearby courses including Manistee National, Arcadia Bluffs, Manistee Golf and Country Club, The Heathlands, and County Highlands.
  • Manistee National Forest.


  • Manistee National Forest Festival is Manistee's biggest annual event. Enjoy a huge variety of events including a flea market, carnival, entertainment, arts and crafts fair, fireworks over Lake Michigan, and a parade on July 4.
  • Port City Festival is every year on the weekend after Labor Day. Enjoy the scenic Riverwalk, entertainment, food, antique car show, arts & crafts fair, historic building tours, special exhibits and more.
  • Victorian Sleigh Bell Weekend is the first weekend of December. Enjoy an old time Christmas parade and events. The parade has no motor vehicles, everything is pulled with horses. It includes 2 huge Christmas trees that make there was down River Street.


Shop downtown on River Street at the many boutique stores, department store, or antique stores.


Local eats include the Bluefish Kitchen + Bar, The Glenwood north of Manistee overlooking Portage Lake and River Street Station for good pub grub.

Chain restaurants in Manistee include Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and A&W.


There are many bars in Manistee, ranging from River Street Station to neighborhood pubs such as Stu's. Those are just two of many bars in and near Manistee.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Manistee
Traverse CityBear Lake  N  S  LudingtonMuskegon
Leelanau PeninsulaArcadia  N  S  END
END  W  E  → Jct CadillacHoughton Lake

This city travel guide to Manistee is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!