This Travel Guide post focuses on Port Huron, Michigan, my hometown! I was inspired to do this post because of how much I love summer and how much fun Port Huron is in the summer! What a place to be when the sun is shining! Being right on Lake Huron, there is plenty to do, like a day at the beach or a day downtown. You are sure to find something you love! This is by no means a comprehensive list of activities and attractions, just the most popular ones, or the ones I personally love and recommend!
I also do not want to sound like an advertisement, as I am not getting any form of payment for this post. I just want to share the wonders of my hometown with you!
There are so many fun summer-time activities and events that happen in Port Huron! Always an event going on somewhere in Port Huron or nearby. Here are some of the bigger attractions! I have posted the 2017 dates for these events, though the events are all annual, so they happen every year! Want more up-to-date info, or simply more info? Visit Discover the Blue!
The Vantage Point Farmer’s Market is host every Saturday at the Blue Water River Walk, right next to the Maritime Center. At the market, you can find all things Michigan-grown!
The Downtown Port Huron Art Hop is an event where the store fronts in downtown, Port Huron display local artist that can be purchased. This is a really cool and culture-filled event that I recommend visiting when you come to town!
Taking place at the river walk is the sturgeon festival. This festival is in celebration of the migration of sturgeon and includes 5K and 1K races, a touch tank, Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruises, birthday cake, face painting, giveaways, photo’s with the sturgeon mascot, art contests, chalk mural, and more great fun! You can also walk down to the ice cream and food trailers for a bite to eat!
Be A Tourist in Your Own Town is the ultimate stay-cation as it is meant to be just that. Take the trolley around Port Huron viewing all the great wonders your hometown has! Not from Port Huron? You can still go on the tour!
If you like art and music, this is the event for you. Art on the River is a really fun 2-day festival that features local artist and musicians! This event would serve as an amazing family-friendly weekend!
Cruise night is, essentially, a parade of cars. Anyone with a neat or old car is welcome to join, and thousands come to watch. These cars drive down the main road in Port Huron through to Fort Gratiot, simply to show the car off.
When I was younger, my family had a built-from-scratch jeep and we took part in the parade for some of the stretch. It felt like being in a parade. If you aren’t a car person, this event is still fun because it is treated like a parade—and parades are always a great time!
Sandfest is very much what it sounds like. It’s a festival, whose main feature is sand sculptures. This is an event that I only recently learned about as it is only 5 years old. However, being a beach event, the turnout is amazing and the festival itself really cool! Many local businesses take part in the fun with ice cream, food, and more!
I believe that the 4-H fair is one of my favorite events and one that I have been going to since I was a kid. When I was younger, I would ride the rides with my cousins and eat the carnival food. But mostly I showed my horse. I showed 4-H for a few years before graduating to more prestigious horse shows, but I remember having fun! When I got older I would go with friends and hang out or attend the figure 8 demolition race.
This fair has animal shows of all kinds (bunnies, horses, livestock, petting zoos, exotic animals, etc.). It also has a carnival, nightly demolition race events, art contests, child activities, classic food and game stands, country musicians, face painting and SO much more!! I love this event so much and have never found any carnivals or 4-H fairs to compare.
Blue Water Fest is probably one of the biggest events in Port Huron, lasting a week long, and featuring a ton of amazing events. One of the biggest events is the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race and the lighted boat parade. This event is very much a Michigan event. Along with parades, carnivals, concerts, and other festival events, Blue Water Fest kicks off the launch of a sailboat race to Mackinac Island. To celebrate this race, the night before boats from all over the county are decorated with lights and parade down the black river. This is really fun to watch and is also a contest, so you can have some friendly competition to see if anyone can guess who will win!
I thoroughly enjoy all Blue Water Fest events and love to participate in them. As a matter of fact, my boyfriend and I’s first date was at the carnival during the Blue Water Fest Parade. I also try to attend the lighted boat parade and keep updated on the sailboat race. The whole town seems to come out for this event and have a great time. It’s truly an amazing event, which I highly recommend visiting!
Everyone in Port Huron knows about the float down because it is a dangerous and very popular event. For the float down, hundreds, even thousands of people grab a floaty, beer, and some friends and they float down the Black River.
When I worked at the Chamber of Commerce in my area I was informed that this was actually an illegal event and I was not allowed to promote the event or answer any questions about it. However, the event is so incredibly popular that instead of trying to stop it, the cops attend with the hope to avoid as many drownings as possible.
The combination of alcohol and water is incredibly dangerous (resulting in several deaths each year), however, the event is very interesting to watch! It actually made international news in 2016 as some of the floaters found their way in Canada (without proper identification) due to heavier-than-normal winds. Read about it here}}
Rockin’ the Rivers
Rockin’ the Rivers is a local music event. It is a concert series held on the lawn of the Port Huron Municipal Office Center by the water. These concerts happen every Thursday in August and each week has a new theme! Grab a blanket or some lawn chairs and head on over for some amazing local music!