Fun Activities Near the Odawa Casino Resort

Odawa Casino Logo and Michigan Attractions

Odawa Casino Resort has almost everything you could ask for in a gaming establishment. It would be tough to venture off the casino resort for a day (or a week) of fun in one of the highest points of Northern Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

But there are literally dozens of fun activities to play and stay if you want time off from the casino and are looking to explore Northern Michigan. Now, we all know about the beaches on the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, so I’m leaving the beach off the list.

But if you are a beach person, have fun on the shore and you will have yourself believing you are on the beaches of the Atlantic, Pacific, or the Gulf.

However, there are many phenomenal activities to do here besides gambling in Michigan casinos. Today’s list includes nine of them. Let’s begin!

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark

This is the perfect place to go if you are on vacation with the entire family. Here, you will find an astounding 88,000 square feet of water-related fun plus other activities to keep things fresh.

What types of activities will you find within the attraction? You are looking at seven water slides, a children’s pool, a lazy river, specialized activity pools, and an innovative surf stimulator. That last one would have a lot of us there all day.

You will also find the Big Couloir. The park describes this contraption as a “360-degree extreme body slide.” Oh, and if you are looking for the deepest drop in the state, you are reading about it. This is the perfect place if you are into thrills. You will definitely love the Big Couloir.

And if you’re looking for some grub, head over to the Snack Shack and Après-ski Pub. We all need a break from the endless water activities. You and the family can mix things up, too. The arcade is where everything fun is happening!

Play skeeball, basketball, and more. Earn those points and exchange them for some fun prizes.

Bay View Association

While the waterpark offers endless action, Bay View Association offers sophistication. Described as a century-old Victorian community, step back in time to this seasonal community housing over 800 residents.

Bay View Association Michigan

But if you ain’t the sophisticated type, no worries. Here, you will find endless summer activities. Feel free to check out the association’s music festivals, theater and arts program productions, recreational programs, and more.

Located just east of Petoskey, this location is the perfect place to spend a few hours or an entire day away from Odawa Casino Resort. Once you’re rejuvenated, head back to the casino for more gaming.

Castle Farms

Are you into a little history and architecture? Castle Farms boasts a lot of each. And with over 100 years of history, you can place a winning wager that the venue is arguably the area’s leading attraction.

If you are looking for a cheap place to spend a few hours with your entire family or group, Castle Farms is also easy on the wallet. So, you won’t fork out hundreds for an unforgettable day at one of the area’s most historic locations.

What will you find at Castle Farms? You’ll find stone architecture featuring heavy European influence along with magnificent garden views. You can head over to the Reflection Pond for a picnic for both yourself and the rainbow trout that frequent the waters. Oh, and enjoy a romantic swing in the Garden Gazebo if you go with a significant other.

And we haven’t even discussed the museum. Here, you will find collections featuring castles, toys, antiques, and other artifacts from the World War I era plus items from when Castle Farms hosted rock concerts.

Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Are you an art enthusiast? The Great Lakes Center for the Arts should top your vacation itinerary.

Here, you will find arts of all genres and sub-genres, including performing arts, music, dance, theater, intellectual dialogue, cinema, and more.

Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Whether the performing arts, music, or the cinemas is your thing, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts literally has something for everyone of all ages and interest levels. Step through the doors and find yours.

Brace yourself for an art-related experience you probably haven’t seen since that middle school field trip.

Harris Gardens

You can thank philanthropist Jack Harris for this one. Here, you will find over 25 sculptures dotted throughout the venue. While it may seem like just a short getaway from the casino games, you can spend an entire day here.

Harris Gardens Michigan

You will find information on each sculpture by dialing the number 231.439. 6400 plus the sculpture number as you walk throughout the garden.

This is a great way to grab some fresh air plus to enjoy a sweet educational experience. It’s a leisurely activity, but not overly sophisticated. It’s just a great way to spend an afternoon on your break from the casino gaming.

Headlands International Dark Sky Park

Located in 600 acres of forest along Lake Michigan, Headlands International Dark Sky Park is the ideal place for you if you are a stargazer. City-slickers have yet to see a full-blown view of the many stars this universe contains, Headlands International Dark Sky Park is the place for you.

Even if you don’t identify as a stargazer, don’t disappoint yourself. Just because this is a dark sky park doesn’t mean it isn’t open during the daylight. You will find nature trails, bike trails, and cross-country skiing courses.

Day or night, Headlands International Dark Sky Park has something for everyone. You can definitely take a 24-hour trip and get the best of both worlds here.

Inland Waterway

Described as “one of the most beautiful small boat trips in the country,” you are looking at 38 miles worth of Michigan’s longest continuous chain of rivers and lakes. So, if you are looking to take a trip on the Amazing River, you just found it at Inland Waterway.

Which waterways will you visit on this winding, scenic boat ride? Well, you will start your journey at Crooked Lake before hitting up Crooked River. Next, you will find Burt Lake, Indian River, Mullet Lake, Cheboygan River, and you will end up in Lake Huron.

Inland Waterway Michigan

Don’t have a boat? No problem. Rent an available boat, then take off and explore arguably the most scenic trip in the state of Michigan. And it will be one you won’t soon forget.

Head off to a scenic expedition along Michigan’s rivers and lakes, and brace yourself for a few hours of peace away from the wear and tear that the real money slots and tables can bring.

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Alright, we are taking a trip to the chocolate factory, even if it isn’t exactly Willy Wonka style. But hey, it is a free tour and there’s have chocolate involved. And who says no to chocolate?

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

So, come on in and get a behind-the-scenes experience in the making of truffles, ice cream, caramel, brittles, and more. Oh, and get those free samples as you end the tour. Make sure you have reservations, as Kilwins only takes so many guests per tour.

If you are looking for the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour, complete with free samples and an unforgettable experience, book a tour at Kilwins!

Know Way Out, Petoskey’s Escape Room

Are you an escape room enthusiast? Well, if you know your way out of trouble, prepare for the ultimate test at Know Way Out, Petoskey’s Escape Room.

The rules are simple. You have 60 minutes to escape. This is a great way to take a couple hours from the endless casino gaming for a new game, especially if you have traveled with a group or if you have some older kids in the family.

You can discover whether you and your group can escape the fantasy-themed “life or peril” situation as the 60-minute timer will constantly remind you how long you have before the game ends. And you remain perpetually stuck in this manufactured time warp!

So, good luck! You will need it at Know Way Out.


As mentioned in the intro, there is a lot to do besides checking out the best Michigan casinos. From enjoying beaches at two of America’s five Great Lakes to waterparks, scenic adventures, escape rooms, and more, you can turn your stay at Odawa Casino Resort into a full-blown vacation.

So, what are you waiting for?

Fill out your vacation itinerary today and prepare for an unforgettable vacation experience whether it is outdoor, indoor, or a multitude of activities. You will find what you are looking for among these nine attractions and more in Northern Michigan.

Have you taken a trip to Odawa Casino Resort? If so, share your experiences at both the casino and in the surrounding areas if you ventured off-site. We are always looking to hear from you.