Little River Casino Resort is just one of several attractions in the area encompassing Mason and Manistee Counties. As is typical with Northwest Michigan, you will find scenic views that are unlike any other in the United States.
So if nature and scenery pique your interest, you have ventured to the right casino and to the right area. Hopefully, you have done some homework regarding hot vacation options surrounding Little River Casino Resort.
But if you haven’t, don’t sweat. Today’s post covers 6 points of interest near Little River Casino Resort. So if you need an activity itinerary when you take a day or two to explore Manistee and Mason Counties, this post will come in handy.
Ready to take a break from gambling in Michigan and tour the area?
Our journey begins at Arcadia Overlook, which per 110 reviews via TripAdvisor boasts a perfect 5-star rating as of December 2020. It also graces the top spot on things to do in the area.
So you know you’re getting something beyond special when you venture to the overlook to satisfy your craving for breathtaking scenery.
And once you catch a view of the lake from this high point, you will see why Arcadia Overlook is so highly rated. Better yet, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the area during Northwest Michigan’s ideal summertime weather or if you’re here in the middle of January with a foot of snow on the ground.
You will find two ideal places to catch arguably Northwest Michigan’s most prominent view of Lake Michigan. If you’re looking for a quick stop, then you don’t need to leave your car. But if you want to upgrade to Premium, climb the steps and you will catch a bird’s-eye view of the lake and the beaches.
How far out into the horizon can you see?
One word: Miles.
Take one look and watch your soul take a relaxing and much-needed break from life’s stresses.
The Heathlands Golf Course
If you’re a golf enthusiast and you have a thirst for majestic views of the surrounding wilderness, a round at the Heathlands Golf Course is worth your time.
Ranking 4.5 of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, reviewers describe this course as one that will give you a challenge, but not so much that you will end up throwing your golf club at an unsuspecting tree line and spend the next half-hour looking for it.
A well-maintained course featuring a welcoming staff that will set a warm tone the minute you walk into the golf shop, brace yourself for a game at a course that features different layouts at every hole. No two holes are even remotely alike here, and you will find a new and unexpected challenge at each.
So if you love the aura of mystery that surrounds your golf game, the Heathlands is the place you need to play your next round.
And as mentioned. If you love breathtaking views of the surrounding woodlands, especially in the fall, then you have it made. So when you are looking for a game to play outside of Little River Casino Resort’s walls, consider the Heathlands.
Ranking 5 stars overall out of an astounding 360 reviews, Stearns Park is the king of all things to do in the area surrounding Little River Casino Resort.
You will find Stearns Park in the adjacent county of Mason and near the county seat of Ludington, Michigan, so you must drive a little to get there. But a trip to Stearns Park is well more than worth it, considering the scenic views you will treat your eyes to the second you step out of your vehicle.
Here, you’ll catch glimpses of boats, ships, and other vessels while you can venture over to the nearby lighthouse. It’s also the perfect place to catch the sun set behind Lake Michigan, so if anything, Stearns Park is the perfect spot to venture out to in the evenings after a day of casino gaming.
Many reviewers like venturing to Stearns Park because of its proximity to town. So if you’re taking a day trip to the park and you forgot to pack something or if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat at around midday, you’ll never have to drive too far to find what you need.
Stearns Park also boasts a vast beach. So vast, that multiple reviewers have commented that as large as the crowds are that this beach draws, you will hardly notice them because of the sheer size of the location. So if you’re not a crowd person, you have nothing to fear.
Amber Elk Ranch
Okay, if you’re good with close-up views of large animals with antlers, then Amber Elk Ranch is for you. It may not be an ideal attraction if you’re not comfortable interacting with such creatures because per the photos at TripAdvisor, you can literally reach out and touch them.
Better yet, you’re teaming with experts here, so if you’re looking for the ultimate educational experience, your driver and runner will provide.
And if you’re planning a casino trip with your family, Amber Elk Ranch also hosts a petting zoo to keep them busy while you meet the elk. The ranch has also hosted events like cookouts, t-shirt giveaways, and more. So if you visit the ranch on specific weekends, you may just get more than what you came for.
In short, brace yourself for a life-changing experience you won’t find anywhere else in the region.
Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse
With 123 reviews on TripAdvisor, you will know immediately that you found a popular vacation destination. The Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse may look like it’s well past its prime, but it’s still a prime attraction in the wild woodlands and waterways of Michigan.
But the lighthouse itself is just one reason to head to the pier. Not only will you treat yourself to an exciting view of Lake Michigan’s coastline; the beaches are among the best in the area.
So if you’re looking for a solid day at the beach coupled with some exploring, head over to the Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse.
You will also find a few parks in the general area, so a trip to the lighthouse means more than just a close-up at one of the area’s most historical structures. You are in for an entire day’s worth of activities when you venture out this way.
And with free parking, can you really say no to a day at the beach beginning at the lighthouse before you sunbathe on Lake Michigan’s shoreline?
Sandcastles Children’s Museum
This is perhaps the greatest place to go if you have kids traveling the area with you. The Sandcastles Children’s Museum provides a quick, 1-2-hour tour of the facility, and it’s a location your child will love the second they walk through the museum’s doors.
Better yet, the museum suits kids of all ages, so whether your child is just a year old or 12, reviewers on TripAdvisor have provided a common denominator that their kids want to return again and again.
One reason kids are so attracted to the place is because of its variety of stations. They can immerse themselves in crafts, they can dress up in costumes that reflect a different time period, and more.
The museum has a lot of replicas that replicate local businesses, such as local pizza parlors, grocery stores, ice cream shops, and more. So if you’re looking for the ultimate family-friendly experience, Sandcastles should grace the top of your vacation itinerary.
They also keep their pricing rather affordable, so if you’re looking for a cheap way to have fun, Sandcastles is most definitely the way to go. Some reviewers have said the place is small for its vast collection, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Especially for the kids.
Overall, most reviewers have given Sandcastles a 5-star rating and many of these reviewers make it a point to visit the place every time they stop in the area.
When you think of Northwest Michigan, you think beaches, lighthouses, and woodlands. And it’s what you will mainly find when you are looking for things to do near Little River Casino Resort.
But you will also find museums, golf courses, and just places overlooking the beach to chill and enjoy the breathtaking beautiful scenery that encompasses Northwest Michigan. It more than justifies your desire to venture outside the casino walls to discover what makes the area thrive.
And it’s a guaranteed bet that you will want to return to the area again and again.
Have you played at Little River Casino Resort and if so, did you visit any of the nearby attractions discussed in this post?
Let us know in the comments. We are always glad to hear feedback from your trip to the area.