Situated along the sandy shores of Lake Huron’s Sunrise Coast, Oscoda is a small town that offers big opportunities for memorable northern Michigan adventures.
Located where the storied Au Sable River meets the vast blue expanse of Lake Huron, Oscoda provides easy access to pristine wilderness, incredible beaches, and charming small town vibes.
With a population just over 1,600 people, Oscoda provides an escape from crowded cities and mega-resorts.
This list of the top things to do will guide you to the must-visit attractions, hidden gems, and activities to make the most of your upcoming Oscoda vacation. Let the scenic beauty and small town hospitality rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
1. Relax at Oscoda Beach Park
Oscoda Beach Park features a beautiful stretch of sandy public beach along Lake Huron perfect for swimming, sunbathing, beach walks, and watching incredible sunsets. Amenities include picnic tables, grills, playground, and restrooms.
2. Charter a Fishing Trip
Take a half or full day fishing charter out of Oscoda pier to catch walleye, trout, salmon, perch and more on Lake Huron. Reel in your trophy fish then have it cleaned and filleted by the crew.
3. Hike the Au Sable River Trail
This paved recreation path follows the Au Sable River for over 12 miles from Oscoda to Whirlpool Road outside Mio. Scenic views of the river, forests, wetlands and Lake Huron shoreline.
4. Tour the Au Sable River Queen
Take an hour long narrated cruise on the Au Sable River Queen paddle boat to learn about the history, wildlife and ecology of the Au Sable River. Tours offered daily during summer.
5. View Birds at River Road Hawk Watch
From August to November, thousands of hawks, eagles, and other raptors migrate past this excellent Lake Huron overlook north of Oscoda. Prime hawk watching spot.
6. Visit the Lumberman’s Monument
Address: 5401 Monument Rd, Oscoda, MI 48750
This National Historic Landmark commemorates Michigan’s lumbering history with a replica logging camp, sawmill, and fascinating exhibits. The grounds have scenic hiking trails through forested terrain.
7. Play Disc Golf at Iargo Springs
Enjoy 18 holes of disc golf at this scenic course winding through forests and along the Au Sable River north of town. Well designed layout with cement tee pads for every hole.
8. Paddle the Au Sable River
The Au Sable River provides excellent canoeing and kayaking through pristine forest wilderness and streams. Rent gear or book a guided trip in Oscoda or Mio. Scenic float trips available for all skill levels.
9. Swim at Foote Dam Pond
Right in Oscoda, this park offers a large swimming area on the pond below Foote Dam along with picnic areas, playground, volleyball, and restrooms. A favorite local summertime spot.
10. Tour the Au Sable River Light Station
Take a guided tour of this historic 1874 lighthouse near the mouth of the Au Sable River. Climb the tower for panoramic views of Lake Huron and learn about Great Lakes maritime history.
11. Visit the Riggsville Seaplane Base
Watch small seaplanes takeoff and land on the adjacent Van Etten Lake. Riggsville has snacks, souvenirs, boat rentals, and seaplane rides allowing you to soar over Oscoda by air.
12. Hike the Cedar Lake Footpath
This peaceful 1.8 mile loop trail encircles Cedar Lake just north of town. Excellent for birdwatching, wildflowers, and scenic views of the water. Benches along the way provide spots to relax.
13. Go Wine Tasting on the Sunrise Coast Wine Trail
Sample award-winning Michigan wines at the wineries and tasting rooms along this wine trail near Oscoda. Popular spots include Rove Estate Vineyard and Black Star Farms.
14. Play Golf at Fosters Golf Courses
Test your game at these two highly rated golf courses in Oscoda with mature pines, rolling terrain, and water features. Affordable greens fees and ideal for golfers at any skill level.
15. Visit the Wurtsmith Air Museum
Address: 4071 E Van Ettan St, Oscoda, MI 48750
Located at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, this museum has an impressive collection of aircraft on display including jets, propeller planes, helicopters and more. Fascinating for aviation enthusiasts.
16. Swim at Lakewood Shores Resort
Address: 7751 Cedar Lake Rd, Oscoda, MI 48750
Stay as a guest or purchase a day pass to enjoy the amenities at this lakefront resort in Oscoda. Relax on the private beach, swim in the pool, play mini golf, and more!
17. Take a Scenic Au Sable River Valley Tour
Hop aboard an AuSable Valley Tour trolley for a guided sightseeing ride through the forests, farms, and beauty of the Au Sable River Valley. Informative tours about the area’s history, ecology and wildlife.
19. Spot Wildlife at Rifle River Recreation Area
Paddle down the peaceful Rifle River or hike through this extensive recreation area to spot birds, deer, beaver, mink, osprey and more. Excellent area for outdoor recreation.
20. Tour the Old Au Sable Fly Shop Museum
Once a popular gathering spot for anglers, this museum preserves the fly fishing history and memorabilia of the renowned Au Sable River. See hand carved lures and rods, taxidermy fish and more.
21. Splash at Wurtsmith Aquatic Center
This indoor water park adjacent to the airport has a lazy river, water slides, kiddie areas, lap lanes, diving well, and more. Ideal for year-round swimming and fun.
22. Hike the Magnetic Rock Trail
This 1.4 mile loop passes a unique rock formation that supposedly causes magnetic deviations in compasses. Pretty forest scenery along Spring Creek.
23. Paddle Van Etten Lake
Launch your kayak or canoe from Riggsville Seaplane Base to explore the calm waters and wetlands of Van Etten Lake. Watch for loons and keep an eye out for seaplanes taking off.
24. Follow the AuSable River Historical Driving Tour
Pick up a brochure and follow this informative 28 stop self-guided driving tour past Oscoda’s historic AuSable River sites like lumber camps, mills, dams and more.
25. Ride Dirt Bikes on Local Trails
Bring your own dirt bike or rent an ATV from a local outfitter to ride Oscoda’s challenging forest trails, dirt tracks, and ORV routes. Maps available from outfitters.
26. Go Snowmobiling on Area Trails
When snow covers the grounds, snowmobile Oscoda’s groomed trails that access pristine winter wilderness, forests, and frozen lakes. Rentals and guided tours available.
27. Try Ice Fishing
Popular ice fishing spots near Oscoda include the various lakes of the Au Sable River Chain and Van Etten Lake. Rent equipment and get tips from local bait shops.
28. Explore Cedar Lake Path
Trek along this peaceful 2.2 mile loop path around Cedar Lake north of Oscoda. Excellent views of the water through dense surrounding forest.
29. Drive the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway
Take the scenic drive up the Lake Huron shoreline past Oscoda on Highway 23. Stops include Alpena, Rockport State Park, Presque Isle and Rogers City.
30. Browse the Art Gallery at Whispering Pines
Browse works by local artists and stay for lunch or dinner at this charming art gallery and cafe in nearby Fairview. Oil paintings, jewelry, photographs, wood crafts, and more on display.
31. See a Performance at Sunrise Theatre
This historic 1938 Art Deco movie theater in Harrisville hosts films, concerts, comedians, plays and community events in a beautifully restored setting.
32. Try a Pastie at Muldon’s Bakery
Stop by this local favorite bakery and takeout spot for freshly baked pasties, donuts, cookies, sandwiches, pizza and more. Very affordable and family owned.
33. Visit the AuSable River Visitor Center
Before leaving Oscoda, stop by the visitor center to browse area info, maps, merchandise, and get recommendations for things to do from the helpful staff.