Mason is a historic city in southeast Michigan, about 14 miles from the state capital Lansing.
Dating back to 1836, it became the county seat of Ingham in 1840 and formally incorporated as a city in 1875.
It also served as the state capital until they moved it to Lansing.
The move made Michigan the only state in the country whose capital is not a county seat.
This beautiful city has that family farm environment while boasting many exciting leisure opportunities.
Here are the best things to do in Mason, Michigan, to help you get started on your adventure:
See the Ingham County Courthouse
The historic Ingham County Courthouse is the centerpiece of downtown Mason.
Admire the courthouse’s federal-style architecture, with a three-foot-tall eagle perched on top of the building.
If you have time, you can also tour the building to see more and appreciate its beautiful design, structure, and furnishings.
In 1971, the National Register of Historic Places added the beautiful century-old landmark to its record.
The Ingham County Courthouse is at S. Jefferson St.
Discover Mason’s History at the Mason Area Historical Museum
Learn about the deep history of Mason when you visit the Mason Area Historical Museum.
The museum houses artifacts that share stories of Mason’s past.
The Mason Area Historical Society runs the museum, where they host regular talks.
You can hear about ghost towns, old Michigan settlements, and communities lost throughout time.
If you want to dive deep into Mason’s past stories, check out books and other publications at the museum.
You can find the Mason Area Historical Museum at East Oak St.
Explore Outdoor Activities at Rayner Park
Visit Rayner Park and explore the many outdoor recreational activities it offers.
This 60-acre park has three primary areas to suit your preferences for spending a day outdoors.
Spend time with your family at the picnic grove and enjoy the nearby pond.
If you want to get more active, play Frisbee golf with friends on the open field.
The park also has soccer fields, a sand play spot, and a playground.
Explore further and go on a hike along one of the nature trails in the park’s wooded area.
Rayner Park sits along E. Ash St.
Shop Antiques and Collectibles at Maple Street Mall
You'll enjoy visiting Maple Street Mall if you love antiques and collectible things.
This 10,000-square-foot space hosts more than 50 vendors, offering antiques, vintage home decor, and a wide selection of hand-crafted items.
Don’t miss the cool upcycled and repurposed goods.
Find unique gifts and shop for holiday presents.
The multi-level shopping site is in a beautifully painted brick building with a charming facade and cozy atmosphere.
Maple Street Mall stands along W. Maple St., at the historic courthouse square.
Visit the Bunker Nature Preserve
Spend an unplugged day at the Bunker Nature Preserve.
This 130-acre nature preserve covers grasslands, forest areas, native prairie, and extensive wetlands.
Hike along the trails on a sunny day and enjoy a serene atmosphere.
The preserve is also an excellent site for bird watching.
Catch a glimpse of herons, mallards, egrets, and other beautiful species of birds.
The Bunker Nature Preserve sits along Bunker Road.
The mid-Michigan Land Conservancy maintains and protects the preserve.
Launch a Canoe from McNamara Canoe Landing
Go on a Grand River adventure by heading to McNamara Canoe Landing.
The site provides visitors with a canoe access point to the Grand River and offers opportunities for other outdoor recreational activities.
Soak in the beautiful scenery as you paddle along the waters.
You can also fish or explore the area through the hiking trails.
There are tables and grills at the landing for an enjoyable picnic.
You can find McNamara Canoe Landing along W. Columbia Road.
Visit the Wooden Shoe Herb Farm
Enjoy and relax in the gardens at Wooden Shoe Herb Farm.
Founded in 1987, this working farm on S. Meridian Road features beautiful sprawling gardens, a greenhouse, a shop, and a showroom for dried flowers and plants.
Stroll along and see beautiful lavender, colorful peonies, and herb plants.
Shop for herbal teas, homemade cosmetics, dried herbs for cooking, and some garden supplies.
You can also join soap-making and floral design classes.
During the winter, the Wooden Shoe Herb Farm also offers a Christmas class where you craft wreaths and other decorations using fresh greens.
Grab a Book at Bestsellers Book and Coffee Company
If you’re the kind of traveler who likes checking out the local bookstore, check out the Bestsellers Book and Coffee Company in Mason, Michigan.
The locally owned and independent bookstore also has a coffee shop.
Housed in a historic building on S. Jefferson St, the bookstore has an inviting Instagram-worthy facade.
Step inside and spend an afternoon browsing their wide selection of books.
Add a new entry to your to-read pile from the thousands of books in stock.
Bestsellers Books and Coffee Company also serves sandwiches and wraps, so you won’t get hungry looking for your next read.
Go Fishing at Laylin Park
Take the family for some recreational fishing and a picnic at Laylin Park.
This 7.2-acre park features two stocked ponds, fishing docks, a picnic area, and a play yard with equipment for kids to enjoy.
Fishing at the ponds follows the catch-and-release system.
Grill some meat, enjoy the lush greenery, and enjoy a wonderful time with your family.
You can find Laylin Park along East Maple St.
Stroll along the Sunflower Field at Shawhaven Farm
Take the family on a fun-filled and educational visit to Shawhaven Farm.
This family-owned working farm along Rolfe Road has operated since 1947.
They offer various farm activities throughout the year, allowing the younger generation to experience farm life.
You can stroll around their three-acre magical sunflower field and enjoy the summer atmosphere.
In the fall, you can tour their corn maze and pumpkin patch.
Shawhaven Farm has a fun valley attraction featuring a farm sandbox, bubble station, corn hole, and pumpkin bowling.
Unwind with a Pint at BAD Brewing Company
After a day of strolling around, go to BAD Brewing Company to unwind.
Whether winter or summer, this microbrewery is the perfect place for cold beer and warm company.
Pick your poison from their tap list of more than 15 craft beers and other drinks.
Enjoy it at their outdoor seating in warm months.
Otherwise, check out their picture-perfect heated igloos if you visit in the winter.
They also host comedy nights and live music events to complete your night out at Mason.
You can visit BAD Brewing Company at S Jefferson St.
Go Pumpkin Picking at Brimley’s Pumpkin Farm
If you’re in Mason in the fall, don’t forget to stop by Brimley’s Pumpkin Farm.
Located along South Every Road, this small family-owned farm grows organic pumpkins.
During the fall, they open their pumpkin patch for visitors.
You can stroll around and enjoy the lovely colors of the season.
See various pumpkins, from large white ones, pie pumpkins, and ornamental ones.
Brimley’s Pumpkin Farm also has a cute patch for kids, with pumpkin sizes perfect for the young ones to pick.
Shop at Kean’s Store Company
Stop by Kean’s Store Company on S. Jefferson St. and step into a nostalgic shopping experience.
This family-owned store has served the community since 1928.
From houseware, toys, baby stuff, and candies, this variety store offers a lot of unique goods.
Check out their gourmet section for some delicious goodies to snack on the road.
They also have a boutique that carries several women’s fashion brands and accessories.
If you’re looking for a nice treat to take back home, check out their custom-curated Kean’s Box of Happy.
Like many businesses downtown, the Kean’s Store Company sits inside a beautiful building.
Catch a Race at Corrigan Oil Speedway
Mason has several historic structures, antique districts, and charming atmosphere.
However, don’t miss out on the action-packed Corrigan Oil Speedway.
Catch a thrilling race at Corrigan Oil Speedway and see Mason from a unique perspective.
Since 1956, this racetrack has hosted weekly short-track races featuring various premier racing cars.
They also feature other race events, such as kids’ bike championships.
You can find this track at N. College Road.
Go Bowling and Dine at City Limits Mason
City Limits Mason is the perfect spot for some food and games.
This fun center features a bowling alley and a sports grill.
Aim for a strike as you challenge friends at the bowling alley.
Otherwise, form a team for a game of beach volleyball.
No bowling night is complete without hearty burgers, pizza, and beer.
You can visit City Limits Mason along N. Cedar St.
Join the Ingham County Fair
Visit Mason during the Ingham County Fair to make the most of your experience!
This annual event brings together families from communities throughout the county.
Various family-friendly entertainment and activities await you, like carnival rides.
Otherwise, you can join games and enjoy the shows.
Discover local flavors by sampling dishes at the food fair.
Of course, the local fair wouldn’t be complete without animal auctions and shows.
The Ingham County Fair occurs on the fairgrounds at E. Ash St.
Celebrate the Sun Dried Music Festival
Join the community celebration at the Sun Dried Music Festival.
This annual music fest features a variety of entertainment for everyone.
Sing your hearts out at the festival featuring various bands and other performers.
Grab some food from the trucks and enjoy a drink.
Besides the music, you can do some shopping during the festival, with vendors lining the nearby streets.
The Sun Dried Music Festival occurs in the downtown Mason area.
Play a Round of Golf at Ironwood Links Golf Course
If you’re up for some golf while visiting Mason, book some tee time at Ironwood Links Golf Course.
It is a beautiful Par 64, 18-hole golf course, suitable for any golfer.
The course stretches through a scenic open rolling landscape and lovely woods and hills.
After a game, head to their restaurant for a sumptuous meal.
You can find Ironwood Links Golf Course along North Eifert Road.
Other Things to Do Nearby
There are many other natural attractions near Mason that are also worth exploring.
Plan your trip around these destinations, too!
Explore the Riverbend Natural Area
Drive to nearby Holt, Michigan, to explore the Riverbend Natural Area.
The place is 13 minutes from Mason.
Likewise, the park boasts a mature forest, lush fields, and riverbank habitats and offers plenty of outdoor recreational activities.
Hike or bike along the nature trails in the summer.
During the winter, you can also go cross-country skiing on these trails.
The park also hosts a canoe landing site.
Bring your family to the Riverbend Natural Area, accessible via Nichols Road.
Visit Hawk Island County Park
Enjoy a day of outdoor fun when you visit the 100-acre Hawk Island County Park in Lansing, Michigan, 16 minutes from Mason.
Go for a swim or just lounge by the beach.
During winter, the park also offers a snow tubing adventure!
The park has excellent paved walkways, perfect for a lazy stroll.
Kids can enjoy the playground and splash pad to beat the summer heat.
You can reach Hawk Island County Park after an 11-mile drive from downtown Mason.
Mason is a charming city worth visiting for its history and recreational opportunities.
Explore historic landmarks, join farm tours, and go antique shopping; admire scenic nature spots and check out the Grand River.
Plan your trip now and discover the best things to do in Mason, Michigan!