Blake Walsh

71 Best Things to Do in Michigan

  • Published 2022/12/20

Michigan, nicknamed “The Great Lakes State,” lies in the Midwestern United States’ Great Lakes region.

At 97,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Michigan is the 11th-biggest state in size and the largest east of the Mississippi River, with a population of approximately 10.05 million in 2021.

The name is a Gallicization of the Ojibwe term “mishigami,” which means “large water” or “large lake.”

Michigan is unique among the states in that it consists of two distinct regions: the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula, dubbed “mitten.”

The Upper Peninsula consists of three regions: the Eastern, Central, and Western Upper Peninsula.

Meanwhile, the Lower Peninsula has six regions: Northwest Michigan, Northeast Michigan, East Central Michigan, West Central Michigan, Southeast Michigan, and Southwest Michigan.

Thanks to its convenient location, you can choose from a wide variety of exciting activities, such as going to the beach, swimming in clear lake water, visiting museums, learning about the area’s rich history, and touring gorgeous gardens.

Because there is such a great variety of attractions, it might be challenging to decide where to start.

Here’s a list of the best things to do in Michigan to make your trip more enjoyable:

1. Western Upper Peninsula

Western Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to stunning natural scenery and a wealth of outdoor activities during all four seasons.

Manabezho Falls, Agate Falls, and Bond Falls are just a few of more than 150 waterfalls you may see in the region.

Cascade at Western Upper Peninsula

Kenneth Keifer /

Seek for the Keweenaw Peninsula, where the unexpected may be found wherever you look, from the trees to the soil to the waters of Lake Superior itself.

Lake Superior’s untamed splendor is an ideal setting for cyclists, hikers, kayakers, skiers, and snowmobilers.

The region is one of the best places in North America to enjoy nature, whether you’re searching for an extreme adventure or a peaceful retreat.

Take Photos with the Surroundings of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

River flowing through Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

John McCormick /

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, is a 60,000-acre expanse of natural waterfalls, gorgeous woodlands, and endless leisure.

It’s only a stone’s throw from Lake Superior.

Hanging bridge at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Marissa English /

With its incredible panoramas, unique driving routes, and stunning autumn landscape, it is one of the Midwest’s most spectacular fall tourist locations.

Hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, biking, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities are all available in plenty at Michigan’s most expansive state park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Landscape of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Paul Massie Photography /

Don’t leave home without your camera; the park is teeming with exotic flora and fauna, picturesque spots like Lake of the Clouds, and a slew of waterfalls.

Manabezho Falls at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Footsore Fotography /

Explore the Region with an ATV from M&M PowerSports

Are you looking for a new snowmobile or want to rent a jet ski for the day?

M&M PowerSports in Hancock, Houghton County, is your one-stop shop for all things power sports in the Houghton/Hancock region.

Here, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, utility-purpose vehicles, pontoons, and jet skis are all available for rent.

The Keweenaw Peninsula is a snowmobiler’s dream, with an annual snowfall of an average of 273 inches and 200 miles of trails leading to more than 2500 tracks across the U.P.

Hancock’s M&M is well situated on the trailhead, making it easy to go out and explore Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Climb the Ontonagon Lighthouse

A distant view of Ontonagon Lighthouse

Hank Erdmann /

Stop by Ontonagon Lighthouse at the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum in the heart of the city to learn about the colorful past of the oldest permanent settlement on the south shore of Lake Superior.

This museum in Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, lies in a striking periwinkle building on River Street, and its southern exterior wall features a large, colorful mural.

Examine some pre-Columbian stone and copper tools, the 5th Order Fresnel Lens from the lighthouse, and the copper mining equipment and displays used in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Outside view of Ontonagon Lighthouse

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Also, check out the replica of the Ontonagon Boulder, a mass of liquid copper weighing 3,708 pounds, on display at the Smithsonian.

The boulder sparked a copper “rush,” preceding the California gold rush by a few years, attracting mining businesses and investors to the region.

Hike towards Agate Falls

Stunning aerial view of Agate Falls

Big Joe /

One of the loveliest waterfalls in all of Michigan, Agate Falls cascades from the Ontonagon River’s middle fork in Trout Creek, Oakland County.

The river creates the falls as it navigates over a long, stepped ledge of sandstone.

As a result, the waterfall is now a broad band of cascades and smaller falls that collectively reach a height of over 40 feet.

Beautiful view of Agate Falls

Todd Maertz /

A more user-friendly and direct footpath leads to the falls.

The park is accessible from early May to late October and features parking, water, restrooms, and picnic tables.

Flowers along the trail at Agate Falls

James W. Thompson /

Retrace the Origins of Knight of Pythias at The Rathbone School Museum

The Rathbone School Museum, located in a one-room school, was significantly rebuilt and served the local population of Eagle Harbor, Keweenaw County, from 1853 to 1872.

It stands two blocks west of the harbor’s bathing beach.

Above, members of the fraternal lodge, The Knights of Pythias, are shown giving a guided tour of the existing tower, depicting the structure as it looked around 1900.

In 1860, Justus H. Rathbone took a teaching position at this institution, and it was here that he came up with the concept for the ritual of the Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal order he later created.

The charity activity of this multi-faith group, which once had a quarter of a million members, is still going strong across the Americas.

Regalia and other relics honoring the Knights of Pythias are visible on the other side of the Rathbone School.

People from throughout the community often make the trip to the school.

A thousand people showed up there in 1931 to commemorate the society’s namesake and watch the dedication of a granite memorial for Justus Rathbone.

Learn the Wonders of Minerals at A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Visitors looking at the exhibits at A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Chris857, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marvelous minerals from around the world, including the Great Lakes region, are displayed at Michigan Tech’s A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in Houghton, Houghton County.

Visit one of the finest mineral museums in North America and marvel at the natural wonders minerals hold.

Display of a rock from mining site at A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Chris857, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum houses the mineral collection of the University of Michigan, which is part of the Michigan Mineral Alliance, and a record-breaking 17-ton native copper slab (closed during the winter), among other things.

The Keweenaw National Historical Park has designated the museum as a Heritage Site because it is the “official Mineralogical Museum of Michigan.”

The museum is open all year round, except on select holidays and Michigan Tech’s winter break.

Display at A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Chris857, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Contributions of Bammert Blacksmith Shop

Bammert Blacksmith Shop, constructed in the 1880s at the Cliff Mine location and relocated to Phoenix in around 1906, was a donation to the Keweenaw County Historical Society in 1998 by Amos Bammert’s grandchildren.

Since most Keweenaw copper miners didn’t have access to automobiles until the completion of the Keweenaw railroad in 1907, blacksmiths were in high demand.

Blacksmiths were experts in caring for and repairing nearly any metal objects, not only those of the equine variety.

In this workshop, Amos constructed carriages, sleighs, and wagon wheels.

Many of the blacksmith’s tools, including the forge, were left in the shop after it had closed.

The society has meticulously restored the façade and interior of the building, showcasing the business and its equipment as they appeared at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Go Skiing at Mont Ripley Ski Area

Winter view of Mont Ripley Ski Area

Chris857, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on 173 acres in Hancock, Houghton County, Mont Ripley Ski Area features a 440-foot vertical drop across 112 skiable acres and 24 slopes.

It has the best of both worlds, with plenty of backcountry terrain, deep powder bowls, the most extensive terrain park in the U.P., and perfectly groomed routes for everyone.

Cable car at Mont Ripley Ski Area

Chris857, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Regardless of skill level, everyone is welcome to sign up for private instruction—skiing at night, five evenings a week.

Weekend-only all-ages tube park is open on Saturdays and Sundays: Restaurant, Record Store, and Cafe in One Cozy Cabin.

This ski resort receives an average of 250 inches of dry lake-effect snow each year, thanks to its location on the Keweenaw Peninsula, an outcropping into the world’s biggest lake.

View of Mont Ripley Ski Area on a sunny day

James Conkis, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch a Performance at The Calumet Theatre

Independent and non-profit since its incorporation in 1983, The Calumet Theatre‘s mission is to produce events and facilitate ongoing repair of the historic theater.

Located in the heart of Calumet, Houghton County, the Calumet Theatre is owned and operated by the Calumet Village.

Exterior view of the Calumet Theatre

Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many famous artists have performed here, including Sarah Bernhardt, Maude Adams, John Phillip Sousa, Edwin Booth, Lillian Russell, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

From June through October, the theater welcomes the public for guided tours and hosts 70–80 productions annually.

2. Central Upper Peninsula

Central Upper Peninsula is home to some of nature’s best works of art.

However, the whole central U.P. is also filled with unspoiled wilderness and stunning natural phenomena, with the occasional friendly community to break things up.

Central United States of America road trippers may keep their energy up with craft beer from local brewers and regional specialties like pasties and cudighi from local restaurants.

See Works of Local Artists at The Gallery Marquette

The Gallery Marquette is a creation of the Marquette Artist Collective, a community arts group.

By volunteering their skills and time, members help move the initiative forward.

Through initiatives like this, The Collective can realize its goal of providing resources to the creative community in Marquette.

This gallery in Marquette, Marquette County, consists of two parts.

A gallery exhibit fills the space’s primary entrance portion.

Members and non-members of the Marquette Artist Collective participate in the exhibitions, running for six weeks.

Permanently displaying and selling the works of Active Artist Members is the Member’s Exhibition, housed in the smaller gallery space.

Explore the Area’s Maritime History at Marquette Maritime Museum and Lighthouse

Marquette Maritime Museum and Lighthouse in Marquette, Marquette County, can accommodate large groups for guided tours.

The trip begins with a stroll around the Coast Guard facilities in Marquette, Michigan, where guests will learn a bit about the organization’s origins before making their way to Lighthouse Point.

When guests arrive, they are given a tour of the lighthouse’s living quarters and grounds and allowed to learn about the structure’s fascinating history.

Tours often culminate with a grand stroll down the main catwalk.

The waterfront of historic Marquette can only be seen and photographed from this vantage point.

Marquette and Lake Superior have a rich maritime history, and the museum portrays that tale.

On display are birch bark canoes, artifacts from sunken ships (including the Edmond Fitzgerald), and the finest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses in all of the Great Lakes.

Items include vintage outboard and inboard motors, refurbished boats, shipwreck maps, exhibits, coast guard vessels measuring 40 feet in length, coast guard lifeboats measuring 36 feet in length, restored ore boats, and flags from these vessels are all on show.

Learn about Iron Mining at Michigan Iron Industry Museum

Michigan Iron Industry Museum stands in Negaunee, Marquette County, with a view of the Carp River and the first iron forge built in the Lake Superior area.

It celebrates more than 125 years of success in the iron mining sector.

The museum displays numerous examples of the various technologies used by iron mining corporations to extract ore from the soil.

It also tells the tales of the people who live in the mining villages where these technologies serve the community.

Guests may look at relics from the Upper Peninsula’s working and leisure cultures.

Catch a Hockey Tournament at Negaunee Ice Arena

The Negaunee Miners ice hockey team and the Iron Range Hockey Association, a House League Hockey Association for boys and girls from Mites to Midgets, play their home games at the Negaunee Ice Arena.

Both the United States Amateur Hockey Association and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association claim them as members.

Regarding indoor ice arenas, the Negaunee Ice Arena is among the best.

This city building at 141 Rail Street, Negaunee, Marquette County, was built with the help of countless volunteers and the contributions of numerous local businesses and people.

Amazing local hockey games featuring skaters of all ages may be seen in comfort thanks to the stadium seating and food stand.

Ride a Sled at Lucy Hill Naturbahn Luge

Experience the excitement of a luge sled gliding across an icy track at the Lucy Hill Naturbahn Luge training facility in Negaunee, Marquette County.

There is a public slide at the bottom of the way.

During the colder months, the public is welcome to stop by and get training.

Wear warm clothes because everything else, including instruction and gear, will be provided.

Bring your friends and have a fun-filled afternoon! You may also rent the hill for exclusive use.

It’s a one-of-a-kind celebration for special occasions like birthdays, company outings, or youth group gatherings.

See Bats Coming out of Millie Mine Bat Cave

One of North America’s largest hibernating and breeding bat colonies (up to 1 million bats) has taken up residence in a defunct vertical iron mine in Iron Mountain, Dickinson County.

Millie Mine Bat Cave entrance features a unique steel grate that keeps humans out but lets bats fly freely.

Visitors may learn about the value of bats through an informative program they can explore independently.

At nightfall in April/May and September/October, when bats leave or enter the mine to hibernate, you have the best chance of seeing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

The state of Michigan is a prime spot to observe local fauna.

Have a Tee Time at TimberStone Golf Course

TimberStone Gold Course at Pine Mountain is a stunning 240-acre course in Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, and it’s currently ranked eighth in the state by Golf Week.

The combination of golf and the outdoors at TimberStone is unparalleled.

All levels of golfers will enjoy the variety of obstacles that TimberStone’s lakes, streams, and undulating greens present.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play a course rated five stars by Golf Digest.

Only 24 courses out of 6,000 total have received this 5-star status.

Pebble Beach, Harbour Town, Spy Glass, and Whistling Straits share the accolades with TimberStone.

Take in Some Sun at Duval’s Lakeside Resort

The fact that Duval’s Lakeside Resort lies on the Menominee River’s lakeside makes its position one of a kind.

Go sunbathing at the white sand beach with clear water, ideal for summer swims in Iron Mountain, Dickinson County.

It has an extensive network of wooded interior waterways accessible by boat or canoe.

It’s also perfect for great walleye, northern pike, giant perch, crappie, and bluegill fishing in the spring, summer, and fall.

The resort has seven large cabins, and each can sleep anywhere from one to eight guests.

Roomy cabins include everything you need to create a meal, including a fridge/freezer, stove, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, cutlery, plates, pots/pans, and glasses.

There’s a Weber barbecue, a picnic table, and a fish cleaning shack for your use.

Both smoking and pets are prohibited. The resort is not suitable for those with disabilities.

3. Eastern Upper Peninsula

Tahquamenon falls at Eastern Upper Peninsula

Weidman Photography /

Michigan’s oldest city, Sault Ste. Marie, lies in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, which is also home to other interesting cultural and historical sites.

From the first Great Lakes trade to the present settlers of the Upper Peninsula, Eastern Upper Peninsula is full of history.

Explore Eastern Upper Peninsula for an unforgettable experience!

Admire the Scenery of Mackinac Island State Park

Coastline of Mackinac Island

mivod /

Mackinac Island State Park, characterized by towering cliffs of limestone, offers breathtaking views of the clear lake below, lush green woods, and mysterious rock formations.

Since the area has banned vehicles since 1898, residents have enjoyed a more peaceful lifestyle away from the bustle of city streets.

Colorful flowers in front of the houses at  Mackinac Island

gg5795 /

This state park in Mackinac Island, Mackinac County, which encompasses more than 80 percent of the Island, is open all year for no cost and is where you can find the Island’s great natural treasures.

The Ojibwa and Odawa Great Lakes Indian tribes consider this Island holy ground.

Horseback ride at  Mackinac Island State Park

Fleckner /

Visitors on foot, bike, horseback, or carriage will love the breathtaking views of the Island’s numerous magnificent natural wonders and unique historical sites.

They believe this to be the origin of life.

Learn why at the current Visitor Center on Mackinac Island State Park, built in 1915 as a Coast Guard Life Saving Station.

Vibrant sunset at  Mackinac Island State Park

Ami Parikh /

Enjoy a 360-Degree View of the Sault Ste. Marie from Tower Of History

The Tower of History, which rises 210 feet above Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, provides tourists with a panoramic perspective of the city and its surroundings, including the Sault Locks, the St. Mary’s River, and the Canadian wilderness.

With a quick ride in the fast elevator, guests may take in the sights of the Sault Locks, the St. Mary’s River, and the Canadian wilderness, as well as a vista of up to 1,200 square miles.

The Tower of History’s initial goal of portraying the narrative of the early Missionaries has not changed.

However, it has undergone expansion to incorporate local and Native American history.

In addition to the museum exhibits and film presentation found on the lower level, the upper level also offers a description of the local region and its own display space, in addition to the breathtaking view.

Look back to the Turbulent History of Fort Mackinac

Horse carriage waiting to take the visitors to the Fort Mackinac


Fort Mackinac brings history to life with the sound of cannon and rifle fire as men march forward.

Explore the exhibits detailing military training, combat, medical care, and family life within the fort, spread among the oldest building in Michigan and 13 more historical sites.

Entrance to Fort Mackinac

Cheri Alguire /

Fort Mackinac in Mackinac Island, Mackinac County, was more than just a military stronghold; it also housed troops and their families and later became the park’s headquarters.

Visitors to the Island still come to see the impressive fort perched high on the cliff.

Outside view of Fort Mackinac

Charles Butzin III /

The Grand Hotel’s Tea Room Restaurant serves a variety of beverages and food, including coffee, tea, sandwiches, light snacks, beer, and wine, and has a breathtaking panorama of Lake Michigan.

Fort Mackinac’s Sutler Museum Store has been open since 1859 and stands on the lower level of the Soldiers’ Barracks.

Architect of Fort Mackinac

Cheri Alguire /

See Different Butterfly Species at Wings of Mackinac

Wings of Mackinac strives to provide a tropical setting for the butterflies and visitors at its butterfly conservatory.

The incredible display of hundreds of tropical and native butterflies dancing amid the lush vegetation and water fountains of Mackinac Island, Mackinac County, is a sight to behold for people of all ages.

Stroll the gorgeous, artistic garden teeming with hundreds of free-flying butterflies worldwide.

It’s a beautiful garden with tropical plants and flowers.

It offers a one-of-a-kind collection of hundreds of butterflies, a lovely, healthy, and colorful habitat for them, educational displays, a gift shop, and a chapel for small weddings.

Be a Sailor for a Day at Museum Ship Valley Camp

View of Museum Ship Valley Camp

ehrlif /

There’s more to the Museum Ship Valley Camp in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, than just a look at her deck.

Her huge hold space is home to a museum with over a hundred displays.

You’ll also find the two rescue boats from the doomed Edmund Fitzgerald at the museum.

These lifeboats are two of the few notable items found following the ship’s terrible demise.

The tragic sinking of one of the enormous freighters on the Great Lakes on November 10, 1975, is the subject of an hour-long lecture at the exhibit.

Front view of Museum Ship Valley Camp

ehrlif /

The Museum Ship Valley Camp features four 1,200-gallon aquariums filled with fish from the Great Lakes region, in addition to the museum’s exhibits.

The fish come from the state of Michigan’s DNR and Michigan Wholesale Bait out of Alanson.

In her cottages, the Valley Camp used to accommodate a workforce of 29 men.

Tourists may peek into these quarters to get a feel for what it was like to sail the Great Lakes.

Visitors may witness the sailors’ living quarters, from the well-appointed Captain’s Quarters to the simple quarters of the Oilers and the Coal Passers.

Bring Home a Piece of Michigan at Island Books & Crafts

Local artists and artisans handcraft everything in Island Books & Crafts in Michigan.

Books about or by writers from the Upper Peninsula have found a home in a particular shop area.

It opened in the winter of 2010 with 1,500 books and five female artisans from Michigan.

Owners had to move into a giant warehouse since its stock of 16,000 readers and 175 artisans has outgrown its 3,500-square-foot home.

This store now lies in the renovated old Sault Savings Bank building in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County.

Try Your Luck at Kewadin Casinos

Signage of Kewadin Casinos

ehrlif /

Kewadin Casino stands on the Shunk Road portion of the reserve owned by Sault Ste. Marie in Chippewa County.

More than 37,000 square feet of gaming space is available at this casino, which is open nonstop every day of the year.

Slot machines live keno, blackjack, craps, Let It Ride, roulette, 3 Card Poker, and live Poker are just some games you may play here that will transport you to Las Vegas.

The resort’s DreamMaker Theater has hosted legendary performers, such as B.B. King and the Beach Boys.

Its 320-room hotel features a spa, a fitness center, and an indoor pool for relaxation and rejuvenation.

You may use the facility’s services, including hotel transfer, an art gallery, Signatures Sports Bar, a deli, and our award-winning restaurant, DreamCatchers.

Convention space is also available at this resort in Sault Ste. Marie.

Discover the History of Local Logging at the Tahquamenon Logging Museum

Visit the Tahquamenon Logging Museum, located approximately 1.5 miles north of Newberry, Luce County, to peruse artifacts and structures from the era of the lumberjacks.

Visit the historic C.C.C. facilities to see authentic logging machinery, photographs, models, and other artifacts.

Here at the Authentic Cookshack, we make our lumberjack breakfasts the old-fashioned way, over a wood burner, with plenty of love and care.

Spend some time exploring the Tahquamenon Forest by the boardwalk and nature trail.

Wildlife flourishes along this scenic path that runs along the Tahquamenon River.

4. Northwest Michigan

Coastline of Northwest Michigan

Brittany Weaver /

This 10-county area, rich in industrial, agricultural, and natural resources, provides residents of various backgrounds with access to plentiful employment and lifestyle possibilities.

Northwest Michigan is a must-visit destination because of its abundance of exciting activities, peaceful retreats, and stunning attractions.

Explore charming shops filled with one-of-a-kind items for souvenirs and even heirloom antiques.

Discover Native American Artifacts at Guntzviller’s Taxidermy and Spirit of the Woods Museum

Both entertaining and informative, Guntzviller’s Taxidermy and Spirit of the Woods Museum in Elk Rapids, Antrim County, houses the Midwest’s most extensive private collection of Native American artifacts.

Not to mention the wildlife exhibit, which features not just Michigan-native but also non-native yet nevertheless fascinating animals.

We have made every effort to ensure that the displays provide an authentic wilderness experience.

Additionally, looking at everything from a life-size buffalo to small weasels in the woods, you can listen to the sounds of insects, birds, and other creatures.

For the little ones, we provide puzzles to help them explore the museum and hunt for particular objects.

There’s a little bit of everything in this gift shop.

You can take a guided tour if you want to.

Spot the Wildlife at Ludington State Park

Hunting trail at Ludington State Park

Focused Adventures /

Ludington State Park consists of wetlands, marshes, and woodlands in addition to the three campsites, sandy beaches, and picturesque dunes.

There are several scenic miles of beachfront on both Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan, which the park borders.

See wild animals in their natural habitats throughout the park’s many hiking trails.

It’s also a hunting ground for precious metals.

Landscape of Ludington State Park

ehrlif /

This park in Ludington, Mason County, features a beach, a playground, a fishing pier, a small cottage, and clean, comfortable bathrooms.

You may take advantage of Ludington State Park’s numerous fantastic features, courses, excursions, and educational activities throughout the year.

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse, a timber town, and a Civilian Conservation Corps camp are some attractions for sightseers.

Lake at Ludington State Park

ehrlif /

Explore the Trading Past of Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve

Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve in Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, is in a prime location for shipping.

The early logging and manufacturing businesses that sprung up along its shores could not have been in a better place, given the area’s abundance of water.

As a result of the Bay’s protective environment, shipping and trade flourished.

As a result of these actions, wrecks of ships and you can still see the evidence of previous trade.

Fun diving sites, such as a 1970s Ford Pinto, may be found alongside historic sites, like the ruins of Michigan’s oldest dock in the preserve’s waters, which date back to the 1800s.

Meet the Pioneers of Mason County at Historic White Pine Village

Barn at Historic White Pine Village

No machine-readable author provided. Doug Coldwell assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The tours to Historic White Pine Village, a re-creation of a pioneer settlement from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are entertaining for all ages.

You’ll find over 30 historic exhibit buildings within the Village in Ludington, Mason County, such as the original Mason County Courthouse from 1849 (listed on the State Register of Historic Places) and a real steam locomotive, tender, and flat car carrying logs to the village’s operational sawmill.

The early inhabitants of Mason County are brought to life before the eyes of tourists via the efforts of first-person interpreters who use scripts written by staff and historians and improvise to bring the past to life.

Old meachineries at Historic White Pine Village

Doug Coldwell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These structures house hundreds of original items and records documenting the region’s prosperous logging and agricultural history.

Every year, the village welcomes tens of thousands of visitors, including local schoolchildren, families, and tourists.

Walking through White Pine Village’s historic district takes around two hours.

Cemetery at Historic White Pine Village

No machine-readable author provided. Doug Coldwell assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find Unique Treasures at Nawbin

Nawbin is just a short distance from downtown Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, where prices are cheap to provide excellent value.

It lies in a 120-year-old retail establishment and sells antiquities, arrowheads, ancient artwork, fossils, jewelry, Asian curiosities, gold from India, and even meteorites.

It’s a veritable treasure trove for history experts and casual browsers alike.

If you’re looking for a reputable bead store in Michigan, go no further than Nawbin.

Beads made from Petoskey stone and other fantastic Michigan minerals are also available.

It also offers jewelry-making instruction, art supplies, and equipment for working with beads.

Discover Michigan’s Irish Heritage at the Old Mormon Print Shop Museum

Information board placed infront of Old Mormon Print Shop Museum

Reel creative /

King Strang erected the Old Mormon Print Shop in 1850.

The Beaver Island Historical Society has relocated its museum to the Print Shop.

The museum in Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, features several exhibitions in addition to the Strang exhibit, some of which vary over time.

These include displays of early Irish culture, music on the Island, artifacts from the Island’s Native American population, and a brand new exhibit called “Then and Now.”

In addition to photographs, diaries, genealogy data, land records, and audio recordings, the archives also house tapes and transcriptions of “oral history” interviews.

5. Northeast Michigan

Train track at Northeast Michigan

Sean Patrick Doran /

Those who visit the Sunrise Coast in northeastern Michigan will have a new appreciation for the morning.

Explore the changing seasons on two wheels or the water by scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking amid shipwrecks that date back centuries, sailing, or gliding silently through the snow on skis, snowshoes, or a sled.

River flowing through Northeast Michigan

David Lingholm /

Along its length, Heritage Route 23 has spectacular vistas and access to more than 150 historical sites and cultural attractions.

Take the scenic road across Northeast Michigan, and you might find yourself in the middle of an adventure or a tranquil retreat.

Bring Your Kids to Explore Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center

Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center in Oscoda, Iosco County, provides insight into the area’s colorful history in the timber industry.

A steep bank overlooking the Au Sable River is home to the 14-foot-tall Lumberman’s Monument.

Find out more about the men who worked in the wood business in northern Michigan and how they contributed to the sector’s development.

Discover the tools and techniques lumberjacks use, such as the peavey and the cross-cut saw, as you climb through a log jam and prepare a wooden cookie.

Explore the area down the stairs to the wanigan (a floating kitchen used by loggers) or along the short route to the dune lookout.

Participate in one of the Kid’s Day activities or go on a guided stroll into the forest along the Forest Discovery Trail.

Or hike along the Highbanks River.

You’ll find the Monument Campground near the tourist center, where you may set up camp for the night.

Explore the Region’s Maritime Past at Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Exterior view of Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Jhansonxi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena, Alpena County, has displays that will allow you to learn about the region’s rich maritime heritage.

Walk the deck of a full-size schooner and “swim” over a shipwreck as you experience the fury of a Lake Huron storm!

There’s enough to see and do for families, school groups, and college students in the museum’s approximately 10,000-square-foot display area.

The Alpena Visitor Center is situated on the banks of the Thunder Bay River in the heart of the city and is open year-round.

Admission tickets for the glass bottom boat trips are available in the museum.

Dive the Shipwrecks with Alpena Shipwreck Tours

View of  Alpena Shipwreck

NOAA’s National Ocean Service, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the Great Lakes’ fascinating past on land and in the water with Alpena Shipwreck Tours in Alpena, Alpena County.

Learn about the history of the shipwrecks in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Diving the wrecks is possible without getting wet, thanks to the pristine conditions and its wide “glass bottom” observation wells.

Wonderfully preserved shipwrecks, picturesque shorelines, and towering lighthouses are just some of the highlights of our 2-and-a-half-hour trip.

As you sail around Thunder Bay’s coast, you may learn more about the area’s history, mythology, and myths, including the stories of numerous infamous shipwrecks.

The “Lady Michigan,” a 65-foot vessel, departs from the pleasant port of Alpena and takes passengers on a relaxing journey into the heart of Shipwreck Alley on Lake Huron.

There are lots of space to roam about on two floors, and the comfortable chairs will help you relax.

If you want to take in the fresh air and scenery while you’re sailing, there is plenty of sitting on the open upper deck.

There is plenty of comfortable seating and heating on the lower deck and “glass bottom” observation wells.

These windows are a first for Great Lakes sightseeing vessels and will give cruisegoers a rare glimpse at shipwreck remnants.

Don’t bring your diving gear; you won’t need it to admire the ancient wrecks floating below the surface.

Go Ice Skating at Northern Lights Arena

The two NHL-sized ice rinks at Northern Lights Arena (NLA) are the only ones in the region.

Northern Lights Arena in Alpena, Alpena County, is available for use all twelve months of the year.

A skating rink, a walking track, and other exercise and entertainment are all part of the outreach efforts.

Skating, whether figure skating, hockey, or speed skating, is the main draw for customers to ice rinks.

See one of the numerous annual concerts presented here, or stop by for a look.

Learn the Secrets of Trout Fishing at Lovells Museum of Trout Fishing History

When it comes to trout and fly fishing, the history of Lovells Township, the AuSable River, and the state of Michigan is preserved, exhibited, and explained by the Lovells Museum of Trout Fishing History, the state’s only museum dedicated to the sport.

The museum lies in the heart of Lovells Township in Grayling, Crawford County, a little town on the AuSable River’s North Branch.

The AuSable was the birthplace of Trout Unlimited and one of the last rivers where grayling thrived.

Car moguls like Durant, Ford, Mason, Nash, Seiberling, and Stranahan, among others, all had fishing lodges or belonged to existing ones along the AuSable River.

Greyling displays, Trout Unlimited history, trout flies, fly rods, and more are on display.

Each year, the museum presents a new and different exhibition.

Camp in a Pine Forest at Hartwick Pines State Park, Visitors Center & Logging Museum

View of Hartwick Pines State Park during the fall

Steve Lagreca /

The 49 acres of Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, Crawford County, are home to a remnant old-growth pine forest, giving the park its namesake.

See the valley of the East Branch of the AuSable River, four tiny lakes, and unusual forest lands from the park’s undulating hills.

Scenic view of Hartwick Pines State Park

Steve Lagreca /

The park is a fantastic spot for campers, paddlers, cyclists, skiers, snowshoers, hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, and anyone interested in experiencing the great outdoors in Michigan.

You can visit Hartwick Pines State Park whenever you choose.

A well-known feature of Hartwick Pines Park is the memorial building.

Chapel at Hartwick Pines State Park

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The Civilian Conservation Corps built the park’s visitor center in the 1930s and remained in use until 1994.

On the premises, you may bring your well-behaved pets but not inside the buildings.

Wetland at Hartwick Pines State Park

ehrlif /

Gift Your Loved Ones with Jewelries from Twisted Crystal

This store in Mackinaw City, Emmet, and Cheboygan Counties, sells and displays handmade jewelry.

In business since 1990, Twisted Crystal is known for its wire-sculpted jewelry made from Michigan stones, including Petoskey stone and greenstone.

In addition to active solar jewelry, string bead jewelry, and larimar jewelry, Twisted Crystal also carries Swarovski Crystal and lab-created stone jewelry.

Most of our jewelry is made in-house by skilled jewelers in Mackinaw City, Michigan.

It’s the place to go if you’re in Mackinaw City.

Have a Retail Therapy at Mackinaw Crossings

Entrance to Mackinaw Crossings

ehrlif /

Located in Mackinaw City in Emmet and Cheboygan Counties, this Victorian-style retail complex has something for everyone.

Mackinaw Crossings has more than fifty unique stores, a five-screen movie theater, live musical performances, activities, and restaurants.

Frequently, you may enjoy live performances.

There are many different drinks and great snacks available.

Shops at Mackinaw Crossings

ehrlif /

The layout makes you feel like you’re strolling through a quaint town.

Ample seating options allow visitors to relax and enjoy the atmosphere, whether they’re there to enjoy the live entertainment, a meal, a drink, or observe people.

The area is perfect for families, and there are many fun things to do here.

Furthermore, there is no cost involved until you decide to purchase.

6. East Central Michigan

The east-central part of the Lower Peninsula is teeming with family-friendly attractions and a wealth of hidden jewels, from the Saginaw Bay coast to the Thumb of the Lower Peninsula.

Travelers of all ages will enjoy the many activities and events available in this area, from the Flint Cultural Center to the Bavarian heritage of Frankenmuth.

The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the region’s natural splendor.

East Central Michigan is home to several farms, so residents may have their fill of locally grown food and prepared dishes year-round.

Cross and Take Snaps of the Holz-Brucke Wooden Bridge

Boat passing beneath the Holz-Brucke Wooden Bridge

Craig Sterken /

Visitors to Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, to experience this Bavarian village in all its sensory glory are likely to have seen this architectural masterpiece: Holz Brücke Wooden Bridge, at the Bavarian Inn.

It’s known by a few different names: the Covered Bridge, the Wooden Bridge, and the Holz Brücke.

Holz-Brucke Wooden Bridge covered with snow

Craig Sterken /

No matter what you call it, this stunning architecture is still the world’s youngest covered wooden bridge with two-lane and two-sidewalk.

It’s also Michigan’s largest covered wooden bridge.

It enables pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists to travel to and from some of Frankenmuth’s most beloved landmarks.

Side view of Holz-Brucke Wooden Bridge

Craig Sterken /

Check the Time at Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel Tower

View of Glockenspiel Tower

T-I /

The Bavarian Inn’s Glockenspiel Tower in Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, stands 50 feet tall.

Inside is a gorgeous German-imported figure movement, an illuminated clock, and a spectacular 35-bell carillon.

The clock plays the 5-bell Westminster chime just before the hour and on the quarter hours.

The 4-and-a-half-foot-tall statues come to life at noon, 3:00, and 9:00 p.m.

It depicts the narrative of the Pied Piper of Hamelin through the playing of several choices and the subsequent movement of figurines.

Chill and Sip Beer at Frankenmuth Brewery

Wooden wagon at Frankenmuth Brewery

ehrlif /

The Gold Medal Taproom of Frankenmuth Brewery Company is accessible to the general public throughout the week.

Enjoy tastings and complete brewery tours in the taproom in Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, which features 21 beers on tap and a cuisine that focuses on the brewery’s craft products.

Its selection of premium craft beers has never been more extensive because of the growing output of Frankenmuth Brewery’s year-round, limited-release, and seasonal brews.

Frankenmuth Brewery has a wide variety of craft beers for every taste and preference, including light, dark, hoppy, malty, creatively flavored, and classic options.

During the warmer months, diners may enjoy the view from the patio overlooking the Cass River.

Bring Home a Winter Essential from Zeilinger Wool Company

Zeilinger Wool Co. has been operating in Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, for four generations.

The Abraham/Zeilinger family has been in business for eighty-nine years, and over that time, it has built a reputation for its traditional quality and personalized service.

If you have nothing to do in the afternoon, this is the place to have some retail therapy.

Peruse comforters, bed pillows, mattress pads, quilts, batting for felting, yarns, and handicrafts at its retail shop.

Also offered are tours of the facility.

Go Birding at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Landscape of Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Paper and Lens Co /

Established in 1953, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw, Saginaw County, is a protected area for migrating birds and other wildlife.

It spans an area of 10,000 acres.

Due to its importance to migrating waterfowl, it has received classification as an Important Bird Area.

Ducks resting on a branch in marshes at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

James W. Thompson /

Mountain bikers, hikers, and cross-country skiers love the area’s 12 miles of trails.

Spot the bald eagles and white-tailed deer from the wildlife viewing tower and platforms equipped with viewing lenses.

Other activities include hunting, fishing, and boating.

You may also do wildlife photography here.

An egret waiting to hunt its prey at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

James W. Thompson /

7. West Central Michigan

The west central part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is warm and lively since it is home to bustling metropolitan areas and some of the state’s most beautiful coastline.

Grand Rapids is the ideal city getaway any time of year because of its year-round attractions.

As you travel around the region and visit its charming towns, take advantage of the many opportunities to indulge in the region’s rich artistic and cultural offerings, as well as its delicious farm-fresh cuisine and award-winning beverages.

You may find miles of sandy beaches and charming beach villages along the Lake Michigan shore and enjoy some spectacular sunsets.

West central Michigan is a photographer’s paradise, with miles of recreational trails and some of the state’s most beautiful parks.

See Fish Climb the Ladder at Fish Ladder Park

Grand River flowing at Fish Ladder Park

Danita Delimont /

Fish Ladder Park in Grand Rapids, Kent County, created by architect Joseph Kinnebrew, is a stunning and practical piece of art.

Its usefulness is that migratory fish can avoid the Grand River’s strong current.

You can even see fish climbing the “ladder,” and visitors can watch them do so.

The autumn migration of Chinook and Coho salmon occurs typically during September and October.

View of North Lansing Dam from Fish Ladder Park

T-I /

Although steelhead passes by from early November to mid-December, the bulk of the flow doesn’t begin until mid-February and ends in late April.

Chinook salmon, steelhead, Coho salmon, and brown trout predominantly use it.

Fish, including the sucker, smallmouth bass, and walleye, occasionally make the ascent.

Cool Down at Lakeside Beach

Lakeside Beach in Spring Lake, Ottawa County, is a beachgoer’s haven during the warm months.

In addition to being the largest beach in the Blue Water region, Lakeside Beach is also the largest beach in the surrounding area.

The structure now stands where the cross-lake ferry used to dock.

It also features restrooms, a lifeguard, covered picnic areas, and a balcony with seating looking out over Spring Lake from the sandy beach area.

Celebrate Your Special Events at Tanglefoot Park

There is a picturesque pavilion in Tanglefoot Park in Spring Lake, Ottawa County, with glass garage doors, a catering kitchen, and restrooms.

The rental of the pavilion in the park is available for both personal and public gatherings.

The pavilion can host up to 300 guests, making it ideal for weddings and large family get-togethers.

Visitors can relax in the pavilion’s shade whenever it does not serve events.

Families in the region flock to the new Splash Pad because they can have picnics on the grassy areas nearby.

Additionally, there is a fishing pier, public art, a kayak launch accessible to those with disabilities, and, eventually, self-service kayak rentals.

Get Inspired at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Waterfall setup at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


There are nearly 700,000 yearly visitors to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Kent County, making it one of the most popular attractions in Michigan.

Art Newspaper, the world’s preeminent art news journal, recently included Meijer Gardens on its list of 100 most-visited art museums.

The 158-acre site houses the most expansive tropical conservatory in Michigan, the country’s most extensive children’s garden, and arid and Victorian gardens featuring bronze sculptures by Rodin and Degas.

Sculptures of playing children at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Michael Deemer /

It also features a carnivorous plant house, outdoor gardens, and a 1,900-seat amphitheater that hosts a wide variety of internationally renowned performers every summer.

You’ll find sculptures by Ai Weiwei, Oldenburg, Moore, Rodin, Serra, Bourgeois, and Plensa in Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s permanent collection.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park launched the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden on eight acres in June 2015.

Beautiful view of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


Pose with the Artworks in Michigan Art Walk

Peruse Michigan Art Walk, an exciting anthology of works by established Michigan artists that have won national recognition.

The “Ferris Renaissance,” a 20-year effort to improve the campus’s aesthetic and cultural presentation, culminated in these works.

Among the highlighted sculptures and paintings is one of the extensive freestanding canvases in the country.

Visitors can park in any campus lot with a guest pass, making the Michigan Art Walk tour accessible.

To acquire a license, one must go to the Public Safety Office at Cramer Circle in Big Rapids, Mecosta County.

Learn Environmental Conservation at Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center

This 5,000-square-foot building on the campus of Ferris State University is an excellent destination for families and those interested in the outdoors.

Unlike other museums, the Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center in Big Rapids, Mecosta County, teaches visitors about conservation and wildlife.

Animals from 52 different nations have been preserved in taxidermy and displayed there.

You will be amazed to see bears, tigers, lions, antelopes, elks, and other species kept to this degree.

At the wildlife center, you may see over two hundred species of taxidermied animals.

It’s an excellent spot for kids and school groups to visit and learn about the animals on the show.

Education tours occur regularly, led by Ferris State University’s biology department students.

The wildlife center serves primarily as a learning resource for elementary through high school students and those of Ferris State University.

Nonetheless, the general public may still visit here.

Explore a President’s Life at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Exterior view of Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Susan Montgomery /

Children and adults will find that the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Kent County, is an interactive and engaging way to learn about the United States’ past.

The museum’s varied displays of historical artifacts pique visitors’ interest in American history and politics.

The Museum’s educational offerings include programs, tours, and historical plays.

Astronaut statue infront of Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Susan Montgomery /

The interactive media experience housed in a facsimile of Gerald Ford’s Cabinet Room allows visitors to assume the role of an advisor to the former president as he makes some of the most meaningful choices of his presidency.

A recreation of the Oval Office gives visitors a chance to sit in on a typical day in the life of President Ford in the heart of American democracy.

Walkway at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

BD Images /

Tickle Your Funny Bone at The Comedy Project

Only in West Michigan can you find a comedy theater like The Comedy Project in Grand Rapids, Kent County.

There is always something entertaining to see, with a program that features both long-form sketch comedy revue presentations and short-form improv comedy acts.

Businesses and individuals of all ages can take advantage of The Comedy Project Training Center Program’s (TCPTCP) programs and workshops to hone their verbal and nonverbal communication, improvisational comedy, and comedic writing chops.

If you’re hungry, choose from a wide variety of snacks, including warm cookies with ice cream, nut flights, and hot soft pretzels.

It also provides a complete bar with all your favorite alcoholic beverages, including moonshine flights and specialty drinks.

Learn the Ins and Outs of Professional Golf at Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center

Ken Jatke Sr. Golf Course Learning Center features an indoor putting green and three heated indoor hitting bays for learning and practice.

Big Rapids regards Jatke as the “standard and grandfather of charitable tournaments,” and inspired the founding of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.

Ferris State University’s men’s and women’s golf teams in Big Rapids, Mecosta County, use the facility as a resource after competing in March tournaments in Florida and Kentucky during spring break.

In 2013, Ferris State University became the permanent home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, which Janke established in 1982.

Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center also features a collection of plaques, pictures, and memorabilia.

8. Southeast Michigan

Aside from Detroit, there are many unexpected delights and exciting cities in the area just waiting for you to explore.

You may learn about the region’s rich history at the museums and meet and greet animals at a zoo.

You’ll find college towns, peaceful retreats, rural scenery, and a culinary wonderland throughout the area.

Visit historical cores, cultural hubs, and the finest of Americana all in one day.

Alternatively, you might take your time discovering the many hidden treasures Southeast Michigan offers.

Get to Know the Ford Founder and His Wife at Fair Lane

Facade of Fair Lane

Dave Parker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For almost 30 years, Henry and Clara Ford lived in Fair Lane.

The estate represents the realization of their goals and the fruition of their labors.

After the tremendous success of the Model T, the assembly line, and Ford’s $5 workday policy, Henry and Clara Ford settled into Fair Lane in Dearborn, Wayne County, in 1915.

Fair Lane served as a private workshop for Henry’s tinkering and breakthroughs, a canvas for Clara’s love of gardens, a refuge to discuss ideas with friends like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burrows, and a gathering place for the grandchildren to share their passions and dreams.

Many of the original structures of the estate are still here.

Play house at Fair Lane

Rmhermen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These include the main house, the powerhouse supplying energy to the estate, the boathouse, the greenhouse, and the stables.

The house, one of the first to receive National Historic Landmark status, is a unique blend of English castle and prairie architecture, bringing together the best of European grandeur and American rustic.

Acclaimed landscape architect Jens Jensen was responsible for the layout of the grounds and gardens.

Backyard of Fair Lane

Dave Parker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover Celestial Bodies at Robinson Planetarium

In 1966, construction began on the Robinson Planetarium in Adrian, Lenawee County.

Herbert Robinson, a successful businessman, funded the establishment of the planetarium.

The planetarium received a striking makeover and full-dome capabilities in 2012 thanks to the Maurice and Dorothy Stubnitz Foundation donations.

The 30-foot dome and Spitz A-3-P star projector are two of its notable features.

There’s enough room for 62 people to sit down.

Visit Adrian and embark on a voyage to discover the different celestial bodies seen in the night sky.

Celebrate Culture at Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (Access)

For more than 35 years, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) has been there for Arabs in need of assistance in Dearborn, Wayne County.

Now with seven sites and more than 90 programs, ACCESS provides extensive service to people of all backgrounds.

The Arab Community Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) organization works to improve the economic and social conditions of Arab immigrants, Arab Americans, and non-Arabs.

It promotes inclusivity, fairness, and opportunity and works to eliminate language and cultural obstacles.

The East Dearborn Arab Festival, concerts, music series, art shows, and more are just a few of the many initiatives made possible by the generous funding of access.

Let Your Imagination Wander at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Neon sign of old McDonald's at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Belikova Oksana /

Enter a world where the achievements of the past serve as inspiration for the dreams of the future.

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Wayne County, is an energetic romp through the works of America’s finest brains, letting visitors experience the achievements of these individuals and thoroughly immerse themselves in their tales.

Sit down on the bus where Rosa Parks made her stand.

Hallway at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

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Or pretend to be a pilot while you learn about the history of flying, beginning with the Wright brothers.

You can also make yourself home in Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House, a spherical structure.

Sports car at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

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Create Glass Art at The Glass Academy

Michelle Plucinsky and Chris Nordin, two artists, came up with the idea for The Glass Academy in Dearborn, Wayne County’s historic tool-and-die district.

The Glass Academy opened in Detroit but moved to its present site in 2004.

See large-scale commissioned artworks (for hospitals, hotels, individual clients, and corporations) made in glass, metal, and mixed media at this 14,000-square-foot facility, which also serves as a private art studio for the founding partners.

The Glass Academy aims to educate the public on the many practical and aesthetically pleasing ways to use artisanal glass in contemporary design.

Classes at Glass Academy will introduce you to glass-making in various ways.

Experiment with new methods in each exciting workshop, or bring your libation and let us do the work while you are the maker of your custom glassware during our Happy Hour experience.

Visit the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Exterior view of Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Jackdude101, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the only “Brass Era” automobile assembly factory in Detroit, Wayne County, open to the public: The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant.

This facility, constructed in 1904 and now a National Historic Landmark, was the first factory owned by Ford Motor Company and purpose-built to produce Ford automobiles.

Forever cementing his place in history, Ford created the Model T here.

Interior view of Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Jackdude101, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The factory’s original wood flooring and brick walls are still accessible to visitors, but with some wear and tear from the many years of producing Ford vehicles.

One of the awe-inspiring vintage Fords is available for you to sit in and relive the early days of the car renaissance.

Every detail of Ford’s office, including his desk, has been maintained, and it is now available for visitors to explore.

It’s a terrific spot to go if you’re looking for something to do in Detroit on a wet day.

Vintage car festival at Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

F. D. Richards from Clinton, MI, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sample Apple Pies and Products from Almar Orchards

Almar Orchards is an organic 500-acre farm in Flushing, Genesee County, which has been lovingly cared for by the same family since 1885.

See some animals, picnic, and shop at the Farm Market.

Almar’s J.K.’s Scrumpy Farmhouse Organic apple cider is a top-shelf product made from over 30 different kinds of apples.

This fresh-tasting, fermented hard cider has no added sugars, flavors, or preservatives.

Try its sparkling, pleasant beverage made from Almar apples by fermentation and natural aging.

Have a Good Scare at Michigans Haunted Musical

Sleepy Hollow Animal Sanctuary and Animal Education is home to Michigans Haunted Musical‘s hayride.

Catch this popular Halloween event in Flushing, Genesee County.

There are three incredible sets in its hayride.

One is a two-story witch’s house where visitors can watch a musical duel between the witches of the roving woods and an eccentric tour guide protecting visitors from the witches as they ride in a hay wagon transformed into a magical locomotive.

Next, visitors will travel across time and space to a 40-foot-tall block of fully poured concrete and steel to see a psychotic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fight their inner demons to the tunes of ice nine kills’ full live band metal performance.

Finally, guests arrive in the misty woods at the base of one of the state’s tallest trees, where they will be bound to a slumbering 11-foot-tall animatronic troll (constructed by Distortions Unlimited) and treated to a sing-along and scary story about the troll by a resident who has heard the legend for years.

Get up Close and Personal with Animals at Detroit Zoo

Camels at Detroit Zoo

Fsendek /

Two miles north of Detroit, Wayne County, in Royal Oak, is where you’ll find the Detroit Zoo.

The Detroit Zoo is one of the biggest and best in Michigan, covering 125 acres and drawing in many visitors annually.

Animals from almost 300 different species call the Detroit Zoo home.

Visitors strolling around the Detroit Zoo

Fsendek /

It was the first zoo in the United States to include barless displays.

Explore magnificent butterfly gardens, wetland displays, wolf habitats, dinosaurs, and many more.

Kids may enjoy the bright train and the carousel during the warmer months.

Waterfowl at Detroit Zoo

Fsendek /

Admire and Learn Woodwork at Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute

There is a school in Adrian, Lenawee County, dedicated to woodworking called Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute.

During his time as a chairmaker, Sam Beauford, the dog owned by one of the proprietors, Luke Barnett, inspired the institute’s name when it debuted in 2015.

Sharing our expertise and enthusiasm for this field is a point of great pride.

Those interested in pursuing a career as a woodworker or furniture builder can enroll in our extensive furniture manufacturing curriculum.

Green woodworking, Windsor chair making, guitar making, boat building, knife making, and so much more are some of the many skills taught by our instructors with years of expertise in these fields.

Find Inspiration for Your Next Artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Exterior view of Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The city’s cultural hub is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

This museum in Detroit, Wayne County, occupies a 22,000-square-foot structure.

Architect Andrew Zago made significant efforts to maintain the structure’s original character after it had served as a car dealership.

The museum’s frequent displays of modern art attest to the institution’s ongoing commitment to fostering a broader audience for such presentations.

Concerts, talks, films, discussions, readings, and workshops are a few of the cultural events that are part of its many educational initiatives.

9. Southwest Michigan

Barn at  Southwest Michigan

Susan B Sheldon /

A trip to the southwestern part of Michigan includes time at the beach, fun at the amusement parks, and some of the best local cuisines you can find.

There is no shortage of ways to experience the finest Lake Michigan shoreline, which is famous for its small beach towns and miles of sandy beaches.

You may sample the region’s vino at any of the numerous wineries.

Scenic view of  Southwest Michigan

Susan B Sheldon /

The Gilmore Car Museum, the Capri Drive-In Theater, and Gene The Pumpkin Man provide unique experiences that the whole family will love.

Don’t leave home without your golf equipment to enjoy a beautiful day on the course and everything that Southwest Michigan offers.

See Unique Vintage Cars at Gilmore Car Museum

A vintage jeep at Gilmore Car Museum

Steve Lagreca /

Discover over 250 exceptional automobiles and motorbikes from across the decades and around the globe at the Gilmore Car Museum.

Publications also dub it one of the Top 5 car museums in the country.

The museum is open daily and features various automobiles from the 1890s through the classic Duesenberg, the rare 1948 Tucker, and the muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

Vintage cars displayed at Gilmore Car Museum

Steve Lagreca /

Check out George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner, a 1941 Silk City original lovingly restored.

The Museum’s 90-acre property in Hickory Corners, Barry County, is home to historic structures and hosts several popular automobile events throughout the summer months.

Have a Movie Date at Capri Drive-In Theater

You can find the Capri Drive-In Theatre on US-12, west of downtown Coldwater, Branch County, one of the most excellent attractions for a romantic getaway.

The Capri’s single, double-sided ticket booth allows two entry lanes into the theater’s two-screen lot, which has space for around 900 vehicles.

Modern electronic projection equipment in each theater allows for the brightest possible images. Both AM and FM stereo sound are available on both TVs.

You may rent a portable radio at the Capri for a few dollars if you do not use the one in your car.

A second lane opens at the snack bar on busy evenings to keep things going more quickly.

Sample the Ciders of VerHage Fruit Farms & Cider Mill

Do you like apple ciders, candied apples, and handmade glazed doughnuts?

Stop by VerHages Fruit Farm & Cider Mill in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, for a relaxing time.

This barn, owned and run by the same family since 1960, serves as both a functioning farm and a tourist destination, giving tourists a glimpse of rural life with a unique and enjoyable twist.

Verhagen Fruit Farm & Cider Mill is open all year, although it’s best to go in the fall.

Enjoy a hayride around the farm as you snack on homemade treats, including candied apples, fudge, ciders, and glazed doughnuts!

You may also learn how to make cider from the apples you collect from the blossoming orchards.

Hop on a Train Tour at Little River Railroad

Train engine at Little River Railroad

Ltshears, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scenic train rides are available on the Little River Railroad, pulled by vintage steam locomotives.

Every Saturday and Sunday, there is a ride from Coldwater, Branch County, to Quincy and back.

There is no need to make a reservation.

Just show up around half an hour before the departure time.

The average travel time on a train is two hours.

No matter the weather, trains will always run.

It also holds themed rides like theft on the train, autumn foliage, a spooky train ride for Halloween, and more.

Buy and Taste Pumpkins at Gene The Pumpkin Man

Regarding fun things to do in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, locals recommend heading to Gene The Pumpkin Man‘s orange pumpkin farm.

You can see this happy, unique place from a mile away because of all the vivid orange pumpkins and signs.

Although the land had been in Gene Rhodes’ family’s care since the early 1900s, the property didn’t undergo development into its current state of beauty until 1977.

You can reach out and pick a pumpkin or squash.

If Gene drops by, you may pick his brain about the best pumpkins to use in your favorite recipes and learn about the history of this area.

Local honey jars are available for those with a sweet tooth who like their treats to be all-natural.

The most fantastic time to visit is in the fall when pumpkins and squashes are in season and plentiful.

Go Wine-Tasting at Lawton Ridge Winery

It is unusual to find a winery that uses grapes grown on the premises these days.

This method is still widely used at Lawton Ridge Winery.

The Lawton Ridge Winery began as a small family farm in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, but now it produces world-class wines and recommends delicious foods to mix with them.

The sommeliers there are kind and helpful, and they will do anything they can to pair you with the best bottle of wine.

You may unwind in grand style on the winery veranda with a bottle of your favorite vintage or a few tasters.

To better your knowledge of wine, you can participate in wine-tasting events for a nominal price.

Feel like a Royalty at Henderson Castle

Exterior view of Henderson Castle

Maple Ferryman /

This mansion in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, built in the 19th century for the wealthy industrialist Frank Henderson, has been rumored to be one of Michigan’s most haunted locations.

Do you wish that your trip had the flavor of luxury and royalty?

The present bed, breakfast, and high tea services at the old Henderson Castle will make you feel like a true royal.

Experience the charm of Henderson Castle’s historic three-acre grounds while appreciating its charming vintage ambiance.

Experience the paranormal with Dan Holroyd, Southern Michigan’s resident expert, on one of his nighttime excursions or dinners.

Final Thoughts

Visiting Michigan will be just up your alley if you enjoy nature and culture.

Even if you don’t see everything on your first visit, that’s all the more reason to return.

Perhaps you’ll even consider making this place your permanent residence.

Trying the best things to do in Michigan will leave you with a lasting impression of the country’s uniqueness.

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