15 Best Things to Do in Muskegon, MI

Muskegon, MI
ehrlif / shutterstock.com

Surrounded by freshwaters and magnificent forests, Muskegon is a perfect destination for all things adventure.

In the 1880s, Muskegon became the center of the local lumber industry in Michigan.

Many business people invested in the place’s rich pine trees, which immediately boosted Muskegon’s lumber industry.

Since then, Muskegon has been known to be the Lumber Queen of the World.

Additionally, Muskegon is also dubbed as the “Port City” for having the largest port on the eastern part of Lake Michigan.

Its port and lumber industry paved the way for Muskegon’s prosperous development.

Now, it has grown to be a beautiful town along with many fun-filled attractions.

Now let's look at the 15 best things you can visit in Muskegon, Michigan.

Have Some Beach Fun at Pere Marquette Park

Sunset in Pere Marquette Park
Tony Savino / shutterstock.com

You might be familiar with the famous Lake Michigan Park, which is now named 'Pere Marquette Park.'

It opened in 1890, and after two years, the park became a popular destination, so the operators expanded the area and built more structures.

Over the years, the park really rose to fame and was acknowledged as the finest bathing beach on the Great Lakes.

Still, Pere Marquette Park managed to maintain its beauty and popularity.

Many people really adore this park with a long list of beach activities to enjoy and a great view during the sunset.

There are sand volleyball courts, a playground area, picnic tables, restaurants, and snack bars.

If you want to have some more fun on the water, you can also try their paddleboard and jet-ski rentals along Lake Michigan.

At the end of your day visit, you will be rewarded with the amazing beauty of a sunset and the Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse.

Your Pere Marquette Park visit will surely leave you thrilled yet relaxed.

Stop By Northern Edge Snowsports

Another go-to spot for your winter adventure is the Northern Edge Snowsports.

Northern Edge Snowsports is a family-run business that offers everything you need for your winter adventure.

They also offer tuning for your skis and skateboard, ley by the owner, Andrew Horton, who has been tuning skis and skateboards for over 30 years.

Other than these amazing deals, Northern Edge Snowsports also started a children’s ski lease program.

With this program, children will have the opportunity to rent ski packages at a low price, including skis, boots, poles, and even equipment maintenance,

Northern Edge Snowports’ lease program makes winter adventure more affordable and attainable for children and families.

Visit the Dune Climb Stairway at Hoffmaster State Park

People in Hoffmaster State Park
Arthur Matsuo / Shutterstock.com

Home to the famous Dune Climb Stairway, Hoffmaster State Park is a great addition to your beach park hop here in Muskegon.

This trail will take you to one of the largest sand dunes in the state park.

With a total of 193 steps, climbing up this attraction can be tiring, but the picture-perfect view of Lake Michigan at the top will make it all worth it.

If you are still up for some adventure after the long climb, you can take a nearby trail to Lake Michigan Beach for a swim.

At Hoffmaster State Park, you will certainly enjoy its fresh air as well as its fresh water.

Explore Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park

Muskegon may be popular for being one of the best summer getaways, but Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park proves that this is a great stop for all seasons.

During winter, you will surely enjoy cross-country skiing in this sports park.

The cross-country trails are open to people of all skill sets; easy, intermediate, and expert trails last for about 20-70 minutes, depending on their difficulty.

You can do more winter activities, like skating on an outdoor ice-skating rink or snowshoeing.

Even during the warm seasons, there are still activities you can enjoy in Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park.

You can try their wheel luge lessons and gear up for a memorable luge experience during the winter.

No matter what the season is, be sure to include Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park on your travel list for an outdoor adventure to remember.

Watch the Sunset at Muskegon State Park

Lake in Muskegon State Park
Wildnerdpix / Shutterstock.com

Established in 1923, Muskegon State Park started as a gift of land from the city of Muskegon to the Department of Natural Resources.

It is now a great vacation destination, where you can go fishing, boating, swimming, and sun-bathing.

Blockhouse in Muskegon State Park
rossograph, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also go for a picnic and try camping.

Muskegon State Park has modern and semi-modern campsites, some of which have electrical service and mini cabins.

You can also come here to admire how the sun meets Lake Michigan during sunset.

Watch a Live Performance at Frauenthal Center

There is truly a lot to explore in Muskegon, from nature to history to performing arts.

“Created by the community, for the community” is the mantra of Frauenthal Center, where a lot of live performances take place.

It has become the center of entertainment in all of Muskegon, featuring art exhibits, musicals, and shows.

Besides that, Frauenthal Center also hosts special events, like weddings, birthdays, meetings, and other occasions.

Ever since it was created in 1929, Frauenthal Center has never failed to showcase exciting performances.

If you are a fan of performing arts, you should not miss the opportunity of watching a performance at the prestigious Frauenthal Center stage.

Visit Hackley and Hume Historic Site

Aside from its many parks and outdoor activity areas, Muskegon also has numerous interesting museums to explore.

Created around the 1880s, Hackley and Hume Historic Site feature two homes with extraordinary beauty and story.

These two homes were owned by the famous lumber barons, Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume, hence the name Hackley and Hume Historic Site.

These houses were designed in Queen Anne style by architect David Hopkins.

This is a great destination for architecture and history enthusiasts as the National Register of Historic Places recognizes it.

Hackley and Hume Historic Site are also voted as the number one Muskegon destination in TripAdvisor.

Try Out Thrilling Rides at Michigan’s Adventure

Roller Coaster in Michigan’s Adventure
Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After relaxing at the parks, it is now time for some flush of excitement in Michigan’s largest amusement and water park!

Here you can enjoy nerve-wracking roller coaster rides and thrilling water adventures.

If you are a thrill-seeker, you should definitely ride Thunderhawk, an inverted roller coaster about 120 feet tall.

Roller Coaster in Michigan’s Adventure
Jeremy Thompson from United States of America, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For water slide fans, Funnel for Fear is the one for you.

Here, you will ride a raft together with three more people and will be dumped in an enclosed tunnel.

You can enjoy this ride together with your friends and family.

Michigan’s Adventure is also famous for its WildWater Adventure Park.

Outside Michigan’s Adventure
Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is where you will find all the water slides, pools, and also their famous “Tidal Wave.”

From kids to teens to adults, Michigan’s Adventure is truly the best destination, where you will create new experiences and remarkable adventures.

Check Out the Muskegon Museum of Art

Another museum to explore is the Muskegon Museum of Art.

Muskegon Museum of Art is dedicated to the appreciation of all forms of visual arts.

Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm, be ready to explore more of Muskegon’s history through art’s beauty.

Tour Around Muskegon Heritage Museum

Another stop for your history-filled vacation is Muskegon Heritage Museum.

This museum is committed to preserving and sharing the stories of well-known products, businesses, and industries in all of Muskegon.

One of the attractions in this museum is a century-old print shop that is still perfectly working up to this day.

There is also a vintage bowling alley you can try!

If you want to see more of this, you should definitely visit the Muskegon Heritage Museum.

This museum is open from mid-May to mid-October, Thursdays to Saturdays, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Visit USS Silversides Submarine Museum

Outside USS Silversides
Joanna Poe from Munith, MI, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Other than its historical story of the lumber industry, Muskegon also has preserved the stories of its veteran heroes.

Founded to share the history of the famous USS Silversides submarine, this museum has been serving its purpose for years.

It features a preserved World War II submarine and exhibits of other World War II artifacts.

Aerial view of USS Silversides Submarine Museum
Wes O'Donnell, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They also have events and activities you can try on your visit.

One of the most popular activities they offer is the overnight encampment, where you can take a trip to the past by spending a night on one of the USS Silversides Submarine Museum’s vessels.

This activity is open for people aged 6 and above.

Explore USS LST 393 Veterans Museum

Another museum dedicated to veterans is the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum.

Only two Landing Ship Tanks survived out of 1,051 built during the Second World War, and among these two is LST 393.

With USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, this historic warship is finally open to the public.

On your visit, you can go for a guided tour which will last for about an hour.

You can also explore the warship on your own with a map that the museum will provide.

Do not miss your chance to explore one of the most historic ships in history.

Admire the Beauty of The Monet Garden

Beauty of The Monet Garden
Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Monet Garden was inspired by Claude Monet’s world-famous garden in Giverny, France.

It is an awesome pocket garden along Muskegon’s downtown.

With all the burst of colors of the lovely flowers, you can take beautiful photographs of the scenery or yourself in this garden.

Beauty of The Monet Garden
World3000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This garden also has a water little pond and a Japanese bridge that compliments the amazing look of the garden.

Not only that, but the flowers planted in this garden are also the exact same ones you can find in the original Monet Garden of France.

This mini garden will surely put a smile on your face and lighten up your mood.

Dine at Tootsie’s Diner

Tootsie’s Diner was once featured in MLive’s Youtube channel as one of the go-to food places in Muskegon.

Tootsie’s serves delicious home-cooked meals, but they rose to popularity because of their take on an original Muskegon specialty which is stuffed hashbrowns.

On your visit to Muskegon, you will come across many versions of stuffed hashbrowns, but Tootsie’s buffalo chicken stuffed hashbrowns definitely stands out.

Tootsie’s is devoted to making customers feel the comfort of home-cooked meals in a friendly diner at an affordable price.

Enjoy the goodness of home away from home at Tootsie’s.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go for a Tour at Mac Wood’s Dune Rides

Forty minutes away from Muskegon, there is another adventure you should try.

From what started as a family tradition back in the 1930s, Mac Wood’s Dune Rides has been a famous attraction in all of Michigan.

Here at Mac Wood’s Dune Rides, you will experience a thrilling 40-minute tour ride along the sand mountains.

As this ride is open for people of all ages, safety is definitely the number one priority.

This is why tours would be stopped in case of high winds or heavy rain.

Be sure to bring your cameras with you because this tour will lead you to a picturesque view as you drive past Silver Lake.

Final Thoughts

From water fun to winter adventure to historic tours, Muskegon has it all.

With the combination of its deep history, natural beauty, and constant development, you will be surprised by the number of activities this town will offer you.

Be sure to bring a pen and your bucket list, there will be a lot to cross out.