Officially, Michigan is the Wolverine State, but it’s also often called the Great Lakes State (because it’s surrounded on 3 sides by Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron) and the Mitten State (for the shape of the Lower Peninsula). Between its Upper and Lower Peninsulas, Michigan has an abundance of great places, both natural and cultural, to visit.
Whether you do it in one big push or over several trips, if you’re planning a trip there soon, these are the best places to visit in Michigan.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Towering 450’ above Lake Michigan, these sand dunes are among North America’s tallest. You can climb to the top of them or enjoy more than 100 miles of trails set aside for hiking, biking, and snowshoeing.
Close to the Sleeping Bear Dunes is Traverse City, a gateway community for the national lakeshore but also a prime destination in its own right. The Cherry Capital of the World is a top weekend getaway destination in Michigan with a charming downtown and an emerging wine scene.
Grand Rapids has a thriving art and museum scene as well as a vibrant downtown. However, what it’s really become known for in recent years are its craft breweries. If you’re a hops lover, you’ll want to put “Beer City” on your list of places to visit.
Mackinac Island banned cars in 1898, and the people of this island between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas preserve the feel of the old world by living in Victorian houses and using horse-drawn carriages. You can only get to this popular and family-friendly destination, much of which is protected as a state park, by boat or plane.
Isle Royale National Park
The largest island in Lake Superior and the fourth-largest lake island in the world, Isle Royale is actually much closer to Minnesota, but it’s considered part of Michigan. You can only get to this park by boat, and once there, you can explore miles of pristine wilderness. If you’re really lucky, you’ll see some of the park’s elusive wolves. In the winter of 1948, Lake Superior iced over between Isle Royale and the Canadian mainland, and timber wolves crossed over to hunt the island’s moose population.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Located along Lake Superior, the park protects a wilderness of dunes, rock cliffs, waterfalls, and forests. In the winter, there are spectacular ice formations, and many draw ice climbers from around the region.
Graffiti Alley (Ann Arbor)
Just a block northwest of the University of Michigan campus is East Liberty Street. There, you’ll find a colorful display of legal graffiti and street art. It’s one of the most unique locations in the state.
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn)
This museum is more than just a tribute to the famous businessman who revolutionized automobile production. It is also home to the car JFK was riding in when he was shot, the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person, and the last breath of Thomas Edison (it was captured by and sealed in a tube).
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
The Upper Peninsula is known for its collection of beautiful waterfalls, and Upper Tahquamenon Falls is the largest of them. In this park, you can also hike, kayak, camp, fish, and go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
SkyBridge (Boyne Falls)
Opened in 1922, this 118’ tall bridge spanning 1,200’ is the world’s largest timber-towered suspension bridge. You can experience it via a three-hour visit that starts off with a ride on a chairlift.
Motown Historical Museum (Detroit)
Artists like Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross helped give life to Detroit’s Motown music, which became enormously popular and influential. The museum is a house that was converted into a record label and recording studio called Hitsville U.S.A.
Kitch-iti-Kipi (Palms Brook State Park)
The name means “big spring” in the Ojibwe language, and that’s exactly what it is. In fact, it’s the largest freshwater spring in the state, and its crystal-clear waters are 40’ deep. Although you can’t swim here, you can appreciate the waters on a glass-bottom boat tour.
37 Amazing Amtrak Routes That Explore America’s Beauty
Train travel is underrated. It’s cheap, relaxing, scenic, and environmentally friendly. Amtrak, the nation’s rail network, has more than 35 routes and 500 destinations in 46 states.
You’ll have access to private sleeping rooms, quiet cars, dining and lounge cars, and comfortable seating with amazing views. Solo travelers can bring their bikes, couples can bring their pets, and families have plenty of space to keep kids entertained. Below we’ll explore all of the Amtrak routes you can currently take in North America.
Best Cities to Vacation in That Don’t Require Renting a Car
When planning a vacation, there’s enough to worry about without stressing over renting a car, where to park it, and whether you can afford the extra insurance. What if you simply choose a location designed for people without cars and skip the rental car altogether? You could plan on walking, rent an e-Bike, or Uber when the occasion calls for it. It will still be cheaper than renting a car. Here are some of the absolute best cities for vacationing without getting behind the wheel.
10 Places in the US With Water as Blue as the Caribbean
Many dream of the Caribbean’s azure waters, envisioning a distant paradise that requires a passport and a long flight. However, the allure of crystal-clear blue waters isn’t exclusive to tropical islands. Across the U.S., there are stunning locales that rival the Caribbean’s beauty. No need to cross borders; breathtaking aquatic vistas await right in your backyard.
Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For
Gas stations are typically nothing more than mere pit stops during long journeys, serving the functional purpose of refueling vehicles. However, there are some exceptional gas stations across America that go beyond the ordinary, offering unique experiences and amenities that make them destinations in their own right!
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.