Have you ever thought about visiting Michigan? It’s a state that offers SO much more than the world knows. Besides being home to unforgettable experiences, there are several hidden gems that will leave you speechless. If you’re looking for an adventure filled with nature and natural beauty, you must visit Michigan. From its beautiful lakeside views to its luscious green forests and snow-covered peaks, this state has everything anyone can ask for. Check out these fantastic places to visit in Michigan that will take your breath away and leave you wishing to come back.
Hot tip for Northern travelers on a budget: Check out the bus and train tickets on Wanderu to find the best deals!
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1. Mackinac Island
The first stop on the list of the top places to visit in Michigan is the charming island of Mackinac. At this historic escape, you can truly experience the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Since the island banned cars in 1898, you can only access it by ferry or plane. The island is filled with charming buildings that have been restored and repurposed extensively over the years, giving the island a unique feel that you won’t find anywhere else. There’s much more to do here than just look at old buildings, though. You can get out on the water and explore the island by kayak or canoe. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Try their sweet claim to fame as the Fudge Capital of the World. Or, find a nice picnic spot and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see.
2. The Sleeping Bear Dunes
Another stop on the list of places to visit in Michigan is the Sleeping Bear Dunes. If decks, docks, and flip flops sounds like a good time, this location offers a slice of paradise in the Great Lakes State. The iconic dunes are part of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore, a United States National Park Service unit. You can learn more about the area’s rich history while visiting the nearby Maritime Museum or cruising on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Also, explore almost 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking, skiing, and more on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
If you’re looking for an urban getaway, buckle up and head to Motor City. Many of Detroit’s most iconic sites are related to their roots in the automotive industry, such as The Henry Ford Museum and Automotive Hall of Fame in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn (the actual headquarters of the Ford Motor Company). There are also plenty of other places to visit in Dearborn or the surrounding area. With the decline of the auto industry in the early 2000s, the area was once left in ruin, but is starting to rebuild into a cultural hub. With new businesses and attractions revamping the city, you can enjoy art galleries, coffee shops, waterfronts, and live theatre.
Be transported to Europe in the town of Holland, Michigan, widely known for its Tulip Time Festival each May. With an abundance of Dutch history, architecture, food and more, you’ll get a dose of culture around every corner. Climb up windmills, score handmade items and antiques, take a paddleboat out on the water, and enjoy views of Lake Michigan. Be sure to check out deBoer’s Bakkerij Dutch Brothers Restaurant for authentic Dutch goodies!
5. Grand Rapids
Any beer-lovers in the crowd? You’ll want to take a trip to Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan – and home to 80 craft breweries. In fact, the hub has coined the nickname “Beer City, USA.” Aside from popping open a cold one, you can enjoy award-winning art, public museums, the John Ball Zoo, and more. Be sure to stroll across The Blue Bridge, a pedestrian footbridge that gives a perfect vantage point of the city and sunset.
Visiting Michigan is something every traveler should experience. These places are not just some of the best destinations to see in the state, but they are also places that can offer experiences that you will remember for a lifetime. With a suitable itinerary and proper packing and planning, you can make a quick weekend trip or an extended stay out of visiting these incredible destinations.
This article was published in collaboration for a small commission which helps me continue to afford to share awesome places to visit. As usual, all opinions are my own. Thanks for understanding!