The Midwestern state of Michigan has more freshwater coastline than any political region in the world. The state is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes which create stunning coastlines and abundant water recreational opportunities.
Visitors to Michigan can enjoy touring the big cities of the Lower Peninsula or spending countless hours in the great outdoors of the Upper Peninsula. Some of Michigan’s top destinations are the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Mackinac Island, and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
This island and resort area covers 3.8 square miles in Lake Huron between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.Today the island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and it is a popular summer colony with seasonal residents and tourists flocking to the island during summer months.
The island is famous for its historical landmarks, a wide variety of architectural styles, and its natural features. Popular attractions on the island include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, the McGulpin House, the Matthew Geary House, the Grand Hotel.
The Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan’s largest family attractions.The Detroit Zoo’s 125 acres feature award-winning attractions such as the National Amphibian Conservation Center, Great Apes of Harambee and Arctic Ring of Life. The newest attraction a 33,000 square foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center is the largest facility for penguins in the world. Naturalistic habitats are home to 2,400 animals of 255 species, including mammals, amphibians, birds, reptiles and invertebrates.
Sleeping Bear Dunes
This U.S. National Lakeshore is on the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula. The park covers 25 miles of Lake Michigan coastline as well as several islands. The park was established to protest natural features such as forests, beaches, dune formation, and ancient glacial phenomena. The parks also contains significant historical features including the South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former Coast Guard stations, and historic farm land.
Michigan’s Adventure is a 250 amusement park in Muskegon County, Michigan. It is the largest amusement park in the state. There are rides for everyone. If you like speed and adventure there are Roller Coasters like Thunderhawk and Shivering Timbers, or Thrill Rides like Grand Rapids or HydroBlaster. The Family Rides like the Grand Carousel or Timbertown Railway will be perfect. The park also includes an outdoor water park, WildWater Adventure. The park is headlined by seven roller coasters. The typical operating season is from May through September.
Ludington State Park
This harbor town on the shores of Lake Michigan is known for its year-round recreational opportunities which include boating, swimming, camping, fishing, and hunting. The city is also home to the SS Badger a ship with daily service across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Visitors to Ludington can also attend one of many festivals which take place throughout the year.
Top Things to Do in Michigan
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
This indoor and outdoor museum complex is a National Historic Landmark in Dearborn, Michigan, established to preserve the legacy of automobile industrialist Henry Ford. At the Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village outdoor history museum visitors can see a variety of exhibits, famous homes, machinery, and Americana from the Industrial Revolution era. A few favorite attractions at the museum are John F. Kennedy’s presidential limousine, Abraham Lincoln’s chair from Ford’s Theater, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, the Wright Brother’s bicycle shop, and the Rosa Park’s bus.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
This famous house which is called Gaukler Point is on the shores of Lake St. Calir in the city of Grosse Pointe Shores. It was the home of Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford, who later became an executive at Ford Motor Company.The house is known for its elaborate architecture and gardens with design that resembles the village cottages of the rural region of Cotswolds in England.The house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is now a museum open to the public for tours and special events.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
One of Michigan’s most scenic destinations is this tract of land on the shore of Lake Superior, extending 42 miles along the lake with spectacular views of the rugged shoreline, rock formations, natural archways, waterfalls, and sand dunes. The most famous section of the lakeshore is the 15 miles of sandstone cliff known as Pictured Rocks. The cliffs have been naturally sculptured into formations that resemble human faces, castle turrets, and other interesting profiles. Visitors to Pictured Rocks can see several waterfalls, beaches, shipwrecks, rock formations, and a lake.
Isle Royale National Park
This National Park is located on the largest island in Lake Superior and covers over 45 miles of land. The park is made up of Isle Royale and the surrounding islands and it is accessed by floatplane and a summertime ferry, or by private transport. Visitors to the island enjoy hiking, picnicking, and participating in guided programs. Because of the difficulty of visiting this island park, it is one of the least visited National Parks in the entire nation so visitors can look forward to wide open walks and unobstructed views.
Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls is made up of two different waterfalls near Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula. The upper falls measure 200 feet across with a 48 foot drop and are notable for their rusty brown color caused by tannins from the cedar swamps where the river drains. The lower falls are composed of 5 cascades and are a popular place for escaping the summer heat and swimming.
Things to Do in Michigan
It’s sometimes called a Water Wonderland, but at other times the people of Michigan call their home state the Winter Wonderland. Whether you come to Michigan with your snow skis or water skis, or to take in the sights of the big cities like Detroit and Ann Arbor, or the scenic beauty of Michigan’s remote regions, this Midwestern state will capture your heart.