Top 30 Things To Do In Michigan - Updated 2024

things to do in michigan
Celeste
Celeste 
Updated
| 13 min read

Those visiting the Great Lakes State will be able to enjoy stunning Lake Michigan’s pristine waters where they can sail, paddleboard, swim, and rent cabins lakeside to take in the serenity of this nature retreat. For those interested in wineries, there is Traverse City where critically acclaimed vineyards are located. Those who love the big city can enjoy touring Detroit, going to concerts, shopping at the GM Renaissance Center, watching Detroit Red Wings hockey games, and dining at many of the city’s locally loved restaurants. Are you excited to see this amazing state yet? Check out the following list of things to do in Michigan, USA before visiting Pure Michigan.

1. Sample some of Traverse City's best vintage wines (from USD 99.0)

Enjoy stops at five of Traverse City’s top wineries including Chateau Chantal, a sprawling 65-acre (26.3 ha) estate, where you will be able to taste and then choose from over 30 wines to take home including sweet, dry, and sparkling. At Bowers Harbor, stop by to try out one of their Cabernet Sauvignons, ciders, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigios, Merlots, or Rieslings among others. These are just a few of the local vineyards on the tour where you will be able to stop and relax while enjoying some award-winning wine accompanied by snacks or cheese and charcuterie boards. During a visit to Old Mission Peninsula enjoying tasting delicious wines that rival those produced in California and Europe using centuries-old grapes.

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5-Hour Traverse City Wine Tour: 4 Wineries on Old Mission Peninsula

Duration: 5 hours

1508 reviews

2. Explore the dramatic multicoloured cliffsides of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Enjoy discovering the natural wonders located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to admire the stunning rainbow-coloured cliffs with metallic accents. Visit Miners Castle and Chapel Rock for their unique sandstone formations. Next, travel through the white beach forest along Twelvemile Beach. Finish off your day of discovery with the remains of shipwrecks sprinkled along the shoreline around the 19th-century lighthouse located at Au Sable Point.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Address: Sand Point Road, Munising, MI

Website: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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3. View the sunset on a Lake Michigan cruise (from USD 33.0)

During your boat cruise along massive Lake Michigan’s waters, sit back and listen to music while enjoying an alcoholic beverage and refreshments. As you cruise between Michigan’s two peninsulas, take in views of its historic lighthouses, more than 300 old forts, and Mackinaw Island. Enjoy listening to local residents provide information about the area. Finish the cruise by watching a stunning sunset over Lake Michigan’s glistening waters while sailing under Mackinaw Bridge, an engineering suspension bridge highlight.

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Mackinaw City Sunset One-Hour Cruise on Lake Michigan

Duration: 1 hour

195 reviews

4. Go skating at Detroit's Campus Martius Park


Lace up your skates and take to the ice at Campus Martius. Enjoy views of Detroit’s famed skyline as you glide across the frozen rink surface. Spend time with your family enjoying the winter wonderland surrounding you before heading over to Shake Shack for a burger, fries, and a frozen custard delicacies. Return to the rink to practice twirls, leaps, and other calorie burning moves afterwards under a star-filled sky.

Campus Martius Park

Address: 800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226, USA

Website: Campus Martius Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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5. Get up-close and personal with SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium's marine life (from USD 24.0)

Enjoy a day of family fun exploring SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium where you and your little ones can enjoy coming in contact with amazing sea creatures in interactive exhibits focused on underwater habitats and their respective inhabitants. Stroll under the glass tunnel while being watched by rays and hungry sharks above your head. Join in watching feedings of the resident marine life by trainers. Get up-close and personal by observing such majestic wonders as jellyfish, a giant Pacific octopus, baby seahorses, reef sharks, and an array of fish swimming past the glass in their watery aquarium home.

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SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Admission with Talks, Exhibits

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

70 reviews

6. Let your kids explore their creative side at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan (from USD 25.0)

Enjoy your playful side while creating alongside your children while spending a fun-filled day at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan. Get aboard your chariot at Kingdom Quest Laser Rider where your mission will be to rescue the princess by zapping ogres and skeletons with your laser gun. Afterwards, visit DUPLO farm where you can relax while your little ones enjoy building with LEGO blocks, play kitchen, and have a karaoke experience. After exploring LEGO Construction Site and Fire Academy play zones, take a break by viewing some of the 15-minute movies offered in the 4-D movie theatre. Finish off the day in the gift shop by purchasing a play set to entertain the kids during the ride from Auburn Hills to Detroit.

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LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan Admission Ticket in Detroit

Duration: 3 hours

60 reviews

7. Admire Detroit Institute of Arts' creative masterpieces


Wander the curated rooms of Detroit’s premier art gallery admiring some of the creative genius of master artisans in one of the largest and most significant art collections in the US with over 100 galleries and spanning an expansive 658,000 square feet (6.1 ha). Every Friday evening enjoy beholding local and international musicians perform. During the summer, bring your family to view a large selection of international cinema in the historic theatre.

Detroit Institute of Arts

Address: 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Website: Detroit Institute of Arts

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 9am - 4pm; Fri: 9am - 10pm: Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 4 - 8 USD

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8. Spend a day among Monarch butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


Enjoy walking through the Tropical Conservatory where over 60 species of butterflies from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America metamophosize from caterpillars into colourful butterflies. Watch as the butterflies emerge from their protective chrysalis right in front of your eyes. Then watch them take flight for the first time in the warm, tropical vegetation-filled environment where they will live out their life. To get a snapshot, you’ll have to be extremely quick since butterflies don’t stay in one place too long before fluttering away to their next landing pad.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Address: 1000 E Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, USA

Website: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 9am - 11pm

Price: 11 - 15 USD

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9. See Detroit Zoo's exotic inhabitants up-close

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris -Detroit Zoo, Michigan, USA-8a (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ellen used under CC BY 2.0

Enjoy coming face-to-face with the more than 2,000 animals representing 230 species of amphibians, mammals, birds, and reptiles that call Detroit Zoo home. Admire some of the world’s apex predators such as lions, tigers, polar bears, and grizzly bears. Behold animals of the Serengeti such as zebra, giraffes, warthogs, and wildebeest crossing majestically over the plains. Besides these amazing specimen, your family will be enthralled by the gorillas, kangaroos, crocodiles, and a wide array of birds, reptiles, and amphibians during a day spent at the 125-acre (51 ha) property featuring replicas of the animal’s natural habitats.

Detroit Zoo

Address: 8450 W 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067, USA

Website: Detroit Zoo

Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 9am - 5pm: Wed: 9am - 8am

Price: 10 - 18 USD

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10. Stroll through a colourful palette of tulips at Windmill Island Gardens

stroll through a colourful palette of tulips at windmill island gardens
Source: instagram

Walk through the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the US grinding wheat into flour with guides dressed in authentic Dutch apparel. Then after viewing the 35 acres (14.1 ha) of dikes, canals, and manicured gardens from the fourth-floor deck, take a ride on the carousel. After a quick ride, enjoy strolling through the more than 100,000 tulips in bloom in an array of beautiful pinks, reds, yellows, and other colours of the rainbow featured throughout the gardens. Take time to enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting the pasture’s equine residents and Dutch Inn prior to finishing at the gift shop to purchase unique souvenirs before departing the gardens.

Windmill Island Gardens

Address: 1 Lincoln Avenue, Holland, MI 49423, USA

Website: Windmill Island

Opening hours: 9:30am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 5 - 10 USD

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11. Browse through Michigan Historical Museum's exhibits

browse through michigan historical museum's exhibits
Source: instagram

Immerse yourself in interesting exhibits, which span five levels in this beautiful structure, discussing Michigan’s past from its discovery to the late 20th century. Investigate the archival collections, tour heritage trails, and enjoy exhibits featuring interactive computers, audio-visual presentations, and hands-on elements. Learn about Michigan’s logging, maritime, and historical role in the underground railroad as you stroll through its galleries.

Michigan Historical Museum

Address: 702 W Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI

Website: Michigan Historical Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4:30pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Price: 6 USD; Free on Sundays

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12. Capture amazing moments at Tahquamenon Falls


Enjoy exploring Tahquamenon Falls State Park year round, however, it is especially stunning when the fall foliage is clothed in red, amber, and golden hues which add to the stunning waterfalls throughout the park. Venturing to the Upper Falls, you will find the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River with a nearly 50-foot (15.2 metres) drop and 200 feet (61 metres) across flowing powerfully with a maximum flow of 50,000 gallons (189,271 litres) of water-per-second. Here you will see how the tannis from cedar, spruce, and hemlock trees help give a yellow shade to the water. Hike 4 miles (6.4 kilometres) downstream to Lower Falls, which consists of five smaller falls. Pick up your oars and rent a row boat to view these magnificent natural wonders or simply view them from the river bank.

Tahquamenon Falls

Address: 41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI

Website: Tahquamenon Falls

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

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13. Enjoy a ballgame at Comerica Park


Pick up a hot dog and a beer before sitting down to enjoy America’s classic game, baseball. Watch as some of MLB’s star athletes pick up their bats to entertain a stadium full of Tigers fans on select evenings during the baseball season. Watch as players run the bases and score home runs, and fielders make amazing catches to keep the competition at bay. Enjoy watching pitchers out maneuver batters to strike them out or throw fast balls to basemen to outpace them as they run the bases. Watch as the action heats up each inning as runners slide into home plate and score run after run to take the lead over their opponents to win the competition. Surely, an exciting game at Comerica Park will make for a great night out.

Comerica Park

Address: 2100 Woodward Avenue

Website: Comerica Park

Opening hours: March - September: selected nights

Price: From 40 USD

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14. Relish GM Renaissance Center's world-class dining

relish gm renaissance center's world-class dining
Source: instagram

Enjoy scenic views of Detroit, Lake Michigan, and Canada’s province of Ontario from GM Renaissance Center Observation deck. Afterwards, shop at the center’s trendy boutiques. Spend your down time enjoying a flavourful meal at one of the many culinary treasures located throughout the center. Finish your day by turning down your sheets and slipping under a heavenly feather duvet at one of Marriott’s two classy locations.

GM Renaissance Center

Address: Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48243, USA

Website: GM Renaissance Center

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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15. Go boating or swimming at Torch Lake


Enjoy a day of family fun while enjoying the peace and serene beauty of Torch Lake. Head out on the water for boating, tubing, fishing, or water skiing while taking in the natural beauty of the area. Enjoy traversing the sandbar in the midst of the lake which exhibits the same bright turquoise shade of tropical waters and is so clear that you can easily see the fish swim by. Visitors can hike trails around the lake, paddleboard, kayak, and canoe the calm waters while enjoying this nature lovers paradise.

Torch Lake

Address: Antrim County, Kalkaska County, Michigan

Website: Torch Lake

Price: Free

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16. Catch brilliant performances at Fox Theatre

catch brilliant performances at fox theatre
Source: instagram

Rock out to music’s top visiting acts throughout the year. Those who enjoy the arts can enjoy watching the red velvet curtain rise on musicals which showcase singing, acting, and dancing at its best from talented performers. Witness classical music played by the orchestra under the gold encrusted dome with eastern murals and carvings during an evening out. The amazing Fox Theatre, with over 5,000 seating capacity, has it all.

Fox Theatre

Address: 2211 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

Website: Fox Theatre

Opening hours: Depends on event

Price: Depends on event

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17. Reach new heights at Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Big Sable Point Lighthouse-2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user James Phelps used under CC BY 2.0

Stroll along Lake Michigan’s shoreline taking in breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding forested area en route to Big Sable Point Lighthouse. This 1867 beacon is available to visit for those interested in seeing where volunteers still live and work from May to October as they operate the lighthouse to assist those out on the waters to return home safely. Visitors can climb the stairs to experience stunning views of Lake Michigan, explore the grounds, tour the original Keeper’s Quarters, now a Gift Shop, and stroll along the sand dunes.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Address: 5611 N Lighthouse, Ludington, MI

Website: Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: By donation

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18. Indulge in classic American cuisine at Tonys I75 Restaurant


Indulge in lasagna, fish and chips, burgers, and catfish dinner at Tony’s I75 Restaurant. Kids under 12 are able to enjoy a menu with favourites such as hot dogs, mac and cheese, and grill cheese. Finish off your dining experience with a sundae, shake, or some other ice cream creation topped off with mouth-watering Ghirardelli chocolate sauce.

Tonys I75 Restaurant

Address: 8781 Main Street, Birch Run, MI

Website: Tonys I75

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 6:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 6:30am - 11pm

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19. Enjoy Irish fare and a cold one at McShane's Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar


Order traditional classics as shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash accompanied by a glass of Paddy’s Whiskey. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere while you down a mug of Guiness along with delicious options as fish and chips, cheese steak, and reuben sandwiches. Even St. Paddy would be pleased by the drink selection provided to patrons which includes Collingwood, Jack Daniel’s, Crown Royal, and other world-renowned whiskeys.

McShane's Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar

Address: 1460 Michigan Avenue

Website: McShane’s Irish Pub

Opening hours: 11am - 2:30am (daily)

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20. Groove to the beat at Necto Nightclub


Necto Nightclub offers premium entertainment weekly on special evenings to entertain its clientele. Every Thursday enjoy a blend of concerts by well-known artists, special events, unique parties, and other functions you can reserve. Enjoy cutting loose on the dance floor while listening to the club’s resident DJs spinning the best beats. After working up a sweat, sit down and enjoy table service in your own VIP section.

Necto Nightclub

Address: 516 E Liberty, Ann Arbor

Website: Necto Nightclub

Opening hours: Fri - Sat, Mon: 9pm - 2am (closed from Tue - Thu & Sun)

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21. Play a round on the greens at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club


Enjoy teeing off seven days a week from mid-April to mid-November each year. Golfers can rent out GPS-equipped golf carts to aid in traversing the course and its many slopes over the Bluffs and the Souths courses. Enjoy playing on the greens and trying to avoid the sand traps, water traps, and other obstacles while enjoying a laid-back day of being at peace on the course as you compete against yourself or others.

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Address: 14710 Northwood Hwy, Arcadia, MI

Website: Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 4pm

Price: 50 - 340 USD

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22. Score a strike at Thunderbowl Lanes


Spend an evening out knocking down the pins at one of the 90 lanes at the US’s largest bowling center. Lace up your bowling shoes for an evening of family fun or for a tournament. The alley which is home to the Greater Detroit Bowling Association Hall of Fame offers Cosmic Bowling to its regular option of 10-pin bowling. Tag along your friends and family for a friendly match, making for a fun night out on your Detroit trip.

Thunderbowl Lanes

Address: 4200 Allen Road, Allen Park, MI

Website: Thunderbowl Lanes

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 9am - 2am: Sun, Wed: 9am - 1am; Mon - Tue, Thu: 12pm - 1am

Price: 2 - 18 USD

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23. Watch lumberjacks display their log rolling skills


During this interesting hour-long show, sit back and learn about Michigan’s logging history and its traditions. Be entertained as lumberjacks in their plaid flannel shirts display their skills at log rolling on the water while trying to keep their balance and competing against each other. Witness this unique spectacle as they showcase their skills at chopping logs, cross-cut sawing, speed climbing, and axe throwing. Marvel at the talent of these woodsmen and even volunteer to participate in some of the activities.

Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows

Address: 10510 US-23, Mackinaw City, MI 49701, United States

Website: Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows

Opening hours: 2pm - 9pm (daily)

Price: 16.00 USD

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24. Participate in the thrilling sport of axe throwing


Experience one-on-one training by BATL’s instructors on how to throw an axe prior to starting a competitive game or group playoff tournament. The venue where the axe throwing action takes place is somewhat a cross between a batting cage and bowling alley with lanes. No experience is needed, however, guests musts be a minimum age of 16 to participate in this thrilling sport.

The Backyard Axe Throwing League

Address: 44175 W 12 Mile Rd suite f-141, Novi, MI 48377, United States

Website: BATL| The Backyard Axe Throwing League

Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (daily)

Price: 35 - 40 USD

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25. Join a fishing charter in search of salmon, trout, or bass


Board a fishing charter and enjoy spending a half day on Lake Michigan aboard a luxury vessel equipped with up-to-date sonar and GPS technology. Enjoy an exciting adventure as the boat is steered through the water to prime fishing locations known by the crew. Return to shore after a fun day spent out on the waters of Lake Michigan with exciting tales of the day’s fishing success.

Fire Drill Charters - Great Lakes Fishing Adventures

Address: 200 Heisman Harbor, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States

Website: Fire Drill Charters - Great Lakes Fishing Adventures

Opening hours: Bookings/Appointment

Price: 700 - 750 USD for 6 hours

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26. Satisfy your Greek cuisine craving in Greektown (from USD 29.0)

Take a walking tour through Detroit where you visit the home of the Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park, Fox Theatre, Madison Avenue, and Paradise Valley. Hop on the People Mover (or Detroit’s elevated train) for a ride over to Greektown to sample some baklava. Then get back on for a tour of Renaissance Center and well-known Detroit sculptures before stopping at Guardian Building for a peek at its impressive lobby and banking room. Finish off the tour with a coney dog at American and Lafayette Coney Island restaurants en route to your final stop at a hotel from 1924, before returning to your original departure point.

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Detroit Walking Tour Including Rides on the People Mover

Duration: 2 hours

7 reviews

27. Take a tour detailing Detroit's rise, fall, and renewal (from USD 29.0)

Enjoy hearing the story of America’s greatest underdog cities which is experiencing a renewal while being officially bankrupt. Hop on the People Mover to view many of the city’s famed landmarks and stop at the newly renovated Opera House to see evidence of some of the revival that the city is experiencing. Learn about the history and architecture of Motor City. Visit the former tallest hotel in the world from 1924 before it closed its doors in the 1980s prior to recently re-opening after receiving an over 200 million USD renovation. Finish your tour with a beer at a local brewpub after visiting Grand Circus Park and music venues that once hosted music legend Bruce Springsteen.

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Detroits Rise Fall and Renewal

Duration: 2 hours

10 reviews

28. Take a photography tour in suburban Detroit (from USD 82.0)

Enjoy exploring abandoned schools, factories, warehouses, theatres, and municipal buildings in Detroit’s suburbs during a four-hour photography tour. Capture behind-the-scenes places where everyday life once thrived with laughter of children, smiles of neighbours greeting each other before work each day, and where assembly lines ones produced some of the world’s leading manufacturer’s vehicles before the economic downturn of 2008. Listen to your guide’s commentary and direction on composition and exposure to assist you in getting the perfect shot.

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Detroit 4-Hour Guided Urban Exploration and Photography Tour

Duration: 4 hours

36 reviews

29. Tour Detroit's historic Corktown neighbourhood

Enjoy strolling through historic Corktown enjoying a modern-day revival due to renewed local interest in its restaurants and bars. During your tour, your guide will provide a glimpse of its history with fascinating stores and facts before taking you to some of its famed spots. Stop at at a massive railroad station which has been abandoned since 1988 en route to Detroit’s residential gem filled with beautiful, brightly painted Victorian houses. Finish your tour with a half pint of beer at Gaelic League Irish American Club.

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Detroit Corktown Small-Group Walking Tour with Beer

Duration: 2 hours

5 reviews

30. Learn about ecology as you trek Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (from USD 256.0)

Take a three-day camping excursion through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Backpack through the forest and beach areas, stopping to swim in stunning Lake Michigan, watch the sun setting, and learn about the ecology of the Great Lakes. Explorers will be provided with camping gear, meals, snacks, and private campgrounds to encourage a smooth journey. Guides will provide commentary and make certain hikers enjoy a safe journey through several forests, across two rivers, beaches, and a trek to a hidden waterfall.

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Trekking the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Michigan

Duration: 3 days

1 review

Welcome to Pure Michigan

Lake Michigan Sleeping Bear Dunes
Source: Photo by user Rachel Kramer used under CC BY 2.0

Sail across the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan before watching a stunning sunset at your lakeside cabin. After enjoying some nature activities prepare to hit the big city, Detroit, where you can enjoy 10-pin bowling, cinema, live theatre, and major sporting events such as baseball’s Detroit Tigers and the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Visitors to the Motor City can also enjoy trying out the culinary scene and some quality shopping during their visit to the resurrected metropolis. Before booking a vacation, read about beautiful Michigan and you will be pleasantly surprised by all the amazing activities to be enjoyed throughout the state.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Celeste is a writer based in British Columbia with a profound passion for travel and the exploration of new destinations. Her adventurous spirit leads her to engage in exciting activities during...Read more

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