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Arts, Culture, & Museums in Michigan

Drenched in music history, arts, and impressive museums, Michigan if full of exciting things to do for every traveler. With so much music emanating from the region, it’s easy to see why places like Motown came to be. Spend some time during your travels to check out all the arts and museums that shine a light on Michigan’s past.

Arts and Culture in Northern Michigan

Made up of quality musicians from throughout the Midwest, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra is northern Michigan’s leading regional performing arts ensemble. Music Director Kevin Rhodes has led the orchestra to critical acclaim and sold-out concerts for the past 15 years by including quality performances with a challenging repertoire of music.

Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the art galleries in the Northern region of Michigan, in cities like Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Boyne City. Most of the galleries are artist owned, so it allows for you to get up close and personal with the creator of each piece and learn about the source of inspiration for their work.

Learn about the rich maritime history of Michigan when you visit the museums in the Northern area of the state. Tawas Point Lighthouse is a fascinating attraction for nautical buffs offering spectacular views of sunrises over Lake Huron and sunsets over Tawas Bay. Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center features shipwreck exhibits of nearly 200 historic shipwrecks in around the Bay.

Arts and Culture in Central Michigan

The Central Michigan regions has a rich heritage celebrating the arts and Native American, German and Irish ancestry. Exploring this area’s music, arts, and culture provides a unique look into the past that is both beautiful and educational.

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra has been providing the Central Michigan area with the finest in live, orchestral music since 1929. Fans can enjoy performances entertaining performances, like MasterWorks, Pops, Family, Sacred, Big Band, and Young People's concerts throughout the season.

Plan a visit to the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, a 12,000 square foot children’s museum with fun, hands-on and educational experience for children of all ages. This exciting museum engages kids in subjects such as math, science, world cultures, regional history, and the arts.

For the live theatre buffs, the PIX Theatre offers the best of the performing arts while preserving a historic landmark in downtown Lapeer. Mark your calendar and plan a stop at this renovated, art-deco style theatre. 

Art and Culture in Southern Michigan

There is no better way to discover a vibrant art and culture scene than to visit cities in Southern Michigan. Travelers will find a re-energized entertainment district in Detroit and a rich history on display at destinations including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Motown, and The Henry Ford.

Known for inventing the Motown sound, Detroit is home to many live music venues and entertainment centers. While you are there, check out the Hitsville USA, the museum that is home of the Studio A, where The Temptations and Marvin Gaye recorded with the Funk Brothers.

Travel across the state to Ypsilanti and indulge in your inner firefighter at the Michigan Firehouse Museum. Check out live theatre and luminous art displays in Ann Arbor. And explore “The Art Coast of Michigan” in Saugatuck.

Art and Culture in the Upper Peninsula

Michigan's Upper Peninsula offers historic attractions and culture like nowhere else in the state. explore a colonial fort, take a shipwreck tour, or climb to the top of a lighthouse.

Home to oldest city in Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie offers engaging historic and cultural attractions, like the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and Fort de Baude Museum, the River of History Museum, and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. These destinations shed a great deal of light into the maritime history of the region.