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The state of Michigan features a shoreline that is scattered with maritime museums, numerous picturesque lighthouses, sandy beaches along the Great Lakes, and fun activities to keep families entertained.
Attractions in Northern Michigan
Take a driving tour along the Great Lakes shore line and check out some of the fascinating lighthouses in Northern Michigan. Along the way, stop at Mackinac Island for some of its famous fudge and to explore the century old Fort. You may even get to see a reenactment of soldiers drilling and firing cannons.
You will not want to miss a chance to visit “The Most Beautiful Place in America,” also known as Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore. This park offers stunning views of sunsets over epic sand dunes, countless lakes, and interesting historical sites. During your trip to this region, be sure to take a wine or beer tour and save time for the unique dining and shopping in Traverse City.
Attractions in Central Michigan
Michigan's mark on the auto industry is undeniable. Take a tour of the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant for a peek into the past and see why this region is so important to this sector. After the tour, take a short drive to the shores of Port Huron and check out the lighthouse, historic downtown, and boardwalk.
For a little history lesson in presidential studies, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is one of the finest libraries in the state of Michigan. Located on the University of Michigan - North Campus, this unique landmark celebrates former President Gerald Ford with exhibits that include collections of photographs, presidential papers, and audiovisual footage. Open to the public since 1981, the Library is included in the National Archives and Records Administration.
Attractions in Southern Michigan
Connected to Detroit by the MacArthur Bridge, Belle Island is a must-see attraction while in southern Michigan. This beautiful 982-acre park is located along the Detroit River and is home to the Belle Isle Nature Zoo and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Take a stroll through the gardens to see the statues, tour the museum, walk along the nature trail or play a round of golf. There are plenty of fun things to do while visiting Belle Island.
Motor heads and car buffs will enjoy their time in Detroit to exploring the MotorCities National Heritage Area. designated in 1998 to preserve and commemorate the cultural and historical impact the automobile had on the Detroit Metropolitan area, the heritage encompasses 16 counties and roughly 10,000 square miles.
Overall, the heritage area encompasses 16 counties and roughly 10,000 square miles. Specific sites include the Galesburg Michigan Speedway and the Automotive Hall of Fame.
If visiting the University of Michigan campus, carve out some time to visit see the wonderfully lush 123-acre Nichols Arboretum. The Arboretum includes numerous interesting collections, such as the Peony Garden, Gateway Garden, the Centennial Shrub Collection, Heathdale, the Wetlands, and the Dow Prairie. This is also a great place to take a stroll along the nature trails or enjoy a picnic.
Attractions in Upper Peninsula
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is full of aquatic adventure and outdoor recreation. Visit the Soo Locks, located in Sault Saint Maire, where over 10,000 ships pass through every year from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. This is also the entry point to Canada via the Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge. After your time at the locks, you can enjoy plenty of hiking, biking, and camping in the 125,000-acre Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Area.
The Upper Peninsula also offers a variety of engaging historic and cultural attractions, including the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and Fort de Baude Museum in St. Ignace, and the River of History Museum.
While in Rock City plan to visit beautiful Belle Isle, located along the Detroit River on the border of Canada and the United States.
This 982-acre island park, connected to Detroit by the MacArthur Bridge, is home to the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.
The conservatory features a show house with a wonderful display of blooming plants, while the south wing features oranges, sugar cane and orchids. The north wing features cacti, ferns and succulents.
Whether strolling through the formal gardens admiring the statues, touring the museum, walking along the nature trails, playing a round of golf on the golf course or visiting the conservatory, there is plenty to do on Belle Isle. Visit from nearby Allen Park.
Downtown Detroit is home to the only piece of work designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, left in the Detroit area. The Bagley Memorial Fountain was built in 1885 to honor John J. Bagley, Governor of Michigan from 1873 to 1877. The Bragville granite 21-foot high fountain was constructed with money that Bagley left in his will.
The fountain originally featured four lion heads at the center, with two of them distributing cold water and two distributing room temperature water.
The fountain's original location was at the corner of Fort Street and Woodward Avenue, in downtown Detroit. It was moved in 1926 to Campus Maritus and disassembled in 2000 and put in storage. Finally in 2007, the fountain was assembled in its current location in Cadillac Square. Travel in from Allen Park to see the fountain.
Michigan's mark on the auto industry is indelible. Visit the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant for a look at how and why. Visitors are allowed to walk through the assembly and production line of three types of GM trucks. The 90-minute tour begins at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m., so plan accordingly upon scheduling your tour reservation.
Enjoy a stay in Midland, approximately 50 miles north of Flint. While in Northern Michigan, enjoy the peaceful surroundings in the City Park and Dow Gardens. There are many ways to experience the history of Michigan and the auto sector – visit this excellent museum on your next stay.
Be sure to tour one of the finest libraries in the state of Michigan. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, located on the University of Michigan - North Campus, celebrates Former President Gerald Ford. He graduated from the North Campus of the University of Michigan in 1935.
The Library is included in the National Archives and Records Administration. Open to the public since 1981, Library visitors view an extensive collection of photographs, presidential papers and audiovisual footage.
The Gerald Ford Museum is located in Grand Rapids, his hometown, and includes displays of the former President and Mrs. Ford's lives. Drive in Livonia.
Also known as the Mighty Mac or Big Mac, the Mackinac Bridge is located near Mackinaw City – crossing the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan.
Part of Interstate 75, Mackinac Bridge is the western hemisphere's longest suspension bridge, and the world’s third longest total suspension bridge.
Each Labor Day, the Mackinac Bridge Authority holds the Mackinac Bridge Walk – while the bridge itself connects visitors to attractions like Bridge View Park, Fort Michilimackinac State Historic Park, and the Old Mackinaw Point Lighthouse.
Opened to traffic in 1957, Mackinac Bridge is 552 feet tall – with a vertical clearance of 200 feet – and stretches for 26,372 feet. Operated by the Mackinac Bridge Authority, the structure is a major tourist stop for Mackinac Island visitors.
Home to less than 500 permanent residents, Mackinac Island is a city set in northern Michigan in the northwestern point of Lake Heron. Famous for fudge and foot traffic, Mackinac Island covers 4.35 square miles – most of which is encompassed by the Mackinac Island State Park.
Traveled only by foot, bike, or horse – plus golf carts and snowmobiles in appropriate areas – Mackinac Island is the scenic host to annual events like the Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Race, the Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race, and the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival.
Originally established in 1875, the Mackinac Island State Park – formerly the Mackinac National Park – is Michigan’s first state park, and features plenty of historic sites and outdoor recreation. Must-sees include Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac, and Skull Cave.
The incredibly historic Mackinac Island features area tours by bike, buggy, and horseback – all a short ferry ride from Michigan cities like Cheboygan, Saint Ignace, and Mackinaw City.
Motor heads and car buffs from all over the country frequently travel to Detroit to explore the MotorCities National Heritage Area. The heritage area was designated in 1998 to preserve and commemorate the cultural and historical impact the automobile had on the Detroit Metropolitan area with a collection of MotorCities tours, events, and historical sites.
Overall, the heritage area encompasses 16 counties and roughly 10,000 square miles. Specific sites include the Galesburg Michigan Speedway in Kalamazoo, the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit, and so much more throughout central and southern Michigan.
Enjoy an aquatic adventure in northern Michigan. The Soo Locks are located in Sault Sainte Marie on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Soo Locks provide access to an average of 10,000 ships per year, passing from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. Passengers in vehicles drive on the Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge across the Locks from Michigan to Sault Sainte Marie Canada. Soo Lock boat tours remain one of Michigan's top attractions.
After your time at the "largest waterway traffic system on earth," enjoy hiking or biking on one of several wooded trails in the 125,000-acre Sault Sainte Marie State Forest Area. The area features the perfect lodging choices while traveling in northern Michigan.
There's more to the University of Michigan than football. Visit the campus of the state's oldest university, to see the wonderfully lush 123-acre Nichols Arboretum. "The Arb," established in 1907 by O. C. Simonds, is located on Central Campus, along the Huron River.
The Arboretum features many collections, including the Peony Garden, Gateway Garden, the Centennial Shrub Collection, Heathdale, the Wetlands and the Dow Prairie. Enter the Arboretum via one of its three entrances, to begin your exploration of this beautiful area.
The Uplands features an oak-hickory forest with trees up to 135 years old. Enjoy strolling along the natural trails and pathways and be sure to visit the James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center. Many students enjoy studying, picnicking and playing frisbee on the Arboretum grounds. While in the Detroit area, be sure to include a visit to this wonderful part of campus.