Michigan Top 10 Attractions

Come visit the one of the best states in the Midwest and get a front row seat to all four of America’s Great Lakes. Known for its once-infamous Motor City, filled with the history of numerous music legends that spanned multiple eras and genres, Michigan has plenty to see and do.

You can get lost in all of the natural and man-made landmarks, here, so we’ve gathered ten of the top must-see attractions for you to add to your itinerary when visiting this great state. Enjoy!

1: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Michael Patterson

Island life done right! Mackinac Island is one of the best hidden gems of Michigan that locals and tourists alike just can’t get enough of. The permanent population resides far below the 1,000 people line, but the seasonal workers and tourists more than make up for it.

As an island with such incredible landscapes and views, it should come as no surprise that this is a vacation destination coveted by many. Relax on a secluded, charming beach or brave the waves with a boat tour.

Mackinac Island is also a great location to do some exploring! Arch Rock is a famous limestone arch found in the island’s state park. It is one of the most visited, and most hiked paths because the arch frames the island in a dazzling array of blue and green.

Mackinac Island is also known for its awe-inspiring collection of wild butterflies. Walk the wonder at the Butterfly House and Insect World, or check out the Wings of Mackinac. The problem with Mackinac Island isn’t ‘what to do’, but ‘what isn’t there to do’?

Address: Mackinac Island, MI 49757

2: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/John Uhrig

Pictured Rocks is positively picturesque! It is one of the most magnificent places in all of Michigan to celebrate the wonders of Mother Nature. It sits on the shores of Lake Superior and is known for breathtaking multicolored rock formations.

It spans for acres upon acres of preserved nature and opens up to some of the best views in all of Michigan. Often times the water is that stunning blue-green combination, and the formations and cliffs that surround it only complete the scenery in spectacular ways.

The operating hours for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is open 24/7. There is no entrance charge for day use of this park. However, if you plan on camping there are some fees and passes to be aware of. Drive-in camping is $20 per night.

For backcountry camping you will need the appropriate permits and passes, as well as a $5 fee per person per night. For further details on the specifics of fees and passes check out the official Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore website.

There are also tours available to the public during the summer months. Rangers lead these tours from Wednesday to Sunday, and they cost $3 for anyone 6 years or older. Tours are a great way to see the park as rangers have real insider knowledge as to what is worth a stop and what isn’t.

Rangers can also provide backstory and information unavailable otherwise. Embrace everything about the call of the wild with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!

Address: Munising, MI 49862

3: Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Rain0975

This is the place for you to explore and discover about America's most innovative and greatest inventions. If you love cars you will enjoy going through the Presidential Limousines exhibit and if you enjoy everything about airplanes and things that fly you will adore the Heroes of the Sky exhibit.

You will also have a fantastic time going back to the past and learn about the legacy of American innovators from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Address: 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn, MI 48124

4: Michigan State Capitol

Michigan State Capitol

You don’t have to go to Washington D.C. to see an epic government building. Instead, take a trip to Lansing to see the Michigan State Capitol. The building was seen as an architectural achievement when it was opened on January 1, 1879.

At the time, it was one of the first state capitol buildings to feature a lofty cast iron dome. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark that attracts over 100,000 tourists each year. In addition to the architecture, visitors can enjoy nine acres of hand-painted art at the capitol.

Address: 100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

5: University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Home of the mighty Wolverines, this university is one of the top-ranked in the country among many categories, not just sports programs.

Also, included in the 2,800 acre campus is a Natural History Museum, the Power Center for the Performing Arts, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art, and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, to name a few.

There’s plenty to see at the University of Michigan, enough for a full day of events and interactive learning.

Address: 500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

6: Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ray Dumas

If you have always loved backpacking and camping, Isle Royale is one of those places that you should visit at least once in your life. This rugged terrain is surrounded by Lake Superior and offers the most adventurous outdoor lover an experience that he will never forget.

While you are trekking through the trails you just might encounter wolves and moose among many of the exotic wildlife that roam freely in the park.

Address: Isle Royale National Park, MI
Website: www.nps.gov

7: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Rodney Campbell

Sleeping Bear tops many lists of the most beautiful places in America. This northern Michigan park includes over 70,000 acres of land for exploration. Its home to lush forests, miles of sandy beach, and phenomenal lakeside views that are indescribable in their beauty.

You can climb the dunes or swim at the lake or you can load your backpack and go on an adventure filled hike through the Maple Beach Forest for some of the most breathtaking sights. Sleeping Bear also includes the historic Glen Haven Village and South Manitou Island Lighthouse.

Address: 6748 S Dune Hwy, Empire, MI 49630
Website: www.nps.gov

8: Colonial Michilimackinac

Colonial Michilimackinac
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Greg Grossmeier

There is even some history on Mackinac Island, found at the likes of Colonial Michilimackinac. This is an 18th-century fort that acts as a new age interactive museum. There are numerous historical exhibits to peruse, and even some pretty great views from its walled fortress look outs.

Tourists are welcome to step into the boots of true 1776 revolutionary times. The time of American independence, and the fight that ensued. There are age-old cannons and musket firings, and even more than a few activities for the younger crowds to experience history. The locations primary name to fame is the historic Fort Mackinac. It is one of the top attractions in not just the complex, but the island!

Colonial Michilimackinac’s hours and admissions vary. From September 2nd to October 4th, the hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours vary depending on season and are subject to change so be sure to check out the official website for firsthand information. Admission rates for adults are $12.50 on site, and $12.00 online. Children (ages 5-12) are $7.25 on site, and $7.00 on site.

Don’t just learn about history, live it! Colonial Michilimackinac will guide you through the triumphs and tribulations of the American Revolution to American spirit today.
Address: 102 W Straits Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49770

9: Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia/Michael Barera

Satisfy your craving for art and all the finer things in life at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Boasting of the country's largest, most significant art collection, this museum currently holds over 60,000 unique and creative works that will leave you awed and amazed.

Their collections include works of some of the greatest artists from Africa, America and Asia. If interactive displays are more your thing, you can join their drop-in workshops, Arts and Minds Lectures as well as their Drawing in the Galleries events.

Address: 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
Website: www.dia.org

10: Windmill Island Gardens

Windmill Island Gardens
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Anna Harris

Nestled in Holland, the Windmill Island Gardens are a testament to natural Dutch beauty found in America! It is an island that brags of blooming tulips that stretch for miles. The color array from tulip to tulip is something you’ll truly have to see to embrace, and Windmill Island is the perfect place for that 36 acres stretch upon well-maintained botany.

The Island itself is actually a Dutch village that offers tours from coast to coast. The guides are costumed and in character making for one immersive culture experience.

Windmill Island Gardens is also home to the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States. It is over 250 years old, and sits in the center of one of the most prominent tulip patches in the area.

It is massive, beautiful, and incredible nestled in the heart of such a color show. It is open for viewing exclusively in Windmill Island Gardens, Michigan. And as a location on the banks of Lake Macatawa, there are also some spectacular waterfront views free for viewing.

Address: 1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423

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