Tahquamenon Falls water fall in michigan.

19 Things to do in Michigan

Discover the best of the Great Lakes State. From stunning waterfalls to charming wineries, explore the best things to do in Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls water fall in michigan.
Tahquamenon Falls. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Michigan is a state brimming with diverse attractions and natural wonders. From the breathtaking sand dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to the vibrant city life of Detroit, there’s something for everyone in the Great Lakes State. 

Explore Mackinac Island’s timeless charm, where horse-drawn carriages transport you to a bygone era. Explore the scenic beauty of Tahquamenon Falls and immerse yourself in the outdoor adventures of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

Indulge your senses in the Bavarian-inspired town of Frankenmuth and savor the flavors of Traverse City’s renowned wineries. Michigan truly offers an abundance of captivating experiences that will leave you awe-inspired.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 

Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, this Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features towering sand dunes, beautiful beaches and breathtaking views. You can hike through the dunes, swim in the lake or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty. 

The dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

“Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is such a fun place to explore whether camping or for a simple day trip. You can wander the forests, sand dunes, or lakeshore, or try your hand at identifying the unique flora and fauna that grace this special location. There’s no shortage of enjoyment to be had!” — Kristen Wood, The Wander Bucket 

Just south along Michigan’s coast, you will find Muskegon State Park, which also has an amazing coastline.

Detroit

The largest city in Michigan, Detroit offers a vibrant mix of culture, history and entertainment. Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, known for its extensive collection, or explore the Motown Museum, dedicated to the legendary Motown sound. 

Don’t miss the Detroit Riverwalk, a scenic pathway along the Detroit River with parks, cafes and stunning views. If you visit Detroit in the winter, bowling is a great indoor activity that the entire family will enjoy.

Mackinac Island

Accessible only by ferry, Mackinac Island takes you back in time with its Victorian charm. Explore the island on a horse-drawn carriage, visit historic sites like Fort Mackinac, and indulge in delicious fudge, a local specialty. Enjoy the scenic beauty and breathtaking views of the Mackinac Bridge, connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Located in the Upper Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers stunning vistas, waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. Experience the beauty of the Porkies by camping, fishing or taking a scenic drive through the park.

Tahquamenon Falls

In the eastern Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The Upper and Lower Falls are both spectacular, with amber-colored water flowing over rocks. Visit in winter to witness the frozen beauty of the falls.

Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan.
Tahquamenon Falls. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Frankenmuth

Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is a charming town with a strong German influence. Explore the Bavarian-style architecture, enjoy traditional German cuisine and shop for unique souvenirs. 

Take a Scenic Drive on M-22

M-22 is a scenic highway in Michigan that loops around the Leelanau Peninsula, offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and charming small towns. The drive includes picturesque landscapes, vineyards, orchards, and access to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s renowned for its beauty, especially during the fall when the foliage is vibrant.

The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City

The National Cherry Festival celebrates the region’s cherry industry with events like parades, concerts, cherry-pit spitting contests, and more. Traverse City is known for its cherry orchards and is often called the “Cherry Capital of the World.”

Traverse City Wineries

Enjoy the delicious flavors of Traverse City Wineries. Traverse City is renowned for its wine production, particularly its crisp white wines and flavorful cherry wines. Take a tour of the local Michigan wineries along the Old Mission Peninsula or the Leelanau Peninsula, and indulge in wine tastings while enjoying the beautiful vineyard scenery.

Tasting Room at Mari Vineyards.
Mari Vineyards

Grand Rapids art scene

Grand Rapids is known for its thriving art scene. Visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, featuring stunning outdoor sculptures and beautiful gardens. Explore the Grand Rapids Art Museum, showcasing a wide range of art styles and exhibitions.

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park is located in the northwest part of Lake Superior. It’s accessible by ferry or seaplane. This remote island national park offers pristine wilderness, hiking trails, wildlife viewing (including moose and wolves), and opportunities for kayaking and fishing. It’s a designated International Biosphere Reserve.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 

Located along the Lake Superior shoreline, this national lakeshore offers dramatic sandstone cliffs, picturesque beaches and vibrant blue water. Take a boat tour to see the iconic rock formations, or hike the scenic trails and marvel at the natural beauty surrounding you. Since you’re already up in the Upper Peninsula, you should take a drive and a ferry and visit one of the least visited national parks in the U.S., Isle Royale National Park.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Beaver Island

Located in Lake Michigan, Beaver Island is a tranquil and secluded retreat. Enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking or biking, and soak in the island’s natural beauty. Visit the Beaver Island Historical Society Museum to learn about the island’s fascinating history and maritime heritage.

Visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Dedicated to the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford, the museum displays artifacts and exhibits covering historical events, including the Watergate scandal. Visitors can explore the replica of the Oval Office and learn about Ford’s contributions to the nation.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) features diverse artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and contemporary pieces. The museum contributes to the vibrant arts scene in Grand Rapids and hosts various exhibitions throughout the year.

Muskegon State Park

Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in the heart of Muskegon County, Muskegon State Park is a 1,233-acre haven for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and camping to swimming and fishing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this scenic destination.

beach at Muskegon State Park

Explore Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan and offers a mix of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and galleries. The downtown area is known for its eclectic shops, restaurants, and vibrant arts community.

The Tulip Time Festival in Holland

The Tulip Time Festival celebrates Dutch heritage with millions of tulips in bloom, parades, traditional Dutch dance performances, and various cultural events. It’s a beautiful and colorful springtime celebration.

The Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum is part of The Henry Ford complex, showcasing the history of American innovation. The museum features exhibits on transportation, agriculture, industry, and more. Notable artifacts include the Rosa Parks bus and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

These activities provide a glimpse into Michigan’s diverse offerings, from natural beauty and cultural events to historical landmarks and educational experiences.

Michigan is a treasure trove of remarkable destinations and experiences. Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, cultural immersion or a taste of history, this state has it all. These attractions showcase the diverse range of experiences Michigan has to offer. 

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life

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