If you’re going to plan a trip to Michigan, especially if it’s your first time, it’s worth your time to research ahead of your trip. This way you can know the best places to visit in Michigan before you get there so you can plan accordingly.
Whether you’re looking for things to do in Michigan for families or just want to get away with friends and loved ones, we’ve got you covered! From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and city breaks, there really is something for everyone.
Keep reading to plan a trip to Michigan that’s perfect for you and yours.
Plan a Trip to Michigan
Michigan is a brilliant Midwestern state in the United States, known for its stunning landscapes, bustling cities, and diverse range of activities. With so much to offer, it’s no surprise why so many want to explore it.
We’re here to help you plan a trip to Michigan that you’ll remember. This guide offers an overview of the best places to visit in Michigan, separated into four sections: outdoor adventures, city experiences, cultural attractions, and family-friendly activities.
When you visit a new city, some of the first things people do is look for a museum or see if there are any rooftop bars nearby, so we’ve got you covered. Each section will highlight a few unique experiences to enjoy while visiting Michigan.
So, let’s explore Michigan and discover all it has to offer!
Michigan is the place to be if you’re looking for something to do outdoors. Not only is it incredibly diverse in terms of geography, but there are many options for you to choose from when you’re there making this destination excellent for outdoor lovers.
Being outdoors is one of the top things to do in Michigan for families as well as just about any travel group. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s nice to be outside after a long winter!
Here are a few of the best places to visit in Michigan for outdoor lovers:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has some of the most breathtaking sandstone cliffs, towering waterfalls, and lush forests located on the southern shore of Lake Superior. You can spend a day (or more) hiking the numerous trails, kayaking along the diverse shoreline, or taking a boat tour to witness the natural beauty up close without getting your sweat on.
Isle Royale National Park
Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Isle Royale National Park offers a truly remote wilderness experience. If you’re usually a city-dweller and aren’t too sure about the great outdoors, maybe give this one a miss.
Complete with rugged terrain and sometimes unforgiving weather, you’ll be side-by-side with wolves, moose, and many more amazing animals. You can check out the many hiking trails, kayaking spots, and fishing locations that we’re sure will capture your imagination and keep you entertained.
Mackinac Island is unlike anywhere else, which is excellent if you want to escape from the modern world and take a step back in time. It is accessible via ferry, and you won’t find many cars or other signs of modern living. Instead, you’ll be surrounded by horse-drawn carriages and bicycles.
This charming island offers stunning views, historic sites, and plenty of outdoor activities, including tours of Fort Mackinac, which played a crucial role in the War of 1812. It’s perfect if you want to plan a trip to Michigan in the summer.
If you like to stay within the city and experience the culture of Michigan from the comfort of your high-rise hotel, we don’t blame you. Luckily, Michigan has many great city spots that are perfect for long weeks away.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Michigan for city slickers.
Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, is experiencing a renaissance with an influx of new businesses, restaurants, and cultural attractions. While there, you’ll need to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, home to one of the country’s most extensive art collections.
If you’re a big music fan, you should also check out the Motown Museum, which pays tribute to the city’s iconic music history.
Known for its thriving craft beer scene, Grand Rapids offers a mix of cultural attractions and outdoor activities. It’s a perfect destination if you’re looking for things to do in Michigan for families.
Among the best things to do in Michigan is Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This 158-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park are sure to keep you and the family busy for a good few hours.
Afterward, you can visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which features contemporary art and design exhibits. You can’t visit Grand Rapids without trying some of the amazing local beer, which can be found in many of the independent breweries.
Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor boasts a vibrant arts scene, excellent dining options, and beautiful parks. It’s very much a student area, but there’s nothing wrong with that because this means that there are many independent bookstores, eclectic shops, and affordable but amazing restaurants.
This also means there’s also a thriving downtown making it one of the best places to visit in Michigan for younger travelers and families.
If you’re looking for cultural attractions when you plan a trip to Michigan, you’ll find options for the whole family. Not only is Michigan a great place to see the outdoors and explore great cities, but it’s also a cultural hub, home to many amazing attractions that we’re sure you’ll love.
The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, The Henry Ford is a sprawling complex that includes the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. If you love all things innovation and love learning about America’s role in the development of the automobile and what came later, you can learn everything there is to know about airplanes, science, and more!
As Michigan’s largest amusement park, Michigan’s Adventure is the place to be for visitors of all ages. There are over 60 rides that we’re sure you’ll love, including roller coasters, water slides, and even a wave pool – there’s bound to be something there for you.
If you’re planning your trip for summer, there’s no reason not to check this place out – it’s the perfect day out!
Kalamazoo Air Zoo
If you love all things aviation-related, the Kalamazoo Air Zoo needs to be on your bucket list. It features an amazing range of aircraft, including World War II fighters, modern military jets, and even a replica of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane.
You can experience flight simulation and have a guided tour, which will help you soak in a tonne of information that a regular walk through the museum can’t offer. It’s perfect for history buffs and anyone to learn.
If you’re going to plan a trip to Michigan for a group or family there’s much you can get up to in Michigan. Whether you like to visit zoos, experience different cultures, or love to learn, there’s sure to be something that’ll catch your interest.
Spanning over 100 acres, the Detroit Zoo is somewhere that you can spend your entire day, home to more than 2,400 animals from around the world. There’s so much to do and see, featuring polar bears, seals, and arctic foxes to giraffes, zebras, and ostriches.
If you want to learn, there’s a 4D theater and educational spaces that are definitely worth checking out.
If you want somewhere that’s a little different, Michigan’s so-called Little Bavaria is an experience unlike anything else. Frankenmuth, as it’s known, is a small town that’s rich in German heritage and culture.
The streets are lined with Bavarian-style buildings, and you can enjoy delicious German cuisine at spots such as the famous Bavarian Inn or Zehnder’s restaurant.
We’ve listed some of the absolute best places to visit in Michigan with a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. From exploring the stunning natural beauty to experiencing its cities’ cultural and historic landmarks, Michigan has something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, urban excitement, cultural experiences, or group-friendly fun, you will find it! What places will you be adding to your list when you plan a trip to Michigan?