Michigan is steeped in culture, is home to cold winters but beautiful summers, as well as passionate sports fans, and has a plethora of scenic spots. No matter the season, the Great Lake State has something to offer that everyone can enjoy. From museums, to festivals, to stunning hiking trails, take your pick! Here are 20 of the coolest things to do in Michigan.
Producing some of the finest craft brews in the country, Founders offers top-notch beers and tours in a beautiful, rustic space. Sip on classic seasonal brews in the taproom like Mosaic Promise, available only April through September. The Founders website proudly proclaims they "don't brew beer for the masses" but instead for a "chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels." If this sounds like you, you may want to stop in to this Grand Rapids brewery.
Since 1967, Flower Day has been an Eastern Market staple. Every year on the Sunday following Mother's Day, growers bring their finest displays of beautiful flowers for visitors to purchase. Thousands flock to this annual event where 15 acres of vibrant perennials, shrubs, and trees are on display for interested customers.
One of Michigan's most popular family attractions, the Detroit Zoo draws more than 1.4 million visitors every year. With 125 acres of exhibits and more than 3,300 animals, it's difficult to see it all in one trip. Fun fact: this zoo was one of the first in the country to use barless exhibits. There are educational opportunities aplenty here, as well, for visitors to learn about the behaviors and habitats of the animals the zoo houses.
On a warmer day in the spring, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the perfect place for a scenic hike, a peaceful picnic, a relaxing day of fishing, and many photo ops. You have to see this place to believe it. The waters shimmer beneath kayaks on idyllic sunny days as the vibrant rocks stretch and curve above you.
If you are in Holland, Michigan in May, you may get the opportunity to see millions-like 4.5 million- of tulips blooming around the city. The Tulip Time Festival honors the city's Dutch heritage with a week full of events including parades and garden tours. For some breathtaking sights on a perfect spring day, check out this beautiful festival.
For the racing fans, it's important to check out the Michigan International Speedway, which hosts several NASCAR events in the summer. Catch the Spring Cup Series in June and August at NASCAR's fastest track. There are also plenty of opportunities for camping at the speedway. According to its website, it's actually been a long-time tradition for more than 40 years. So park your RV or pitch a tent so you can be at the track bright and early for a day filled with thrilling racing.
With picturesque flora and fauna, sparkling lakes and soft sandy beaches, Sleeping Bear Dunes is the ideal spot for a summer day outdoors. Enjoy a day of biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, tubing and even scuba diving. Right next to the lakeshore in Lake Michigan is the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve. Here, divers are invited to explore historic shipwrecks that have been lying beneath the lake since the early 1900s.
A charter member of the American League, the Tigers have been a significant part of Detroit's culture and baseball's history since the late 1800s. The team have been World Series champions four times, have produced 12 Hall of Fame players, and have drawn over 120 million fans to home games in their history, according to the team's website. With 162 games in a season, there will be plenty of opportunity to catch game at Comerica Park.
This scenic island is home to quaint shopping and dining areas as well as idyllic beaches. During your stay on Mackinac Island, you may want to take a private, horse-drawn carriage tour to really take everything in. If not that, you can bike around the island at your own pace. The island also features interesting historic sites, museums, parks, and opportunities for water sports like sailing, fishing, kayak tours and even parasailing.
You haven't really experienced the summer until you visit some type of fair or amusement park. Michigan's Adventure is a 250-acre amusement park and the largest in the state. And don't worry, there is fun for the entire family. For the thrill-seekers, get strapped in to rollercoasters like Shivering Timbers, Thunderhawk and Wolverine Wildcat. For the kids, enjoy family-friendly rides like the carousel, Ferris wheel and swan boats.
Sitting right on the Michigan-Indiana border is one of the best fall thrills you'll find in the country. Niles Scream Park is a high-quality haunted attraction offering "44 acres of blood-curdling fear," according to its website. With six attractions boasting professional sets and highly-detailed costume designs, you will be sure to get a fright this fall.
Frankenmuth's website advises visitors to "Fasten your Lederhosen" for this annual event. Experience the city's rich German heritage by munching on some bratwurst and sipping on the very best German brews. With authentic entrainment in music and dancing, this is a must-see event. And they even kindly provide a shuttle service for those unfit to drive (drink responsibly, folks!).
This space holds two winery production facilities with tasting rooms, a distillery, a luxury inn, a farm-to-table cafe, and even an equestrian facility. It doesn't get much more opulent than this. Try some of Black Star's finest and richest wines in tasting rooms in Suttons Bay or Traverse City. With a serene atmosphere offering scenic views, this is the ideal place to unwind after a long week.
This eight-mile, moderate-difficulty trail is among the most popular hikes in the state. Most of your traverse will be up above the Lake of Clouds and Big Carp River Valley. Soak in the breathtaking sights of Michigan's fall foliage, sprawling across the Porcupine Mountains. And have your camera ready, because there is going to be plenty of opportunity for a quick photoshoot.
With multiple locations of farms and orchards across Michigan, Blake's Orchards is one of the prime apple picking spots the state has to offer. Blake's website coasts they have spent 69 years growing apples, host 45,600 apples trees on their property, and have a 42 varieties of the fruit.
Nothing gets you more into the spirit of winter and Detroit than a game at Joe Louis arena. Part of the Original Six, the Red Wings are a historically good team, with a perfect mixture of season veterans and young superstars. Be sure to check this upcoming season's home schedule to plan an evening on the town for some drinks and a game.
Voted the "Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners" and the "Best Place to Spend a Day With Your Family," according to its website, the Air Zoo is a truly unique experience. The site boasts that it is "Like No Place Else on Earth!" And this rings true as the space holds more than 50 fascinating and historic aircrafts, amusement park rides, and flight simulators. For a both fun and educational experience, stop into this zoo on a cold winter day this year.
Deemed the city's crown jewel, the Fox Theatre hosts the biggest names of entertainment from world-renowned musicals, to popular musical artists, to comedy events. The space holds a little over 5,000 people and the Art Deco structure's architecture alone is something to marvel at.
To get away for a vacation of winter sports, delicious food, and cozy fires, Boyne Mountain Resort is your place. The resort has a variety of delicious dining spots, a indoor waterpark for the days off the mountain, luxurious lodging and of course, top-notch skiing.
Its website declares the theatre the state's "premiere opera company, which, through its commitment to producing and presenting the very best professional productions of opera, dance musical theater, and arts education programming, serves as a statewide cultural resource." With breathtaking ballets, magnificent musical productions and other dazzling dance performances, this is the place to consume some of the finest arts and entertainment Michigan has to offer.