15 Most Beautiful Places in Michigan

15 Most Beautiful Places in Michigan
© Joe Sohm | Dreamstime.com

The best time for a vacation is still the summer. But even in the somewhat colder seasons, you can visit great places all over the world. However, the question here is which vacation destinations are most likely to be considered.

For example, if you’ve never been to the U.S., you should have visited it at least once in your life. Besides well-known tourist cities like New York and co. there are also more rural areas with a lot of nature. Especially the American state of Michigan stands out. It is not without reason that it is called the Great Lakes State. In addition, four of the five Great Lakes are bound there, which is why a beautiful landscape is to be expected.

Michigan has many interesting and beautiful cities on offer. But which of them can really be recommended? The following article will specifically look at 15 best places in Michigan that might be relevant to individuals or entire families.

15. Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls
© Alexey Stiop | Dreamstime.com

Parks are a dime a dozen in the United States. However, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a special one. It covers 50,000 hectares over 13 miles. This area is especially suitable for people who like to explore forests on their own.

Most of the landscape is undeveloped and has no roads. Even buildings and power lines are rarely found. The main focus is on the waterfalls, which have contributed greatly to the formation of this area. One of the largest waterfalls is located east of the Mississippi River – Upper Falls. This one has a drop of about 50 feet as well as a diameter of more than 200 feet.

A couple of miles further down can be found Lower Falls, where those concerned can discover a series of five smaller waterfalls arranged around an island. Ultimately, the place is suitable for those who want to observe different types of waterfalls.

14. Holland

Wooden Windmill in Holland Michigan
© Craig Sterken | Dreamstime.com

However, if you are looking for a nice lakeside vacation, you should take a closer look at the place called Holland. This is a place on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan that offers just that. First and foremost, the beautiful beaches as well as the Dutch culture are in the foreground. Hence the name.

The city in Michigan has something to offer all year round. However, the majority of tourists come in the spring, as Tulip Time festivals are held there every year and over 6 million tulips bloom. Music, parades and over a thousand clog dancers also await.

Also worth a visit is the museum in the city center. Here visitors can learn everything imaginable about Dutch history and how it has influenced the city over the past hundreds of years. The 250-year-old windmill, which is still in operation, is located in the Windmill Island Gardens.

13. Saugatuck & Douglas

Winterized Oval Beach at Saugatuck MI with view of small sailboat
© Amy Kamps | Dreamstime.com

Michigan is not only a place with a lot of forest, but also a place where people can relax together with their family and co. If you want to visit Saugatuck & Douglas, you should definitely visit the beach ” Oval Beach”. It has already been named one of the best beaches in the world by well-known broadcasters such as MTV, National Geographic and Conde Nast.

But what exactly makes this place so special? First of all, there are no less than 6 different beaches there, all of which are special in their own way. Playing together with the kids, getting a new skin color or discovering exciting attractions are just a few of the examples.

In the end, many adventures await you. In hotels visitors can rest, store for souvenirs or have dinner in the evening. The beach itself covers more than 200 feet and also offers a great route for walking dogs.

12. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
© Dean Pennala | Dreamstime.com

Michigan is arguably the place to be in the US when vacationers want to find variety. This can be seen in the next destination as well. This is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Behind the term hides one of no less than 4 national parks on the upper peninsula of Michigan. Their special feature: the numerous and overwhelming sandstone cliffs.

Due to the winding paths, especially fans of water sports get their money’s worth. Just as well, longer routes can be used for hiking. Furthermore, there is a 60-kilometer-long protected area, which is ideal for boating, kayaking, camping or hiking. On site, one often gets the feeling that there are two parks in one.

Basically, it does not matter which activities are chosen. Boredom never arises due to the different sights as well as places for recreation. Moreover, the hiking trails lead through a sea of colorful wildflowers.

11. Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park
© Qube002 | Dreamstime.com

The next place in Michigan is a real insider tip. We are talking about Isle Royale National Park. It is located at the border to Canada and is the least visited national park in the USA. However, this does not have to mean anything negative, quite the opposite.

The place offers pure wilderness. Nature lovers as well as hiking enthusiasts will probably not be able to imagine a better place. You will not meet many people there. Nevertheless, with about 26,000 visitors per year, there is no lack of show value. The only reason why there are fewer outdoor enthusiasts is because of the accessibility of the place.

The arrival takes place either by boat or by seaplane. Dense forests, untouched lakes as well as cool caves are only a few special places. A great highlight are the moose, which can be seen along the hiking trails. Especially in Isle Royale National Park the highlight.

10. Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor
© Paul Brady | Dreamstime.com

Not only in America, but also in the rest of the world there are certain university towns that are known for students and co. Similar is the case with the following place in Michigan: Ann Arbor. However, the city has much more to offer than picturesque and free-spirited students.

Basically, it is the cultural & academic epicenter of the city. In any case, the museums “Natural History” or “Museum of Arts” should be visited. But also for children can be found attractive attractions. One of them is the Dinosaur Tour. On the campus itself you can expect musicals as well as literature readings.

However, the city center has a lot more to offer. How about a walk through Matthaei Botanical Gardens? Even a tour of Michigan Stadium is possible. The focus here is mainly on education, entertainment and curiosity. Moreover, the place is easy to reach by car.

9. Traverse City

Traverse City Michigan Downtown
© Gary Ennis | Dreamstime.com

In the Great Lakes region, Traverse City is a must-see. It is not without reason one of the most popular destinations in this region. Located on the shores of the deep blue Grand Traverse Bay, this charming city gives you an excellent impression of typical American small-town life. The cultural scene is one of the best that northern Michigan has to offer.

Its highlights include numerous beaches, lighthouses, and nature adventures. The coastline stretches for about 376 km. Lake Michigan, on the other hand, is the place for fans of water sports, sailors as well as boating enthusiasts of all kinds.

In the television program “Good Morning America”, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, located there, was chosen as the most beautiful place in the USA. And that’s saying something. There is nothing lacking in the area of gastronomy and shopping. In addition, Traverse City is primarily known for its fruit growing.

8. Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA Downtown Skyline
© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Friends of beer can get ready for something at the next place in Michigang. We are talking about “Grand Rapids”, which is also known as the Beer City of USA. As recently as 2014, the city was voted the best destination in the US. Despite all these awards, the place offers other special features.

The city center impresses with its clean appearance as well as safety. With over 150 restaurants as well as stores, there is no lack of anything. A real highlight is the annual art festival ArtPrize. There, more than 1500 artists from all over the world come to share their music with fans. If you prefer to discover something new culturally, the best thing to do is to visit the excellent museums.

The main focus is on food. Culinary arts are widespread and especially for visitors, the beer offerings will convince. Fresh ingredients can be purchased at the downtown market.

7. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
© Benjamin Simeneta | Dreamstime.com

The next destination is Sleeping Bear Dunes. More precisely, it is the name of a national lakeshore on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. As with other places mentioned above, the area is protected. Strictly speaking, the area covers 288 km².

But what exactly can be discovered at this place? One attraction in particular are the sand dunes that form at the park. Depending on the weather, they can reach up to 140 meters high and offer a real spectacle. Once at the top, you get a great view of the sea as well as offshore islands and hinterland. The two islands North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island also belong to the protected areas.

The landscape was especially shaped by the last ice age. Some dunes are over 2000 thousand years old. There are also plenty of camping possibilities. Those who want to explore the area by boat can do so with a guide.

6. Detroit

Downtown Detroit skyline, Michigan, USA at dusk
© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

The previously mentioned destinations were very nature oriented. The next place in Michigang is Detroit, also known as “Motor City”. Here, visitors to the largest city in Michigan can discover numerous cultures as well as find an ample supply of entertainment.

The metropolis of millions has in its center huge towers of the headquarters of General Motors. Visitors can pass the time in the surrounding cafes. Another highlight is the Detroit River. Especially in the hot summer months, there are great opportunities to spend your free time here.

No less interesting is the Campus Martius Park. Especially in the winter time you can discover numerous fairy lights there. In summer, volleyball tournaments take place as well as concerts of famous names. Some museums have focused especially on the history of music. Many music lovers will therefore be able to explore Motown Records down to its roots. Shopping till you drop is a must with the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.

5. Mackinac Island

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan
© Alexey Stiop | Dreamstime.com

Mackinac Island is in part a complete contrast to the metropolitan city of Detroit. Here, visitors have to do without cars and trucks. The reason for this was the law passed in 1898, and visitors move around either on foot or with the help of “horseless vehicles”. So there will never be a traffic jam.

The peninsula can be reached by plane or ferry. The focus is on nature. There is something for everyone in the lovingly restored Victorian-style homes. Even then, the strategically valuable location of Mackinac Island was interesting for fur traders. Fort Mackinac is a preserved fort that must be seen.

In general, old locales from years gone by can be discovered in this place. How about the oldest golf course in Michigan or Doud’s Market, the oldest grocery store. Sainte Anne’s Church is considered the oldest Catholic church in this place.

4. Muskegon

Historic Muskegon lighthouses and harbor entrance in Michigan, USA
© Thomas Barrat | Dreamstime.com

Michigan also has other great places on offer. Among them is Muskegon. With about 38,000 inhabitants as well as 175,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, the place is one of the smaller ones. The city is located on the shore between two lakes. People themselves have existed here for more than 8000 years.

Sugar sand beaches are one of the features that the city has to offer. Windsurfing, paddling, hiking trails and a breathtaking view of the lighthouse are standard. If you are interested in submarines, for example, you must visit the USS Silverslides Submarine Museum. This was mainly dedicated to the Second World War.

There are even some museums that explain the formation of sand dunes and how they can be protected from damage. Otherwise, there are also great offers for the whole family. Including for example amusement parks and theme parks.

3. Petoskey

Panoramic view of downtown Petoskey, Michigan
© Thomas Barrat | Dreamstime.com

The next area in Michigan goes by the name of Petoskey. To be exact, it is located in the north of Michigan, on the Little Traverse Bay. The whole thing stretches about 13 km along Lake Michigan. The city itself flows into the Bear River, which also flows through the city.

Much more interesting, however, are the sights that the city has to offer. The city center has developed into a real shopping district since 1890. Here, too, the Victorian style is used, which has been preserved over time. With various events of all kinds, today it is part of the “Historic Gaslight District”.

In total, visitors can look at 40 buildings as well as historic districts. Families with children have plenty of choices thanks to the various cottages. The Ernest Hemingway Cottage and Bay View Association own over the National Historic Landmark. Other points of interest include Maple Moon Wineries and breweries like Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery.

2. Kalamazoo

Skyline Kalamazoo Michigan USA
© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures in any season, you definitely need to have heard of Kalamazoo. Water lovers, in particular, can head out for a leisurely paddle during the warmer months and take in the city’s sights on the river.

In addition, the town also offers interesting opportunities for fans of mountain biking. Horseback riding trails with picnic areas or toboggan slopes are also worth a look. But the heart of the town beats in the lively city center. There you will find numerous stores, theaters and restaurants. In addition, the history of the region can be experienced in five of the historically designated districts.

The Thomas House is especially recommended for a visit. This was one of the most important stops in all of Michigan. Car enthusiasts can also look at a wide range of cars at the Gilmore Car Museum. A total of about 400 cars are on display. The true character of Kalamazoo can be discovered at the eastern gastro scene with its craft beer.

1. Lansing

Lansing, Michigan
© Adeliepenguin | Dreamstime.com

Lansing, on the other hand, is the capital of Michigan, which definitely speaks for a visit. In general, the city is considered a diverse vacation destination for people from all over the world. Historic hotels and modern museums of the Midwest are just one of many attractions.

Festivals are clearly in the foreground in the capital. Over 50 festivals are held here throughout the year, as well as other events. Especially in spring, the streets are filled with art, music and delicious international food. In autumn, for example, there are hayrides and bonfires. Even during the Christmas season, the city rings in the pre-Christmas season with its Silver Bells festival parades.

Permanent local attractions, which await visitors all year round, also exist. How about the Michigan History Center, for example, where the city’s history is displayed in a unique way. Even Escape Rooms can be found on site. All in all, a great place with plenty of variety.

Click Video to see the 15 Best Places in Michigan

Click Play to listen to the article