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Last updated: July 19, 2022 • Traveling Around the World

Best Places to Visit in Michigan

When you hear the word “Michigan”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the lake that shares the same name, stretching hundreds of miles across the American-Canadian Border? Perhaps it’s the automotive manufacturing powerhouses in Dearborn and Detroit. Perhaps it’s the fact that this state is the only state separated into multiple regions by an inland body of water. These are the things that most people know Michigan for, but the story doesn’t end there. 

You see, Michigan is also a great vacation destination. It might not be the first such place that springs to mind when you think about your yearly holiday, but we expected that; after you read what we’re about to write, there’s a good chance your mind will have changed. Why is that, you ask? Why, because of all the amazing things there are to see and do here! 

While its most beautiful and enjoyable tourist attractions aren’t quite as widely known as those of certain other states, we don’t think we’re wrong in saying that this state is one of the best tourist destinations in the country. With exquisite lakes, rivers, forests, cities and other attractions, the best places to visit in Michigan are numerous and incredible! 

Why visit Michigan? 

lake superior beach views michigan

If you’ve never been to the state of Michigan before, you may be wondering what this place has to offer. Is there any reason to make this state the destination for your summer vacation instead of other, more popular destinations? The answer to that question is yes, if you ask us; in this article, we’re going to be telling you the reasoning behind that yes. 

For starters, there’s a lot more to do here than you might have initially thought. An abundance of natural attractions make it a great place for anyone who loves the outdoors, while large urban areas make it perfect for partygoers and nightlife enjoyers alike. In short, no matter what you enjoy doing, you’ll find something that suits you here! 

Then there are the practical reasons, such as the low cost of living. Michigan is an exceptionally cheap place to live, which means it’s also a really cheap place to vacation. Hotels are cheap, food is cheap and fuel is cheap. If you’re traveling on a budget, the state of Michigan just might be the perfect vacation destination for you. 

Finally, there are a number of other reasons to visit Michigan. There’s the food, which is simply exceptional, and the history, which is fascinating. Lastly, one of the most compelling reasons to visit Michigan is how friendly the population is. Smiles are found on nearly every face, and you’d be hard pressed to find a population that’s happier. But what of those attractions we mentioned? Let’s take a look at a few of them now! 

Detroit Institute of Arts 

detroit michigan usa 2019

If you’re an art enthusiast, you’re going to love this one. At the Detroit Institute of Arts, you’ll find an immense collection of some of humanity’s greatest artistic works. Some are sculpted from marble, others are painted, yet others are photographed on film. Some of the exhibits in this museum defy categorization altogether, providing visitors with a compelling display of the creative potential that every human hides deep within. 

The collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts contains a wide variety of classical masterpieces. Notable entries in this collection include works from world famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, in addition to a number of other classical pieces from lesser known artists. 

There’s also a wealth of American art from the realist, modernist and minimalist schools, in a wide variety of different mediums. Paintings are, as you might expect, the most numerous medium in terms of volume, but there are also sculptures, photographs, music and mixed media exhibits. There’s even a collection of antique armor on display! After seeing these beautiful exhibits, you’ll likely be inspired to create some art yourself

If you’d like to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, you won’t have to worry too much about the cost. Adults can expect to pay $14 for entry, while parents of children from 6 to 17 years of age will need to shell out $6 a head. For children 5 and under entry is free, so this is a great attraction for families with kids. All in all, this is one of the best places to visit in Michigan. 

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Silver Lake Sand Dunes

quad silver lake dunes

We get it; art isn’t for everyone. Some people are looking for thrills, pure and simple. You don’t want to spend your day in musty old art galleries and museums! If that’s the case with you, then you won’t want to miss the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Much like many of the other similar dunes, these are basically just large piles of sand by the water. There’s a significant difference though. What’s the difference? These dunes are drivable! 

That’s right: on these dunes, you can drive your car, ATV, dune buggy or dirtbike without issue. With this knowledge in mind, the entire nature of the dunes and the experience you have here changes. Now, you can expect to rip across the dunes in style, flying through the air and swerving across the sand with impunity at one of the best places to visit in Michigan

The dunes themselves are simply massive. Some are hundreds of feet tall, covering entire acres when measuring the circumference of the base. There are plenty of natural obstacles to take into consideration such as trees and rock formations, but these just make it more fun to drive. Strap on a helmet and gas up your ride, because things are about to get gnarly. This is, without question, one of the best places to visit in Michigan! 

As far as what’s allowed on the dunes is concerned, you’re afforded a fair amount of freedom. If your vehicle has four wheel or all wheel drive, you can drive it onto the dunes without further preparation. If you don’t have a vehicle that meets this prerequisite, there are plenty of rental places situated around the dunes that offer ATVs, dirt bikes and dune buggies for a daily fee. If you like high speed thrills, you’ve got to visit these dunes! 

Michigan’s Adventure

life roller coaster photo

If you’re looking for a more palatable experience than surfing the dunes on a four wheeler but you still want the thrills, you might just find what you’re looking for at Michigan’s Adventure. This high adrenaline but also highly approachable theme park is perfect for lone thrill seekers and families alike, with plenty of rides and experiences for both. 

When you arrive at the park, the first thing you’ll see are the towering thrill rides that the park is home to. The most daring of these is the RipCord, a 180-foot-tall free falling experience that hoists riders up into the air and then safely drops them to a height of approximately 20 feet above the ground. Also present at the park are a variety of thrilling roller coasters that truly cement this as one of the best places to visit in Michigan!

For those with softer constitutions or small children will also find a variety of slower and more charming rides on site. There’s a log ride that drops riders down a watery chute terminating in a huge splash, as well as a number of other kiddie coasters and similar rides that won’t scare young children or adults that like to keep their feet on the ground. 

Prices at Michigan’s Adventure are also surprisingly reasonable when you compare them to those found at attractions such as Universal Studios and DisneyWorld in Orlando. For the low price of $65, you can get an adult’s ticket that provides entry for two days, while parents will have to pay even less for their children. We’d say that this makes Michigan’s Adventure one of the best places to visit in Michigan, don’t you think? 

Isle Royale National Park

inlet main island view

Let’s say that you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and strike out into the great outdoors. Some of the attractions on this list deal with nature in some capacity, but a true nature lover will probably prefer something a bit more unadulterated. If this is the case with you, then we think that you’ll simply love Isle Royale National Park! 

This is one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, pure and simple. As one of the best places to visit in Michigan, what did you expect? Located off the bank of mainland Michigan in the waters of Lake Superior, this national park simply has so much to see and do; it’s a shame you haven’t visited it already! 

There’s no point in crying over spilled milk, as they say; the only thing you can do is get on your feet and visit this beautiful national park! There’s no shortage of things to see and do here, with camping, hiking, and kayaking activities on offer for anyone who cares to participate. If you’re a nature lover, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spend weeks here without leaving! 

Entry to the park is facilitated by a number of different ferries that carry visitors too and from the island. If you’ve got a penchant for aerial travel, you can also get to the island via seaplane! Once you’re there, you’ll find a wide variety of facilities that make camping a breeze. After you set up camp, you can fish, kayak, hike and explore; the options are endless! 

Conclusion 

Now that we’ve shown you some of the best places to visit in Michigan, we think it’s fair to say that this is one of the best states to vacation in. There’s simply so much to see and do; how could you ever disagree? With this article, it’s our hope that we’ve convinced you to visit. We wish you the best of luck on your trip!

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