Have you ever been curious about Michigan? If you’ve ever thought about traveling to this American state, then read on, rovers! Get ready to write, as we present the top 10 places in Michigan that are truly bucket list-worthy.
1. The Secret Spots on Mackinac Island
Regular readers know that while the locals love this place, especially in the summer, the rest of the world pays little attention to it. Here you can go bicycling and explore the arches, caves, and marinas. But you can also enjoy a carriage ride, picnic along the shore and visit such places as Sadie’s Ice Cream parlor near the well-known Grand Hotel, see scenic Cadotte Avenue, relax at the pretty Somewhere In Time gazebo (nicknamed after the 1980 film shot here), and hike the peaceful Tranquil Bluff Trail.
2. Rockport State Park Recreational Area
If you like to hike, go stargazing, or are a real rock hound this is the place for you. Located in attractive Alpena, it spans a vast area of 4, 237 acres. You can explore this scenic place on foot or by bicycle. Veteran visitors suggest searching for Devonian fossils, bike to the quarry, see the sinkholes, and go stargazing at this officially designated Dark Sky Preserve. Be sure to pack properly though as no food is available here and there are only latrines or pit toilets on the property.
3. Enjoy East Tawas
The East Tawas region is a great place to try something new, see the sites, and do a little shopping. Those in the know suggest parking in the marina parking lot. If you’ve been driving a bit too long, there are restrooms right next door.
Shopaholics will want to hit Newman Street. Nature lovers can take the designated birding trail or hike the scenic trails found along the shoreline. When you get hungry try a Pronto Pup hot dog on a stick and have some chai tea at the popular Tea House.
4. Hit Hungarian Falls
Some state residents consider the Hungarian Falls to be one of their favorites. You will find it in Hubbell. Hungarian Falls is the result of water from Dover Creek roaring down on its way to popular Torch Lake.
Visitors find the roaring sound of the falls and the cool mist resulting from them to be both “mesmerizing and refreshing.” Locals recommend visiting in the spring because that is when the water levels are generally the highest. They say you can spend hours exploring the area too. So dress in layers because it’s cooler in the spring.
5. Headlands International Dark Sky Park
The Headlands International Dark Sky Park is situated roughly three miles west out of Mackinaw City. This is reported to be one place that sometimes even state residents initially overlook. Anyone familiar with the “dark sky” concept will know this means this is an exceptional place to see the stars without any significant pollution.
It’s simply a must-see location when vacationing in Michigan. It’s even close to Mackinac Island. There is concrete arched seating here that optimizes stargazing but you should come prepared with a comfy cushion.
6. Feed Giraffes at Binder Park Zoo
Opened in 1977, Binder Park Zoo outside cornflake-famous Battle Creek, is noteworthy for several reasons. It includes an open-air train that takes riders to “Africa” and is narrated so that passengers learn while they ride. The ride is even included with your entry fee and there’s close, free parking. You’ll also discover a variety of animals available for close-up viewing, shaded boardwalks for strolling through the nature area, free-roaming peacocks, and a Children’s Zoo that allows everyone to feed, pet, and otherwise interact with friendly animals. Plus you get to feed giraffes!
7. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Explorers, hikers, kayakers, photographers, and (naturally) nature lovers all adore popular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Located on the shore of well-known Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of the state, it features picturesque rock formations, wonderful waterfalls, and hilly sand dunes. You can snowmobile there in the winter and hike it in the summer.
While kayaking here can be costly, the views are reportedly “absolutely amazing.” Other highlights include the popular Rip Tide Ride and even glass-bottom boat tours. Be sure to check out nearby Munising too.
8. Silver Lake Sand Dunes
You’ll find striking Silver Lake State Park in Mears. It spans an area of 450 acres and is largely designated for off-road vehicles. Visitors to this park have access to Lake Michigan and Silver Lake as well.
Frequent flyers feel that being here is like being in another world. They say that if you love beaches and enjoy doing the dunes, then this park is the place to be. You can rent a jeep or even bring your own vehicles but should do your homework regarding requirements prior to arriving.
9. Be Certain to See Saugatuck
The quaint little lake town of Saugatuck is nestled in Allegan County. Conde’ Nast included this charming place on their renowned “Top 25 Beaches in the World” list. Of course, there is a lot more to do here than swim and play on the beach.
You can take a chain ferry or a duck boat, hike to the very top of Mt. Baldhead, stroll along a riverwalk, or go for a dune ride. The locals say that the best time to visit is in the spring or the summer.
10. Isle Royale National Park
You will discover the exceptional remote island cluster known as the Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. It’s close to the border between Michigan and Canada. This pleasant, peaceful place comes complete with dense, verdant forests, and stunning, sparkling lakes and waterways. Here the resident wolves and moose roam free.
Ah, but never fear! If you would prefer not to tent camp in the same neighborhood as wolves, you can always book a rustic room at the lodge. Ask nicely and they’ll even pack you a lunch and send you off on a great guided tour too!