Michigan Vacation Planner

2024 Michigan Visitors Guide

The state of Michigan features the outdoors like few other states can and includes lake activities, ski resorts, hunting opportunities, and more. The Upper Peninsula juts into Lake Superior, setting the stage for a wealth of fishing and boating activities. South from Lake Superior, Michigan bottlenecks into the Straits of Mackinac, located between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Mackinac Island is a popular destination in this area. Grand Traverse Bay and West Coast Michigan offer a choice of aquatic activities along the edge of Lake Michigan.

Kalamazoo can be found in Southern Michigan, home to three universities and two colleges. The state capital, Lansing, is found in Central Michigan, an area rife with historical attractions, including the Capitol Building. The waters of Lake Huron lap at the shores of Saginaw Bay and Northeast Michigan, yielding yet more boating and fishing. The Greater Detroit area is famous for producing the bulk of the U.S.A.’s domestic cars.

Northeast Michigan Visitors Guide

The majority of Northeast Michigan is dominated by Mackinaw State Forest and Huron National Forest, which provide a host of recreational activities ranging from hiking and biking to camping and fishing. Four state parks—Hoeft, Thompson’s Harbor, Negwegon, and Harrisville—situated along the shores of Lake Huron await outdoor enthusiasts wishing to fish and participate in a range of watersports and outdoor activities. Alpena, also located on Lake Huron, is the center of commerce and culture in this sparsely populated region of Michigan. For a break from recreation, visit the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan in Alpena and explore the realms of art, history and science through exhibits, lectures, and workshops. Just northeast of Grayling is Hartwick Pines State Park, where visitors can participate in a number of outdoor activities and learn about Michigan’s logging history at the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum.

West Coast Michigan Visitors Guide

Michigan’s West Coast follows the shore of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, providing visitors with numerous beaches, bike paths, and lake excursion opportunities. Located inland, Grand Rapids, the largest center in the area, features attractions such as the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Each July, the Muskegon Summer Celebration offers 11 days of music on the lakefront by some of the nation’s most recognized performers. In Grand Haven, late July and early August is time for the Coast Guard Fest, a week-long festival where families can enjoy a parade, Coast Guard ship tours, boat parades, and much more. Other regional activities include golf, dune rides, and riverboat cruises.

Central Michigan Visitors Guide

Home to Lansing, the state capital, Central Michigan’s appeal lies in its rich history. The Michigan State Capitol Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has served as the seat of government in the state since the building was completed in 1879. Michigan State University is also found in Lansing, however, there are 14 degree-granting colleges and a private law school in the state associated with the University, ensuring academics are available for all Michigan residents. Mount Pleasant is located north of Lansing and features the Ziibiwing Center, a museum dedicated to American Indian heritage in the state. The outdoors figure highly in Central Michigan as well, with ample opportunity for visitors to enjoy the forests, lakes, and streams that dot the area. Sleepy Hollow State Park, located just northeast of Lansing, affords a number of recreational activities, including horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Southern Michigan Visitors Guide

Anchored by Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Southern Michigan is a region characterized by clear lakes, interesting attractions, and a host of entertainment options. Kalamazoo houses some of the area’s most intriguing attractions, including the Air Zoo, which features a collection of over 80 rare aircraft and indoor amusement rides; and Kalamazoo Nature Center, which features a three-story tropical rainforest exhibit and an 11-acre arboretum. Battle Creek boasts its fair share of attractions as well, including Leila Arboretum, Full Blast Family Entertainment Center, and Binder Park Zoo. Outdoor enthusiasts also appreciate Southern Michigan’s opportunities for skiing, fishing, biking, and hiking, among other activities. With over 20 courses to choose from Jackson is a golfers paradise in the area. From live music and comedy clubs to karaoke and dance bars, Southern Michigan offers an active nightlife visitors don’t want to miss.

Michigan Upper Peninsula Visitors Guide

Visitors to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula find themselves amidst some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world—Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron—which draw a continuous 1,700-mile shoreline around the region. Rife with waterfalls, several state parks, miles of beaches and over 4,000 inland lakes, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula plays host to a wealth of outdoor pursuits. Whether hitting the slopes at Gladstone Ski Hill, fishing the great lakes, exploring the Soo Locks or relaxing on the beach at Brimley State Park, this area of Michigan is ripe with adventure. In addition to recreation, a rich heritage characterized by American Indian settlement, a cultural mosaic of immigrants, and a history of mining, logging and fishing is waiting to be discovered at the Upper Peninsula’s many museums, including the Valley Camp Museum and Tower of History in Sault Ste. Marie, Marquette Maritime Museum in Marquette and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise.

Straits of Mackinac Visitors Guide

The Straits of Mackinac, pronounced mac-i-naw, is the waterway that joins two of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. On the north shore of the straits, St. Ignace is a resort town that offers easy access to Mackinac Island, another resort area where transportation is limited to foot, bicycle and horse and buggy. Reaching over the straits, the Mackinac Bridge connects St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Mackinaw City and the northern portion of Mainland Michigan. While in Mackinaw City, visit historic Colonial Michilimackinac or escape onto the water on a fishing or sailing excursion. Another destination on Lake Huron is the harbor town of Cheboygan, which offers events such as the annual Cheboygan County Fair in early August. For the truly adventurous, tours of the 38-mile (61-km) Inland Waterway that flows from Crooked Lake along the Cheboygan River into Lake Huron are available.

Detroit Visitors Guide

The Greater Detroit area is characterized by a number of suburbs that could almost be termed cities in their own right. Dearborn, Livonia and Sterling Heights each offer a host of unique vacation opportunities, giving the Greater Detroit area a diverse and exciting air. Dearborn is home to the Ford Motor Company headquarters and a handful of related attractions, such as the Henry Ford Estate and the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. Known for its proliferation of trees, Ann Arbor can be found west of Detroit. Ann Arbor has a lively cultural scene bolstered by the main campus of the University of Michigan, which moved to the city from Detroit in 1837. Flint, located roughly 60 mi (97 km) northwest of Detroit, attracts scores of visitors eager to tour the Flint Cultural Center, which houses the Longway Planetarium, the Alfred P. Sloan Museum and the Flint Institute of Arts.

Downtown Detroit
Detroit MI Downtown

Mackinac Island Visitors Guide

Mackinac Island is unique in that, with the exception of emergency departments, there are no motorized vehicles permitted on the island. Getting to the island is facilitated by ferry transportation, and visitors with their own sailboats can find berths at a city-run marina. Once on the island, there are horse-drawn taxis and bicycles available. Visitors can enjoy natural attractions at Mackinac State Park, a space that boasts 2250-acres of trails in addition to a myriad of coastal wildlife and plants. From May to October, two butterfly exhibits on Mackinac Island showcase unique butterflies from around the world in a controlled environment. One attraction that isn’t for the faint of heart, Mackinac Island features Haunted Theatre, home to wax figures and monster displays. Babysitting is available at the theatre as the displays are not suitable for younger children.

Grand Traverse Bay Visitors Guide

Grand Traverse Bay is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of North America’s Great Lakes. Traverse City, the region’s largest city, offers visitors an extensive shoreline with miles of trails for hiking and biking. The annual Cherry Festival in Traverse City is a week-long July celebration that features over 150 events, including parades, live music, food concessions and more. Another prominent Grand Traverse Bay town is Boyne City, set amongst Michigan’s forested hills and complemented by a wealth of outdoor activities such as skiing and biking. Hunting for mushrooms during the spring and fall is a popular Boyne City activity as well, with guides available to take visitors into the woods in search of morels, chanterelles, and other edible mushrooms. Bellaire, Beulah, Empire and Traverse City are just a few of the area communities that have golf facilities, and wine drinkers have the chance to sample the offerings of several area wineries.

Traverse City
Traverse City (Photo Source: weekaway.com)

Traverse City is a wonderful historic town, where you can enjoy a great experience, while you do some boutique shopping or you just walk around its beautiful streets to take some photos for the vacation album. Traverse City offers natural attractions that are mixt of relaxation and adventure. This city is part of the Northern Michigan region, the main inland port of the Grand Traverse Bay.

Bay View
Bay View (Photo Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Bay View is a beautiful place where you can see a spectacular view of the lake and enjoy a wonderful time with your family while you are having a picnic. Bay View is famous for its Victorian-style cottages. This park is situated in Bear Creek Township, on Little Traverse Bay. Bay View is a perfect place for you to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature.

Kalamazoo Visitors Guide

Located in the southwestern corner of Michigan, the city of Kalamazoo is a bustling center that offers a wealth of cultural attractions, recreational areas, and unique shopping opportunities. Since the city is home to three universities and two colleges, it is not surprising that educational attractions abound in Kalamazoo. Art enthusiasts enjoy the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, where permanent art galleries and touring exhibits are on display. Nature lovers enjoy the 1,100-acre Kalamazoo Nature Center, which offers indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. Exhibits include a three-story tropical rainforest, an 11-acre arboretum, and a hummingbird garden. Outdoor fun is also found at the Echo Valley Winter Sports Park, where tobogganing, ice skating, and tubing are popular activities during the winter months. Those who love shopping appreciate the Kalamazoo Mall, which offers 160 specialty shops, trendy restaurants and brewpubs in a pedestrian-friendly outdoor environment.

Lansing, MI Visitors Guide

Not only is the city of Lansing the capital of Michigan, but it is also home to three educational institutions, including the celebrated Michigan State University. As a result, the city is bursting with exciting attractions, fun-filled cultural events and ample shopping opportunities. Visitors are drawn to the Michigan State Capitol building, which was built in 1879. The building is one of the best surviving examples of Victorian decorative arts in the nation and is an ideal place to embark on a historical tour. The Potter Park Zoo is a popular Lansing attraction, as it features over 100 species, including endangered Siberian tigers and black rhinos. Every August, Lansing is abuzz during the two-day JazzFest, which features renowned jazz groups, ethnic food and beer gardens. Shopping enthusiasts appreciate the Lansing Mall, where over 90 shops and services are featured, including a movie theater and numerous restaurants.

Saginaw Bay Visitors Guide

Saginaw Bay is a large inlet in central Michigan that is filled with the waters of Lake Huron. Known as an excellent place to fish, especially in and around the towns of Oscoda and Au Gres, the Saginaw Bay area is also home to three municipal centers—Midland, Saginaw, and Bay City—each offering a plethora of attractions. Saginaw boasts a large student population, as it is home to Saginaw Valley State University. Birders enjoy the nearby Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, a park that is a haven for more than 270 species of birds. The Bavarian village of Frankenmuth is the most popular tourist destination in Michigan, drawing millions of visitors each year. One popular Frankenmuth event is Zehnder’s Snowfest, which occurs in January and is considered one of the top snow sculpting events in North America. Shopping enthusiasts appreciate Prime Shopping Outlets in Birch Run, where over 170 factory direct stores offer merchandise at discounted prices.

Battle Creek, MI Visitors Guide

Centrally located in Calhoun County, between Chicago and Detroit, Battle Creek is Michigan’s third-largest city by area. Nicknamed the breakfast cereal capital, much of Battle Creek’s global identity is attributed to hosting the headquarters of Kellogg Company and Post Cereal. Visitors can discover educational and entertaining facts about the origin of breakfast cereal while participating in tours at Kellogg’s Cereal City USA. Battle Creek also boasts a rich and interesting local history, some of which can be revealed through a trip to the Kimball House Museum. A tour of the Historic Adventist Village enables visitors to peek into the past through tours of homes built in the mid-1800s. Battle Creek is also well known for having a wealth of green space that supports an abundance of outdoor recreational activities. Fort Custer Recreational Area and Kimball Pines County Park are two of the many areas that offer bird watching, boating, hiking, swimming as well as many winter activities.

Dearborn Visitors Guide

Dearborn’s fame stems from a pre-eminent figure in the history of automobiles, Henry Ford, one of the first to mass-produce affordable automobiles through assembly line manufacturing. Despite being swallowed by Detroit’s urban sprawl, Dearborn has retained an identity as the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company. A number of Dearborn attractions pertain to the history of automobiles, including the Henry Ford Estate, the early 20th-century abode of Henry Ford that features a six-story home, 72 acres (29 ha) of landscaped terrain and a garage stocked with cars. Learn even more about the famous car designer at Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, where nine acres of exhibits and thousands of artifacts examine his developments in transportation and manufacturing. Car enthusiasts relish the chance to visit the Automotive Hall of Fame, which chronicles the development of the motor vehicle industry and showcases automobiles dating back to the early 1900s. Dearborn is also home to one of the largest populations of Arab-Americans in the country, spawning the creation of the Arab American National Museum and its many exhibits illuminating Arab civilization and achievements.

Flint, MI Visitors Guide

Flint’s history is deeply rooted in transportation. During the 1800s, this Michigan town served as an important river crossing on the Pontiac Trail, and following the logging boom, Flint became a major manufacturing center for log-hauling contraptions, carts and wagons. Today, Flint boasts a carriage-making industry of international repute. The Alfred P. Sloan Museum explores many of the interesting developments of Flint’s past, including the growth of General Motors automobiles and the rise of the logging industry. For a more palpable journey through Flint history, visit the historic structures—including a cider mill, a grist mill and an operating blacksmith—at Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad. Flint’s arts scene is bolstered by the Flint Cultural Center, where music, art, dance, and theater come alive in exhibits, performances and special events. The Genesee Recreation Area, a popular spot for camping, fishing and hiking, is located just northeast of the city.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of the main attractions in Michigan is the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Here, at the northeastern coast of Lake Michigan, you may find a National Lakeshore. Imagine that here you will find over 150 kilometers of road filled with gardens, a beauty to watch. People who come to this place, are saying that the Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most amazing places that can be seen in Michigan.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo Source: personal.umich.edu)