Picturesque towns, important metropolises, romantic lighthouses, endless nature, many forest areas, museums worth seeing and of course the Great Lakes, Michigan is not only a large, but also a very diverse state in the USA, which offers attractions and sights for everyone. Among them, for example, the destroyer USS Edson in Bay County on the southwestern part of the Huron Sea. It is part of the Saginaw Valley Navy and Ship Museum in Bay City.
Detroit – the largest city in the Wolverine State
Detroit, once known as a thriving auto city has not had an easy life in recent years. In 2013 the city even had to declare bankruptcy. It was the largest American city at the time to file for bankruptcy. Many people left the city, buildings in the city center were empty and neglected. Unemployment, poverty and crime ruled the metropolis. But Detroit is back and was made by “Lonely Planet” 2018 even ranked second among the world’s travel destinations.
Detroit is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States and offers not only authentic neighborhoods and eclectic cuisine, but also excellent museums. Corktown is the oldest ethnic neighborhood in the city.
Henry Ford Museum
Anyone talking about Detroit must also be talking about legendary automaker Henry Ford. This is his legacy Henry Ford Museum Dedicated in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn in the heart of Motor City, which over 1.7 million people visit annually. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, also known as the Edison Institute and Greenfield Village, is the largest indoor / outdoor museum complex in the country and offers a colorful entertainment program as well as many exciting insights into American history. The museum’s collection includes John F. Kennedy’s presidential limousine, Abraham Lincoln’s chair from Ford’s Theater, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, the Wright brothers’ bike shop and the Rosa Parks bus. The museum has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969 and on the National Historic Landmarks since 1981.
Detroit Institute of Art and “The Belt”
Art lovers come to the founded in 1885 Detroit Institute of Art on your costs. More than 65,000 exhibits are on display in 100 exhibition rooms, ranging from the art of ancient Egypt to contemporary art with important works by Warhol and Degas. Among other things, this one of the most important art museums in the USA is home to the famous series of murals “Detroit Industry” by Diego Riviera.
There is even more art in Detroit’s “The Belt”. This well-known alley is decorated with well-known murals. If you want, you can also visit regular exhibitions and galleries or watch all kinds of street artists at work.
Other worthwhile travel destinations are Hitsville USA, the first headquarters of the Motown Records label Destroit Historical Museum, the Fisher Building and the Ford Piquette Avenue.
The Detroit Zoo is best known among tourist destinations for its huge 1.2 million liter penguin tank. It is also home to one of the largest polar bear enclosures in North America and many other animal species, such as giraffes, great apes, reptiles and more.
Big Red Lighthouse
The large lighthouse is the most photographed of its kind in all of Michigan. The three-story square tower building can be found in Holland State Park. The best way to get to the Big Red Lighthouse is from Mt. Pisgah, or you can stroll along the promenade on Ottawa Beach to the north pier.
Michigan for nature lovers
There are numerous opportunities around the Great Lakes to experience Michigan’s unique nature. Boat tours can be undertaken on and on the lakes themselves, fly fishing and fly boarding, swimming and, in winter, ice skating.
And if you don’t want to go into the water, you can look for pretty Petoskey stones on the beaches or go hiking. Hiking tours are particularly beautiful in autumn, when the forests shine in bright colors, and in spring, when the cherry trees are in bloom, especially in the wine region around Traverse City.
In the Huron Sea east of the Mackinac Strait lies Mackinac Island, once an important trading center for the fur trade in the Great Lakes area and location of Fort Mackinac, which secured the transition between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron during the American War of Independence. Today the British-built fortress includes fourteen historic buildings that can be visited on the island.
In addition, the second national park in the USA was created there in 1875 with the Mackinac National Park, which was converted into the Mackinac Island State Park in 1895. At that time, the island had also become a popular destination. Many villas and hotels still bear witness to this time. One of the best known is certainly the Grand Hotel, which is considered a prime example of Victorian architecture and is listed among the National Historic Landmarks. They are also worth seeing Indian Dormitory, the Lawrence Andrew Young Cottage, Matthew Geary House, Mission Church, Robert Stuart House and the Round Island Lighthouse.
But otherwise you also feel transported back in time on the car-free island with its idyllic green spaces. If you want, you can take the ferry from Mackinaw City (Lower Peninsula) and St. Ignace (Upper Peninsula) to explore the island in a nostalgic way by horse-drawn carriage.
Isle Royale National Park
The Isle Royale is the largest island in the Lake Superior and is located in its northern part near the border with Canada. The small islands have been one of the smallest national parks in the US since 1940. Three quarters of the area of the national park are water. In the central part of the island is the Greenstone Ridge, a ridge with the longest hiking trail on the island. During a four or five day hike, if you are lucky, you can see moose, wolves, peregrine falcons and other animals in untouched nature. If you want, you can also kayak to the lighthouse, camp, dive and explore shipwrecks. There are no real villages and towns on the island, but there are two settlements. The island can be reached in summer by ferry from Grand Portage, Houghton and Copper Harbor.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
On the northwestern shores of Lake Michigan on the Lower Peninsula, there is a unique natural landscape that has been formed by glacial sand over the course of millions of years. The resulting sand dunes are around 2000 years old and some are up to 140 meters high. Some of them are accessible.
It is said that a she-bear with her cubs fled into the lake water because of a forest fire. She was able to save herself to the other bank, but the young drowned in the floods. But the she-bear waited and waited until she was finally covered with sand by the wind. Even today she is supposed to wait for the arrival of her cubs at the most prominent point of the dunes, which is reminiscent of a sleeping or looking out bear. It is also said that the Great Manitu, touched by her fate and unshakable hope, created the islands of North and South Manitou Island in the lake.
The 288 square kilometer and 35 mile long Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Visitors can camp, take tours, canoe, or enjoy the breathtaking views from the lookout point on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The Manitou Islands can also be visited by boat and offer camping opportunities. A lighthouse can also be visited on the South Island.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes
The extensive dune landscape on the shores of Lake Michigan impresses with sleepy, small towns, beautiful bike paths and delicious, regional cuisine. The beach there is suitable for families with children.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Michigan’s most famous rocky cliffs are located on Lake Superior. Their colorful rock layers have been created over the years by the deposition of minerals. In addition, there are many waterfalls and rock formations worth seeing in the US National Lakeshore. The Great Sable Dunes in the east are also worth a visit.
Grand Haven State Park
Grand Haven State Park on Lake Michigan has a soft sandy beach and a pretty pier and boardwalk. In the center of Grand Haven you can have a good time in restaurants and bars or go shopping in many beautiful boutiques.