No matter what interests you have in life, you’ll find something to enjoy about Michigan. Though it sees tourists all year long, the winter season probably attracts the most visitors.
But aside from all the wintertime activities, there are also a handful of landmarks you won’t want to miss on your next Michigan getaway.
Famous Landmarks in Michigan
1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
One of those popular winter attractions is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Of all the activities it offers, among the most popular is ice climbing.
Yet there are so many other options as well, including hunting, backpacking, boating, cross-country skiing, and more. But the sights of the lake-shore are just as impressive as the activities.
They include a lighthouse and a maritime museum, as well as a visitors’ center. And during the summer, locals and tourists flock to Miners Beach.
Located on Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks boasts unforgettable sites like streams, sand dunes, sandstone cliffs, forests, and waterfalls. The eight main waterfalls are Munising, Miners, Elliot, Bridalveil, Mosquito, Chapel, Spray, and Sable.
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You can see many of these sites when you take a Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise. Highlights of this two to three-hour cruise include caves, rock formations, bays, and, most notably, sandstone cliffs that stand 200 feet tall.
2. Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
Anyone who’s ever ridden in or driven any form of transportation will appreciate the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. It covers the history of transportation in the form of trains, presidential vehicles, race cars, tractors, and more.
You’ll also learn about math, agriculture, furniture, and the manufacturing industry. The museum also boasts a 4K theater where you can watch movies chronicling real-life stories on a wall-sized screen.
During your visit, be sure to take the time to explore Greenfield Village. This 80-acre village immerses you in 300 years worth of America’s culture. It includes four fully functioning farms that you are free to tour at your leisure.
Other attractions include replicas of the Wright brothers’ workshop and Thomas Edison’s lab. You can even ride a model-T train while you are
For truck buffs, a must-do activity is the Fort Rouge Factory Tour. Here you will see, step-by-step, how Ford F-150s are built. The factory tour is an exact replica of the factory floor Ford uses. Afterwards, take a stroll through the Legacy Gallery to view some classic cars.
But that’s not all the Village has to offer. You can also take the Living Laboratory Walking Tour, where you’ll learn more about the processing of water and soil.
And to get off your feet for awhile, take in a film at the Legacy Theatre, where you will learn more about Ford’s history. Last but not least, be sure to visit the 80-foot-high observation deck for an amazing view of the Michigan skyline.
3. Detroit Institute of Arts
One of the most famous museums in Michigan is the Detroit Institute of the Arts. It houses over 60,000 pieces of artwork, many of which are 19th century American paintings.
In addition to many pieces of Islamic art (which can be found in their own separate gallery,) this museum is known for having the first painting done by Van Gogh to ever arrive in the U.S.
However, there is also a focus on African American art, which can now be found in the museum’s General Motors Center.
4. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
To be surrounded by the beauty of nature, you’ll want to visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. With 158 acres of gardens, you can immerse yourself in a world of tranquility.
And while some of the gardens were carefully planned and are kept impeccable, other gardens were allowed to grow and develop naturally, giving you the best of both worlds.
In addition to a Tropical Conservatory, you can also relax and enjoy the English Perennial, Japanese, Farm, and Woodland Shade Gardens.
There is even one garden dedicated to children and an amphitheater garden, along with the Seasonal Display Greenhouse, and the Carnivorous Plant House.
5. Detroit Zoo
Like any other, the Detroit Zoo is a great place to see a wide variety of animals. But there are also many attractions that make it worth visiting. They include Science on a Sphere, a 4D theater, and the Tauber Family Railroad. For the kids there are two playgrounds; Rissman, and Korman Tadpole.
If you’re more interested in the animals, you’ll enjoy the zoo’s many habitats, including Asian and African Forests and African and American Grasslands.
Other habitats include the Arctic Ring of Life, Australian Outback Adventure, Cotton Family Wolf Widerness, Great Apes of Harambee, and the River Otter Habitat.
And to get up close and friendly with penguins, be sure to visit the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.
To learn even more from the zoo, visit its Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics. This resource center teaches science and conducts ongoing research into maintaining animal welfare.
6. Soo Locks
A fascination with boats may lead you to the Soo Locks. This waterway traffic system is among the world’s largest. Its four locks and two canals make it possible for countless boats to pass through on their journeys.
It takes them safely over the St. Mary’s River 21 foot drop that falls between Lakes Huron, Superior, and Michigan.
The locks include viewing decks where you can catch glimpses of the ships as they pass through. At the nearby Visitors Center, you can find out the schedule the ships follow so you know when to watch for them.
To enjoy Soo Locks to its fullest, be sure to take one of their boat tours. You can choose from the Lock Tour Cruise or Lighthouse Cruise, or both. The Lock Tour Cruise takes you directly past Lake Superior, and you’ll also get to see the International Highway Bridge.
Other sites you’ll see on this cruise include hydroelectric plants, and even the St. Mary’s Rapids. The tour includes information on the shorelines of both Canada and the U.S.
7. Isle Royale National Park
Located on Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park is rich in history. The island and its mines were originally used by Native Americans for its copper deposits.
Copper was mined there up until 1881. To this day, close to 600,000 acres of this island is a protected area. Of those many miles, an untouched wilderness area makes up 132,000 acres of it.
To explore the Isle Royal National Park, embark on part of the 165 miles of trails that you can hike or walk.
The top four trails are the Greenstone Ridge, Stoll, Tobin Harbor, and Scoville Point Loop. You will find that some of the other trails can only be reached if you kayak or hike there.
8. Motown Museum
For the music lover, the Motown Museum is a top attraction. The museum is located in what was once Berry Gordy Jr’s home.
It also doubled as the Motown Records headquarters. It wasn’t turned into a museum until Gordy left Michigan and moved to California.
One of the highlights of a tour of this museum is its Studio A, where artists like Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson, all recorded albums.
The Kitch – iti – kipi translates to “The Big Spring,” in English. Its nickname is “Mirror of Heaven.” As Michigan’s biggest natural freshwater spring, it measures 200 feet wide, with a water depth of 40-feet.
The crystal clear water that makes up the springs maintains a temperature of 45 degrees throughout the year. This means that it is rare for the water to freeze during the winter.
You can get an amazing view of the springs from its observation deck. You can even take a ride via a crank propelled raft.As you float along you’ll be able to look into the water and see trout and some strong tree trunks.
But if you’d prefer to avoid the water, you can take the 100-foot walk down the trail, which is lined with plants, birds, and trees.
10. Comerica Park
Comerica Park is the home of the Detroit Tigers. But there is so much more to do there than just watching a game.
The park has numerous attractions, including a liquid fireworks fountain, Tigers Walk of Fame, the Blue Moon Brewhouse, the Flyball Ferris Wheel, and the Comerica Bank Carousel.
When the park is running public tours, you can see the Ernie Hallwell Media Center, Visiting Batting Tunnel and Clubhouse, the party suite, and the home dugout. You can choose to take the tour on a game day or a non-game day.