There are a lot of Top 10 lists that involve Michigan’s historical, natural, and unusual attractions. This is not an exhaustive list – but it definitely gives you a place to start in each beautiful, unique region. We’ll start in the Upper Peninsula and work our way down.

Upper Peninsula


  1. Visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point, for an exclusive look at the perils of maritime transport in the Great Lakes.
  2. Sea kayak along the coast of Lake Superior in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to see Chapel Rock and Miners Castle, among other impressive formations.
  3. Hike the four-mile River Trail in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which includes stops at the upper and lower Tahquamenon Falls.
  4. Watch the boats and freights make their way through the Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie.
  5. Ride the underground train, complete with hard hats and yellow jackets, at the Iron Mountain Mine and Museum, Vulcan.
  6. Enjoy the peace and beauty of the waterfalls around Munising.
  7. Fish or hunt at Drummond Island.
  8. Search for agate at beaches in the Keewenaw Peninsula.
  9. Be brave and head to the Black Rocks in Presque Isle Park in Marquette to jump off the cliffs into Lake Superior, or simply enjoy the view.
  10. Explore the vastness, beauty, and wildlife of Sylvania Wilderness’s 34 lakes and old growth forests near Watersmeet.

Northeast & Thumb

  1. Tour a historic lighthouse as it undergoes restoration, the River Front Range Light in Cheboygan.
  2. Find the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi by hiking through the Pigeon River State Forest, Gaylord.
  3. Tour the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, Cheboygan, or the naval ship USS Edson at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum.
  4. Get a taste of Christmas at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth.
  5. Visit the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena.
  6. Take in the view of the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge stretching over the Straights of Mackinac, and grab some fudge from downtown Mackinac City.
  7. For one of most beautiful views in Michigan, and the former location of the town of Bell, visit Bell Bay and the Besser Natural Area, just 20 miles from Alpena.
  8. Go fishing from shore or from a boat at Saginaw Bay.
  9. Hike through the Chippewa Nature Center trails in Midland or participate in one of their family oriented programs.
  10. Take in a film at Michigan’s oldest drive-in, Hi-Way Drive-In Theater in Carsonville.




  1. Go swimming at North Bar Beach, Empire, just a two-minute walk over low dunes from Lake Michigan.
  2. Enjoy hands-on, educational activities at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum in Traverse City.
  3. Hike some of the 100 miles of trails – Pyramid Point is a favorite – within one of the most beautiful spots in the world, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
  4. Canoe, kayak, or tube the Big Manistee River, Manistee.
  5. Visit the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, one of only 10 such designated parks in the world, near historic Petoskey.
  6. Go on a wine tour on either the Leelanau or Old Mission Peninsula.
  7. Explore maritime history at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport.
  8. Relax and enjoy a picnic at Stearns Park Beach, Ludington, just a half-mile from downtown.
  9. Go for a dune ride or take your own vehicles for a spin at Silver Lake Sand Dunes near Hart.
  10. Rent a boat or put in to enjoy the 40-mile-long Inland Waterway, Michigan’s longest chain of rivers and lakes that travels from Pickerel Lake near Petoskey to Lake Huron’s shores in Cheboygan.



  1. Hike and walk through history by visiting the Historic Bridge Park in Battle Creek.
  2. Take a magical ride at the Silver Beach Carousal in St. Joseph near one of the top 10 family beaches according to Parents magazine, Lake Michigan’s Silver Beach.
  3. Peruse the antique shops in Saugatuck.
  4. Go on a free guided tour of the state capital building in Lansing.
  5. People of all ages can discover the wonders of air travel with a visit to the Air Zoo museum, Portage.
  6. Go on a walking brewery tour in Grand Rapids, the “Beer City USA.”
  7. Stop in at Uncle John’s Cider Mill, John’s, to taste test wine and hard cider, pick up some baked goods and seasonal fruit, maybe even a donut or two.
  8. Visit the state’s only free planetarium on the campus of Muskegon Community College, the Carr-Fles Planetarium, or attend a free open house at the observatory.
  9. Experience Holland’s Dutch heritage with a visit to Windmill Island Gardens, home of the 250-year-old working windmill De Zwaan.
  10. Pick up some fresh, local food at the red barn at Stover’s Farm, Berrien Springs, or pick some of your own.



  1. Founded in 1817, a University of Michigan campus tour is a must, especially the football stadium, the cube next to the Michigan Union, and the Law Quadrangle.
  2. Take a stroll along Detroit’s Riverfront Conservancy.
  3. Fish for walleye in the western basin of Lake Erie out of Monroe.
  4. Be adventurous on the zip line, climbing tour, or high ropes course at the Howell Conference & Nature Center, Howell.
  5. Walk or bike the Falling Waters Trail from Jackson to Concord, a 10-mile trip.
  6. Climb to the top of Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron for a scenic view of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River.
  7. Tour the facilities at Morley Candy, home of Sanders Candy, in Clinton Township to observe how these delicious treats are made before giving them a try.
  8. Picnic at the Bald Mountain Recreation Area, which also has several lakes, streams, a beach, and shooting range.
  9. Have some good old fashioned fun at Westview Orchards & Adventure Farm, Washington Township, including a petting farm and a winery.
  10. Swim at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, either in the lake or in the Olympic size pool with water slide.


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