Michigan is filled with the riches of unspoiled nature: the world’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes that feel like oceans, shimmering beaches, miles and miles of cherry orchards, glorious sunrises and sunsets, daytime skies of the deepest blue, nighttime skies scattered with stars. Lakes, campgrounds, wildlife refuges and recreation areas create a wide variety of pursuits. Rivers for water sports, and thousands of miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails thread their way among some 100 species of trees.
Voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America’s viewers, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features an amazing blend of expansive water, blue sky and towering sand dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Enjoy its 64-mile curve of freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands and miles of hiking trails.
The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie are among the busiest locks in the world. Watch as freighters, barges, tugboats and other ships navigate a more than 20-foot drop between Lakes Superior and Huron. A vital shipping connection for more than 160 years, the locks are an engineering feat and a significant part of maritime history.
Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, the Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. Due to their sea-like characteristics such as rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths and distant horizons, the five Great Lakes have also long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes located entirely within the United States; the others form a water boundary between the United States and our northern neighbors in Canada.
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is one of the leading multi-arts festivals in the country. The three-week event is held mid-June to early July and showcases a variety of performances, activities, exhibitions and screenings representative of the best in music, dance, comedy, film, circus and street arts, and family entertainment.
For eight days during the first full week in July, the National Cherry Festival takes place in Traverse City. As the oldest and largest festival in the region, it features more than 150 family activities including air shows, fireworks, parades, games, races, midway rides, demonstrations, nightly outdoor concerts and of course, delicious cherry products.
The South Haven Harborfest is a grand celebration of southwestern Michigan’s maritime history. Taking place over Father’s Day weekend, Harborfest offers loads of family-friendly fun with live music, dragon boat racing, a craft and food fair, numerous kid’s activities and a pancake breakfast.
Originally known as Collins Woods, the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids offers programs designed to enhance our understanding of nature. The Blanford Farm, just a 10-minute walk from the visitor’s center, is a prime example of how many of today’s small farms operate. The Nature Center itself also is home for several animals who have sustained injuries too severe to ensure their ability to survive in the wild giving you the opportunity to experience these creatures up close.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to sail in a tall ship like those you read about in your history class? Now you can aboard the schooner Manitou, a 114-foot long, 59-passenger ship. Take a standard two-hour cruise or try something new with one of the fun weekly specialty cruises featuring wine tasting, music or even ice cream.
Mackinac Island is known for its equestrian heritage. Enjoy an island tour in a horse-drawn carriage. Go on a guided or unguided trail ride. Learn to drive your own buggy. Or simply take a riding lesson.
Comprised of the Alfred P. Sloan Museum, the Buick Gallery and the Longway Planetarium, this Flint-based cultural complex offers something for everyone. Regional history, historic automobiles and hands-on science are major features of the Sloan Museum. The Buick Gallery showcases major automotive exhibits including the Sloan fleet of more than 80 Flint-built automobiles. And the newly renovated Longway Planetarium hosts spectacular shows daily.
The Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum is an interactive science museum for people of all ages. More than 250 hands-on exhibits, science demonstrations and special events showcase chemistry, physics, geology, math and music in ways you never knew existed.
The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn highlights the achievements of the men and women whose visionary innovations forever changed the way we get around. Tour through exhibits that teach about the early days of the automobile, the rise of the auto industry around the world, the luxury of auto styling and impact the automobile has had on our lives.