10 Memorable Places To Visit In Michigan
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10 Memorable Places To Visit In Michigan

All you need is sun, sand, snow, and the great outdoors. Explore these 10 Pure Michigan destinations, to create memories that last a lifetime.

10 Memorable Places To Visit In Michigan
Laura Perrine

I was born and raised in a little town in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area, where I still live today. I absolutley love my state, and take pride in saying I have traveled all over both the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan with my family. Not only is Michigan uniquely shaped like a "mitten," there are also endless places to visit throughout the state. There are so many lakes, parks, campgrounds, waterfalls, and destinations to explore, that it is almost impossible to see everything Michigan has to offer in a lifetime. But my family and I sure have attempted to see all that Michigan has to offer in just my short 22 years on this earth. We have traveled all over this gorgeous state as a family ever since I was a baby, and my parents love Michigan so much that they spent their honeymoon on Mackinac Island. So consider me an expert on all things Michigan. Here is a list of 10 places I think you should put at the top of your list if you're wanting to tour the beautiful "wolverine" state.

1. Greenfield Village 

Laura Perrine

This first destination is the legendary Greenfield Village, located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is part of The Henry Ford historical museum site, except Greenfield Village is the outdoor exhibit component. Opened in 1933, it became the first outdoor museum of its type in history which is remarkable.

This destination is made up of over 100 historical buildings that have been moved from their original locations to the property, creating a "village" that you can walk around and explore. It truly is like going back in time while visiting a replica of Thomas Edison's laboratory, Noah Webster's Connecticut home, and the Wright Brother's bicycle shop. All of these buildings were bought by Henry Ford himself, who is the creator and founder of The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. This is a site you do not want to miss if you want to escape into America's vivid past of invention and resilience. I get chills every time I walk through the Village.

2. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Laura Perrine

Frankenmuth, Michigan is a historically Bavarian town in Saginaw County, Michigan. This town with rich German roots relies heavily on tourism, with thousands of tourists flocking here every year. There are so many extravagant places to visit while you're here. One of the best places to visit is Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which is the world's largest Christmas store. It is a fun and exciting store full of anything you could possibly want to celebrate the holiday.

Another Frankenmuth highlight is the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus (pictured above) that attracts visitors with homemade cheeses and smoked meats.

There is a large variety of restaurants in Frankenmuth as well, with the main two being Zehnder's and The Bavarian Inn. These two eateries are owned by the same family, and promote outstanding chicken dinners with a dozen bottomless courses. It is a true German feast eating at either place, and one you won't soon forget. Frankenmuth is primarily the busiest during the Christmas season, with dozens of stores downtown to shop for gifts, and endless holiday memories to make.

3. Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad 

Laura Perrine

Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad is another history lover's destination in the lower peninsula of Michigan. This is an exciting village with a real working railroad that is open year round for all kinds of fun.

I have always visited here in the winter before Christmas, when there are many opportunities for families and friends to make some lasting memories while enjoying some holiday lights and cheer. Huckleberry Railroad takes you on a train ride through the beautiful woods of the Genesee County Park area, where you can observe the holiday light show as you pass each display on the train.

You also can explore the historical Crossroads Village, which has a lot to offer during the holiday season. There are historical buildings which allow you to be transported to another century through instructional viewings and activities such as learning how a printing press worked during the 1800's, what doctor's offices looked like and how they practiced medicine during this time, and how they roasted chestnuts and pecans.

There are endless educational moments at this Michigan destination, along with beautiful lights, holiday music, and a Christmas play that they perform every hour. This is the highlight of my year every time I go.

4. Hartwick Pines State Park 

Laura Perrine

This next nature lovers destination is Hartwick Pines State Park, located in Grayling, Michigan. This park has a 49-acre forest of old growth pines and a logging museum. In this park are where some of the oldest trees in the entire state of Michigan still reside today. I got chills the first time I walked through this park, as I looked up at these monstrously tall trees and realized how much history is stored within them. They tower above you as you walk through the trails, and allow you to marvel at the beauty of nature untouched.

This is a great destination to hike, camp, fish, hunt, picnic, and fall in love with the beauty of Michigan's pure forests. I love this destination and look forward to the next time I can go hike here.

5. Mackinaw City and The Mackinac Bridge 

Laura Perrine

Mackinaw City, Michigan is on the most northern tip of Michigan's lower peninsula. This is where the Mackinac Bridge connects to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The bridge was finished in 1957, and allowed both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan to finally be linked, instead of just by ferries. "The Mighty Mac" is a legendary Michigan icon, and signifies the journey to the U.P.

Mackinaw City is considered to be the "Crossroads of the Great Lakes" because it is right at the edge of both Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, where these two magnificent bodies of water connect. Across Lake Michigan is Mackinac Island, which is perhaps the greatest tourist spot of Michigan. But Mackinaw City has a lot of unique spots to enjoy while you are there as well. If you find yourself staying there, try to book yourself a room at the Riveria Motel along the beach. You can see the Mackinac Bridge from your room window, and you can spend the evening walking along the shoreline near the Alexander Henry Park.

While in town, make sure to check out Darrow's Family Restaurant, home of the best whitefish dinners and amazing service. My family, despite living downstate, are "regulars" there because we try to go whenever we are passing through Mackinaw City.

This is truly a town that is the perfect escape to a simpler way of life, offering a safe place to relax and unwind along the lake shoreline.

6. Brockway Mountain 

Laura Perrine

Brockway Mountain is a place I think about almost everyday. I felt so alive while I visited. People usually never think of Michigan having mountains, so Brockway is a hidden gem. Nestled in the depths of Copper Harbor, on the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. Brockway Mountain provides a scenic drive that allows you to steadily climb the mountain and enjoy the view from different perspectives.

When you finally reach the top, you are able to look out at the highest point of the Keweenaw Peninusla and feel the wind in your hair, and look down at the magnificent untouched forests around you. It left me feeling so grateful that there are still untouched pieces of land in this state, and I hope they preserve these forests for future generations.

7. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 

Laura Perrine

The Pictured Rocks in Alger County, Michigan hug the southern shore of the brutally cold Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is a well known tourist spot, and rightfully so due to the brilliant naturally "painted" rocks stained by centuries upon centuries of mineral deposits. These sandstone cliffs and formations are known for being dramatically colored, and offering a unique site seeing view to people on kayaks and tour boats.

My family and I were thankful enough to take a boat tour on Lake Superior to view the rocks, and it was by far one of the most memorable trips of my life. I remember being in awe of the artwork I was gazing upon, realizing these were not created by man, but by nature and all of nature's glory. I get overcome with wonder at the science behind the colors on these rocks, and just long to be able to go again to explore this site, perhaps next time taking a kayaking tour to get closer to the inlets and caves cut into the sandstone.

8. Laughing Whitefish Falls, among other Waterfalls in the Munising Area

Laura Perrine

One of the coolest (no pun intended) natural attractions the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has to offer is all of the waterfalls you can explore, especially in the Munising, Michigan area. This particular one, Laughing Whitefish Falls, is a unique formation of rock you can climb out to in order to get scenic photographs for Instagram, such as the one I took here with my brother.

But in all seriousness, Munising is full of waterfalls that are all unique in shape, size, and name. There are so many different waterfalls to find and explore. When my family and I went vacationing in Munising, we made a scavenger hunt out of finding as many waterfalls as we could while we were there, and we drove around following a "waterfall map" to each new one. This was a fun experience to see up close how nature creates such beauty, and to explore so many hidden gems in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

9. The Jampot 

Laura Perrine

The Jampot is located in Eagle Harbor, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. This is a small bakery selling dozens of baked treats and a humongous assortment of jams and jellies. The bakery is run by a local monastery who grow their own ingredients and make their own products that they sell there. It is a unique and memorable shopping experience, and all of the monks who work there are very knowledgeable of their baked goods and jams, and you can tell they put a lot of devotion into their work.

I recommend the Thimbleberry Jam that is made from Thimbleberries that are grown locally in the gardens/forests surrounding the monastery. Thimbleberries are rare and pretty much unheard of in other parts of the world, because they require a certain climate to grow properly. They grow exceptionally well in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the U.P because the Northern Climate works best for their growth rate, and they are delicious indeed. I love the tart freshness of the jam with some crackers, or on a sandwich. I truly crave it whenever we run out, and cannot wait to stock up again. This is a quaint and special place you do not want to miss if you're visiting the Keweenaw.

10. Michigan Technological University's "Winter Carnival"

Laura Perrine

My brother goes to Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Michigan. Located in the Upper Peninsula, the weather there is of course, insanely cold and snowing at all times during the winter months. These students learn to make the best of their environment and do what only true Michiganders can do - they embrace the cold by building massive ice sculptures and hosting a giant party to celebrate the cold!

My brother enjoys this weekend of fun by playing broomball, hockey, comedy skits, human ice bowling, and voting on the best ice sculptures from a wide variety of creations. Fraternity's and sorority's build their own ice sculptures, and compete to see who can build the best.

This a memorable weekend for everyone, and the great thing about this event is that it embraces what makes Michigan the best state through having fun even in the coldest and most brutal weather conditions. So instead of being afraid of the snow, take a page from MTU and use the snow to have an awesome time with your friends. This is an event open to all MTU students and their friends, so if you know anyone there, try to go next year, because it is truly a weekend you don't want to miss if you're trying to have a good time during the winter months in Michigan.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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