Sometimes you just need a break from everything – including the 21st century. If you’re looking for a fun and educational escape from it all, there’s no better place to start than one of these amazing historic villages in Michigan.
1. Charlton Park
The self-guided format of this historical site in Hastings makes it an ideal spot for history buffs. Visitors can check out everything from a blacksmith shop to a general store, all of which give it the feel of an authenic 19th century Michigan village.
2. Greenfield Village
Visitors to Greenfield Village, which is part of the Henry Ford historical complex in Dearborn, can peruse years worth of historical exhibits and buildings. During your time in the village, you’ll experience everything from an 1867 baseball game to a ride on a Model T in celebration of Michigan’s automotive history.
The village of Douglas, located just steps away from the quaint tourist town of Saugatuck, was originally esablished as a milltown in the mid-1800s. Visitors to the charming town can check out a series of exceptional art galleries, explore the 1866 Old School House, and enjoy lunch near the banks of the Kalamazoo River.
4. Troy Historic Village
The Troy Historic Village offers something for visitors of all ages, including an authentic log cabin, a schoolhouse, and a print shop — which offers a firsthand look at paper presses that played a major role in early stationary and business card production.
5. Fayette Historical Townsite
If you’re searching for a historical experience in the Upper Peninsula, Fayette Historical Townsite is the place for you. During the mid-1800s, the town served as a bustling iron ore hub until the shutdown of Jackson Iron Company in 1891. Visitors can explore a model of the original site, which is now considered a ghostown.
6. White Pine Village
Located on an overlook of beautiful Lake Michigan, the Historic White Pine Village in Ludington offers tours, various historical equipment demonstrations, and special events like music festivals. Be sure to make a stop at its old-fashioned ice cream parlor before you head home.
7. Historic Franklin Village
Franklin Cider Mill Gallery
A stop at the village of Franklin in Southfield Township is like a step into Michigan history. Much of the village’s original archiecture remains intact, giving it the title of “The Town That Time Forgot.” The entire community exists within a 2.7 square mile plot of land. Be sure to visit the nearby Franklin Cider Mill in the fall for guaranteed family fun.
8. Meridian Historical Village
Located in Okemos, the Meridian Historical Village offers yearlong access to its historical buildings and surrounding grounds. Special events at the village include speech reenactments from the mid-19th century and history-themed day camps for children.
9. Sanilac County Historical Village
As you meander through the Sanilac County Historic Village near Port Sanilac on the shores of Lake Huron, you'll come across everything from shipwreck artifacts to a functional 19th century schoolhouse that hosts tour groups each year.
Is there a historical site near your home that makes you feel like you’ve stepped in a different century? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!