We hate to brag, but Michigan might just be the most gorgeous state in the entire country. After all, our unique assortment of natural wonders combined with our friendly faces makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. While the rest of the country is chock full of its own charm, there’s no place quite like Michigan. Here are 11 gorgeous attractions that you’ll only find in the Great Lakes State.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sure, other states have sand dunes of their own, but Sleeping Bear offers some of the most breathtaking views imaginable. Whether you’re staring out at the blue waters of Lake Michigan from atop Pyramid Point or enjoying the surrounding foliage on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, this national lakeshore is unforgettable.
2. Tahquamenon Falls
With two separate waterfalls and some of the most peaceful surroundings imaginable, Tahquamenon Falls is the place to visit when you make your way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. During autumn, the foliage around the falls comes to life with vibrant color, while summertime makes for a perfect hiking excursion through the area. In any season, though, Tahquamenon Falls are second to none.
3. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The beauty of Pictured Rocks truly can’t be overstated. After all, this shoreline boasts some of the most magnificent and unique geological formations imaginable, situated alongside the stunning waters of Lake Superior. Whether you’re viewing these wonders from a boat tour or hiking along the rocky cliffs near Munising, you’re sure to be completely enamored.
4. Turnip Rock
Grab your kayak and head out to Turnip Rock, which sits just off the shoreline near Port Austin. This small but mighty rock formation is a fascinating glimpse at nature’s ability to shape and sculpt even the toughest materials over time. Make sure to bring along your camera: you’ll want to snap a few photos of this one-of-a-kind outdoor wonder.
5. Porcupine Mountains
When you think Michigan, mountainous landscapes might not be the first things that come to mind. Well, think again: Michigan is actually home to one of the country’s most unique little mountain ranges. The Porcupine Mountains can be found in the northernmost reaches of the Upper Peninsula. Their many features, from the Escarpment Trail to Lake of the Clouds, make them a must-visit locale.
6. Leelanau Peninsula
While other parts of the world offer stunning wine country, there’s something special about the Leelanau Peninsula. Life just moves a bit more slowly in this region, which boasts upwards of 20 wineries and breathtaking views of Michigan’s freshwater shorelines. When you’re ready for the ultimate journey into relaxation, the Leelanau Peninsula is calling your name.
7. Isle Royale National Park
Make your way to this island park in the middle of Lake Superior for a truly magical experience. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into another world: one where moose, wolves, and other wildlife freely wander. There are no cars on the island, and it stands as one of the most untouched wilderness areas imaginable. Can you imagine anything more peaceful?
8. Tawas Point State Park
Tucked away near East Tawas, this stunning park sits along the shores of Lake Huron’s Tawas Bay and offers visitors a Cape Cod-like experience right here in Michigan. Wade in the freshwater waves, marvel at the beauty of Tawas Point Lighthouse, or simply take a stroll through the calm forested surroundings. This is Michigan at its very finest, and it’s difficult to beat.
9. Silver Lake Sand Dunes
If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s no place in Michigan more perfect than Silver Lake. This stunning area sits along the shores of Lake Michigan and offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to head outside and have some fast-paced fun. Run down the dunes themselves, take a dip in the water, or embark on a dune ride -- no matter how you spend your time here, you’ll be absolutely charmed.
10. Holland State Park
There’s something undeniably special about the views and vibes at Holland State Park. You might even wonder if you’ve been transported out of the Midwest as you sunbathe along the shimmering waterfront as waves crash along the shore. Marvel at Big Red, the area’s beloved lighthouse, before dipping your toes in the stunning waters of Lake Michigan. What’s not to love?
The turquoise hues of this natural spring will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a real-life fairytale. It’s tough to imagine a more whimsical destination, and you can rest assured that you won’t find a place this breathtaking anywhere but Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We sure are lucky to house such a beautiful spot.
Are there any other spots here in the Great Lakes State that Michiganders should be proud to call our own? We’re always excited to hear recommendations and ideas from our readers, so please share your thoughts in the comment section below.