We’ve got a lot to be proud of here in the Great Lakes State. From our natural wonders to our deep-rooted statewide pride, there’s no denying that we Michiganders are a special bunch. When you host visitors from out of town, you undoubtedly want to show off the wonderful place you call home, and we’re here to help. Here are 13 undeniable ways to impress your non-Michigander pals.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Take them to a sporting event.
Every state offers awesome sporting events, but Michigan has a few standouts. Bring your pals to a game at the Big House in Ann Arbor to watch the University of Michigan Wolverines play — the sheer size of the stadium is enough to impress any visitor! If you can’t bring yourself to root for Michigan, nothing beats a day at Comerica Park watching the Tigers play their hearts out.
2. Book a boat tour at Pictured Rocks.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore truly must be seen to be believed. No matter how many times you describe this natural gem to your out-of-state friends, nothing is more exciting than seeing it for yourself. Hop on a glass-bottomed boat tour to check out shipwrecks in Lake Superior and watch as your friends marvel at the rock formations and gorgeous blue water that surrounds them.
3. Let them venture down the dunes at Sleeping Bear.
Talk about breathtaking. If your friends have ever doubted the majesty of Michigan’s Great Lakes, a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes will put their doubts to rest immediately. Check out sweeping views of impossibly blue water and laugh with your pals as you tumble to the bottom of the dunes. Just make sure they’re prepared for the physically demanding journey back up!
4. Wake them up early for a Lake Huron sunrise.
It might take a little convincing, but your non-Michigander friends will thank you for waking them up in the wee hours of the morning as soon as they experience a magical sunrise over Lake Huron. Settle in with a cup of coffee at one of the Sunrise Coast’s incredible lookout points and watch as the day begins anew.
5. Bring them to Lake Michigan for a stunning sunset.
Of course, no visit to Michigan would be complete without spotting a sunset or two. Your friends will marvel at the painted sky as the sun sinks below the horizon line. Whether you watch it in Holland, Ludington, or South Haven, one thing is for sure: your pals will have their cameras out to snap memories of this quintessential Michigan scene.
6. Take a hike — literally!
We could list hundreds of amazing spots throughout the state to take your visitors on a beautiful hike. When you’re in need of some fresh air, lace up your hiking boots, round up your friends, and head out to one of our wonderful parks or nature preserves. What could be more impressive than an endless array of natural wonders?
7. Feed them an original Detroit coney dog.
If your friends are food-lovers (and, let’s face is, who isn’t?), you simply must treat them to a coney dog while they’re here in Michigan. If you can swing it, make the drive to Detroit and grab a Motor City original from Lafayette or American — trust us when we say that your pals’ taste buds will be in heaven.
8. Give them a magical dose of Vernor’s when they’re sick.
Maybe your friends went a little overboard and ordered one too many coney dog during your jaunt to Detroit. Never fear: you’ve got the perfect remedy for an upset stomach, and it will undoubtedly amaze your visitors! Before they can reach for Pepto Bismol to soothe their stomach, give them a glass of Vernor’s. Every Michigander knows that there’s no better way to feel better quickly.
9. Rent them a bike on Mackinac Island.
Is it even possible to visit Mackinac Island and not be completely charmed? Your visitors will be no exception, especially if you rent bicycles for the day and make your away around our beloved car-less island. Take them to the front porch of the Grand Hotel, treat them to a slice of fudge or two, and check out gorgeous views of the Straits of Mackinac. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect Michigan day!
10. Drive them to Lansing for a tour of the Michigan State Capitol Building.
Are your friends history or politics buffs? Then Lansing might just be the perfect destination during their visit to Michigan. Venture to our state’s capital and check out all it has to offer, including the beautiful State Capitol Building, which features a gorgeous rotunda and plenty of insight into Michigan’s fascinating past. The architecture of the building alone makes it well worth a visit.
11. Take them wine-tasting (or on a brewery tour)!
Head to the Leelanau Peninsula and set up a day of wine-tasting at some of the area’s most beautiful wineries. Your friends will wonder if they’ve been transported to a Tuscan vineyard as they sip on sweet Michigan-made wines under the glowing sun. If beer is more your speed, take your friends to one of our state’s incredible breweries: from New Holland to Black Rocks Brewery, we’re no stranger to craft beer. Just don’t forget to arrange for a designated driver!
12. Bring out their inner child at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.
We can almost guarantee that there’s no place quite like Marvin’s in your friends’ home states. After all the sight-seeing and outdoor exploration you’ve been doing, set aside a few hours to spend at this one-of-a-kind arcade and wonderfully weird museum of colorful creations. From pinball machines to quirky signs to flashing neon lights throughout, there’s something at Marvin’s for everyone.
13. Simply let them mingle with other Michiganders.
Do you really want to impress your out-of-state friends? Well, the solution is simple: let them talk to Michiganders. We’re some of the friendliest, kindest, and most interesting people in the world (if we do say so ourselves), and we’re always eager to meet visitors who are just getting acquainted with our wonderful state. While Michigan is overflowing with natural attractions and fun things to do, its residents will always remain its strongest asset.
Okay, now it’s your turn: where’s your go-to spot for entertaining visitors from out of state? Are there any attractions and excursions we should have included on our list? Let us know in the comments below!