There’s no doubt about it: Michigan is an overwhelmingly gorgeous place. Throughout our stunning state, we’ve got an endless array of scenic overlooks, waterfront wonderlands, and natural beauty. If you’re a lover of photography, the great outdoors, or Michigan as a whole, here are 14 photo-worthy spots to explore in the Great Lakes State.
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sweeping views of Lake Michigan, impossibly blue water, and a shoreline that seems to continue on forever: there’s no denying that Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most gorgeous spots in our entire state. When you stop here, it’s almost impossible to avoid taking a photo or two!
2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
These natural rock formations along Lake Superior are like something out of a painting, and you’ll be absolutely blown away by their beauty. Hop onto a boat tour from nearby Munising and appreciate Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in all its incredible glory. For an up-close and personal look, take a hike along the shoreline itself!
3. The Sunrise Coast
No matter which town you stop in along Michigan’s famous Sunrise Coast, you’re sure to be absolutely amazed. If you’re an early riser, head out to the shores of Lake Huron in Au Gres, Standish, Alpena, Rogers City, Harrisville, or any other spot along US-23 to catch a magical sunrise over the water.
4. Black Rocks (Presque Isle Park, Marquette)
Venture northward to see the beauty of Black Rocks, an area that juts into the wonderful waters of Lake Superior. If you’re feeling adventurous, do a little cliff-diving from the rocks themselves, or lounge along the waterfront at nearby Black Rocks Beach. No matter how you spend your time here, you’ll be amazed.
5. Detroit Riverfront
There’s something to be said about the beauty of a concrete jungle, and Detroit is no exception. Take a stroll along the Detroit River to capture lovely scenes on the water itself and towering views of the Motor City skyline. There’s nothing more magical than the intersection of manmade and natural beauty.
This stunning freshwater spring boasts turquoise water, amazing forestry, and a sense of wonder that simply can’t be found anywhere else in the state. It’s impossible to capture the true beauty of the spring in a photograph, but you can certainly try — and the memories you make here will last a lifetime.
7. Mackinac Island
Our quaint island is a major point of pride for all Michiganders, and its beauty never seems to get old. Marvel at historic buildings, wondrous views of the Straits of Mackinac, and visitors perusing the area by bicycle. A trip to Mackinac Island is like stepping back in time, and there’s nothing quite so charming.
8. Ludington State Park
Soft sand, dunes, and gorgeous views of Lake Michigan make Ludington State Park a must-see spot here in the Great Lakes State. Whether you’re a fan of lighthouses or a beach bum through and through, you’re sure to be delighted with a visit to this amazing park. Just don’t forget the sunscreen — or the camera!
9. Tahquamenon Falls
Of all the waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Pensinula, Tahquamenon Falls is certainly the most famous — and with good reason. Watch as cool water rushes with mighty force through a stunning section of wilderness. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another world, and the flow of the falls is undeniably mesmerizing.
10. Michigan State Capitol Building
History buffs will be charmed by this beautiful building in Lansing, with its towering rotunda and intricate architectural design. Perhaps you remember visiting Lansing during a school trip as a child. We promise you won’t be disappointed with a return journey to one of the most important sites in Michigan.
11. Isle Royale National Park
Moose, wildflowers, breathtaking shorelines: you’ll find all of this and more at Isle Royale. This unspoiled wilderness destination is absolute paradise for lovers of the great outdoors, and some of the scenery you’ll explore here is almost impossibly beautiful. But don’t take our word for it: grab your backpack, strap on your hiking boots, and venture northward to this scenic gem.
12. Porcupine Mountains State Park
Most people don’t associate mountains with the state of Michigan, but one trip to the Porcupine Mountains will have you completely enamored. Marvel at the Lake of the Clouds, breathe in the cleansing fresh air of the forest, and enjoy a picnic lunch with loved ones. Is there anything more wonderful?
13. Turnip Rock
Head to the small waterfront town of Port Austin and grab a kayak to check out Turnip Rock, a unique rock formation that seems to appear out of nowhere. On a clear, calm day, there’s nothing more fun than rowing out to this lovely spot — just be sure to pack a waterproof camera if you’re hoping to snap pictures!
14. South Haven
There’s nothing more beautiful than a sunset over Lake Michigan, and South Haven offers some of the most amazing views imaginable. Wander along the pier, sit on the beach, or cuddle with your sweetheart as the sun sinks over the water. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad view of the sunset over our Big Lake, but South Haven offers a special sort of magic.
It would be nearly impossible to list each and every photogenic spot here in the Great Lakes State, so we’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite place to snap incredible pictures here in Michigan? Share some of your best captures in the comment section below!