Heritage Tours

  • Experiencing history for ourselves is what Michigan's heritage tours are all about. They guide us through the buildings where the automotive industry began. They lead us to the sites where battle lines were drawn and where international borders were formed. They even show us the way to the places where the sands of time literally began, the windswept dunes of Pure Michigan. 
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US 12 Heritage Trail
Centuries in the making, the US-12 Heritage Trail is a road connecting man, animals, commerce, culture, and nature. Bridging southern Michigan's east and west shores, the US-12 Heritage Trail is an unconventional destination that encourages the traveler to journey its winding roads, meet its people, explore its places, and uncover its hidden treasures.

Alcona County Quilt Trail
The Alcona County Quilt Trail consists of large colorful painted wooden quilt block designs mounted on barns, historical sites, and small businesses throughout Alcona County to create a self-guided driving tour.

Allegan County Heritage Trail
A self-guided tour of discovery and adventure into the history, sights, and sounds of Allegan County.

Discover the Blue Water Area Heritage Tour
Thomas Edison, Gar Woods, Chris Smith and Harold Wills all have the Discover the Blue region in common. Find relics, artifacts, architecture and learn of the people that have given the region its great inheritance. Explore the locations that dot the region from Algonac/Clay to the tip of the thumb in Port Austin.

Grand Rapids Heritage Tour
You can explore everything from Native American history to 19th century lumber baron mansions to the life of President Gerald Ford on a stroll through downtown Grand Rapids. Additional heritage experiences are just a short drive away.

Osceola Quilt Trail
Part of a national grassroots art movement, the Osceola Quilt Trail (OQT) is a self-guided tour through Osceola County, with over 80 giant, boldly painted quilt blocks on barns, businesses and other structures.

Tahquamenon Scenic Byway
Experience the incredible 63-mile journey along the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway through the vast untamed land of Michigans Eastern Upper Peninsula. Explore the main route of Highway M-123 to experience the thunder of Tahquamenon Falls and the northern hospitality of villages like Newberry and Paradise, but leave time to branch out on byway spurs and visit our endless sandy beaches, silent lakes and restored lighthouses.

U.P. Hidden Coast
The U.P. Hidden Coast Recreation Route runs from Menominee, the gateway to the Upper Peninsula, through to the northern city limits of Gladstone; 64 miles along the western shoreline of Lake Michigan in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

US 23 Huron Shores Heritage Route
Your pathway to Michigan's Sunrise Coast with nearly 200 miles of spectacular scenic views of Lake Huron and an astounding array of large public forest, park and recreational properties await travelers on the Huron Shores Heritage Route (US 23).

Blue Coast Artists Driving Tour
Travel the scenic Blue Star Highway and back roads between South Haven and Saugatuck to discover a distinctive and diverse community. The Blue Coast Artists cultural heritage tour is a treasure trove offering a behind-the-scenes look into the studios talented working artisans, agri-tourism farms, wineries and sites within quintessential towns.

Echoes of the Edmund Fitzgerald
At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 9, 1975, the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin, loaded with 26,116 tons of iron ore. She overtook the Arthur M. Anderson just beyond Two Harbors, Minnesota. The two captains discussed the worsening weather and decided to take the northerly route across Lake Superior to Whitefish Bay and the Sault Locks. Our maritime heritage tour follows the progress of the two ships from the south shore of Lake Superior, where stories of shipwrecks and survival draw visitors to museums, glass-bottom boat tours, lighthouses and the big lake itself.

Exploring Michigan's Beachtowns
Since the last ice ageabout 10,000 years agopounding surf and incessant winds have created the largest freshwater dune system in the world along Lake Michigans eastern shore. There the rising sands eventually blocked the original river mouths and created inland lakes. Then new channels broke through the sands to the big lake. When Southwest Michigans early European settlers looked at the sheltered lakes and the channels, they imagined towns, safe harbors and commerceand Southwest Michigans Historic Harbortowns were born.

Great Waters Lake Michigan Trail: Windswept Dunes and Hidden Lakes,
The Lake Michigan Trails, Windswept Dunes and Hidden Lakes, can offer you a panorama of earth and sky above the Cut River or the quiet majesty of bald eagles and trumpeter swans at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

Great Waters Lake Superior Trail Tour: Rugged Shores and Falling Water
The Lake Superior Trail, Rugged Shores and Falling Water, will lead you on a quest inland through deep forests to the mighty Tahquamenon Falls or along the shore to secluded, historic lighthouses and the glorious cliff-side display at Pictured Rocks.

Lake Huron Trail Tour: Sheltered Bays and Ancient Paths
North, south, east, west...it doesnt matter which direction you head in the Pure Michigan waters. Theres always a North Woods adventure waiting around the corner.

River Country Heritage Water Trail
Navigate the streams and rivers of St. Joseph County in southwest Michigan and catch a glimpse the past, discover historic and natural sites, and charming small towns. It a lazy or not so lazy day going with the flow.

Tour Hemingway's Michigan
Follow the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway in Michigan. Presented by the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Hemingway Society.

Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail System
Uncover the stories of a region called the Western Upper Peninsula. Along the trails discover the stories, and the historic and cultural sites that are scattered throughout the natural geographic features of the landscape in the Western UP.

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