Sail back in time with the Friends Good Will tall ship at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. You don't have to be a sailor to appreciate this working replica of the merchant craft that was caught in the middle of the War of 1812. The new sloop hits the Great Lakes on a different adventure this May, providing an interactive classroom for the public to learn about maritime history.
The tall ship will coast along to local ports, while passengers learn about everything from ecology to astronomy and navigation. If its a rough day out on the water, don't sweat; the ship will be docked at the museum and heated for year-round use.
Take a drive down memory lane at Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners (about 15 miles northeast of Kalamazoo). Visitors can eyeball 200 vehicles, spanning more than 100 years. The newly expanded car haven now features an additional 21,000 square feet in three buildings. Guests weave their way through 90 acres of pastoral countryside featuring eight restored 19th-century barns, a 1930s gas station, a new 1940s-style diner and an old train depot all showcasing automotive history from the 1899 Locomobile to the 2002 Camaro.
If a 1935 London taxi or a 1950 double-decker bus offers you a ride along the way, go ahead and hop in. Among the automobiles you'll see are the 1929 Duesenberg Model J; the DeLorean, made popular by Back to the Future; and the 1948 Tucker, thought at the time to be the car of the future. Don't miss the numerous car and motorcycle shows the museum holds each year.
The Houghton County Historical Museum in Lake Linden offers a glimpse of what was the largest copper milling operation in North America during the 1880s. Learn about the mills history through a virtual tour and interactive displays. A walking trail leads into town and around Torch Lake with signs pointing out important industrial and cultural sites along the way. Shop the Copperland Arts and Crafts Center for specially made copper gifts and art.
More than 300 years ago, two worlds met in what is now downtown St. Ignace at the Upper Peninsulas southeastern tip. Today, the Museum of Ojibwa Culture tells the tale of that contact between the French Jesuits and the Ojibwa Indian tribe. The museum includes exhibits about Ojibwa culture and traditions, as well as archaeological discoveries made on the site. The history and culture of the Huron and Odawa tribes are also covered in exhibits and videos shown in the Long House Theater.
Workshops on drum making, flute making, singing, dancing and other traditional arts are held throughout the year, with several powwows scheduled each summer. The museum store carries the regions largest selection of Native American books, music and locally made arts and crafts.