Park the car and explore downtown Grand Rapids on foot. Within walking distance in the heart of the city are the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the fine Grand Rapids Public Museum. A short drive away is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and John Ball Zoo, with its 1,100 animals plus a wild ride on a four-story, 300-foot zipline.
Head to Muskegon and Michigan’s Adventure amusement park to ride the Thunderhawk coaster and test the waters at the new Beach Party in the WildWater Adventure Waterpark. The former lumbering town still boasts beautiful Victorian mansions, including the Hackley & Hume historic home museums, and you can tour the USS LST 393 (one of the last Landing Ship Tanks), a WWII submarine, and visit the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum.
Along the area’s 26 miles of beach you can learn all about the spectacular dune systems at the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center, and go for a thrilling ride or even drive across the sand dunes at Silver Lake. Paddle the pristine Pere Marquette River through the Manistee National Forest, and visit Baldwin and the most unusual Shrine of the Pines, an amazing collection of one man’s hand built, rustic furniture.