20+ Fun Things to Do in Michigan for the Best Day Yet

Mackinac island Shore
Photo Courtesy of innatstonecliffe

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We asked Pure Michigan’s social media community to share their top things to do in Michigan. In no particular order, here are 26 of our favorite suggestions.

1. Go to Frankenmuth

Where horse-drawn carriages clomp along a snow-dusted Main Street in winter, Bavarian charm abounds and it's Christmas all year amid Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland with 50,000 ornaments and gifts.

2. Visit Holland

Come Tulip Time (which USA Today named the best flower festival), there are millions of blooms forming patchwork fields of color and Klompen (wooden shoe) dancers take the streets. 

3. Cross Lake Michigan on the Badger 

The Badger, a retro passenger ferry that's been in business since 1953, gets you to Wisconsin if not the fast way, at least the fun way. On board, lounge on deck, play for prizes in Badger Bingo and even watch a film in the tiny on-board theater as you head between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 

4. Kayak to Turnip Rock

If you're a somewhat accomplished kayaker, paddling out to the “rock” is a sure bucket list item. The rock is accessible by paddlers with enough stamina to make the three to five hour trek from the “thumb” town of Port Austin.

5. Attend the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City

Its 150 must-see events include parades, national music acts, and a celebration of the state's agricultural heritage via all things cherry.

6. Relax on Michigan’s Sunrise Side

Where towns like Lexington and Port Sanilac boast sweet harbors, sandy beaches, retro cottages, lighthouses and more.

7. Learn the University of Michigan’s “Let's Go Blue” chant

Or memorize the entire fight song (if you're ambitious) and hit Ann Arbor or, on a football game weekend, score a ticket to the Big House or tailgate near the practicing marching band with a classic deli sandwich from Zingerman's Delicatessen.

8. Drive the Tunnel of Trees

M119, aka the Tunnel of Trees, between Cross Village and Harbor Springs, will immerse you into the foliage that forms tunnels over the road come fall or the millions of trillium on the forest floor in spring.

9. Make your own snowshoes

You can make your own snowshoes at stunning Ludington State Park, then try them out on powder-filled beaches and trails.

10. Watch fireworks in St. Ignace 

Take in the fireworks, shot off weekly, weekly fireworks from the marina at St. Ignace or via a lighthouse cruise.

11. Visit Michigan wineries

You have more than 130 commercial wineries to choose from, most set on some of the state's most scenic vistas.

12. Climb Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette 

On a clear day, linger amid the century-old trees and rock outcropping, and take panoramic photos that include the distant lake view.

13. Visit the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village 

Soak in the inspiration amid exhibits that even let you step on the bus and sit in the very seat upon which Rosa Parks helped to inaugurate the civil rights movement.

14. Explore Hartwick Pines State Park 

Gaze up at giants as you explore the largest stand of old-growth white pine in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, a great destination for hikes, mountain biking and joining maple syrup making events in spring.

15. Place your vote at ArtPrize

The world's largest public art competition lets visitors select winners of the multi-million dollar purse amid a festival that transforms the city both indoors and outdoors each fall into a massive art gallery and festival.

16. Buy local at the Ann Arbor Art Fair 

The works of 1,000 juried artists offer plenty of variety! 

17. Ascend Brockway Mountain Drive 

You'll literally soar with the eagles as you breathe in fresh mountain air and take in breathtaking views of Lake Superior and thousands of acres of the Keweenaw.

18. Listen to music in the park in Charlevoix

The band shell overlooks one of the state's prettiest harbors.

19. Sip Oberon at Bell's Brewery, Eccentric Café and General Store

Make a pilgrimage to the state's microbrewery pioneer in Kalamazoo and sip your Oberon (or something else from the 40 beers on tap).

20. Golf

With more than 650 public golf courses in Michigan, this golf mecca has a course for every level of play. Michigan golf packages help make a golf vacation affordable, and long hours of summer daylight let you fit in a lot of rounds.

21. Drive M22

This route has come to represent a “lifestyle” of freedom, lake, beach, family fun and great food as it winds along the lakeshore, through some of the state's most charming towns, past farm stands, to stunning hikes and overlooks.

22. Bike around Mackinac Island

Or take a carriage tour, or even stay the night to wake to the clip-clop of passing carriages on this iconic stopped-in-time Victorian island that banned automobiles when they were just being invented.

23. Tackle the Dune Climb at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Then explore its trails, beaches and islands. Viewers of Good Morning America named the park most beautiful place in America—and we're confident you'll agree.

24. Get your groove on at the Motown Historical Museum

You can stand (and even sing) in Studio A, where many greats got their start.

25. End your day watching a sunset over a sandy Lake Michigan beach

And stick around as the night sky fills with stars.