Travel Michigan Virtually While Planning Your Vacation

Trail in Empire Michigan by Lake Michigan

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Now is the perfect time to plan your summer vacation—and there are plenty of virtual travel opportunities for the whole family to enjoy in the meantime. From virtual tours to educational content, here are ways to “travel” in Michigan from the comfort of your home. 


Check back often for new experiences!



Explore Michigan’s Destinations

Mackinac Bridge in the evening
The Mackinac Bridge | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

You can tour Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas by exploring our growing collection of live webcams throughout the state. From the waves of Lake Superior to the De Zwaan Dutch windmill in Holland, you won’t have to move an inch to see Michigan destinations in real time. You can also go on a virtual tour of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, or get a birds-eye-view of the Straits of Mackinac from atop the Mackinac Bridge. In Manistee go on a virtual exploration of the area's 100 historic sites with their Historic Sites Tours, or try the Natural Wonders and Bridge & Dam tours.  

There are still plenty of ways to explore all that Traverse City has to offer. Check out 7 Ways to Enjoy Traverse City From Home, or learn about two of the region's iconic historic sites, the Mission Point Lighthouse and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. You can also see Traverse City's cherry trees in full bloom for spring here.

In Ann Arbor, you can experience a variety of venues and galleries virtually as well, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art's Art in Your Inbox project, film streamings provided by The Michigan Theater, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's Music @ Home Series and more

In the Petoskey Area, watch trout swimming at the Oden State Fish Hatchery, walk through colorful fields of flowers at Lavender Hill Farm or learn about Horton Bay General Store, which is featured in stories by Ernest Hemingway. 


Cliffs on Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan ediexplores

It’s not just urban attractions that are providing a way to virtually explore, but also outdoor recreation destinations. Take a “virtual visit” to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and explore multimedia resources at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

You can even visit a zoo from the comfort of your living room, like Potter Park Zoo’s collection of videos highlighting special moments with their animals. This includes their red panda, otter pups and the new black rhino calf, Jaali. The Detroit Zoo is also streaming a local Peregrine Falcon that is currently nesting in their iconic water tower, which can be found on their YouTube channel.


There are a variety of other opportunities to see what’s going on around Michigan. The whole family can make some popcorn and watch a show on-demand from the talented Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is also filming their Butterfly exhibit and hosting daily live Virtual Visits on Facebook.


Butterfly resting on flower
Butterfly Exhibit | William J. Hebert for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 

You can also take an audio tour of the Great Lakes State with Pure Sounds of Michigan. This album invites listeners to take a virtual, sunrise-to-sunset journey with ambient sounds captured at ten state parks, as interpreted by some of Michigan’s most talented musicians. The album can be streamed on all major platforms. 

Explore more immersive, virtual experiences with Pure Michigan's 360° videos, from enjoying a sunset at Point Betsie Lighthouse to watching penguins swim overhead at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. 


Discover Fun and Educational Michigan Adventures

Virtual Field Trips

Just because you’re planning for summer, doesn’t mean you can’t take a virtual trip to a far-away, winter wonderland. The Digital Adventure 360° Interactive Experience: Penguins lesson plan takes children (or the whole family) on a virtual and education field trip through the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo.


You can also explore raptor habitats through the Leslie Science & Nature Center’s Raptor 360° Experience in Ann Arbor, and bats through the Bat 360° Experience offered at the Organization for Bat Conservation in Pontiac.


Airplane hanging from the ceiling at The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford | Photo Courtesy of The Henry Ford


Explore Michigan’s Museums

Take a virtual visit to The Henry Ford to learn about some of the country’s most renowned inventors and innovators, curated exhibits and more. Here you can even find episodes of the educational and Emmy® award-winning series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation. You and your family can discover even more at The Henry Ford’s YouTube channel.

Explore the sky and beyond with the Air Zoo, Michigan's Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum. Through Launchpad to Learning, the whole family can enjoy video content that features tours and museum artifacts, educational STEAM content, DIY learning experiments, games and more. With Impression 5 Science Center, children can try hands-on activities with STEM at Home, which covers a variety of scientific concepts inspired by the center's five spectacular exhibits. 


Other museums like the Michigan History Museum, Michigan Science Center (MiSci), Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Cranbrook Art Museum and Menominee Range Historical Museums also offer virtual tour experiences.


Learn More About Michigan

Even if you live in Michigan, there may be a lot you don’t know about the Great Lakes State. With the Library of Michigan’s resources for kids, Michigan in Brief, children can learn about fun facts, state symbols history and more. You can check out our collection of Great Lakes Fun Facts here.



The opportunities to explore Michigan are endless. To help you get started on planning your summer getaway, check out our Travel Tips For Planning Your Pure Michigan Vacation.


To see more travel destinations and trip-planning ideas, connect with Pure Michigan social medial with #VirtualPureMichigan. New virtual experiences will be posted regularly across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.