Michigan Boasts New Openings, Attractions for Travelers in 2017

Release Date: 
Monday, January 23, 2017
LANSING, Mich. – From new attractions and accommodations to expanded recreational offerings and dining delights, Michigan is home to a wide variety of new ways to experience the state in 2017. Start by planning your trip at the new michigan.org website.
The new michigan.org website is part of an ongoing initiative by Travel Michigan to evolve the Pure Michigan campaign into activity, or interest-based marketing, in addition to its traditional marketing strategies. The new site will also allow for a better user experience with more personalization, extended integration with social media assets and an overall experience more aligned with the Pure Michigan brand.
The diverse array of new travel opportunities listed below combine with the unique, four-season destinations and hidden gems Michigan is already known for making it the perfect time to start planning a Pure Michigan getaway in 2017.
New Attractions
  • Little Ceasars Arena, new home to the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons, is scheduled to open in summer 2017. The arena will be the flagship of the new District Detroit. The Q Line street car is also scheduled to begin service along Woodward Avenue is spring 2017.
  • Round 1 Bowling and Amusement will join the lineup at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in fall 2017, offering bowling, dining, karaoke, ping-pong and more.
  • Flint Institute of Arts will open a new Contemporary Craft Wing in 2017 that will include space for artists to work and stadium-style seating for visitors to observe the creative process.
  • A new music venue, 20 Monroe Live, will have its grand opening in Grand Rapids in early 2017.
  • The Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake will open in summer 2017, telling the stories of a time in the early 20th Century when six railways intersected in Jackson County.
  • The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum is scheduled to open in June 2017 in Ludington. Located in the former U.S. Coast Guard Station, the museum will entertain, enlighten and instruct through diverse, family-friendly interactive exhibits.
  • The escape room Know Way Out recently opened in Petoskey or head to Escape Marquette to experience a life size game of clues or Great Lakes Escape to decipher cryptic clues.
  • Sperry’s Moviehouse is now open in former Sperry’s department store in downtown Port Huron featuring 12 movie theaters and a restaurant on the second floor.
New Exhibits New To Do
Adventure & Outdoor Recreation
  • Marquette is home to Superior Kayaking Company, a new full-fledged sea kayak operation offering guided expeditions in Lake Superior.
  • The new 236-acre Tanton Family Working Forest Preserve, once known as Christmas Mountain, is now part of the Little Traverse Conservancy’s family of parcels protected for public use. A dedicated parking area will open in 2017.
  • Six lacrosse fields are being added to the mix of sporting options at Boyne Mountain Resort.
  • The new DTE Energy Foundation Trail in Chelsea has its first spring season in 2017, while Phase 1 construction continues in 2017 on the new Washtenaw County Border-To-Border Trail.
  • The new Treehouse Masters treehouse and Butterfly House at For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum is available for the public to tour.
  • Explore the Flint area using the new Flint Bike Share program, with expanded stations in 2017.
  • The first stage of the 100-mile Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail linking Saginaw, Bay and Midland Counties had been completed and is now open.
  • Maple Hill Trail, a new 5.5 mile mountain bike trail will open spring 2017 at Markin Glen Park in Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail downtown connector is scheduled to open in summer 2017.
  • A new four mile singletrack mountain bike trail is now open in Cartier Park in Ludington and five miles of trails in the Ludington School Forest will be groomed for fat tire biking for the first time this winter.
  • The Big M Trail in Manistee now offers a 15-mile track groomed for fat tire biking, in addition to its groomed cross country ski trails.
  • Dow Gardens Whiting Forest in Midland announces plans to build the longest fully accessible canopy walk, open year round, in the United States.      
  • The new Petsafe Downtown Muskegon Dog Park offers the perfect recreation spot for pooches and people alike.
  • Pilgrim Haven Natural Area in South Haven is set to open May 2017.
  • Two local rental companies in Traverse City, The River and 231 Outfitters, have been combined into The River Outfitters renting paddleboards, kayaks and bikes as well as offering tours. A new concession at Clinch Park Marina, Paddle TC, also rents bikes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards as well as tours.
  • Ypsilanti’s Frog Island Park boasts a newly renovated canoe and kayak launch.
Sports & Events
  • Scheduled to open mid-2017, ground has been broken on a new park project in downtown Detroit that will feature space for recreation, food trucks, parking for bicycles and a moveable music stage.
  • Beer Month GR is a new event brewing in Grand Rapids February 15-March 15, 2017. Grand Rapids will also host the State Games of America August 3-6, 2017.
  • Live from Charlevoix is a new event series bringing musicians and comedians to downtown Charlevoix.
  • Flint Farmers’ Market is now hosting Comedy at the Market once a month and Friday Night Live the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Kalamazoo hosts the American Cornhole Organization Championship April 7-8, 2017 and the Great Lakes Regional Pickleball Tournament July 20-23, 2017.
  • Ludington hosts the “Be Someone’s Angel” Guinness World Record attempt for most sand angels created simultaneously on June 10.
  • After a successful year of SmartPrize, Marquette is holding a new event – SmartPrize Jr., opening to children ages 6-12 to showcase their big ideas and inventions.
  • Spartan Race is coming to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn September 9-10, 2017.
  • The No Bull Triple Crown Snowmobile Races will host all four of their endure snowmobile races in Mt. Pleasant in 2017.
  • The inaugural South Haven Jazz Festival by Foundry Hall will be held September 15-16, 2017.
  • University of Michigan will be holding four special festivals in 2017 to celebrate the university’s bicentennial – one each in the spring, summer and fall and a bonus festival in Detroit in September. 
Tours & Classes
  • The Michigan Pedaler offers a unique way to explore Detroit with pub crawls venturing through downtown, Corktown and Midtown and JoyRide Pedal Tours are now available in Lansing.
  • New Cultural Corridor tours, celebrating the history and art of Charlevoix will be offered in the coming year.
  • Cooking classes are not available at Sur La Table in Grand Rapids. The Experience Grand Rapids website also features a new section allowing visitors to search a variety of tours, classes and other experiences in Grand Rapids.
  • Koffee Kletz at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland is a series of casual Saturday morning gatherings to learn about topics relevant in Dutch culture, Holland culture and Windmill Island Gardens.
  • Public tours are now available on Wednesdays and Fridays at Heritage Guitar in Kalamazoo.
  • Journey through downtown Lansing on this Downtown Sculpture Walk and explore the inspired collection of art & sculptures located on the campus of Lansing Community College and surrounding areas.
  • Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. has teamed up with Muskegon Yoga to offer Pigeon & Pints (Yoga & Beer). Every 3rd Sunday of the month, enjoy a one-hour vinyasa yoga session and afterwards cool down with a pint of Pigeon Hill Beer.
  • Bird’s Eye Adventure in Sault Ste. Marie offers guided tours, workshops and outdoor activities in addition to rentals and the Eastern Upper Peninsula is featured on a new Interactive Water Trail map.
  • Kayak, Beer and Brew is a new paddling/cycling tour in Traverse City that features area breweries and brewpubs and Bowers Harbor Vineyards has opened a 1-mile “interpretive” hiking/snowshoe trail designed for exercise and education.
  • Visit Lenawee offers visitors a new app for traveling in the region.
Bay City: Albert’s General Store, GiGi’s Boutique & Design, Half Mile Handmade
Detroit: Mama Coo’s Boutique, Detroit is the New Black, Shinola Outlet
Frankenmuth: Cherry Republic, Cass Street Décor
Grand Haven: Patricia’s Chocolate
Grand Rapids: Carvers: Grand Rapids Finest Meats, Mokaya
Holland: Cherry Republic, Making Waves, The Shops at Westshore
Lansing: Capital Loop Gifts
Ludington: Biercamp Market
Saginaw: The Gallery: Art for Saginaw
Traverse City: 231 | The Store (in Grand Traverse Resort)
New to Eat and Drink
Restaurants, Cafes & Bakeries
Adrian: Chomp Burger
Alpena: Olde Owl Tavern & Grille
Ann Arbor: Avalon Bakery & Café, Literati Coffee, Mikette, Miss Kim, Siri’s BBQ and Cigar Lounge, The Session Room
Augusta: Blue Stem
Cedar: Big Cat Brewing Co.
Detroit: Maru Sushi, Parc, SavannahBlue
Flint: Blondie’s Food & Spirit, Mo Pete’s Sports Retreat
Grand Haven: Grand Finale Desserts & Pastries (storefront now open), The Toasted Pickle
Grand Rapids: That Early Bird, Social Kitchen and Bar, Squibb Coffee Bar, The Søvengård
Harbor Springs: Pierson’s Grille and Spirits
Holland: Brew Merchant
Kalamazoo: Fuze Kitchen & Bar, Hop Cat Kalamazoo
Lansing/East Lansing: EnVie, For Crêpe Sake, Gigi’s Cupcakes, The Grid Arcade and Bar, Punk Taco
Ludington: Table 14, Timbers Bar & Grill
Marquette: Delft Bistro, Zephyr Bar
Mt. Pleasant: Adelaide’s Bistro
Petoskey: Beards Brewery (moving to a new location and now serving food)
Sault Ste. Marie – Superior Café
South Haven: Kitchen 527
Spring Lake: Smalltown Sandwich Shop
Springfield: JB’s Whiskey Creek
Traverse City: Alliance, Gaijin, Sparks BBQ, The West End Tavern, Thai Kitchen, White on Rice
Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
Boyne City: Stiggs Brewing Company
Charlotte: Charlotte Brewing Company
Detroit: Eastern Market Brewing Co.
Diamondale: Dimes Brewhouse
Flint: Market Tap
Galien: Wolfe Creek Winery
Germfask: End of the Road Winery
Grand Ledge: BrickHaven Brewing Company
Grand Rapids: East West Brewing Company, Fountain Hill Brewery, Bier Distillery, Gray Skies Distillery, The Peoples Cider Co.
Holland: Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery
Kalamazoo: The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
Lansing: Ozone’s Brewhouse
Lowell: Painted Turtle Hard Cider
Ludington: Ludington Bay Brewing Company
Manistee: North Channel Brewing Company
Marquette: Barrel & Beam Brewery
Menominee: Yooper Winery
Midland: Midland Brewing Company (expansion)
Muskegon: 18th Amendment Spirits Co.
Onstead: Chateau Aeronautique Winery
Petoskey: Burnt Marshmallow Brewing, Rudbeckia Winery
South Haven: Three Blondes Brewing Company
Tecumseh: Black Fire Winery
Traverse City: Mari Vineyards Winery, Rove Estate, Taproot Cider House
New in Lodging & Meetings
  • Holiday Inn Express is now open in Alpena.
  • A new Staybridge Suites will open in Ann Arbor in 2017.
  • TownePlace Suites will open in Battle Creek in February 2017.
  • The new Hampton Inn & Suites in Bay City will open in April 2017. The hotel will be within walking distance of shopping and dining.
  • The Foundation Hotel in Detroit is scheduled to open in 2017. The $28 million project will transform the historic Detroit Fire Department Headquarters into a 100 room independent hotel in downtown Detroit.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Grand Rapids Airport will open in spring 2017. The hotel features 144 rooms and a detached sports bar.
  • The Marriott Courtyard Downtown Holland is now open and features Big E’s sports bar.
  • Two new hotels have opened in Lansing – Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and Hyatt Place Lansing.
  • The former Lakeside Inn of Ludington will reopen as the Ludington Beach House in May 2017 after extensive renovations.
  • Marquette offers two new hotels this year, the Staybridge Suites and MyPlace Hotel – the first MyPlace Hotel in Michigan.
  • The new Courtyard Marriott at Central Michigan University is now open with available meeting space for groups of various size levels. Mt. Pleasant will also welcome a new Holiday Inn, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • The 18-room Hotel Saugatuck luxury bed and breakfast is now open.
  • Sault Ste. Marie welcomes a new Hampton Inn, now open.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites is now open in Stevensville and SpringHill Suites in Benton Harbor is also now open.
  • The 10-7 room Hotel Indigo is now open in Traverse City and Wurfel Resorts is building a four-story 51-unit hotel to expected to open in spring/summer 2017.
  • In downtown Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s has opened a new event space, Greyline, and the new Pretzel Bell has debuted an event space next door to the main restaurant.
  • The UP Steam and Gas Engine Village in Escanaba will now feature a chapel available for weddings.
  • The art-deco style Ferris Furs building in downtown Flint is being completely renovated with meeting spaces available.
  • Robin Hill Farms is a new educational and events facility in Chelsea.
Expansions and Improvements
Ski Areas
  • Mt. Bohemia is now offering the Midwest’s first ski resort hostel, featuring 24 co-ed bunkbeds, a log cabin bar, sauna and outdoor hot tub. Voodoo Mountain has also added a second peak for skiing this season, now offering 200 acres of terrain for snowcat skiing.
  • New experience at Boyne Highlands this year include nighttime cross-country skiing and snow shoe dinners as well as an expanded Tubing Park and Rossignol snowboard demos. At Boyne Mountain, nighttime skiers and riders can enjoy 30 acres more terrain with the addition of lights in the Meadows area.
  • The crew at Shanty Creek Resorts has been busy improving snowmaking infrastructure and adding a new beginner ski area at Summit Mountain. Nordic ski trails throughout the resort have also been improved.
  • This year, Mt. Brighton is offering the “Mt. Brighton Ski and Snowboard School Free Gear Instructional Program,” open to anyone seven years and older that include a weekly two-hour lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment that participants are able to take home once the program is over.
  • Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac now features a new Doppelmayr triple chairlift with elevation of 1,561 feet.
  • Treetops Resort in Gaylord will undergo $4.5 million in renovations to both The Lodge and The Inn. Otsego Club & Resort is offering the public the opportunity to Test Drive Membership and experience members-only ski privileges this winter.
  • In Harbor Springs, Nub’s Nob Ski Area expanded their snowmaking system, created more lines for powder skiing and offers an entirely new fleet of rental skis from Nordica.
  • Mt. Holly has upgraded snowmaking and grooming capabilities.
  • Ski Brule in Iron River has added 30 km of fat bike trails and rentals are available.
  • An $11 million expansion at Crystal Mountain includes eight new downhill trails, a triple chairlift and nine new miles of fat bike trails. The Inn at the Mountain is slated to open summer 2017.
  • Ski and snowboard rental equipment is now available at Hickory Hills Ski Area in Traverse City.
  • Alpine Valley in White Lake has expanded its snowmaking capabilities and enlarged its terrain park.
  • Forest Dunes’ new course, The Loop, the innovative 18-hole reversible course designed by Tom Doak, opens full time in 2017.
  • A new par 71 golf course, Stoatin Brae, will be opening in 2017. The course, created by Renaissance Golf Design, will be part of Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in Augusta.
  • Island Resort & Casino, in Harris, will offer a soft opening of its new golf course, Sage Run, designed by architect Paul Albanese, in fall 2017.
  • Hawk Hollow in Lansing is now offering Footgolf at The Falcon.
Hotels & Resorts
  • Alpena’s Sanctuary Inn has been rebranded to Ramada Alpena.
  • Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor recently completed $2 million in guest room renovations.
  • Previously Bay City Inn, the Comfort Inn in Bay City will open in January 2017 after extensive renovations.
  • McCamly Plaza Hotel in Battle Creek will become a DoubleTree by Hilton property after undergoing $3.5 million in renovations.
  • The Spa at Boyne Mountain, formerly Solace Spa, has undergone significant renovations and kids will enjoy the new activity fort in Avalanche Bay waterpark.
  • Chateau Chantal has renovated three of their Bed & Breakfast rooms with a “New French Chateau” look.
  • Riverfront Hotel in Grand Rapids will reopen as The Grand River Hotel, An Ascend Collection by Choice Hotels in early 2017.
  • The Kalamazoo Holiday Inn will become a Delta Hotel by Marriott. The $4 million project will also rehabilitate the 24,000 square foot bowling alley next door into a conference center.
  • On Mackinac Island, renovations are underway on 100 guest rooms and the Cupola Suites at Grand Hotel as well as the hotel’s famous front porch, Chippewa Hotel boasts a new lobby bar, and the pool house and patio deck at Island House are being remodeled. The Ice House restaurant will be rebranded Ice House Smoke to reflect the only full BBQ menu on the island.
  • The Traverse City Courtyard Marriott has completed a $2 million renovation; the former Best Western Four Seasons has been renamed the Best Western Plus Traverse City after undergoing extensive top-to-bottom renovations, 
More Expansions & Improvements
  • The Historic Croswell Opera House, in Adrian, will have its Re-Grand Opening in May 2017 after completing $7 million in renovations.
  • The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan Sky Theater in Alpena is under complete renovation.
  • The iconic State Theater in Ann Arbor will re-open in late summer 2017 after a renovation that will return the building to its Art Deco roots, while the Theatre Nova will make the Yellow Barn Theater it’s permanent home with renovations in 2017.
  • The Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center at Albion College recently completed a $1.8 million renovation making it one of the largest equestrian centers in the country.
  • Downtown Flint’s Capitol Theatre is going through a complete renovation with a grand reopening planned for fall 2017 and a free trolley service will begin operating in downtown Flint in early 2017.
  • American Airlines is beginning nonstop service from Grand Rapids to Reagan National Airport in April 2017 and will offer a new direct flight between Dallas and Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City June-August, 2017.
  • Grand Haven’s South Pier is undergoing renovations and infrastructure repairs throughout 2017.
  • The Cascades in Jackson will feature a new splash pad opening in summer 2017.
  • Passengers on Amtrak will enjoy a new facility in East Lansing.
  • Michigan’s Adventure opens a completely revamped Half Pint Paradise water attraction for the 2017 season, featuring interactive water play for young park goers.
  • The new pavilion and events center at Headlands International Dark Sky Park will open in 2017.
  • St. Clair Community College has renovated the former McMorran Pavilion to now serve as the college’s field house, providing an opportunity to host college and high school level tournaments and showcases.
  • The Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City has received a $1 million gift to expand its signature Inuit art gallery.
  • Aurora Cellars and Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery have new spaces available for weddings.
Milestones & Anniversaries
200 Years
University of Michigan  
180 Years
State of Michigan
150 Years
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Ada Covered Bridge
130 Years
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Ishpeming Ski Club’s Annual Suicide Hill Ski Tournament
125 Years
Central Michigan University
Charlevoix Depot
100 Years
American Coney Island, Detroit
Selfridge Air National Guard Base
West Michigan Tourist Association
70 Years
Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival
60 Years
Mackinac Bridge
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville
50 Years
Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire
Alma Highland Festival
Coloma Peach Festival
45 Years
Impression 5 Science Center, Lansing
Tabor Hill Winery, Buchanan
40 Years
Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Redford Theatre, Detroit
North American Vasa Festival of Races, Traverse City
White Pine Stampede
30 Years
Gaylord Golf Mecca
25 Years
Round Barn Winery, Baroda
Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy.  For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org.  For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers.  Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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