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20 Best Places to Visit in Michigan (Our Top Picks for 2024)

20 Best Places to Visit in Michigan (Our Top Picks for 2024)

Michigan is a year-round destination that offers scenic views of the Great Lakes, rivers, and mountains, buzzing cities, historical landmarks, and local hotspots that make a visit to its most famous and hidden gem towns that much more enjoyable. 

While there are countless noteworthy places in Michigan to explore, we’ve hand-picked the best places to visit in the state to make sure you don’t miss out on what makes Michigan great. 

20 of the Best Places to Visit in Michigan in 2024

The Great Lakes State is famous for its lakes, rivers, and wetlands, but it’s also home to thousands of freshwater islands, a patchwork of orchards and farms, low mountains, and vibrant cities and towns. If you’re heading here for a trip, building your itinerary from the best places to visit in Michigan will get you off to a great start! 

We’ve hand-picked our favorite spots across Michigan to visit, whether you’re coming up for the weekend or want to spend a week or more taking in the natural beauty and buzzing cities of the state. Take a look at the 20 best places to visit! 

1. Ann Arbor

Burton Memorial Tower in Ann Arbor, one of the best places to visit in Michigan

Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

About 45 minutes west of Detroit, Ann Arbor is a university town that’s filled with great restaurants and bars, a walkable downtown area, and top-tier museums. You’ll find people enjoying the bike paths, attending weekend festivals and farmer’s markets, and paddling down the Huron River. 

Downtown Ann Arbor is packed with things to do and places to eat or grab a drink. Coffee shops, bookstores, vintage clothing, comic, and record stores, and trendy eateries line the streets in this district, making it the perfect place to stay or park and explore in full. 

Ann Arbor also boasts some excellent cultural institutions like the University of Michigan Natural History Museum, Michigan Theater, and Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Rent kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards at Argo Park to paddle down the Huron River.

On a Saturday morning, the laid-back Kerrytown neighborhood is the spot to be with a lively farmer’s market. Pick up Ann Arbor treats, produce, and local artwork and hand-crafted goods while you’re here. Visit the local institution, Zingerman’s Deli, for lunch while you’re in Kerrytown!

2. Bond Falls

Bond Falls pictured in Autumn for a roundup of the best places to visit in Michigan

John McCormick/Shutterstock

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is where you’ll find the beautiful Bond Falls Scenic Site and one of our favorite waterfalls in the entire state. Spanning about 100 feet in width and cascading 50 feet down into a rocky pool, the swirls of flowing water surrounded by thick forest make this a magical spot. 

Bond Falls sits on the Ontonagon River with trees crowded around and branches hanging low over the river. The rocky riverbed divides the falls into multiple cascades that are mesmerizing to watch.

Bring a picnic to enjoy on the tables within the site and make your way across a boardwalk with a range of viewpoints to catch the best look at Bond Falls. Two trails meander along both sides of the river if you want to explore the forest paths and see river wildlife up-close. 

There’s a campground at Bond Falls Flowage if you’re planning on spending a night (or two)! If you’re lucky, you could even see the Northern Lights dancing in the dark skies overhead with a nighttime visit between August and April. 

3. Beaver Island

Unspoiled beach view of Lake Michigan from one of the best places to visit in Michigan, Beaver Island

Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

Beaver Island is Lake Michigan’s largest island at 13 miles long and 6 miles wide, drawing summertime visitors in search of clear water, clean beaches, and a slower-paced experience on the water without the trappings of typical tourist locations. 

A bike tour is in order here to make your way down old roads that lead to a lighthouse, beaches, historic cabins, charming shops on Main Street in the “downtown” district, and great restaurants serving freshwater fish and American eats. 

Head to the north end of the island at the harbor and village to access some of the most pristine beaches you’ll find on Lake Michigan, perfect for launching a kayak or heading out on jet skis. The southern end of the island is where you’ll find wooded areas just begging to be explored. 

Beaver Island is much like it was 100 years ago, thanks in part to locals’ insistence on keeping it that way. The small population makes it a friendly place to visit, where everyone waves on the road and are happy to share a secret fishing spot with you. 

Learn about the island’s unique history (a Mormon self-declared king, shipwrecks, and a local medicine man’s tomb) at the intriguing Beaver Island museums that include a historic print shop, a marine museum, and a still-standing log cabin with the owner’s tomb nearby. 

4. Charlevoix

Lighthouse on a dock in Charlevoix, one of Michigan's best places to visit

Todd Maertz/Shutterstock

Sandwiched on a narrow strip of land between Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan, the small town of Charlevoix is a favorite place for beautiful beaches, a bustling downtown area, rock hunting, hobbit house tours, and the famous Castle Farms. 

Head to the beaches on either side, bordering Lake Charlevoix or Lake Michigan, to play on sandy shores, fish from piers, or go for a refreshing swim, kayak trip, or canoe ride. Afterward, explore the downtown district to discover great restaurants and visit quaint shops. 

Wander the 2.5-mile scenic trail in Fisherman’s Island State Park and Beach, just 4 miles from downtown. There’s a nice beach for swimming and water sports here. Check out Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse for a pier, beach, and playground to enjoy after you’ve explored the area around the historic lighthouse.

Fisherman’s Island is also one of the best spots to hunt for Petoskey (the Michigan state stone) and similar Charlevoix stones, formed from ancient coral fossils, or favosite, with hexagon-shaped “cells” packed closely in gray and rare pink stones. 

You’ll want to make time to see the unique mushroom or hobbit houses, designed by Earl Young to blend into the landscape with an enchanted appearance straight out of a fairytale. Visit Castle Farms historic structures, gardens, and outdoor model train railroad. 

5. Cheboygan

Fishing boat on a river in Cheboygan, a top picks for the best places to visit in Michigan

Mark Hendrickson/Shutterstock

Can’t get enough of Michigan’s lakeside beauty? Head to sleepy Cheboygan, nestled on the shores of Lake Huron at the mouth of the Cheboygan River. You’ll find unexpected wonders here, from a Victorian-style opera house to twin lighthouses you can explore.

The Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse (there are two) sits in the downtown area, just steps away from the town’s little shops and eateries. You can even sign up to be a weekend volunteer lighthouse keeper! 

Beaches at Cheboygan State Park are perfect for swimming or launching water sport adventures, while the park fronts both the bay and Elliot Creek (great trout fishing) with hiking trails that transform into cross country skiing trails in winter. 

Get out on the water with a sailboat tour, a kayak cruise, or a day of fishing on Lake Huron to really feel like you’ve soaked in the essence of quiet, natural Cheboygan. If you start in the Cheboygan River, you can continue on through Mullett Lake and Burt Lake for scenic water views.

While activities outside of the natural world are limited here, you’ll find a great brewery, Cheboygan Brewing Co., with craft brews, the grand Opera House for live performances, and a smattering of local shops and several restaurants from diners to upscale dining. 

6. Detroit

Downtown photo of Detroit, one of the best places to visit in Michigan


Michigan’s most populated city by far, Detroit — Motor City — is packed with history and attractions that make it an ideal spot for a weekend city getaway. You’ll find museums, a zoo, an aquarium, lively restaurants and bars, and unique shops to check out in the city. 

Head to the Midtown section of the city with cobblestone streets lined with grand Victorian homes in the West Canfield Historic District. You’ll find the Detroit Institute of Arts in Midtown to browse historic artwork and attend workshops and classes. 

Downtown is a nice contrast with its vibrance and mix of green parks with food trucks and trendy restaurants. It’s the perfect spot to experience the heart of Detroit with the beautiful Fox Theatre (catch a concert or play here), a baseball stadium, and local and chain shops. 

The automobile industry built this city, and it can be seen and felt everywhere in Detroit. Visit the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation® and Greenfield Village just 15 minutes away, and the Detroit Historical Museum to dig into the history. 

Music fans will get a kick out of visiting Hitsville, USA — the Motown Museum home — in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood to learn about the genre’s rise and the musical greats that popularized the sound. 

Read Next: Is Detroit Safe to Visit? & Where to Stay in Detroit: Best Areas

7. Frankenmuth

Bavarian town of Frankenmuth, a top pick for the best places to visit in Michigan, as seen from the downtown street

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Frankenmuth is a delightful little Bavarian-style town that stands out as one of the best places to visit in Michigan. It’s famous for its colorful Christmas spirit, chicken dinners, and adorable Bavarian half-timbered restaurants, homes, and lodges. 

It’s known as a Christmas town because of its renowned holiday spirit during the winter season and the exceedingly popular Christmas shop, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Bronner’s is open year-round and takes the title of the largest Christmas store in the world. 

Chicken dinners — German-style fried chicken, mashed potatoes, noodles, and dressing — are another must when you’re in Frankenmuth. Two local establishments offer the best of this local favorite: The Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s, both on busy Main Street. 

Exploring the town’s Main Street and River Place Shops will give you a feel for this small town. You’ll find wine and charcuterie bars, sweets shops and international cuisine, and great museums from military and space to the Frankenmuth Historical Museum highlighting the German-influenced history of the town. 

Stay at the illustrious Bavarian Inn Lodge to feel like you’ve been whisked away to Germany, then grab bratwurst, schnitzel, and rouladen at Oma’s Restaurant nearby. Take a riverboat tour along the Cass River in style on a paddlewheel boat for a relaxing, scenic trip! 

8. Grand Rapids

Driftwood log on top of a dam in one of the best places to visit in Michigan, Grand Rapids

Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock

Situated on the banks of Grand River, Grand Rapids is the perfect spot for a low-key getaway filled with museum and gallery visits, delectable restaurants and breweries, and beautiful parks and gardens to explore. 

When you’re itching for a truly relaxing trip somewhere special, Grand Rapids won’t disappoint. The Grand Rapids art scene seems to power the city, with ample galleries downtown and the Grand Rapids Art Museum to check out on a slow-paced afternoon. 

Tour the landscaped paths of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for quiet reflection in a serene, outdoor setting filled with thriving plants and flowers. A rainy day is perfect for visiting the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, where Ford is buried (his boyhood home is on Union Avenue). 

Put on some walking shoes to make you way along the Heritage Hill Historic District and see some impressive, grand old mansions lining the shaded streets. Fuel the walk with bagels and coffee from a nearby shop or go thrifting for vintage finds at Always, Betti. 

A laid-back day strolling Millennium Park, dinner at the 70’s-themed The Commons restaurant, breweries and bars along Bridge Street, and attending a concert or show at the Wealthy Street Theater can complete your Grand Rapids trip.  

9. Holland

Canal in the middle of Holland, one of the best places to visit in Michigan, with tulips on either side


Holland takes its inspiration from the Netherlands, exuding a charming Dutch vibe in its food, architecture, and vast fields of colorful tulips. You’ll feel like you’ve left Michigan and landed on faraway shores when you visit this town! 

Holland boasts many of the things that attract visitors to the Netherlands, from giant windmills standing on grassy hills and lighthouses overlooking the water to fields of tulips that mark the start of springtime.

The natural beauty of Holland must be seen to be fully appreciated. You’ll be able to visit Holland State Park for its wide, roomy beach on Lake Macatawa, abundant wildlife and fishing, and great views of the Big Red Lighthouse access the channel.

But the real Dutch treasure of Holland is at Windmill Island Gardens. Tour the functional, 250-year old windmill, De Zwaan, brought from the Netherlands in the 1960s, along with 36 acres of tulip gardens and trails, an Amsterdam street organ, kiddie rides, and replicas of Dutch fishing houses and inns. 

If you’re here in May, you can go to the Tulip Time Festival for Dutch-themed fun. Check out the Holland Museum to learn about the town’s Dutch ancestry and influence, then fill up on Dutch baked goods at Deboer Bakkerij or grab dinner at Hops at 84 East downtown. 

10. Isle Royale National Park

Rock harbor lighthouse at Isle Royale National Park, one of the best places to visit in Michigan

Steven Schremp/Shutterstock

Head out to a group of small islands in Lake Superior to visit the wild and unspoiled Isle Royale National Park, situated right on the Canadian border. This area is packed with wildlife, rugged trails, a lighthouse, and incredible diving spots just offshore. 

Isle Royale National Park is a place you go when you really want to get away from it all — no cars allowed, and you’ll take a ferry, seaplane, or boat. You’ll find tons of camping options with 36 campgrounds so you can stay for a few days to better explore the main island and 400+ smaller islands in the park. 

Meander along 165 miles of hiking trails that lead up forested hills and mountains, down to rocky caves and sandy beaches, and inland through dense stands of evergreen trees where moose, wolves, and foxes roam.

Head to the Rock Harbor Lighthouse and explore the museum onsite to learn about this freshwater island chain’s history. Cast a line to reel in lake trout, salmon, and rainbow smelt, or opt for a diving adventure to see amazingly intact shipwrecks

You’ll relish the chance to paddle a kayak or canoe around the islands in search of hidden coves and to catch breathtaking views of the forested shoreline. The only sounds around you will be the buzz of insects and the shrill cries of birds.

While the park is closed from November to mid-April each year, this is one of the best places to visit in Michigan during the summer months to avoid big crowds and enjoy nature’s finest landscapes and bounties in this gorgeous part of Lake Superior. 

Read Next: The Best & Worst Times to Visit Isle Royale

11. Kalamazoo

Image of the downtown area in one of the best places to visit in Michigan, Kalamazoo

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

One of the most family-friendly spots on our list, Kalamazoo is a happening place with a huge variety of attractions the entire crew can enjoy, from a zoo and science museum to an amusement park and nature trails surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

Situated in southern Michigan, Kalamazoo is a hotspot for entertainment and attractions. Gather the family up to visit the exciting AirZoo Aerospace & Science Museum to experience flight simulators, thrilling indoor rides, and a 4D theater. 

For a more refined experience, you can check out the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts with its 10 galleries and 5,000 artworks in its permanent collection. Kid-friendly classes and workshops can make it entertaining for smaller children, too. 

Science lovers will want to visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum to discover a planetarium along with history, tech, and science exhibits that are often hands-on. Fill up at a number of lively restaurants from casual to upscale with cocktail lounges around downtown. 

Need to burn off some energy? Bowl, ride go-karts, and play games at Airway Fun Center, take a walk through the Kalamazoo Nature Center or along the scenic Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, and take in a show at the Kalamazoo State Theater while you’re in town. 

12. Lansing

Michigan State Capitol pictured during the evening for a piece on the best places to visit in Michigan

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Michigan’s often-overlooked capital, Lansing, is a great place to visit with its domed Capitol building, kid-friendly attractions (zoos and science centers), abundant museums, and foodie-approved restaurants serving up American and international fare. 

Downtown Lansing is where you’ll start exploring, from eateries and bars in historic Washington Square to the bustling Old Town where festivals are always going on and art galleries rule the roost. 

Horrock’s Farm Market is worthy of spending a few hours to explore its fresh produce and great food, grab some gelato, relax by the pond and fountain, and visit the local food trucks that park here. 

Head over to Potter Park Zoo, which is on the smaller side, but really impressive for its size with great animal exhibits like lions, tigers, rhinos, and kangaroos. Events and activities like camel rides and nighttime visits make it extra-fun for kids. 

Kids will also appreciate a visit to Impression 5 Science Center for hands-on activities and educational exhibits that make science palpable and fun, while history buffs should explore the Michigan History Center, Michigan State Capitol, and R.E. Olds Transportation Museum. 

13. Mackinac Island

View of Mackinac Island from the top of a walking trail with lots of greenery and blue sky

Gary R Ennis Photos/Shutterstock

One of Michigan’s most popular summer getaways, Mackinac Island is a haven for outdoor recreation and gorgeous views over Lake Huron. Miles of trails wind and weave across the island with awe-inspiring rock formations and history runs deep from Native American times to military forts you can visit on the island today. 

But the clean, beautiful beaches on Mackinac Island are the number one attraction for this bustling freshwater island. Clear waters lap the sandy shores and shoreline walking trails lead down to secret coves for a little seclusion. 

In summer, bright pink, red, and purple flowers spill out of containers downtown and in front of every cottage and waterfront home. Candy and famous fudge shops, galleries, stores, and tasty eateries with locally-famous cuisine make downtown one of our favorite parts of Mackinac. 

Take an old-fashioned ride around the downtown area on a horse-drawn carriage, or for a little more excitement, head to one of the many stables on the island to ride horses along the beach or on scenic trails. Visit the 50′ wide keyhole Arch Rock on the eastern side of the island! 

You can head up to the bluffs near the edge of the vast Mackinac Island State Park (great fishing and trails to hike and bike here) to see the historic Fort Mackinac buildings overlooking the town and Haldimand Bay. 

Read Next: The Best & Worst Times to Visit Mackinac Island

14. Manistee

Photo of Mainstee, one of the best places to visit in Michigan, viewed from the shoreline

James Yarbrough/Shutterstock

Manistee is a small, charming lake town where you’ll find old theaters restored to their former glory, great beaches to play and relax on, tons of outdoor adventures waiting for you, and a bustling riverwalk with eateries and shops to explore. 

Manistee sits on Lake Michigan and is connected to Lake Manistee by the Manistee River, leaving this serene little town almost surrounded by water. Downtown Manistee boasts great restaurants and it’s fun to reach them all by winding along the Riverwalk

The South Riverwalk follows the river all the way into the downtown hub, letting you cross under bridges and pass local shops, eateries, and galleries along the way. North Riverwalk’s boardwalk and fishing docks make it more serene with park areas and summer concerts. 

Beaches are one of our favorite ways to jump into the beauty here. The 5th Avenue Beach with its idyllic stroll to North Pier and the lighthouse is just perfect, while North Beach is dog-friendly and always bustling. 

Enjoy dining and drinks at local favorites like TJ’s Pub and North Channel Brewery to get in touch with the spirit of this lakeside town. Grab a cone at the local ice cream institution, House of Flavors, and venture deep into the Huron-Manistee National Forests with a million acres to explore.

15. Porcupine Mountains

Porcupine mountains, a top pick for Michigan's best places to visit, viewed from the hilltop


Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains — the Porkies, to locals — aren’t as prickly as they seem, with almost 60,000 acres of trees, flowers, and plants thriving in this part of northwestern Michigan. For nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, there’s no better place to go! 

The Porcupine Mountains are a low, rugged mountain range blanketed in 35,000 acres of old-growth forest that has clung to the slanted hillsides and peaks for hundreds of years. The range is located in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Here, you’ll be able to hike 90+ miles of trails to hidden waterfalls, camp at a site with hookups or rough it in a primitive campsite, enjoy the sparkling waters of Lake Superior and its natural beaches, and visit amazingly scenic spots within the state park. 

The Lake of the Clouds is one such site, standing out as the most-photographed place in the park with its scenic surroundings of dense forest, cliffs, and rising elevation. Bass fishing is known to be excellent in these waters!

Check out the Summit Peak observation tower for the most incredible views over the mountains and lakes, and don’t miss the disc golf course and winter sports complex if you’re here in the colder months. 

Bond Falls, another of the best places to visit in Michigan, is less than an hour away if you want to add something special to your visit. 

16. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, one of our favorite places to visit in Michigan, pictured from a boat

Dean Pennala/Shutterstock

Situated on Lake Superior with some of the state’s best lake views and beaches, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an ideal place to visit if you’re coming to the state in search of natural beauty and outdoor fun. 

The lakeshore spans 40 miles, encompassing sandy beaches perfect for swimming and relaxing to dramatic cliff faces and forests that come right up to the water’s edge. Cool sandstone formations, like Miner’s Castle and Chapel Rock, formed from sandstone make it a stunning place to visit. 

Explore hiking trails that lead to easily-accessed to incredibly remote waterfalls that roar over the unique Au Train Formation of brown and white sandstone. The 50′ Munising Falls is the easiest to get to year-round with a short and shaded 800-foot trail leading to viewing platforms. 

Miners Falls thunders over sandstone about 50 feet down along a 0.6 mile path through the woods with twin viewing platforms down a series of 64 steps. The area explodes with beauty and wildflowers in springtime. 

Hang out on some of the unspoiled beaches in the park, like Twelvemile Beach and its nearby hiking trail that takes you deep into a forest with stands of old birch trees. At Au Sable Point, where historic shipwrecks litter the bottom, you’ll see an old lighthouse from the 19th century. 

Read Next: Our Picks for the Best Times to Visit Pictured Rocks

17. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Summer photo of one of the best places to visit in Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Craig Sterken/Shutterstock

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, nestled on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan and extending out to North and South Manitou islands. The Dune Climb is the lakeshore’s claim to fame! 

The challenging Dune Climb features massive dunes you can hike up — not for the faint of heart in the hot sun — along 3.6 miles with multiple dunes to scale along the way. Some don’t do the full hike and prefer scrambling up a few dunes before turning back. 

Once you’ve exhausted yourself at the dunes, head to the Platte River Point beach at the mouth of the river where it meets Lake Michigan. It’s beautiful here and you can see for miles with sandy shores and excellent viewpoints at sunrise and sunset. 

Hop on a bike to explore the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (or part of it), which spans 20 miles and passes historic locations and towns, like Port Oneida Rural Historic District with its pastures and old farmhouses. The trail can be accessed from multiple trailheads from Manning Road to Good Harbor. 

There are 100 miles of trails running through the park, which covers over 71,000 acres. Camping, fishing, swimming, biking, and kayaking are all popular activities in this rugged and scenic park. 

18. Traverse City

Scenery around Traverse City, one of the best places to visit in Michigan


On your way to or from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City makes the perfect stop to find some awesome places to eat, enjoy frosty brews, or sample fine Michigan wines. 

Traverse City overlooks Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan, giving it the iconic lakefront appeal that so many Michigan towns and cities boast. As a dining and entertainment hub, you’ll never go hungry or get bored hanging out in Traverse City! 

Stop by one of the city’s many microbreweries, tasting rooms, or cider houses to sample local flavors that’ll give you quite a buzz. Distilleries and wineries are scattered around the area, offering tours and samples that make for an awesome weekend day out. 

There are several beaches around and near the city, but Bryant Park and Old Mission Peninsula Park are some of the best if you’re looking for sandy shores and panoramic views over sparkling Lake Michigan. 

The local City Opera House is where you can rely on great entertainment, while the Dennos Museum Center offers a nice spot to spend a morning or afternoon out of the sun with concerts, art collections, and scheduled activities. 

Hanging out downtown is where you’ll really get a feel for what makes Traverse City special with local dining, shops, theaters, galleries, and community events taking place like food truck festivals and live performances. 

19. Tecumseh

Canoes at one of Michigan's best places to visit, Tecumseh

Barbara Kalbfleisch/Shutterstock

Tecumseh sits just 25 miles south of Ann Arbor and is famous for antiquing, a lively art scene, and a historic downtown district where something’s always going on. Located on the River Raisin, people flock to Tecumseh to leisurely paddle and enjoy scenic views along the river. 

The downtown district is historic and vibrant all at once. The streets are lined with cool shops and restaurants that serve a variety of foods. Local favorites are City Limits Diner and Tecumseh Tavern if you’re getting hungry! 

Art appreciators will feel right at home here, where the free Art Trail Tecumseh leads you down a winding path lined with imaginative sculptures that are replaced annually.

The Tecumseh Center for the Arts deserves a visit, while street art and murals are painted by locals on barns, fences, and buildings around the city. You’ll also find the city a fine spot for antiquing with a variety of antique shops and malls nearby to uncover old-fashioned finds. 

Microbreweries and local wineries are a big deal in Tecumseh, with spots like Pentamere Winery and Tecumseh Brewing Company vying for space on your itinerary.

Up for a scavenger hunt? Discover the magic with a Fairy Door hunt around the city — they’re hidden in 22 locations throughout Tecumseh and so much fun to track down! 

20. Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti, one of the best places to visit in Michigan, pictured in the downtown area

Barbara Kalbfleisch/Shutterstock

Ypsilanti (pronounced ipsa-lanty) may be difficult to spell, but it’s easy to enjoy! With long-spanning history in the automotive and aviation worlds, a local focus on art and good food, and plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy in and near the city, this is one Michigan destination you can’t skip. 

Locals often call it Ypsi. Come here to enjoy the hiking and biking paths, splash at Rolling Hills Water Park, peruse eclectic shops like This, That, and the ODDer Things, and check out art galleries and murals in the Ypsilanti District Library Park and downtown. 

When it comes to locating the best spots to eat and drink in the city, you should take a cue from the locals and eat at regionally-famous institutions like Kluck’s Drive-In and Gabriel’s Cheese Steak Hoagies. People have been coming to these restaurants for decades and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. 

The very first Domino’s was built here on West Cross Street, originally called DomiNick’s. It’s now a burrito place, but it’s cool to visit this important spot in pizza history if you’re here for a trip! 

The last Hudson auto dealership was also right here in Ypsilanti. Today, it’s transformed into the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum with a vast collection of famous and antique autos, like a Hudson Hornet driven by Nascar driver Herb Thomas. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Northern lights above Point Betsie Lighthouse, one of the best places to visit in Michigan

John McCormick/Shutterstock

Left with some burning questions about the best places to visit in Michigan? See if we can help clear things up by looking at some of the most frequently asked questions below. 

What is Michigan's number one tourist attraction?

Belle Isle Park, a Detroit island park spanning nearly 1,000 acres, is the number one tourist attraction in Detroit. The park sees over 5 million visitors annually, ranking it as the 2nd most-visited state park in the nation (behind Niagara Falls State Park).

What is the prettiest place in Michigan?

People rate Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as one of the prettiest places in Michigan, owing to its treasure trove of high sand dunes, waterfalls, rugged trails, beaches, forests, and campgrounds on the shores of Lake Michigan.

What is the most visited town in Michigan?

Detroit is the most-visited town in Michigan, seeing more than 19 million visitors each year in the metro area. People come to Detroit for its range of restaurants, shops, parks, and attractions (many of which are family-friendly). Highlights like the Motown Museum and automotive museums, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Detroit Zoo make it popular to visit.

What is the best part of Michigan?

The Upper Peninsula is the best part of Michigan if you’re after hiking and outdoor recreation. For family-friendly fun and adventure, northern Michigan is ideal, while the Great Lakes islands and western Michigan offer the most in the way of sandy lakefront beaches with laid-back villages and towns.

What is the safest city to stay in Michigan?

Small towns like Addison, Kinross, and Argentine take the top 3 spots among the safest cities to stay in Michigan, but these places aren’t usually destinations for tourists. Michigan is a safe state to visit overall, so you can feel comfortable staying just about anywhere as long as you take normal precautions and don’t leave valuables in unlocked cars or hotel rooms.

The Best Places to Visit in Michigan: Final Thoughts

It’s scenic, historic, and brimming with things to do, places to eat, and interesting attractions. But if you want to see Michigan’s most iconic spots and make the most of your trip, you’ve got to hit the best places to visit in Michigan. 

From the university town of Ann Arbor and “Motor City” Detroit to the crazy dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the funky history of Ypsilanti, Michigan is chock full of interesting places when you know the top spots to visit. 

Whether you’re down for a sleepy getaway to a quiet lakeshore park for the weekend or can’t wait to hit every brewery and trendy restaurant in a 100-mile radius, you’re going to find Michigan the perfect place to unwind, enjoy, and live life to the fullest.