Tourist Sights in Michigan

by David Harris

Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, but relaxing on the beach is not the only reason to visit the state. Hike in some of Michigan's forests or explore the islands off its coast. Learn much about the country's history in Detroit, a city that is gritty, but still retains pockets of charm.

Parks

Michigan is home to miles of green space, ranging from national to state parks. Isle Royale National Park (nps.gov/isro/index.htm) is a 210 sq. mile island located in Lake Superior. According to Lonely Planet, fewer people visit the island in one year than they do in a day in Yellowstone, making it a good place to escape from the crowds. If you are looking for waterfalls, visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park (michigandnr.com) home to the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River, with a drop of more than 50 feet. The best way to view the falls is by renting a boat or hiking around the area.

Detroit History

Detroit is synonymous with two things, building cars and Motown. The Henry Ford Museum (thehenryford.org/) retains much of its original design by Ford and explores the impact of the automobile on the United States. The museum is home to many old automobiles, including the the Wienermobile from 1936, used by Oscar Meyer hot dogs. If you are interested in music history, the Motown Historical Museum (motownmuseum.com) celebrates the label that brought the world Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

State History

When visiting Mackinac Island stop at Fort Mackinac (mackinacparks.com). Built in the 1870s by the British, this fort is one of the best preserved in the country, according to Lonely Planet. For ship lovers, stop by the town of Paradise, home to Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (shipwreckmuseum.com). Learn about the more than 300 ships that went down in the Great Lakes, including the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Hit the Beach

Michigan is home to more beaches than the Atlantic seaboard, so bring the lotion and towel and hit the sand. The west coast along Lake Michigan is most popular for tourists. Towns such as Grand Haven and Holland host some of the most visited beaches in the state. If you are looking for something more secluded, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (sleepingbeardunes.com), located on the Leelanau Peninsula, is quiet and picturesque

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