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Best places to visit in michigan.

Michigan has something to entice just about every kind of traveler. From some of the country's best lake vacations  to charming towns to bustling cities, the Great Lakes State has it all. To help you decide which spots are right for your next vacation, U.S. News considered factors like number of activities, availability of accommodations and sentiment among travelers to decide the best places to visit in Michigan. Vote for your favorite destination below to help decide next year's list.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Pictured rocks national lakeshore, mackinac island, tahquamenon falls state park, traverse city, isle royale national park, holland, mi, grand rapids.

michigan travel guide 2023

Known for its breathtaking scenery, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is covered in sand dunes that tower more than 450 feet above Lake Michigan. Visitors can climb to the top of the dunes to admire their surroundings or enjoy a picnic lunch at the bottom. The protected area also offers nearly 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking and snowshoeing, including the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which weaves its way around the lakeshore past many of the park's dunes and bodies of water.

michigan travel guide 2023

Pictured Rocks, America's first national lakeshore, overlooks Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Its beautiful, diverse landscape attracts outdoorsy types year-round. On the lakeshore's roughly 100 miles of hiking trails, travelers can see everything from spring wildflowers to colorful fall foliage to stunning ice formations, depending on the season. Plus, visitors can swim and boat in the warmer months and ice climb and cross-country ski during the colder months. But remember, lifeguards do not patrol the lakeshore's beaches, so vacationers should be careful when getting in Lake Superior's unpredictable waters.

michigan travel guide 2023

Mackinac Island's old-world charm (think: horse-drawn carriages and Victorian-style buildings) creates the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway or family vacation. The island banned cars in 1898, so tourists – or Fudgies as locals call them – can only access the island by private boat, ferry or plane. Once on Mackinac, visitors can taste some of its world-famous fudge, tour historical sites like Fort Mackinac and explore the island's state park, which covers more than 80% of the island. Keep in mind, though, that many of Mackinac Island's attractions are closed during the winter months despite the island being accessible year-round.

michigan travel guide 2023

Occupying nearly 50,000 acres on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers travelers ample opportunities to reconnect with nature. Lace up your hiking boots to explore the park's 35-plus miles of trails, get out on the Tahquamenon River on a kayak or snap a photo in front of the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan's largest waterfall. Fishing and camping are popular pastimes in summer, and come winter, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Keep in mind, travelers will need a valid Michigan Recreation Passport to gain admission to the park.

michigan travel guide 2023

Dubbed the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City feels more like a small town than one of the most populated destinations in northern Michigan. As one of the Midwest's top weekend getaway destinations , the town is known for its charming downtown area and its emerging wine scene, which includes nearly 40 vineyards and wineries. To enjoy warm weather and fun seasonal events like the National Cherry Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival, plan a summer visit.

michigan travel guide 2023

If you're looking for a tranquil getaway sans distractions, set your sights on Isle Royale National Park. This car-free Lake Superior archipelago is made up of more than 400 islands, all of which can only be accessed via boat or seaplane. While here, travelers can take part in a variety of activities, including hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing, fishing and scuba diving (Isle Royale is home to ten major shipwrecks). Remember, the park is open from mid-April through October and offers limited services, so plan accordingly.

michigan travel guide 2023

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Saugatuck is a haven for visitors and locals come summertime. Explore the lake on a boat cruise or grab a spot in the sand at one of several beaches – Oval Beach and Saugatuck Dunes State Park are both popular picks among travelers. At the latter, thrill-seekers can opt for an exhilarating ride across Saugatuck's famous dunes. Just make sure you leave some time for browsing the goods sold at the town's eclectic boutiques along Butler Street.

michigan travel guide 2023

This western Michigan town takes its Dutch heritage seriously. During the holiday season, the downtown area transforms into a tribute to all Dutch holiday traditions, complete with roaming carolers and a European-style, open-air Christmas market called Kerstmarkt. Come spring, visitors can celebrate the town's millions of tulip blooms during the Tulip Time Festival, which hosts fun parades and events like traditional Dutch dancing and live musical performances. Must-visit Windmill Island Gardens is an optimal location for viewing these colorful flowers, and families won't want to miss a trip to Nelis' Dutch Village, a Dutch-themed amusement park offering rides, games and more.

michigan travel guide 2023

This town on Lake Michigan's northeastern shore is one of the state's best tourist destinations. Perhaps best known as a cold-weather vacation spot, Petoskey is home to three major ski resorts with more than 160 slopes and multiple terrain parks. Visitors can also try other winter activities like ice skating, snowmobiling and sledding. For less-adventurous travelers, there's the historic Gaslight District, which is filled with a variety of shops and restaurants. For a one-of-a-kind experience, search for Petoskey stones at Petoskey State Park – these unique fossils can often be found hiding along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

michigan travel guide 2023

While you'll find plenty of public art and some top-notch museums here, the real reason to visit Grand Rapids is to try its brews. Home to dozens of craft breweries, Grand Rapids has become an award-winning beer destination, so much so that it has earned the nickname of Beer City USA. You'll find guided beer tours, hard cider tastings and even hotel beer packages that bundle your accommodations with extras like free pints and souvenir glasses. When you've had enough hops, check out other top attractions like the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

michigan travel guide 2023

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michigan travel guide 2023

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Your Michigan adventure awaits.

New bridges, pristine beachs, trails and so much more. Michigan is calling and our free guide is filled with the places to see and explore in the year ahead.

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7 Day Michigan Itinerary: An Epic Adventure Through the Great Lakes State

Sherry Trautman Bio Picture

By Sherry Trautman

Belle Isle - Part of the Epic 7 Days Michigan Itinerary

7 Day Michigan Itinerary | An Epic Adventure Through the Great Lakes State| By: Chris Trautman |  Travel-Mi.com  | Published: April 23, 2023

Embarking on a 7 day Michigan itinerary is like diving into a treasure chest of exciting adventures and jaw-dropping natural beauty. The Great Lakes State beckons you to explore its lively cities, pristine beaches, and everything in between.

Kick-start your escapade in the bustling city of Detroit , where you can marvel at the automotive world's wonders at the Henry Ford Museum and savor the city's scrumptious culinary scene. Traverse City , a true cherry and vineyard haven, is a must-visit destination during your 7 day Michigan itinerary. Indulge in delightful wine tasting experiences and treat your taste buds to farm-fresh delicacies at local eateries.

As you continue your jaunt, the mesmerizing Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore awaits your arrival. With its majestic sand dunes and crystal-clear waters, this natural wonder will leave you breathless. Immerse yourself in Michigan's nautical history by visiting one of its many iconic lighthouses, like the picturesque Grand Haven South Pierhead Light .

No Michigan adventure is complete without a visit to the magical Mackinac Island . Traverse the island's charming trails on foot, by bike, or in a horse-drawn carriage.

Finally, put a cherry on top of your 7 day Michigan itinerary by venturing north to the captivating city of Marquette. Nestled along the shores of Lake Superior, Marquette offers outdoor enthusiasts and culture lovers alike a treasure trove of experiences. Explore the city's historic downtown, hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for breathtaking views, or relax on the sandy shores of Presque Isle Park , creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Are you ready? LET'S GO!

The Ultimate Michigan Road Trip: 7 Day Itinerary and Interactive Map

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing.

Day 1: Detroit – Unleash Your Inner Motorhead

Henry ford wiener mobile!

The Henry Ford Museum

Where: 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124

Immerse yourself in Detroit's automotive legacy by exploring the fascinating exhibits at The Henry Ford Museum .  Also, Greenfield Village is located next door, and is an open-air living history museum that transports visitors back in time by showcasing America's rich historical and cultural heritage. 

Train Henry Ford

Spread across 80 acres, the Greenfield Village features over 100 authentic, historic buildings, including Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and Henry Ford's birthplace.

Horses Pulling a Wagon at Greenfield Village

Visitors can explore the carefully preserved structures, interact with costumed interpreters, and participate in hands-on activities that provide a glimpse into the daily lives of Americans in the past. From vintage car rides to working farms, Greenfield Village offers an immersive, educational experience for history enthusiasts and families alike.

Where: 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208

Get your groove on at the Motown Museum, where the infectious beats of legendary musicians still resonate through the halls.  Visit "Hitsville U.S.A." (nickname given to Motown's first headquarters and recording studio) to see the actual apartment Berry Gordy lived in during the label’s earliest days., See the original recording equipment and famous Studio A.

Belle Isle Conservatory

Belle Isle Park

Where: 2 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207

Bask in the urban oasis of Belle Isle Park , offering a delightful fusion of nature, culture, and recreation.  You can walk the beach, visit the incredible Belle Isle Aquarium and observatory, or snap photos of the scenic James Scott Memorial Fountain. 

Painted Walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Art Institute

Where: 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

We absolutely love the Detroit Art Institute!  You can spend the entire day exploring their 100 galleries spanning 658,000 square feet! Oh and you can also get your coffee fix in their lovely cafe!  

  • KEEP READING : Grab our HUGE guide of all things Detroit! From Museums to Restaurants, this Detroit Michigan Travel Guide has it all. 
  • Explore Detroit's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!

Day 2: Ann Arbor – The Quintessential College Town Experience

Sculpture at University of Michigan

University of Michigan Campus Tour

Where: Main entrance is located at 500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Discover the architectural splendor and vibrant atmosphere of the University of Michigan's stunning campus. There are several museums on campus such as the Kelsey Architectural Museum that we just love to visit. 

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Where: 220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Ignite your curiosity at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, an interactive playground for inquisitive minds. 

Nichols Arboretum

Where: 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Wander through the lush, verdant landscape of Nichols Arboretum, a tranquil sanctuary for nature enthusiasts.

Chris in the Ann Arbor Art Museum

Ann Arbor Art Museum

Where: 525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Plan to spend a few hours perusing the incredible art at the Ann Arbor Art Museum!  Chris has a big grin the photo above!

Ann Arbor-State Street

State Street District

There is no specific address for the district, but it is located between South University Avenue and William Street, and from State Street to the west to Ingalls Mall to the east.

Experience the lively pulse of Ann Arbor's State Street District, a hub of eclectic shops, eateries, and entertainment.  It's a super busy place during the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July.  OH, and be sure to check out Graffiti Alley for a completely new art experience!

  • KEEP READING: Grab our in-depth Ann Arbor Visitors Guide !

Day 3: Grand Rapids – The Artful Heart of Michigan

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Horse Statue

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Delight in the extraordinary fusion of art and nature at the enchanting Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Behold the diverse and captivating collections showcased at the esteemed Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Food Stalls at the Grand Rapids Market

Downtown Market Grand Rapids, 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Satisfy your epicurean cravings at the bustling Downtown Market, a gastronomic haven for food enthusiasts.

Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Travel through time at the Grand Rapids Public Museum , offering a glimpse into Michigan's storied past.

Day 4 of our 7 Day Michigan Itinerary: Traverse City – A Wine Lover's Paradise

People Climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 9922 Front St, Empire, MI 49630

Marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes , where towering dunes meet crystal-clear waters. 

  • KEEP READING : Be sure to check out our EPIC Sleeping Bear Dunes Guide which cover hiking trails, scenic outlooks, a map and things to do.

Traverse City Wine Tour

Popular wineries that offer tours and tastings include Chateau Chantal, Mari Vineyards, and Bowers Harbor Vineyards.

Embark on a vinous voyage through Traverse City's esteemed wineries, sampling the finest local libations.

  • KEEP READING : Grab our HUGE Traverse City Things To Do Guide and our guides for the Leelanau Peninsula and the Old Mission Peninsula !

Fishtown Leland, 203 E River St, Leland, MI 49654

Leland, MI Fishtown Waterfall and Docks

Stroll through the charming, historic Fishtown Leland , a quaint fishing village offering unique shops and eateries.  We love walking over the scenic dam and shopping all along Main Street. 

Clinch Park Beach, 111 E Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, MI 49684

Clinch Park Beach, Traverse City, MI. Sunbathers enjoying the Lake Michigan beach.

Unwind on the sandy shores of Clinch Park Beach, a serene lakeside retreat perfect for basking in the sun. You can also rent kayaks to explore the calm waterways. 

Day 5: Mackinac Island – A Step Back in Time

Mackinac Island Street View with Horse Carriages

Mackinac Island Ferry Ride 

The Mackinac Island Ferry departs from several locations, including Mackinaw City and St. Ignace , both located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula .

The exact address of the departure point depends on which ferry company you choose to use. Some popular ferry companies include Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry, Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry, and Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry.

Sail under the Mackinac Bridge to the enchanting Mackinac Island , an awe inspiring journey and picturesque haven where time seems to stand still.

Grand Hotel, 286 Grand Ave, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Mackinac Island Grand Hotel, with horse and carriage near the main entrance

Marvel at the opulence of the iconic Grand Hotel, a living testament to the island's storied past. You can pay a small fee and tour the grounds of this majestic hotel. 

Fort Mackinac, 7127 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Explore the historic Fort Mackinac, where the echoes of 18th-century life still linger.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

Horse-drawn carriage tours depart from several locations on Mackinac Island, including downtown Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. The exact address of the departure point depends on which tour company you choose to use. Some popular tour companies include Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, Grand Hotel Carriage Tours, and Gough Carriage Tours.

Experience the island's timeless charm from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage, the perfect way to explore its scenic beauty.

  • KEEP READING : Grab our Mackinac Island Tour Guide!

Day 6: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Mother Nature's Masterpiece

Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore

Miners Castle, Miners Castle Rd, Munising, MI 49862

Gaze upon the striking  Miners Castle  formation, one of the many awe-inspiring sights at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Scenic rocks along the Pictured Rocks tours

Pictured Rocks Boat Tour ,  100 City Park Dr, Munising, MI 49862

Embark on a boat tour to fully appreciate the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore . We absolutely LOVED this cruise!  You will see such incredible scenery all along the way.

Chapel Rock and Beach, Chapel Beach Rd, Munising, MI 49862

Hike to the iconic Chapel Rock and Beach, where nature's splendor unfolds before

Day 7: Marquette – Upper Peninsula Adventure Marquette, 7 Day Michigan Itinerary Wrap Up

Marquette, MI Beach at sunset

Maritime Museum, 300 N Lakeshore Blvd, Marquette, MI 49855

Begin your final day in Michigan by visiting the Marquette Maritime Museum, where you'll learn about the region's rich maritime history and get a glimpse of the iconic Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.

Presque Isle Park, 1201 N Lakeshore Blvd, Marquette, MI 49855

Next, explore the serene Presque Isle Park, a nature lover's paradise with stunning views of Lake Superior, picturesque trails, and abundant wildlife.

Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Ave, Marquette, MI 49855

Take a stroll around the beautiful campus of Northern Michigan University, home to impressive architecture, lush green spaces, and a lively student community.

Downtown Marquette Blackrocks Brewery, 950 W Washington St, Marquette, MI 49855

Spend the afternoon in downtown Marquette, where you'll find a unique blend of historic charm, modern amenities, and a vibrant arts scene.

End your Michigan itinerary on a high note with a visit to Blackrocks Brewery, a local favorite that offers a variety of handcrafted brews in a cozy, laid-back atmosphere.

And there you have it!

With this 7-day Michigan itinerary , you'll experience the diverse beauty, charm, and excitement that the Great Lakes State has to offer. From the bustling streets of Detroit to the rugged wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, there's truly something for everyone in Michigan. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create unforgettable memories on your whirlwind tour of this incredible state!

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Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry. In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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12 things to know before visiting Michigan

Megan Frye

May 5, 2023 • 6 min read

michigan travel guide 2023

Plan your trip to Michigan with these top tips © Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

As a fourth-generation Michigander who has spent significant time living elsewhere, I can attest to the fact that we’re a unique bunch.

We generally have wit and a lean toward sarcasm. We also pronounce things so strangely that you’ll have to get used to our dialect. For example, you have to register your vehicle at the “Secretaryahstate” and you buy “grosheries” from the grocery store. It’s cute, you’ll get used to it. 

In all seriousness, though, Michigan is a natural world wonder . It’s surrounded by and contains more than one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. Seeing an out-of-stater’s face when they witness the magnitude of the Great Lakes is priceless and swells me with pride every time. The forests here are thick and dark, and home to a variety of incredible animals, and some interesting people as well. And the cities are unique and relatively unpopulated. 

Michigan is a large state with vastly different customs and cultures depending on which part of it you’re visiting. A small town in the Upper Peninsula (UP) is quite different from Marquette, the UP’s largest city, which is even more different still than Detroit , which is different from metro Detroit and even more so from the rolling vineyards of Leelanau County.

Plan the perfect trip to Michigan with these top tips on planning, etiquette and health and safety.

Ice and snow engulf a lighthouse on the edge of a lake

1. Choose the best time for your trip to Michigan

The very best time to visit Michigan is September and October. September is like a second summer, and October has the best of the autumn weather. June through August are tremendously beautiful, but with kids out of school, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a campground to yourself, which isn’t a problem after Labor Day. Also, if you’ve never heard of black fly season,  you'll see them swarming on the UP in July and August. But don't worry – they don't bite.

Unless you absolutely detest cool, clear water, you’ll want to go swimming in Michigan’s lakes and rivers and you’ll enjoy it a lot more once the waters have had time to warm up, which is usually in August.

If you want to visit in the winter, to see actual winter, with all the snow it entails, you’ll have to plan your vacation for either the Lake Michigan coastline where you’ll have the highest amount of lake-effect snow, or above the 43.5 parallel. Winter in southern Michigan is unpredictable and with climate change, leans toward dwindling. You will, though, absolutely be astonished by the snow in the UP.

Though Michigan has one of the nation’s lowest rates of natural disasters, be mindful during tornado season (spring) and driving in wintry conditions. 

2. A road trip is the best way to see the state

The ideal visit to Michigan would mean  a road trip of its entire perimeter, following along the lakes and including the great city of Detroit. The key phrase here is “road trip,” because it’s very difficult to visit Michigan without a car. There are all manner of people who will point out different bus and train options , but the reality is that those options are generally neither cost- nor time-effective. If you fly here, you’ll want to rent a vehicle. 

Even Detroit, a city with some level of public transport, is difficult without a car, let alone smaller cities and rural areas. The options are there, but they are limited and generally take more time than they’re worth to figure out.

A man stands on the edge of a lake leaning on some driftwood as he watches the sunrise

3. Find the right coast for you

Lake life in Michigan is enjoyed by everyone in Michigan, but the east and west coasts of lower Michigan, despite being just a few hours apart by car, couldn't be more different. The sunset side, Lake Michigan, is markedly fancier. It has long been the vacation home stronghold for wealthy Chicago, Detroit and Grand Rapids families. The sunrise side, Lake Huron, while equally rich in natural beauty, has a more salt-of-the-earth vibe. You can’t go wrong with either side, but you will notice a contrast.

4. Pack your plaid and Carhartt

Flannel is acceptable attire nearly anywhere… We have dress flannels, work flannels, Sunday couch lounging flannels, church flannels, wedding flannels, casual flannels, fightin’ flannels, you get the picture. Come bearing plaid and you’ll be instantly well received. Carhartt’s Workwear has also become a fashion statement across the state. 

5. Cannabis is legal in Michigan

Yes, cannabis is legal, but start small because the cannabis in Michigan is strong. If someone offers you something, and you ask them how much they would take, try taking a quarter of that.

A man in a plaid top sits near a flight of beers in a microbrewery

6. Beer snobs are welcome

It’s totally acceptable to be a beer snob here. We’re in the Upper Great Lakes and we don’t appreciate pretentiousness but, that said, we do make incredible beer in this state and you should spend a few days at breweries and bars figuring out which are your favorites. 

7. Bob Seger is our unofficial state songster

Sure you’ll find people here who aren’t into the Ann Arbor-born musician, but most folks have a soft spot for Bob Seger and we recommend you familiarize yourself with his catalog so you can buddy up as you belly up across this fair state. Your ability to sing not only the lyrics, but to imitate the grunts and histrionics will be appreciated. 

8. If the sun is shining, everyone goes outside

If the weather’s nice, don’t expect anyone to want to be inside for more than 5 minutes. The first string of 80°F days should be called a statewide holiday as most people won’t want to do anything other than soak up the sun, fire up the barbecue and celebrate making it through another winter. This appreciation can go on through mid-July. If the temperature is above 40°F, shorts and flip flops are considered reasonable attire.

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9. We are very proud of Motown

You’ll want to make sure you know Motown. We think it’s a life skill for everyone, but especially if you’ll be joining us here. 

10. Get to know the locals

People in Michigan are friendly. Greeting them with a smile will get you far, and if you can make us laugh, even better. Talking about the weather is not as boring as it might be in some other places. With conditions as changeable as Michigan’s (thanks Great Lakes!) there’s never a dull moment. 

11. The lakes are powerful and must be respected 

The lakes, as beautiful as they are, are wild and moving entities. Be aware that people drown regularly after being carried out by riptides or being swamped by giant waves. Be mindful of inclement weather if you're out on the water in any type of boat, from a cabin cruiser to a kayak.

12. Water pollution is still a major problem

Michigan’s history as an industrially active state, unfortunately means there has been significant industrial pollution in our lakes and rivers in certain areas. This is most evident in the city of Flint, where drinking tap water is still not recommended following reports of rampant illness among city residents during the Flint Water Crisis of 2018. When in doubt, drink bottled water and research the up-to-date cleanliness of the body of water you’ll be swimming or fishing in. This is more of a concern in the cities of Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, etc. than in the wilds. Read up on Michigan’s Community Public Drinking Water guidelines .

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2023/2024 MACVB Meetings Guide

The MACVB Meetings Guide is a comprehensive resource for planning meetings and events in Michigan. From timely editorial about the meetings and events business to listings and key contact information, if you plan meetings and events, you’ll want to review this guide!

If you would prefer to have a printed copy, please email  [email protected]  with your name and full address. We’d be happy to mail you a hard copy of the publication.     

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Travel Guide Inquiries

If you would like a copy of the Pure Michigan Travel Guide, please use this link for a digital or printed copy:

If you know which area of our Great State you'd like to travel to, we'd also suggest contacting the local Destination Marketing Organization via the website listed on our Member Information tab.

Safe travels to Pure Michigan!

Family Destinations Guide

Michigan Itinerary: A Friendly Guide To Exploring The Great Lakes State

By: Author Savannah Walker

Posted on Published: July 24, 2023  - Last updated: August 21, 2023

Struggling to nail down your family’s Michigan adventure amid a whirlwind of options?

As a well-versed traveler and frequent visitor to Michigan, I appreciate the art of curating an impeccable travel plan that suits everyone.

Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of the outdoors, intrigued by cultural explorations, or yearning for beachside tranquility, Michigan is a treasure chest of experiences.

This piece gifts you an all-inclusive Michigan itinerary to enhance your trip.

From top-tier attractions to lesser-known wonders, we’ll navigate your adventure.

Ready to uncover Michigan’s charming cities, awe-inspiring scapes, and tantalizing food scene?

Equipped with my expert advice, your trip will etch unforgettable memories for the family.

Ready to dive into Michigan’s wonders?

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Michigan Itinerary: Exploring The Cities

Michigan Itinerary: Exploring The Cities

Michigan is home to several vibrant cities that offer a diverse range of experiences.

From the bustling streets of Detroit to the charming town of Petoskey, there’s something for everyone.

Detroit Highlights

Detroit is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Michigan.

The city has undergone a renaissance in recent years, with new restaurants, shops, and attractions popping up all over the downtown area.

Some of the highlights include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Motown Museum, and the Detroit RiverWalk.

For sports fans, there’s Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, and Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.

Grand Rapids Gems

Grand Rapids is a vibrant city in Western Michigan that’s known for its craft beer scene.

The city is also home to several museums, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, which features a variety of gardens and outdoor sculptures.

Traverse City Treasures

Traverse City

Traverse City is a charming town located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The city is known for its wineries, breweries, and restaurants, as well as its beautiful beaches.

Some of the top attractions include the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Grand Traverse Bay, and the Dennos Museum Center.

Ann Arbor Adventures

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, one of the top public universities in the country.

The city has a lively downtown area with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Some of the highlights include the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the Nichols Arboretum, and the Michigan Theater.

Holland’s Charm

Holland is a picturesque town located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The town is known for its Dutch heritage, which is celebrated each year during the Tulip Time Festival.

Other top attractions include the Windmill Island Gardens, the Holland State Park, and the Holland Museum.

Petoskey’s Beauty

Petoskey

Petoskey is a charming town located in Northern Michigan.

The town is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear lakes, and picturesque downtown area.

Some of the top attractions include the Petoskey State Park, the Little Traverse Wheelway, and the Crooked Tree Arts Center.

These are just some of the best places to visit in Michigan you can’t miss out on.

Natural Wonders of Michigan

Michigan is a state that is blessed with natural beauty and wonder.

From the Great Lakes to the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, Michigan has a lot to offer for nature lovers.

Here are some of the best natural wonders that Michigan has to offer.

The Great Lakes

The state is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes: Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Erie.

These lakes offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, with clear blue waters and sandy beaches.

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Michigan , you won’t be disappointed.

South Haven and Saugatuck are two of the most popular beach towns in the state.

State Parks and Trails

Michigan is home to many state parks and trails that offer hiking, biking, and camping opportunities.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the most popular state parks in Michigan, offering stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding sand dunes.

The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a must-see attraction in the park.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is another popular destination, with over 60,000 acres of wilderness to explore.

The Upper Peninsula

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a nature lover’s paradise.

The area is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, including Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Straits of Mackinac.

Marquette is a popular destination in the Upper Peninsula, with hiking trails and waterfalls to explore.

The Lower Peninsula

Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is also home to some of the state’s most beautiful natural wonders.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located in the Lower Peninsula, as is the Leelanau Peninsula.

The Indiana Dunes are also located in the Lower Peninsula, offering visitors a chance to explore the sand dunes and beaches of Lake Michigan.

Culinary Journey in Michigan

Michigan is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary experiences that are sure to delight your taste buds.

From beer and cider tasting to wine country exploration, and local cuisine, Michigan has something for everyone.

Beer and Cider Tasting

Blake's Hard Cider

Michigan is home to over 300 breweries, making it a top destination for beer lovers.

Take a tour of some of the state’s best breweries, like Founders Brewing Company and Bell’s Brewery, to sample some of the best craft beer in the country.

If cider is more your style, check out the many cideries in the state, like Virtue Cider and Blake’s Hard Cider, for a refreshing and unique tasting experience.

Wine Country Exploration

Michigan’s wine country is a hidden gem, with over 150 wineries and vineyards scattered throughout the state.

Take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Northern Michigan’s wine country, stopping at wineries like Chateau Grand Traverse and Black Star Farms for a tasting of their award-winning wines.

Whether you prefer reds or whites, Michigan’s wine country has something for every palate.

Local Cuisine

No trip to Michigan is complete without sampling some of the state’s famous local cuisine.

From classic Coney dogs to mouth-watering hamburgers, Michigan has a wide range of iconic dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Check out local favorites like Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit or Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids for a taste of Michigan’s culinary heritage.

Unique Michigan Experiences

Michigan is a state filled with unique experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

From charming small towns to bustling cities, there is something for everyone.

Here are some of the best things to do in Michigan that will make your trip truly unique.

Mackinac Island Visit

No trip to Michigan is complete without a visit to Mackinac Island.

Take a ferry to this car-free island and step back in time to a simpler way of life.

Explore the historic Fort Mackinac and Arch Rock, or take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the island.

Stay at the iconic Grand Hotel and enjoy the stunning views of Lake Huron.

Cherry Festival

Visit Traverse City in July for the National Cherry Festival, a celebration of all things cherry.

Enjoy cherry-themed food and drinks, live music, and carnival rides.

Don’t miss the cherry pit spitting contest, a festival favorite.

Tulip Festival

For a taste of Holland in Michigan, visit in May for the Tulip Festival.

Stroll through Windmill Island and admire the colorful tulips and Dutch windmills.

Take a tour of the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory and learn about traditional Dutch crafts.

Retreats and Getaways

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Michigan is the perfect place for a relaxing retreat or romantic getaway.

Head to Munising and stay at the cozy Pictured Rocks Bed and Breakfast.

Take a scenic boat tour of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and admire the stunning rock formations.

Or, head to Silver Lake and rent a dune buggy for a thrilling ride over the sand dunes.

Michigan is also home to many wellness retreats, such as the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge.

Relax and rejuvenate with yoga classes, meditation, and healthy meals.

Planning Your Michigan Adventure

If you’re planning a trip to Michigan, you’re in for an adventure.

In this section, we’ll break down the key components of planning your Michigan adventure.

Creating Your Itinerary

The first step in planning your Michigan adventure is creating your itinerary.

Start by deciding which places you want to visit.

Do you want to see the bustling city of Detroit or the quaint town of Grand Haven?

Or maybe you want to explore the natural beauty of Mackinaw City or take a boat tour on one of the Great Lakes.

Once you’ve decided on your destinations, it’s time to plan your activities.

Michigan offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages, from hiking and biking to water sports and winter sports.

Check out the official Michigan tourism website for ideas and inspiration.

Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation options, there are plenty of family hotels in Michigan.

From budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and budget.

Consider staying in a unique accommodation like a cabin or a bed and breakfast to add some charm to your trip.

Visitor Information

Before you head out on your Michigan adventure, make sure you have all the information you need.

Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

Make sure you have maps and directions to your destinations.

And don’t forget to check out the amenities available at each location, such as restrooms, picnic areas, and food options.

To make things easier, we’ve put together a table comparing some of the top destinations in Michigan:

Remember, the key to a successful Michigan adventure is planning ahead.

With a little preparation, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Parting Words

Parting Words

With so much to see and do, Michigan is truly a gem in the United States that is not to be missed.

Whether you’re exploring the Upper Peninsula, enjoying the beaches of Harbor Country, or taking a scenic drive around Lake Michigan, Michigan has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, like pasties or cherry pie, and visit some of the local breweries and wineries.

Remember to pack comfortable shoes, dress in layers, and bring your sense of adventure.

Michigan is a beautiful state that is just waiting to be explored.

We hope this Michigan itinerary has inspired you to plan your own trip to this amazing state.

With so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored.

Related: Traveling to Michigan for the First Time

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-see destinations for a one-week road trip in michigan.

If you’re planning a one-week road trip in Michigan, you won’t want to miss Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island, and the Upper Peninsula. Other must-see destinations include Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor.

What Are Some Free Resources For Planning An Itinerary?

The Pure Michigan website is a great resource for planning your itinerary. You can find information on attractions, events, and lodging options. The website also has a free travel guide that you can order online.

What Are The Top Attractions To Include On A 5-Day Michigan Road Trip?

If you’re planning a 5-day Michigan road trip, be sure to include the following attractions: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

What Scenic Spots Should I Visit On A Michigan West Coast Road Trip?

If you’re planning a Michigan West Coast road trip, be sure to visit the following scenic spots: Holland State Park, Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Grand Haven State Park, and Ludington State Park. These parks offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and are perfect for hiking, swimming, and picnicking.

What Makes Pure Michigan A Popular Destination For Tourists?

Pure Michigan is a popular destination for tourists because of its natural beauty, unique attractions, and friendly locals. From the Great Lakes to the Mackinac Bridge, Michigan offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, cultural events, or historic sites, you’ll find it in Michigan.

Can You Recommend A Tour Of Michigan That Covers The State’s Highlights?

If you’re looking for a tour of Michigan that covers the state’s highlights, consider the Michigan’s Best Tour. This tour includes visits to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the cities of Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor.

michigan travel guide 2023

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MICHIGAN TRAVEL GUIDE 2023-2024: THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL BOOK TO EXPLORE THE HIDDEN GEMS IN UPPER PENINSULA, MACKINAC ISLAND, DETROIT, AND LOTS MORE; WITH ... FOR FIRST TIMERS (The Adventurer's Guidebook)

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michigan travel guide 2023

MICHIGAN TRAVEL GUIDE 2023-2024: THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL BOOK TO EXPLORE THE HIDDEN GEMS IN UPPER PENINSULA, MACKINAC ISLAND, DETROIT, AND LOTS MORE; WITH ... FOR FIRST TIMERS (The Adventurer's Guidebook) Paperback – Large Print, August 13, 2023

  • Off-the-beaten-path adventures: Ditch the crowds and wander into the wild embrace of untamed waterfalls, secret beaches, and charming small towns where time seems to melt away.
  • Local flavor to tantalize your taste buds: From farm-to-table feasts in Grand Rapids to smoky barbecue joints in Detroit, this guide leads you to the culinary corners where Michigan's heart truly beats.
  • Experiences that stay with you long after the tan fades: Dive into the vibrant arts scene of Traverse City, kayak alongside playful otters in the Mackinac Straits, or learn the secrets of generations-old fishing traditions in the Upper Peninsula.
  • Adventures for every soul: Whether you're a thrill-seeking hiker, a serene kayaker, or a history buff chasing ghosts in forgotten forts, we'll curate the perfect itinerary for you.
  • Insider tips and practical wisdom: No more tourist blunders! Navigating ferry schedules, finding the best hiking trails, and scoring a sunset table at that hidden lakeside gem – it's all covered.
  • Book 4 of 4 The Adventurer's Guidebook
  • Print length 149 pages
  • Language English
  • Publication date August 13, 2023
  • Dimensions 6 x 0.34 x 9 inches
  • ISBN-13 979-8857317532
  • See all details

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CFDKP17C
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (August 13, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 149 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8857317532
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.9 ounces
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michigan travel guide 2023

10 Things To Do In Ann Arbor: Complete Guide To Michigan's True College City

A nn Arbor, located west of Detroit in Michigan’s lower peninsula, is one of the most beautiful towns in Michigan . While most people think of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan interchangeably, this college city has a lot to offer tourists of every age. From paddling on the Huron River and exploring the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to shopping on Main Street or touring a local brewery, Ann Arbor is bustling with energy, and not just during football season!

Ann Arbor also boasts culturally diverse and locally owned restaurants, art galleries, museums, theaters, and live music. With its big city attractions and easy access to nature, Ann Arbor offers tourists a unique vacation. There are so many must-visit places to check out in Michigan , with Ann Arbor boasting plenty of them.

UPDATE: 2023/09/05 17:09 EST BY NOAH STAATS

There Are More Things To Experience While In Ann Arbor!

This article has been refreshed with new places to go in Ann Arbor, as well as tips for each destination. Whether the group wants to explore the university, walk through town, go to a park, or taste delicious cuisine, Ann Arbor is the perfect place to vacation.

Things To Do In Ann Arbor, MI

There are so many awesome things to do in Michigan , and visiting Ann Arbor is definitely one of them. Here’s the complete travel guide to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

University Of Michigan Museum Of Modern Art

One fun idea for those in Ann Arbor wanting to see art is to check out the University of Michigan Museum of Modern Art. Here, guests can view stunning pieces in the 94,000-square-foot building, which is one of the largest university art museums in the United States. There will be student-made art, as well as exhibits from around the country.

  • Address: 525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
  • Hours: Tuesday/Wednesday from 11 AM to 5 PM and Thursday - Sunday from 10/11 AM to 8 PM (10 AM on Thurs/Fri)

Kelsea Museum Of Archaeology

The next stop in Ann Arbor is the Kelsea Museum of Archaeology, a museum of archaeology located on the University of Michigan's central campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Here is where guests can tour a unit of the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Like much of the campus, this museum is easy to walk to and is close to other stops on this list.

  • Address: 434 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
  • Hours: Tuesday - Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM, Saturday/Sunday from 1-4 PM

The University Of Michigan Museum Of Natural History

Sticking around the University of Michigan, there is also the Museum of Natural History to check out. Here is where guests can indulge in the past, present, and future, all from an interactive point of view.

This museum is great for families, students, solo travelers, and anyone wanting to learn something while in Ann Arbor.

  • Address: 1105 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
  • Hours: Tuesday - Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM

Domino’s Farms Petting Farm

Next, guests of Ann Arbor should head to Domino's Farms Petting Farm, a non-profit charitable organization open to the public during the week.

Here, people can hang out with about 100 traditional and non-traditional farm animals, including cows, horses, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, peacocks, cats, and a bearded dragon.

  • Address: 3001 Earhart Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
  • Hours: Thursday - Tuesday from 10 AM to 4 PM

University Of Michigan

Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan go hand-in-hand. In fact, the college is one of the top-rated tourist attractions in Michigan . While most people probably know the University of Michigan for their sports programs, the campus offers a few non-sport top attractions for tourists.

There are plenty of places to see in and around the campus, and this could be a great chance to schedule a tour if you or a child/travel buddy want to attend here.

  • Address: 500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Huron River Water Trail

The Huron River Water Trail is a 104-mile inland paddling trail offering tourists in Ann Arbor a chance to explore the river’s natural environment. Summer often sees tourists and locals alike on kayaks, canoes, rafts, tubes, standup paddle boards, racing sculls, and row boats. It is also a popular spot to fish, bike, run, and walk.

  • Spans 104 miles.
  • Address: 117 N 1st St #100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Matthaei Botanical Garden

The Matthai Botanical Garden offers something for every visitor. With eleven outdoor gardens, an indoor conservatory, three miles of trails, and a garden just for kids, everyone will enjoy the excitement of spotting plants from around the world.

  • Address: 1800 N Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4:30 PM; Wednesday, 10 AM to 8 PM

Nickels Arcade

Built-in 1918, this covered shopping center in downtown Ann Arbor is the home to specialty vintage and modern-day stores. The building was first a meat market owned by the Nickels family. In the early 1900s, Tom Nickels refurbished the facility to resemble European shopping arcades.

Today, tourists can stroll the 261-foot mosaic-tiled corridor and peruse some of Ann Arbor’s oldest shops.

  • Address: 326 South State Street, Ann Arbor

The stores inside the Nickels Arcade operate on their own hours, and many are closed on Sundays.

Brewery Tours

  • There are countless brewery tours throughout the city.

With so many unique breweries in Ann Arbor, it can be tough to choose which one to try. A few favorites include Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin, Arbor Brewing Company, and Blue Tractor. They’re all within walking distance downtown.

  • For tourists looking to learn more about Ann Arbor's craft beer culture, try a brewery tour at Wolverine State Brewing Company .

Drive Through Popular Ann Arbor Neighborhoods

Exploring Ann Arbor's various and distinct neighborhoods is an excellent thing to do while visiting.

Kerrytown is named after County Kerry in Ireland. Located on the north side of downtown, the tree-lined streets, unique shops, and international restaurants make Kerrytown a gem. Some popular restaurants in Kerrytown include Zingerman’s Deli, Miss Kim, and TeaHaus.

Related: How To Visit Michigan's Morbid Skull Cave On Mackinac Island

State Street

On the east side of downtown, the State Street District is full of art studios, galleries, and museums. It's home to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.

State Street also has excellent restaurants, like Knight’s Steakhouse, and lots of shopping opportunities, like the Nickels Arcade.

Main Street

Restaurants, cocktail bars, shops, art galleries, and music venues line Main Street. The busiest part of the city and the heart of Ann Arbor’s downtown area, Main Street is also known for its bookstores. Two favorites are Literati and The West Side Book Shop.

South University

The Law Quad, built in the 1920s and 1930s, is a historic part of the University of Michigan campus. It's a popular spot for picnics, and it's rumored to have been in the running for the Harry Potter movies. And no wonder why—it’s magnificent.

Also in the South University District is The Rock, a big boulder painted by students, and historic houses occupied by student groups and sororities.

Best Time To Go To Ann Arbor

When is the best time to visit Ann Arbor? Great question!

May to September

This is the best time to visit. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, like exploring the Huron River Water Trail, and there are a ton of events and festivals, like the American Downtown Festival, the Taste of Ann Arbor, and the Ann Arbor Pride.

Related: 10 Amazing Facts About Lake Michigan You Probably Didn't Know

October to December

When summer turns to fall, the leaves change color, and the landscape is so beautiful that tourists often plan fall foliage trips in Michigan to get a glimpse of all those autumnal reds, oranges, and golds.

Fall also brings the start of football—go Wolverines! While October weather is still pretty lovely, with average high temperatures in the 60s, the wintry weather comes on quickly. By December, the temperatures can dip into the 20s, and Ann Arbor will see an average of 13 inches of snow.

January to April

The average daily lows range from 18℉ to 38℉, but things start to warm up a bit by April. Indoor events, like the Ann Arbor Film Festival, take place during spring.

Best Ways To Get Around Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is very walkable but for tourists looking to move a little quicker, consider TheRide . It’s operated by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and offers over 1,300 fixed stops.

  • The fare is only $1.50 per person.

Other options include taxis, bicycles , electric scooters , Zipcars , and a limousine for those special occasions!

Where To Eat In Ann Arbor

With over 400 restaurants offering award-winning food from around the world, tourists in Ann Arbor can expect a lot of options ranging from fine dining to cheap eats.

Customers have been dining at Angelo’s since 1956. With delicious food, generous portions, and a friendly staff, this diner in Ann Arbor is a local favorite. Try the Homemade French Toast or the Eggs Benedict. All bread is baked in-house!

  • Address: 1100 Catherine Street, Ann Arbor
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 2 PM; Saturday, 7 AM to 3 PM; Sunday, 7 AM to 2 PM

Zingerman’s Delicatessen

Zingerman’s has been serving sandwiches, soups, and sides since 1982. An Ann Arbor institution, this deli offers a vast variety of sandwiches ranging from corned beef, pastrami, beef, turkey, and fish to hotdogs, chicken, pork, and vegetarian. Try one of their top ten !

  • Address: 422 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor
  • Hours: Daily for sandwiches, 11 AM to 7 PM.

Related: With Up To 300 Inches Of Snow Per Season, Michigan's Upper Peninsula Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Pacific Rim by Kana

Known for its warm hospitality and great food, Pacific Rim by Kana offers contemporary pan-Asian cuisine in an upscale fine-dining environment.

  • Address: 114 W Liberty, Ann Arbor
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM; Friday & Saturday, 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM; Sunday, 5 PM to 9 PM.

The Session Room

With over seventy beers on tap, The Session Room is one of Ann Arbor’s largest multi-tap bars and the city’s premier beer garden. Come for the beer, and stay for the food!

  • Address: 3685 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor
  • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 10 PM; Sunday & Monday, Closed.

Where To Stay In Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor boasts plenty of accommodations to suit any budget. Whether tourists are looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget hotels, Ann Arbor’s got the perfect place.

Graduate Ann Arbor

This contemporary hotel, three blocks from the University of Michigan, has a gorgeous interior. The Graduate Ann Arbor is a four-star hotel in the heart of Ann Arbor.

  • Address: 615 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor
  • Amenities: on-site restaurant; a fitness center; coffee shop; free Wi-Fi access; flat-screen cable TV; work desk; on-site restaurant and bar; Graduate Food Hall, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; fitness center.

Weber's Hotel & Restaurant

Weber's Hotel is a comfortable hotel set in the Ann Arbor Area. The establishment features a total of 158 rooms. Pets are not permitted on the premises.

  • Address: 3050 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • Amenities: Indoor pool, Fitness center, Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Room service, Free Wi-Fi, Coffee machine, Coffee shop

Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suites

The Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suites will exceed expectations. The 3-star hotel puts guests within a 15-minute drive to Michigan Stadium and the University of Michigan.

  • Address: 2455 Carpenter Road, Ann Arbor
  • Amenities: indoor pool; fitness center; Free Wi-Fi; flat-screen TV; complimentary newspapers; dry cleaning/laundry services.

Wyndham Garden Ann Arbor

The Wyndham Garden Ann Arbor is in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Guests will find themselves surrounded by ample opportunities for exploration and discovery. A wealth of attractions and exciting activities can be enjoyed nearby.

  • Address: 2900 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • Amenities: Indoor pool, Fitness center, Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Room service, Free Wi-Fi, Tea/coffee maker

Related: What's At The Bottom Of Lake Michigan? As It Turns Out, A Lot Of History

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Ann Arbor

The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Ann Arbor promises a comfortable stay and is conveniently located near downtown Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan, and Briarwood Mall.

  • Address: 3610 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor
  • Amenities: local shuttle services; dry cleaning services; large-vehicle parking; computer and printing services; complimentary continental breakfast; complimentary wireless Internet access.

Comfort Inn & Suites University South

The Comfort Inn and Suites hotel in Ann Arbor, MI, near the University of Michigan, is located off Interstate 94 and State Street. Close to everything and is clean and quiet.

  • Address: 3501 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
  • Amenities: Indoor pool, Fitness center, Free Wi-Fi, Coffee machine, Flat-screen TV, Free toiletries, Parking

Tips For Visiting Ann Arbor, Michigan

Getting from the airport to the hotel.

Ann Arbor is 25 minutes from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The easiest way to get from the airport to downtown Ann Arbor is with AirRide . With daily trips from the Evans Terminal and the McNamara Terminal to Blake Transit Center, this transport is convenient and quick.

Football Season

College football is a big deal in Ann Arbor. The season runs from September to November. For football fans, this is a great time to visit.

Pack several layers of clothing if planning to attend in winter or early spring. Temperatures can be bone-chilling!

How To Spend The Perfect Day In Ann Arbor

Start the day off right with a delicious breakfast. Enjoy Homemade French Toast at Angelo’s before getting some fresh air near the Huron River. In the spring, stroll along the nearby paths, but in the summer, rent a kayak and view the river in the best possible way—on the water.

Related: This Is Why Frankenmuth, Michigan Is The Perfect Day Trip

Next, head to Kerrytown and take in the sights. Window-shop along the tree-lined streets and then stop off for the sandwich of the month at Zingerman’s Delicatessen. Take lunch to the Law Quad at the University of Michigan and enjoy a picnic before exploring everything else the college has to offer. Pop into a museum or two!

In the evening, head to Main Street. Explore the heart of Ann Arbor before deciding on one of the city’s delicious eateries. For a nightcap, enjoy a couple of craft beers at a local brewery like The Session Room.

10 Things To Do In Ann Arbor: Complete Guide To Michigan's True College City

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Where to Watch the Chicago Fourth of July Fireworks 2024

By Nicole Schnitzler

Skyline of Chicago with fireworks.

Chicago's 4th of July fireworks 2024 promise to be one of the best ways to experience the Windy City's summertime magic. As always, Navy Pier spotlights the season, hosting dazzling fireworks displays every Wednesday and Saturday—including Wednesday, July 3 and Saturday, July 6. Arrive to the shoreline early for a spot, or explore a number of other vantage points across the city. Below, see the best places to watch the 4th of July fireworks in Chicago this year—from skyscrapers to river cruises (and plenty in between).

The skyline of Chicago

Navy Pier's fireworks are a can't-miss summer tradition.

You can enjoy fireworks at Navy Pier every Wednesday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 10 p.m. throughout the summer. Note that their special Independence Day display, presented by Choose Chicago and NASCAR, will be on July 3.

The pier juts into Lake Michigan for the length of six city blocks and it offers amazing views over the water, but the nearby lakeshore is also a perfect place to catch the action. Arrive early for free musical performances at the Navy Pier Beer Garden on Wednesday, July 3 (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) or any Saturday (2 p.m. to 11 p.m.). For the ultimate summer night, try to time a ride on the pier’s 200-foot Centennial Ferris Wheel to the start of the fireworks show.

For dinner with your show, head to nearby Reunion , where chef Art Smith serves some of his signature Southern-inspired plates. Settle in at the 200-seat patio for orders of shrimp and grits and jambalaya, and save room for dessert—on Wednesdays, their Sip and Slice promo ($17) features a glass of Champagne or Aperol Spritz with a slice of Smith’s famous Hummingbird Cake. Enjoy it all alongside live music multiple times a week, including on fireworks days (Wednesdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

Miru at The St. Regis Chicago

The St. Regis Chicago opened its doors last year, bringing with it sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Stay overnight to turn it into a holiday weekend, or book in at its rooftop restaurant Miru , where chef Hisanobu Osaka (Morimoto, Daniel) serves a pristine array of nigiri and signature maki. Do explore the rest of the menu’s punchy, refined options—right down to vegetable courses like grilled avocado or Japanese cucumber (even edamame shines, served charred with Japanese seven spice). Desserts from pastry chef Juan Gutierrez (winner of Netflix's School of Chocolate )—coconut-mango cake; black sesame mochi with charcoal-vanilla ice cream—are equal parts focused and whimsical. Ask for a table outside for the best fireworks views, or just meander out there for the show—here, it’s a biweekly celebration.

River cruises

A summertime cruise on the Chicago River or Lake Michigan is always a good idea, but particularly so beneath a dazzling lights display. Don't have a friend with a boat? City Cruises has you covered, with hour-long excursions aboard their Seadog Lakefront Fireworks Speedboat Cruise every Wednesday and Saturday during summer months. Those looking to slow things down a bit can book one of their dinner cruises, be it their signature Lake Michigan outing (with a dinner buffet and live DJ) or their premier dinner cruise (featuring a plated dinner).

You’ll feel extra patriotic when booking with Chicago Fireboat Tours , a veteran-owned and -operated business featuring cruises on the Fred A. Busse, a retired fireboat that served the Chicago Fire Department for more than 40 years. They offer a fireworks cruise every Wednesday and Saturday in the summer, including on July 3 at 8:30 p.m. (ensuring ample time before the 9 p.m. show). There's also a fireworks cruise on July 6 at 9:30 p.m. (with the fireworks show at 10 p.m.).

Chicago Electric Boat Company has self-guided Duffy, retro, donut, and pontoon boats for rent, with the option to hire a captain or tour guide. Reserve one of their party barges, cycleboats, or yachts—they come with a professional captain and deck hand—both by-the-seat and for private groups if you’re looking to kick back (and look up). And just in time for summer, they launched a lakefront location at Monroe Harbor, offering private cruises with perfect fireworks views.

For a memorable stay, book a weekend at the Four Seasons and some time aboard their 55-foot yacht, where you can enjoy a curated fireworks experience, including a bespoke menu from chef Richie Farina.

NASCAR Chicago Street Race

The NASCAR Chicago Street Race is back on July 6 and 7, gathering fans for its 12-turn, 2.2-mile course that will take drivers by some of the city’s most iconic sites and landmarks. Stick around post-race on July 6, when The Black Keys will perform at Grant Park, followed by The Chainsmokers—natural accompaniments to that night’s fireworks, accessible exclusively through NASCAR Chicago Experiences by QuintEvents (packages ranging to include prime seating and hotel stays).

The Up Room has sweeping views of the city skyline—and any 4th of July fireworks Chicago has to offer.

The Up Room has sweeping views of the city skyline—and any 4th of July fireworks Chicago has to offer.

If you don’t do crowds and are content with neighborhood fireworks, opt for The Robey hotel in Wicker Park. You’ll be far from the lake, but you’ll be able to spot fireworks in every direction, especially from the hotel’s 13th-floor lounge, The Up Room . Afterwards, head to the 6th-floor Cabana Club , where you can dip your toes in the outdoor pool and order ice-cold drinks and Mediterranean bites by chef Michael Elliott. Try one of their frozen treats (Aperol pops or the piña colada, available with or without alcohol), and raise a glass as the sun sets and the light show kicks off.

Museum Campus

Promontory Point offers all-encompassing views over the distant, illuminated skyline—but for slightly closer views, settle in somewhere on Museum Campus (namely, the coveted stretch between the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium ). Keep the celebrations going on July 3, when the Shedd Aquarium hosts “ Jazzin’ at the Shedd ,” a weekly chance to enjoy drinks and music from one of Chicago’s top jazz ensembles, plus excellent lakefront and skyline views. Navy Pier’s regularly programmed Wednesday fireworks kick off at 9 p.m., ensuring a special way to wind down the evening.

Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association

For an exciting viewing experience, gather with friends at any number of hotels with balconies, rooftops, or lake views—and if you’re near Millennium Park, make it the Chicago Athletic Association and its rooftop restaurant Cindy’s , where guests can enjoy bites by chef Kaleena Bliss while taking in exceptional city views. While there, try the Tierra Roja, a crowd favorite cocktail featuring mezcal, passionfruit, and green tea-infused rum.

360 CHICAGO

For some of the best vantage points of the Chicago 4th of July fireworks 2024, get advance tickets to the 360 CHICAGO observation deck at 875 N. Michigan Ave. (formerly the John Hancock Center). All admission passes include access from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and you can spring for an all-access ticket to experience TILT, a thrilling ride that leans you forward for a staggering 1000-foot-high view of the Mag Mile.

Afterwards, check out the recently opened CloudBar, a cocktail space featuring local breweries, Chicago-inspired cocktails, and stunning views for the fireworks.

Most anything hugging the lakeshore to the north and south of Navy Pier will afford prime fireworks views—and fewer crowds. For a lively option, try Shore Club , a summertime-only hotspot at North Avenue Beach , where the Margarita “Tree” (a cascading selection of mini Patron margs) is just one colorful way to ring in the long weekend.

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