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Life > Experiences

My Favorite Places to Visit in Michigan

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

As someone who loves to travel, but doesn’t always have the opportunity to go out of the state or country, I have been able to visit quite a few places within my home state of Michigan. Whether you are a fellow Michigander or have never been to the state, here are some of my favorite Michigan destinations that I recommend taking a trip to if you ever have the chance.

1. Ludington

Since before I was born, my family has owned a cabin in a city called Brohman. Tucked away in the woods with no cell service for miles, our cabin is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. However, every year we would take a day trip to a town about an hour away called Ludington. Right on Lake Michigan, Ludington is the cutest little coastal town to spend a day in. There is a large beach with a pier, a little park near the marina, and many local shops in town. If you ever visit Ludington, the one place you simply have to stop by is the restaurant and ice cream shop, House of Flavors. This was always my family’s favorite stop on our trips to Ludington, and it’s a must if you are an ice cream lover like me.    

2. Frankenmuth

Generally, every person I meet who lives in Michigan has either been to or heard about Frankenmuth. A small German town with lots to see and do, Frankenmuth is a place I recommend visiting in the fall or winter seasons. This is because it is home to the “world’s largest Christmas store,” Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. If you celebrate Christmas, this store is a staple for all things ornaments, decorations, and trees. My family has made going to Frankenmuth a tradition. We first stop at Bronner’s to buy our ornaments, and then we head over to The Bavarian Inn Restaurant for lunch, which is known for its family-style chicken dinner and authentic German food. If Christmas shopping and eating a whole bunch of food isn’t your cup of tea, there are also many waterpark hotels, lots of other dining options, and an abundance of German shops to pick up some souvenirs. 

3. Grand Marais

If you’re looking for somewhere to take hikes, walk on the beach, and see some of nature’s most beautiful creations, I recommend traveling to the Upper Peninsula and visiting Grand Marais, Michigan. With many historic lighthouses, hiking trails, waterfalls, beaches, and campsites, this city is a perfect getaway for a summer vacation. The main sight to see is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a U.S. National Park just on the coast of Lake Superior. With stunning multi-colored rock formations and crystal blue waters, Pictured Rocks is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. My family and I spent a week in Grand Marais one summer, and we have been dying to go back ever since. 

4. Mackinac Island

Another well known place to visit in Michigan, and one of my favorites, is Mackinac Island (pronounced “ma-kuh-naw”). Located on Lake Huron and about three miles from the mainland, the only way to get to the island is by ferry, and cars are not allowed. The island consists of many shops, restaurants, hotels, and historical sites – the most popular being the Grand Hotel (which is a functioning hotel, but is a very expensive place to stay if you’re a broke college kid like me.) If you explore further into the island, you can see the famous natural landmark Arch Rock, a super cool rock formation that arches high above the lake. There are also many trails for tourists to walk and bike around the island, which is my favorite activity when visiting. In my opinion, Mackinac Island is the best of both worlds: you get the shops and dining of a city and the trails and sites of nature.  

5. Downtown Detroit

Lastly, I had to include the most well-known city in Michigan: Detroit. Although this is not necessarily a vacation spot, it is one of my favorite cities to spend a day or even an afternoon in. Some of my favorite memories have taken place in Detroit: Tiger’s baseball games with my dad, ice-skating with my cousins in Campus Martius Park on Christmas Eve, and seeing Taylor Swift in concert at Ford Field, to name a few. Like any big city, there are many dining and shopping options as well as fun places to visit. My personal favorite is the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. My boyfriend and I spent a day there last winter, and it is a perfect date idea if you’re in a relationship and looking for something to do. Finally, with Comerica Park, Little Caesars Arena, Ford Field, and countless other venues within a few miles of each other, there is generally always a sporting event, concert, play, or musical happening in Detroit to go and check out. 

If you’re a student like me and looking to escape from your college town for a little while, Michigan has so many wonderful sites to offer. I hope my experiences and opinions inspire you to take a trip and visit one of these amazing Michigan destinations.

Peyton Skiver is a writer, editor, and E-board member of Her Campus at Michigan State University. She writes articles to be published on the Her Campus site and designs content for the HCMSU social media pages. Skiver is a second year student at MSU studying journalism with a minor in sports journalism. Outside of class, she is a reporter for the Spartan Sports Report and a member of the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM). Skiver has a passion for photography, writing, and media design. In her free time, she loves to read, listen to music, and binge watch new TV shows.