Michigan's Hidden Gems Revealed

Becca Ballard

Considered one of the top states in the U.S.A., is Michigan. This mitten shaped state is so much more than its cold winters, as it is the perfect combination of nature, history, artistry, beaches, waterfalls and so much more. Some of Michigan's coolest places to visit are the ones not always talked about. These hidden treasures are often overlooked by travelers in favor of bigger attractions like the Mackinac Bridge or Detroit RiverWalk. But these listed below, are fascinating and well worth the detour. Sometimes the most pleasantly surprising destinations are right in front of us, we just have to take the time to take it in. So with the many things to do and places to see, it can be tough crafting the perfect itinerary. Venture off the beaten path and let's explore some of the hidden gems tucked away in different pars of this amazing state.

Detroit's "Little Venice"

The Detroit River canals into Detroit's eastern neighborhoods, sometimes called the city's "Little Venice." The canals are best explored from the water on a kayak. As you paddle through this era of Michigan's history, you'll be looking at Prohibition-era Detroit, when bootleggers and the city's Purple Gang moved shipments of illegal booze from Canada into an alcohol-free America.

Kitch-iti-kipi

Kitch-iti-kipi, meaning "The Big Spring," in English, is found off the beaten path in Michigan's Upper Peninsula within Palms Book State Park. The natural freshwater spring is Michigan's largest at 200 feed across and 40 feet deep. The water is continually refreshed by underwater fissures that emit 10,000 gallons of water per minute. With such fresh water here, the surface is so clear that it is super easy to see in and spot the fish and waterlife.

Chapel Roack and Beach Trail

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula promises 100 miles of walking and hiking trails but many visitors overlook Chapel Rock in favor of the more easily accessed, Miners Castle. Those that are willing to take the drive down the gravel access road will be rewarded with beauty. Follow the trail 3 miles each direction, through sandstone gorges and past scenic Chapel Falls to the Lake Superior beach. From here Chapel Rock, a sandstone, water-washed pinnacle, topped by a lone fir tree will appear. Although Lake Superior ranks as the coldest of the Great Lakes, the gorgeous views on the secluded beach will make you want to jump right in.

Ocqueoc Falls

Michigan's Upper Peninsula isn't the only place you'll find Instagram-worthy waterfalls. While Tahquamenon Falls draws most of the attention, you won’t want to miss Ocqueoc Falls. You can even play in the falls here while enjoying the tranquility of the nature around. Travel 40 miles down the Lake Huron shore from Cheboygan and head to the Ocqueoc Falls. This will be a view will be breathtaking of the largest falls in the Lower Peninsula.

Arcadia Dunes

The Arcadia Dunes recieve little attention as they are dominated by the Sleeping Bear Dunes, but they are so worth the visit. These picture perfect dunes are home to 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, along with multiple boardwalks for walkers and strollers. The observation deck here has incredible views of Lake Michigan that you do not want to miss.

Les Cheneaux Islands

Lack of easy accessibility makes this small chain of 36 islands one of the top hidden gems in Michigan. Les Cheneaux Islands is a collection of long and narrow islands in Michigan's northern Lake Huron. Relax by the water here to enjoy this unique and gorgeous place that has changed very little in a century. Les Cheneaux Islands offers tons of outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, kayaking, and more for families!

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Welcome to a glimpse into the latest local stories, travel, restaurants and more! Most topics you'll find around here are local to Michigan, but I might just surprise you! Grab a coffee and stay for awhile. I hope to leave you restless with the urge to explore somewhere new whether that be a new city or restaurant.

Birmingham, MI
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