Detroit, MI

7 Underrated Places in Michigan

Rob Adams
Photo by Charlie Wollborg on Unsplash

While many of us have heard of Detroit, only a few people know that there's so much that Michigan can offer. And it has little to do with Detroit. Sure, it can be an interesting city to discover, but here are other exciting things you can do in Michigan. From little-known islands to beautiful resorts and places filled with history. Next time you are in the area, make sure to spend a few days in Michigan because it has a lot to offer.

1. Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is a city in Saginaw County that was originally settled in 1845 by German immigrants. The city retains its historic German character today, with a name that means “the courage of the Bavarians.”

The city is also the home of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas-themed store, and is renowned for its beautiful Bavarian-style architecture and historic, as well as cultural attractions. Some of the most popular sites are Frankenmuth Historical Museum, Michigan’s Military, and Space Heroes Museum.

2. Michigan’s Adventure

If you are traveling with kids or simply looking for something fun to do, Michigan’s Adventure is the top amusement park in the state of Michigan. It has a wide variety of rides for all ages and levels of daring. There is also a water park called Wild Water Adventure.

3. Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan’s most popular family attractions, receiving more than 1.5 million annual visitors. The 125-acre zoo was originally opened in 1883, reopening in its modern incarnation in 1928, and is also known as the first zoo in America to implement barless animal habitats.

Today, more than 2,000 animals are showcased throughout the nonprofit zoo, representing over 240 species and housed within naturalistic habitats meant to mimic animals’ original ecosystems. Among the zoo’s most impressive exhibits is its Polk Penguin Conservation Center, a 326,000-gallon habitat that is home to more than 75 penguins.

4. Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island in Michigan is a 3.8-square-mile island within Lake Huron that has served as the indigenous home of the Odawa people. Back in the day, it was the site of a strategic fur trading center during North America’s colonial period, and a popular resort colony during the late 19th century. Now, the island is preserved within Mackinac Island State Park, though a variety of tourist attractions remain for year-round fun.

Also, the island is famously car-free and is listed as a National Historic Landmark, showcasing beautiful Victorian-style architecture at sites such as the Victorian Grand Hotel. Fort Mackinac preserves 14 buildings associated with a British and American military outpost, and the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum showcases works by local and indigenous artists.
Photo by Selena Parker on Unsplash

5. Ford Rouge Factory

Ford and the auto industry is an important aspect of Detroit’s history and identity. Henry Ford built the factory on the Rouge River and tours include assembly lines for classic vehicles including the 1965 Ford Mustang. There are also informative films about the building’s history and the history of the plant’s workers and American unions including the infamous Battle of the Overpass.

6. Colonial Michilimackinac

This village can be found in Mackinaw City, Michigan and was a hotspot for the French fur-trading industry, back in the 18th century. It also served as a military outpost before being burned down. Today, people have the opportunity to explore a total of thirteen reconstructed buildings and watch re-enactments from the American Revolution and the era when the British occupied the village.

7. Windmill Island

If you want to have a taste of the Netherlands, here's your chance. This 36-acre park in the city of Holland in Michigan is a great place to sample Dutch architecture as well as a large variety of flora. The windmill, which is the main point of interest on the island, is well over 100 feet tall, it was exported to America from the Netherlands and is still used to produce ground flour.

Have you ever been to Michigan? If so, what did you like most about it? Let us know in the comment section down below.

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