things to do in michigan

RightTurn’s Road Trip Destinations Series: Michigan

Innovation, creativity, beauty, heart, and art are all words I associate with things to do in Michigan. From the years of technological advancements of Motor City to the expressive soulful history of Motown Records, a Michigan road trip can scratch you right where you itch. If you live nearby, are passing through, or planning a trip, there are many things to do in Michigan. Just open your mind (and car doors) and go!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Some people have visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and exclaimed, “This is Michigan?” With mile after mile of beautifully formed beaches and dunes, forestry, and lakes, Sleeping Bear has earned its right to be named the most beautiful place in America. The largest point of the dune stands 400 feet above Lake Michigan, giving you astounding views of the landscape. While you’re there, check out the Port Oneida Rural History District to view true Midwestern farms that have been untouched for a century. Other activities to partake in include hiking, biking, kayaking, and shopping. They always say don’t poke the bear, but if I were you, I’d definitely go stand at the top of it.

Frankenmuth Festivals

Frankenmuth is nicknamed “Little Bavaria” because of its proud German ancestry, which form over half of the city’s population. In Frankenmuth, you can participate and attend innumerable festivals that attract visitors from all over the nation and world, including:

  • Auto Fest
  • Oktoberfest (of course!)
  • Wein and Stein (beer and wine sampling.)
  • Scarecrow Fest (don’t you just want to see what this is all about?)
  • Big Country Fest
  • Crabby Clam & Lobster Fest
  • World Expo of Beer

Through their website, you can sign up for their free newsletter, view their free travel guide, organize a group tour, or even get married! Any time of the year is the best time of the year to attend a Frankenmuth festival or event!

Theatre Bizarre

In a timely fashion, the 2016 Theatre Bizarre will be taking place at the world’s largest Masonic Temple for two full weekends for the first time ever! The Masquerade Gala runs on two consecutive Fridays beginning October 14, while the Theatre Bizarre runs on two consecutive Saturdays beginning on October 15. The events include obscure and dark performances by musicians, burlesque dancers, artists, and sideshow freaks. Trust me, there is nothing else like it! The annual Halloween masquerade staged in Detroit includes a haunted house and a Ferris wheel. The party begins at 7pm but lasts all the way to sunrise. Costumes are mandatory!

Oswald’s Bear Ranch

You thought we were done talking about bears, didn’t you? Bear with me; we have one more place that is as unique as the shape of the state itself. Oswald’s Bear Ranch is a bear-only sanctuary with 29 bears in four habitats that allow visitors the opportunity to see free-roaming bears that are happy and healthy! The hosts, Dean and Jewel Oswald, give these orphaned and abused bears a last chance to live peacefully in a natural setting. You can even get your picture taken with the cubs! When will you ever truly get a chance to see tame bears in the wilderness?

Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows

I recall stumbling upon some lumberjack shows on television growing up and always found myself unable to change the channel. If you can’t find some serious appreciation for meaningless woodland activities where burly men with beards and boots cut logs with ridiculous ease or climb trees faster than a ring-tailed lemur, then I don’t know what you could possibly find impressive. The Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows in Mackinaw City have scheduled events including the axe throw, log roll, spring board chop, and boom run. Purchase tickets online and come see some serious axe-tion (get it?)! And it’s rain or shine, these real men don’t need to do these highly dangerous activities dry. Don’t worry, the grandstands are covered so you won’t have to worry.

 Other notable places to visit in Michigan:

Motown Historical Museum (Barry Gordy’s old home) ­– Detroit

Belle Isle Aquarium – Detroit

Uniroyal Giant Tire – Allen Park (Motor City? Tire blog? Come on!)

Be sure to check what other states where we’ve put our tires to the road and the pedal to the metal. Just search “Road Trip Destinations Series” in the search bar at the top of the blog. Let us know where we should go next!