Today’s post was written by Deb Thompson, who writes at Just Short of Crazy and for other publications, wine connoisseur and great friend. She’s sharing three of her favorite destinations in the state. Enjoy….
Michigan is a wonderful destination to take the family on vacation, full of family friendly destinations with limitless opportunities for fun in the sun. Whether your family prefers outdoor fun or indoor fun there is something for everyone here. Michigan borders four of the five Great Lakes with 3,288 miles of shoreline and many sandy beaches. You can hunt for Petoskey stones, watch the Detroit Tigers play a game, visit the Henry Ford Museum, or take a stroll through the state’s numerous farmers markets.
I’m sharing my three favorite unique places to visit in Michigan. I don’t think you’ll find anything else like this in the U.S. Come on over for a visit and enjoy Pure Michigan.
What Makes It Unique: This is Michigan’s Little Bavaria with a heavy German influence in both food and architecture. No need to hop the pond to visit Germany just head to this quaint town in Michigan.
What To Do:
1.Enjoy a homestyle chicken dinner at Zehnder’s or Bavarian Inn, two competing restaurants right across the street from each other. They both can serve up to 1 million meals a year. A stop at their bakeries are a must.
2. Shop at the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Take a camera because it is Christmas year round here and there are plenty of photo opportunities.
3. Take a float down the river on the Bavarian Belle River, an authentic Stern Driven Paddlewheel riverboat. Enjoy a 90 minute relaxing float while watch the town go by.
What Makes It Unique: One of the few car-free islands in the United States, Mackinac (pronounced Mack-i-naw) Island is a popular summer destination for people around the world. A fort was established on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. The island also was the site of two battles during the War of 1812. Two ferry companies transport passengers from Mackinac City or St. Ignace to the Island.
What To Do:
1. Take a horse drawn carriage tour around the island and enjoy the views from Arch Rock.
2.Visit or stay at the historic Grand Hotel. If you are visiting there is a small fee to tour the hotel, but the price of admission is well worth the view from the front porch.
3. Eat fudge. There are 7 fudge companies on the island with multiple locations. You won’t have to walk far to taste test each of them and find your favorite.
What Makes It Unique: Dutch influence is felt all throughout the town. Michigan is fortunate to have heavy European influence communities and Holland is an example of this. Once again, no passport required to have a taste of Holland.
What To Do:
1. Visit during the Tulip Festival, held in May, to see 4.5 MILLION tulips in bloom across the city. It is an explosion of color that is worth the trip.
2. Tour Windmill Island Gardens, home to the DeZwaan windmill, the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States.
3. Nelis’ Dutch Village is a family-owned Dutch theme park in a reproduction 1800’s Dutch village. Here you can try on a pair of wooden shoes, feed the farm animals, and take a spin on the ferris wheel, watch how cheese is made, stroll the gardens and enjoy the canals.
Many know Michigan for its sports, shoreline and ties to industry, but we’ve got a whole lot more too. Come visit. Pure Michigan is purely amazing!