Top 10 Interesting Places In Michigan That Are Bucket List Worthy! (Dark Sky Parks, Jaw-Dropping Waterfalls, Photographer's Paradise You Will Love)

Top 10 Interesting Places In MichiganTop 10 Interesting Places In Michigan

Interesting Places In Michigan | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

The Top 10 Interesting Places in Michigan The Ultimate Bucket List is finally here! 

Have you been itching to visit Michigan but wasn't sure where to go?  We understand! Our state can be overwhelming due to sheer size and vast amount of fascinating things to see and do! We've got your back!

I promise some unexpected destinations!

How did these places make our Top 10 "Interesting Places In Michiganlist?  Did we just see them on the internet or social media? 

Heck no!! We have personally lived, breathed, enjoyed (and snapped a bunch of pics) to share with you.  Each and every one of these Interesting Places in Michigan were game changers for us.  They left a strong lingering impression with a strong desire to return.  Each one offers unique experiences that we personally recommend and know you will love. 

So, we ask you: where will your travels take you this year? 

Ok, ok, here's a hint: On exhilarating dune rides? Divonian fossil hunting? On an adventurous duck boat ride or island exploration?  Who knows!

Let's start checking off your Michigan bucket list! Grab your bag, sunscreen and party pants. Let's go!

Check Out Your Interesting Places in Michigan Interactive Map!  Cool, huh!

**Be sure to click this link to Interesting Places in Michigan on Google Maps so you have a live map of these destinations!

1. Have You Found the Secret Spots on Mackinac Island?

Top 10 Interesting Places In Michigan By Travel-Mi.comTop 10 Interesting Places In Michigan By

Seriously, Mackinac Island is one of our favorite places to visit in the summer.  But you might say, "Hey Sherry, be more original, everyone knows about Mackinac Island!" that I say, why mess with perfection? I would be amiss if I didn't add it (and it's my list, so...)

I hate too gush (not really), but what's not to love about biking all around an ISLAND while exploring caves, famous arches and marinas? 

We adore the fresh breezes, carriage rides, discovering hidden spots, packing our lunches to eat along the shore, noshing on fudge and being one with nature.  

Need more information about hotels, things to do, secret spots, where to eat on Mackinac Island?

Click here for the free Mackinac Island Guide to Everything

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

2. Rockport State Park and Recreational Area-A Hidden Gem for Stargazers, Hikers and Rock Hounds

Rockport State Park, Alpena, MI  

We were in absolute awe of the vast open spaces, exquisite scenery, and diverse activities at Rockport State Park while visiting spectacular Alpena.  There are 4,237-acres to explore by hiking, biking or walking.  

Here is a list of the cool things to see at Rockport State Park:

If you only have one day to explore the park, we high recommend bringing your bikes so you can ride to the quarry, search for fossils and stay to observe the vast beauty of the sky after dark.

There are only pit toilets and no food is available so pack accordingly. 

Read more about Rockport State Park on our designated page.  You'll see why it makes our Top 10 Interesting Places in Michigan list!

3. Discover the Magic of East Tawas (Ever had a Pronto Pup?)

My friends, if you have never been to East Tawas, I urge you to get all kinds of adverturey and head over there...Pronto.  (Speaking of, grab a surprisingly good Pronto Pup hot dog on a stick while you are there!)

If you love shopping, I recommend parking in the marina lot (very nice restrooms next to the parking lot), walk across the street and head down Newman street.  Grab a chai tea at the Tea House and start shopping!

If you prefer exploring, check out my East Tawas adventures here.  

SPOILER! A full day of adventures include exploring a spectacularly beautiful marina, building sandcastles on the beach, exploring a designated birding trail and hiking scenic trails along the shoreline.

You will see why East Tawas made our Top 10 Interesting Places in Michigan list!

4. Hungarian Falls Is a Jaw Dropper!

Hungarian Falls, Hubbell, MichiganHungarian Falls, Hubbell, Michigan

One of our favorite Michigan waterfalls is the Hungarian Falls located in Hubbell, Michigan.  Dover Creek roars over three sets of stunning falls on its way to Torch Lake. 

We were in absolute awe of these gorgeous falls during our visit this past summer.  The roaring of the falls and the cool mist is so mesmerizing and refreshing. 

The best time to visit the falls is in the spring when the water levels are highest. It's also cooler temps so dress in layers.  

Plan to spend a few hours exploring and fully enjoying Hungarian Falls.  You will see why it made our Interesting Places in Michigan list! 


If you want the ULTIMATE UPPER PENINSULA MICHIGAN WATERFALL ROAD TRIP grab our interactive map!! We spent 6 days hiking and exploring (and eating ice cream) to create this awesome map for you (you're welcome). Serious, you will love it. I promise.

5. International Dark Sky Park Is a Game Changer for Stargazing

The International Dark Sky Park is located about 3 miles west of Mackinaw CityI can't believe we didn't know about this magical place until a couple years ago (face palm).

The Dark Sky Park a fantastic spot to view the stars and constellations without light pollution.  It's a must see during your Michigan vacation, especially when visiting Mackinac Island since it's so close.  

Concrete arched seating is positioned just perfect for optimal sky viewing!  We recommend bring a cushion for your comfort.

Bathrooms (with flushing toilets!) are available with red lighting so bright lights don't mess up your night vision!

TIP: Be sure to watch the weather before you go.  A clear, cool night is the best time to view the stars! If there's haze or cloud cover, you will be disappointed.

You will quickly see why the Dark Sky Park definitely makes our Interesting Places in Michigan List!

More Michigan Dark Sky Parks are listed here.  One you visit one, you will be obsessed with finding more!  

6. Feed the Giraffe's at Binder Park Zoo!

Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek MichiganBinder Park Zoo, Battle Creek Michigan

Binder Park Zoo is a fantastic zoo for so many reasons.  Trust me on this one, I used to live about 20 minutes from the zoo and was a ridiculously frequent visitor.

Binder Park Zoo makes our Top 10 Interesting Places in Michigan list because:

  • The open air train to Africa is narrated the entire way so you can learn more about the animals in the park while viewing beautiful wooded areas along the way. It's included in the entry fee which is awesome.
  • Parking is super easy and close. And it is free.
  • Outstanding variety of animals with close-up viewing.
  • Children's Zoo offers a great chance to pet, feed and interact with some friendly animals up close
  • There are shaded boardwalks for walking in a peaceful nature area.
  • The zoo is very clean and safe.
  • Affordable

OH, and peacocks roam free which is very cool!

Plus you get to feed giraffes!!! That's reason enough to visit!

Binder Park also has lots of shade trees, numerous clean bathrooms and is easy to navigate with children.  

While in Binder Park, be sure to explore Battle Creek! There's some great eats!

7. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the Ultimate Destination for Photographers, Hikers, Nature, Kayak Lovers and Explorers!

We absolutely adore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore! I mean just look how happy we are! ;) 

We have snowmobiled at Pictured Rocks and explored the area by foot in the summer. 

The views are absolutely outstanding!!

Kayaking Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is high up on my bucket's quiet expensive but I hear the views are absolutely amazing! 

The glass bottom boat tours and the Rip Tide Ride are freakin' awesome!

But don't take my word for it, you need to visit Pictured Rocks one of the most Interesting Places in Michigan for yourself!

Oh, and see how much fun you can have in Munising!!

8.  Oh, Did You Hear Screaming?  It's Just Us Careening Down Silver Lake Sand Dunes!

The Silver Lake area feels like it's own world...or planet for that matter.  Once you arrive, you'll forget about everything else.  It's hard to explain until you visit for yourself. 

If you love gettin' a little crazy on the dunes and love beaches, this place is definitely for you! 

Want to go out on the dunes? Bring your own vehicle (make sure you research the requirements first), join up with an outfitter that rents jeeps or go out on the dunes with Mack Woods...Here's what we thought!

9. Saugatuck, Home of Award Winning Beaches (and something about a baldhead)

Did you know that Conde' Nast named Saugatuck on their "Top 25 Beaches in the World?

If you haven't visited Saugatuck, here's why you need to add this quaint lake town to your spring or summer Michigan bucket list.

  • Ever been on a Chain Ferry?
  • Experienced a Duck Boat?
  • Wheezed, sweated and dragged your carcass to the top of Mt. Baldhead?  YEAH, it's that awesome (and so worth it)!
  • Can you say awesome beaches?
  • Wandered along a riverwalk with melty ice cream?
  • What about screamed your head off on a dune ride?

NO? HOP TO IT!! Here's more ideas to get you going-->A Guide to Saugatuck

10. See Why Isle Royale National Park Makes Our Interesting Places in Michigan List!

Isle Royale National Park is a remote island cluster in Lake Superior, near Michigan’s border with Canada. It is a peaceful island with dense forests and sparkling lakes and waterways, where moose and wolves roam free


But don't worry, if camping next to wolves isn't your cup of tea, you can book a room at their lodge! They will pack you a lunch and send you off on a guided tour!  READ MORE HERE!

BONUS: Midland Michigan is a Surprising Hot Spot for Adventure!

Tridge in Midland, MichiganTridge in Midland, Michigan

We definitely felt Midland Michigan needed to be added to our Top Ten Interesting Places in Michigan list due to the wide variety of adventures and fun things to do!

  • The Tridge-it's one heck of a gorgeous bisecting bridge with biking and walking trails.
  • Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest-Stunning places to visit year round for walking, flowers, photography and events.
  • The awesome Chippewa river is perfect for kayaking and canoeing.
  • The Chippewa Nature Center that's a mecca for hikers, adventurers and kayakers.
  • City Forest-A great place to walk, snowshoe, cross-county ski and jog. 

We get more in depth about Midland Michigan here!

We hope you are truly inspired by our Top 10 Interesting Places in Michigan!  Let's start traveling Michigan!

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17 Interesting Places in Michigan Both Rare and Unknown - Mind Blowing Vacation Destinations to Visit This Year

Top Interesting Places to Visit in Michigan During the Winter!

Seriously, don't hibernate all winter! We've got some seriously cool places to investigate this winter!  Winter in Michigan is ripe with adventure!

Need More Inspiration? Check out my posts about the following Michigan destinations:

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If you haven't visited Saugatuck, here's why you need to add this lake town to your spring or summer bucket list. . *Ever been on a Chain Ferry? *Experienced a Duck Boat? *Wheezed, sweated and dragged your carcass to the top of Mt. Baldhead? YEAH, it 's that awesome. *Can you say beaches? *Wandered along a riverwalk with melty ice cream? *What about screamed your head off on a dune ride? . Didn't think so. HOP TO IT. See our crazy a$$ adventures on my bio! (can I say ass or will everyone unfollow us?) I would be sad. ; ( . . . #saugatuck #saugatuckdouglas #saugatuckmi #saugatuckmichigan #thegreatlakesstate #michiganderthreads #onlyinmichigan #Michigan #puremichigan #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #mittensmitten #michiganaddict #onlyinmichigan #mittenlove #thingstodoinmichigan #michiganoverboard #michigan_wanderlust #capuringmichigan #michiganunsalted #puremichigan #michiganphotographer #michigan_lovers_photos #beachtowns #photooftheday #travel #travelphotography #familytravel

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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