Marshall Michigan: 22 Best Things To Do + Interactive Map | Incredible Riverwalk, Museums, Walking Tours, Honolulu Historic House Tours, Turkeyville, Nature Walks
Article: Marshall Michigan Top 22 FUN Things To Do With Interactive Map
Chris and I are absolutely in love with the quaint and very friendly city of Marshall Michigan. We have personally been there many times. Below we listed our favorite things to do.
This city is growing leaps in bounds by restoring their famous historic homes, opening hip new boutique shops, launching innovative restaurants, and throwing lavish public events while remaining a safe and happy place for visitors and residents to work, live, play and visit.
Top Things To Do in Marshall Michigan!
Chris and I love touring, shopping and exploring in Marshall, Michigan. It's a great family friendly area! We highly recommend the following activities.
- Tour the Magestic Honolulu House!
- Tour the American Museum of Magic
- Shop Marshall Michigan's quaint downtown - See how to get discounts!
- Walk by the Governor's Manson
- See Town Hall - National Historic Landmark
- Explore Brooks Nature Area
- Explore Grever's Nature Center
- Visit Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary - Incredible Sandhill Cranes migration October-November
- Walk the Incredible Marshall Riverwalk and Enjoy Stuart's Landing!
- See Mill Pond Overflow, Dam and Power House on S. Marshall Avenue
- Walk Marshall Ave and Mansion Avenue
- Go on Marshall Michigan Walking Tours!
- See the Brooks Memorial Fountain at Fountain Circle
- Walk the Federal Style Architecture House Tour (orange line on the map above)
- Enjoy a show or dinner at Cornwell's Turkeyville
- Visit the Marshall History Museum at GAR Hall
- Walter's Gasoline Museum
- Can You Find the "Greetings From Marshall" mural?
- Enjoy True North Ice Cream!
- Grab a meal or seasonal beer at Dark Horse Brewery
- Visit Capitol Hill School
- Play at Ketchum Park
Sherry and Chris's Marshall Michigan Must-Sees Video!
Marshall Michigan Interactive Map Of Things To Do!
If you are searching for the best things to do in Marshall MI, check our interactive map below!
- Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
- Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
- Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
- In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
- In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing.
1. Tour The Magestic Honolulu House!
I have toured this home and I can highly recommend it from my personal experience.
Address: 107 N. Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, Michigan (located on our map above)
The Honolulu House was aquired in 1961 by the Marshall Historical Society. Book your home tour online or by calling the Marshall Historical Society. I absolutely loved my home tour!
Honolulu House History: Mr. Abner Pratt, the original owner, was a cheif justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and the US Consul of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). After returning home after living in Hawaii, he built the Honolulu House with features reminding him of his beloved Hawaii.
- You can see these Hawaiian influences in the tropical scenes painted on the walls and ceilings inside the home and by building a lovely large front porch. Mr. Pratt's original wall designs were painted over and embellished by a later owner.
Four families lived in the Honolulu House throughout the years.
The Honolulu house is built with Marshall sandstone and faced with board-and-batten siding.
The Honolulu House is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and The Historic American Buildings Survey.
Upon first stepping foot into the Honolulu House, you will be in awe of the incredible ornate craftsmanship. The walls and ceilings are all hand painted (not wallpaper!!) by F.A. Grace in the 1880's.
Notice all the incredible detail and design, incorporating over 200 different colors!
This incredible staircase leads to the attic and observation deck which are not part of the tour.
- Be sure to look closely at the golden leaves in the entryway as real gold was used to create the sheen and sparkle!
I just love the colors and sparkle inside this home! This home's stunning beauty was lovingly preserved for all of us to enjoy!
When the Marshall Historical Society restored this house, the paintings were cleaned and missing areas were reproduced. I think they did an excellent job!
Within the office, you can see the family's grocery ledger. I loved seeing their grocery lists that included coffee, eggs, butter and apples! I just had to snap this photo! Families usually had gardens to suppliment their meals.
This incredible chandelier utilized both electricity and gas. It was presented to the Wagner family (3rd owners of the home) by the citizens of Marshall when he was Mayor of the city.
During this time, electric lights were a sign of wealth and social status so if you had 'em, you showed 'em off!
This is cool: Did you know if you shine a flashlight in some very old mirrors that you will see a sparkle? This means mercury was used in the production of the mirror! You can see this sparkle in the mirrors over the two fireplaces in the sitting room to the right of the entrance. These mirrors were made in Paris.
I was just in love with this vintage stove made by Kalamazoo Stove Company! It's located in the lower level of the Honolulu House. Do you think you could prepare a meal on it? I'm thinking beef stew with cornbread!
2. Tour the American Museum of Magic
Address: 107 E. Michigan Ave, Marshall, Michigan (located on our map above)
Do you love magic as much as I do? Check out the incredible American Museum of Magic that hosues treasures owned by Houdini, Thurston and Blackstone. Open select days of the week.
The American Museum of Magic houses the largest collection of magic artifacts on public display in the world!
Let's go downtown shopping in Marshall Michigan!
Shopping in downtown Marshall is so fun as many shops have original wood flooring and architectural details.
- Did you know you can get discounts at select businesses in Downtown Marshall Michigan? Simply look for the QR code sign in the planters downtown. Scan the code with your phone's camera to see nearby discounts!
4. Walk by the Governor's Mansion
Address: 612 S. Marshall Avenue
This Greek Revival mansion was built by Michigan's third governor. The Doric syle columns were built in Detroit and brought to the home in Marshall by oxart in 1839. This lovely mansion is now owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Governor's Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey.
So this is super cool...
Two residents in Marshall created the plan for public schools that became the blueprint for the ENTIRE United States! WOW!
5. Visit Town Hall and Marshall's Welcome Center!
Address: 323 W. Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI 49068
Town Hall is located Southwest of the Fountain Circle. This structure began it's life as a stone barn built in 1857 and operated as a livery stable and station for a stagecoach company.
Years later it was restored and became Marshall's Town Hall.
- It's also Marshall's Welcome Center so stop in and grab walking tour information, maps and things to do in Marshall Michigan brochures!
Public restrooms are upstairs and to the right.
6. Go Hiking at Brooks Nature Area in Marshall Michigan
Location: Southeast of the Cemetery off Homer Road, in the 1100 block of 18 1/2 Mile Road.
Brooks Nature Area is an incredible hiking area in Marshall, Michigan. This region incorporates 180 acres where you can see a pond, hardwood forests and my favorite...restored native prairie.
There are 3 miles of trails featuring 300+ year old trees.
- I absolutely love love love the lake observation deck over Stuart Lake! Take time to sit on the bench and just relax as you listen to the birds, rustling cat tails and water lapping against the shoreline.
Are Dogs Allowed At Brooks Nature Center? Yes, on a leash.
Isn't this meadow simply divine?
While hiking, you will see lots of waterfowl, birds and mammals if you walk quietly. Brooks Nature Area is fantastic for hiking, birding, biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Restrooms: There is a restroom at the trailhead with flushing toilets.
I felt very comfortable walking this trail by myself. I saw several ladies walking with their children and people enjoying the trails by bike.
- You will several different varieties of fruit and flowering trees along the way. Apples, pears, raspberries and more! Have you ever heard of a Flowering Quince? This is new to me! It's the size of an apple!
Update: I posted this photo on Instagram and was told that, "Quince is edible but you have to cook them first. They are super starchy if you try to eat them raw. Once cooked they are delicious and sweet." Interesting!
- Trailhead Trail (0.25 Miles) – This trail extends from the trailhead parking lot on 18 ½ Mile Rd and connects to the North Prairie Trail. This trail is a mowed area of grass that parallels a restored native tallgrass prairie with views of Stuart Lake. Watch for sandhill cranes, blue heron, Canada geese and ducks.
- North Prairie Trail (0.7 Miles) – This trail travels along a restored tallgrass prairie, wetland, and wooded areas.
- Woodland Loop (0.4 Miles) – This area is really nice as it is shady on a hot day. It borders prairie and farmland.
- South Prairie Trail (0.7 Miles) – This trail borders tallgrass prairie with views of Stuart Lake and woods. I love all the bird houses on this trail.
- Lakeshore Loop (0.25 Miles) – You can see 300 year old cherry and oak trees along this trail. The best part? See incredible views of Stuart Lake from the obseration deck.
Brooks Nature Area is one of my favorite things to do Marshall MI!
TIP: Notice that you will be walking on cut grass. Even though it was a dry day, my shoes and socks were soaked so you may want hiking boots or bring along a spare pair of shoes and socks. Bring a towel to dry your dog's feet or you will have grass all over your car!
The views from the observation deck of Stuart Lake is just breathtaking! I would love a home on this lake! It's so peaceful and beautiful.
7. Explore Grever's Nature Center
Address: 13 Mile Road and N Drive North.
Grever's Nature Center has several trails that are popular for hiking, jogging, looking for birds, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, dog walking and mountain biking. I personally have not yet visited this Nature Center but I will in the coming weeks and promise to report back!
8. Visit Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary - Incredible Sandhill Cranes migration October-November
The Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary is North America’s first bird sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of Sandhill Cranes.
Baker Sanctuary spans approximately 980 acres in Calhoun County, making it the second largest property owned and managed by Michigan Audubon.
The sanctuary is highly regarded as a fantastic refuge for nesting and migrating Sandhill Cranes. Chris and I love the spectacular bird habitat located on the 200-acre Big Marsh Lake. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded here!
CraneFest is a fantastic event happening each October where you can see thousands of Sandhill Cranes land on Big Marsh Lake. It's a sight to behold! Bring your binoculars!
9. Walk the Incredible Marshall Riverwalk (North Country Trail) and Enjoy Stuart's Landing!
If you want to walk the Marshall Riverwalk (which is a Michigan Hidden Gem, by the way), be sure to park at Stuart's Landing. Bring a picnic lunch and sit at a picnic table while enjoying scenic Old Mill Pond.
The Marshall Riverwalk is part of the popular North Country Trail.
Restrooms: There is a restroom in the parking lot of Stuart's Landing with flushin toilets. Pack toilet paper as the bathrooms may be low.
- I can say with confidence the Marshall Boardwalk is one of the BEST things to do Marshall MI. I felt very safe while walking it by myself. I passed several people walking their dogs and even saw a lovely deer!
Enjoy several bridges and boardwalks as you walk the 1.6 scenic miles. It's a very beautiful walk in the fall as the trees change color.
This elevated area, just past the Mill Pond Dam, is a great place to see wildlife. I saw deer and blue herons.
10. See Mill Pond Overflow, Dam and Power House on S. Marshall Avenue
The Mill Pond Overflow and Dam is incredibly cool! If you park at Stuart's Landing, you can walk to this incredible dam along very scenic boardwalks and trails. It's a very short distance from the parking lot.
See our map above!
Below is the Power House that has been in operation since 1893 and is believed to be the 2ND OLDEST HYDROELECTRIC UTILITY SYSTEM IN THE US!!
How cool is that?!
You can see the power house while walking the Riverwalk Trail.
11. Walk Marshall and Mansion Avenues
If you love exquisitely maintained homes and gardens, park near the Honolulu home and head east on Mansion Avenue. The homes and businesses are stunning!
These photos were all taken on Mansion Avenue. Wandering Mansion Avenue is one of my favorite things to do Marshall MI!
12. Embark on Marshall Walking Tours!
Marshall Michigan has several self guided walking tours. Throughout the city there are large dots on the sidewalks to help guide your Marshall Walking Tour.
- Historic Homes Walking Tour (Green Dot)
- Downtown Walking Tour (Red Dot)
- Capital Hill Walking Tour (Yellow Dot)
To get started, pick up a map inside or outside Choose Marshall - Welcome Center which is located at City Hall. You can also scan the QR code above with a friend's phone.
Address: 323 W. Michigan Avenue, Marshall Michigan. (Located on map above)
13. Be Wowed by the Brooks Memorial Fountain
The Brooks Memorial Fountain is the centerpiece of Marshall Michigan's downtown. It's located in the middle of the round-about as you come into town. You can park at City Hall, walk across the crosswalk and enjoy this incredible fountain.
14. Walk the Self-Guided Federal Style Architecture House Tour
Fedredal Style Architecture (1780-1840)
***See our interactive map above for the Factory Architecture Tour Route that includes the 4 prime examples.
Federal architecture was most popular during the period right after the American Revolution. During this time, Americans wanted a change from the Georgian style that was popular before and during the war. The Federal style was a symbol of prosperity, reflecting the growing wealth across the nation.
Four Houses to Walk Past (no inside tours):
- 222 N Marshall Avenue built in 1850
- 311 E Mansion Street built in 1856
- 404 W Mansion Street built in 1855
- 424 W Michigan Avenue built in 1840
***See our interactive map above for the Factory Architecture Tour Route that includes these 4 prime examples of the Federal Style architecture.
Federal style emphasizes balance and symmetry. As you find each house along your tour, notice how the windows, chimneys, doors, porches, and balustrades (railings on architectural features) are all balanced.
ChooseMarshall.com has more information about each home on the Federal Style Architecture tour.
Did you know? Sometimes fake chimneys were built (non functional) just to create visual symmetry? The overall look of the Factory Style was a simple, clean box.
15. Enjoy a Show or Dinner at Cornwell's Turkeyville
Address: 18935 15 1/2 Mile Road, Marshall, MI 49068
Cornwell's Turkeyville is known for their awesome turkey dinners in their restaurant and exciting dinner theatre. Turkeyville is also a hotspot for several events throughout the year including craft shows, concerts, comedy nights, vintage camper and car shows, flea markets, tractor shows and Halloween events. Oh, and you can even camp at Turkeyville!
Camp Turkeyville offers 14 beautiful acres offering full hookups, two pools, pretty fishing pond, fully-stocked general store and more!
16. Visit the Marshall History Museum at GAR Hall
Address: 402 E. Michigan Avenue
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall was built in 1902 as a meeting hall for the Marshall area Union veterans of the Civil War. This museum now displays artifacts from the military and also features neat things produced in Marshall such as a folding bathtub, elixirs, and a marionette puppet stage.
17. Explore Walter's Gasoline Museum in Marshall Michigan
Address: 220 1/2 W. Michigan Avenue, Marshall Michigan
Walter's Gasoline Museum houses a cool collection of memorabilia related to Midwestern cars, service stations and more! It is located at the 1903 Marshall Interurban Railway Depot. Check out the cool murals!
Inside, you will see awesome signs, advertisements, an original gasoline pump and lots of interesting gasoline related items.
- Tours may be arranged by appointment from late May through the weekend after Labor Day.
18. Can You Find Marshall's downtown "Greetings From Marshall" mural?
This lovely Greetings From Marshall mural is definitely a must - see. It's located very close to the round-about and Brooks Memorial Fountain on the main street through Marshall Michigan.
19. Enjoy True North Ice Cream!
Address: 403 S Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, MI 49068
I was driving by the super cute True North Ice Cream shop and was so disappointed it wasn't open yet (in their defense it was well before noon). But I hopped out of my car anyway to take a photo and the very kind owner popped his head out of the door and asked me if I wanted some ice cream!!
He said he was mopping the floors before opening his ice cream parlor and thought I looked like I needed some ice cream. LOL!
- Why yes, I DO need some honey lavender ice cream, thank you very much! It was so creamy and flavorful!! YUMMY! Be sure to stop in!!
20. Grab Lunch or Dinner at the Dark Horse Brewing Company
Address: 511 S Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, MI 49068
Dark Horse Brewing is a great place to meet friends to enjoy year-round, seasonal, and limited release beer. Their kitchen also offers great eats such as tacos, calzones, pulled pork, piled high sandwiches and Detroit style pizza.
Dark Horse Brewing in Marshall Michigan also has several events throughout the year such as live music or bbq competitions. Be sure to check their website for details!
21. Visit Capitol Hill School
Address: 602 Washington Street, Marshall, MI
Built in 1860, this building served as a school for 100 years. Now a museum, schoolchildren can discover hands-on demonstrations to see what classrooms were like years ago.
- This is Cool: Two residents in Marshall created the plan for public schools that became the blueprint for the ENTIRE United States!
22. Ketchum Park
Enjoy an afternoon playing disc golf or enjoying the skatepark. Lovely views of the river!
Public Restrooms In Marshall
City Hall has public restooms located on the second floor and to the right.
Things to do Near Marshall MI
If you are looking for things to do near Marshall MI, I highlly recommend visiting Binder Park Zoo. Visit our Battle Creek Travel Guide for a TON of things to do in this nearby city!