Literati Bookstore is an independent bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor with a lot of charm and a ton of great books. Almost everything in Literati is repurposed or designed locally and has a real one-of-a-kind vibe. Check it next time you’re strolling through downtown AA.
#43 Stand up paddle along your favorite river or lake
Location: All over Michigan
Stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports around the world and Michigan is the perfect place to practice. Buy, borrow or rent a board for the day and cruise down your favorite inland river or lake — or one of the Greats if you’re feeling confident!
#49 Be amazed by the size and awesomeness of the DIA
With the majesty of the ancient structure of Athens and Rome and spaciousness diversity in it’s displays, the Detroit Institute of Art is a must-do for any Michigander in Detroit looking for a hot day activity. Roam the many galleries and rooms and find your favorite pieces of art or architecture!
#20 Explore a public library and read a book by a Michigan author
Region: All over Michigan
Public libraries are just as an amazing of a resource as they used to be and the perfect place to enjoy a quiet morning or afternoon this summer. Check out some of the historic libraries like Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, or your basic local library for some quiet time surrounded by books. While your’e at it, check out Michigan writers like Gloria Whelan, Jim Harrison, or Bonnie Jo Campbell. Settle down with a good book from an amazing Mitten State author!
Our writer Krissy Schwab describes Belle Isle: “Located between the United States and Canada, Detroit’s Belle Isle is the third largest island in the Detroit River –even larger than Central Park in New York City! With just under 1,000 acres of land, Belle Isle offers plenty of places to visit and see or plenty of space to spend a lazy summer afternoon away from the city heat.
Looking for some history? Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the Belle Isle Aquarium are grouped together on the southwest side of the island. A short jaunt north on the island takes visitors to the Belle Isle Zoo. The Zoo is a microcosm of plants and animals found around Michigan. Aside from informative exhibits, the Zoo offers a small petting area and deer refuge for children to explore. Belle Isle also features a number of parks and beaches for gatherings. On almost any windy summer day, visitors can see professional kite fliers around the island. People can also fish from the beaches and bike around the island on the bike paths.”
#46 Tour the River Raisin National Battlefield Park
Location: 1403 E Elm Ave, Monroe, MI 48162
Monroe, Michigan. If you’ve never been there, I bet you hear about the time Stephen Colbert went on Public Access Television and filmed a show there. If you’re a bit behind the time, go watch the video. If you’re a history buff, be sure to stop by and tour the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and learn about the “bloodiest battle of the War of 1812”, the “largest conflict EVER fought on Michigan soil” and the battle that “once and for all sealed our Independence from Great Britain”. The River Raisin National Battlefield Park is the 393rd Unit of the National Parks Service est. March 3, 2009.
Bonus: if you’re in the Metro-Detroit area, stop by and check out a Michigan By The Bottle location in Royal Oak, Shelby Township, and (coming soon) Auburn Hills. MBTB has eight partner wineries (2 Lads Winery, Bel Lago Winery, Chateau Aeronautique, Chateau de Leelanau, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Peninsula Cellars, Sandhill Crane Vineyards and Verterra Winery) that you can sample from. Plus, you can grab bottles to go or enjoy one of their fun events.
#38 Walk where the musical greats once did at the Motown Museum
Location: 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
Our writer Rebecca Calkins says this about the Motown Museum: “On West Grand Boulevard, just north of Downtown Detroit, Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. on April 14, 1960. The record company named for the Motor City became the soundtrack not just for a city but for a generation. Hitsville U.S.A is an apt name for the tourist attraction in Detroit that launched such legends as Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and many more. Hit after hit in the 1960’s brought the company a gross income of $20 million by the end of 1966.
The two houses on West Grand Boulevard were part of a block-long row of seven houses in the Motown Compound that included recording studios, marketing offices and “artist personal development” offices, which included everything from grooming, poise, and social graces to voice lessons and choreography. When we arrived, we bought our tickets for a timed tour guide-led entry. Our tour guide was awesome! He was singing the hits as we walked the storied halls filled with costumes, records and memorabilia of some of the greatest artists to ever live. There’s no photography allowed inside, but we took plenty of goofy poses outside!”