#7 Visit the historic Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museum
Region: Upper Peninsula
Location: 18335 N Whitefish Point Rd, Paradise, MI 49768
The wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald during the night of November 10, 1975, just off Whitefish Point, is probably Lake Superior’s best known and most mysterious shipwreck. However, as a trip to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at the Point reveals, it is one of over 240 wrecks between 1816 and 1975 at Whitefish Point alone, and of tens of thousands throughout the Great Lakes. One storm, in November 1913, claimed over 20 ships in just four days. The museum is a great place to learn about the historic of Michigan’s lakes and shipwrecks, and the lighthouse overlooks an amazing vantage point across Lake Superior.
#24 Explore the Shipwrecks of Thunder Bay at the National Marine Sanctuary
Enveloping the coast of Alpena and the surrounding areas of Thunder Bay and Lake Huron, the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary has been accumulating a large number and variety of shipwrecks since the 1800s, and is a truly spectacular place to visit. Take a glass-bottomed boat tour to see sunken ships or just explore the museum for informative and interesting Michigan history.
#30 Take a day to hit up LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE in Great Lakes Crossings
Location: Auburn Hills
Tour a miniature Detroit at the Legoland Discovery Center in Auburn Hills! The ULTIMATE Indoor LEGO® Playground! Obviously, this is a great activity to do with kids, but if you’re just itching to feel like a kid again (or for those who never grow up), they’ve got Adult Nights too! The attraction includes a 4D cinema, two rides, Detroit landmark replicas in MINILAND, a LEGO® City play area and more. You can even learn to be a SPINJITZU master inside their newest play zone, Ninjago Training Camp! And while you’re at Great Lakes Crossings, hit up the SEA LIFE aquarium to see creatures from the lakes of Michigan to the ocean depths through 10 themed zones. They feature more than 250 different species of sea creatures, a huge ocean tank, an acrylic underwater viewing tunel, educational talks, and more! While you’re there go see Carr and Benson, their rescued green sea turtles and Octopus Hideout.
#31 Go back in time and walk through Greenfield Village
Take a journey back in time at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. Watch the glass blowing demonstrations (great for kids), 19th century lawn games, explore the grounds of authentic historic buildings, and immerse yourself in this living history experience.
#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!
Location: 6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060
Hickory Corners is a tiny speck on the map, just northwest of Battle Creek. The Gilmore Car Museum, however, is anything but tiny! In fact, it is now the nation’s largest auto museum with over 180,000 sq ft of exhibit space and over 400 automobiles on display! If you are planning to visit the Gilmore, be sure to allot an entire day. The 90-acre campus is actually home to eight separate museums (seven car museums and a dollhouse miniatures museum), as well as historic diner! They also have a small cafe in the main building. It’s also quite a cost-efficient option for families, as there is a discount for children under 17 and free admission for those 6 and under. Whether you are a car fanatic or not, you’ll surely be able to find something that sparks your interest.
Bonus: they also offer over a dozen Model T Driving School sessions every summer season, making it a truly remarkable Michigan experience like no other!
#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!”