If you are looking for some fun Michigan day trips and do not know where to start, don’t worry! We have you covered!
There are so many fun things to do in Michigan as it is a gorgeous state that is bursting with cool cities, adorable small towns, and beautiful nature spots.
If you are a nature lover, you will be happy to hear that Michigan touches three of the Great Lakes and has many awesome state parks.
Anyone who enjoys the bustle of city life will have a blast exploring some of the large cities in Michigan with all of their shopping and dining options, museums, and art galleries.
If the small-town vibe is more your style, there are a ton of super cute towns in Michigan with historic architecture and fun festivals.
Here are some of the best Michigan day trips for your bucket list!
15 Interesting Michigan Day Trips For Your Bucket List
There are so many things to do in Grand Rapids that that’s where the list begins!
This Midwest vibrant city has many activities to keep the whole family entertained. No matter your interests, there is something to do here.
Children will not be complaining they are bored when you take them to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum or the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden.
Kids and adults alike will love the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
If you are into art or history, make sure to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, or the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Grand Rapids is also known as “Beer City USA” and there are dozens of breweries and craft beers to try out. And plan to treat yourself to some of the restaurants in Grand Rapids as well!
Marquette is found on the Upper Peninsula. It is both on the shores of Lake Superior and at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain.
This is a great Michigan day trip for a mix of town and nature. The small town is encircled by nature, so you get the best of both worlds.
In town, you will find historic buildings that house shops, art galleries, and museums. Learn about ships at the Marquette Maritime Museum or find cool art sculptures at Lakenenland.
There are also lighthouses to photograph.
On the nature side, you can spend time hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain, discover Wright Street Falls, or swim at McCarty’s Cove or Presque Isle Park.
There really are so many things to do in Marquette MI that everyone will love.
Visiting Ann Arbor Is One Of The Best Michigan Day Trips
Ann Arbor is one of the best Michigan day trips from Detriot. It is just under an hour from the big city. This college town is a great place to spend the day exploring. There are so many things to do in Ann Arbor MI.
There are many awesome museums in Ann Arbor including the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
If you are traveling with children, take them to the Hands-On Museum or one of the many riverside parks. Find beautiful plants at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.
And when you get hungry from all your exploring, you can hit up some of the best restaurants in Ann Arbor MI!
If you want to spend a weekend exploring with your family or friends, you do not have to look far for something fun to do in Michigan. You are sure to make memories in this Midwest state.
Belle Isle State Park
Tucked in the Detroit River is Belle Isle State Park. This is the perfect place to escape Detroit and relax in nature. The park is almost one thousand acres of entertainment.
Pack a picnic and bring your swimsuit for a fun day in the sun. There is a beach to chill at or if you want to get some exercise, you can bike or hike some of the trails. There is also a playground and sports fields.
If you want to get out on one of the three lakes, you can rent a boat. Take a photo next to the beautiful James Scott Memorial Fountain which dates back to 1923.
The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a must-visit place as well. The gorgeous greenhouses hold plants from all over the world.
Visiting Belle Isle State Park is one of the most fun Michigan day trips you can have!
Frankenmuth Michigan Is A Christmas Day Trip Sure To Please
Frankenmuth is a cute, Bavarian town perfect for a romantic getaway. The charming architecture and lively atmosphere will make you feel as if you are in Germany.
Visit the Frankenmuth Historical Museum and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Kids will love Zehnder’s Splash Village or the Frankenmuth Aerial Park, which has awesome rope courses and ziplines.
Frankenmuth is also one of the top places in Michigan to visit during Christmas. The town is home to the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, which is open year-round.
While Frankenmuth is great during winter, Holland is one of the best Michigan day trips in the spring. This Dutch-founded town hosts an annual Tulip Time festival with millions of tulips blooming throughout town.
Visit Windmill Island Gardens to see the 250-year-old De Zwaan Windmill and pretty gardens. Head to Holland State Park for some beach time or to photograph the beautiful, red lighthouse.
The Nelis’ Dutch Village is a great place to bring the kids, but even adults will enjoy the picture-perfect Dutch theme park with farm animals, rides, demonstrations, and shops.
Holland is one of the cute beach towns in Michigan you should not skip.
If you want to step back in time, then Mackinac Island is one of the best day trips in Michigan. There are no cars on this small island. And so many things to do in Mackinac Island MI!
You will take a 15-minute ferry ride to the island and then travel by foot, bike, or horse and carriage.
As you walk the town, you will be awed by the adorable, Victorian houses. If you want to extend your stay, book a room at the romantic Victorian Grand Hotel.
History buffs will want to tour Fort Mackinac and see the historic buildings downtown. There are also a ton of restaurants in Mackinaw Island and shops to check out.
Nature lovers can explore Mackinac Island State Park and go biking, hiking, or horseback riding. You can also go canoeing or kayaking along the scenic shore.
Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake State Park is an awesome place for thrilling recreation. Even though it is between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan, it looks almost like a desert.
All the sandy dunes create a fantastic place to ride ATVs. There is a 450-acre area for off-roading. If you don’t have your own vehicle, then you can book an excursion.
You can also enjoy the dunes on foot. There is a big beach for swimming and building sandcastles. You can rent canoes or kayaks to get out on the water.
There are also picnic tables, a playground, and a fishing pier. Such amenities make this one of the best Michigan day trips there are!
Traverse City Michigan is one of the best small towns in the Midwest.
It hugs Grand Traverse Bay so you can get out on the water or explore the beaches of Traverse City when you are not exploring the historic town. It is also near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
If you visit Traverse City in July, you will have a ton of fun at the National Cherry Festival. There are concerts, parades, rides, tasty treats, and a ton of other events.
If you like beautiful buildings or history, you can visit the City Opera House or the Dennos Museum Center. There are also many art galleries, shops, lighthouses, and historic homes to check out.
Fayette Historic State Park Is One Of The Best Michigan Day Trips
Visiting Michigan’s state parks is always exciting.
Fayette Historic State Park is one of the most unique Michigan day trips. This is one of the best things to do in Michigan if you love exploring abandoned places.
Found on the Upper Peninsula, Fayette was a bustling iron ore town in the mid-19th century. However, by the turn of the century, it had become a ghost town.
Today, it is a 711-acre state park with twenty historic buildings still standing. The town is found in a scenic area and the beauty of nature juxtaposes nicely with the eerieness of the empty buildings.
Along with photographing the town, you can hike the trails or relax at the beach. It is also a popular place for scuba diving. You can find artifacts underwater, but they must not be removed.
Sault Ste. Marie Is A Michigan Day Trip To A Town Split In Two
Sault Ste. Marie is found on the Michigan/Ontario border on the UP. This is a great spot to cross into Canada since the town is actually split in two on each side of the border.
On the U.S. side, learn some history at the River of History Museum, Tower of History, and Museum Ship Valley Camp. You can see some art at the Alberta House Arts Center or take a boat tour of the Soo Locks.
Drive across the international bridge to visit the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, and the Art Gallery of Algoma. You can also walk the boardwalk.
With so many options to choose from this Michigan Day Trip is one not to miss.
Many people could here to go boating, but even if you don’t want to spend time on the water, there are plenty of fun things to do. Biking, hiking, golfing, and surfing are all awesome outdoor activities.
Visit the Charlevoix Circle of Arts for exhibits, shows, and art classes. The Raven Hill Discovery Center is all about nature, science, and art. There are also a ton of historic houses to find.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an absolutely gorgeous area and if you have the chance to do this Michigan day trip, you are in for a treat!
This park is named after the colorful sandstone cliffs that fall into Lake Superior. The lakeshore is 42-miles long and is incredibly photogenic with cool rock formations and beaches.
There are about a hundred miles of hiking trails where you can discover waterfalls, sand dunes, and streams. This is a fantastic place for trout fishing and birdwatching.
Kayak along the cliffs to find awesome hidden areas. There are also historic sites, including an 1874 lighthouse. In winter, you can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, or ice-fishing. And the Michigan ski resorts are the best.
This lakeshore is also a short drive to Munising, which is a great Michigan day trip in itself. This is a good place to book a boat tour or enjoy winter sports.
Leland is a cute, little fishing village between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau. Find a place to park your car and then get out and walk around.
This is a great tiny town to explore on foot and one of the coolest Michigan Day Trips.
You will find museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shops. Check out the historic Fishtown, a preserved area of fishing shanties, smokehouses, docks, and boats.
There are public beaches and nearby natural areas. Rent a boat to feel like a local. You can also visit the town during the Leland Wine and Food Festival.
Leland is also only a half-hour from the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which has great beaches and hiking trails.
Even though it is only a few square miles, Port Austin holds plenty of fun for the whole family. The is one of the best Michigan day trips for a calm and laid-back atmosphere.
Port Austin is found on Lake Huron near the tip of Michigan’s “thumb.” There are four great parks in town. Bird Creek Park is the largest. It has a splash pad for the kids as well as great fishing spots and views of the lake.
Kids will have fun mini-golfing or take them to Knoblock Riding Stable for a horseback riding excursion. Rent a canoe or kayak to paddle the Thumb Heritage Water Trail.
Port Crescent State Park is right down the highway from Port Austin. This park is a wonderful place to go camping in the summer or skiing in the winter. There are beaches and fishing opportunities.
This is surely one of the best Midwest road trips for your bucket list!
Packing List For Your Michigan Day Trips
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when on your4 Michigan road trips.. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking selfies when staying in one of the best Airbnbs in Illinois.
Hydration is so important when traveling. You want to remain hydrated throughout your travels to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. when hiking This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
There are amazing Michigan day trips to be had all over the state, whether you are in central Michigan, the thumb, or the Upper Penninsula.
There are tons of things to do in Bay City MI, and this popular town would make a terrific day trip in Michigan.
If you are looking for fun things to do in Michigan, it is not hard to find something, no matter your interests. There are amazingly beautiful state parks, lively cities, and adorable and hidden gem small towns.
Kids will have fun being hands-on with nature while couples will love walking the streets of adorable, historic towns. No matter what you do, you will have a memorable time in Michigan.