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4 Unexpected Michigan Destinations You'll Want to Explore

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Dec 27, 2022 10:28 AM EST

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4 Unexpected Michigan Destinations You'll Want to Explore

(Photo: 4 Unexpected Michigan Destinations You'll Want to Explore)

Michigan likely isn't on the top of everyone's bucket list when they imagine a vacation destination. However, the Great Lake State has more to offer than meets the eye. 

If you're considering a trip to the Mitten for your next road trip, there are a few things to do before heading out. Make sure you read up on road and car seat laws in Michigan if you're traveling with children. You want your kids to be safe, and you'll want to avoid any potential tickets during your journey. 

It's also essential to make sure your car is tuned up and ready before you hit the road. You should do routine maintenance like an oil change and tire rotation shortly before leaving. This ensures your vehicle will be in good condition for your travels.

Once you've prepared and done your research, it's time to head out and explore the Great Lake State. So, where should you stop? Let's find out. 

#1 - Holland

Not to be confused with the region in Europe, you can find Holland right in Michigan's lower peninsula. However, walking through this picturesque city may leave you feeling like you traveled to the Netherlands.

Settled in 1847 by Dutch immigrants, the town takes much of its inspiration from its European counterpart. Neli's Dutch Village offers visitors a look at beautiful European-inspired architecture. You'll also find unique shopping, a petting zoo, and fun rides for children of all ages.  

Depending on the timing of your visit, you may be lucky enough to catch some of Holland's most exciting attractions. During May, the town hosts its annual Tulip Festival, boasting beautiful blooms all over the city. It's a big reason Holland earned its nickname - The Tulip City. 

You can visit the Kerstmarkt or Christmas Market in December, an incredible European-style outdoor market. Many vendor booths offer delightful holiday shopping and delicious food here. 

No matter what time of year you go, Holland certainly offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. You can feel you've traveled across the Atlantic to Europe without ever leaving the United States. 

#2 - Mackinac Island

If you want to take a step back in time to a slower pace of life, Mackinac Island is the perfect place to visit. You'll find a relaxing atmosphere all around Mackinac Island, and much of that may have to do with the lack of cars.

There are no motor vehicles allowed on the island. While this may seem strange, it only adds to the charm of this small town. Visitors are welcome to walk, bike, or even take a horse-drawn carriage to enjoy the sites of Mackinac Island. 

You'll enjoy exploring the historic shops and restaurants this island community offers during your visit. And you can't complete your visit without trying some of their fudge - it's what they're best known for. 

Mackinac Island is the perfect Michigan destination for those looking to relax, unwind, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

#3 - Traverse City

There are few more unique towns to visit than Traverse City. People of all interests will find something in this incredible travel destination.

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, Traverse City is home to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which boasts miles of stunning sand and beautiful water. Some of these dunes reach up to 450 feet tall. You can enjoy climbing to the top for an incredible view of Lake Michigan or simply enjoy the shoreline down below. 

Traverse City still has plenty to offer for those looking for less outdoorsy activities. There is something for every interest here, with plenty of shopping, specialty restaurants, and even vineyards. 

If you happen to visit in the summer, you may catch the Cherry Festival, an exciting event spanning the first week of July. The town is the Cherry Capital of the World, so residents don't hold back on this one-of-a-kind celebration.

You'll find concerts, classic car shows, and farmer's markets with plenty to offer. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, prefer sampling wine, or are a huge fan of cherries, you can find it here. 

4 Unexpected Michigan Destinations You'll Want to Explore
(Photo : 4 Unexpected Michigan Destinations You'll Want to Explore)

#4 - Torch Lake

With crystal clear, stunning blue waters, many visitors of Torch Lake have dubbed it the Caribbean of the North. It's not hard to see why when visiting this beautiful Michigan destination.

Thanks to social media, this spot has increased in popularity, but it was once the hidden gem for locals across the state. With its growing interest, you'll find many people - and even some celebrities - flocking to Torch Lake for summer fun. 

The lake is enormous, measuring 19 miles long and two miles wide. There are also water areas that can reach up to 285 feet deep, although the average depth is 111 feet. Its large size and depth make Torch Lake perfect for water activities such as boating, tubing, and water skiing.

One of the most popular spots on the lake is the sand bar. Here, people anchor their boats, hang out, and enjoy some of the lake's most unique activities like renting water jet packs. 

You won't find much on Torch Lake for shopping or activities. Though there are a few places to stop during your time here, this area's primary focus is its waters. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation on the lake, soaking up the sun, Torch Lake is the perfect destination. 

Michigan Destinations Worth the Trip

While the Great Lake State may not be on everyone's radar for unique vacation destinations, it shouldn't be overlooked. There's much more to Michigan than meets the eye.

Whether you are a nature lover looking to escape at Torch Lake or the Sleeping Bear Dunes, or you're hoping for a relaxing trip away from the busy city on Mackinac Island, there is something for everyone to be found in the Mitten. 

Be sure to properly prepare for your trip by checking local laws and state insurance requirements and preparing your car ahead of time. Then, all that's left to do is get out and explore all the incredible places Michigan has to offer. 

Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. Though a native Ohioan, she enjoys frequent visits to the Great Lake State and all it has to offer. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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