Everyone who knows me know how much I love my state. I was born and raised here and no matter how cold the winters get, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. So as we dig out from another snowstorm and brace for the next, I thought I would share a few of my favorite places to go in Michigan. Spring is right around the corner. Soon you can fill up the tank, put on your sunglasses, turn up the radio and take a day trip to one of these fun places!
1- Mac Woods Dune Rides- Mears
This place has been around since 1930 and is a great way to see the Silver Lake sand dunes for people that don’t have their own ORV. It’s fun to be driven over the hills and sometimes even splashed by a wave while letting someone else do all the work. I’ve seen people of all ages enjoy this ride, from toddlers to seniors. No reservations needed unless your group is over 20 people. Check out their link for more info. Mac Woods
2-Rau’s Country Store- Frankenmuth
This one of a kind store in right in the heart of downtown Frankenmuth and has always been one of my favorites. I’ve seen the store change their inventory a little since I started going there as a kid. But they have done it in a way that interests new customers while also keeping the nostalgic feel that keeps their regulars coming back. Giant pickles in a wooden barrel, old fashioned candy, tin signs, funny pajamas and fuzzy slippers. There really IS something for everyone! Make a day of it and check out the other cool shops and restaurants in town while you are there. Rau’s Country Store
3- The Detroit Zoo- Royal Oak
Another place I’ve been going since I was a kid and it just keeps getting better. One of the criticisms I hear about this zoo is that everything is too spread out. But that is one of the reasons I love it so much! I can’t think of a better place to get some exercise. The grounds are beautiful, there are lots of shady places to rest, the animal habitats keep improving for the animals benefit. And bonus-the iconic fountain and train are still there! If you haven’t been lately you need to check it out. Detroit Zoo
4- Mackinac Island Bike Loop- Mackinac Island
This is by far my FAVORITE place to go bike riding, anywhere! You can take your own bike over on a ferry or rent one at one of local bike shops. We’ve always rented them because I love the old fashioned bikes and while they may not be practical for riding around your local trails,for this trip they are perfect. The 8 mile road goes all the way around the island, I recommend going counter clockwise. And since there are no cars on the island, the only thing you really need to dodge are the horse piles and the people! You start out in town and go by the shops, cute hotels and the fort. Mission Point is the last big resort you see, then it’s Arch Rock and nothing but the cool breeze off the lake as you pedal around the back side of the island. Make sure you bring your camera, a water bottle and maybe a lightweight jacket. This link has some rental pricing and more information for you. Biking on Mackinac Island
5- Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park- Grand Rapids
This is one of those places that you always hear about but aren’t prepared for how awesome (or huge) it really is! Open year round with seasonal displays, there is always something new to see. It boasts a 30 acre sculpture park where you wander through trees, gardens, meadows and water features while taking it some of the most unique sculptures I’ve ever seen. There are many themed gardens including a life size farm and an 8 acre Japanese garden. Green houses, rotating exhibits, demonstrations, etc. Plan on spending the whole day and bring sunscreen and good walking shoes. There is an on site cafe and they do offer a tram tour for those that may want a little less walking. Meijer Gardens
We are blessed to live in a state with so much of offer. Let’s remember that as the snow is coming down and we are counting down the days til’ spring (35!) If you have a favorite place you think I may enjoy please comment below.
I will be doing separate posts on my favorite places in Tawas/Oscoda and downtown Detroit as they need their own posts!