Michigan offers some beautiful areas if you’re tired of staying indoors and ready for a bit of adventure. There’s nothing comparable to taking a road trip through scenic parts of the state en route to a fun and exciting destination. The Wolverine state is filled with wondrous sights any time of the year you choose to go. If you’re ready to get out and explore the state, here are ten unforgettable road trips to take in Michigan.
1. The Henry Ford Complex
A road trip through the state of Michigan to see the Henry Ford complex guarantees a great time from anywhere in the state. Your destination is Dearborn, Michigan at 20900 Oakwood Blvd, where the complex is located. See the sights along with way, and start your adventure with The Museum of American Innovation. This is a great destination for families with kids. It offers an interactive exhibit for children with a prototype of a Dymaxion House. On your way, enjoy the Greenfield Village districts, which are historic sites that detail the life of the famous Henry Ford. Stop and see the pottery and glass blowing works, and learn how a Ford F-150 is made at the Ford Factory. Tours are available. Don’t forget to catch an IMAX movie while you’re there. You can find more information to plan your trip.
2. Drive the Lake Huron Shore
The Lake Huron Shore road trip begins at either Bay City or Alpena. This is a spectacular road trip that takes you to the Lake Huron beaches on the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Start with a trip to Alpena for a visit to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Museum. It’s good to plan a few days for this trip because there is so much to see. While you’re in Alpena, visit the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to see the shipwrecks there. Travel on to Bay City and book a sailing excursion on one of the schooners available. When you’ve had your fill of sailing, visit the Bay City State Park and enjoy some time in the sun relaxing on the sandy beach.
3. Road Trip from Arcadia to Frankfort
If you love scenic drives with plenty of overlooks on the way, the M-22 from Arcadia to Frankfort is a lovely low-key drive. M-22 is filled with scenic views. Take your trip from anywhere in the state and drive north on your way to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The M-22 scenic highway takes you along the coast with the ideal starting point, the Arcadia village. Visit the beach at Arcadia for a cool dip in the water, before heading out on M-22 through wooded hills with scenic vistas all along the way to Frankfort, the port city of Lake Michigan. There are some great things to do when you get to Frankfort, such as walking along the pier or grabbing a craft brew from the Stormcloud Brewing Company. Don’t forget to visit Inspiration Point just north of Arcadia. If you want to see some spectacular views, climb the steps to the top of the buff, and take your camera along.
4. Drive on the River Road from to Oscoda by the AuSable River
The River Road Scenic Byway is one of the most popular routes for taking road trips. If you enjoy scenic viewpoints, plan a trip to Oscoda via the River Road Scenic Byway. It’s ideal for hikers, with many places to pull off and head up one of the numerous trails along with way. You can take the trails to the edge of the water. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit Lumberman’s Monument, a tribute to the long and storied timer industry from the earlier days of Michigan. The Monument was officially dedicated in 1932.
5. Take a Road trip on M-134 from Hessel to Drummond Island
You will enjoy the M-134 trip to Drummond Island if you’re going in a car or an SUV pulling a boat behind you. Start at Hessel and head east on the road to see amazing views of Lake Huron and the Les Cheneaux Islands. While you’re on the journey, keep your eyes peeled for classic boathouses and cottages from the early part of the 1900s in this historic region. It’s an area that is home to a variety of natural harbors. In the early morning hours, the mist that falls makes the background for some of the most spectacular photo opportunities. The Les Chenaux is 36 islands. There are plenty of places to explore along the way. At Hessel, don’t forget to see the antique wooden boat show that hosts a gathering of vessels from the early 1900s. The event is held every August in the Les Cheneaux Islands.
6. Take a road trip to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Your destination on this road trip is 1000 East Beltline Avenue Northeast, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Plan on a day of wonders at the Gardens. See the horticultural displays where there is always something new for visitors. Don’t forget to visit the various sculptures from various artists who used materials from metal to driftwood. The Gardens feature an 1880s farmhouse, a beautiful orchid wall, and live cacao trees.
7. Take a road trip to Belle Isle Park
Your destination on this road trip is 2 Inselruhe Drive in Detroit, Michigan. It’s a conservancy of 982 acres where you’ll find more than a day’s worth of wonders to explore. We recommend allowing two to three days at the destination. If you have a family with kids, take them to the Belle Isle Aquarium. Spend some time at the golf center, which is home to a giant outdoor slide. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservancy has several attractions. You’ll find the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Belle Island Nature Center. You can find more information about these attractions, too numerous to list here.
8. Go on a road trip to Tahquamenon Falls
One of the most visited places in the state of Michigan is the Tahquamenon Falls. The upper part of the falls is 200 feet in width with a fifty-foot drop. Five more falls spill on the lower portion of the river. Keep moving just four miles downstream to see them. Your destination is 41382 West M-123, Paradise, Michigan at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Drive through the wooded areas and enjoy lovely scenery and viewpoints along the M-123 drive.
9. Take the Red Arrow Highway from New Buffalo to St. Joseph
Your destination is St. Joseph and your starting point is New Buffalo, traveling along the Red Arrow Highway. This trip provides the best in art galleries, antique shops, and Michigan beaches. Drive along the Highway that parallels Lake Michigan to view the coastal villages of Harbert, Lakeside, and Union Pier on your journey. Stop by each of these towns to view their antique shops and art galleries. You can also book a summer cruise from a provider if you have the time to spend a few days on your road trip. We recommend stopping along the way to check out the wineries along the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail. You can also visit Weko Beach if you’re into surfing on the lakes. You can even reserve a campsite on Weko Beach if you want to spend the night.
10. Take a rad trip to Munising, Michigan to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
If you have two to four days, this road trip will provide you with memories that last for years. It’s one that you can take any time of the year. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is open all year round and provides a beautiful and changing landscape in all four seasons. It’s the ideal location for birdwatching, hiking, camping, and sightseeing. You can also get a backcountry permit to go ice climbing to explore the ice caves in the winter months. There are plenty of inland lakes, waterfalls, and picturesque sandstone cliffs to view. It’s located in Munising, Michigan on the Great Gitche Gumee, Lake Superior. You can find more information here.