7 Incredible Hidden Gems In Michigan To Visit In 2023

7 Best Hidden Gems In Michigan To Visit In 2023

Known as the home of America’s auto industry and Motown, the state of Michigan is uniquely split between two peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula is known for its scenic nature, while the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula is home to the state’s largest cities and the bulk of Michigan’s population. 

Both peninsula’s harbor their share of hidden treasures if you’re planning a trip to the Great Lakes State. Take some time off the beaten path and enjoy a few of Michigan’s lesser-known destinations, from fairy-tale architecture to tulips. 


The scenic Upper Peninsula is home to the Kitch-iti-kipi, or Big Spring, a 45-foot deep crystal clear spring stretching 200 feet across. The water remains a chilly 45 degrees year-round as 10,000 gallons of water burst through the spring’s sandy floor every minute. 

Enjoy a ride on a self-guided raft, gliding across the serene surface as you peer below into the deep depths of the spring to observe fish in the waters below. Surrounded by hiking trails as well as picnic spots, Kitch-iti-kipi makes the perfect summer day trip.

Mushroom Houses, Charlevoix

The village of Charlevoix in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is home to something straight out of a storybook. Considered architectural treasures, the “mushroom homes” feature Charlevoix-native Earl Young’s signature design of wide, wavy eaves and quaint cedar-shake roofs, along with other design elements reminiscent of fairytales.

While a few of the Mushroom Homes are available as vacation rentals, the majority are used as private residences.

Eben Ice Caves, Hiawatha National Forest

Located in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula, the Hiawatha National Forest is known for its dramatic shorelines. But every winter, visitors flock to the forest and the tiny village of Eben Junction to view the natural majesty of the area’s ice caves. 

The cave’s ice formations create a temporary magical winter wonderland that draws admirers from miles around. It takes just a brief hike through Michigan’s snowy terrain to reach these dazzling icy sculptures. 

Turnip Rock at Lake Huron

A 7-mile canoe or kayak trip from the village of Port Austin is all it takes to enjoy the unusual Turnip Rock, a natural formation isolated in Lake Huron. Carved by wind and water into a natural masterpiece, it took countless years for the rock to be expertly sculpted into its distinctive shape resembling an upside-down turnip.

Getting there is part of the fun, with crystal-clear water to skim across amid a beautiful rugged landscape surrounding the area.

Detroit Heidelberg Project

Detroit Heidelberg Project
Image Source: Heidelberg Project FB

Head to Michigan’s largest city for the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art display located primarily in Detroit’s McDougall-Hunt Neighborhood. The various displays offer a spectacular array of eye-catching, thought-provoking creations where junk and salvaged items are transformed into thought-provoking, colorful works of art.

Visitors will find that even the houses in the neighborhood have become a part of the community’s outdoor art, boasting colors and sculptures that blend into the neighborhood’s artistic vibe.

Blooming Mystical Lavender Labyrinth

Home to over a hundred species of wildlife and 80-plus species of plant life, Shelby Township is a nature lover’s haven. Located in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the area is home to Cherry Point Farm and its incredible Blooming Mystical Lavender Labyrinth, a site so enormous it can be seen from space.

The ancient spiral design of the labyrinth comes alive in mid-July with an explosion of fragrant purple stems. Lavender is known for its culinary, medicinal and aromatic uses. Visitors are invited to walk the path to enjoy the full essence of the lavender plants. 

Veldheer Tulip Gardens, Holland Michigan

Enjoy the vibrant beauty of Holland’s tulips with no passport required. As the name suggests, the city of Holland, Michigan, is a Dutch settlement located in the southwest part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. First settled in 1847, the area today offers visitors the opportunity to experience vast tulip gardens erupting with a plethora of hues.

Over 5 million tulips burst into bloom each spring, creating a kaleidoscope of vibrant splendor throughout Holland’s gardens. Enjoy the gardens and Holland’s other attractions, including an 18th century Dutch windmill, museum and the Dutch Village exhibition complex.