10 Most Underrated Places To Visit In Michigan In 2023

9 Most Underrated Places To Visit In Michigan In 2023

The Great Lakes State borders four of the five Great Lakes and is the home of Motown. Because of its geography, history, and culture, Michigan is rich in unique attractions that are off the beaten path.

These nine “hidden gems/underrated places you can visit in Michigan range from natural wonders to museums, floral wonderlands, and cultural icons. All are excellent choices for day trips or extended journeys in Michigan.

Mushroom Houses – Charlevoix

The famous Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix are one of the town’s most notable sights. Architect Earl Young designed and built more than 20 fairy-tale houses during his 50-year career in the early 20th Century. A few of the Mushroom Houses are available as vacation rentals, but most are privately owned.

Arch Rock

Over 140 feet high, Arch Rock soars above the Straits of Mackinac. The arch is a well-known feature on Mackinac Island, but many visitors don’t know about the arch before they visit.

You can reach Arch Rock via two routes on the island, both about a 25-minute walk from Main Street. Several island sightseeing tours stop at Arch Rock to give you time for photos and exploring both sides of the arch and views of Lake Huron.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

About 25 miles west of Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has over 60 miles of protected natural shoreline, with more than 30 miles of beach and sand dunes. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also offers 13 hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging.

Within the National Lakeshore preserve, North and South Manitou are wilderness islands that are preserved from development. Kayaking and canoeing will get you on the water under your own power, and you can also enjoy boat and personal watercraft rentals and tours. Inland lakes like Lake Leelanau and Glen Lake offer additional recreation. While you’re in the area, check out winery tours and sailing excursions from Traverse City.

The Guardian Building

There’s no shortage of sights in the Motor City, but Detroit’s Guardian Building is a feast for the eyes. Now owned by Wayne County, the Guardian Building is a landmark early 20th century skyscraper, designed by architect Wirt C. Rowland.

The Guardian Building opened in 1929 right before the Great Depression. 100% Michigan designed and made, the Guardian Building shows the height of the Art Deco movement with beautiful and unique interior and exterior design and materials, from glass mosaics to Italian Travertine marble floors, steps, and walls.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

If you’ve heard the song “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot, you’ve heard about the focal point for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

The museum is located at Whitefish Point Light Station north of the small town of Paradise, about an hour north of the Mackinac Bridge. It is open from May 1 to October 31 and includes a complex of historic buildings and the landmark lighthouse.

Detroit Folk Art Projects

Detroit has a long history of unique visionaries and artists. In and around the area, you can find some folk art treasures that emerged during the 1980s and 1990s, including:

  • Hamtramck Disneyland: After he retired from 30 years in the auto industry, Ukrainian immigrant Dmytro Szylak started his own backyard theme park.
  • Dabl’s African Bead Museum: In the 1980s, artist Olayami Dabls opened the museum to share his collection of over 18,000 African beads and art objects with the public.
  • The Heidelberg Project: A grandson and grandfather, Tyree Guyton and Sam Mackey, created an ever-changing folk art installation that brightens the neighborhood and expresses African-American history and contemporary culture.

Bete Grise Sea Arch

Found in a less-traveled area of the Keweenaw Peninsula, you can kayak to the Bete Grise arch on Bete Grise Bay. This layered red sandstone arch is a stunning sight. You can also visit the Keweenaw Historical Ruins nearby.

Blooming Mystical Lavender Labyrinth

Lavender Labyrinth in Michigan

The beautiful, enormous Blooming Mystical Lavender Labyrinth can be seen from space. The Labyrinth is located at Cherry Point Farm in Shelby, Michigan.

Manistique Boardwalk and River Walk

Located on Lake Michigan, the small town of Manistique’s boardwalk is one of the most pleasant and beautiful in the state. The walk offers a view of the town’s lighthouse and passing ships.

Visit one or all of our nine options of the best underrated places to visit in Michigan and locate hidden treasures and less-visited wonders in the Great Lakes State.

Arcadia Dunes

Select from a variety of 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails encircling Lake Michigan, providing respite from the heat, opportunities for picnics, or the chance to lose yourself in the embrace of nature’s cool serenity. Explore boardwalks and picturesque wildflower meadows, where you could easily spend days immersing yourself in the surroundings.

Don’t forget to visit the observation deck for the most breathtaking sunset views and the peaceful waters below. This serene piece of paradise, known modestly as Arcadia Dunes, can be found within the C.S. Mott Nature Preserve, situated to the south of Crystal Lake along West Michigan’s M-22.