Michigan travel guide: Discover the state's top tourist stops

The state of Michigan offers attractions that captivate people with different interests.

Nature lovers, history buffs, and those looking for family fun can all enjoy these must-see spots in the state.

While there is much more to see in the state, the following five spots are some of Michigan's greatest natural highlights:

Before visiting, visitors will want to check the specific attraction's operating hours and any travel or booking requirements.

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Mackinac Island offers residents and travelers alike a quintessential Michigan experience. Recognized as one of the top attractions in the state by US News & World Report, the island is located in Lake Huron and is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.

The island is only accessible by ferry, as it has a car-free policy.

Michigan touches four of the five Great Lakes: Huron, Michigan, Erie and Superior. (Educational Images/Universal Images Group)

Historically, the island served as an important economic and military location, with Mackinac Fort illustrating its important past. The island's charming character is reflected in its horse-drawn carriages and historic architecture.

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Activities for the whole family on the island include relaxing tours, shopping and dining. The island is suitable for all guests, whether they are considering an overnight stay or a day trip. A trip here is complete with trying the famous fudge that Mackinac is famous for.

Sleeping Bear Dunes captivates visitors with its prominent dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan. In 2011, it was awarded the title of “America's Most Beautiful Place” by “Good Morning America” ​​for its incredible natural features. The park is considered a natural wonder because of the sand dunes, which rise 130 meters above the lake.

The lakeshore offers a variety of activities including sandboarding, fishing, canoeing, swimming and boating in the summer and skiing in the winter, making it a versatile and exciting destination for all ages.

View of part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with the sea and coast in view

The state of Michigan is divided into two landmasses: the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. They are connected by the Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. (interim archives)

Travelers don't even have to leave their vehicle to enjoy the destination. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive extends for 7.5 miles with 12 designated points that provide panoramic views of the dunes and lake, making the beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes accessible without ever getting out of the car.

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Recognized as the World's Cherry Capital, Traverse City is a popular travel destination for its crystal-clear water beaches, hiking trails and abundant water activities, all set against a backdrop of natural beauty. Despite its fame as a top weekend getaway destination in the Midwest, it retains its quaint small-town charm. This city is a popular destination for those who enjoy local wine and beer offerings and exceptional culinary creations.

The cultural and arts scene is also a popular tourist draw in Traverse City, with events like the Traverse City Film Festival and the National Cherry Festival drawing crowds from near and far. Located in the heart of the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula wine trails, the town is perfectly positioned for guests looking to sample the region's renowned Rieslings and other cool climate varieties, with a beautiful vineyard backdrop.

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The historic downtown area offers spacious boutiques, coffee shops, and farm-to-table restaurants, offering visitors a shopping and gastronomic offering.

A view from Lake Shore Drive on Mackinac Island, Michigan, with the coastline in view

Located in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a unique place where no motor vehicles are allowed. Transport options include bicycles, horses and on foot. (Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group)

Tahquamenon Falls is home to one of Mississippi's most impressive waterfalls and is among the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The park's main attraction, the Upper Falls, features a dramatic 50-foot drop that stretches over 200 feet wide. Meanwhile, the Lower Falls consists of five smaller waterfalls.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities, including exploring the hiking trails, viewing the local wildlife, and camping. Overnight guests can camp in the park or stay in nearby accommodations.

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The park's trails offer the chance to encounter wildlife such as black bears, coyotes, otters, deer, foxes, porcupines, beavers and various birds, as noted by Michigan.org.

There are several hiking trails through the park. The four-mile stretch that connects the Upper and Lower Falls is especially popular with hikers.

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Additionally, the park is dog-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their pets as long as they are on a leash and the leash is no longer than six feet.

A day pass or annual state park pass is required to enter the park. The ideal time to visit depends on individual preferences for activities. Winter offers opportunities for snowshoeing, and fall offers vibrant, colorful leaves.

Vibrant fall colors at Tahquamenon Falls

Outdoor enthusiasts can find a wide variety of activities in Michigan, including fishing, boating, hiking, and skiing.

Isle Royale National Park, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is accessible by a several-hour ferry ride. The ferry ride usually begins in Houghton or Copper Harbor, Michigan, or Grand Portage, Minnesota.

Only accessible by boat or seaplane, this remote island in Lake Superior offers an immersive nature experience, ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life and adventure in the great outdoors.

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The island is known for its predator-prey dynamics, particularly between the moose and wolf populations, which have been the focus of a long-term ecological study. The park is also home to other wildlife such as foxes, beavers, otters and several bird species.

Park visitors will encounter a picturesque landscape with dense forests, dramatic vistas and intricate waterways. With more than 165 miles of hiking trails, the island invites guests to take day hikes or extended backpacking excursions, including the Greenstone Ridge Trail, which runs the length of the island.

Visitors must pay an entrance fee to gain access to the park. Anyone planning to camp must obtain a permit. The park is open annually from April 16 to October 31.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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