As some of you know, 2016 was the year I accomplished my goal of traveling the 50 states before turning 30! There were so many places I was very excited to visit and some that I wasn’t expecting much and took my breath away. And of these places is Michigan, one of the states that surprised me a lot. I regret not spending more days there, there is so much to see that would love to go back and explore more! But since I love sharing my travel experiences with you, here are my favorite places in Michigan SO FAR, because I hope to go back and add at least a few more items to this list! I hope you guys like it and don’t forget to follow me on instagram @marthasachser and @blognyandabout for more NY tips adventures in the city!
This was one of my favorite stops in Michigan! Frankenmuth is a small town politically independent located on the east side of the state near Bay City. Known as “Little Bavaria”, the first settlers arrived in the area from Germany in 1845, becoming first a Village in 1904 and a city on October, 1959. You will fall in love with its streets, many shops and restaurants and if you’re in the mood, the Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas Store in the world, is also located there. It is huge and you can find everything related to Chirstmas in there, be prepared!
Belle Isle Park
History and natural beauty, Belle Isle is a must see in Detroit. The drive to the park is beautiful and the view of Canada accross the river was something unique, I spent quite a few minutes counting how many Canadian flags I could spot on the other side and thinking how close we were to Canada and that I still haven’t had the chance to visit. It’s on my list! The park is perfect for picnics, running, biking and it is a natural playground for kids of all ages. There is also an aquarium, a small zoo, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, a golf course and the James Scott Memorial Fountain! Make sure to check their official website to see what’s going on in the park when you visit!
No trip to Detroit is complete without stopping by the Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers (baseball league). The stadium is located accross from the Fox Theatre, also near two historic churches: St. John Episcopal Church and the Central United Methodist Church. There was nothing going on when I stopped by but my picture with the iconic 15 feet tiger was taken! There are several other tigers throughout the park and someone told me that their eyes lit up after the Tigers win a game or after a home run. The stadium’s seating capacity is 41,297. 2100. You can also enjoy great food, a hall of fame with the Tigers’ history, stores to buy their official merchandise, a ferris wheel and even a carousel!
University of Michigan
Located in Ann Arbor and founded in 1817, this is the state’s oldest university. According to the official website “the University has grown to include 19 schools and colleges, covering liberal arts and sciences as well as most professions”. The streets had this small town vibe and the University buildings we walked and drove by were beautiful! The entire place had this calm and relaxing vibe, it even made me miss my college years! We were able to walk around a bit, have a drink at their local Starbucks (yeah, I know…) and shop at their official merchandise store (got a cool Michigan shirt for $10!)!
There is a lot to do and see in Detroit, but you definitely need a car! After years of traveling to major American cities I became more selective of places I reaaally wanna see, so we focused on things that we couldn’t find anywhere else or that had something really unique. We failed. But still, we had a great time… and it’s another reason to go back to Detroit and explore more! If you are planning to spend a few days in the city, here are some of the must see in Detroit and its surroundings: the Riverfront, Motown Museum, Eastern Market, the Fisher Building, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Guardian Building, the Henry Ford Museum, The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Ford Field, Detroit Historical Museum, Greektown, Campus Martius Park, GM Renaissance Center, the Heidelberg Project, Mexicantown (didn’t see anything very interesting there but…)
Northville and Bay City
We didn’t have many days in Michigan and were originally planning on going all the way up north but our time only allowed us to go up to Bay City, a beautiful place in the Saginaw Bay. I confess I was expecting all the action and attractions from Google images or at least some people walking around to ask for directions but it was completely quiet! Seriously, we felt like we were the only ones there! But it was worth it and the view was expectacular! Bay City was the perfect way to end our day in Michigan! If you’re headed north, make sure to click HERE to see a video about Bay City must-see atractions and things to do (including the famous planetarium in the photo below), maybe you will see more than we did. Our final stop that day was in Northville, a 149-year old city with beautiful streets, historic buildings, art galleries, restaurants, theatres, shops, parks and surrounded by neature. I wish I could have spent more time exploring the city but it was time to go!