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    15 Things to do in Ann Arbor

    15 Things to do in Ann Arbor

    Global Girls Travel created an awesome article of some places to visit in Ann Arbor! Some of theses places are even steps away from our Mothership store, Rock Paper Scissors in Ann Arbor! 

    TEAHAUS

    TeaHaus-food-V

    TeaHaus serves upscale teas and food in a coffee shop setting. The most beautiful aromas waft through the two-room cafe and shop in Ann Arbor’s charming downtown. More than 170 tea tins line the wall and customers are welcome to smell as many as it takes to choose the right tea for the day. I chose a complex and spicy Earl Grey, while the Hubs chose an Irish breakfast tea.

    Owner Lisa McDonald is a font of information, not just about her business but about the entire tea process, from the leaves to the brewing. McDonald is a tea sommellier and it shows in her menu. According to McDonald, TeaHaus is the only one in the U.S. to test all its tea in Germany as certified organic. Germany has the highest standards of quality control which is why all TeaHaus product comes from there.

    You can expect gluten-free and vegan selections and tea incorporated into the food. A full English tea is a three-tiered service brought out to each table already set with white china and linens. It includes all the tea you can drink and five finger sandwiches (savories), two scones with jam, jellies, curd, clotted cream, and three desserts. I highly recommend this!

    NICKELS ARCADE

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    A single strip of shops frames this 1918 structure, which illustrates just how charming Ann Abor is.

    AVENTURA

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    Chic tapas restaurant offers al fresco dining, happy hour food and drink specials, and sizzling plates of Spanish delicacies. What more could you ask for? I highly recommend the octopus and the stuffed peppers with a glass of sangria.

    Aventure-octopus-V

    ANN ARBOR FARMERS MARKET

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    Sample coconut-infused honey from the honey stand, shop for handmade wool hats, or pick up locally grown produce — it’s all part of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in historic Kerrytown.

    ART DECO THEATERS

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    Ann Arbor boasts not one, but two Art Deco theatres — State Theatre and Michigan Theatre — which is half of why I love this historic and quaint college town.

    SWEETWATERS COFFEE & TEA

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    Open and airy coffee shop departs from the rest by serving the French Vietnamese Cafe Au Lait — espresso with condensed milk. Trust me, it’s good. Exposed brick interiors and plenty of seating make this a popular hangout for college kids downtown.

    FOUR DIRECTIONS

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    This upscale hippie jewelry shop sells precious gems. I picked up an amber pie-shaped ring.

    ROCK PAPER SCISSORS SHOP

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    Specialty paper, stationary, and gift shop may seem like a quick stop, but trust me, it’s easy to get lost and hard to pull yourself away. Snarky greeting cards alone will detain you.

    ANN ARBOR ART FAIR

    Art-Fair-ann-arbor

    Established in 1960, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the original of the now four award-winning Ann Arbor Art Fairs. Together, the fairs attract over 500,000 attendees from across the nation.  The Original Fair was named the Number One Art Fair in the country by AmericanStyle magazine readers survey (October 2004) and has made the Top Ten Fairs and Festivals list every year since.

    MIGHTY GOOD COFFEE SHOP

    Mighty-Good-Coffee

    Choose how you want the coffee made, it’s roasted on site. Pick the brand then pick the method of brewing.

    MORE THINGS TO EAT, SEE & DO IN ANN ARBOR

    The Blue Nile

    Ethiopian food you eat with your hands. Go there for the live jazz on Saturday nights.

    Law Quad

    Cool place to admire architecture, walk, or people watch, this quadrangle of English gothic architecture dates to 1920-30’s.

    The Earl

    Get there before 5:30 p.m. for happy hour during week and get half off drinks and steamed mussels for $2.75 for first plate, then $3.75 each additional plate.

    The Arboretum

    Ann Arbor’s Central Park is a must-see. Go there for walking trails, a peony garden, and grassy knolls which are perfect for picnicking.

    Pacific Rim

    Popular Asian fusion restaurant serves a flight of Asian-themed creme brûlée in raspberry, ginger, and green tea.

    The History of Kellogg's Cereal in Battle Creek, Michigan

    The History of Kellogg's Cereal in Battle Creek, Michigan

    We love some frosted flakes, fruit loops and rice krispies, especially if it's a late night snack (don't tell my husband...)!

    If you're like us, you commonly forget that one of our favorite cereal companies resides right in Michigan! Battle Creek, Michigan to be exact!

    Here's the little history about the awesome company! 

    "From one great day over 100 years ago all the way to today, Kellogg's has continued to fuel better days for American families. From going to the moon to feeding the U.S. Army to making your days great, some of our best days have been in your home country, the United States.

    Discover our best days in the U.S.

    1898 — In a fortunately failed attempt at making granola, our company’s founder, W.K. Kellogg, and his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, changed breakfast forever when they accidentally flaked wheat berry. W.K. kept experimenting until he flaked corn, and created the delicious recipe for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

    1906 — W.K. Kellogg opened the “Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company” and carefully hired his first 44 employees. Together they created the initial batch of Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes®and brought to life W.K.’s vision for great-tasting, better-for-you breakfast foods.

    1914 — Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes® was introduced to a new country: Canada. (Later the Kellogg Company will spread the goodness of grain around the world by opening factories in Australia, England, Mexico, Japan, India and more. Today Kellogg brightens breakfast in over 180 countries around the world).

    1915 — Kellogg introduced Bran Flakes, the first high-fiber cereal, promptly followed by the introduction of Kellogg’s® All-Bran one year later.

    1923 — The Kellogg Company made another bold move and become the first in the food industry to hire a dietitian. Mary Barber started the Kellogg’s Home Economics Department and began defining the roles different foods played in proper diets.

    1930 — As the United States sunk into the Depression, W.K. Kellogg declared, “I’ll invest in people.” He split shifts and hired new employees to work them. He also founded the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, whose mission — to help children realize their potential — complements that of the Kellogg Company to this day.

    To further our commitment to people, Kellogg became one of the first companies to proudly display our cereals’ recipes and nutritional info on our boxes — so our consumers knew exactly what they were eating.

    1942-1945 — Kellogg’s employees proudly produced K-rations for the U.S. armed forces overseas during World War II, and our engineering teams helped manufacture supplies in Kellogg machine shops. We continued to help America get nutrition by bringing new, whole-grain cereal to life when we introducedKellogg’s® Raisin Bran®.

    1969 — The Kellogg Company was honored to provide breakfast for the legendary Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins during their groundbreaking Apollo 11 trip to the moon.

    1997 — We opened the W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research — where food scientists, nutritionists and engineers transform wholesome grains and other ingredients into great-tasting and good-for-your-family foods.

    2006 — The Kellogg Company celebrated our 100-year commitment to nutrition, health and quality. We also celebrated our future — by creating new Kellogg’s® Special K® Bars and other innovative ways of giving your family the delicious nutrition you need to make the most of every day.

    2009-2010 — After discovering that many people in the U.S. don’t get enough fiber, Kellogg increased the fiber in many of our most popular cereals — including Kellogg’s® Froot Loops®. Now, in the U.S., Kellogg Company offers more ready-to-eat cereals that provide at least one good source of fiber (3 grams) and one-half serving of whole grains (8 grams) than any other U.S. food company.

    Today — We’re proudly upholding the values W.K. Kellogg instilled more than 100 years ago — but now we’re doing it in 180 countries across the world. We still provide you and your family with better breakfasts that lead to better days, and we flake corn the same way W.K. Kellogg did back in 1898. It just tastes better that way."

    Pretty cool right?! Love the cereal, love them. 
    As Tony the Tiger would say, "They're Great!"

    We know it's cold....but Ice Cream.

    We know it's cold....but Ice Cream.

    These 12 Ice Cream Shops in Michigan Are An Absolute Must-Try

    It’s going to be springtime soon (hopefully) and that means the shutters are being lifted from the many delicious ice cream shops across the Mitten State. While it’s impossible to name them all, we put together a list of spots that have been pleasing Michigan families for generations. Whether you’re on the search for a scoop of Superman or Blue Moon, looking for old-fashioned charm or want to know which local dairy is behind the magic, these places have you covered.

    This diverse sampling of delectable scoops should hold you over through the summer, but if you think of other favorite parlors, by all means let us know in the comments below. Better yet, tell us your favorite place for Superman or Blue Moon!

    Historic Road Trips, Yes Please!

    Historic Road Trips, Yes Please!

    28 Spots for a Historic Road Trip Along US 12 Heritage Trail

       


    Winding through more than 200 miles of scenic roads and historic landmarks, the US 12 Heritage Trail is a journey through time. Along the way you'll enjoy wineries, monuments, incredible feats of innovation, and a relaxing end to your journey at the beach.
     

    1. Detroit

    Detroit Institute of Arts
    Detroit Institute of Arts | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan


    Start the adventure in Detroit. The Motor City has a distinctive personality and an incredibly storied past, which make it an exciting place to explore. Check out Woodward Avenue, the All-American Road and Automotive Heritage Trail, for some of the city's best architecture and coolest attractions, like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Historical Museum. Get more in-depth into the city's auto history at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the former factory and birthplace of the legendary Ford Model T. The Z Lot is a one-of-a-kind parking garage/art gallery where you can experience a different side of the city's car culture (oh, and The Belt, the alley beside the garage, is an art space as well).

     

    2. Eastern Market - Detroit

    Visit one of the oldest and largest markets in the United States, Eastern Market, where you can browse a vast array of local foods and goods. Grab coffee at Trinosophes and pizza at Supino Pizzeria and walk from the market along the 1.5-mile Dequindre Cut Greenway down to the Riverfront. At the Riverfront, you can stroll through Milliken State Park and Harbor, the state’s first urban state park, and take in some great views of the Ambassador Bridge and Canada. The Riverfront is also home to the Department of Natural Resource's Outdoor Adventure Center, which is great for kids, with its many interactive and innovative exhibits.
     

    3. Belle Isle State Park – Detroit

    You could easily spend a whole day exploring everything that Belle Isle Park has to offer. The island in the middle of the Detroit River features a restored aquarium, a conservatory, a nature zoo, and a museum. Crossing the MacArthur Bridge from Detroit to the island is like entering a whole other world!


     

    4. Soldiers and Sailors Monument – Detroit

    The Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument is one of Detroit's oldest and most special pieces of public art. It's one of the country's first Civil War monuments, having been built in 1872, and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A lot has changed in Detroit since it was unveiled, but it's stood the test of time, and remains a beloved sight in the city.


     

    5. Exploration Bike Trails

    If you're looking to further explore the surrounding region of Detroit, head to nearby Wyandotte to bike the Downriver Ramble. The neighborhoods "downriver" from Detroit are worth touring, and this 18-mile ride is a great way to do it. There's also the considerably longer 86-mile Tour de Wayne and Washtenaw Classic, which Tour de France finisher and Dearborn native Frankie Andreu likes to take through the suburbs.
     

    6. Detroit Zoo  Royal Oak

    If you're looking for a wild adventure in Detroit, head to the Detroit Zoo. It's a world class facility with more than 2,500 animals of 270 different species, and it features incredibly detailed habitats to house them. All of your favorites are here, including penguins, bears, camels, gorillas, kangaroos, lions, rhinos, crocs, sloths, zebras and more. There's even a giraffe encounter, the world’s largest penguinarium and one of North America’s largest polar bear habitats.
     

    7. Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation - Dearborn

    Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
    Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation | Photo Courtesy of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation


    One of the most prestigious history museums in the country is right along U.S. 12: The Henry Ford. It is, of course, named for Henry Ford, of Ford Motor Company, but it's so much more than just a museum about cars. Of course, there's auto history here, but they also have airplanes, helicopters, presidential cars (include the limo that JFK was assassinated in), the bus Rosa Parks rode, and the historical Greenfield Village (that you can tour in a Model T). If you want to make the most of a trip here, leave at least a day to explore... that's how much incredible history is contained within. At Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, you’ll discover America and hundreds of hands-on ways to explore it.
     

    8. Inkster

    Inkster is a suburb of Detroit that's worth spending time exploring. The Inkster Farmer's Market is nice on weekends, and nearby you'll find the Wayne Historical Museum, which is located in the old Town Hall, a gorgeous Victorian building that's loaded with history. Old photos, maps, artifacts, art, and more tell the story of this part of Michigan.
     

    9. Ypsilanti

    Ypsilanti
    Ypsilanti | Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real


    Next stop on the route is Ypsilanti. This funky, artsy community has a bold personality that you can delve into at their historic district, Depot Town. It has an old train station and Civil War barracks, plus old buildings that now contain trendy restaurants and museums. One cool spot is the Automotive Heritage Museum, which has a massive collection of old cars and auto-related memorabilia.
     

    10. Ypsilanti Museums

    Ypsilanti is also home to the Michigan Firehouse Museum, which is located in a 19th-century firehouse and filled with historical artifacts and modern info on firefighting, and the Ypsilanti Historical Museum, which is located in a Victorian home filled with beautiful old artifacts and cared for by incredibly passionate docents.
     

    11. Hiking Trails

    For hiking near Ypsi (as the locals call it) try the North Bay Trail. Two miles of trail are contained within a 15-acre park, and the hike takes you across boardwalks and bridges to islands on Ford Lake. Fishing fanatics: bring your gear, because the angling here is awesome.
     

    12. Brookside Cemetery - Tecumseh

    The Lenawee County town of Tecumseh is home to the Cemetery Tour. The 20-mile bike route takes you to three old graveyards, which look like city parks, with their landscaping and old, ornamental headstones. Between the graveyards, one of which is the historic Brookside Cemetery, you'll pass by rural farmlands.
     

    13. Cambridge Junction Historic State Park/Walker Tavern Historic Site - Brooklyn

    At Cambridge Junction Historic Park in Brooklyn, you'll find the famed Walker Tavern. Historically, a stagecoach ride from Detroit to Chicago took approximately five days, and a stop-off at Walker's Tavern was highly anticipated by many weary travelers. Today if you visit, you'll find it decorated as it was in the 19th century, with living history interpreters and awesome exhibits. You'll get a really unique look at life in Michigan back when it was considered the frontier!
     

    14. Lenawee County

    Lenawee County is a great region to explore in Southern Michigan. It's the home of the Pioneer Wine Trail, lovely lakes, and quaint towns. Take a ride on the Southern Michigan Railroad, the state's first branch railroad, to enjoy the scenery of the county. It's not all relaxing train rides and sipping wine here in Lenawee, though: feel the rush of pure speed at the Michigan International Speedway or by jumping 18,000 feet out of a plane at Skydive Tecumseh, the highest skydive jump offered in the U.S.
     

    15. Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail - Jackson

    As U.S. 12 makes its way west from Detroit, you'll pass through wine country. Plan to visit a few of the vineyards and wineries along the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail. Cherry Creek Cellarsuses old-world techniques to make wine in an 1870s schoolhouse, Sleeping Bear Winery uses all-Michigan grown fruits and grapes, and also has a sister brewery nearby, and the Pentamere Winerylets you peek into the winemaking process as you sip their offerings in their tasting room.
     

    16. Hillsdale County

    The next stop is Hillsdale County, which is loaded with charming historic sites. The Grosvenor House Museum is the Victorian Italianate mansion where Lt. Governor E.O. Grosvenor once resided. It's got a whopping 32 rooms, and is open for tours during weekends in the summer. Or, check out the original J.J. Deal buggy built in the 1890s; it's standing in the lobby of the former J.J. Deal and Son Carriage Factory, the only remaining factory in Jonesville. It now houses apartments.
     

    17. Coldwater

    Coldwater, in Branch County, is another highlight of the trip. If you're visiting during the summer, spend a night of vintage fun at the Capri Drive-In, one of the country's last remaining drive-in theaters. It's also home to Michigan's second-oldest theater, the opulent Tibbits Opera House, which features gorgeous architecture and attention to detail, and provides an intimate experience for whatever show or performance happens to be on the schedule.
     

    18. Little River Railroad - Coldwater

    For a fun afternoon activity, book a ride on the Little River Railroad: The steam locomotive takes you on a tour along Michigan's oldest railroad line.
     

    19. South Chain of Lakes

    And, for nature-lovers, the South Chain of Lakes is right outside Coldwater: Eight interconnected lakes provide 16 miles of boatable water, forested shores, beaches, and excellent fishing.
     

    20. Colon

    The town of Colon is “The Magic Capital of The World”. It got that title by being home to one of the largest magic shops on Earth, hosting the annual Magic Get Together for the past 76 years, being the home of some famed magicians, opening a magic museum, and generally embracing the quirky hobby.

    You can tour the town and see their many magic stores, the museum, and even a magic-themed brewery on the Colon Magical Mystery Tour, which is only about 22 miles long.
     

    21. Marcellus

    For more small-town fun, head into Cass County. Fish or boat on one of the lakes, hike through one of their parks, explore the town of Marcellus (make sure to grab some ice cream at Wild Patch), and bask in the serene, natural beauty!
     

    22. New Buffalo Railroad Museum - New Buffalo

    Keep the adventure going in Berrien County, whose history dates back to the Colonial period. Once the largest train yard in Southwest Michigan, the New Buffalo Railroad Museum still sees trains pass through, and has vintage train cars (like a Chesapeake & Ohio boxcar and a Pullman sleeper car), an incredibly detailed model train set, and tons more.
     

    23. Journeyman Distillery  Three Oaks

    Toast your journey with a glass of something strong from Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks. Reserve a tour of their impressive operation, where they make whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, brandy, and other liquors, order a cocktail at the Staymaker Restaurant, and even grab dinner or brunch (their breakfast pizzas are crazy good!).
     

    24. Harbor Shore Golf Club - Benton Harbor

    Harbor Shore Golf Club is one of the country's premier golf courses, hosting Senior PGA tournaments. It's also home to a luxurious inn and a scenic marina, making it worth a visit if you're looking to tee off while on vacation.
     

    25. Third Coast Surf Shop - St. Joseph

    If you're more outdoorsy, head to the legendary Third Coast Surf Shop (yes, a surf shop in Michigan!) to get lessons and rent the gear to kayak the Paw Paw River.
     

    26. Wineries and Breweries

    Berrien County is also home to famed winery Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant in Buchanan, known for their light, bright whites and incredible onsite restaurant; it's in a gorgeous setting and features an elegant menu. Greenbush Brewery is a little more laid back but just as fun to stop by: it's renowned for its craft brews (paging any IPA fans) and BBQ.
     

    27. St. Joseph

    St. Joseph Carousel
    St. Joseph Carousel | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan


    Then make your way into St. Joseph. This region is known for its art galleries, cultural institutions, and vacation-ready vibes! Weko Beach, Box Factory for the Arts, and the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center are favorite spots to explore.

     

    28. Silver Beach Center and Carousel – St. Joseph

    Visit Silver Beach and be enchanted by the whimsical Silver Beach Carousel. Choose one of the 48 unique animals and take a spin on the merry-go-round... it'll have you feeling like a kid again! Speaking of kids, if you have them with you, there's enough here to keep them entertained for hours. Michigan's tallest kaleidoscope, the Curious Kids' Museum and the Whirlpool Compass Fountain splash pad are all right nearby. And, of course, you can celebrate crossing the state of Michigan by dipping your feet into Lake Michigan's water!


    We love that Michigan showcases both, the historic vibe yet small town feel. Our mitten state has so much history, it's easy to miss it. Hopefully these towns and cities provide you with an adventure you're sure you won't forget. 

    Thank you again Pure Michigan for sharing such an awesome article to showcase Michigan and some of it's history. 

    College Town Visits in Michigan?

    College Town Visits in Michigan?

    A true Pure Michigan adventure & all 15 stops you HAVE to make!

       


    Hundreds of miles of Pure Michigan adventure. It features working cider mills, lakeside hikes, cool college towns, & a few of the most charming cities and towns in the Mitten State.
     

    1. Kalamazoo

    Start in Kalamazoo, home of Western Michigan University. The downtown district keeps a laid-back and fun attitude, with a whopping 12 craft breweries, a bunch of totally unique museums, and water activities on nearby lakes. It's right in between Chicago and Detroit, and it can hold its own against its neighboring metropolises on quirkiness alone!
     

    2. Air Zoo - Kalamazoo

    Air Zoo Kalamazoo
    Air Zoo | Photo Courtesy of Air Zoo 

     

    The Kalamazoo Air Zoo is one of those completely one-of-a-kind museums. It's half aerospace museum, half indoor amusement park, and 100% fun. Go from seeing the fastest plane ever built (the SR-71B Blackbird) to feeling the rush of a full flight simulator or paratrooper jump... and that's just the beginning of what you can see and do there!

    If you prefer to get your thrills from a pint glass, the nationally-famous Bell's Brewery, Eccentric Café and General Store is in Kalamazoo, and they offer weekend tours of their operation. End it all with a glass of Oberon in the beer garden, or with a meal at their Eccentric Cafe. If you're really into the nitty-gritty of brewing, call Hop Head Farms and ask about a tour: They provide the hops that flavor the beers at Bell's, Founder's, Goose Island, and more!

     

    3. Gilmore Car Museum - Kalamazoo

    Gilmore Car Museum Kalamazoo
    Gilmore Car Museum | Photo Courtesy of Gilmore Car Museum 


    There are so many historic autos at the Gilmore Car Museum (we're talking nearly 400 vehicles) that the grounds cover 90 acres. From the early cars of the 1930s to hot rods from the 50s, and everything in between, even the least car-savvy will enjoy drooling over the retro details on the cars in this collection.

     

    4. Ann Arbor

    Downtown Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor | Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor 


    The next college town on the list is Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. Here, there's always something new and exciting to try or experience... whether you're in search of arts and culture, foodie delights, or outdoor adventure, you won't have trouble filling several days here.

    If you're a sports nut, a trip to the Big House (aka Michigan Stadium) is in order. Before that, spend some time strolling around the peaceful campus and enjoying the architecture and stately college vibes. Visit Motawi Tileworks' retail shop in downtown's Ann Arbor Arts Center to bask in the beauty of their handcrafted ceramic tiles, inspired by American artists like Charley Harper and Frank Lloyd Wright. History geeks can make their way right to the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, which contains 10,000 ancient and Medieval artifacts.
     

    5. Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea – Ann Arbor

    Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea is a classic little cafe and coffee shop where you can hunker down and do some work, or simply unwind with a drink and a snack... but there's something extra special about it: It has a fairy door. Tiny, intricate fairy doors can be found all over Ann Arbor, but the one outside Sweetwaters was one of the first to pop up. Local author Jonathan Write is suspected to be the man behind the doors, which can be incredibly detailed. They've been popping up around town since 2005, and if you see one, make sure to leave a penny outside it for good luck.


    6. Ypsilanti

    If you're feeling adventurous, head to Ann Arbor's nearby neighbor Ypsilanti, where Eastern Michigan University resides. This decidedly funky community has some incredible dining, drinking, and shopping in the Depot Town portion of the city!

    Pinckney Recreation Area
    Pinckney Recreation Area | Photo Courtesy of Michigan DNR


    Or, for a taste of the great outdoors, just north of the city is Island Lake State Recreation Area, which has some trails, including a great 12-mile-long one through the dense woodland. There's also the Pinckney Recreation Area, which is just as scenic, but features a shorter 3-mile trail.
     

    7. Lakelands Trail State Park - Pinckney

    Lakelands Trail State Park near Pinckney is one of Michigan's many gorgeous rail trails, which follow the paths laid by old, out-of-use railroad track. Lakelands Trail is great for hiking and biking, as well as horseback riding and cross-country skiing. It's 13 miles long and meanders through forests and fields, making it an easy trail with tons of scenery.
     

    8. Hiking and Biking Trails

    There are lots of other hikes in the area. The epic 62-mile-long North Central State Trail winds its way from Gaylord to Indian River to Cheboygan to Mackinaw City, passing by some of Michigan's best views and coolest resort towns along the way. The Waterloo-Pinckney Recreation Area Trail is a 36-mile round-trip that takes you past farms and lakes, up rocky hills, and through forests and streams.

    Bikers can tackle the 25-mile Chelsea Ramble, just outside Ann Arbor. The hilly, windy route through Waterloo State Recreation Area is exciting and scenic, with new views around each bend. There's also the Jackson Portage Lake Trail, which is a pretty flat but still gorgeous 30-mile bike ride, the Kalamazoo County Ramble, which is 22 miles long and takes you past an ice cream parlor and a winery in the countryside, and the East Lansing Cruise, which takes you deep into the lovely farm country around Michigan University.
     

    9. Lansing

    Next up is the state capital: Lansing. Michigan State University can be found here, as can other cultural institutions and attractions. Whether you're feeling the awe and magnitude of the State Capitol Building or going back in time gawking at the glamorous old cars at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, you'll definitely learn a thing or two during your visit here!

    If you're a sports fan, then go nuts at a Lansing Lugnuts game. The class-A minor league team is much loved by the locals, and the games are always a fun time. Or, if you're looking for something a little more low-key, MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, which is loaded with brain-bending and thought-provoking contemporary art, is worth a visit as well.

    Plus, there's loads of natural beauty. In between Ann Arbor and Lansing, you'll find the lake-studded beauty that is Waterloo State Recreation Area; explore it with a quick hike on the 5-mile trail.
     

    10. Michigan Historical Museum - Lansing

    Learn about Michigan’s history at the Michigan Historical Museum. Discover the stories of Michigan’s native people, see the role the state played in the Civil War, learn how Michigan shaped the automotive industry or experience the landscape of the state during the Ice Age.
     

    11. Uncle John's Cider Mill – Saint Johns

    michigan cider mills
    Uncle John's Cider Mill | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan 


    Open from the spring until late fall, Uncle John's Cider Mill almost always has something going on. Wine tastings for adults, play areas and inflatables for kids, animals to pet, bakery goods to sample, and more during the summer, and pumpkin- and apple-themed fun in the fall. And don't leave without grabbing a cider donut and a bottle of their signature apple cider!
     

    12. Mount Pleasant

    Mount Pleasant is the next college town on the route, as it's the home of Central Michigan University! It is also a town rich in Native American heritage. Delve into the culture of the Saginaw Chippewa and the Great Lakes Anishinabek at the Ziibiwing Center, which preserves artifacts, traditions, and stories.
     

    13. Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum – Mount Pleasant

    If you happen to be traveling with smaller kids, the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum is an awesome children's museum with all kinds of interactive exhibits. A music room, a water table, a Japanese cultural play area, a farmer's market display, and tons more will have kids learning while keeping them entertained for hours!
     

    14. Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort – Mount Pleasant

    Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant is another great stop: the pool (with its indoor/outdoor jacuzzis) and the rooms (some of which have fireplaces) plus the spa, casino, entertainment, and multiple restaurants make for a relaxing stay. Plus, their indoor water parks are an incredibly fun way to spend an afternoon!

    While you're in the area, enjoy the outdoor fun to be had in Houghton Lake. Trails, beaches, canoeing, farms, windsurfing, fishing, evening ATVing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing all make for excellent adventures in the area.

     

    15. Gaylord

    Golf in Gaylord
    Golf in Gaylord | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan 


    Smack dab in the middle of Northern Michigan is the Alpine-themed town of Gaylord. When the locals aren't golfing, biking, hiking, or snowmobiling, you can probably find many of them downtown, either browsing the twice-weekly farmers' market, exploring a fair, or dining out at one of their cozy, rustic eateries. During the summer, you can visit one (or a few) of the region's 15 golf courses (that's why it's Michigan's golf mecca), or canoe, kayak, and raft the Au Sable River. During the spring and fall, Gaylord is a great place for elk viewing, which can be very active and are popular to observe. There's great shopping and some nice resorts here if you want to stay inside, but why wouldn't you want to explore the natural beauty to be had in Gaylord?

     

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