Get Lost in #PureMichigan With These 38 Hidden Treasures Around Michigan

THEGEMS 2

If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look Around You

Every state has some amazing hidden treasures, but Michigan seems to be bursting with them! We’ve compiled some of the best hidden gems Michigan has to offer all in one handy list. Thanks to our Facebook readers for helping us find these gems.

35+ Michigan Hidden Treasures You’ll Love

1

Alligator Sanctuary

1698 M-66, Athens, MI 49011

Alligators in Michigan? That’s right! Bearded dragons and giant tortoises, too!

2

Anderson & Girls Orchard

2985 N Sheridan Road, Stanton, MI  48888

Parakeets, ice cream parlour, petting zoo, and u-pick fruit, too! Don’t forget to grab some orchard-made cider and amazing donuts while you’re there, too!

3

Boulder Ridge

8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302

A mini zoo filled with exotic animals. Easy to do half a day, but you’ll want to come back over and over!

Our Review >>

grand rapids summer activities - boulder ridge wild animal park
Make sure you feed the giraffes and other animals at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto, MI
4

Outdoor Discover Center

4214 56th St, Holland, MI 49423

Learn about and preserve nature! Walk the trails or snowshoe them in the winter.

michigan nature centers - outdoor discovery center
All kinds of nature waits to be found at the Outdoor Discovery Center in Holland
5

Yankee Springs Recreation Area

2104 Briggs Rd S, Middleville, MI 49333

200 acres of #PureMichigan fun! Walking, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, swimming, camping, horse trails, snowshoe, ice fishing.

6

Critter Barn

9275 Adams St, Zeeland, MI 49464

Meet and interact with all sorts of farm animals! Animals include rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, geese, a pony and a horse.

Critter Barn Birthday with Chicken
Hold chicken, pet goats and more at the Critter Barn in Zeeland, MI
7

Tahquamenon State Park

41382 West M-123, Paradise, MI 49768

Two of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls are located at this amazing U.P. Michigan State Park. Amazing scenery, plentiful walking trails, camping, and even row boat rentals near one of the falls!

Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula is a must-see
8

Garlyn Zoo

W9104 US2, Naubinway, MI 49762

Meet and interact with all sorts of farm animals! Animals include rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, geese, a pony and a horse.

9

Copper Harbor

Upper Peninsula, about 9 hours North of Grand Rapids

Beautiful views of the mighty Lake Superior surrounded by gorgeous scenery and quaint little shops. This U.P. destination is worth the travel!

10

Kitch-Iti-Kipi (Big Spring)

Palms Book State Park, Manistique, MI 49854

No matter the time of year, this is the perfect destination! Multiple fissures in underlying limestone keep water flowing at a constant 45 degrees. A raft awaits to pull you across this delightful natural wonder.

the big spring kitchitikipi
Kitch-Iti-Kipi (Big Spring) in Palms Book State Park in Manistique, MI, is free to visit
11

Wittenbach Wege

11715 Vergennes St SE, Lowell, MI 49331

An outdoor learning center nestled among 140 acres of lush forests, rolling prairies, abundant wetlands and open fields all waiting to be explored! The trails are open 365 days a year for walking, hiking, and snowshoeing.

Our Review >>

Wittenbach Wege Center hiking nature center Lowell
Trails, playgrounds and more wait to be explored at Wittenbach Wege in Lowell, MI
12

Calvin Eco-Preserve

1750 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Perfect for walks and hikes, the eco system boasts trails along water front with unequaled views of native flora and fauna. Birders love this preserve and you will, too!

Our Review >>

Calvin-Eco-Preserve
Families love to explore Calvin Eco Preserve in Grand Rapids, MI
13

Deer Tracks Junction

7850 14 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Making national news for Dragon, an adorable white-faced deer fawn, Deer Tracks offers so much more! Check out the DTJ safari, the play area, and the hands-on-farm and stay for the ice cream!

Our Review >>

Deer Tracks Junction
Get your animal fix at Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs, MI
14

Binder Park Zoo

7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014

Looking for a big city zoo but don’t want to travel to the big city? Binder Park is for you!

Our Review >>

Feeding Giraffes at Twiga Binder Park Zoo (1)
Feed giraffes at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, MI
15

Dairy Discovery

12877 84th St SE, Alto, MI 49302

Are you ready to get close to cows and find out how a real dairy farm works? Dairy Discovery is the place to learn all about cows and milk! Kids love seeing a working farm up close. 

dairy discovery
Get close to cows at Dairy Discovery in Alto, MI
16

Double JJ

5900 S Water Rd, Rothbury, MI 49452

You might want to spend a week at this ranch-resort! Offering horseback riding, golfing, and an amazing water park you’ll have no time to be bored!

17

Lewis Farm Market and Petting Zoo

4180 M-20, New Era, MI 49446

Shopping for the adults, attractions for the kids, and come away with seasonal fruit and fresh cider! Wagon rides, pedal carts, gem mining, singing chickens, rubber duck races and more.

Our Review >>

Lewis-Farms-overview
There is so much to do at Lewis Farm Market and Petting Zoo in New Era, MI
18

Gilmore Car Museum

4180 M-20, New Era, MI 49446

90 acres, multiple barns filled with over 300 vintage cars and motorcycles, and the authentic Blue Moon Diner!

19

Amber Elk Ranch

2688 W Conrad Rd, Ludington, MI 49431

Tour the ranch and meet world class bull elks among other animals. Also visit the petting zoo where you can meet many interesting animals

20

Saugatuck Dune Rides

6495 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Entertainment! Fun! Excitement! All this and more as you explore one of Michigan’s natural wonders.

Saugatuck Dune Schooners
Bounce around the dunes on Saugatuck Dune Rides in Saugatuck, MI
21

Air Zoo

6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002

Let your imagination soar with airplanes and rides galore! Fun rides for the entire family, a 3D movie theater and vintage planes, with a view of the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport!

Our Review >>

Air-Zoo-for-Families-Feature-Photo-May-2020 (1)
Soar through the air at the Air Zoo in Portage, MI
22

Coopersville Farm Museum

375 Main St, Coopersville, MI 49404

Featuring Kids Crafts & Critters once a month, the museum is host to multiple activities every week including bingo, farmers market, and Jam Nights.

23

Oswald’s Bear Ranch

13814 Co Rd 407, Newberry, MI 49868

The largest bear-only ranch in the US boasting 29 roaming black bears in 4 habitats. Come to view the bears and cubs in barrier free viewing areas.

24

Mystery Spot

N916 Martin Lake Rd, St Ignace, MI 49781

An unusual attraction with phenomenal “happenings.” Take guided tours of the Mystery Spot, enjoy the two ziplines, the human maze and an 18 hole putt putt course.

25

Mill Creek Discovery Park

9001 W, US-23, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

Trek through treetops, zipline and scale the five-story climbing wall. Situated on 600 acres, enjoy the beautiful views and trails. Kids will love the Water Power Station and Forest Friends Play Area.

26

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

25 Christmas Ln, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

If you love Christmas, this one might not be “hidden.” This giant Christmas store is open year round and filled with every decoration imaginable. Kids can even use the in-store phone to call Santa!

Bronners-Christmas-Wonderland-Frankenmuth-Santa-Kids
All Your Christmas Dreams Come True at Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, MI
27

Zehnder’s Splash Village

730 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Trek through treetops, zipline and scale the five-story climbing wall. Situated on 600 acres, enjoy the beautiful views and trails. Kids will love the Water Power Station and Forest Friends Play Area.

28

American Museum of Magic

107 E. Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI 49068

Did you know Michigan has what’s been called the “Smithsonian of American Magic?” If you have magic-loving kiddos, this is a must-see. In addition to a giant collection of mysterious items, there are magic shows included with admission at 1:00pm on Saturdays.

29

Lake of the Clouds

311 Steel St, Ontonagon, MI 49953

Enjoy the majesty of Michigan’s own mountain range. Lake of the Clouds is a majestic freshwater that empties into Lake Superior. Pictures don’t do it justice! 

30

Old Town Lansing

1232 Turner St, Lansing, MI 48906

Sure, it’s fun to see the State Capital, but just a quick jaunt on the River Trail will bring you back in time. You’ll see what Lansing was like in Michigan’s past, but also enjoy the food, fun, and outdoor activities of the present.

Our Review >>

Old Town Downtown Lansing Arts Council
Old Town is a unique stop in Lansing, MI
31

Pruess Pets

1127 N. Cedar St. Lansing, MI 48906

More than just a pet store — this is almost a zoo! Bring your own pets for socialization and fun, and bring your kids to meet some super cool animals and even have the option of feeding a giant koi fish ($1).

Preuss Pets Downtown Old Town Lansing Kids feed fish
Be sure to feed the koi fish at Pruess Pets in Lansing, MI
32

Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens

1809 Eastman Ave, Midland, MI 48640

Here, you’ll find 54 acres of beautiful Michigan majesty, including woodlands, ponds, an apple orchard, meadows, and streams. You’ll also be able to take part in the newest attraction: the nation’s largest canopy walk. It is 1,400 feet long and 40 feet above the ground. What better way to take in Pure Michigan!

Whiting Forest Dow Gardens pod
Walk through the trees in Whiting Forest at Dow Gardens in Midland, MI
33

Cherry Point Farm & Market

9600 W. Buchanan Rd, Shelby, MI 49455

If you’re truly seeking the “pleasant” part our “pleasant peninsula,” you must see the lavender labyrinth at Cherry Point. Visitors can see the full bloom between mid-July and early-August. You can, of course, stock up on all things cherry and lavender while you’re there

34

Curwood Castle

224 Curwood Castle Dr, Owosso, MI 48867

A bonafide castle right here in our home state! Formerly the writing studio of adventure author James Oliver Curwood, it is now a museum open to the public.

35

Sanilac Petroglyphs State Historical Park

8251 Germania Rd, Cass City, MI 48726

A “petroglyph” is a rock carving. This state park has rocks covered in petroglyphs, thought to be carved by Native American tribes Hopewell or Chippewa, between 300 and 1,000 years ago.

36

Midwest Miniatures Museum

20 South 5th St, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417

Come see tiny displays of what Michigan life looked like at the turn of the 20th Century! The details are amazing. The miniatures are so fun to see, your kids won’t even realize they’re learning!

37

James C. Veen Observatory

3308 Kissing Rock Ave SE, Lowell, MI 49331

View the night sky as you never have before! On select Saturday nights April-October) visitors will receive a tour of the facility and a chance to use their powerful telescopes. Be sure to call the “starwatch” number (616-897-7065) to double check the sky is clear enough to view before heading out.

Public observing night at the Observatory
Public observing at the James C. Veen Observatory in Lowell, MI
38

Traverse City Fairy Trails

1490 Red Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684

Here’s an awesome way to get your family out in nature without it feeling like a chore. You can hike along some beautiful trails — just keep an eye out for fairies! Little fairy homes made with natural found materials are scattered along the path. You can even add your own! 

What’s your favorite Michigan Hidden Treasure? Tell us in the comments below!

More to Explore

24 thoughts on “Get Lost in #PureMichigan With These 38 Hidden Treasures Around Michigan”

  1. We love Lake Michigan in the summer!!!! Almost any park is great!! We really love duck lake area for little kids!! The benefits of the big lake with less risk because of the canal!!

    We also love Schwallier’s Country Basket!!! Such a cute apple orchard with lots of kids activities and not too commerialized!!

    Blanford nature Center is great too!!

    I am so happy for this list though!! So many places I haven’t been!! Some things I need to check out for sure!! I need to get to Anderson and Girls and the Deer Tracks Junction!! On the way to the Deer Tracks Junction there is a great ice cream/farm stand called the Red Barn!! We love that place too!!!

    I think we forget how blessed we are to have so much fresh fruit and vegies at our finger tips!! A lot of places don’t have that!!! So many great farm stands!!!

  2. We enjoy Silver Lake area; dune rides, nice shallow inland lake with boating activities/rentals, mini golf, go karts,camping, dune climbing, Lake Mi beach area.

    Robinette’s Apple House, donuts, cider, horse drawn wagon rides in fall, maze too. Fun spot to eat lunch, or donuts and cider.Bounce area.Shop.

    John Ball Park Zoo. Pet the Wallabys, MantaRays and sharks, parakeets.Zip line, rope course, tram.

    Of course, Boulder Ridge.We absolutely love going there. Clean, well kept, animals not found at John Ball Park Zoo( except a couple), picnic area, safari bus ride around the back ,giraffees, camels, and new animals each year. Love it!My husband and I will even go without the kids/grandkids.

    1. Kimberly,
      I love Country Dairy! I’ve been there so many times! I agree, they are one of the best places! Maybe they’ll make our next reader-recommended list!
      -Betsy

  3. Lori VanderLoon

    Oswalds in the upper peninsula..! A bear rescue… You can walk around and see the bears pretty closely… Buy apples to throw to feed them …and get up close you feed bear cubs. 🙂

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