Get Out There

Visit Cars, Lakes and More in Michigan

Michigan was the 26th state to join the union and is a boater’s paradise as one is never more than 85 miles from the shoreline of a Great Lakes shore. With its natural beauty, it’s no wonder the state is called the Water — or Winter — Wonderland, depending on the season. It is also America’s automobile capital. Because of that, it’s only natural that much of this week’s travel blog will be about lakes and cars. However, there is so much more to Michigan!

If you are a breakfast cereal fan, you may want to visit Battle Creek, known as The Cereal City, where both Kellogg’s and Post were founded. The city has a cereal exhibit and the W.K. Kellogg Manor House as well as a zoo, drive-in movie theater, alligator sanctuary, the American Museum of Magic, a casino and more!

If you have given up carbs but are a lover of quirky spots, the Midwest Miniature Museum might be of interest to you. It’s next to the Gilmore Car Museum, which will hold the attention of any car enthusiast while you look around the small museum filled with tiny tableaux of the old Americana lifestyle. And, while visiting Michigan State Univ.’s planetarium, be sure to check out the Moist Towelette Museum. The collection contains bizarre moist towelettes such as Star Trek brand, foreign towelettes from different Hard Rock Hotels and one used by the Car Talk guys. The curator asked them to send any interesting moist towelettes they came across, Tom and Ray Magliozzi misunderstood the request!

If you are interested in more conventional spots, check these out!

Windmill Island Gardens’ Tulip Time Festival


The Tulip Time festival starts tomorrow, May 4, 2019, and runs through May 12! This is the perfect time to visit the island in Holland, MI. The island features 36 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, dikes and canals and the only Dutch windmill in the U.S. The Windmill DeZwaan is 251-years-old and was shipped to the city of Holland, MI, in 1964. Windmill Island is manmade: an artificial canal turned a peninsula into an island. While visiting, be sure to pick up a bag of flour, ground by the windmill.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Image: Chris Winters, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

This lighthouse and museum are dedicated to the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald a shipping vessel that sank in 1975 in Lake Superior, killing 29 sailors. A torch is kept burning in their memory.  The reclaimed bell from the ship and pieces from other Great Lakes wrecks are located within the museum. The museum is run by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, a collective, “founded in 1978 by a group of divers, teachers and educators to commence exploration of historic shipwrecks in eastern Lake Superior, near Whitefish Point in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula.” You may be able to stay in the old Crew’s Quarters if you call ahead and it’s an appropriate season.

The Henry Ford

Image: The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford is a 250-acre plot with three separate attractions: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village and Ford Rouge Factory Tour. It is a spot that will fill up your day! The museum covered everything from cars, planes and the actual bus Rosa Parks made her stand on, to fashion and glass art, to Buckminster Fuller’s idea for the house of the future and a vial of Edison’s last breath and so much more! Additionally, the museum features all sorts of traveling shows. Currently, the museum is hosting a Star Trek exhibit. Visiting Greenfield Village takes you back in time! You can ride in an actual Model T, see Edison’s lab, visit the Wright brother’s workshop, ride a steam train and explore working farms ran like it’s still the 19th century. If you’re a fan of the F-150, America’s most iconic truck, you can see how they are made on the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. You’ll also learn about the future of cars and see some beautiful classic cars of the past. Appropriately themed restaurants and shops are throughout the different attractions. From a 1940s diner to a 1830s tavern — you’ll find a meal you love!

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