Top 10 Michigan Historical Sites

The state of Michigan is dotted with Michigan historical sites from sunken WWII submarines to believed haunted houses and childhood homes of infamous authors. You can explore the life of early day Indians or see how the Indians live today. You can step into a town without automobiles, take a ride by horse and buggy, and explore life of early settlers.

fort mackinac

If history is your thing, there are ten Michigan sites you might want to stop off at on your next visit.

1. Fort Mackinac (Mackinac Island)

Travel back to the 19th century inside this fort with a variety of educational stops and amusements. There are fourteen buildings to explore and play through, so you get a true sense of what life was like in this period. Reenactments take place at given times of the year. Open May to October each year.

2. Colonial Michilimackinac (Mackinaw City)

Colonial Michilimackinac

Welcome to the 18th century outpost, where children learn firsthand what everyday life was like before modern technology. Adventures in early living await all ages. Open May to October each year.

3. Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center (Alpena)

Explore the history of the great lakes through a variety of learning adventures. Explore a real shipwreck without actually getting into the water. Open year round.

4. Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum (Muskegon)

Learn about WWII, Pearl Harbor, and everything you want to know about submarines. Take a tour of the USS Silversides, or sign up to spend a whole night on the ship for an unforgettable learning experience. Open year round. By appointment only November through March.

5. Nelis' Dutch Village Theme Park (Holland)

dutch village

What was life like in the Netherlands a hundred years in the past? You will be able to answer that question In great detail after spending some time in this Dutch village. This is a great place for family visits with amusements such as Dutch dancers and shoe carving as well as Dutch food and fudge. Home of the Tulip Time Festival. Closed during the winter months.

6. Cranbrook House & Gardens (Bloomfield Hills)

This beautiful house will take you right into life in historical Michigan. Stroll through the gardens at your leisure, and then move to the surrounding National Historic Landmark campus. Guided tours or self guided enjoyment. Opens May to October.

7. Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park (Mackinaw City)

Venture inside a reconstructed sawmill powered by water. Live demonstrations available and there is a play area for children. Learn all about the history of the lumber industry in Michigan. Adventure tour includes an exciting ride on a zip ride. Opens May to October.

8. Copper Harbor Lighthouse Tours (Copper Harbor)

Take a tour to one of the oldest lighthouses still standing in Michigan. Tours are guided by professional staff from the Michigan Department of History. You must take a cruise into Lake Superior to tour the lighthouse. The lighthouse is decorated to represent 1866 life. Tours available mid-May to mid-October.

9. Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum (Ishpeming)

Walk in the shoes of historical Michigan miners. Children and adults learn about life as a miner as well as tons of information about mining in general. Hundreds of minerals are also on display. Open for exploration June through October.

10. Fayette Historic Townsite (Garden)

This small town is a restored iron smelting community. While learning history, you can enjoy beautiful beaches, forests, and other outdoor adventures. Camping, hiking, cross country skiing and boating are just a few of the enjoyments to be found in this historic townsite. Opens year round.

There are many other Michigan historical sites scattered throughout the state. If you happen to be passing through, look up a few and educate the family on your way.

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