Sunday, February 25, 2024
Home Road Trip 5 MI Road Trips: Lighthouses, Scenery, Hell And Other Spooky Places

5 MI Road Trips: Lighthouses, Scenery, Hell And Other Spooky Places

by Staff

MICHIGAN — If you really want to see Michigan at its most beautiful, you can’t miss with road trips to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks national lakeshores or Mackinac Island. But don’t be afraid to mix in a little mischief, too.

In other words, go to Hell, just to say you did it.

Unincorporated Hell is a 20-mile drive from Ann Arbor. There, you can visit Screams Ice Cream, where you test your intestinal fortitude in the Grave Digger Challenge to eat a full pound of ice cream. Have a “Satan dog” at the Hell Hole Diner. Marriages are made in Hell, too.

Just be warned: this town hasn’t met a hellish cliché it can’t capitalize on to create devilish fun. And the selfie opportunities are endless.

Hell, Michigan, is a cheeky unincorporated town in Livingston County, Michigan, that has no defined boundaries or statistics to verify its population, but is a popular road-trip destination in southeast Michigan. It is an easy drive from Ann Arbor. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If spending time in Hell isn’t appealing, here are four other classic Michigan road trips:

Explore the Gold Coast, Lake Michigan’s western shoreline: 366 miles from Saugatuck to Mackinaw City. The wind-whipped sand dunes on the national lakeshore are magnificent, and there are plenty of other things to keep you busy before ending up at Mackinaw City, where you’ll want to see the 18th-century French Fort. From Mackinaw City, extend the trip to the Upper Peninsula via the Mackinac Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac, the body of water connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

An aerial photo shows the Mackinac Bridge over the calm waters of Lake Michigan, with view of the Old Mackinaw City Lighthouse. Mighty Mac, as the bridge is sometimes called, connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Tour the lighthouses on the Upper Peninsula: The UP has about 40 of Michigan’s 129 lighthouses, most dating back to the 1800s, and some are open for tours. One to put on the list is the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, where you can also check out the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The UP is a wild place with multiple dark skies. It is a great place to chase the northern lights, especially now with displays more frequent as solar flares that spark the aurora borealis are more common as the sun reaches the midway point of an 11-year cycle.

Au Sable Light Station, a lighthouse on the Lake Superior Coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is surrounded by colorful autumn foliage. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Christmas in July in Frankenmuth: Known as Michigan’s little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is home to Bronner’s, the largest Christmas store in the world. During its Christmas in July celebration, kids can pick out an ornament for the tree, chat with Santa, take in a drive-thru light show and then splash in an indoor/outdoor water park at Zehnders.

A covered bridge is a local landmark that spans the Cass River in the tourist town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The bridge is open to autos and pedestrians year around. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Michigan’s most mysterious abandoned places: Starting in metro Detroit, head to Kalamazoo via Interstate 94 West. Along the way, you’ll see some of Michigan’s most infamous abandoned places, including a handful of psychiatric hospitals and asylums and a tuberculosis sanatorium, some rumored to be haunted. Don’t miss Detroit’s famous Michigan Central Station. Left in ruins for years, the relic is undergoing a $740-million renovation to transform it to a center of a futuristic mobility innovation hub. Another highlight: the creepy Prehistoric Forest, a now abandoned theme park in Onsted with about 70 fiberglass dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures that was in operation from the mid-1960s to 1999.

Michigan Central Station, in its day one of Detroit’s most majestic and historic buildings, is being renovated after several decades of decades of neglect. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Pure Michigan travel and tourism website has a list of more traditional road trips, some complete with sample itineraries.

Leave a Comment

Copyright ©️ All rights reserved. | Tourism Trends