Pack your boots and check out these hidden gems in Michigan

Theresa Hus
5 min readMay 31, 2023


Welcome to Michigan, the state of the Great Lakes and stunning natural wonders! If you’re looking for a destination that offers pristine beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure, then Michigan is the perfect place for you! But don’t let yourself be distracted by its well-known attractions like Mackinac Island and Detroit’s vibrant city culture. There are countless hidden gems in Michigan just waiting to be discovered! Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer to Michigan, we’ll help you discover places that are off the beaten path and offer a unique perspective on the incredible beauties of this state. So grab your camera, lace up your boots, and get ready for adventure as we uncover some of the hidden gems of Michigan waiting to be explored!

Michigan is truly the outdoor lover’s paradise, so in this article we are inviting you to embark on a journey of exploration and dip into the Michigan wanderlust! From remote beaches and secluded forests to magical waterfalls and sand dunes, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the state’s best-kept secrets!

A nature lover’s paradise

MIchigan is undoubtedly one of the best places to practice adventurous hobbies for outdoor lovers. The state boasts amazing panoramic views and unique hidden places that are waiting to be discovered by curious explorers like you.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

There’s no complete Michigan bucket list without some sand dunes, so here’s a great place to explore those. The Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of Michigan’s hidden natural gems, where visitors can hike on the dunes. Located in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula, this park features towering sand dunes that offer a challenging and breathtaking hiking experience. The dunes stretch over 35 miles along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and visitors can explore them on several hiking trails that wind through the park. Several campgrounds and picturesque waters offer kayaking, swimming, and fishing opportunities. With its rugged beauty and abundant wildlife, the Sleeping Bears is a must-visit for anyone who doesn’t mind getting some sand on their boots.

Chapel Rock

The iconic rock formation located in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the best places to visit in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The rock stands about 60 feet tall, and some say it’s shaped like a chapel. The rock has a very unique sculpture-like appearance, with a solitary tree growing on top of it. The rock can only be reached by hiking through the surrounding forests, so don’t forget the hiking gear! The trail leading there offers stunning views of Lake Superior and the nearby cliffs.

Ocqueoc Falls

A scenic waterfall located in the northeastern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Ocqueoc Falls are an attraction in the proximity of the small town of Atlanta. The falls are part of the Oqueoc River, whose water cascades over a series of rocky ledges, creating a picturesque scene of rushing water and natural beauty. The falls are surrounded by dense forests and rocky outcroppings, making it an excellent spot for hiking and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore the nearby hiking trails or relax by the riverbank and take in the stunning scenery. Oqueoc Falls is a hidden gem of Michigan’s natural beauty and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Bete Grise

A nature preserve frequented by kayakers on Keweenaw Peninsula, Bete Grise is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The preserve has a stunning beach, known for its crystal clear turquoise water and soft, sandy shoreline stretching for miles. The area is surrounded by lush forests and offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior. Bete Grise is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching. Curious visitors are encouraged to explore the hiking trails, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or just relax on the beach and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Bete Grishe is a hidden gem of Michigan’s natural beauty and offers a perfect escape for the ones seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway.

The hidden gems of state parks

Michigan has many state parks that are popular tourist destinations. Still, a few of them are off the beaten track but are definitely worth a visit if you want to discover some hidden gems in Michigan that will leave you in awe!

Van Riper State Park

This serene park in the Upper Peninsula encompasses over 1,000 acres of natural beauty. It even has a picturesque dam on the Peshekee River. The park, with its miles of hiking and biking trails, is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There’s also a pristine beach, a boat launch, and a campground for visitors to enjoy. Boating, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife watching are some of the most popular activities to enjoy in the park. Van Riper State Park is truly a hidden gem, which offers visitors a chance to experience the rugged beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Ludington State Park

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Western Michigan, Ludington State Park boasts over 5,000 acres of sandy beaches, forests, and sand dunes. The park offers a great opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region. It’s home to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, open for summer tours, and has miles of hiking and biking trails. The park is great for camping, swimming, and fishing, and offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding wilderness.

A little treat for the urban explorers

Michigan is the state of outdoor exploration. But what happens if a sudden storm crosses our camping plans over? Luckily, Michigan has urban places to explore too. Away from the loud and crowded big cities lie the most charming US towns, with scenic views and unique cultures.


Located in western Michigan, Kalamazoo is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. There are many things to explore in this diverse town, like the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and the annually held Kalamazoo Animation Festival International. Kalamazoo is known for its world-renowned educational institutions, vibrant art scene, and rich history. Several universities and colleges contribute to the intellectual and cultural diversity of Kalamazoo. But the list of great things doesn’t stop with art and culture because Kalamazoo is also famous for its craft beer scene. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the local beers in the town’s many cool breweries and taprooms. Visitors can explore the historic downtown area, which features amazing architecture and nice shops. The Kalamazoo River completes all this with the opportunity to practice water activities. All things considered, Kalamazoo is a fun hidden gem to explore, and not only! Kalamazoo is also a great place to live. In case you feel like staying, real estate agents in Michigan can assist you with finding a home.

In conclusion

As we come to the end of our journey exploring the hidden gems of Michigan, we hope you’ve been inspired to pack your bags and hit the road to discover the many wonders of this beautiful place. Whether you’re a nature lover or seeking a unique travel experience, Michigan is full of surprises. We encourage you to venture off the beaten path and take your time to explore the hidden gems Michigan has to offer. Why not take a chance and discover these treasures for yourself? We hope that this guide has given you a taste of what Michigan’s hidden gems are like, and if we’ve convinced you to go beyond the well-known, blow the dust off those boots! Adventure awaits!



Theresa Hus

Theresa has single-handedly created the entire Sales and Marketing Training Program at from scratch, and has closed approx 20m in sales.