GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are one of the thousands of people who are hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend but would like to try something new, Travel Michigan has some great suggestions: Michigan’s hidden gems.
“What we usually recommend are places like Ocqueoc Falls, which you might not even have ever heard of before, but it’s near Rogers City or Alpena, way up in that area of the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, said. “And it is the biggest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It has a really nice trail as well. So if you had accessibility issues and you’re in a wheelchair, for instance, you can get right down into the water in a unique fashion. So it’s a cool thing.”
The drive there is half the fun.
“If you’re in that area, called the Sunrise side, make sure to stop at places on the way up there like Oscoda,” Lorenz said. “They still have those cool little places to stay in that have little cabins right on the water. It’s a really cool thing. The Huron House or the Tiki are really cool places to consider.”
If you, like so many in Michigan, enjoy the water, Pure Michigan’s website has a section about paddle sports.
“I especially love kayaking myself,” Lorenz said. “And a lot of people look at places like the Au Sable River, which of course does actually go all the way to Oscoda too, but starts in kind of that Grayling area. They’re known for kayaking and canoeing, so you can find some outfitters that will help get you in the water. They will even give you some tours in that area.”
Farther south, Lorenz said, South Haven and New Buffalo have “interesting places” to kayak.
If you’re a history buff, there’s a lot to learn about Michigan’s past.
“Most people of course will think Mackinac Island for that, because it’s where the War of 1812 started — the first skirmish, of course — but we have so much history,” Lorenz said. “So one of the newest national parks in the state is south of Detroit in Monroe, the River Raisin Battlefield. It’s not really well developed, but it’s where a really important battle happened. It’s a very important place, and you should go there and learn about that.”
Learning is what makes travel so special, Lorenz said.
“That’s the thing about travel: You can learn as you go. You have a good time as well,” he said. “And if the kids are there, they’re learning as well. And they don’t even know it.”
To learn more about Michigan’s hidden gems, visit the Pure Michigan website and search for whatever interests you.