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Michigan offers more than the best cars in the world; as our team discovered, it’s also home to some of the most charming cities in the country:
For a full overview of the city’s rich history book a guided tour through Marquette Country Tours, or head out on your own armed with a map from the Marquette County Historical Museum. Take in the majesty of Lake Superior first-hand by following the North Country Trail, about 10 minutes away from downtown central – and the fun only increases in winter, when the locals start snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing their way around. The 323-acre MooseWood Nature Center is great fun for the whole family, with customized day courses in camping, bird spotting, and geology.
Try the wide range of local beer on tap at Bell’s, and pick up a map of the six craft breweries in walking distance of each other. Or enjoy the art and natural history on display at the excellent Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Heritage Guitar Inc. For a retail fix try the first outdoor pedestrian mall in the United States, Kalamazoo Mall, featuring specialty stores in an Art Deco-inspired setting. And to see the city in a whole new light, step into the burgeoning spirits scene downtown – try the cocktails at Principle Food & Drink, Green Door Distilling, and the Kalamazoo Stillhouse.
One of the quirkiest cities in Michigan combines fun and learning for kids and adults alike. Learn a new trick or two at Wunderground Magic Shop, join a “craft party” with other artistic souls at Creative Chic, or bring a blanket and picnic chair to take in a movie under the stars at Cinema in the Street. The best time to be in town? Halloween. Trick or Treasure is a well-organized, community-based event that brings together children of all ages into a safe space to dress up and explore – while The Great Pubkin Crawl offers a similar experience, for adults. Collect your booklet of clues at Three Cats Cafe, then head downtown to solve puzzles, complete puzzles and tasks and find scavenger hunt items, then return for a lucky draw.
4. Huntington Woods
Golfers will enjoy the challenge of the 71-par Rackham Golf Course, designed by the legendary golf course architect Donald Ross. Foodies can enjoy the modern and elegant American menu at the iconic Vinsetta Garage, or excellent takeaway tacos and tequila from Imperial. Nature-loving kids will love seeing the penguins, wolves and kangaroos at home in Detroit Zoo Safari Station Exit – and excitable ones will burn some energy on the wall to wall trampolines, trampoline dodgeball and foam pits at AirTime Trampoline. An insider’s tip: Grasshopper Underground regularly hosts some of the country’s top electronic DJs.