Detroit's reputation has become a bit tarnished in recent decades, but don't be afraid to give the country's 10th-largest city a second look. The civic institutions that automotive and music money built are still there, along with new attractions that are part of the city's determined renaissance. Check out the Detroit Institute of Arts, or catch a Red Wings, Tigers, Lions or Pistons game. In suburban Dearborn, you'll find a complex that includes the Henry Ford Museum (focusing on American inventions) and a collection of historic buildings called Greenfield Village.
Detroit is just the jumping-off point for exploring this large and varied state. Smaller cities have much to offer, too. Nearby Ann Arbor, where the University of Michigan is located, is a lively place replete with galleries, funky shops and ethnic restaurants. Grand Rapids is home to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, while East Lansing boasts a planetarium and seven major public gardens. In Battle Creek, families get a kick out of Kellogg's Cereal City U.S.A., a theme park and simulated factory tour (the real factory is not open to the public).
Along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan you can explore a 170-mile stretch of resort communities known as the Beachtowns. The most famous of these is probably Holland, with its 12-storey windmill, Delftware factory, Dutch Village living history attraction and May tulip festival.
Further north is the awe-inspiring eight-kilometre (five-mile) span of the Mackinac suspension bridge, which links the state's upper and lower peninsulas. Take a ferry to charming Mackinac Island, where cars are banned and visitors get around on foot, by bike or by horse-drawn carriage. Head to the Upper Peninsula (or the UP, as locals call it) to camp, hike, kayak, fish, snowshoe and cross-country ski in scenic Lake Superior wilderness areas like Pictured Rocks National Seashore.