If you’re heading to The Wolverine State soon, keep in mind these 10 museums to see in Michigan this summer. You’ll be amazed at what you see!
10 Museums to See in Michigan This Summer
When they hear the name “Michigan”, most people immediately think of the the fantastic music of Motown, or the gigantic factories turning out automobiles of all shapes and sizes. But Michigan has an incredible number of points of interest, including beautiful natural vistas and an inspiring collection of man-made wonders. In order to make sure you take in all of the high points, you should put these museums on your list. You’ll find that they have something for every age and interest.
Whether you plan to take advantage of the vast number of well-maintained campgrounds around the state, or prefer the impressive five-star accommodations available throughout Michigan, you will find at least one of these wonderful museums within close driving distance.
It doesn’t matter if your interests include art, music, automobiles, history or cultural studies; you’re going to find a wealth of displays, exhibitions, and information waiting for you in these 10 museums to see in Michigan this summer.
R.E. Olds Transportation Museum
R.E. Olds Transportation Museum – Lansing, MI – In Lansing you’ll find a museum that automobile enthusiasts go crazy about. The R. E. Olds Transportation Museum features a collection of some of the most beautiful and powerful cars to ever go cruising on a Saturday night. There are vehicles from 1886 right up to 2003 on display, including a variety of trucks and tractors. In amongst these amazing pieces of machinery there are some very unique cars. They have a NASCAR racer from 1953, a 1950 “Woodie” station wagon, and even a Lansing Police car from 1952. If you’re a car lover or just appreciate the role the automobile has played in American history, this museum is for you.
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House – Lansing, MI – Do you appreciate grand architecture and the beauty of natural-looking landscaping? How about the story of an historic American family? If so, you will be enchanted by a visit to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. Designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn and decorated with wonderful pieces of art, antiques, and furniture, this was an ideal place to raise children and remain out of the public eye. Jens Jensen’s landscaping is practically a work of art in its own right. The legacy of this family lives on in the art and culture they provided to the Detroit area.
Motown Historical Museum
Motown Historical Museum – Detroit, MI – If you’ve ever caught yourself singing along with your car radio to a classic hit by The Temptations or The Supremes, you can thank Berry Gordy. Borrowing $800 to do it, he invested his money in a house where gold was made. Well, gold records, any way. The Motown Historical Museum lets visitors come and pay tribute to the hard work of the singers, songwriters, musicians, engineers, and others who toiled here. They created the Motown Sound and now you can stand where they stood in the old “Hitsville U.S.A.” studios.
MOCAD – Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
MOCAD – Museum of Contemporary Art – Detroit, MI – MOCAD has one goal, to promote the entire spectrum of the arts. It allows discerning audiences to experience outstanding displays of visual, literary, music, and performing arts which can’t be found elsewhere. Constantly rotating exhibitions ensure that there is always something new and fresh to experience. In addition to hosting these unique events, MOCAD also offers educational programs throughout the year. Check their calendar for upcoming events.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – Grand Rapids, MI – Generally speaking, museums and children don’t always go together. But this museum looks as though it might have been designed by children! Building minds and character through play is what this facility is all about. Children can take provided materials and build a fort or play around on some very unique instruments. They can learn what it’s like to hunt for dinosaur fossils, see the world from inside a giant soap bubble, and more. Everything here is designed to help them learn simultaneously as they play. With all there is to see and do, plan on spending a good part of the day here!
Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame
Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame – Lansing, MI – What do Ellen Burstyn, Gilda Radner, Marlo Thomas, and Lily Tomlin have in common? They are all inductees in the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, Part of the Michigan Women’s Historical Center in Lansing. This amazing historical center is the only one in Michigan dedicated to women’s history. By raising awareness of their history and celebrating the achievements of Michigan women, they help to promote equality of women everywhere.
Detroit Institute of the Arts
Detroit Institute of the Arts – Detroit, MI – The Detroit Institute of the Arts, known colloquially as “The DIA”, is unique among museums in that it does more than just share its exhibitions. Their goal is to create experiences that can help their visitors find personal meaning in the various pieces of art. Be prepared to do some walking as the facility covers 658,000 square feet and contains more than 100 individual galleries. The collections are incredible, encompassing works from all over the world in a variety of mediums. The depth and diversity of the museum makes it among the top six in the country.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History – Detroit, MI – In 1965, Dr. Charles H. Wright founded the International Afro-American Museum, forerunner to the current museum. He had the admirable goal of creating a resource center to help document, preserve, and educate the public on the history, life, and culture of African Americans. He succeeded! Today the Museum of African American History is a well-respected repository of historical and cultural information documenting the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans. This 125,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility is the largest museum of its kind in the world. It is host to over 300 public events each year, so check their calendar for presentations that appeal to you.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum – Grand Rapids, MI – This museum is remarkable because there is something there for people of every interest. Their goal is to inspire curiosity about the world around us and their many exhibits and displays do just that. This incredible facility houses in excess of 250,000 artifacts and specimens from around the world. They have a state-of-the art planetarium, too. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is constantly hosting traveling exhibits of all kinds, making every visit a unique experience!
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Grand Rapids Art Museum – Grand Rapids, MI – The Grand Rapids Art Museum, affectionately known as GRAM, has been around since 1910. It has stood as a beacon of culture and focuses on art, design, and creativity. The museum has expanded over the years and currently houses an amazing collection of art from around the world. Their schedule of displays is dynamic, so you may want to check their calendar to see what is currently being featured. There are displays and activities for every age, so the museum can be a true family experience.
A trip through The Wolverine State can be an eye-opening experience, especially with these 10 museums to see in Michigan this summer as your guide. There is a wealth of beauty and history out there, if you just know where to look for it. Have you visited any of these museums? If so, we would love to hear about it in the comments below.