Gilmore Car Museum wins Best Michigan Attraction

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Downtown Frankenmuth in top five

Michigan is the Midwest with the volume turned up. From the Lower and Upper Peninsulas to the Thumb, the state boasts 2,000 miles of shoreline (more than California) with access to four of the five Great Lakes. While the natural attractions are plenty desirable, so are the cultural, from the museums of Detroit to the windmills of Holland. 

  • Gilmore Car Museum
    Hickory Corners

    Auto enthusiasts will find one of the best car museums in the world in Hickory Corners. The Gilmore Car Museum's collection includes more than 400 cars and motorcycles from many eras.
    Photo courtesy of Gilmore Car Museum

  • Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    Situated in northwestern Lake Huron, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the Great Lakes. Beneath the surface lies one of the nation's best and most significant collections of shipwrecks – more than 100 have been discovered to date.
    Photo courtesy of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

  • Mackinac Island

    One of the last car-free destinations in the U.S., Mackinac Island, sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, seems trapped in the past, but in the most delightful way. With 80 percent of the island occupied by protected state parkland, those looking to explore the outdoors will find plenty of opportunity for hiking and biking.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / DougLemke

  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

    The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore covers more than 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. Outdoor adventure is on the menu during every season in this landscape of beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls and forested trails.
    Photo courtesy of NPS photo

  • Downtown Frankenmuth

    German heritage is obvious in Frankenmuth, located 75 miles north of Detroit. Thanks to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, one of the world's largest Christmas stores, the holiday spirit is alive year-round in this Bavarian town, and the downtown area has a fantastic food scene as well.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / RiverNorthPhotography

  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
    Grand Rapids

    Spanning 158 acres in Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park features four-seasons outdoor gardens and a five-floor, 15,000-square-foot Tropical Conservatory, where visitors can see tropical plants from around the world, including fig trees from India and orchids from South America. 
    Photo courtesy of William J Hebert

  • Holland

    A slice of the Netherlands in the heart of the U.S., Holland has everything from windmills and tulips to sandy Lake Michigan beaches and a thriving downtown.
    Photo courtesy of

  • Ludington State Park

    The 5,300-acre Ludington State Park is known for its beaches, fishing, hiking and biking in the summer, and for its 16 miles of cross country ski trails come winter.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / LarryKnupp

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    Along Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore stretches for 35 miles. Visitors come to climb the dune formations, swim on a sandy beach or hike through the forest for a stunning view over this spectacular shoreline.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • The Henry Ford & Greenfield Village

    Car-loving kids love The Henry Ford, located in the Detroit metro area. This museum showcases the development of technology in the U.S. and documents the width and breadth of American inventions and innovation. 
    Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

The top 10 winners in the category Best Michigan Attraction are as follows:

  1. Gilmore Car Museum - Hickory Corners
  2. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary - Alpena
  3. Mackinac Island
  4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Munising
  5. Downtown Frankenmuth
  6. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids
  7. Holland
  8. Ludington State Park - Ludington
  9. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Empire
  10. The Henry Ford & Greenfield Village - Dearborn

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Jane Simon Ammeson (Will Travel for Food),Amy S. Eckert, Susan R. Pollack, Mike Sonnenberg (Lost in Michigan) and Pure Mittigan were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in the state.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

AlertThe Experts

Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson

Amy S. Eckert

Amy S. Eckert

Susan R. Pollack

Susan R. Pollack

Mike Sonnenberg

Mike Sonnenberg

Pure Mittigan

Pure Mittigan