Several of Michigan’s most iconic landmarks and scenes are finally on Street View in Google Maps, thanks to a partnership between Pure Michigan and Google. Pure Michigan members and volunteers took more than 44,000 panoramic photos with the Google Street View Trekker, a backpack-like system that has a camera mounted on top of it.
We’ve gone through the Google views and selected 10 of the most breathtaking places to explore in Michigan that you can now enjoy from the comfort of your home, right here. We hope this inspires you to plan a trip to see these marvels in person.
1. Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Bridge is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest one in the Western hemisphere. Construction on it started in May 1954 and ended a little over three years later in November 1957. The bridge uses about 42,000 miles of wire in its main cables with a maximum tension of 16,000 tons in each cable.
2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
This unique national park offers visitors a stunning view of Lake Superior. Guests can explore over 100 trails and bask on pristine beaches in the warm summer sun. There are bicycling, boating, fishing, and hunting activities available as weather permits.
3. Bond Falls
The Western Upper Peninsula is home to Bond Falls, a gorgeous waterfall located on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River near Paulding. The total drop of the falls is estimated to be about 50 feet, but what it lacks in height, it makes up for in beauty. Bond Falls breaks over numerous fractured rocks, creating lovely small cascades. Visitors to the falls can enjoy lunch at one of the many picnic areas and take in the view from six different vantage points.
4. Wagner Falls
Just two miles south of Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is Wagner Falls, a serene cascade created by the Wagner Creek. The falls are nestled in a virgin pine and hemlock forest. A half-mile trail with an observation deck overlooking Wagner Falls creates a refreshing break in the trees.
5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pierce Stocking Overlook
Named the Most Beautiful Place in America on ABC’s Good Morning America, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great place to vacation while exploring Michigan’s natural beauty and history. The Pierce Stocking Overlook, named for lumberman Pierce Stocking, offers an incredible view of Lake Michigan.
6. Agate Falls
Agate Falls is often thought to be one of Michigan’s most picturesque waterfalls. It’s mostly made from terraced sandstone that the Ontonagon River passes over, creating broad cascades almost 40 feet high. Visitors can get to the falls from a foot trail, and there are amenities like toilets, parking, water, and picnic tables nearby.
7. Mackinac Island, Main Street
Mackinac Island only covers about 3.8 square miles, but it offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Michigan. In downtown Mackinac Island, visitors can find plenty of stores and art galleries as well as historical landmarks and museums.
8. Mackinac Island, Porch Of The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel is one of Michigan’s gems, and usually, unless you’re a guest of the establishment, you’d have to pay $10 to visit it. Since 1887 it has been on the hill with a beautiful overlook of the water.
9. Lansing State Capitol
Since its completion in 1879, the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing has served as a model for other state capitols. It was the first of three state capitols designed by Elija E. Myers in the 1870s and 80s. Because of the tedious interior decoration that went into the building, Michigan’s State Capitol is ranked as one of the best surviving American buildings to display Victorian painted decorative arts.
10. The Detroit Riverfront
Of course, we had to include something from Detroit on the list. Detroit’s riverfront has been making huge strides the last few years, and if you happen to not be able to check it out for yourself, this is the next best thing.
Don’t forget to check out all of these places yourself! For a full look of what’s available via Google Trekker, visit the Pure Michigan site here.