If you are visiting the great Midwest on a shoestring budget, then you have to have a look at our sampling of cheap things to do in Michigan. Michigan has all sorts of attractions. Be it city life, natural beauty or scores, and scores of museums and art galleries.
It is not possible to cover all the wonderful attractions, but we have tried to bring out a really good list of unique and inexpensive activities, so check them out.
How about we cut to the chase and tell you everything you need to know in just a few slides below?
- Nightlife, Christmas, & Events: Cheap things to do in Michigan
- Art, Museum, History: Detroit & Other Grand Rapids
- Nature’s Bounty: Michigan’s Great Outdoor Adventures
- Wrapping Up Michigan’s Free & Best Things
Nightlife, Christmas, & Events: Cheap things to do in Michigan
No matter which city you visit, there are so many cheap things to do in Michigan that your credit cards will start feeling lonely! City life in Michigan offers unique entertainment, a variety of food, and many great activities. So let’s explore some from a few top cities.
Bavarian Christmas: Michigan’s Most Fun Attraction
Putting together Michigan and Christmas will give you only one outcome, the Bavarian town of Frankenmuth. This is an all year round Christmas destination and is filled with pocket-friendly activities.
The topmost attraction is the 100,000 lights display at Bonner’s. No matter what time of the year it is, it is always Christmas at Bonner’s. It is a magical sight to view. You might even head for free wine and chocolate tasting tour at any of the famous distilleries in the town.
You might even like to have a look at the dancing figurines at the Glockenspiel and Figurine spiel, completely free of cost! Last but not the least, take a stroll at the 239-foot wooden covered bridge when it’s all lit up at night. It is one of the most romantic experiences you will ever have.
Musical Fountain at Grand Haven: Michigan’s One of a Kind
Do you want to experience something unique? Go to the city of Grand Haven and check out the Musical Fountain there. You will be mesmerized at the light, music, and water fountains. Nightly shows start on Memorial day and going on till the labor day. Apart from that, they have shows on Fridays and Saturdays during the rest of the year.
It is a fun family or friends outing. This show features the largest musical fountain in the world. It is one of the top attractions on our list of fun and cheap things to do in Michigan.
Food and Music: Inexpensive Michigan Combo
When in Detroit, you can’t miss going to the Hart Plaza. It will only cost you an entrance fee of $5 and you can enjoy any musical festival happening there. There is some event or the other happening all year round. It could be a fun trip with family or friends.
And while you are there, how about a lovely and filling bite. You can find all kinds of cuisines here. Be it Mexican, Japanese, Global, or good old Pizzas and burgers, you name it and it’s there.
So you can spend one whole night here with dinner and music. The fountain looks prettier at night.
Brew! Brew! Brew! Pint or Half Enjoy a great beer!
Did you know that there is a Beer city in the USA? And did you know it is in Michigan? Well, you got it right! Grand Rapids is in Michigan and you can visit any of the microbreweries and enjoy the freshly crafted beer here for around 60 cents per can! I think you are not only going to Michigan but also going back in time.
You might even like to take a brewery tour as there are close to 120 breweries in the entire state of Michigan. See it getting crafted in front of your eyes! What could be more satisfying?
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall: Rosa Parks Circle Covers it all
If you are in Grand Rapids, you can check out some free live concerts or dances at the Rosa Parks Circle in the summers or springs. If it is winters, the circle becomes an ice skating rink. No matter when you visit, you will have a fun time here.
Get a photo clicked with the statue of Rosa Parks if you are a history buff. There is also a swing dancing event held here for which it has a Guinness Book World record too. It attracts close to 1000 people. So if you like dancing, you can have fun here. A goods place for couples to spend a romantic evening with music, dancing, and dinner.
The list of cheap things to do in Michigan will never come to an end. Each city offers so much that if you are going for a long weekend trip, you will return thoroughly rejuvenated and with a heavy wallet.
Art, Museum, History: Detroit & Other Grand Rapids
One of the top categories of attraction ins Michigan is its museums. These can top the cheap things to do in Michigan list any time without a fight. The list is never-ending but some top attractions are mentioned below.
Museums of Detroit: Most visited Attractions
Detroit is known as the Auto Capital of the World. It hosts the plants and offices of top Auto companies such as Ford and GM among others. Tickets to these museums range around $30 per person but these are worth the price.
You will witness the entire auto revolution happening in front of your eyes. With so many vintage cars to look at, it will be a day well spent with family and children.
However, the museum tour doesn’t end here. You can try the Wright Museum if you are interested in African American History. It will cost you only $8 per person. It will also tell you all about Rosa Parks.
If you want something even cheaper, try the Historical Museum, which is completely free. It will take you through the long history of Detroit and Michigan to quench your curiosity. Another free option is the Underground Railroad Living Museum that shows the history of railroads. If you love trains, don’t miss this place.
Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM)
By chance, if you are in Michigan on a week-long holiday, try the GRAM on Tuesday or Thursday. Admission is free for the whole day on these days.
You can check out the art from the Renaissance period to current and Modern art. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Michigan. Art, History, and Culture enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this place.
Detroit itself has a never-ending list of museums and art galleries. You will never run out of them. These are educational and yet one of the many cheap things to do in Michigan.
Nature’s Bounty: Michigan’s Great Outdoor Adventures
Enjoyed nightlife, and had an educational trip, now have a look around the beauty of Michigan which is free or so inexpensive that you won’t even notice.
Ferry Ride to Mackinac: Go back in time
You will find no itinerary of Michigan which doesn’t include this place. It is accessible only via a ferry ride but that is not very expensive. An adult ticket will cost you around $27 but it will all be worth it. You will go back to the Victorian era with buggies and horse-ridden police officers. The Arch rock area is lovely for all sorts of water sports and outdoor activities.
If you take a multi-day ferry ride, you might even get a discount. You might take the carriage tour around the island, but that’s not very cheap. It costs around $30 apiece and takes you to multiple sightseen points on the island. So it is up to your budget what might be inexpensive for you. But not visiting the island is an opportunity missed.
You can even book a great lakehouse on the island and enjoy a romantic weekend here. If you want to know more about the art of booking a lakehouse and things to consider, check out our dedicated sampling.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
As it is known that Michigan has two peninsulas, if you are on the upper peninsula, then you should visit Munising. Near Lake superior is the Pictured Rocks lakeshore. The entry here is completely free.
You can enjoy so many outdoor adventures here in all seasons, including skiing in winter. The area looks beautiful because of the mineral deposits in the mountains. Sunsets are very pretty here. You might have to pay $15 if you want to camp at the campsite.
Dunes Dunes everywhere: Michigan’s top attractions
There are several sand dune areas in Michigan, including the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Silver Lake dunes. These present good sandy beaches also. However, the permit to these areas will cost you around $25 per vehicle or $15 per person but are valid for a week.
You might like to go for a dune trek or ride in a vehicle or a dune buggy. Silver lake dune also has a famous lighthouse for you to climb. This is a really fun and unique activity in Michigan.
Wrapping Up Michigan’s Free & Best Things
Michigan is at the top of the list for road trip destinations also has so many things to do in a budget friendly way. So these were some of the cheap things to do in Michigan. There are a lot more museums, natural attractions, and unique fun activities that can fall within your budget. So don’t worry about the money and start exploring Michigan.
I hope you enjoyed our sampling of the most unique, fun, and cheap things to do in Michigan. Do check out the RentalTrader.com to book your best vacation rentals.
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