What Sights Do You Like to See in and Around West Michigan?
We know we talk a lot about eye health here (it’s kind of our job), but sometimes even we like to take a break to focus more on the wonderful experiences healthy eyes can afford us in our area.
West Michigan and its surroundings are home to some truly outstanding sights and vistas. From the natural majesty of our lakes and forests to man-made wonders, there is plenty to take in and enjoy. If you’re planning a trip this summer or beyond to explore the world around you, you won’t have to travel too far to find some very worthy spots.
Here are a few of our suggestions for prime regional Michigan sights.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
This is one of the big ones; an area that no list like this should be without. And, among the region’s sights, it’s one that has received a good amount of national attention on morning shows and Internet bucket lists.
It’s all deserved, of course. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is an ideal mix of lush forest and pristine water as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of options for your viewing pleasure, but the 1.5-mile Empire Bluff Trail is highly recommended for providing a particularly breath-taking vista—and has its own viewing area established for it. Take a seat and be amazed at how quickly time flies.
Inspiration Point, Arcadia
This small town in Manistee County lies along M-22, which just happened to be named “Michigan’s Most Scenic Drive” by National Geographic Traveler.
Arcadia does its part to contribute to this superlative. While there is lovely beach and the C. S. Mott Nature Preserve to enjoy, the highlight may just be Inspiration Point (also known as Arcadia Overlook). This high vantage point lies at the top of a good set of stairs, and is very much worth it. Long known as a superb place to view the sunset or pop the question to your special someone, it provides beautiful views of Lake Michigan any time of the day.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids
Another well-known local treasure, Meijer Gardens melds natural beauty with thoughtful man-made sculptures and designs.
Outside, visitors can walk the many trails that wind around the gardens, passing sculptures both small and very, very large (we’re looking at you, The American Horse). The Japanese Garden, a more recent establishment, feels like a venue all its own encased within the main gardens—and there is no additional cost to enter it.
Inside, Meijer Gardens hosts a variety of plants and birds within its conservatory, as well as side displays of desert, Victorian and other plants. There is also a regularly rotating exhibit featuring artists and movements from around the world.
The Lavender Labyrinth at Cherry Point Farm, Shelby
The small town of Shelby has an annual attraction that deserves plenty more attention: a labyrinth made of lavender at Cherry Point Farm & Market.
We are not talking a hedge maze to get lost in here. Rather, this is a true labyrinth, a circular path to walk and contemplate, all while surrounded by the soft colors and sweet aromas of lavender. It would be a very romantic place to take that special someone.
Veldheer Tulip Gardens and Riverview Park, Holland
Yes, these are practically in our backyard, but they are treasures of color nonetheless.
The Veldheer Tulip Gardens pop with rows of color every May, and even include some lovely lilies all throughout spring and summer, too. You can even acquire some tulip bulbs for your own planting purposes around August.
Riverview Park, also known as Window on the Waterfront, is a quaint city park with boardwalks overlooking a marsh and plenty of open space. The highlight, however, are the approximately 100,000 tulip bulbs that bloom in season.
The Tunnel of Trees, Harbor Springs to Cross Village
M-119 is another famously scenic route in our region and, from Harbor Springs to Cross Village, takes on the moniker “The Tunnel of Trees.”
The “tunnel” is named after the trees that grow and branch out into a leafy overhang above this 20-mile stretch of road. During spring and summer, you will be surrounded by green for much of the ride, although occasional openings through the trees can offer some surprising vistas! You better believe this is a good fall drive, too.
The road itself is not built for speed, nor should it be used for such. This is a route for taking it slow, being aware of cyclists and other people enjoying the scenery, and having time to stop and enjoy some of the restaurants, historic spots, and other items of interests you find along the way. This is definitely a tunnel built for a day trip.
What Do You Want to See?
There are so many amazing things in life to see. They don’t just take the form of once-in-a-lifetime overlooks or fine art, of course. They also take the form of time with family and friends that will leave memories for the rest of your life.
Sight Eye Clinic is committed to keeping your eyesight in its best possible shape so you can see everything that matters in your life as best as possible. From glasses and contacts to care for cataracts and glaucoma, we see patients of all ages. Call us today at 616) 772-2020.