New Sights for Michigan Visitors

2014 Opens up Inviting New Venues Statewide

by Michelle Grinnelluntitled

LANSING – With 2014 underway, visitors to Michigan can look forward to a wide range of new and improved lodging options, dining spots, and activities this year, including milestone anniversary celebrations.

What’s New to See

  • The new LEED-certified Downtown Market Grand Rapids includes retail shops, a rooftop greenhouse, a commercial kitchen and the country’s first hands-kitchen for kids.
  • Bijou by the Bay, a new 150-seat movie house created by the Traverse City Film Festival, has opened in the historic Con Foster building in Clinch Park.
  • Now open for business all year, visit the Historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee.
  • Kinderbell interactive outdoor music area will be added to the current Cadillac Sound Garden and Sun Dial.
  • After 70 years, the Flint Farmers’ Market is returning to downtown Flint in the former Flint Journal printing facility.
  • The village of Clinton will have a Farmer’s Market from May-October on Fridays.
  • Binder Park Zoo is making a home in “Wild Africa” for their new cheetah exhibit, as well as welcoming three Alaskan bear cubs into a new home with plenty of shade and a water feature.
  • Nelis’ Dutch Village is adding a vintage Dutch Ferris wheel to this 4th generation family-owned attraction.
  • Castle Farms in Charlevoix introduces a new garden, “The Dragon Lair,” featuring Norm the Dragon, originally introduced at ArtPrize.


  • See the New USS Flier (SS 250) Exhibit at the USS Silversides Submarine Museum in Muskegon.
  • The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum is expected to open in summer 2014 on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum.
  • A new exhibit at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City will detail the history of shipping on the Straits of Mackinac.
  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit “Gridiron Glory” will be on display at The Henry Ford this fall.
  • Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame will open their museum in the Castle Museum in Saginaw.
  • A new German Christmas Museum, located within the Old Christmas Station in Frankenmuth, reflects on the history of Christmas decorating and the Brewery Museum focuses on the city’s brewing history.
  • The Dream it, Build it Exhibit opening March 1 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum will feature architectural masterpieces recreated with LEGO© bricks by Certified Lego Professional Adam Reed Tucker.

What’s New to Do

Adventure and Recreation

  • Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard from the Tecumseh Paddling Company and take a guided, or self-guided, tour of the River Raisin Run, a looped water trail.
  • The Ludington State Park features a renovated Beach House on Lake Michigan and a handicap accessible fishing platform.
  • Great Wolf Lodge has added a whitewater rafting element to its waterpark.
  • Traverse City has completed a nearly $3 million renovation of Clinch Park, including  a new terraced lawn area with stone sitting walls, interactive playground equipment, a kayak launch and a splash pad.
  • The Traverse Tall Ship Company, operators of the schooner Manitou, have added a new vessel – the cutter Scout – to their Traverse City fleet.
  • Visitors will be able to zip-line, climb and navigate five different courses in the new Frankenmuth Adventure Park.
  • Find adventure on the new 460′ Zip Line at Three Ponds Nature Preserve in Coldwater.
  • Holland is now home to BAM! family fun center offering bowling, laser tag, and more.
  • Try the new Laser Tag and Indoor Bounce Area at the Adventure Zone in Coldwater.
  • Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti features a new water slide structure and other improvements.
  • The Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail offers 6 miles trail that will link the Musketawa State Trail with the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park.
  • Eight miles of trail surface improvements and improvements to the bridge over the Grand River have been completed on the Grand River Valley Rail Trail from Ionia to Saranac.
  • The new Burt Lake trail near Indian River starts at Maple Bay Campground and runs 5.1 miles along West Burt Lake.
  • A new 7 mile section of the Northwestern State Trail connecting Petoskey and Mackinaw City has been paved from M-119 to Alanson.
  • Visit Serenity Massage and Hypnotherapy in Indian River for some much needed relaxation.
  • Construction is underway transforming the Globe Building in Detroit along the riverfront to a DNR Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center.
  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will have a new hunting, fishing license and ORV permit structure in 2014.

Tours and Classes

Sports and Events

  • The first ever Big Ticket Festival “Snow Jam” will take place March 14 & 15, 2014 at Treetops Resort in Gaylord.
  • The Detroit Electronic Music Festival will be a free event at Campus Martius Park and will be held in conjunction with the Federation of Electronic Music Technology (FEMT) festival being held at Ford Field July 4-6, 2014.
  • Harbor Shores will host the 2014 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 20-25, 2014.
  • The Great Lakes Bay region will host the Woodcutter’s Ball Women’s Professional Lumberjack Festival June 14-15, 2014 at the Auburn City Park.
  • Marquette will host the first Downtown Showdown Ski and Snowboard Rail Jam on February 15 in conjunction with the UP200.
  • Max & Emily’s Eatery is introducing their first Winter Concert Series in downtown Mt. Pleasant.
  • The Shivering Shamrock Challenge in West Brach is new3K walk/run obstacle course on March 15, 2014.
  • Rendezvous in the Sault along Historic Water Street at the City Hall Grounds and at the Historic Homes.  More than 115 visiting historical re-enactors, musicians, entertainers and merchants will set up camps and displays with presentations and demonstrations.


What’s New to Eat or Drink

WineriesNew wineries opened or opening in Michigan include: The Season of the North (Indian River), Hawthorne Vineyards (Old Mission Peninsula), Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery (Alanson), Grand River Marketplace (Jackson).  In wine trail news, West Branch is now part of the Sunrise Side Wine and Hops Trail and the Bay View Wine Trail will include wineries in the Little Traverse Bay region.

Breweries­ – Michigan’s craft beer scene continues to grow with the opening of the following breweries: Brewery Terra Firma, Big Toe Brewery, Workshop Brewing Company, Rare Bird Brew Pub (Traverse City); Pigeon Hill Brewing Company (Muskegon), Fetch Brewing Company (Whitehall); Rupert’s Brew House and Tibb’s Brewing, Boatyard Brewing Co. (Kalamazoo); Big Lake Brewing Co. (Holland); Shed’s Brewing Company (Jackson); Elk Brewing (Grand Rapids); Biercamp (Ann Arbor); Gravel Bottom Brewery (Ada); Lexington Brewing Co. (Lexington); Old Mill Brewpub & Grill (Plainwell); Pleasant House Brewing Co. (Three Oaks); Stormcloud Brewing (Frankfort); Tapistry Brewing (Bridgman); Upper Hand (Escanaba); Griffin Claw Brewing Company (Birmingham).

Other SpiritsTwo James Spirits and Detroit City Distillery (Detroit), Barley & Rye (Ludington), The Peoples Cider Co. (Grand Rapids).


Expansions & Improvements

Ski Resorts – Michigan’s winter is in full gear, and ski resorts throughout the state are featuring new improvements in 2014.  Mt. Brighton, now owned by Vail Resorts, recently underwent more than $10 million in improvements, including new snowmaking equipment, new chairlifts, a new terrain park and hills expansions. Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire will be offering new rental equipment, additional ski school options, more mid-day slope grooming and extended hours.  Caberfae Peaks has new snowmaking equipment and towers, new backcountry terrain as well as renovations at the MacKenzie Lodge and Beatie’s Bar & Grille.  Traverse City’s Mt. Holiday ski area is expanding, adding a new zip line that will run almost 400 feet down and back from the lodge.  Snow Snake in Harrison is offering new drop-in classes this year.  Treetops Resort has new snow equipment, a Boarder X course, and is now open 7 days a week.



  • Beppi’s courtyard at The Homestead Resort  in Glen Arbor received a facelift and now offers outdoor dining and two gas fired bonfire pits.
  • Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark at Boyne Mountain has added The Big Coulior, dropping and spinning riders through a four-story tube at 38 feet per second.
  • Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has installed a new 15-person outdoor hot tub and the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City is adding a “Ten Paw Alley” and expanding it’s Scoops Kid Spa.
  • Zehnder’s Splash Village expansion in Frankenmuth includes 32 additional guest rooms, a new 29,000 square foot to the waterpark and new amenities.

More expansions & improvements

What’s New in Lodging & Meetings

  • Michigan’s first Aloft Hotel, will be located along Woodward Avenue in the historic David Whitney Building. Opening in 2014, the hotel will offer 136 rooms.
  • Cobo Center’s new Grand Riverview Ballroom and Atrium features a 40,000 square foot Grand Riverview Ballroom and offers 21,000 square feet of meeting space directly below.
  • Elvyn Lea Lodge in Petoskey (formerly the Boyne Valley Lodge) has remodeled their 22 guest rooms to offer a quality rustic group accommodation experience.
  • Cherry Grove Convention Center in Cadillac will open in February with the ability to host over 1,000 people
  • The new Hilton Garden Inn in Benton Harbor is expected to open in the spring of 2014.
  • Courtyard by Marriott has opened in Kalamazoo.
  • Marquette now offers a Settle Inn (previously the Super 8), and a new Staybridge Suites is scheduled to open in 2014.
  • The former Holland Inn & Suites is now the Best Western Holland Inn & Suites.

Milestones & Anniversaries

160 Years
Ingham County Fair

125 Years
City of Mt. Pleasant

120 Years
The Whitney, Detroit
Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, Frankenmuth

115 Years
Perry Hotel, Petoskey

110 Years
The Inn at Stonecliff, Mackinac Island

85 Years
The Henry Ford, Dearborn
The Inn at The Homestead, Glen Arbor
Tulip Time Festival, Holland

50 Years
The Ford Mustang
Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
Capri Drive-In, Coldwater
DeZwaan Windmill imported to Holland, MI
Gerald R Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids

40 Years
Chateau Grand Traverse Winery, Traverse City

30 Years
Silver Bells in the City, Lansing
Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, Howell

25 Years
Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor (Ann Arbor, Charlevoix, Traverse City)
Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo

15 Years
Black Star Farms (Inn and Tasting Room), Suttons Bay
Annual Michigan ElvisFest, Ypsilanti

For a complete list of what’s new in 2014 visit