Nothing gives us a greater sense of awe and wonder than venturing out in nature and exploring the wonderful attractions within driving distance. These “one tank trips” are excursions that can be made in a day and are perfect for when you want to get away for an afternoon.
When it's summertime in the Great Lakes State, life's a beach! There is no shortage of water in Michigan, so planning a day at a beach is fun for everyone. Whether you're looking for a beach with the most amenities or a dog friendly beach, My Michigan Beach has it all. Use the Michigan Beach and Travel Map to find the right sandy shore for you.
Canoeing and Kayaking
If your idea of a great day trip includes water and paddles, you're in luck! Michigan has many rivers and streams, making canoeing and kayaking accessible and fun for all ages. The Go Paddling app is a great place to help you find canoeing and kayaking locations. In addition, here are Michigan’s best paddling trips and some more amazing Michigan kayaking spots.
For a cool and unique experience, you can kayak through the canals of Detroit’s “Little Venice.”
Hiking and Biking
There are several local Canton walking and biking paths.
Maybury State Park has it all: trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, plus picnic areas, a farm, and a playground.
Day hikes are an excellent way to connect with nature and get some exercise and fresh air at the same time. Although there are trails throughout the entire state, you don't need to go far to find a park or established pathway. Canton has its own trails to wander in addition to many nearby Michigan state parks that have hiking trails as well. If you'd like to wander a bit farther, All Trails is a great resource for hiking and biking trails. You can also search for Michigan biking trails here.
Kensington Metropark encompasses over 4,000 acres around Kent Lake, offering a variety of activities including hiking, biking, swimming, boating and fishing.
Strolling through a beautifully designed garden on a summer day is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and learn something new about nature. The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor have some of the nicest flowers and scenery to explore. Take a trip and reconnect with nature by visiting one of these botanical gardens in Michigan.
Zoos and Aquariums
Did you know you can use your Canton Public Library card to get discounted passes to the Detroit Zoo? Click here to access the discounts available to you.
Animals, fish and other sea creatures have fascinated humans for hundreds of years, making zoos and aquariums a perennial favorite for groups of all ages. While many of the institutions on this list are in Michigan, some are in nearby states, making it possible to visit them without an overnight stay.
From art to science and everything in-between, there is no shortage of museums in Michigan. The library has compiled a list of popular museum destinations, many of which are just are close enough for a day trip. For a more extensive list, be sure to check out Pure Michigan's list.
For those interested in the history of transportation, Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford is a must-see. Ride in a Model T or get on a steam-powered locomotive. In addition, the Yankee Air Museum offers an immersive flight simulation while learning about the history of aviation. This is one of the top destinations in the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) program, so be sure to check it out!
Looking for some fun for the whole family? One of the top amusement parks in the U.S. is just one state away in Ohio—Cedar Point! You can also visit one of Michigan’s thrilling amusement parks or water parks.
- Michigan Activity Pass (MAP): You can use your library card to check out a pass with free or reduced admission to one of Michigan’s cultural attractions, museums, state parks, or recreation areas. Click here for more information.
- Pure Michigan
- Amazing Hidden Gems in Michigan
- Michigan Off the Beaten Path by Jackie Sheckler Finch
- Backroads & Byways of Michigan by Matt Forster
- Michigan Day Trips by Theme by Kathryn Houghton