Ah, Michigan! Land of the Great Lakes, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Pictured Rocks. Many people would bet a good amount of money that the Mitten State’s natural wonders are the most beautiful in the country.
Whether you’re a Michigander, or Michi-visitor, there are a number of ways and places that can make your travels here more eco-friendly. That’s why we compiled a list of the five best eco-friendly ways to explore Michigan.
These picks are perfect for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or even just a date night. Check ‘em out below.
1. Brewery Vivant
Michigan has seen an incredible surge in the production of craft beer over the past few years. It’s also home to Beer City, USA— Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids boasts 80+ breweries, but our favorite is Brewery Vivant.
Brewery Vivant operates according to the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, and Profit, and was also the 4th certified B Corporation in West Michigan. Additionally, they were also awarded the first-ever LEED certification (LEED Silver) for a production brewery in the United States in 2012.
Brewery Vivant is transparent about their goals and practices and also just has fantastic beer. Their Pumpkin Tart is a smooth herbaceous-hoppy fall brew that’s best enjoyed underneath a crisp autumn sky.
2. Leslie Science and Nature Center
The Leslie Science and Nature Center located in Ann Arbor, MI is a true community landmark with a heart-warming history.
From 1923 through 1976, Dr. Eugene and Emily Leslie lived on the property that was surrounded by glorious fields, prairie, and woods. They loved when the local children would play on their land and later deeded their property to the City of Ann Arbor with a request that it be used for children.
Today kids, families, and individuals continue to visit to play, learn and explore the wonderful landscape. Visitors can walk lush trails, visit the Critter House, and their Birds of Prey and Raptor Enclosures on top of endless other special events.
If you’re looking for a fun eco-friendly escape for the whole family, the Leslie Science and Nature Center is an amazing choice.
3. City Flats Hotel
City Flats has three eco-friendly hotels in Michigan: Grand Rapids, Holland, and Port Huron. While all the locations follow their commitment to sustainability, we suggest booking their Grand Rapids location—all the better to visit Brewery Vivant!
The Grand Rapids hotel is LEED gold-certified and many of its innovative room designs feature floor-to-ceiling windows, docking stations, cork flooring, and naturally hypoallergenic bamboo sheets.
They also demonstrate a commitment to the environment and minimizing waste through the selection of luxe and eco-friendly bath products.
Book a stay here and you’ll feel good in an abundance of ways.
4. Granor Farm
No matter what the season, there are many reasons to visit Southwest Michigan’s Granor Farm: Their Annual Seeding Sale, yoga in the barn, delectable farm-to-table dinners in their renovated farmhouse, and truly so much more.
Granor Farms was founded in 2006 and is a certified organic farm that grows vegetables, herbs, flowers and grains for their local community. It’s committed “to creating an environment respectful of the land we cultivate, the products we grow, and the local community we serve.”
If you can’t make it to this glorious haven, check out their recipes page, where you’ll find mouth-watering mixes for sourdough pizza crust, green bean and oat groat salad, and more. Granor Farms also offers a Farm Camp for children ages 5-12 where they work with farm staff to harvest, problem solve and think creatively about what to make with produce.
5. Crystal Mountain Resort
Located in the tiny village of Thompsonville, MI (population just over 400!) on the northwest side of the state’s lower peninsula, Crystal Mountain Resort is a gem among resort gems.
Of course, it’s stunning and offers amenities galore such as golf, skiing, spa services, etc. Yet we included them on our list because of their impressive commitment to sustainability.
“Respect, serve and sustain our people and the environment” is among the resort’s core values, and it has been recognized with numerous awards for its commitment.
Some of its most thoughtful practices? In-room recycling, electric golf carts, and efficiency sensors for irrigation and snowmaking.
Additionally, the entire resort was designed to be a pedestrian and bike-friendly village in order to reduce use of carbon-emitting transportation.