Dennos Museum Center#4 in Best Things To Do in Traverse City
Price & Hours
One of Traverse City's premier cultural institutions is the Dennos Museum Center. An extension of Northwestern Michigan College, it houses more than 3,000 works of art from the 19th to 21st centuries. What makes the Dennos Museum Center standout is its extensive collection of Inuit art. Inuit are indigenous people from northern Alaska and arctic areas of Canada and Greenland. The Dennos Museum Center houses the largest and most historically complete collection in the country, with more than 1,600 works. The museum's Inuit collection is primarily made of up of sculptures and prints and features works from 21st-century Inuit artists. Other permanent collections include works from Canadian Woodland artists and Jozsef Domjan, a renowned American artist who is known for his intricate woodcut art. The museum also hosts concerts and performances and screens films from regional to international filmmakers and organizations.
Recent visitors were impressed with the museum's collections, especially considering its location in the small town of Traverse City. Many found the exhibits, both the permanent and temporary, to be excellent and loved viewing the art on display as well as learning about the cultures presented. Others enjoyed the natural light that floods the museum and appreciated other offerings, including a space for kids, a gift shop and the performance space.
The Dennos Museum Center is open Tuesday through Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission costs $6 for adults and $4 for children 17 and younger. You can find the museum in the center of town right off of East Front Street. Parking is available on-site. For more information, visit the Dennos Museum Center's website.
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#1 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the few places in the world that visitors can see perched dunes. The lakeshore's towering dunes, which stretch 35 miles long Michigan's eastern coast, were formed by glaciers. The slopes left behind by the glaciers turned into dunes as a result of Lake Michigan's tide pushing sand up onto the shore overtime. It's this unique phenomenon that garnered the park National Lakeshore status in 1970.
Today, Sleeping Bear Dunes is enjoyed by more than a million visitors per year, who flock to the park to experience the dunes and enjoy an eyeful of the lakeshore's vibrantly colored waters, forested hiking trails, beaches and bevy of outdoors activities. First-time visitors won't go wrong starting their journey with the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, a 7 1/2-mile drive that takes travelers through forested landscapes and along sand dunes to various overlook points. For hiking, you're spoiled with more than 100 miles of trails. For an easy trek, check out the Empire Bluff trail, a 1 1/2-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors directly to the edge of the dunes. The Pyramid Point trail is a more moderate, hilly option, while the 9-mile Alligator Hill trail takes hikers away from the dunes and higher up to provide sweeping views of the lake and the forests that flank it. If you're looking to do more than just hike, know that you can also bike, kayak, canoe and even scuba dive here. During the winter, the park is open to visitors for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and more.
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