15 Interesting Things To Do In Sanilac County, Michigan – Fun on the Sunrise Side

There are lots of fun things to do in Sanilac County, Michigan. The following list is just an introduction to the many fun activities available in this wonderfully pretty area of the sunrise side of Michigan.

Visit The Port Sanilac Lighthouse

Port Sanilac Lighthouse - Things to do in Sanilac county
Port Sanilac Lighthouse

81 S Lake Street, Port Sanilac, MI 48469

The Port Sanilac Lighthouse is a Michigan State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark built in 1872. This light tower can be located on Lake Huron, south of Port Sanilac. It’s one of the oldest operating lighthouses in Michigan and is open to the public for tours during the summer season.

One of the final structures constructed on the eastern side of Michigan’s Thumb is the Port Sanilac Lighthouse, which is situated just north of Detroit. Between Harbor Beach Light and Fort Gratiot, a 60-mile gap was filled by it.

Explore The Croswell Swinging Bridge

The Croswell Swinging Bridge Welcome Sign
The Croswell Swinging Bridge Welcome Sign

Maple St, Croswell, MI. 48422

The Croswell Swinging Bridge is a historic suspension bridge in Sanilac County, Michigan. It is one of only three remaining swinging bridges left in Michigan, and it’s one of the few swinging bridges left in North America.

The Michigan Sugar Company supplied the materials for the bridge, which was completed in 1905. When finished, it stretched 139 feet across the Black River, intending to make it easier for factory workers who lived on the other side of the river to get to work.

It’s still functional today and carries people across the water every day! Some call it Michigan’s Scariest Bridge. For little kids is a good-natured terror with the bridge always moving and swaying. It has a sign on one end that states, “Be Good To Your Mother-in-law.” A festival to celebrate the bridge takes place the second weekend of August each year and features cardboard boat races under the bridge.

Local Hint: There is a disc golf course in the same park hidden by the pines.

Go For A Drive In Movie At Hi-Way Drive-In

Hi-Way Drive-In Entrance – From Hi-Way Drive-In’s Facebook

2778 Sanilac Road, Carsonville, MI 48419

Hi-Way Drive-In is a great place to go for an evening with the family. It’s a classic drive-in movie theater with picnic tables and cars that you can sit in a while watching the movie. The Hi-Way Drive-In is the oldest drive-in theater still operating in Michigan, having opened its driveway to cars coming in 1948.

You can bring your own food and drinks with you, so there’s no need to spend money at their concession stand while having fun! Kids love going to these theaters because they can participate in something they may not get the chance to do otherwise. They also enjoy being able to eat snacks without worrying about spilling on themselves or someone else.

Tour The Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park

Upper Thumb Petroglyph Archer
Sanilac Petroglyphs

8251 Germania Road, Cass City, MI 48726

Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings found in many places across the country. They have been found in many states, including Michigan. The Sanilac Petroglyph Historic State Park is a great place to visit if you want to see some petroglyphs for yourself.

If you’re into history, this park has plenty of it too! Archaeologists have studied the site since the 1920s. These rock carvings date back to the pre-Columbian era and represent aspects of Native American spirituality. Native Americans used them to record their stories through drawings and symbols carved onto the rocks they were carved on (this is called “rock art”). The site was designated as a Michigan state park and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Noah’s Ark Family Fun Center

4330 Farver Road, Gagetown, MI 48735

Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Noah`s Ark Family fun center has many things to do. We not only have Noah`s Ark park, with amusement rides ( tubs of fun, Mechanical bull, Swing rides.) Biblical (Christian Museums ) full-size displays of different scenes throughout our 10,000 sq. foot building with a gift shop. In our 107 acres, there are 22 acres of water for hiking and fishing 

This is also the site of Michigan’s Veterans Memorial walls for all who have died for our county’s freedom from the wars starting from WWI to the present wars amounting to 20 beautiful inside walls and two hundred feet of flag walkway with monuments.

Learn About Local History Sanilac County Historical Village & Museum

228 S. Ridge Street, Port Sanilac, Michigan 48469

More than a dozen historic structures make up the Sanilac County Historical Village and Museum, located on ten acres of the old Dr. Joseph Loop estate in the Lake Huron port community of Port Sanilac. The grounds’ Victorian, Edwardian, and vintage structures and displays, as well as the lovely gardens, are all part of the Sanilac County Historical Society’s invitation to go back in time.

The permanent collections include Native American artifacts, military mementos, and relics from maritime shipwrecks. The Loop-Harrison mansion, built in 1872, is historically decorated, with many of the furnishings being original to the family. Every year, hundreds of local elementary-aged children have the opportunity to learn in an 1800s one-room schoolhouse. Our historic church and general store from the turn of the century are still in operation. If you prefer ghost stories, we have plenty of them here. The Barn Theatre, one of Michigan’s most well-known performing venues, is housed on the museum grounds in the Loop family’s original barn. Simply visiting us will transport you to another century.

Walk Down Main Street Of Lexington

One of the neat things to do in Lexington, Mi, is to walk down Main Street. Many historical buildings have been mutinously restored and are fascinating to explore.

  • Visit the historic buildings, such as the Old Town Hall & Masonic Temple, a three-story Italianate structure built in 1876.
  • Stroll down to the Lexington State Harbor and bring your camera. It’s a great spot to take pictures and selfies. 
  • Eat at one of the many local restaurants like The Cadillac House Inn & Tavern, or get a tremendous old-fashioned burger at Wimpy’s Place.
  • Shop at stores such as Angel’s Garden or The Painted Paddle. You can also check out the art galleries on the main street like Artiques and Lexington Arts Council LLC that showcase local artists’ work like t-shirts, paintings, and more!
  • Get a cup of coffee at Lexington Coffee Co. and enjoy many flavors!
  • Visit the Lexington Moore Public Library, where they have free wi-fi so you can get some work done if need be! They have all sorts of events. Check out their events calendar.

Flynn Township Nature Center

3284 Peck Rd #3098, Brown City, MI 48416

The Flynn Township Nature Center is located on the north side of Peck Road between Bailey Road and Baldwin Road 

There are some great defined trails in the wildlife preserve. Several large ponds for kayaking. However, because they are shallow and freeze in the winter, there are very few fish. There are a few picnic tables available. This location is still being developed; every year, the township makes minor improvements.

There are two entrances to the Nature Center: Peck Rd Entrance (Between Bailey Rd and Baldwin Rd), Baldwin Rd north of Peck Rd (west side of the road)

Shop At Lexington’s General Store

Lexington General Store
Lexington’s General Store

7272 Huron Ave Lexington, MI 48450

Initially built in the 1850s as a boot shop, then in the 1900s, it was a barbershop. Since 1969 it has been The Lexington General Store. The creaky floored shop is a great place to shop for souvenirs and Michigan-themed gifts. The store is common in Sanilac County cities with a variety of products, including clothing, penny candy, home goods, and food options like fudge and other nibbles. If you’re looking for something unique to bring back with you from your trip to Sanilac County, Michigan, this is the place to go!

Go Apple Picking and Wine Tasting At McCallum’s Orchard & Cider Mill

5697 Harris Rd, Jeddo, MI 48032

Pick your own Michigan apples or try to make your way out of a massive Sunflower Maze on this active farm. October is prime time at the orchard with KidsFest. Come visit their baby goats, and play awesome carnival games set up around the Kids Zone area. We also have apples, donuts, and cider! What’s not to love?

Their Petting Farm allows children of all ages to interact with the sights and smells of common barnyard animals. Before handling the rabbits, they request that you speak with one of McCallum’s employees. They sell food to feed the animals in the market area.

In the spirit to get a little scared? Starting in September, the orchard turns out the lights at dusk and invites folks to the Haunted House of Deimos.

See A Performance At the Barn Theater in Port Sanilac Mi

242 S. Ridge Road Port Sanilac Michigan

The Barn Theatre is located on the grounds of the Sanilac County Historical Museum at the southern end of Port Sanilac on M-25. The Barn was built about a century and a half ago and is historically accurate, which means it lacks indoor plumbing – don’t worry, facilities are just outside the building.

The Barn Theatre began with one show in 1980 and now runs every weekend from the first weekend in June to Labor Day. At The Barn, there is always something new to discover. 

The Barn Theatre is a come-as-you-are venue. After all, it is a barn, so the dress code is “comfortable.” There is something for everyone. Several of their shows are suitable for the entire family, while others are suitable for older children and adults looking for a fun evening out. The Barn Theater specializes in comedies, and the ever-popular farce acts are their specialty.

Play Golf At Huron Shores Golf Club

1441 N Lakeshore Rd, Port Sanilac MI 48469

Golfing is a great way to spend time with friends or even family. It’s a fun, low-key activity that you can do with other people, and it doesn’t require much in the way of planning. You’ll be able to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air while at the same time getting some exercise, which is always good for you! If golfing isn’t really your thing, but you still want to get out there and have some fun activities on your list of things to do in Sanilac County, Michigan, then don’t worry! There are plenty more options available!

Pick Up A Real Newspaper At The Minden City Herald

Minden City Herald
Minden City Herald

1524 Main St, Minden City, MI 48456

In an era of an increasing focus on pushing news outlets to be online, it’s surprising to find out that in one publishing area, a small-town weekly newspaper is thriving with the status quo. According to the Trade Magazine Editor & Publisher, in 2015, over 5,600 weekly newspapers were in operation with a combined readership of 47 million. For every daily paper, there are four published weeklies’. One such weekly has been serving its community in Michigan’s Thumb for over 100 years. The Minden City Herald is one of the few independent, locally owned weekly newspapers in Michigan. Drop by their newsroom, chat with the editors, and pick up a paper for 75 cents.

Kayak The Black River With Black River Kayaks

43 N Howard Ave – Croswell, MI 48422

Take an exploratory paddle upriver with a rented canoe or kayak. The river is typically calm, perfect for beginners. One thing to note. The two-hour trip is not that long. Most folks paddling lazily can get to the end in about an hour. So you have plenty of time to turn back and explore. Reviews say call in for a reservation, so you will not be disappointed. 

All upriver rental trips include complimentary transportation. Or bring your own and get it to the trailhead for only $5.00. If you just want to explore the Black River near the Croswell swinging bridge, the rental is $10 for a kayak. Those looking to camp overnight after their adventure can do so at PL Graham Park/Campground for a donation.

Visit A Restored Train Depot in Marlette

Marlette Depot
Marlette Depot

Marlette, MI 48453

The Marlette Train Depot is a lovely and well-preserved example of a late-nineteenth-century railway station. The railway depots in Pigeon, Capac Museum and Depot, and the restored 1903 Port Hope rail station are other examples of Michigan’s Thumb. In January 1881, the tracks were finished. After citizens raised $15,000 for track construction, the Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad built the Marlette Branch. The tracks were extended further to East Saginaw, totaling 90 miles.

Marlette’s last passenger service ended in 1936. The depot was added to the State of Michigan’s Registry of Historic Places in 2001. The Marlette depot, restored in 2006, is a favorite among train enthusiasts and photographers. The Marlette depot has been converted into a historical museum. On Sundays, the museum is open from 2 to 5 p.m. There is no entrance fee.

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Sanilac County

There are lots of fun activities to do in Sanilac county MI. If you are in the area, hopefully, this list of things to do in Sanilac County is near you. We hope this list was helpful, and we invite you to keep exploring!

Featured Photo by Anastasia Taioglou

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