Museums in Northwest Michigan
Visit one of the many museums in Northwest Michigan to learn about the area's history, see artifacts and much more! From depots, historic homes and villages to a children's museum, discovery center and music museum, there's something for everyone in your family to enjoy!
Alden Depot Museum
10670 Coy St
Exhibits and collections include local history and railroad history books, photographs, documents, artifacts and family stories which showcase these resilient, hardworking pioneers. Browse many photographs of early recreation and resort life around Torch Lake.
Arcadia Area Historical Museum and Carriage House
3340 Lake Street
Housed in a beautiful Victorian home built circa 1880s, the Arcadia Historical Museum contains interesting artifacts, furniture and local history.
Bear Lake Historical Society and Museum
7750 Main Street
The Bear Lake Historical Museum contains diverse display exhibits of area businesses and local activities from the earliest land grant farms days, the logging boom to life in the mid-1950’s.
Bellaire Area Historical Society and Museum
202 N. Bridge Street
Bellaire Area Historical Society & Museum features displays of local history, civil war and villages.
Benzie Area Historical Society and Museum
6941 Traverse Avenue
The Benzie Area Historical Society and Museum features permanent exhibits showcasing virtually all aspects of life in Benzie County since its inception in 1869 as well as two to four special exhibits annually. They currently have more than 37,000 artifacts in our collection.
Wexford County Historical Society Museum
127 Beech Street
The 5,000 sq. ft. WCHS Museum is the leading source of displays relating to the history of Wexford County. It contains artifacts, photographs, maps, paintings, documents and exhibits of daily life in northern Michigan that reflect the community's history since its inception in the 1870's.
Step back in time with collections of toys, kitchen items, and daily life from the Great War era at the Castle Farms World War 1 Museum.
Charlevoix Historical Society Museum at Harsha House
103 State Street
The historical Museum at Harsha House features different exhibitions year-round.
Marilla Museum and Pioneer Place
9991 Marilla Road
The Marilla Museum includes a beautifully restored two story 1870s log home, a large 1900 barn, and a full-size replica hunter-trapper logger’s cabin. Each home is fully furnished and reflects early rural pioneer living. The Pioneer Barn contains many farm machines and implements, displays representing Marilla’s rich logging history, and other items relating to the communities early formative years.
Raven Hill Discovery Center
4737 Fuller Road
Raven Hill Discovery Center is a unique place in northern Lower Michigan where children and adults can link science, history & the arts with hands-on activities and explorations both indoors and outdoors.
Elk Rapids Historical Museum
301 Traverse Street
The Elk Rapids Historical Museum has a wide variety of exhibits, including replicas of the Township Hall’s old 1883 jail and the Elk Rapids iron works, vintage clothing, antique tools, local artist displays, old office furniture and machines, and more memorabilia.
Empire Area Museum
11544 LaCore Street
The Empire Area Museum is fashioned after the original Roen Saloon, a prominent fixture in Empire during the lumbering days. The Museum features the original bar in the Roen Saloon, a Victorian parlor, turn-of-century kitchen, artifacts from Norway Town, a blacksmith shop, barn display, railroad exhibit, a covered wagon, and much more.
Fife Lake Historical Society and Museum
136 W State Street
The Fife Lake Historical Museum is filled with artifacts and stories of the region's history. Complete your historic walk by visiting the schoolhouse, a realistic representation of an 1880's rural school, and a fire barn, featuring a 1930's firetruck, equipment and uniforms.
Glen Haven Village
5121-5395 Glen Haven Road
A visit to Glen Haven, the small village on the Lake Michigan shoreline, is a step back to a time when small villages and docks supplied fuel to steamers along the Great Lakes. Glen Haven is the best preserved cord wood station on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and perhaps the entire Great Lakes. Glen Haven was a company town and eventually diversified into farming, canning of fruit, and tourism.
The Kaleva Depot
14420 Walta Street
The RR Depot Museum houses many railroad artifacts, photos, and displays pertinent to the Kaleva Railroad Depot, as well as a scale model of the Depot with a model train circling it. Outdoors, visitors will see one of the last two Switch Engines to work in the Kaleva Rail yards.
The Bottle House Museum
14551 Wuoksi Street
In 1941, a unique home was built in Kaleva out of 60,000 glass bottles by John Makinen. Mr. Makinen owned the local pop bottling factory, and he used chipped or flawed bottles from his pop bottling factory for his house.
In 1983, the Kaleva Historical Society was able to purchase the property from the John Makinen family and thus established its new and permanent home. Historic items are faithfully inventoried, preserved and displayed. The museum is home to many exhibits illustrating the Finnish-American history of the community including businesses, farming, and early settlers.
The Almira Historical Society
19440 Maple Street
The Almira Historical Society is dedicated to collecting and preserving artifacts that represents the history of the Village of Lake Ann and Almira Township. More than 1,500 local artifacts are on display.
Missaukee County Historical Society
111 S. Canal Street
The joint Missaukee County Ardis Library & Missaukee County Historical Society "History Room" is located at the Missaukee County Library, open during normal Library hours, available to the public to view family histories, local histories, reference materials, available historical documents, and notebook binders of photos and collected historical details.
Leelanau Historical Society Museum
203 E Cedar Street
The collections and archives in the Leelanau Historical Society Museum contain more than 20,000 items. Visitors to the museum learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications. Recipient of the 2014 State History Award for Outstanding Local Society, LHS continues to collect, document and preserve items relating to Leelanau history.
Manistee County Historical Museum
425 River St
19th-century building offering rotating & permanent local history exhibits & a genealogy collection.
117 W Mesick Avenue
The Mesick Museum displays preserved items that are loaned and/or donated to the museum that represent the history of the Mesick area.
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum
15500 N. Lighthouse Pt. Rd
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse has been restored and is open to the public seasonally. Visitors can tour the restored keepers dwelling and climb the Lighthouse Tower for a magnificent view of Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay.
Little Traverse Historical Museum
100 Depot Court
The Little Traverse History Museum is housed in the former Pere Marquette train station, built in 1892. It provides information and education on the history of the Little Traverse Bay area through programming, facilities, and archives.
Great Lakes Children's Museum
13240 S. West Bay Shore Drive
The Great Lakes Children’s Museum provides hands-on, interactive, and informal educational environments for children and the adults in their lives that invite curiosity, allow exploration, encourage participation and celebrate the child-like wonder in all of us.
The Dennos Museum Center
1701 E. Front Street
The Dennos Museum Center builds community, sparks conversation, and inspires change for audiences of all ages through its exhibitions, programs, and the collection and preservation of art.
Mission Point Lighthouse
20500 Center Road
Mission Point Lighthouse offers visitors a peek into what life was like around the turn of the century for lighthouse keepers and for others who lived and worked in the area at the time.
Guntzviller's Spirit of the Woods Museum
11060 S. US-31
The Spirit of the Woods Museum has been built over several decades with the goal of sharing the love and respect for wildlife and the outdoors with visitors. Diaramas with beautiful, hand-painted backgrounds feature a vast assortment of native Michigan animals in settings that mimic their life in the wild.
The Music House Museum
7377 U.S. 31 North
The Music House Museum’s unique collection of instruments provides guests with a walk through the history, artistry and engineering of automated music.