With an area of more than 90,000 square miles, there’s a lot of Michigan to explore and there’s no doubt Michiganders love to explore every corner of it.
From bustling bigger cities to quaint small towns, there’s a surprise hiding behind every corner in Michigan and one of the best ways to explore the state is with apps.
A phone is a must-have for Michiganders, even if they aren’t exploring Michigan. But there are helpful apps that make explorations and excursions even more special.
Explore Michigan’s Parks and Enjoy Nature with eBird and Merlin
Have you ever looked out at the birds on your backyard feeder and thought to yourself, “I wonder what kind of bird that is?” Now you don’t have to wonder anymore with top-of-the-line birding apps like eBird and Merlin that tell users anything and everything they could ever want to know about birds.
Birding enthusiasts and those who are curious about the creatures in their backyard can explore local parks and even some of Michigan’s scenic national parks.
Merlin offers users a chance to quickly identify the birds they see and hear by IDing the bird calls. Users can then create a life list of the birds they see; a digital scrapbook that allows them to add birds each time they see a new one.
eBird users can also keep track of birds and explore nearby birding hot spots to keep lists. They can also share their sightings with other users.
Both apps are a great way to learn more about local wildlife and gain a new appreciation for the dozens of bird species that live in Michigan.
Related: Michigan’s many birding trails are a great spot to test both of these apps out.
Marvel at the Night Sky with SkySafari
Michiganders know that one of the best activities on a clear night is lying back and looking up at millions of stars. With constellation apps like SkySafari, amateur astronomers can gain a whole new appreciation for the night sky.
Stargazers of all ages can use app features to see star formations in real-time and share their sky chart with other users. Users can also use SkySafari’s event finder to get the latest information on lunar phases, solar eclipses, and much more.
The SkySafari app is perfect for use at any of Michigan’s international Dark Sky Parks, including the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park in the Upper Peninsula.
Users can get the basic version of the app to see some of the best-known star clusters, asteroids, comets, and satellites. Upgrading to SkySafari Plus allows access to more than two million stars, mobile telescope control, and more than 7,000 asteroids, satellites, and comets.
Discover Awesome Michigan Museums With Virtual Museum Apps
Michiganders don’t have to go far to find a fascinating museum to explore. At least two apps allow Michigan residents to explore the sights of a museum in a new, exciting way.
UMMNH, the app for the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor, allows users to get a behind-the-scenes look at the museum with image galleries and to explore exhibits through interactive inquiry. Users can also see museum maps and plan self-guided tours.
THF Connect, an app through the Henry Ford Museum, allows visitors to dive deeper into the museum’s stories and exhibits with informative audio tours. Visitors can also get turn-by-turn directions at the museum to find their favorite spots and use an interactive AR feature to explore artifacts in a new way.
Both apps serve to enhance the museum visitor experience and give visitors a new appreciation for the history within.
Pop a Top on Delicious Craft Beers with Untappd
As one of the leaders of the craft beer industry in the Midwest, Michigan has plenty of breweries in big cities and unassuming small towns to explore. The Mitten State is brimming with nearly 400 breweries and Untappd is one of the best apps to explore them all.
Thirsty users who love tasting the latest and greatest craft brewers can use Untappd to search for specific breweries, beers, and venues around the state to plan which spots to visit. Once they’ve tried a beer, they can use Untappd to rate the beer and leave comments.
As users visit new breweries and try and rate new beers they can unlock badges and fun achievements. The app also keeps users informed on upcoming beer events and recommends new beers.
Related: The app also works great for users who attend one of Michigan’s many awesome beer festivals.
Improve Your Golf Game With GolfLogix
Michigan has some downright stunning public and private golf courses that are highly rated as among the best in the nation. Dedicated golfers and weekend duffers enjoy being outside and enjoying the company of friends during a round at a scenic course.
Golfers are always looking for ways to improve their scores and GolfLogix is a helpful app that can do just that. Billed as a complete game improvement app, GolfLogix provides golfers with the information they need to improve their games, from when they hit the ball off the tee to when they sink a putt on the green.
Users can pick from both annual and monthly plans to take advantage of features like GPS yardage, hole selection, and score tracking. It’s a convenient tool on the course right in your pocket.
Explore More of Michigan with the Explore Michigan App
Note: This app is only available on Apple devices
Michiganders and out-of-town tourists alike can explore Michigan’s vast outdoors from the comfort of their phones with the Explore Michigan app.
Explore Michigan allows users to learn and explore lighthouses, national parks, and state parks with maps, guides, and location-specific activities to plan a fun getaway or even a quick day trip.
Users can easily filter results to narrow down specific types of locations they’re looking for and view cluster maps that are easy to read, even with multiple locations mapped out in one area.
Maps and PDF guides lend a hand too, offering visitors helpful information about specific topics such as water safety and animal safety.
Improve Your Disc Golf Game With UDisc
These days, it’s hard to go anywhere in Michigan and not be close to a disc golf course. Disc golfing is a great outdoor activity that’s perfect for getting a little exercise, having some fun, and enjoying Michigan’s scenery.
Disc golf’s popularity continues to grow and there are hundreds of courses throughout the state. UDisc is a helpful app that can help Michigan disc golfers explore their favorite courses and discover new ones.
UDisc users can see current conditions for local courses, read reviews of courses they’re interested in, get directions to courses, and even follow interactive maps on the course showing disc golfers where to find baskets and tees.
Disc golfers of all skill levels who use UDisc can also track their progress by keeping track of their score, measuring their throws, and analyzing different aspects of the game such as putting and driving.
It’s the perfect all-in-one app for beginners learning the game’s nuances and longtime players looking to improve their games and explore new courses.
Go on a Sightseeing Tour with America’s Lighthouses
Note: This app is only available on Apple devices
Michigan has more than 100 lighthouses, stretching from the tip of the Upper Peninsula to the farthest reaches of the Lower Peninsula.
Michiganders who love visiting the state’s many lighthouses can download America’s Lighthouses, which makes a good companion for exploring these nautical marvels. The app documents more than 800 lighthouses nationwide, spanning the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, and even some inland waterways.
Users can follow the app’s blue dot to travel from lighthouse to lighthouse and tap on icons linked to GPS to learn about each lighthouse.
The app helps plan scenic lighthouse excursions and even quick day trips. Whether you’re an avid lighthouse photographer, a lighthouse climber, or even a painter, America’s Lighthouses will help users gain a new appreciation for Michigan’s lighthouses.
Take an In-Depth Visit to Southwest Michigan
The Visit Southwest Michigan app, available on both Android and Apple devices, invites visitors to create their own Southwest Michigan adventure. The app highlights more than 100 different stops in the region, ensuring that visitors of all ages have fun, memorable experiences.
Visitors are invited to stop for craft beverages at local breweries, explore the wonders of a scenic nature trail, visit local murals to experience the art scene, and much more.
Use Tentrr to Find Your Next Unique Camping Experience
Camping is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors in Michigan and is something that can even be done year-round.
Tentrr is a helpful app for finding your next camping adventure. More than 1,000 campsites across the nation are listed and more than 1,000 results for Michigan are listed with a basic search. Think of it as a sort of AirBnB for camping!
Tentrr offers campers both public and private land options and campers can narrow down searches to the type of camping experience they want; ranging from riverside camping to lake camping to forest camping to scenic camping.
Camping enthusiasts can also host guests on their land, offering a chance to give back to fellow fans of camping.
Get Out and Explore More of Michigan Today
Whether you’re an expert on your phone or it takes a little while for you to learn a new app, these 10 apps will help Michiganders of all ages gain a deeper appreciation for all the Great Lakes State can offer.
So plan your next camping trip with Tentrr, plan a trip along the Lake Michigan coastline with America’s Lighthouses, or go on a birding trip with eBird and Merlin. Armed with a helpful app right in your pocket, you’ll easily have all the information you need for your next adventure right at your fingertips!