It’s no secret that Michigan is home to amazing destinations and tourist attractions. From the mesmerizing wonders of nature up to magnificent man-made architecture, Michigan has it all.
We already covered lots of family friendly Michigan attractions and destinations at this blog. Some of them are so popular not only with the locals but even in international grounds. But did you know that there are lots of extra-ordinary Michigan places that don’t get that much attention? Some of them are listed down below.
This is the largest magic museum in the United States of America. It’s the home to more than half a million pieces of magic memorabilia. The museum was founded in 1978 and it resides in an old Victorian structure (formerly a saloon, clothing store and billiard house establishment) in Calhoun County.
The museum holds more than 10,000 books, 24000 magazines, 46000 photos and letters about magic and magicians. One of the most popular items that this museum has is the escape apparatus used by Harry Houdini in his famous Milk Can Escape trick.
So close to Houdini. Before leaving Kalamazoo I had the gift to visit the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan. A place full filled of history and props owned by the legends of magic. Here is me, staring at one of Houdini’s milk can , the escape himself described as his most sensational death defying act, before bringing on stage The Water Torture Cell. @houdiniwild #americanmuseumofmagic #houdini #Houdiniexpert #escapology #magic #theescapologist #ANDREWBASSO
This establishment or destination has an astounding collection of coin-operated games and automata. It houses vintage arcade games, automata, model airplanes, vintage fans, and other old items and objects that are suited to the establishment’s theme. One of the most popular and strangest items that you can find in this museum is the Dr. Ralph Bingenpurge “Country Food Inspector”. It’s an automaton built to continuously vomit onto a pile of old bottles for no reason.
Today only, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is closed, in remembrance of its founder, Marvin Yagoda, who died just a few days ago at the age of 78. I visited yesterday for the first time, and it was the best. Full of old, working novelty machines and arcade games and “stuff”, it’s sensory overload to the max. I stayed for a couple of hours taking some pictures and playing some games and having a snack, and spent a total of six dollars. Don’t take your kids here, though…I want this place to myself forever ? (JK) #metrodetroit #marvinsmarvelousmechanicalmuseum #arcade #kidfriendly #novelty #antique
If you are a fan of the movie “The Lord of the Rings”, you will surely appreciate this unique and one of a kind Michigan attraction. Residents of Park Avenue in Charlevoix Michigan are truly proud of the amazing houses built by Architect Earl Young. The houses are called Gnome Houses because they resemble the Hobbit Houses seen at The Lord of the Rings movies. The homes’ rooftops and walls are made from fieldstone, redstone, limestone, quarry stone and boulders. They are simply amazing and truly mesmerizing to look at.
My mom critiques architecture with one of two sayings; “oh wow that’s cool” or “I don’t care for that one”. She’s been sending me pics of Earl Young homes from Charlevoix, Michigan all morning. The man’s credited with 52 homes in northern Michigan without being a registered architect. #earlyoung #earlyounghouse #puremichigan #dropout
In Kaleva, Michigan, there’s one house that stands out from the rest – the John J. Makinen Sr. Bottle House. As the owner of Northwestern Bottling Works, John has limitless access to used glass bottles. He took advantage of it and built his dream home using some bricks, woods and more than 60,000 glass soda pop bottles.
Robot fans and die-hard followers of robotics will surely love this place. This establishment has robotic kits that can help anyone build their very own robot or even an army of bots! It’s a place to be for all soon-to-be scientists and alike. Kids will surely love this place too!
The brain collection of Michigan State University has literally lots of brains (35 years worth of brain collection) than you can imagine. It houses over 275 mammalian brains, sectioned and categorized to emphasize its different regions. There are exotic animal brains in display and some familiar ones. There are brains of African bush elephants, flying lemurs, dolphins and humans!
Featured Image Credits: Battle Creek CVB
There are lots of amazing houses and historic buildings around Michigan. There are also gorgeous castles and mansions that are truly extra-ordinary and magical.
If you are a fan of amazing architectures, you will surely love Michigan. And if you are planning to have a quick tour around The Mitten State, here are few of the historic homes that you might want to check out.
Initially designed for a prominent Grand Rapids clothier, the Meyer May House was purchased and meticulously restored by Steelcase and opened to the public in 1987. Today, complete with original furnishings and faithfully executed reproductions, the Meyer May house provides the rare opportunity to experience a Prairie house exactly as Frank Lloyd Wright intended. – meyermayhouse.steelcase.com
The Honolulu House Museum stands in the heart of Marshall’s National Historic Landmark District and is listed on the Historic American Buildings Survey. The house was built in 1860 by the first U.S. consul to the Sandwich Islands. For the next century it served as the residence of four Marshall families, until the Marshall Historical Society was formed in 1961 to purchase it and turn it into a musem. Constructed of Marshall sandstone, the Museum is a wonderful blend of Italianate, Gothic Revival, and Polynesian architecture. The Honolulu House is the headquarters of the Marshall Historical Society. – marshallhistoricalsociety.org
Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen’s Art Deco masterwork and the jewel of Cranbrook’s architectural treasures. Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designer Eliel Saarinen (Cranbrook’s first resident architect and the Academy’s first president and head of the Architecture Department) and Loja Saarinen (the Academy’s first head of the Weaving Department) from 1930 through 1950. The extraordinary interior, now impeccably restored, features the Saarinens’ original furnishings, including Eliel’s delicately-veneered furniture and Loja’s sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son Eero Saarinen. cranbrook.edu
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tells the story of the home life of a prominent American family. The Fords were cultural, social and economic leaders in an era of great optimism, as well as a turbulent time of economic depression and world war. They were nationally prominent and they owned more than one house, but Southeast Michigan was their home. Here they built their final residence along the shores of Lake St. Clair, at a place known locally as Gaukler Pointe. Their impressive yet unpretentious home is where they raised and nurtured their four children – Henry II, Benson, Josephine and William – in a safe and loving environment. It reflects their love of family as well as their mutual passion for art and quality design. – fordhouse.org
The David Whitney Jr. House was built by successful lumber baron David Whitney Jr., one of Michigan’s wealthiest citizens and the wealthiest man in Detroit. He was worth more than $15 million at the time of his death in 1900.
The Whitney mansion is now world famous for upscale dining in Detroit. Completed in 1894, the Motor City landmark retains the exquisite charm of Detroit’s early upper echelon as a venue for all to enjoy.
The Whitney now provides several unique features within the historical property: the fine dining restaurant, The Katherine McGregor Dessert Parlor, The Ghostbar and Gardens. Each has its own unique appeal that guests come specifically to enjoy and sometimes find themselves wandering, spending hours frolicking in the enchantments of the estate. – thewhitney.com
Cranbrook House was the family home of Cranbrook’s founders, George and Ellen Booth, from 1908 until 1949. Today, the estate serves a dual purpose: Its gardens, works of art and first-floor treasures are preserved as a testament to the Booths’ gracious lifestyle, their interest in landscape gardening and their involvement in the American Arts and Crafts movement. Its upper floors house the executive offices of Cranbrook Educational Community, the world renowned National Historic Landmark cultural center the couple created on the grounds of their country estate. – housegardens.cranbrook.edu
The year was 1908 and all over the Keweenaw Peninsula mansions were being built by the wealthy copper mine owners. But here in Laurium the largest and most opulent of them all was just being completed. Built for Thomas H. & Cornelia Hoatson, owner of Calumet & Arizona Mining Co., no expense was spared building this 45 room mansion. At a time when miners were making 25 cents per hour, this house was built at a cost of $50,000 and $35,000 of furnishings were added. The Hoatson’s owned this home until 1949. From 1949-1979 it was owned by Maynard & Jane Hurlburt. After the Hurlburt’s it went through a period vacancy with owners that stripped the mansion of light fixtures, furniture and stained glass windows. In 1989 Julie & Dave Sprenger purchased the vacant mansion and began the repairs and restoration need to open it as the Laurium Manor Inn. Since then we have continued to restore the mansion back into the spectacular home it was back in 1908 when the Hoatson’s moved into their new home. – laurium.info
W.K. Kellogg Manor House is the former estate of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg and his wife, Dr. Carrie Staines Kellogg. Restored to its original grandeur in 2000, the home is rich with history and elegance with natural gardens around a lovely lakeside setting, making the Manor House truly a destination for all. The grounds include a carriage house with chauffeur’s residence, greenhouse with potting shed, caretaker’s cottage, boathouse, an authentic Dutch windmill, and a lakeside pagoda. We welcome tour groups small and large all year-round. Between Chicago and Detroit, the Kellogg Manor House is a wonderful day trip for those interested in history and historic homes. Spend the whole day on KBS property with so many things to do! In addition to touring the inside of the Manor visitors can walk along the lake shore using our historical walking guide to see each of the original structures. Just minutes away guests can visit the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and Dairy observation barn. – conference.kbs.msu.edu
Fair Lane was much more than a simple domestic haven. It was a private laboratory space for Henry’s tinkering and discoveries, a canvas for Clara’s love of gardens, a retreat to discuss ideas with friends like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burrows, a hall for favorite pastimes like music and dance, and a place to gather the grandchildren to share their passions and dreams.
Built on 1,300 acres of farmland, just miles from Henry and Clara’s birth places, most of the estate’s original structures stand today, including the main residence, the powerhouse that supplied energy to the estate, the greenhouse for Clara’s extensive gardens, the boathouse and the stables
The home, one of the first historic sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark, has an eclectic mix of English castle and prairie style, mixing European grandeur and Midwestern charm. The grounds and gardens were designed by esteemed landscape architect Jens Jensen. – henryfordestate.org
Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, it was the center of a country estate that included 1,500 acres, numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, several residences and formal gardens. The rich Meadow Brook history spans from its origins with the Dodge and Wilson families to the founding of Meadow Brook Hall and Oakland University today. – meadowbrookhall.org
Now tell me, which ones of these historic homes and buildings are your favorites?
The rise in numbers of solar powered homes is inevitable. Because of the benefits and advantages it offers, more and more people are now open with the concept of using pure solar energy.
If you are one of those people who are seriously considering building a solar powered home, below are some design ideas, concepts and designs that you can use as an inspiration.
Part greenhouse and part solarium, this ultra-efficient house runs on solar and thermal energy. It has a a thriving all-weather vegetable garden at its center.
A net-zero house built out of three disused shipping containers and reclaimed materials. The home was inspired by the shape of a bird’s nest and includes several energy efficient systems, such as greywater reuse, a hydroponic garden, and a photovoltaic array.
A net-zero abode that lets you keep your garden intact even in times of drought. Shaded by a solar panel-topped structure, the water-smart INhouse drains all of its greywater into a constructed wetland system that then filters and redirects the water into landscape irrigation.
A solar-powered abode constructed from CNC-milled interlocking pieces that can be put together by hand without a single nail or using any tool.
Shelter3 (pronounced shelter cubed) is an ultra-strong home that defends its residents in style from big storms. Powered with a photovoltaic system that’ll supply more electricity than it needs, the tornado-proof house ensures self-sufficiency even when the grid is destroyed. .
A solar-powered home specifically created for use at coastal areas. The 1,000-square-foot home uses 90% less energy than a standard home and will stay running even after the power grid’s been shut down.
Aa 784-square-foot modular home built to LEED Platinum standards. Topped by a 7kW photovoltaic array, the compact NexusHaus is handsomely clad in certified green wood and even grows its own food with an “all-food residential landscape.”
A prefab solar home specifically created for low-income agricultural farm workers on the west coast. The rooftop has sprinkler cooling system that collects and reuses rainwater to naturally cool the home.
Who would have thought that a grim-looking house in a wooded area of Grand Rapids, Michigan can turn into a dream mid-century stylish home?
This is what a husband and wife did when they bought a rundown home set on 20 woodsy acres at Grand Rapids. Inspired by the natural surroundings and mid-century design, the homeowners studied many layouts, designs, color schemes and furnishings to come up with an envy-worthy home.
Aside from its amazing architecture, this 4,000-square-foot home also has a fully working private train track for homeowners and their visitors to enjoy!
Watch the video below to see more of this house’s amazing design and jaw-dropping interior.
Last year (October 2015), Granot Loma hit the real estate market at $40 million. This year, the property is estimated at $70 million!
Granot Loma is the largest log cabin in the world and listed on the US National Landmark (National Register of Historic Places) since 1991. This beachfront estate on Lake Superior consists of 26,000-square-foot log mansion, on almost eight square miles of land. The estate sits on 5,180 acres of woodland located along the Lake Superior shore.
The lodge is an enormous, L-shaped structure built of logs over a steel frame and with a slate roof. The lodge includes a 60-foot long greatroom and 23 or 26 bedrooms, 13 baths and 26 stone fireplaces.
Louis Graveraet Kaufman, the name behind the construction of this mega estate, began building Granot Loma in 1919. According to its history, Kaufman retained 22 architects to design the building, employed three hundred local craftsmen and hired local expert log builder Nestor Kallionin to oversee the construction.
The name Granot Loma is a random hodgepodge of letters from the names of Kaufman’s first three children – Louis, Graveraet and Otto, and his wife name – Marie. When Louis and his wife Marie died, the Kaufmans decided to sell the estate to Tom Baldwin in 1987.
Aside from the 26 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, Granot Loma also has a guest house with 4 apartments, servants’ quarters, a root cellar and a tennis court designed by 1920s champ Bill Tilden. The house comes with over 5,000 acres of land, including a full trail system and nearly four miles of shoreline.
A photo posted by alexstankie (@alexstankie) on
Granot Loma is no doubt the most expensive house for sale in Michigan. If you have the money, will you buy it?
For more of Granot Loma, check out the following links.
Living in mobile and portable homes has its own perks and amazing advantages. It’s perfect for family or individuals who loves to travel and for people who regularly moves from one place to another because of the nature of his/her job, business or career.
The major disadvantage of living in this type of house is the overall look and inside space. It doesn’t have the same comfort and aesthetics that a regular house have. This is what the makers behind the following homes addressed using their clever and unique designs.
Among these awesome houses, which one is your favorite and you think you can actually live at?
If you are into tiny homes and mobile living, you will surely love this!
The video below shows John and his very own House Truck. John retired from the construction industry at age 45 to pursue his dream of nomadic lifestyle. Now age 75, he and his family (wife and two kids) still enjoys travelling almost around the globe with his very own tiny house truck.
John’s house truck have two water tanks, an outdoor shower, solar panels, propane appliances and ample storage.
John is no stranger to building tiny homes, house trucks, expedition vehicles and DIY campers. In fact, he has designed and built twelve mobile alternative dwellings in the last 35 years!
For more of John and his tiny homes and house trucks, visit the following posts.
At first look, this lovely home of Charles Sacilotto and Marie Granmar looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. The house is fully wrapped with glass enclosure making it “mysterious” from the outside. But the thing is, from the inside, this home is just like any other regular home you regularly see around.
So, why did they or what makes them decide to have their house encased in glass? The answer is below.
Instead of building a new house, the couple decided to purchase this small home located at Stockholm archipelago and construct the greenhouse around it.
“Originally Sacilotto looked for an empty lot to build an entirely new Naturhus, but he eventually settled on an old summer house on the Stockholm archipelago. Using Warne’s design, he covered the small summer house, plus an addition, in 4 millimeter glass. The footprint of the greenhouse is nearly double that of the home, leaving plenty of room for a wrap-around garden, and since inside the bubble it’s a Mediterranean climate, the couple now grow produce atypical for Sweden (e.g. figs, tomatoes, cucumbers).”
The greenhouse glass is built out of 4 millimeters thick security glass. It is designed to withstand outside elements and temperature making it really helpful during cold weather.
“The average temperature in Stockholm in January is -3°C (27°F). For Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto it can be much warmer thanks to the greenhouse that blankets their home. For example at the end of January it can be -2°C outside and it can be 15 to 20°C upstairs,” explains Sacilotto.”
The favorite spot and beloved feature of this house is the glass-covered roof deck. Since there’s no longer need for a roof, the couple removed it and now have a large space for sunbathing, reading or playing with their son on swings and bikes.
The couple also maintains fruit and vegetable gardens, grape trees, and even a small goldfish pond – all within the greenhouse walls. Sacilotto and Granmar water their plants with rainwater collected from underground cisterns and have even installed their own sustainable independent sewage system.
Get a tour inside of this awesome house. Watch the video below.
Would you want to have a house a like this?
For travelers around the globe, Airbnb is their best friend in terms of choosing the best rentals. It allows them to freely choose the ones that are close to the spots they wanted to visit, choose the rentals that suits their budget and choose the houses that can make them experience something extraordinary.
According to a recent research and findings by Airbnb, below are the 10 of the most desired listings worldwide. What makes this list truly interesting is that none of these houses are “normal”. They are all unique, interesting and totally unusual. Check it out!
A green, eco-friendly abode once lauded by Dwell Magazine as one of the “Best Homes in America.” The $380/night rental sits near natural attractions, including Joshua Tree and Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, and offers serene “views and vistas in all directions.”
A modern Roman, tiny and inexpensive rental option in the heart of the historic area of Saint John (for only $41/night!), is close to the Colosseum, the Basilica of St. John, the Lateran Palace, the Scala Santa, and more major Italian points of interest.
A poolside retreat on a beach in Bali’s Selemadeg Barat, is the ideal vacation destination for surfers looking for a low key hideaway. The one bedroom home and deck is just a few minutes away from the beach, and sits near myriad fruit trees, including lemon, coconut, passionfruit, and papayas.
The aptly named, tucked away property in Southern California’s Topanga Canyon is a bargain at $95/night. However, the poolside oasis, while secluded, is still a bit Hollywood: it was once featured in a Cody Simpson and Ziggy Marley music video called “Love.”
A geodesic dome loft in Aptos, California near Santa Cruz, offers ten acres of natural land for hiking and exploration, a small “farmette” in case renters want to hang with a few goats, and a “hummingbird airport,” where visiting birds guzzle 80 ounces of syrup daily. The interior is bigger than it looks, too — it houses a loft bed, a futon, kitchenette, and updated bathroom.
The second Italian treehouse on this list, and with good reason. Just like its Florence counterpart, it offers sweeping pastoral views, easy access to wine country, and beautiful rustic decor.
A woodland hideaway obscured from city life, but it still offers the conveniences of modern retreats. Plus, its cozy interior looks like it was pulled straight from a fairy tale.
Tucked inside the Tuscan landscape in Italy is a mere twenty minutes from the Duomo and just an hour away from Siena. The countryside location sits among gorgeous olive and cypress trees, but still allows easy access to Florence.
Boasts a private pool and a 15 minute golf cart commute to the nearest beach. The quirky house on the tiny island, which is located 13 kilometers off the coast of Cancún in the Caribbean sea, is the ideal destination for those looking to escape the “tourist bubble.”
Consists of 3-separate tree houses connected with each other to make one fun place to stay. While it looks like you are in the woods miles away from civilization, you’re actually in the heart of downtown.
There are probably millions or even billions of homes for sale across the United States. With this staggering numbers, you will surely get to see a lot of design and styles to choose from. There will be modern styled houses, vintage inspired, futuristic style, minimalistic ones etc.
There will be also houses that are quite odd and strange. Below are some of the most unusual and a bit outrageous houses that are listed for sale.
This is a Single-Family Home located at 142 Park Road, Pittsford, NY. It has 3 beds, 2 baths, and approximately 3,324 square feet. The property was built in 1971. The interior rooms in this “pod” home decorated in mosaic tiling and the structure’s design inspired by “a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace.”
This Single-Family Home is located at 35 Aprils Way, El Prado, NM. It has 2 beds, 2 baths, and approximately 1,017 square feet. Constructed of Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and polyurethane foam, this “dome home” has heated floors in case that desert ground gets chilly.
Located at 4720 Grosvenor Ave The Bronx, N.Y. , this property is built to reportedly mimic a 16th Century castle in Croatia, this Riverdale mansion touts a two-story turret.
This property is located at 2369 Fairview Avenue E #6, Seattle, WA. It has 3 beds, 4 baths, approximately 2,866 square feet, and was built in 2007. Permanently attached to its dock, this tri-level custom home sits atop the water in a gated “floating waterfront community” in the Westlake neighborhood.
Located at 6353 West Sweetwater Drive Tucson, A.Z, this property is comprised of three steel and glass cubes accessible by outdoor walkways, architect Rick Joy’s Sonoran Desert modules are meant to be as much an artistic statement as a residence.
Located in a historic church converted to condos, this 3-bedroom unit has 38-foot vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows and an altar for a kitchen counter. Property is located at 459 40th Street 2 Lawrenceville, P.A
Property is located at Rivercrest in Houston, Texas. The home provides approximately 19668 square feet of living space. It features 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Bringing North African flare to the Lone Star state, this replica Moroccan mansion touts a colorfully tiled inner courtyard and a petting zoo.
Located at 86 Sabino Gonzalez Glorieta, N.M. , this angular home in which elevation levels vary over 20 feet from end to the other, this Bart Prince design has special terraces built in for studying sunrises, sunsets and the moon.
Located at 345 East 50th Street , New York, N.Y. Behind the front door of this two-bed, two-bath Manhattan apartment lies a wood-paneled master bedroom suite fashioned after the inside of a ship.