One of the best ways to learn about towns, cities and regions that you visit is by exploring the museums along the way! Use this list to plan daily excursions away from the boat when you come into port on one of our Great Lakes cruises.
The Henry Ford Museum (Detroit, MI)
Step into a world where past innovations fuel the imagination of generations to come! A vibrant exploration of genius in all its forms, The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation will allow you to experience the strides of America’s greatest minds while fully immersing yourself in their stories. The museum collection is extensive, and contains the presidential limousine of John F Kennedy, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, the Rosa Parks bus, and many other historical exhibits.
Motown Museum (Detroit, MI)
The Motown Museum tells the story of how one man’s vision turned into one of the largest, most successful record companies of all time. You’ll see how the charisma, talent and staying power of that music and those who made it have become an American legacy. View an extensive array of Motown artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia, and stand in Studio A, where artists and groups like Stevie Wonder and The Supremes recorded their iconic music.
A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Tech (Houghton, MI)
With a history extending back to the origins of Michigan Technological University in 1885, The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum offers the largest public exhibit of an outstanding collection of minerals from the Great Lakes region. You’ll join visitors from across the US who come to better understand and appreciate minerology through our nationally and internationally recognized collection and exhibits.
The Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI)
The Dennos Museum Center invites you to experience their dynamic array of regional, national, and international art from the 19th-21st centuries. The Museum’s signature collection is Inuit art of the Canadian Arctic, one of the largest and most historically complete collections of these distinctive sculptures and prints in the United States.
Fort Mackinac (Mackinac Island, MI)
The cannon blasts, the rifles fire, the soldiers march and history comes alive! You’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time when you visit the oldest building in Michigan. You’ll see an amazing assortment of exhibits that explain everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the fort that now serves as the headquarters for Mackinac National Park
Lake Superior Marine Museum (Duluth, MN)
Make sure to visit Lake Superior Marine Museum, located right next to the Duluth Canal and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Spend an hour or two exploring the history of shipping on the Great Lakes and you may get to watch thousand-foot-long freighters pass within 200 feet of the building, underneath the Aerial Lift Bridge, which lifts up to allow them to pass through.
Lake Superior Railroad Museum (Duluth, MN)
All aboard! The Lake Superior Railroad Museum houses the finest collection of railroad equipment in the country, offers interactive exhibits and explores the history of the region. In addition to visiting the railroad museum, you can also ride on North Shore Scenic Railroad, which operates excursion trains from Memorial Day through mid-October using historic rail equipment from the museum collection.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters, and presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. You’ll be amazed by one the world’s greatest art museum, and how art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events.
The American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
See firsthand why the American Museum of Natural History is so renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections that serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world’s cultures. The Museum will allow you to discover a vast array of information about humanity, nature and the universe with just one visit.
Harley Davidson Museum (Milwaukee, WI)
Harley Davidson is more than just a motorcycle; It’s a symbol of American freedom and ingenuity, and it’s intertwined with Milwaukee’s own history and identity. Walk through the past and into the present and learn about the surprising ways that Harley Davidson Motorcycles were used throughout history, where you’ll see bikes from every decade.
Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI)
Enter the museum through internationally renowned Santiago Calatrava’s grandiose entryway and experience the amazing collection of more than 300,000 works of awe-inspiring art. Stroll through ancient artifacts and thought-provoking installations and sculptures in a variety of mediums.
Madeline Island Museum (La Pointe, WI)
Travel back in time with a visit to the Madeline Island Museum! From the moment you set foot on the Island, you’ll make cultural connections from the Ojibwe to European fur traders and discover island life through exhibits that explore the communities that made the island home.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Check out Canada’s oldest maritime museum! The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will introduce you to the age of steamships, local small craft, the Royal Canadian and Merchant Navies, World War II convoys and The Battle of the Atlantic, the Halifax Explosion of 1917, Nova Scotia’s role in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, and an array of other exciting maritime history.
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is Canada’s national museum of immigration. The museum occupies part of Pier 21, the former ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971. With a visit to Pier 21, you’ll have an inside look of what it was like to immigrate to Canada from all over the world.
Casa Loma (Toronto, Ontario)
Spanish for “Hill House,” Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style mansion that is now an amazing museum and landmark. It was constructed from 1911 to 1914, seized for unpaid taxes by the City of Toronto in 1924, and largely unused until it’s restoration from 1997 to 2012. You’ll recognize it right away, as it was the location of numerous films, such as X-Men and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.
Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Ontario)
Explore one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada! With more than 6,000,000 items and 40 galleries, the museum’s diverse collections contain a vast array of dinosaurs, minerals, meteorites, Canadian and European historical artifacts, the world’s largest collection of fossils, and cultural and fine art from around the world.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Anne of Green Gables Museum (Prince Edward Island)
At Anne of Green Gables Museum, you’ll find a treasure around every corner, and the gardens and lawns are some of the most beautiful scenery on the Island. L.M. Montgomery named this home Silver Bush and used it as the setting for her novels. See your own reflection in the enchanted bookcase, one of the more significant items described in the Anne of Green Gables series.
Cote Nord (Sept-Iles, Quebec)
Cote Nord is a small but amazing regional museum that features a permanent exhibition, Terres de Sens, or Le Grand Voyage, as well as two temporary exhibitions that capture the character of Sept-Iles. Whether you are interested in nature, industry, or culture, you’ll discover some hidden treasure in this remote museum.