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Kooky Summer Fun in 'Oddball Michigan'

A new book 'Oddball Michigan: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places' highlights some neat stops families can make across the state for offbeat fun.

Taking a "normal" road trip with the kids sounds like a drag after flipping through Oddball Michigan: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places.

Author Jerome Pohlen introduces us to the weird and wacky destinations of the Mitten State in his new travel guide, listing offbeat spots by six regions. Venture to any of these locations, and you're sure to make unique Michigan memories. Plus, it's peppered with obscure factoids. Learn more in the book, available for $16.95 from Chicago Review Press.

World's Largest Cherry Pie Pan

  • Address: Sara Lee Bakery, 3424 Cass Road, Traverse City
  • Phone: 231-922-3296 (bakery number)
  • Hours: Always visible
  • Cost: Free

Heading up to Traverse City July 5-12 for the famous National Cherry Festival? The trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to the giant, record-setting cherry pie pan, located at Sara Lee Bakery.

Silvio's Italian-American Historical Artistic Museum

  • Address: 26417 Plymouth Road, Redford
  • Phone: 313-937-2288
  • Hours: Call ahead
  • Cost: Free

Ever visit the Leaning Tower of Detroit? You can in Redford! Learn about Italy in this collection of photos, coins, flags and more, all started by Silvio Barile. Don't miss the concrete creations at Silvio's American Forum across the alleyway. Barile might even sing for you!

The Haunted Theatre

  • Address: 7396 Main St., Mackinac Island
  • Phone: 231-818-0527
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily May-October
  • Cost: $7/person, free/6 and under

Mackinac Island is known for carriage rides, Victorian charm – and creepy fake monsters? For (family-friendly) spooks, dare to enter the eerie old Orpheum Theatre, featuring skeletons and strange creatures.

Lakenenland in Marquette

  • Address: 2800 M-28 East, Marquette
  • Phone: 906-249-1132
  • Hours: Always open
  • Cost: Free

Drive through this forest area in the Upper Peninsula to see more than 80 big statues made by Tom Lakenen from scrap metal. A dinosaur, flowers, a spider, dancing wolves and other colorful pieces fill the land.

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