Welcome to Michigan
Sapphire blue waters, green grasslands and forests, and brown sandy beaches form the natural landscapes of Michigan. The Great Lakes State is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and is home to 12,000 inland lakes. More miles of coastline can be found here than in any state other than Alaska. Of course, those lakeshores are also teeming with lighthouses. You’ll find more here than anywhere else in the nation. With over 100 state parks, state forests and state recreational areas, Michigan offers visitors endless places to explore the great outdoors.
Michigan is made up of two peninsulas connected by the stunning Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The southern part of the state is home to several large towns — including the city of Detroit — along with quaint small communities. In the Upper Peninsula (also known as the U.P.), scenic rural landscapes predominate. The culture and dialects change as one heads north, with the U.P. having more of a Canadian flair. Most of the state’s 200 waterfalls can be found nestled in the forests and mountains of the U.P.
Great Outdoors, Great Lakes
With the many miles of coastline along the Great Lakes, it makes sense that Michigan is home to thousands of acres of protected shores. Located in the U.P., Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is noted for the unique rock formations found in the sandstone cliffs along Lake Superior. Head out on the pristine cerulean waters, or take a hike along the 90 miles of nature trails, with scenic views of waterfalls, sand dunes and wetlands. More stunning sights in the U.P. can be found at Isle Royale National Park and in the Porcupine Mountains region.
Explore the epic sand hills found along the shores of Lake Michigan on the west coast at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A hike to the top of the dunes will treat you to million-dollar views.
From its rise as capital of the US automobile industry to its role in shaping the Motown sound, Detroit has helped define American industry and culture. Michigan’s largest city has seen its ups and downs, but visitors will find much to explore in the Motor City. A thriving arts and theater scene finds expression in multiple venues, including the renowned Detroit Institute of Arts and the Fox Theatre. Belle Isle Park, located in the Detroit River, is a refuge for city dwellers, a short distance away from Canada. Just outside of town in neighboring Dearborn, visitors will find the Henry Ford, an indoor and outdoor museum complex dedicated to the auto titan’s story.
On the western side of the state, Grand Rapids is a gem of a city. This city rises above a great waterway, the Grand River, and although it’s the second-largest town in the state, it retains a small-town friendliness.
Take Some Island Time
Cars are prohibited on the quaint Mackinac Island, located on Lake Huron and accessible via a 16-minute ferry ride. Horse-drawn carriages and colorful cruiser bicycles are the best ways to glide down the village streets. Treat your sweet tooth to a piece of candy heaven at Murdick’s Fudge, which has been serving its confections since 1887.
The majestic Grand Hotel serves as the island’s centerpiece, with its front porch considered the largest in the world. Relax in one of the scores of rocking chairs as you take in the views of the water.