Bordered by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. The mitten-shaped Midwest state also plays home to over 11,000 inland lakes, giving it the nickname the Great Lakes State.
With access to so much fresh water, Michigan provides visitors with their pick of recreational activities. In the summer months, tourists can hike and bike the dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan or lounge on the quiet shores of Empire Beach. Canoeing on the waters of Saginaw Bay and gazing at Lake Superior’s Pictured Rocks are also popular activities.
For winter water fun, Michigan tourists can go ice fishing on Lake St. Clair, test out the toe picks with some ice skating and throw in a do-si-do at an ice dancing competition. Home to many perfectly-powdered slopes, Michigan offers visitors a haven for skiing and snowboarding as well.
After enjoying some winter sports, dust off the snowshoes and head into Michigan’s largest city, Detroit. Known as the Motor City, due in part to both its history in the auto industry and its auto-obsessed residents, the city offers an alternative mode of transportation: the People Mover. Take in the sights from the elevated monorail, or just let the rhythm move you with a stop by the Motown Historical Museum.
Visitors can also avoid the hustle-and-bustle of the city altogether and escape to the “all natural theme park of America,” Michigan’s Mackinac Island. With no cars allowed on the island, Mackinac is a peaceful retreat for those looking to immerse themselves in quiet, Victorian harbor life. For the true Mackinac experience, visit during the annual Lilac Festival in June when the town is decked in purple buds.
Tourists visiting Michigan during the holiday season should be sure to check out Frankenmuth, about 100 miles north of Detroit. Home of the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Michigan’s Little Bavaria has a spectacular celebration in late November including a tree lighting and a visit from jolly old St. Nick himself.