Michigan, a state known mainly for motors and Motown, possesses much diversity; its offerings are varied and often unexpected. Boasting more than 11,000 inland lakes, it contains countless art galleries, award-winning wineries, and championship golf courses. The length of its lighthouse-studded coastline is second only to Alaska.
Out-of-towners who consider it a typical Midwestern state, with frigid winters and flat cornfields, will be surprised. Though winters are indeed cold, the topography is amazingly diverse. The multifaceted state is a dramatically changing landscape of windswept beaches, rushing rivers, pine forests, remote islands, rugged mountains, impressive waterfalls, enormous sand dunes, and surrounding lakes so massive they resemble never-ending seas.
Unlike the urban metropolis of Detroit, most of Michigan has a small-town vibe, especially in the north. On a typical summer day, you could spend the morning on the shores of Lake Michigan, watching sailboats drift on the vibrant blue waters; then explore quaint coastal communities like Petoskey; and finish the day by picking wild blueberries amid the shady pines of northeastern Michigan.
Nothing compares to traveling along serpentine country roads in autumn, flanked by apple orchards and crimson maple trees. While most tourists visit in spring and summer, winters have grown more popular, too. Despite bitter cold and heavy snowfalls, adventurers enjoy skating across frozen lakes, riding snowmobiles through glistening forests, or braving the isolated hinterlands of the Upper Peninsula.
The key to appreciating Michigan is to embrace its diversity. Given so much to see, do, eat, and experience, your love affair with this remarkable state will forever evolve.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel