As I sit on my porch, looking at the world around me, I cannot help but think of how wonderful the state of Michigan truly is. Michigan has both city and country life; Michigan provides opportunities of adventure and experiences every season. Many aspects of Michigan set it apart from other states surrounding it: the iconic “mitten” shape, the contact with the Great Lakes and the availability of adventure. I believe Michigan, with all of its unique qualities and contrasting lifestyles, is a breath of fresh air that everyone needs to experience.
Cultural food, dancing, extravagant dinners, unique art, auto shows — anything you can think of, Michigan’s cities have it. A person can travel from a typical city scene to a small town with beautiful lake views and scenic countryside in less than an hour.
Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids are just a few of the cities that provide the state of Michigan with great urban life. These cities draw people in from near and far: day trips, permanent jobs, a check off the bucket list or all of the above. There are things like the Ann Arbor art fair, Grand Rapids Fredrick Meijer gardens and Detroit’s famous auto show. The cities give visitors a taste of what it is like to be a Michigander.
Michigan also has many places that are little hidden escapes. In the north, there is a special island known as Mackinac Island. There, no motor vehicles are allowed — only bikes and horses. Fudge is a delicacy, and the clear water must be kayaked. Traverse City is known for its exciting cherry festival and regional cuisine. The quaint town offers an escape from the mundane world with yummy foods and a lake view. Upper Peninsula (UP), the separate piece of land connected by the Mackinac Bridge, offers another unique aspect of Michigan. In the UP, one can find the city of Marquette, a port on Lake Superior and home to some of the best visual sceneries and Northern Michigan University. These places are an oasis full of evergreen trees, glistening water and cultures that no state can seem to replicate.
For those who love the outdoors and adventures, Michigan is the place to be. In the UP, there are beautiful ice caves, thundering waterfalls, colorfully layered rocks on the crystal clear water known as Pictured Rocks, and an unlimited number of places to hike, play in the snow and experience what it means to “sauna and swim.” Downstate, rare lighthouses cover the west coast, giving people the perfect place to hammock and relax on the beach. The Sleeping Bear Dunes allow you to escape to silky sand mountains that make you feel like it is all a dream. Head east to Port Austin and find a rock shaped like a turnip.
Lakes not only cover the land but surround the entire state. The only time that locals are not on a boat is when the lakes are frozen — at which point they begin ice fishing. In the summer when it is above 85 degrees and you have been on the boat all day, the only way to end the night is with a bonfire and a satisfying s’more. Lake life is not just a weekend trip here in Michigan but a lifestyle.
While Michigan may appear to be just a cold state in the North, it is a land full of adventure and peace that many people have not yet discovered. Through its varying and unique aspects, there is a little piece of Michigan for everyone to love. Michigan is an underrated state and deserves to be discovered.