Now when you think of travel destinations, you may not think of Michigan. Known mostly for the automobile industry, Michigan second industry is tourism. Beautiful beaches, charming islands, quaint towns, championship golf courses, and incredible skiing will make Michigan a top choice of your places to go.
The most popular tourist destination in Michigan is Mackinac Island. Located in the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a charming little island that is set back in time. No cars are allowed on the island and the only way to get there is by ferry or airplane. The island is three miles long and two miles wide. Get around the island by bicycle, horse and buggy or walking. Mackinac Island is filled with tourist attractions, historic buildings, Indian legends and lore. One of the most famous historic buildings is the Grand Hotel. Built in 1887, the hotel is on the national historic hotels registry and features the world’s largest front porch. At 600 feet long, the view overlooks the Mackinac Bridge and Lake Huron. Two movies have been filmed at the Grand, the 1947 film This Times for Keeps starring Esther Williams and the 1980 film Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, with memorabilia seen throughout the hotel. No two guest rooms are designed alike and several of them are named after former First Ladies. If you get hungry, there are several wonderful restaurants to curb your appetite.
Also on Mackinac Island, you will find Historic Fort Mackinac, natural rock formations, each with their own Indian legend and historic Victorian summer cottages. A great way to see the island is with your personal tour guide and is the best way to learn about the island history and myths. The islanders will tell you that you have never experienced the island until you spend the night. There are many hotels, inn and bed and breakfast to choose from, but if you are the adventurous type, island myth states that the Grand Hotel is haunted.
If you enjoy relaxing on the beach, Michigan is the perfect place to do just that. With it 3200 miles of lakeshore, the only problem you might have is just choosing the perfect spot. Getting back to nature is one of the things that Michigan does best. With its national lakeshores, Sleeping Bear Dunes near Traverse City and Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula near Munising to its National Parks and Forests throughout the state, the wonders of nature are abundant.
Another place island to visit is Drummond Island, located just off the east tip of the Upper Peninsula in Lake Huron. Drummond Island is the second largest freshwater island in the United States and is 22 miles from the Canadian border. Its peaceful, relaxing lifestyle is a great place to unwind. On the island you can learn about sunken shipwrecks, go off roading, play championship golf, see incredible wildlife and rare species of plant life, wonderful fall colors, and enjoy some of the best food and wine the state has to offer.
If winter is your favorite time of year and you love to ski, then Michigan is defiantly the place to go. Spectacular skiing is abundant throughout the state. In the Snow Belt area (Northern Lower Peninsula) there are several great resorts with challenging slopes. Boyne Mountain Resort, near Boyne Falls and Boyne Highlands, near Harbor Springs offers some of the best slopes in the state. Crystal Mountain Resort near Cadillac is one of the top resorts in the Midwest. All three allow snowboarders; provide lessons, activities for all family members, have great slopes and wonderful dining.
If shopping is just your thing, Grand Rapids and Detroit should be at the top of your vacation list. Detroit is Michigan’s largest city and gateway to Canada. The original home of Motown and the Red Wings, Metro Detroit has over 150 shopping centers, with 23 of them being mega malls. While in the area make sure to take in the Science Center and the Detroit Zoo.
Grand Rapids is located on the west side of the state and is Michigan’s second largest city. Shopping is bountiful with malls, boutiques and antique shops. Grand Rapids was known as furniture city in the late 1800 and early 1900 and is now home to the Amway Corporation and Herman Miller. Stops to make; Meijer Botanical and Sculpture Garden, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Heritage Hill Victorian District.
There is plenty for the whole family to do. So the question remains. Why haven’t you been to Michigan yet?