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Most Michiganders use the state's unique mitten shape to describe their home, but the state also sticks out like a thumb from the top of the country, nudging neighboring Canada. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline of any state, which touches four of the five Great Lakes (Michigan, after all, means "large lake" in Ojibwe). A small strait separates the mitten-shaped southern portion of the state from the Upper Peninsula, a quirky little piece of land known for its idyllic scenery and outdoor recreation. Michigan's many beaches, parks, and resort towns dot the shoreline and interior lakes, drawing visitors from big cities around the Midwest, including the state's own metropolis, Detroit. Known as the home of Motown and the heart of the automobile industry, Detroit continues to hold an important place in American culture, and is the only U.S. city named a UNESCO City of Design.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) is the state's largest, serving national and international flights operated by many major carriers. It also acts as a regional hub for Michigan’s many smaller airports, getting travelers to the Upper Peninsula, the famous car-free Mackinac Island, and the beaches around Traverse City. Amtrak runs trains from Chicago to destinations all over southern Michigan, including Detroit, along three different routes. While travel between cities or towns often requires a car, ferries traverse the state’s many waterways,, an enjoyable mode of transportation that connects islands to the mainland and Michigan to surrounding states and Canadian provinces.
Michigan's seasons offer four distinct reasons to visit. In the summer, the beach towns on Lake Michigan and the Upper Peninsula spring to life, offering relief from the heat and stressors of daily life. In the winter, the many feet of snow that fall courtesy of the lake-influenced weather patterns turn the state into a playground for skiers, snowmobilers, and sledders. Spring brings a rainbow of wildflowers and rushing waterfalls for hikers, and autumn bursts with crisp-colored foliage and bountiful fruit. Fall also attracts sports fans excited to see Detroit's professional football team as well as two popular college teams: the University of Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State University Spartans.
Located in the waterway between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, this car-free island prevents modernity from disrupting the peaceful beauty of nature. Since the late 19th century, island shops have specialized in making fudge. Just like that earlier era, the only ways to explore the historic fort and dramatic natural features like Arch Rock are by foot, bike, and boat.
For 130 years, Detroiters have come to this six-block public market on Saturdays to purchase the literal and theoretical fruits of the state's famous agricultural industry. Hundreds of vendors set up shop here, selling Michigan cherries, flowers, and meat as well as prepared foods. The rest of the week, the neighborhood still serves as a culinary district and shopping area, with Tuesdays bringing in farmers and Sundays focusing on non-food vendors.
You’ll enjoy Michigan from a whole new vantage point when you take the 19th-century, hand-operated chain ferry from the main part of this former art colony out to its world-renowned Oval Beach. Saugatuck's towering sand dunes, epic sunsets, and appreciation for beauty in all forms make it emblematic of Michigan's best destinations.