Michigan Discovery Guide

Overview

There are few places with the beauty, cleanliness, rich natural resources and geography to thrill than what a person will find in Michigan.

In contrast to it's major city and capital, Detroit, Michigan provides all these things and much more for the outdoor buff to relish and enough water area to lay claim to the title of having the longest freshwater shoreline in the world! That’s a lot of lakefront property! All this available wetness is one of the attributes that makes Michigan so attractive for the outdoors person. Can you imagine how many recreational boats belong to the people who live in the state? With this huge opportunity of being exposed to having so much water around, an often quoted state fact boasts that a person is never more that 85 miles from being on one of the Great Lakes, four of which surround a large portion of the perimeter of the state boundaries. Not only is the proximity of the Great Lakes something that Michigan is famous for, but with the abundance of other fresh water lakes, river and streams, another trivia quote declares that someone is never more than 6 miles away from a source of water-period!

It is safe to say that one of Michigan’s greatest recreational activities involves many types of water sports. With so much availability to water, Michigan has much to offer people when they choose to visit and stay awhile. There are many occasions for lots of boating, fishing, camping, hiking and taking breathtaking road trips. Because the waters around Michigan are so plentiful, many people like to spend a day or two at one of its relaxing beaches. With 170 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline alone, there are plenty of beaches to visit, too. There one can find plenty of family-friendly shores where the kids can enjoy the breezes off the lake or take a plunge into some cool, clear waters. One of the best family beaches to visit is called Grand Haven. It is rated in the top five of family beaches in the United States. It offers visitors a long length of soft “singing” sand to dig their toes into, picturesque dunes and picnic spots that will afford great photo opportunities.

If boating is more your thing, there is no shortage of places to put in! Michigan has over 1,300 public boating ramps which allow easy access to the water. There are also over 80 harbors that provide perfect sites for boating and sailing alike. Marinas dot the shoreline, too, so gassing up for more fun on the water is never a problem. If you prefer the more peaceful pace of canoeing or kayaking, there are literally hundreds of rivers with enough wildlife and gorgeous scenery to delight all levels of paddlers.

Or how about fishing? With all this water about, you can be guaranteed that the fish will be biting somewhere! Try fishing for trout in some of Michigan’s clear running streams or try for some large mouthed bass that almost jump into your boat in one of the freshwater lakes. For the more adventurous, there is deep lake fishing that one can do. This involves going out onto one of the Great Lakes to try your hand at what lurks below the surface there. It’s pretty hard not to be able to please most fishermen with all that Michigan has to offer in their countless lakes, streams and rivers.

In keeping with the outdoor theme, with Michigan’s great natural resources and availability to water, the two peninsulas that make up the land mass are loaded with state parks and preserves for exploring. There are also 6 state forests, refuges and gardens galore waiting to be discovered. Michigan even has underwater preserve areas that can provide hours of investigation for divers. These marked areas house Great Lakes shipwrecks that would interest even a dedicated landlubber.

For those who like to travel at their own pace and leisure, embarking on car trips through Michigan will not disappoint you. Michigan has some of the most breathtaking foliage changes in the United States. During the fall, many people in the know plan their activities around when they think the trees will be at their peak colors and will spend several days driving through the heavily wooded trails that offer photography opportunities at every turn. There is another attraction for those who like to see their vacations from the road and that is the abundance of lighthouses that dot the shorelines and provide a quaint air of yesterday. There are over 115 of them to see throughout the state. Some are still operational today and help ships maneuver through dangerous waters. Those that no longer serve to guide the ships to safety provide various purposes. A few entrepreneurs have turned them into lovely bed and breakfast inns to afford the weary sightseer a charming place to stay for the night. Some of these lighthouses have been restored to their former pristine condition and offer tours to the public, some even with museums. Hopefully the car traveler won’t pass up the chance of seeing some of the other great historical sites that Michigan has to offer, too There are many old forts from the early wilderness days, areas where battles were fought, old mining chutes and famous churches and farms. Using the road is a great way to see all that Michigan has to offer!

For those planning to get away for a golf adventure at some premiere resorts, championship courses designed by some of the game’s best players and absolutely stunning links views, put Michigan at the top of your list. Michigan has been rated as the 12th best golf destination in the world! That is an amazing title to hold globally! It has also been ranked as number 8 for best golf areas in the country. What a great claim to fame for any golf enthusiast who is interested in playing some world class courses with outstanding resorts to accompany them.

With all this talk about outdoor recreational activities, let’s not forget the smorgasbord that winters in Michigan provide for al fresco entertainment. Talk about snow skiing! Michigan has the best winter skiing in the Midwest and boasts 40 plus ski resorts. These offer great family fun and bargain rates for weekend get aways. While out enjoying the snow, don’t forget to try one of Michigan’s most popular cold weather hobbies- snowmobiling. The state has more than 6,000 miles of marked and maintained snowmobile trails that grant those using them an opportunity to travel along beautiful frozen shorelines or cross ice hardened lakes with exhilarating speed. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the outdoor fun stops in Michigan!

It is easy to see why so many travelers and vacationers love to return to Michigan time and time again.

There is never a shortage of things to see or places to go to get a great taste of the beautiful outdoors. With all that it has to offer, it will remain a favorite destination of nature lovers forever.
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