Michigan’s 3,000 miles of shoreline are the most of any of the lower 48 states, including Florida and California. The waters of the Great Lakes defined Michigan as its statehood petition described the state’s border as the isthmus between Lake Erie and Lake Michigan and the land between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. As a compromise to relinquishing claims to the disputed Toledo Strip, Michigan begrudgingly accepted the Upper Peninsula, whose minerals later fueled Detroit’s industrial engine.

Detroit, The Motor City, has a cultural footprint as unique as New York and Chicago, including unique slang and its own take on pizza and hot dogs. As you head north, forests and coasts replace urbanization and once you cross into the UP, they reign supreme in some of the most pristine forests east of the Mississippi. Michigan is a true four season destination with mild summers and winter snows that beg to be played in.

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US Dollar

Exercise Increased Caution
Summer Winter
Traverse City 80 16
Grand Rapids 83 18
Detroit 83 20

Best Time to Visit

Michigan is a four-season travel state if you dress appropriately. The springtime comes late but is filled with flowers, notably the tulips around the Dutch town of Holland. Summer is magnificent and cool enough that older homes don’t have air conditioning. However, there can be occasional warm spells, especially in August, and don’t forget black fly season with peaks mid-May through mid-June. Fall is a wonderland of color with long scenic drives, lakeside vistas, and mountain overlooks. Winter is cold enough for serious winter sports including dog sledding and skiing.

Fun Facts

  • Michigan has the most freshwater shoreline in the nation
  • Michigan has the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States
  • The name Michigan came from an Ojibwe word, ‘Mishigamaa’ which means large lake
  • Detroit is French for ‘strait’ and sits on the Straits of Lake Erie
  • Michigan is the winningest football program of all time, but Ohio State has beat them more often than not since the forward pass was invented
  • Moose Boulder is (allegedly) the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world

Bucket-List Activities

  • Stroll under Christmas lights in Little Bavaria (Frankenmuth)
  • Watch the northern lights at The Headlands Dark Sky Park (Mackinaw City)
  • Ride a luge at Muskegon Winter Sports Complex (Muskegon)
  • Mush a dogsled across the Upper Peninsula
  • Take a VIP walking tour through the tulip fields (Holland)
  • Dive Lake Huron’s immaculately preserved ‘Shipwreck Alley’ (Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary)
  • Pedal your bike around Mackinac Island (Mackinac Island)
  • Take a guided Kayak Trip through Lake Superior’s Pictured Rocks (Munising)
  • Ride a sand dune buggy (Saugatuck)
  • Drive the “Tunnel of Trees” when the leaves are changing (Petoskey to Cross Village)

Natural Wonders

  • Blue Ice at Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac (Mackinaw City)
  • Eben Ice Caves (Deerton)
  • Turnip Rock (Port Austin)
  • Ocqueoc Falls (Rogers City)
  • Canyon Falls and Gorge (Marquette)
  • Torch Lake (Traverse City)
  • Isle Royale National Park
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore)
  • Tahquamenon Falls (Paradise)

Major Attractions

  • Mackinac Island  (Mackinac Island)
  • Pictured Rocks National Seashore (Munising)
  • Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit)
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Grand Rapids)
  • The Henry Ford (Detroit)
  • Belle Isle Park (Detroit)
  • Windmill Island (Holland)
  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (Paradise)

Native Foods

  • Michigan Cherries
  • Detroit Pizza (a thick, rectangular pizza with cheese all the way to the edge)
  • Detroit Coney Dogs (a beef hotdog topped with chili sauce, chopped raw onion, and yellow mustard)
  • Pasties (a pastry pie filled with beef skirt, potato, rutabaga and onion)
  • Vernors ginger soda
  • Bumpy Cake (devil’s food cake topped with buttercream ‘bumps’ and  chocolate ganache)

General Travel Tips

Common Phrases

  • UP – Always pronounced U-P, The Upper Peninsula
  • Mitten State – Michigan looks like a mitten and you can tell people where you live by pointing at your hand. If you’re on ‘The Thumb’ your near Detroit. If you have to hold up your right hand you’re in the UP.
  • The Bridge – The Mackinac Bridge which connects both of your mitten hands
  • Flatlanders — What UP residents (Yoopers) call visitors from the Lower Peninsula
  • Trolls – People who live under ‘The Bridge’ and don’t see sunlight (i.e. Flatlanders)
  • Cabrewing – A combination of two popular activities, canoeing and drinking beer
  • Opening Day – A holiday that celebrates the first day of rifle season for hunting deer which is observed in many rural school districts
  • Deer Camp – An alternative drinking spot to cabrewing after Opening Day
  • Clicker – A device used to change channels on the TV
  • Michigan Left – A special U-turn lane after an intersection with no left turns allowed
  • Ope  – How you say oops in Michigan
  • Pop – Soda, particularly ginger ale which is always called Vernors
  • Detroit / Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW ✈✈✈✈) – Not the capital but definitely the largest airport and city
  • Grand Rapids / Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR ✈✈✈✈) – Gateway to western Michigan
  • Flint / Bishop International Airport (FNT ✈✈) – A principal city in Mid Michigan
  • Traverse City / Cherry Capital Airport (TVC ✈✈) – The name says it all
  • Lansing / Capital Region International Airport (LAN ✈✈) – The capital city and nearly geometric center of the state
  • Kalamazoo / Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO ✈✈) – You got to love the name and the new River Trail
  • Saginaw / International Airport (MBS ✈✈) – The gateway to Saginaw Bay
7 Unique Things to do in Michigan

7 Unique Things to do in Michigan

Michigan borders four of the North American Great Lakes. It is the ideal destination for those that want to mix busy downtown shopping with a little more physical adventuring. You…



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Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman, and together we are Coleman Concierge. It is our goal to inspire you to get out, expand your world, and to seek adventure, even in your own backyard.

We deeply believe in the transformational power of travel. Our tagline is amazing adventures for ordinary people because we believe that you don’t have to be super rich, super fit or super anything to have an amazing adventure. Expanding your comfort zone and trying new things will pay huge dividends in both health and happiness.

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