Welcome to Michigan
Michigan consists of two major peninsulas that border four of the five Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. Shaped like a mitten, the Lower Peninsula’s palm grasps most of the state’s population.
Northern Michigan is a great place to start. Not be confused with the Upper Peninsula, the Northern Michigan region is the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan—the “fingers” of that mitten-shaped body of land. Northern Michigan is popular for its outdoor recreation opportunities, including Michigan's fishing, hunting, golf courses and beaches.
Spanning the straits of Mackinaw and linking the Upper with the Lower Peninsula, Mighty Mac stretches five miles between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, making it the longest suspension bridge in the world. Bicycles and horse-drawn carriages transport people and goods around Mackinac Island.
The Grand Traverse Bay and Sleeping Bear Dune areas combine to create a region known for its breathtaking views, rich culinary culture and recreation. The maritime history of Traverse City is evidenced by lighthouses and maritime museums. Miles of sandy beaches highlight Sleeping Bear Dunes.
The Upper Peninsula (UP) is connected to the rest of the state by the Mackinaw Bridge. The Upper Peninsula boasts of Michigan's largest lakes, largest islands, longest bridge, wilderness areas and state parks. Of Michigan's 152 major waterfalls, all but two are in the UP. The remoteness of the region gives the UP a distinct heritage of its own. The romance and lure of the UP is seen in the ethnic mix of people born of mining and forestry, historical museums, 1860s lighthouses with towers you can climb and iron mines with tours. Located in the heart of the UP along Lake Superior, Marquette offers historic iron ore docks, Marquette Maritime Museum & Lighthouse and the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
West Michigan is roughly the westernmost third of the "palm" of the Lower Peninsula. It includes most of the Lake Michigan shoreline, as well as the nearby cities and towns, farmland and woodland. This region is the getaway to the Michigan beaches and sand dunes of Grand Haven, Holland, South Haven, St. Joseph, Muskegon, Silver Lake Sand Dunes and Saugatuck/Douglas. The European flavor of Holland stems from its roots as a haven for Dutch immigrants who arrived in the mid-1800s. Popular attractions offer visitors the opportunity to experience Dutch Heritage. The Holland Tulip Time Festival celebrates Holland’s Dutch heritage with a week of events and special attractions (85th annual festival May 3-10, 2014). The towns of Saugatuck and Douglas are nestled among towering sand dunes and bordered by the winding Kalamazoo River on its way to Lake Michigan. Walk back in time while touring the homes of Muskegon's most famous lumber baron, Charles H. Hackley and his business partner, Thomas Hume at the Hackley and Hume Historic Site. The Lakeshore Museum Center offers several historic experiences including the Fire Barn and Scolnik Depression House. In Grand Rapids the Heritage Hill Historic District preserves 1,300 homes and mansions dating back to 1843. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park offers a breathtaking combination of natural beauty and more than 160 works of art. Belknap Lookout rises about 160 feet over downtown's northern tip and offers spectacular views of the city.
Central Michigan (Mid-Michigan)
From guided tours of the Capitol building to Michigan Historical Museum and Michigan State University, there's plenty to do and see in Lansing. Along the Riverwalk visitors can check out the Planet Walk, Impression 5 Science Center and the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum or hike to Potter Park Zoo.
Southeast Michigan (Downstate)
Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth features two of America’s largest family-owned restaurants, Zehnder’s and Bavarian Inn and the world’s largest CHRISTmas Store, Bronner’s. Discover the secrets of Frankenmuth’s historic mills and museums, browse over 40 unique shops at Frankenmuth Riverplace, or lace up your dirndl and lederhosen for a fun-filled day at one of Frankenmuth’s many traditional German festivals. At the Henry Ford tour four one-of-a-kind attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, Ford Rogue Factory Tour and IMAX Theatre. Discover the people and ideas that have changed the world at the Henry Ford Museum. Travel through time in the seven historic districts of Greenfield Village. Ford Rouge Factory Tour is a self-guided five-part experience that includes: Legacy Theater, Art of Manufacturing Theater, Observation Deck, Dearborn Truck Plant and the Legacy Gallery.
The Detroit Institute of Arts is a downtown cultural gem. Step into Studio A at The Motown Historical Museum and stand where the Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and countless other stars put their hits on tape.