What’s So Great About Michigan?

Hello, Pure Michigan!

It’s really quite amazing the number of places in the world that I have no idea about. For example, I know where Sydney is…but what about NSW? Check box London, but Jurassic Coast?

With the zillions of places to experience, I thought it would be a good idea for PLU's to share the glories of their town or region.

Like Australia, the USA is huge. People would truly be amazed on how different, say, the “Northeast corridor” is from the “deep South,” the Midwest from the Pacific Northwest, Northern California from Southern California. I’m guessing many PLU's might not know where these very cool places are located. Near New York City? Over by Los Angeles? In Florida?

Now, having done a lot of traveling “stateside,” I know quite a bit about all these regions. But I’m here today to tell you about Pure Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

For one, the Great Lakes are huge. It’s the largest freshwater system in the world. Twenty per cent of the earth’s freshwater is here. 

And with all that water comes 4,500 miles (7,200 km) of coastline…let’s just say that means some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are here in the heartland of America. Lake Michigan is the 5th largest lake IN THE WORLD and the home to the largest fresh-water sand dunes in the world. (They are massive.)

But my Michigan is also known for being so green. 

I once met a family travelling from their home in San Francisco to visit the University of Michigan with their son. As the plane descended, they peered out the window and said, “Wow, it’s like a jungle.”  

It’s certainly not the jungle, but it is green here. Fresh and vibrant. Filled with fun outdoor activities — like hiking and swimming and biking. Our geography was shaped by the glaciers as they slid down our state. We’ve more inland lakes than any other state — 11,000 — over 10,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 3,000 water trails. I think that’s one reason that Michigan is ranked the 8th most beautiful of the 50 states in the USA.

It’s pretty marvellous.

But hey, let’s say you’re not an outdoor enthusiast. You’re looking for museums, food, and music.

Into Arts? The Detroit Institute of Arts has been ranked the top art museum in the country for two years in a row. The special exhibits are outstanding. And the Detroit Industry Mural - painted in the Rivera Court by Diego Rivera in the 1930s, tells the stories of being human, modernity, and nature. There’s nothing quite like that in the world.

Music’s your game. Detroit is not only the Motor City, but also home to Motown. Paul McCartney and the Beatles were inspired by many of the Motown artists that set the world afire, that also helped shape the Civil Rights era. On our travels in Europe, when we are having one of those hesitant two-language conversations, when we say we’re from Detroit — from Motown — we always get knowing nods (or a dance move).

The food scene is great too, particularly where we live. Our area is home to authentic Mexican cafes, an incredible number of Middle-Eastern restaurants, fabulous Italian restaurants, and, not to be forgotten, great brewpubs, which are quickly becoming the best “American” restaurants.

There’s more, of course. Canoeing, kids museums, festivals, markets, and theatre. Spring, summer and fall are the best times to visit, but winter has its charms, too.

However, if you made it this far, you probably know where I’m going. And where you should be coming. Pure Michigan. It’s unique, it’s off the proverbial beaten track, and it’s simply wonderful. Perhaps we’ll see you in 2025.



Shawn & Bill

Travelling group