Michigan is a beautiful U.S. State. Manufacturing is indeed the biggest industry; Detroit, after all, is the home of the automobile. Read on and you'll agree though, there is much more to this region than factories and auto workers.

The State of Michigan's geography is what makes it interesting. It is made up of two peninsulas which are bounded by four of the 5 Great Lakes: Huron, Erie, Superior, and Michigan. The Lower and Upper Peninsulas are linked by the 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge at the Straits of Mackinac. The State motto is Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

Abundant natural resources make Michigan a sportsman's paradise. It boasts 3,288 miles of gorgeous Great Lakes shoreline, 11,037 inland lakes, and 36,350 miles of rivers. About 50% of Michigan's total land area is covered by forests. Tourism is the State's second largest industry, and agriculture is third. Much of Michigan is either rural farmland or wilderness, with the bulk of the population residing in the southeastern corner, in and around Detroit. To the west, the city of Lansing is the capital.

Michigan became the 26th U.S. State in 1837. Its name is derived from the Indian words "Michi-gama," meaning "large lake." Known as the "Wolverine State," it also claims the following as its official symbols:

    State bird: robin
    State tree: white pine
    State gem: chlorastrolite
    State flower: apple blossom
    State fish: brook trout
    State stone: petoskey stone
    State reptile: painted turtle
    State game mammal: white-tailed deer
    State wildflower: dwarf lake iris

A few of my favorite points of interest:

  • Mackinac Island, a quaint and lovely tourist spot near the bridge, where no motor vehicles are allowed. It is the home of the opulent Grand Hotel, the setting of the film Somewhere in Time.
  • Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan's largest waterfall, in the Upper Peninsula
  • Pictured Rocks, spectacular landforms sculpted by Lake Superior
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, along Lake Michigan's coast
  • Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, offering a glimpse of life and invention in early America
  • The "Soo" Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, a system of canals which allows ships passage between lakes Superior and Huron.
  • The city of Holland's Tulip Festival, held every spring
  • Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, one of the largest street art fairs in the U.S., held annually during the third week of July.

Source for statistics: Michigan In Brief