For the next few days, I am off to the great state of Michigan. Michigan was well traveled by my family and I during my youth and early adult life. We would travel the upper peninsula (Marquette, Houghton, St Ignace) and the northern part of the lower peninsula (Mackinac City, Mackinac Island, Alpena, Gaylord, Petoskey, Traverse City). While there may be a bit of snow lingering this time of the year, it is an extremely beautiful state with its access to beaches, forests and recreational areas.
Michigan has more than 100 public beaches, some of the highest freshwater sand dunes in the world, stunning multi-colored sandstone cliffs, two National Lakeshores and the only national marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes–the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron. Along the shoreline discover 129 lighthouses, numerous maritime museums, ten shipwreck-diving preserves and historic military fortifications.
Lakes, campgrounds, wildlife refuges and 103 Michigan state parks and recreation areas create a wide variety of recreational pursuits.
The Upper Peninsula, which is 90 percent forested, retains its aura of accessible wilderness. Vast wildlife and waterfowl refuges, 150 waterfalls, iron and copper mines and the Soo Locks (where ocean-going freighters make the 21-foot leap from Lake Superior to Lake Huron) are within an easy drive of one another.