Michigan cranks out more motor vehicles and auto parts than any place in America. Yet, for such a large manufacturing center, Michigan also offers a wealth of opportunities in the great outdoors, with its 18 million acres of forest and nearly seven million acres of public land.
Sitting pretty among the Great Lakes, Michigan is blessed with more than 3,000 miles of shoreline. Everything from quiet havens to bustling cities can be found here. Boating, sunbathing, swimming, and rock hounding are popular pastimes in coastal Michigan. If your tastes run to wilder pursuits, there's always hang gliding at Frankfort, championship stone skipping at Mackinac Island, or zipping along Lake Michigan and dunes in a dune scooter.
Inland are 11,000 silvery lakes and a cobweb of inland waterways which, if strung together, would form a river 36,000 miles long. Fishing and canoeing are popular pastimes.
And lest we forget frozen water, as in snow, Michigan prides itself in being the ski capital of the Midwest, predominantly in the resort-studded northwestern Lower Peninsula. And it has its very own triple crown--of snowmobiling.
Autumn is an especially pleasant time for touring, when the hardwoods are painted in brilliant colors. The scenery explodes into an eye-pleasing blend of brilliant trees, sparkling lakes, and softly rolling hills. And these hills are full of public greens?Michigan has more public golf courses than any other state.
One of the most beautiful areas of the state can be seen by traveling along the lush green Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan's "little finger" and home of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The coastal drive from Traverse City to Harbor Springs and Cross Village is breathtaking, especially with a Lake Michigan sunset. The farther north you go, the more rugged Michigan gets. The Upper Peninsula is mostly pine-scented wilderness, a quiet oasis of natural beauty.
Detroit and its shining symbol, the Renaissance Center, are in the southeastern corner of the state. In and around Detroit, you can hop aboard an antique trolley, tinker at the Detroit Science Center, visit Canada, or discover the way we were at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, a world-renowned remarkable museum in suburban Dearborn.