Every Michigan native knows the sensation of crossing the Mackinac Bridge and entering into that long stretch of land with endless miles of alluring coastline and woods and wide-open spaces. We’ve always known the Upper Peninsula was its own special paradise. We just didn’t know it was this special:

In 2006, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was listed as one of MSN Travel’s Top 10 Summer Destinations in the World, right alongside places like Capri and the Greek Islands. “Head to the refreshing Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” MSN Travel reported, “where majestic wildlife, unspoiled rivers, waterfalls and dense forests abound. You’ll probably feel like one of North America’s earliest explorers yourself as you paddle waterways here and set up camp in the woods.”

Next time you pack the kayaks, hiking boots and black fly repellant and travel Michigan’s U.P. paradise, feel proud that this worldly travel destination is one you can call home.

Jaime Delp was an intern at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.