181 Things We Love About Michigan!

Happiest of birthdays to the very best state! The staff at MyNorth & Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine shares 181 things we adore about our beautiful mitten state.

All photos by Taylor Brown

  1. We have the coolest shaped state
  2. And the most awesome, nicest people
  3. Two peninsulas. One state.
  4. 11,000 inland lakes larger than 5 acres
  5. The greatest number of different foods grown of any state except California
  6. Bike riding on Mackinac Island (video)
  7. Longest freshwater shoreline in the US & more shoreline than any other state in the lower 48 (yes, more than California)!
  8. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (video)
  9. You don’t have to pay money to go to the beach
  10. Yoopers and Trolls
  11. Sea Shells City’s Giant Clam
  12. Cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company and The Cherry Hut
  13. Christmas time in Frankenmuth
  14. The handy map, of course
  15. Surfing the Great Lakes
  16. 3,177 miles of Great Lakes shoreline (and no sharks or stinging eyes!)
  17. Rollerblading the TART Trail, Traverse City
  18. Fresh water fishing. There is no bad fishing season.
  19. Four seasons, each with its own allure
  20. Cherry blossoms (video)

  21. Trilliums
  22. Michigan barns have their own styles
  23. Bonfires on the beach
  24. Ernest Hemingway
  25. Empire Asparagus Festival
  26. Beaches and skiing both in the same state
  27. Sunsets in Pentwater, Ludington, Manistee, Onekama, Frankfort, Empire, Glen Arbor, Leland, Elk Rapids, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs … pretty much everywhere
  28. Sunrises on Lake Huron
  29. Ancient copper mines
  30. Elmore Leonard
  31. Village Cheese Shanty
  32. Walking over the Mackinac Bridge
  33. 20,000 miles of quality trout streams
  34. The Accidentals
  35. Vasa Trail
  36. Small towns
  37. Pyramid Point
  38. Award-winning wine
  39. Trout Unlimited founded on Au Sable River
  40. Rick and Marty Lagina

  41. Jim Harrison
  42. The 45th Parallel
  43. Uncle John’s Cider Mill
  44. 40 of the state’s 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes
  45. Morel mushrooms
  46. Empire Beach (video)
  47. The Northern Lights
  48. Vernors (which we believe can cure all colds)
  49. Petoskey Stones (video here!)
  50. White Pine Village
  51. Madonna (Born in Bay City)
  52. Adams Fly invented on Boardman River
  53. Stormy Kromer
  54. Blueberries
  55. Cheeseburger Festival in Caseville
  56. ‘Up North’ is anywhere north of Bay City
  57. Faygo
  58. “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock (you’ve gotta admit it’s catchy)
  59. Turquoise waters of Glen Lake
  60. North Country Trail

  61. Detroit-style pizza
  62. Craft beer great’s like Bell’s, Founders, Stormcloud, Short’s and so many more
  63. Cruising state highways (especially M-22, M-119, M-185!)
  64. S.S. Badger
  65. Moose in the Upper Peninsula
  66. Wilderness State Park
  67. Longest-running wolf study in the world: wolves on Isle Royale
  68. Horses on Mackinac Island
  69. Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Bud, Not Buddy (born in Flint)
  70. Leelanau Conservancy
  71. Better Made and Great Lakes Potato Chips
  72. Motown (Aretha, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations)
  73. Watching boats going through the Soo Locks
  74. Farmers Markets
  75. Pasties
  76. Lighthouses. And lots of them. (116 to be more precise)
  77. Beach volleyball after work
  78. Fayette Historic State Park (video)
  79. Ice Cream (Moomers, Hudsonville, Michigan State University Dairy Store, Jones Homemade Ice Cream, House of Flavors)
  80. Black squirrels (and red and gray!)

  81. Jerry Dennis
  82. Tom Brady (played at University of Michigan)
  83. Straits of Mackinac
  84. Winter sports: tubing, snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, fat tire biking
  85. Sandy beaches
  86. Water skiing
  87. Cheesy potatoes. We could eat them every single day.
  88. Apple orchards
  89. Arch Rock
  90. Summer picnics
  91. Ironton Ferry (video)
  92. Loons
  93. Michigan round white potatoes—they make the best mashed taters!
  94. Joshua Davis
  95. North and South Manitou Islands (and Mackinac, Beaver, Hog, Garden, Bois Blanc)
  96. Fort Mackinac, Fort Holmes, Colonial Michilimackinac
  97. Holland Tulip Festival
  98. National Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming
  99. Tahquamenon Falls State Park (video!)
  100. Leland Blue (coolest rocks ever)

  101. Our neighbors in Canada
  102. Greenfield Village
  103. Traverse City Film Festival & Fresh Coast Film Festival
  104. Grand Traverse Conservancy
  105. Two-tracking
  106. Ice wine
  107. Panfish fishing inland lakes
  108. Motor City
  109. May Erlewine
  110. National Cherry Festival and U.S. Navy Blue Angels (video)
  111. Strawberries
  112. Tunnel of Trees fall color tours (video)
  113. S’mores
  114. Ice skating in downtown Grand Rapids
  115. Birch trees
  116. We’re in the snow belt
  117. Interlochen Center for the Arts
  118. Kiteboarding

  119. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  120. Hunting in the largest state forest system in the nation
  121. Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, and Sugar Loaf in Cedar
  122. Paddle boarding on Lake Michigan
  123. Pierce Stocking Drive
  124. Spring’s tree buds (much overlooked)
  125. Canoeing the Manistee River
  126. Porcupine Mountains State Park
  127. Cherry Republic. Everything here!
  128. World’s Longest Breakfast Table at Battle Creek Cereal Fest
  129. Ice boating. Yes, this is a thing. (video proof)
  130. White-tailed deer
  131. Harbor Beach, the world’s largest man-made fresh water harbor
  132. The Lions, and Tigers and Red Wings, oh my! And the Pistons
  133. Brockway Mountain Drive, Copper Harbor
  134. Gallagher’s
  135. Booming craft distilleries (Grand Traverse Whiskey, Northern Latitudes, Iron Fish, Coppercraft and more!)
  136. Bayview Mackinac Race (Port Huron to Mackinac Island sailboat race)
  137. Gordie Howe International Bridge

  138. Sandhill cranes
  139. Torch Lake
  140. Little Traverse Conservancy
  141. Kellogg’s
  142. Bavarian Festival in Frankenmuth
  143. Shinola watches
  144. Kayaking the Sleeping Bear shore (gorgeous views)
  145. Hiking Manistee National Forest
  146. The historic and beautiful Grand Hotel
  147. Cycling Leelanau Peninsula
  148. White pines
  149. Great Lakes Charter Fishing
  150. Cherry sausage
  151. Mackinac Island fudge
  152. Zingerman’s
  153. Whitefish (best restaurants to get it at)
  154. Trout: brook, brown and rainbow
  155. Greektown, Detroit
  156. Jeff Daniels
  157. Classic cars

  158. Henry Ford Museum
  159. Maple syrup (video: how to make your own at home!)
  160. Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island
  161. Arcadia Bluffs
  162. Ice climbing at Pictured Rocks
  163. Michigan’s Adventure
  164. Grand Island
  165. Painted turtles
  166. Long summer days; sunsets at 9:30
  167. Meijer (without a “s”, or with, whatever you prefer)
  168. Michigan auto industry. So there!
  169. Crooked Tree Center for the Arts
  170. Fox Theatre
  171. Hops
  172. Winter steelhead fishing
  173. Crystal-clear ice (it looks like you’re walking on water! Photo proof)
  174. Leelanau Cheese Company (just included in world’s 66 best cheeses!)
  175. Art Prize
  176. International Auto Show
  177. The Mystery Spot
  178. These awesome 13 ski runs
  179. Snowshoeing to local wineries
  180. The Mitten Beer Girl
  181. Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine (humblebrag)