183 Things We Love About the Mitten State in Honor of Michigan’s Birthday

On January 26, 1837, our beautiful mitten was granted statehood, which means the Great Lakes State is turning 183 years old! So, in celebration, we’re sharing 183 things we absolutely adore about Michigan.

  1. We have the coolest shaped state
  2. And the 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. Longest freshwater shoreline in the US & more shoreline than any other state in the lower 48 (yes, more than California)!
  7. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  8. You don’t have to pay money to go to the beach
  9. Yoopers and Trolls
  10. The handy map, of course
  11. Michigan rock hunting is the best on Earth
  12. Sea Shells City’s Giant Clam
  13. Cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company and The Cherry Hut
  14. Christmas time in Frankenmuth
  15. Riding bikes around Mackinac Island
  16. Surfing the Great Lakes
  17. 3,177 miles of Great Lakes shoreline (and no sharks or stinging eyes!)
  18. Rollerblading the TART Trail
  19. Freshwater fishing. There is no bad fishing season.
  20. Four seasons, each with its own allure
  21. Cherry blossoms

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

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

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

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

  102. Our neighbors in Canada
  103. Greenfield Village
  104. Traverse City Film Festival & Fresh Coast Film Festival
  105. Grand Traverse Conservancy
  106. Two-tracking
  107. Ice wine
  108. Panfish fishing inland lakes
  109. Motor City
  110. May Erlewine
  111. National Cherry Festival and U.S. Navy Blue Angels
  112. Strawberries
  113. Tunnel of Trees fall color tours
  114. S’mores—these are a few of our fave recipes
  115. Ice skating in downtown Grand Rapids
  116. Birch trees
  117. Being in the snow belt
  118. Interlochen Center for the Arts
  119. Kiteboarding
  120. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  121. Hunting in the largest state forest system in the nation

  122. Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, and Sugar Loaf in Cedar
  123. Paddleboarding on Lake Michigan + every Great Lake
  124. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
  125. Spring’s tree buds (much overlooked)
  126. Canoeing the Manistee River
  127. Porcupine Mountains State Park—camp in a yurt
  128. Literally everything at Cherry Republic
  129. World’s Longest Breakfast Table at Battle Creek Cereal Fest
  130. Ice boating. Yes, this is a thing. (video proof)
  131. White-tailed deer
  132. Harbor Beach, the world’s largest man-made freshwater harbor
  133. The Lions, and Tigers and Red Wings, oh my! And the Pistons, sometimes
  134. Brockway Mountain Drive, Copper Harbor
  135. Gallagher’s Farm Market
  136. Booming craft distilleries (Grand Traverse Whiskey, Northern Latitudes, Iron Fish and way more)
  137. Bayview Mackinac Race (Port Huron to Mackinac Island sailboat race)
  138. Gordie Howe International Bridge
  139. Sandhill cranes
  140. Torch Lake
  141. Little Traverse Conservancy

  142. Kellogg’s
  143. Bavarian Festival in Frankenmuth
  144. Shinola watches
  145. Kayaking the Sleeping Bear shore
  146. Hiking Manistee National Forest
  147. The historic and beautiful Grand Hotel
  148. Cycling Leelanau Peninsula
  149. White pines
  150. Great Lakes Charter Fishing
  151. Cherry sausage
  152. Mackinac Island fudge
  153. Zingerman’s
  154. Whitefish (best restaurants to get it at)
  155. Trout: brook, brown and rainbow
  156. Greektown, Detroit
  157. Jeff Daniels
  158. Classic cars
  159. Henry Ford Museum
  160. Maple syrup (video: how to make your own at home!)
  161. Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island

  162. Arcadia Bluffs
  163. Ice climbing at Pictured Rocks
  164. Michigan’s Adventure
  165. Cops & Doughnuts
  166. Grand Island
  167. Painted turtles
  168. Long summer days; sunsets at 9:30
  169. Meijer (without a “s”, or with, whatever you prefer)
  170. Michigan auto industry
  171. Crooked Tree Center for the Arts
  172. Fox Theatre
  173. Hops. So many hops.
  174. Winter steelhead fishing
  175. Crystal-clear ice (it looks like you’re walking on water! Photo proof)
  176. Leelanau Cheese Company (1 of the world’s 66 best cheeses)
  177. Art Prize in Grand Rapids
  178. International Auto Show
  179. The Mystery Spot
  180. These awesome 13 ski runs
  181. Snowshoeing to local wineries
  182. Mom-and-Pop resorts
  183. Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine (we’re celebrating 40 years in June 2020!)