The state of Michigan is one of the most unique states in all of the U.S. Surrounded by the famous Great Lakes, this mitten-shaped state has plenty to offer tourists, especially with its breathtaking Lake Michigan shores on the west side. Michigan's vibrant cities, beautiful forests, and food and craft beer scenes are also what make Michigan shine as a potential destination on your list.

Top 5 Reasons To Visit Michigan

1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

ABC rated Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, on the western Lake Michigan coastline, the most beautiful place in America. It's not hard to see why: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore covers a 35-mile stretch of coastline with tall, beautiful sand dunes that give you a great view of the pristine waters. It’s truly one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the entire country, and visitors have a great time exploring the park's dunes and lush forests with scenic views of Lake Michigan.

2. Ann Arbor

The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan is home to the University of Michigan, one of the top-rated public universities in the entire world. The vibrant city has been rated as one of the top college towns in all of the country countless times. Ann Arbor has some of the best food and nightlife in the entire state, as well as museums like the Hands-On Museum, which is a fun place to go as a family. The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two beautiful places where you can easily escape into nature without leaving town, and the leaves are beautiful in the fall. Michigan’s football stadium holds the largest capacity of any college football stadium in the country, and if you’re lucky enough to get the chance to check out a Michigan football game, you should take the opportunity.

3. Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is a Michigan treasure. Regarded as one of the best tourists spots in the state, visitors take the Mackinac Bridge from the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula, and then take a ferry ride to a vehicle-free island where visitors get around using bikes or horse-drawn carriages. It’s home to plenty of history, as Fort Mackinac is one of the best-preserved forts from the American Revolution. The island is a great escape from modern life, and is known especially for its amazing fudge and the prestigious Grand Hotel and The Jewell. It’s hard to find residents of Michigan that haven’t traveled up to Mackinac Island, and they’ll all tell you that it is a must-do experience.

4. Great Sports Scene

The state of Michigan is one of the greatest sports states in America. The city of Detroit represents all four major American sports with the Detroit Lions football team, Detroit Pistons basketball team, Detroit Red Wings Hockey team and Detroit Tigers baseball team. Detroit is known as “Hockeytown, USA” to sports fans. The University of Michigan is also the winningest college football program in the history of the sport and is also known for great basketball and hockey teams. Michigan State University has one of the greatest college basketball programs in history, and also has a good football team, especially in recent years.

5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The Pictured Rocks that line the upper peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior are one of the greatest sights in all of the state, if not the entire country. The shoreline of Lake Superior is lined with sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, waterfalls and beaches, making the area an adventurer’s dream. Lake Superior is the third-largest freshwater lake in the world and the largest in North America. While it may get extremely cold, and is often compared to the Pacific Ocean, it’s worth checking out the amazing natural beauty of Lake Superior and the Pictured Rocks in the summertime.

This article was written by Cameron Lafontaine.