Autumn’s progress can be followed from Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with spectacular views of Lake Superior, largest of the great lakes, down I-75 through the “mitten” to the port of Toledo, Ohio. Did you know Michigan and Ohio once fought a war over the ownership of Toledo? Ohio won – and the rivalry has never ended! The Michigan-Ohio State football game will be November 21 in Ann Arbor. Fall is not fall in Ann Arbor without football. It’s more than a game; it’s nearly a religion – similar to hunting season in Michigan!
The foliage is past its peak this year in the Western Upper Peninsula, but in the Eastern UP and the entire Lower Peninsula it’s still spectacular. The fall colors are peaking everywhere in the state. Drive along US-31 on the west side of the state, near Lake Michigan; take your time and stop frequently. Seeing it with your eyes, taking in the entire vista is breathtaking – no photograph or travelogue can substitute for the 360 degree view when you step out of your vehicle and lose yourself in the surrounding color. Follow the signs leading you to South Haven, Muskegon, Ludington, Manistee and Traverse City.
On the Eastern side of the state, north from Bay City to Mackinaw City, the most beautiful drive is along, what the locals call, Old US-23 through Au Gres, East Tawas, Alpena and points north. The shores of Lake Huron are spectacular – and the farther north you drive, the better your view of this impressive inland sea. The small towns boast some of the best “home cooking” restaurants in the Midwest! Try an order of whitefish – abundant in the waters of the Great Lakes, and cooked to perfection by those who have been sustained by the abundance of these lakes for generations. The southeastern section is no slouch when it comes to color – take a ride from Detroit along US-12 west into the Irish Hills in the Lenawee/Jackson county areas. The winding highway will take you through historic towns and villages, treat you to spectacular vistas, and lead you to quaint shops and restaurants along the way.
Although the winters can be harsh and the economy has definitely gone south (in some cases, literally moved south out of the state) – Michigan is a wonder to be appreciated and preserved. For ski enthusiasts, Michigan is truly a great winter destination.
The Great Lakes and Michigan are two of the many wonderful places here in the United States. If you haven’t seen Michigan in the fall or skied Michigan in the winter – come on up – it’s beautiful!
Did you know the first letters of the names of the Great Lakes spell HOMES – Huron, Ohio, Michigan, Erie, Superior.
Michigan and Great Lakes Facts:
The Great Lakes form the largest freshwater system in the world.
The largest Great Lake is Superior, over three times as large as the smallest; Ontario.
The name “Michigan” originated as a Native American word “Michigama” – which means “big lake”.
Michigan has 3,288 miles of shoreline – including all the island shorelines as well as the outline of the “mitten” and the UP.
The people who live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan refer to themselves as “yoopers” and the Lower Peninsula as “down below”.