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Michigan - The Jewel of the Great Lakes Region
by CL Hendricks

If you are smart, you might be thinking exactly what I'm thinking that this is the perfect time for a Michigan family vacation. Yes, any time of the year is the perfect time for the perfect family vacation in an exquisite setting - the Great Lakes State.

If you like to hike, swim, fish, play in the outdoors and generally have affordable fun with your family then let me tell you a little more about why to chose Michigan for your family vacation destination.

All the outdoor activities can be found in Cadillac whether it is summer or winter. For that snowy winter vacation, try the miles and miles of snowmobile trails and ice fishing at Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell along with skiing at the Caberfae Ski Resort.

There's no end to the summer activities including swimming at the state park, bicycling, fishing, hiking, boating and water skiing. Cadillac also features a great City Park with a real locomotive from the logging days gone by.

Imagine a 400 feet high mountain of beach sand all bright and golden colored. This is what you and your children will see at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Once you scale it you can hike across to meet the beautiful blue waters of Lake Michigan. That is if you are not buried in the sand first.

To cool off from the sand dune, try the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. Here you will be impressed by an amazing array of 2,500 animals along with many, many plants and trees. Quite a few of the animals here are on the endangered list. There are so many exhibits to explore but you certainly don't want to miss the Arctic Ring of Life. It is the largest polar bear exhibit in the world.

A trip to Michigan would not be complete without a trip to what National Geographic has named "the 3rd most beautiful lake in the world". It is Torch Lake near Traverse City and it is sure to be number one on your list once you get a sight of the Caribbean color of the water.

It is a fabulous blue-green color and is crystal clear. One other unique feature of this lake has to be the sandbars jutting hundreds of feet into the center of the lake. These sandbars make parts of the lakeshore very shallow and the clarity of the water means that water depth is hard to discern from a boat. While it looks like you are surely far enough from the shore for the water to be over your head, it may actually only be knee deep. While you are this close to Traverse City, you should head over and check out the Great Wolf Lodge. There you will find a large indoor waterpark as well as an outdoor pool, several restaurants, and - the best part - live buffalo!

If you need more water fun, head to Utica for Four Bears Water Park and Recreation Area or Splash Universe in Dundee.

Leave your car at the hotel and hop a ferryboat or plane to visit Mackinac Island. Once there, you can explore the island by foot, bicycle or even horse and buggy. You don't want to miss the British built Fort Mackinac, a Revolutionary War site. But don't sound like a tourist while you are there - be sure and pronounce the name of the island correctly - it's "Mackinaw".

Michigan can truly be called a Winter Wonderland. The state abounds in ski resorts, ski trails, and snowmobile trails. Don't you hear one calling you? Once you try a Michigan family vacation you will be back for years to come for the memories, outdoor activities and all the great people you meet along the way.

About the Author

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some. She has also traveled extensively and now writes about travel destinations around the world for Family Vacation Spots and Best Vacation Getaways