Flanked by four Great Lakes and with 2,000 miles of shoreline (even more than California), Michigan is divided into two peninsulas—the Lower, which resembles a mitten and is the more densely populated, and the Upper, which is more rugged and rural. Ask a Michigander where he or she lives, and directions will likely be given using the palm of their hand, with the south-central part of the state known as "the Thumb."
Lakes play a part both in the state's psyche and its recreational possibilities, which are both legendary and numerous. In summer, popular choices include canoeing, fishing, swimming, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, and camping. In winter, trails welcome snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers, and dogsledders. The state is also blessed with dramatic topography, including waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula and towering dunes near Lake Michigan. Growing wine-country regions exist near Traverse City and Grand Rapids.
Lovely resort towns, from Traverse City to Saugatuck, overflow with lakeside inns, boutiques, and antiques shops. Yet Michigan has its share of big cities, too, including the Furniture City (Grand Rapids), the Capital City (Lansing), and the better-known Motor City (Detroit). All have vibrant arts and culture, excellent restaurants, neighborhoods with character, and tourist attractions.