Marvels In The Mitten
With spring break approaching, there are many beautiful locations right here in Michigan for students to visit
Michigan is full of hidden gems and Mackinac Island is no exception. Right in between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas sits the small island of only 3.776 miles. No cars or any motor vehicles are allowed on the island, rather there are horse-drawn carriages and bicycles to get around the island. The main activities on the island consist of visiting all the nature the island has to offer and learning about its history. One of the main events on the island is the annual Lilac Festival, a 10-day celebration starting on June 7 of every year that kicks off the summertime with beautiful lilac flowers.
For junior Hannah Richard, who goes to Mackinac almost every summer, sightseeing is her favorite part of the trip.
“[Mackinac Island] is a different environment,” Richard said. “The vibe there is nice because of the history and all the sightseeing.”
Her favorite spot to go to is Arch Rock, a limestone rock formation overlooking Lake Huron on the coast of the island.
“Arch Rock is beautiful because you can see the sun rise and set from there,” Richard said. “It’s just nice to wake up in the morning, go on a hike, jog or bike up there with your friends and just wait for the sun to rise.”
Sleeping Bear Dunes
No list of the best places to go in Michigan would be complete without Sleeping Bear Dunes. Included in Good Morning America’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America as of June of 2018, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is tucked in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and is one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. Miles of sand, beach and lush forests, Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the more popular tourist attractions of the state. People can hike the rolling dunes, swim in the beaches or just sit and watch mother nature at work. No matter what people choose to do, a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes is most likely a trip well-spent according to junior Jacqueline Kallis.
Kallis didn’t just enjoy the dunes for the sights though.
“I remember just being mostly tired the whole time but I think my favorite part of the Dunes was the experiences I shared with my friends and family,” Kallis said.
Although, Pregler recounts the beauty of the Dunes.
“The clouds in the sky were just rolling over,” Pregler said. “It looked like it was about to rain but the sky peaked through the clouds, letting you see all the different layers of clouds.”
One place in Michigan that many people may not have heard of is Grand Island Park. Right off the coast of the Upper Peninsula on the south shore of Lake Superior, Grand Island is a national recreation area and although it may not be as commonly known, one particular attraction there includes Pictured Rocks Seashore. It is one of the most top-rated tourist attractions in Michigan and is definitely worth visiting during a trip to the Upper Peninsula. The rocks get their name from the colors of copper, iron and manganese oxide found in the rocks.
According to senior Zenon Stepien, the island, and the area around Pictured Rocks is a great camp spot.
“It’s beautiful,” Stepien said. “It takes four days to backpack around and there’s this place you can go swimming and a beach. There are a bunch of wild raspberry bushes around the area too, it adds to the nature.”
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Located on the north side of the Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park has miles of campsites and the famous Tahquamenon Falls. The park itself, aside from the falls, stretches 13 miles and is mainly undeveloped woodland. The crown gem of the park, the falls which give the park its name, sits 48 feet high, have 77 drops and flows at an average of 7,000 gallons per second.
For Richard, they were just photographs online until she got to see them herself.
“You see photos and stuff and it looks like it doesn’t really belong in Michigan,” Richard said. “But when you get there and get to see it in person, it’s so beautiful.”
Richard had nothing but compliments about the nature and beauty of the falls and its surrounding area.
“It’s a beautiful area and landscape,” Richard said. “You just have to sit there and take it all in.”