Yes, we know that Michigan is cold, and winter can often last from October until May. We’re well aware that Detroit has a reputation for being tough and rundown, and that the auto industry is a big deal. But, there are a few things that we Michigan locals want you to know about our beautiful state that you may not have heard before.
1. Our state is truly beautiful.
Just because Michigan tends to have chilly winters doesn’t mean it isn’t the most gorgeous state in the Union. We have more coastline than any state other than Alaska, a dark sky park where we can see the Milky Way and the Northern Lights, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the U.P. (upper peninsula), which is where Michiganders go to escape when people from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois take their summer vacations along Lake Michigan. Have you heard of Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island, the Soo Locks, Tahquamenon Falls, or Isle Royale?
2. We have amazing beer.
Michigan is consistently one of the top five states for beer, and Grand Rapids, Michigan has been named Beer City, USA. The Bell’s Oberon release date is pretty much a holiday in Michigan every year, and we were the first state in the nation to produce Kombucha beer, thanks to Unity Vibration in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
3. We also produce a lot of fruit
Traverse City, Michigan is known as the Cherry Capital of the World, and Michigan produces most of the tart cherries and a chunk of the sweet cherries grown in the U.S. You can find all kinds of cherry products here, from cherry jam and cherry BBQ sauce to cherry wine and cherry pop. (Yes, it’s called pop in Michigan.)
However, apples are actually our most valuable fruit crop – we’re the the third-largest apple producer in the country. While about half of our apples are sold fresh, the other half are used to make some of the best apple cider and apple products around.
4. Our economic situation is turning around.
The current economic situation in Michigan is perfect for recent grads, who can afford a new home in a nice town, or rent at a swanky downtown Detroit apartment and a cottage up north. It’s also affordable to open a business in a bustling city, like Detroit, with no experience. Talented chefs or aspiring business owners who have been priced out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City have already begun opening successful storefronts in Detroit.
Detroit, as a city, is coming back, thanks, in part, due to the surge of new businesses. It’s definitely worth a visit.
5. Michigan is home to the country’s largest Middle Eastern population.
Just west of Detroit is a town called Dearborn, which is one of the best places in the country to find amazing Middle Eastern food, culture, and one of the largest mosques in the United States: the Islamic Center of America. Shatila Bakery makes the best baklava around, and they ship it all over the country.
6. Fall is the best time to visit us.
Summer is a close second, but nothing beats Michigan in the fall. The weather starts to cool off in the evening, the apples and cider are fresh, the leaves start to change color, and the days are perfect for hiking, kayaking, picnicking, and just being outdoors. If you can stand the cold, Michigan winters, especially up north, are beautiful. The Ice Caves on Grand Island are spectacular.