By Terry Carter
Vacation hunters and travelers alike, be a Wolverine or a Spartan for while.
Michigan ranks as one of the best states to visit for a variety of reasons. The state has rugged outdoors for the hunters and perhaps the best fishing in the nation with all of those Great Lakes. Technology also looms large in the Great Lakes’ State, as do trendsetters and deep historical roots.
Today I will provide my Top 10 Points of Interest in Michigan. They may or may not entice you to journey north and play in the Land of Great Lakes. Please keep in mind that this list is hybrid composite from my days as a child when I lived for six years in Western Michigan. Good times, but mountains of snow. Enough said.
- First the basic facts I learned in school: MICHIGAN became a state in Jaunary 1837, so Longhorns and Wolverines have that timeframe in common. What makes Michigan unique, however, is that they are the largest state east of the Mississippi River. Today Michigan ranks 10th in population and 11th in total area with a capital of Lansing.
- Football and basketball are big sports in Michigan. Think of the University of Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor and Michrigan State Spartans in East Lansing. The Wolverines feature the largest college stadiums in the country, and it has been able to handle 107, 601 ticket holders for football games. Michigan also was the all-time, winningest college football team with more than 900 wins the last time I looked.
- Michigan features the Cherry Capital of the World in Traverse City. Check it out.
- The Cereal Capital in Kalamazoo where numerous companies make dozens of the most popular breakfast treats.
- Golf is diverse and world class in Michigan. I grew up in Western Michigan and thrived on numerous private and city golf courses. Among my favorites is Chase Hammond, a City of Muskegon layout with tree-lined fairways and fast greens. I should challenge my brother to reunite up there for a golfing reunion with some of our old golfing friends, including Paul.
- The Lakes of and throughout Michigan make it a heaven for fishermen and sportsmen. Don’t mess with the wolverine, but the fishing is pure and crazy good when the lakes are not frozen over.
- Weather in Michigan varies from perfect in the summer to near-Artic-Zone cold in the winter. I recall summer days with high temperatures in the low- to mid-80s and lows in the 50s. No A/C needed in that area. In the winter, however, Michigan continues to operate when Texans would be inside drinking hot chocolate because of an ice storm or temperatures below zero. The schools in Michigan probably still run busses and operate when temperatures fall to -10 or -20 degrees. They are a stubborn, resilient lot, much like Texas, but just with 5-6 layers on.
- Michigan features a unique little spot that as highlighted in the Christopher Reeves movie filmed on Mackinac Island. No motorized vehicles are allowed. You either walk or ride a bike up there. And the famous hotel that Reeves visited in Somewhere in Time is only open in the spring, summer and fall. They shut down during the brutal winter months.
- Need an escape from the world you know? Try Holland, Michigan, where wooden shoes for what is known as the Holland Festival.
- Finally visit Michigan for the fun of it. Bring your golf club, your fishing pole. If you swing it, purchase a summer home up there for the hot summer months we endure here in Texas. Then in the winter, get back to Texas where the snow rarely invades.