Michigan has been shaped—figuratively and literally—by the Great Lakes. Carved by glaciers more than 12,000 years ago, its two peninsulas are visible from the moon and instantly recognizable on any globe or atlas.

These two peninsulas are dotted with more than 11,000 inland lakes, laced with 36,000 miles of rivers and streams and defined by a 3,200-mile Great Lakes coastline—a shoreline dotted with more than 100 public beaches, some of the highest freshwater sand dunes in the world, stunning multi-colored sandstone cliffs, two national lakeshores and the only national marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes—the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron. More than 100 lighthouses, numerous maritime museums, ten shipwreck-diving preserves and historic military fortifications dating from the American Revolution and the Civil War also rim Michigan's Great Lakes shoreline.

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