The Michigan shore of Lake Michigan has been described as "an American Riviera"—with mile after mile of blond-sand beaches, more than a score of state parks, a national lakeshore, charming lakeside villages, lighthouses and artists’ colonies.
Michigan is defined not only by its vast expanses of water but also by the forests that cover more than 30,000 square miles—more than half the size of the state. Lakes, campgrounds, wildlife refuges, and 99 state parks and recreation areas scattered throughout these vast forests create a wide variety of recreational pursuits. Rivers for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming, and thousands of miles of hiking, biking, riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails thread their way among some 100 species of trees.
Michigan’s tens of thousands of square miles of Great Lakes and inland waterways teem with more than 140 varieties of fish—ranging from finger-sized smelt to 20- and 30-pound Chinook salmon and lake trout.
Hundreds of islands dot Michigan waters. Isle Royale National Park is a remote wilderness retreat in Lake Superior where wolves and moose roam free. Mackinac Island, located in the Straits of Mackinac, is a lush 19th-century resort fixed firmly in the Victorian era—a car-free island dominated by an 18th-century fort and the more than a century-old grand hotel.