You’re looking for the best things to do in Michigan. And sure, you can Google and find plenty of articles. Or read tons of reviews. But at the end of the day, you want to know that you’re finding the best that’s out there to explore in Michigan.

Because it’s about more than just choosing a restaurant tonight. More than choosing which beach to spend your Saturday on. More than planning your vacation itinerary.

It’s about feeling confident in your decisions so that you can relax and enjoy the memories you’re making, no matter where you’re at in Michigan.

At Awesome Mitten, we strive to create content, guides, itineraries, and bucket lists that help you fall more in love with Michigan. That way no matter where you choose to spend your anniversary, vacation, Saturday, or a couple of hours, you’ll be confident that it will be a great experience.

So you have a choice – you can keep googling and hoping for the best while sorting through all of the results that may or may not have what you’re looking for, or you can let Awesome Mitten be your guide to exploring Michigan.

Awesome Mitten Mission

At Awesome Mitten, we are dedicated to helping people fall more in love with Michigan.

We do this by creating content that gives you the information you need to get out and explore.

What You Can Expect From Us

You can expect to find what you’ve always found here – great information on the awesome state of Michigan. We create content that is about the entire state of Michigan as well as content that is geared toward specific cities and regions throughout Michigan.

You can expect to find information on Michigan businesses and products. It’s so important to support local and we want to help businesses and people come together.

And you can expect to have it all delivered right to your inbox each week. You don’t have to go looking for what you are going to do in your town, at the lake, or on your vacation this year. We bring all of that great information right to you.

Be sure to sign up to not miss an email!

Meet the Owners

Awesome Mitten Owners - Matt And Leah Heffner

Matt and Leah Heffner

We’ve been married for 12 years and have 5 children. We are Michiganders by choice and we love putting roots down, raising our family here, and exploring the beauty that Michigan has to offer. We own a digital marketing company and are urban homesteaders who love camping, being on the water, and trying the best food in any city or town we visit.

Awesome Mitten is an extension of so many things about us – we have always loved highlighting specific features of locations and finding the best parts of any adventure or destination. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine our extensive business knowledge with our love for exploring our home state of Michigan.

Describe Michigan in Three Words:

Matt: Home. Lakes. Outdoors.

Leah: Roots. Wanderings. Beautiful.

What are some of your favorite things about Michigan?

M: My favorite season is anytime I can be outside, planning or working in my garden or spend time on the water. My second favorite season is being inside thinking about and ordering seeds for my garden. But seriously, anything outdoors is great and all of the lakes are really what drew me to Michigan.

L: Early summer is my fave season in Michigan – that early temp increase and just can’t get enough of being outside and you re-meet all of your neighbors and kids come in filthy from digging and playing in the woods and the first time out on the boat. And the first 10 snows and the last 3 because they are straight magic. The middle ones are less dreamy. I absolutely love that we are putting in roots here and that we always having someplace to come home to.

What do you love about working on Awesome Mitten?

M: I love Awesome Mitten because I love providing a space to be creative with all of the great things our state has to offer and to show them off for other people to be able to experience them, too.

L: I think Awesome Mitten is such a cool way to explore of home and encourage others to explore it, too. It’s mining for hidden gems and sharing them with as many people as we can so we can experience Michigan to the fullest.

Meet Our Team

But we can’t do all of this by ourselves. We have an amazing team helping us to bring you the best in Michigan.

These individuals love Michigan, too, and are excited to put together the best information and make it easy for you to find and use. Let’s meet our team…


Ashley Pichea

Content Manager & Staff Writer

Ashley plans, directs, and publishes our in-depth travel guides and deep-dives on hidden gem destinations across the state. You can find her articles here.

She is also a wife and busy mom of five kids ranging from preschool to high school. Her personal website ( features faithfamily travel, and home management.

What do you love about working on Awesome Mitten?

Being born and raised in Michigan, I thought I knew a lot about the state I love… but being a part of the Awesome Mitten team has introduced me to unique and amazing places, products, and people in Michigan that I never knew existed.

Leah Tennant

Leah Tennant

Creator Team Manager & Travel Writer

Leah is a travel writer for Awesome Mitten and helps manage and coordinate the other members of our Creator Team. You can read her articles here.

As a lifelong Michigander and nature lover, Leah is always up for a new adventure throughout these beautiful peninsulas. Some of her hobbies include exploring new hiking trails, learning how to identify wildflowers, and avoiding crowds at Great Lakes beaches. Follow along for family adventures and eco-friendly tips on her blog,

What do you love about Michigan?

I’ve always loved Michigan’s state motto, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

To me, the natural beauty of our freshwater dunes, wooded forest trails, and unique rock formations (just to name a few!) represent some of the best parts of Michigan.

Tiffany From The Awesome Mitten Team

Tiffany Betts

Staff Writer & Content Editor

Tiffany Betts is a staff writer and content editor with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and playing board and video games — often combining the two. You can read her articles here.

What do you love about working on Awesome Mitten?

It might sound cliche, but I love Michigan because there are endless sites to explore and things to do. Every time I turn around, I’m finding something new to experience! And being on the Awesome Mitten team has allowed me to discover even more!

James Andersen

Staff Writer & Content Editor

James Andersen is an award-winning journalist and editor who was born and raised in Metro Detroit but currently resides on the shores of Lake Huron in Alpena, Michigan. When he’s not knee-deep in research or conducting interviews for stories, he can be found fishing, cheering on Detroit sports teams, and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

James is a staff writer and content editor for Awesome Mitten, helping to make sure our facts are accurate and our articles are detailed. You can read his articles here.

Chrystal Vaughn

Social Media & Community Manager

Chrystal manages our social media channels, web stories, and social communities, helping to connect our readers with our content.

Creator Team Members

Our Creator Team members are travel writers who go out and experience awesome Michigan adventures, and then share those adventures with our readers through excellent story-telling and photography.

Kristi Murphy

I’m an adventure-seeking, nature-loving, mama of two. After many years of exploration, my husband and I planted our roots in beautiful Traverse City, MI. I am shaped by my experiences in the outdoors, taking inspiration from our natural world and moments shared with my loved ones.

Most of my writing is a way for me to reflect, slow down, and earmark these memories before time passes by. Mainly, I aim to notice and be astonished every day by the small details of love running through the current of my life and share this joy with others.

Read her articles here.

Stefani Caloia

Stefanie lives with her family in Southeast Michigan. By day, she works in archives, and by night, she writes. Her interests include travel, history, art, magic, and anything else that sparks her curiosity and wonder. She is on Instagram @wonderwanderwilder.

Read her articles here.

Heather Stern

Heather lives in Fenton, Michigan with her husband, two kids, and three crazy dogs. She is a family and wedding photographer who lives for capturing moments with her own family on their many adventures.

During the Michigan summers, Heather and her family can be found traveling around the state in their travel trailer, checking out state parks, and discovering new places. Aside from photography, Heather loves rock hunting, reading, and enjoying a drink by a roaring fire. Find her work here:

Read her articles here.

Kassandra Olschanski

Kassandra Olschanski is a 25-year-old writer from Livonia, MI. When she is not writing you can find her painting, traveling, or at concerts with her friends.

Read her articles here.

Amanda Shaffer

Amanda is a stay-at-home mom from Michigan who rarely stays home. You’ll often find her out with her kids exploring all that the Great Lake state has to offer. She loves to encourage others to get outside and believes you don’t have to travel far to make a memory. You can follow their adventures over at @exploremichiganmore on Instagram.

Read her articles here.