My wedding day is rapidly approaching and, when I share the news with folks about the big event, I inevitably hear the common question, “Oooh, where are you going for your honeymoon?” To which I reply, “We’re staying here!” This response has been met with everything from blank stares, to confused smiles, to the audacious, “but WHY?!” I get it. This seems boring to you. But, to my fiance and me, who both live for spending time outside, The Mitten State has everything we could dream of for a relaxing, adventurous, and beautiful post-wedding vacation, and here’s why:
The Views. Why dump a bunch of money on a flight to an exotic location when we have so very much to offer here at home? From the crystal clear – and very Caribbean-esque – waters of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, to the stunning views from Lake of the Clouds and the haunting old growth forests of the Porcupine Mountains, to the towering Sleeping Bear sand dunes (and on, and on), what’s not to love? You can swim, dive, snorkel, sun-bathe, hike, climb, camp, kayak, and fish without leaving the state! Plus, places like the Porcupine Mountains in the western UP often feel so secluded, you’ll feel like you’re in a remote, exotic area anyway.
The Pit Stops. Summer in the fruit belt, driving along the shore of Lake Michigan down U.S. Route 31, provides some excellent opportunities to sample some of Michigan’s finest products. I’m partial to fresh cherries myself, but the microclimate in northwest Michigan (i.e., the same one that produces lake-effect snow) ensures that other treats like peaches, apples, grapes, blueberries, and pears are also available. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit in the summer (and on the *cheap* at roadside stands too)? Come on, people. Beyond fruit stands (or animal pelt stands if you’re in the UP and that’s your thing…), Michigan has great tourist towns like Traverse City, South Haven, and Charlevoix, where you can do some shopping or splurge on a fancy hotel room and spa treatment for two!
The Pride. Alright, you can tell from the photos that I’ve done this a time or two before. When it comes down to it, though, there’s something to be said for taking a little pride in your home state and all it has to offer. I mean, isn’t that why we all write for, read, and/or subscribe to The Awesome Mitten? Not only are there countless breathtaking adventures to be had here, but taking a vacation here is a solid investment in the state’s economy. Yes, I love to travel, and YES there are still plenty of places that I want to explore, but I feel so much pride in spending my honeymoon – one of the most important and memorable of life’s milestones – right here in my own backyard. I hope to be able to share some stories soon! In the meantime, I’ll be spending some time at Michigan’s Official Travel & Tourism Site, in search of more exciting adventures.
Did you – or do you plan to – honeymoon in Michigan? Share your stories with us below!