Your Guide To A Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Fall Color Tour

Your Guide To A Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Fall Color Tour - The Awesome Mitten

It is that time of year; a time when crisp air excites people to get out and explore. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful place to explore year round. However, the fall season just might be one of the best times to travel here. Why? The dense forests and stunning Lake Michigan […]

Most Instagrammable Spots In Michigan

Michigan is definitely one of the most beautiful states in America, maybe even one of the most beautiful spots in the world — Just look at our Instagram and you’ll see our many posts from around the state. Our not-so-little Mitten is truly a national treasure. From National Forests to miles of coastline, every region […]

10 Reasons Ludington Is One Of Michigan’s Best Beach Towns

As one of West Michigan’s top summer destinations, Ludington is a fantastic place to enjoy a multitude of activities. Relaxing beaches, tours, shopping, unique dining, and so much more make this town ideal.  There’s no shortage of great options for a fun-filled road trip to this beautiful beach town. The Downtown Ludington’s thriving downtown area […]

Fort Mackinac: Michigan’s Former Gateway

I have lived all of my life in Michigan but never made it to Mackinac Island until my twenties. As a kid, we spent every summer camping in Northern Michigan. However, paying to take the ferry with six kids was never quite in my parent’s budget. It might have also been the constant energy my […]

7 Must-See Boater Friendly Restaurants

Boater Friendly Restaurants Along Lake Michigan - The Awesome Mitten

Michigan is home to thousands of waterways and lakes. Locals and tourists alike are out to experience our freshwater coastline (Michigan hosts more than any other state!) Sitting along the sandy beaches of our Great Lakes is a favorite pastime for thousands of Michiganders. There’s something extra special about being in a boat and on […]

Author Spotlight: Cynthia Ellingsen And The Lighthouse Keeper

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen

Cynthia Ellingsen, Michigan-native and author of three books, has been drawn to the haunting beauty of Lake Michigan since she was a little girl. That, combined with her love of the quaint, lakeshore towns of her childhood, is what drove the inspiration for her newest novel, The Lighthouse Keeper. We sat down with Cynthia to […]

4 Reasons To Go Kayak Fishing This Summer

Kayak Fishing at Sunset. Photo courtesy of Kayak Fish the Great Lakes

Living in a state that is surrounded by and covered with fresh water lakes, it’s no surprise that kayaking and fishing are two of the more popular pastimes around here. But have you tried combining them? Kayak fishing combines the best of both worlds, and here are four reasons why you should give it a […]

6 Amazing Northwestern Michigan Hikes

Articles promoting hiking for overall health and well-being have been popping up on social media for several months.  According to experts, hiking can actually rewire our brains and help combat stress. Plus, it’s a great way to get outside and enjoy our beautiful state. There is no better place to take a hike than Northwestern […]

5 Spectacular Places To Watch A Michigan Sunset

  I’ve watched sunsets from the shores of Greece, tundra of Norway, and beaches of Australia. Although sunsets in those places are beautiful, they pale in comparison to a Michigan sunset. I’ve sat in awe many times watching the sunset along Lake Michigan. There’s something about watching the clouds light up in shades of pink, […]

Michigan Lighthouses Look Better In Winter

Michigan Lighthouses Look Better In Winter - The Awesome Mitten

Lighthouses: The Mitten is home to well over 100, the most in one state in the nation, which tourists flock to each and every summer. For those found along Lake Michigan, they are part of the touristy, beach and resort town experience. Each one offers the opportunity to catch a beautiful sunset over the water […]

Beat the Snow: Last Minute Hikes Before Winter in Michigan

Michigan Hikes - The Awesome Mitten

  The weather changes are becoming more and more prevalent, which means that soon “The Mitten” will be covered with a white blanket of crystalized snow. However, all is not lost because there is time before that happens to get out and enjoy the last few weeks of hiking without breaking out your mittens, boots, […]

Mama Bear and Her Cubs: The Story of Sleeping Bear

Long ago, a mother bear and her two cubs were living in the forest along the shore where Lake Michigan meets Wisconsin. One night, a raging forest fire broke out, driving the bears to the lakeshore. In order to escape the flames, the mother bear and her two cubs jumped into the lake and headed […]

Kayak the Sleeping Bear Dunes to Truly Experience Their Majesty

The Awesome Mitten - Kayaking the Sleeping Bear Dunes

My emotions were tremendous, so I woke up earlier than normal on the morning of my kayaking adventure, with a growing sense of unease. What if my kayak tips? What if I can’t find the rendezvous point? What if, what if, what if… Pushing these concerns out of my mind, I made breakfast and triple […]

Awesome Autumn Day Trips a Short Drive from Grand Rapids

Autumn Day Trips Grand Rapids - The Awesome Mitten

The air is crisp. The leaves are changing colors and crunch beneath your feet. Your arms are wrapped in sweaters and jackets. Yes, fall is officially here. What is a better way to escape the day-to-day hustle and relish in Michigan’s fall season than to take a day trip? Below are six trips just a […]

Rain Can’t Ruin a Holland #MittenTrip

Dutch Holland #MittenTrip - The Awesome Mitten

No matter how early I intend to leave Detroit, my trips to West Michigan always seem to have me on the road longer than anticipated. Regardless, the excitement over a #MittenTrip to Holland made the ride with my travel buddy worthwhile. Both of us had varied experiences in the lakeside town that concerned vacations during […]

A Road Trip On US-12 Heritage Trail To Celebrate The End Of Summer

US-12 Heritage Trail - The Awesome Mitten

The calendar has finally flipped to September. The days in The Mitten are getting shorter and cooler as the Indian summer has taken over, and the time of year makes me think to myself, we need to take advantage of the warm and sunny weather while we still can. What better way than an end […]

Stellar Views Near Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

South Manitou Island Lighthouse

If you’ve been to Leelanau County in Northern Michigan and haven’t taken in one of its majestic views, you’re doing it wrong. Do yourself a favor and get to the nearest bluff, overlook, dune, or beach along the crystal blue Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Before you look west, though, prepare to pinch yourself. 1. Sleeping […]

Traverse City #MittenTrip – The Port Of Cherries, Lighthouses And Mini Golf

My earliest memories of visiting Traverse City as a youth revolve around two things: Gordie Howe-themed restaurants and mini golf. If I had let my childhood nostalgia serve as the guide for my recent #MittenTrip up north, it would’ve been a very shortsighted, albeit still pretty fun, weekend. Sadly, Gordie Howe’s Tavern & Eatery was shuttered […]

5 Lake Michigan Beaches Worth Taking the Plunge

Lake Michigan Beaches - The Awesome Mitten

Summer in “The Mitten” means people are flocking to the Great Lakes with a lot of them hitting up various Lake Michigan beaches and towns. On the west side of the state, Muskegon, Holland, and Grand Haven have many visitors going to the beaches and state parks close to town where their lighthouses are located. […]

15 Ways To Make The Most Of A Michigan Summer

Michigan Summer - The Awesome Mitten

While some would argue a lack of salt water could make for a less stupendous summer, others would heartily disagree that Michigan’s Great Lakes are just that: great. I have a lot of love for Michigan, the Great Lakes, and what they have to offer the summer. To truly celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of […]

Muskegon from a Local’s Perspective

Muskegon is well known for its access to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. But when you’re only here for the day, there’s not nearly enough time to explore everything this beach town has to offer. Let me, a local Muskegonite, take you on a tour of some hidden hot spots to show you what you could be missing. Getty […]

Travel Back in Time Aboard the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper – #MittenTrip Muskegon

Pilot House

The city of Muskegon is steeped with incredible maritime history, as I discovered on my MittenTrip, featuring vessels such as the USS LST 393 and the USS Silversides Submarine. The National Historic Landmark S.S. Milwaukee Clipper stands out among them, due to its pristine preservation and immense Great Lakes history. Stepping aboard this luxury cruise liner was unlike anything I […]

A Beach in the Backyard: #MittenTrip Frankfort

#MittenTrip Frankfort - The Awesome Mitten

Since I know you’re all looking for more reasons to get to Lake Michigan this summer, let me add a destination to your list: Frankfort. This cozy village less than an hour southwest of Traverse City gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘relaxation.’ Nestled in to Lake Michigan’s Betsie Bay, Frankfort is a one-stop-light […]

7 Things That Prove Michigan Is The Most Adventurous State

1.  We laugh at the cold. When our summer paradise turns into a winter wonderland, you won’t see Michigan schools closing for just a few inches of snow. Winter is just part of our lives. When most people might be overwhelmed by brisk temperatures and mounds of snow, it doesn’t phase Michiganders. Instead, it means […]