5 Incredible Upper Peninsula Trails For Every Hiker


The best hikes in the region call Michigan’s Upper Peninsula home, with impressive trails, breathtaking views — and sometimes challenging terrain. So how you do you experience these stunning trips if you’re not the most skilled hiker? Or how do you turn an average trail into a challenge if you’re already a pro? We’ve collected […]

Michigan’s Most Underrated Lighthouses

Michigan is home to many well-known, beautiful and fascinating lighthouses thanks to more than 3,000 miles of shoreline. But if you’re interested in searching beyond the most popular destinations along our Great Lakes, Michigan holds some truly spectacular underrated lighthouses that will take you, sometimes quite literally, off the beaten path! Here are some of our favorite […]

Exploring Rock River Canyon Ice Caves

When it comes to unique destinations, Michigan can’t be beat. Every season brings somewhere new to explore! Rock River Canyon Ice Caves, located in the central Upper Peninsula, is one of those places. These stunning natural formations are spectacular and a must-see winter destination. About the Ice Caves The caves are part of the Rock River Canyon […]

Winter Adventures At Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Looking for a unique and exciting winter getaway? Plan a weekend visit to Tahquamenon Falls State Park! This amazing destination offers something for everyone. From family-oriented guided snowshoe hikes, to sled dog rides, off-the-grid back country adventures, and much more. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a great place to enjoy winter in Michigan.  About the Park […]

Houghton Lake #MittenTrip: Learning To Live The Lake Life

“I don’t think I know how to be a lake person.” The words spilled out of my mouth during a conversation with my husband as we drove toward Houghton Lake, the destination for our end-of-summer #MittenTrip. As someone who didn’t grow up in Michigan, I couldn’t quite grasp the concept of what it meant to […]

Walking Through Centuries: A Port Huron History Lesson

When I visited Port Huron for a MittenTrip this summer, it was clear that this is a place with a special relationship to its surrounding waterways. Bordered by the beautiful shores of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River, and split down the middle by the Black River, much of life in Port Huron involves […]

Flint Cultural Center: The Art, Science, And History Of Genesee County #MittenTrip

Flint Cultural Center - The Awesome Mitten

My recent #MittenTrip to Flint was full of exciting discoveries, and the most intriguing was definitely the Flint Cultural Center. Boasting several institutions, including Applewood, the Flint Institute of Arts, the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Flint Youth Theatre, the Longway Planetarium, the Sloan Museum, and The Whiting, we could have spent days […]

The Rich History, Beautiful Presence, and Promising Future of Port Huron #MittenTrip

If there’s one thing everyone knows about Port Huron, it’s the Bluewater Bridge. What they don’t tell you is that it’s actually two bridges, one with traffic heading in each direction, with the original span built in 1938 and another that opened in 1997. During my MittenTrip, I learned that Port Huron itself is divided as well. […]

Flint #MittenTrip: A Guide to Understanding the Rust Belt

Flint #MittenTrip Small Business Saturday - The Awesome MittenGuide - The Awesome Mitten

During Michigan summers, most people are concerned with how to get on the lake (any lake) during the precious available weekend moments. Although I love a long day at the beach as much as the next person, traveling to and experiencing Michigan’s Rust Belt cities is just as compelling a reason to pack up the […]

Life in Art at the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum

Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum Youth in the Hands of God

I recently stopped at the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum during my #MittenTrip to Midland. Until this trip, I didn’t know that this museum existed nor the extensive role Fredericks played in Michigan art. This museum, located on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University, is an example of the many gems of culture and art that exist across the […]

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 […]

Friendly Faces of the Great Lakes Bay Region – Midland and Bay City #MittenTrip

Midland Mitten Trip Tridge and Flowers

Connection. Throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region — anchored by Saginaw, Bay City and Midland — people are connecting with one another. Old business fronts are being repurposed into new and exciting ventures. Events are bringing people from other countries to share in their passion and heritage. People are present in day to day places, sharing life […]

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 […]

The Gateway to Great Lakes History: #MittenTrip Muskegon

Port City Princess Cruises

Just forty minutes northwest of Grand Rapids lies Muskegon, the largest city along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. This spunky city is intermixed with a laid back beach town vibe, which is perfect for city slickers looking for some relaxation. However, this is definitely not your average beach town! Friday I started the weekend […]

Go Where the Art Is: Oliver Art Center

You might be surprised to hear this, but art is everywhere. If you’re looking closely, you can find beauty in the grass that grows through the cracks in the sidewalk or in the way the clouds roll in before the sky lights up with lightning. If you’re lucky, you get the opportunity to see those moments through a […]

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 […]

Exploring Cereal City: A #MittenTrip to Battle Creek

When you think of Battle Creek, you probably think of cereal, since both Kellogg and Post have manufacturing facilities within the city limits. But there is so much more to the city than breakfast! On our recent Mitten Trip, we set out to dig a little deeper and find the lesser-known gems that the area has […]

Short’s Brewing Company is Making Changes

Short's Brewing Company - The Awesome Mitten

Although playing outside and going on snowy adventures makes for a fantastic #MittenTrip, I have to admit that my visit to Short’s Brewing Company was definitely a major highlight of a recent wintry trip to Bellaire. More than anything, the experience was a testament to quality and passion. From the food to the beer to […]

Collect Moments, Not Things with AYYO Weekends

Picture Rocks - Munising - #Mittentrip - The Awesome Mitten

“AYYO Weekends was founded on the belief that experiences are much better than things, and a deep desire to help people collect lasting memories.” Why waste your valuable time and energy planning only one big trip a year when you can be spending your countless free weekends vacationing carefree here in your home state? By […]

Top 15 Awesome Mitten Articles of 2015

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Happy New Year! Throughout 2015, The Awesome Mitten continued to explore the many hidden gems of this beautiful state and began to venture out on numerous #MittenTrips to capture the essence that makes Michigan towns unforgettable. As always, we’ve had a blast bringing you all the awesomeness this state has to offer. Thank YOU to […]

Alpena’s Underwater Museum: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

In my exploration of Alpena for our #MittenTrip project, I found that this lake town on the “sunrise coast” has a unique relationship with its history and geography. Natural sinkholes disappear into the earth and gleaming lighthouses rise and stand guard above it. A limestone quarry overflows with 400-million-year-old fossils, while a dense, kayak-friendly wildlife sanctuary sits just inside […]

Ludington Is More Than Just A Beachtown On This #MittenTrip

Ludington - #MittenTrip

Michiganders and visitors alike are all too aware of how great West Michigan is to visit in the summer. Long, luxurious days at Lake Michigan’s lengthy beaches, or exploring dunes and hiking trails, are just a couple things that make Michigan great in the summer. That’s not all the state has to offer though! On […]

“Cultivate” Change: Coffee for a Cause in Ypsilanti

Cultivate Coffee - Ypsilanti #mittenTrip - The Awesome Mitten

Legend has it that coffee was discovered first by goats when a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his flock was acting a bit ramped up after eating the berries from what is now known as the coffee shrub. Out of curiosity, Kaldi tried some of the red berries and had a similar reaction, must […]

Depot Town: New and Old Thrive in Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti #MittenTrip - Depot Town - The Awesome Mitten

There is something about history that can awaken a person’s imagination and curiosity; it is what inspires archeologists to dig, Civil War reenactors to reenact, and helps the costume designers from period dramas win the Oscar year after year. While today Ypsilanti’s Depot Town is home to many of the area’s best bars, restaurants, and […]

Ypsilanti: A #MittenTrip Through the Past and Present

Geography is not my strong suit. I can point on my hand to the general vicinity of a few major cities throughout our great state (Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Mackinaw City), but everywhere else is guesswork. This may be part of the reason Ypsilanti had never been a destination for me, but an occasional landing […]