Michigan is an American state in the Midwest and the heart of the Great Lakes region. It has many attractions, famous landmarks, and scenic state and national parks and forests. In addition to the Great ones, it has about 12,000 inland lakes, 38 deep-water ports, more miles of coastline than any state but Alaska, and more lighthouses than any other U.S. state. Its agriculture features tourist-friendly fare such as cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and wine. And its cities include a major metropolis, some university towns, and countless rustic villages.
The state is comprised of five distinct areas, known to Michiganders as "The U.P" (Upper Peninsula), "Northern Michigan" (Big Rapids and Northwards), "Western Michigan" (along the coast of Lake Michigan), "Mid-Michigan" and "Downstate".
As the historic base of the U.S. auto industry, Michigan's intra-state travel system is almost entirely dependent on the internal combustion engine. The most extensive public transit system is the Greyhound bus network, which reaches most population centers in much of the state. Amtrak's three daily rail routes from Chicago connect certain cities in southern Michigan (see "Get in"). Most intra-state air service is out of Detroit Metro; there is no regular service between the state's small regional airports. Several of the larger cities have local bus services (Detroit also has light rail), but the personal automobile remains the best way to get around within Michigan. Interstate, US, and state highways permeate southeast Michigan, crisscross the rest of southern Michigan, stretch up into northern Michigan, and trickle across the Upper Peninsula.
Michigan is blessed with many natural beauties. Primary on that list are its Great Lakes (much of Superior, Michigan, and Huron, and a little bit of Erie), the waters of which are even depicted on official maps of the state. The Upper Peninsula region contains many of Michigan's natural wonders, including the Pictured Rocks,
Mackinac Island, Isle Royale, Tahquamenon Falls, the Porcupine Mountains, and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The Lower Peninsula has expansive forests, rivers, and inland lakes in the north (such as Huron and Manistee National Forests), humongous sand dunes (such as at Sleeping Bear Dunes), and countless miles of beautiful shoreline. In the autumn, "color tours" of the changing leaves in northern Michigan are popular.