Michigan is the state with the longest freshwater coastline in the world consisting of 38 deep-water ports, 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. The name has origins in the Chippewa language, the word “Michi-gami” meaning “big water”. Formed by two peninsulas, its geographical features are unique and breathtaking. Besides the incredible scenery, Michigan has many historical landmarks, university towns, national parks, forest and rustic villages. If you are planning a family vacation, make sure you add these 5 places to visit in Michigan to your map:

1. Detroit

Detroit is an important cultural, financial center ad the largest city in the state of Michigan. The port on Detroit River connects the Saint Lawrence Seaway with the Great Lakes. Tourism is a crucial factor in its economy, covering almost nine percent of the total two million jobs available. The Midtown Detroit is a major tourist attraction because of the many landmark like the Fisher Building, Cadillac Place and Wayne State University. It also contains the Cultural Center Historic District with the Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library.

2. Tahquamenon Falls State Park

The 46,179-acre (186.9 km²) state park is Michigan’s second largest. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Michigan, it borders Lake Superior and extends into McMillan Township. Visitors can stay overnight at Rivermouth Campground and admire the migrating birds and the two waterfalls that give the park its name. The twenty-two miles of trails are perfect for nature lovers because of the abundance of flora and wildlife.

3. Port Austin

Located at the tip of the Thumb, Port Austin is the oldest country town and home of astonishing rock formations along the sandy beaches. The town houses a Bird Creek, a day park with a wooden boardwalk and a picnic Pavilion with a playground. Other attractions are Port Austin Reef Lighthouse that offers a spectacular view and a large Farmers Market.

4. Michigan’s Adventure

Michigan’s Adventure is the largest amusement park in the state with a total surface of 250-acre (1.0 km2). The stars are Big Dipper, a roller coaster for families with small children and the controverted Shivering Timbers, a historic Corkscrew coaster. The park also houses WildWater Adventure, an outdoor water park with many slides, water wheels, a giant bucket and the Mine Shaft family raft ride.

5. Holland City

Best known for its Dutch heritage, Holland is the seventh largest city in the state and one of the most popular places to visit in Michigan. Its downtown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, so make sure you visit the the Settlers House Museum with relics from the 19th century and the Cappon House Museum, former house of first mayor, Dutch immigrant Isaac Cappon. If you arrive in May don’t miss the huge Tulip Time Festival where streets are painted with rainbow colors and filled with flowers.

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