Five Gorgeous Instagram Photos from Our Fans in May 2016

It’s almost summertime and we’re looking forward to more Tiger’s games, boating, golf and many more quintessential Michigan experiences. All of these outdoor activities lead to gorgeous photos of our fantastic state, which our Pure Michigan Instagram community perfectly captured last month. From the beautiful skyline of Detroit, the Comeback City, to Turnip Rock in Port Austin, take a look at a few favorites shared with us in May.

A beautiful shot of a beautiful city.  Make sure you get out and explore Detroit this summer.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @rickthird

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @rickthird

A kayak trip to Turnip Rock in Port Austin is a must!

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @forehand67

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @forehand67

Celebrate the 50th year of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore this summer! Can’t go wrong with these views.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @smilesbeek

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @smilesbeek

Woah, these colorful skies never get old. This shot was taken near Lake Orion.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @iamandrewchristian

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @iamandrewchristian

A stairway to adventure on Mackinac Island.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @micaelraephotography

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @micaelraephotography

If you’re on Instagram, follow us @PureMichigan! If you’d like us to share your photos from across the state, tag them with #PureMichigan to give us permission to “re-gram.”

Tell us which image is your favorite in the comments!

Six Must-Visit Islands on Michigan’s Great Lakes

You’ve heard of the incredible beauty and fun of Mackinac Island, but what about some other islands found off the shores of Michigan’s four Great Lakes? Between natural and untouched landscapes to a state park not at all far from bustling Detroit, read more as Shalee Blackmer from The Awesome Mitten shares six island destinations to visit this year in Pure Michigan.

1. North & South Manitou
If you remember reading “The Legend of Sleeping Bear Dunes” as a child, you’ll know these two islands are the heart of Michigan. Sitting off the coast of Leland, they are serene, beautiful, and disconnected. A ferry drops eager adventurers off once a day, and once you have arrived there are no stores or restaurants to fill any needs. In fact, there are only a couple places on each island where campers have access to water. South Manitou is home to a freighter shipwreck, where snorkelers can swim around the structure and have a true Great Lakes adventure.

Photo Courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

The island is also home to some of the biggest and oldest trees in Michigan.The best part about these simple islands is that reality is far off on the horizon, with no way to connect to it. The only reason you’ll ever need a cell phone is for time, which simply fades with every worry.

2. Bois Blanc 

Have you ever heard of this island?  Would you be surprised to learn that it is Mackinac Island’s neighbor? Bois Blanc Island is much bigger than Mackinac Island, and also more desolate. A simple convenience store and old inn are two of the only buildings that stand here. The rest is filled with dense forests and rocky shorelines, beautiful and virtually untouched. The only way to get to the island is through the Plaunt Transportation ferry, which leaves from Cheboygan daily.

3. Isle Royale
Isle Royale is Michigan’s only national park, where roughly 17,000 visitors fall in love with Michigan every year. The small island in the middle of Lake Superior is filled with diverse wildlife and outdoor adventure. And although it is a national park, you won’t find many crowds.

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

 Isle Royale is one of the least visited national park in the country, but not for lack of beauty, but lack of accessibility. A five hour boat ride from the Upper Peninsula is the most common way to get to island. Its secluded environment makes it the perfect location for visitors to connect with the beauty around it. So pack up your backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

4. Beaver Island
A couple hundred residents claim Beaver Island as their permanent home, but in the summer thousands flock to the small town of St. James for a one-of-a-kind Michigan vacation. Located some 27 miles off the coast of Charlevoix, the island is home to some of the state’s most beautiful beaches, brilliant stars, and crystal clear waters.  It is the prime vacation for those looking to come back refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated. Residents joke that it is always 3:00pm on the island, because the only reason to keep time here is to make sure you get to Daddy Frank’s Ice Cream Shop before it closes.

5. Belle Isle
The beauty of Belle Isle continues to win the hearts of Michiganders around the state. The southern point offers a near-perfect view of the Detroit skyline, where you can often watch freighters slowly venture up the river or sit next to an old fountain to watch the sunset over the city.

The Detroit skyline seen from Belle Isle, Photo Courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

There is never a wrong time to visit Belle Isle. Winter bring ice skating, summer brings picnics, and every day spent here is a day not regretted.

6. Grand Island
Filled with cottages, woods, and ice caves, Grand Island is not to be missed on your next trip to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. In the summer, it is common for the island to be filled with families renting cottages, bon fires & s’mores, and calming waves against pebbled beaches.

Photo Courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Winter brings daring adventures, where visitors make expeditions crossing a bay in Lake Superior to find ice caves lining the shore. They are majestic and mighty, each glowing with a tint of blue or green.Whether visiting for relaxing or excitement, Grand Island is always a good idea.

What is your favorite island found along Pure Michigan’s coastlines? Share with us below!

Shalee2

About the author: Shalee Blackmer is a 21 year old college student who grew up in the small town of Mecosta. She currently attends Michigan State University as an advertising student and spends her time exploring the outdoors. Her hobbies include running her own travel blog, which aims to inspire college-age students to see explore on a budget and taking photos to share her story. She enjoys camping, road trips, hiking and cliff jumping and enjoying Pure Michigan beauty.

Cyber Monday Sales can Mean Savings for Pure Michigan Adventures

December is nearly here! The turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving have become sandwiches and shoppers everywhere will soon embark on some holiday shopping via the web. So while you’re ordering that wool sweater, why not take a few moments to gift yourself, or someone you love, with one of the great Michigan travel packages that are available this Cyber Monday and beyond. Here are some locales you may want to visit for a Pure Michigan experience:

Mackinac Island:

Mackinac island

Do you like rugged outdoor activities, beautiful coastal views and an experience from a more innocent time? If so, Mackinac Island is for you.

A favorite summer and fall destination, Mackinac Island offers great water sports, fine dining, luxurious lodging, historical sites and memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to check out the “monthly specials page” for great rates for the iconic Pure Michigan island.

St. Ignace area:

downtown st ignace

With its breathtaking views and area museums and historic sites, the St. Ignace area is great way to start off an adventure in the Upper Peninsula.

Located just beyond the Mackinac Bridge, St. Ignace and surrounding communities offer signature Michigan experiences like the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Lighthouse in Paradise.

Grand Traverse Bay area:

Traverse city skiing

The Grand Traverse Bay area is a favorite spot for day trippers and those looking for more extended stays.

During the winter, you can enjoy the more than 200 miles of some of the finest and most diverse ski and snowmobiling trails in the nation. In the summer, visitors can work on their tan while stretched out on beautiful beach sand or go for a dip in the crisp blue waters of Lake Michigan.

The area is also home to resorts and spas, as well as beautiful parks, museums and entertainment venues for a wide array of activities and attractions.

Great Lakes Bay region:

frankenmuth

The Great Lakes Bay region in Michigan is home to several communities with diverse experiences that the entire family can enjoy during and after the holiday season.

From Bay City’s antique shops and views of the Saginaw River to beautiful and picturesque Dow Gardens in Midland, there is no shortage of sites to see and activities to do.

The Frankenmuth area is a particular favorite during the holiday season. Go shopping at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland or get splashed at Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Indoor Water Park, a 30,000 square foot indoor waterpark.

For more ideas or information about travel packages and deals in Michigan, click here.