Fifteen Photos That Will Get You Dreaming of a Perfect Pure Michigan Beach Day

Our 10-Day Pure Michigan Instagram #BeachChallenge has come to a close. We had a blast admiring all of your wonderful submissions  - nearly 2,000 of them! Since there were so many photos that truly captured the beauty and unique character of Michigan’s beaches, we put together this roundup of our daily challenge winners and a few other honorable mentions.

See the full gallery of submissions at michigan.org/beachchallenge. 

Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Gina Ferwerda! We love this spectacular shot captured at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Read about Gina’s winning entry here.ginaferwerda Silver Lake Sand Dunes

A crowd gathers on the pier at Grand Haven State Park Beach to enjoy a colorful sunset in Pure Michigan. Photo by Day 1 challenge winner Bob Peskorse Jr.Bob Peskorse Jr Grand Haven

This pup is all tired out after a long day of playing on Empire Beach! Photo by Day 2 Beach Challenge winner Sarah Hunt.oni_one_ empire beach

A picture perfect day at Orchard Beach State Park near Manistee, MI. Photo by Day 3 challenge winner Deb Nerkeen.tototoophoto Orchard Beach State Park

Clear skies and sandy shores near Manistique make for some great kite-flying conditions. Photo by Day 4 challenge winner Carrie Shea.Carrie Shea Thompson MI west of Manistique

What a cool view captured during a paddle trip at Stoney Creek Metropark! Photo by Day 5 challenge winner Rainie Mills.RainieMills Stoney Creek Metropark

A blazing sunrise and some early morning fishing start the day in Copper Harbor. Photo by Day 6 challenge winner Matthew Winn.splashofsunset Copper Harbor

Pristine sparkling waters roll into shore along Lake Huron in Rogers City, MI. Photo by Day 7 challenge winner Rachel Welch.rachel_welch93 Rogers City

Sand and surf as far as the eye can see at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Phot by Day 8 challenge winner Steve Keighly.Steve Keighley Sleeping Bear Dunes

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a perfect Pure Michigan sunset after a day at the beach with family and friends! Photo by Day 9 challenge winner Jason McIver at Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph.Jason McIver Photography Tiscornia Beach St. Joseph

Colorful, crackling fireworks explode over the glowing Mighty Mac near St. Ignace. Photo by Day 10 challenge winner Shawn Kellogg.Shawnkkellogg St.Ignace

Smooth aquamarine waters are wonderful for watersports at Weko Beach near Bridgman. Photo by Melissa Cieniuch (Honorable Mention).misscieniuchscience Weko Beach Bridgman, MI

A tranquil scene along 5th Street Beach in Manistee. Photo by Instagram user @michigram55 (Honorable Mention).michigram55 5th Street Beach Manistee

The sandy shores of Lake Michigan are just right for building a sand castle. Photo by Robert Jacobs (Honorable Mention).Sunset on Grand Traverse Bay - Grand Haven

A picture perfect day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo by  Kaci Babineau (Honorable Mention).kacibabs pictured rocks

How do you like to spend a day at the beach in Pure Michigan? 

Five Incredible Instagram Photos from Our Fans in June 2014

We might be biased, but of all 50 states, we think Michigan is the most photogenic. No matter where you are in the mitten, you’re sure to find a beautiful setting sun, white-capped waves, or vibrant blooming flowers. This June, our Pure Michigan Instagram community ventured outdoors to find some captivating Pure Michigan moments. From blue skies to kayak rides, here are just a few of our favorites from June. 

For more fan photos, check out our March, April and May roundups and follow us on Instagram

A stretch of beautiful unspoiled nature at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains captured by @brob40. What a perfect view! 10375647_239190046292110_620682336_n

A swirl of beautiful pastel colors light up the sky as the sun goes down over Ann Arbor. Photo by Instagram user @klc_ina2.AnnArbor_klc_in_a2

Bright stars speckle the dark sky over Duck Lake in Muskegon. Photo by Instagram user @skeetownjay.DuckLake_Skeettownjay

No matter the temperature, Pictured Rocks will always take your breath away! Photo by Instagram user @amateer14.PicturedRocks_amateer14

 A glowing sun dips below the Lake Michigan horizon on a tranquil evening in Leelanau County. Photo by Instagram user @john_a_gessner.John_a_gessner

Have you captured a fantastic Pure Michigan photo recently?

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

From Our Community: 17 Reasons We Love Summertime in Michigan

As the temperature heats up, Michiganders and visitors alike are reminded of the sights and sounds that make summer in Michigan so special! From long days on the lake to outdoor festivals and camping, the season holds unique traditions and special meaning for everyone! 

With summer officially underway this Saturday, we asked our fans on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ “What do you love most about summertime in Pure Michigan? Below is a roundup of just some of our favorite responses from fans. If yours is missing, tell us in the comments section below what summer in Michigan means to you!

JumpingI think it’s more than just a single place or thing about Michigan that makes it special. It’s more of a feeling, an emotion which are born out of memories of good times. Sleeping Bear Dunes area, the Lake Michigan shore, Mackinac Island and too many more to name here. Just so many special places, all with attached memories. -Mike Bostwick

How the further north you are, the light at dusk still lingers as late as 10 pm, then gives way to a spectacular star-filled sky, mother nature willing. Nothing like sitting by a campfire with friends and family watching the night unfold with loons calling in the distance. -Jill Schultz

Everything to do with water. And the Lake Michigan sunsets. Wish I was there. – Karen Boudreau Covington 

Fishing, camping, going home to the UP to visit my family, hiking in the woods, walking on the beaches…there’s no where else like our beautiful state! – Lindsey Betzner

The smells of smoke from the bonfire in the morning mist off Lake Huron! – Diane Hartley

Every day is unexpected. You never know what it will bring. – Louise Sager Larry

My new forever home: Leland, Michigan; and my family’s two cottages on Big Whitefish Lake. – Ems Dantechuan

Summertime in Pure Michigan to me..is seeing the sky blue water of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and then, there’s the opportunity to climb the stairs in Arcadia and stare in wonder at the sights in each direction. Or perhaps its the Grand Haven Lighthouse, Ludington State Park, the peninsula in Traverse City—oh the vineyards, Sleeping Bear Dunes, of course mighty Mac, and stepping on to the porch of the Grand Hotel, or, perhaps its Cedarville and the quaint-ness of this area, I guess I don’t have room to go on to truly explain the beauty of pure Michigan… – Lynne Lenfesty

Warm weather, cool breezes off Lake Michigan, gorgeous sunsets … All of it. – Tamara Stevens

1009378_10152008225443289_365014519_oSunsets over the lake, the hot sun, the warm breeze, the occasional thunderstorm, with bright lighting, loud cracks of thunder, and pouring rain. The wildlife. Bonfires at camp, cooking brats, dogs, burgers, corn, beans, everything on the grill. Yumm. Walking around bear foot, shorts, capris, sandals, sunglasses. – Kelly Illikainen

Living at the lake cottage in northern Michigan and visiting all the towns for shopping, craft shows, car shows, boat shows, etc. Also, swimming, boating, and northern Michigan products! Being a laker for the summer is awesome! – Kimberly Dean

Fishing, blueberry picking, eating breakfast, lunch & dinner by the lake, swimming with the minnows, and catching up with our up north neighbors. – Christine Hawn Wood

Floating on the water early morning or evening, smelling the moist air, and hearing the water lap against the side of whatever “float” you are on! – Judy Taylor-Kirby

So many things to love about Michigan summers!! Bonfires, cookouts , beach, hiking in woods, visiting lighthouses, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, camping, UP, boating and swimming, fishing, beautiful weather! Silver Lake Sand dunes! Just enjoying and learning new places to explore in my home state! – Nancy Phillips

Knowing during this time there is nowhere else I would rather be. – Alex Chamberlain

Kayaking and sailing, taking friends from out of state to the Straits of Mackinac to go deep water diving (upcoming! So excited!), long walks in forests along beaches and in rivers, the summer ferns, the trilliums, actually… all the native Michigan plants, sweeping instead of shoveling, finding rocks that show their markings when you get them wet, BBQs bonfires and picnics, sunsets I can’t stay awake for and of course, all the wineries and berry picking. Just the short list… – Liz Storm

Every. Single. Moment. – Leeann Wright

What is your favorite thing about summer in Michigan?