Five Spectacular Michigan Destinations Nominated for 8th Wonder of the World

We all know that Michigan is a beautiful state and home to some pretty amazing places, but are we home to any “wonders of the world?” Travel website Virtual Tourist is on a quest to find the 8th Wonder of the World, and several Michigan spots are in the running.

Below see a roundup of the Michigan destinations up for the title and vote for your favorite here from now through September 30th.  

What do you consider the “8th Wonder of the World?” Tell us in the comments below.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Empire, Mich.
Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore encompasses a 60 km (35 mi.) stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations and ancient glacial phenomena. Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including an 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district. Learn more about the Sleeping Bear Dunes here.

Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth, Mich.
Willkommen. In German it means welcome. In Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria, welcome to family time, welcome to playtime, welcome to Christmas time all year long. It’s a place with horse-drawn carriages and covered bridges, riverboat cruises and world famous chicken dinners, big water parks and small-town strolls. Frankenmuth is the perfect place to simplify the agenda and spend the whole day with family. Frankenmuth is a place to enjoy the simple things in life. More information can be found on Frankenmuth’s website and in the video below.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Grand Rapids, Mich.
One of the world’s most significant botanic and sculpture experiences, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park serves more than a half-million visitors annually. Meijer Gardens was recently ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news. The 132-acre grounds feature Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; one of the largest children’s gardens in the country; arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Degas and Rodin; a carnivorous plant house; outdoor gardens; and a 1900-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring an eclectic mix of world-renowned musicians every summer. The internationally acclaimed Sculpture Park features a permanent collection including works by Rodin, Oldenburg, Moore, Bourgeois and Plensa, among others. Indoor galleries host changing sculpture exhibitions with recent exhibitions by Picasso, Degas, di Suvero, Borofsky, Calder and Chadwick. Click here for more information.

Soo Locks
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
The Soo Locks have already been referred to as one of the great wonders of the world and are still the largest & one of the busiest waterway traffic systems on earth! Watching huge vessels pass through the Locks is a unique experience that cannot be seen anywhere else in the United States! The Locks consist of two canals and four locks that allow vessels of many types/sizes to safely traverse the 21-foot drop in elevation of the St. Mary’s River between Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan and Huron. From viewing decks, you can watch “Lakers” and “Salties” (ocean-going vessels) as they travel the seaway between ports and navigate the rise/drop of the water levels. More information can be found at the Soo Locks website.

Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area
Saugatuck, Mich.
The Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area is a 173-acre tract of magnificent duneland along the Lake Michigan shore owned by the City of Saugatuck. The land is home to several species of rare plants, birds and animals, and demonstrates the unique geological and ecological features of Great Lakes dunes. It’s freshwater parabolic dunelands are designated by The National Trust as one of the 11 most endangered ecosystems in the world. The Natural Area is open year round and guided walks are held every Saturday morning at 10 am from May 25, 2013 to Sept 14, 2013.

Head over to the 8th Wonder of the World contest page to cast your vote today!

Tweetable facts about the Upper Peninsula (Plus a Giveaway!)

Update: The two winners of our Pure Michigan stocking cap giveaway are Brad whose favorite thing about the U.P. is pasties and Bill whose favorite is Lake of the Clouds. Congratulations to our winners! We’ll be hosting another giveaway in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is beautiful all year and here are 10 quick facts about the Upper Peninsula that you can share with your friends on Twitter. Simply click on any fact and it will automatically populate on your Twitter status bar. And while we’re talking Twitter, remember to follow Pure Michigan on Twitter as well.

PLUS, as a thank you for being great fans and loyal readers of this blog, we have two Pure Michigan stocking caps that we’re looking to give away!
Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite thing about the Upper Peninsula (only one comment per e-mail address please).
  • On November 11th at 5 p.m., we’ll randomly pick two winners and send each a Pure Michigan stocking cap. We’ll contact you using the e-mail address you provide (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).
Good luck!
Fun fact: The Upper Peninsula contains 16,452 square miles, almost one-third of the land area of the state @Pure Michigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know Mount Arvon, the highest point in @PureMichigan, is in the Upper Peninsula? http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Bird watchers in the Upper Peninsula have observed nearly 400 different species @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Like snowmobiling? The Upper Peninsula offers 3,000 miles of groomed trails @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
The Soo Locks in Chippewa is 155 yrs. old and allows the passage of boats from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Fun fact: more than 30 sunken ships can be found in Bays de Noc in the Upper Peninsula @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know some areas of the Upper Peninsula can get more than 25 ft. of snow a year? @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
The Cisco chain of lakes in the Upper Peninsula has 271 miles of shoreline @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Lake Gogebic is the largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula, known for walleye, bass and jumbo perch @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know the Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere with 7,400 ft. of roadway? http://bit.ly/vSE73d

Trip Around the Mitten

Michigan Road Trip Map

Great Lakes Circle Tour - Michigan Road Trip Map

Dawn LaVigne shares her “Pure Michigan Moment,” a two-week road trip and camping excursion along the shore of Michigan last summer.

Last summer, we drove the entire shore of Michigan. Our two-week camping trip began on the west side of the state. From there, we drove north and east, into the Upper Peninsula and then back down into the Lower Peninsula and along Lake Huron. It was two weeks of water, sand, forests, blue skies, sunshine, history and family fun!

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