Try to Pronounce the Name of these 10 Michigan Destinations

Have you ever wondered how Michigan was named Michigan? Before colonization, the now Great Lakes State was home to at least eight Native American tribes throughout the land, one of which being the Ojibwe Indians. The Ojibwe were the first people to openly interact with the French in Michigan, trading furs and knowledge of the area for guns and goods. Through translation, the state of Michigan was named after the Ojibwe Indian word “Michigama,” which means “great lake” or “land surrounded by water.”

With this in mind, we invite you to take a look at some other uniquely-named destinations found across the Great Lakes State.

1. Mackinac Island 

This is an easy one. If you’re a native Michigander, you know that this popular Northern Michigan destination is correctly pronounced “MACK-in-awe Island”. Tourists have visited Mackinac Island in the summers to escape the heat of the cities for hundreds of years. Condé Nast Traveler magazine added Mackinac Island to its “World’s Best” list as one of the top 10 islands in the world. In December 2007 National Geographic Traveler magazine named Mackinac Island as the top island destination in the United States and 8th in the world. Don’t forget the fudge!

Mackinac-Island-Bay

A beautiful view from Mackinac Island overlooking the Bay, Photo credit: IG @dremmus

2. Ypsilanti

IP-sill-ANN-tee, or Ypsi to those who know it well, is located just down the road from Ann ArborHome to Eastern Michigan University, the city was originally a trading post set up in 1809 and called Woodruff’s Grove after Major Thomas Woodruff. The name was later changed to Ypsilanti in 1829 in honor of Demetrius Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti was a hero in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

The Color Run in Ypsilanti

Runners lined up in downtown Ypsilanti, Photo Credit: Ypsi Real

3. Charlotte

If you’ve been pronouncing Charlotte like the city in North Carolina, guess again! Shar-LOT  (Not Char-lit) is located southwest of Lansing and home to some of the most beautiful historical buildings in Michigan. Charlotte annually welcomes visitors to experience the Eaton County Fair in mid-July and the pioneer spirit of the ever-popular Frontier Days in early September.

Old Eaton County Courthouse

The Old Eaton County Courthouse is an iconic building as any in Charlotte, Photo Credit: Fluidr user @courthouselover

4. Bois Blanc Island

Bois Blanc Island, known as “Bob-LOW,” is located in the Straits of Mackinac, near the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  You can reach the Island by ferry from Cheboygan, a few miles southeast of Mackinaw City.  From the island’s west end, one can see the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island.  You can catch a distant glimpse of the Upper Peninsula from the north shore.

5. Dowagiac

The Grand Old City of southwestern Michigan. Dowagiac, pronounced Doe-WAH-jak, is nestled within the Fruit Belt, the city is surrounded by rolling farmlands and abundant orchards.  Enjoy fishing, canoeing, boating, water skiing and ice fishing.  Be sure to tour the historic train depot, too

Historic Dowagiac Train Station

The historic train station is a must-see when in Dowagiac

6. Onondaga

The small town of ON-on-DOG-ah is located near Lansing in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The township and community were named after the Iroquois nation of Onondaga, historically based in New York. A post office was first established at the place about 1844, with Perez Howland as the first postmaster. In 1847 Perez Howland built a grocery, where the post office was operated out of. Today, Onondaga offers man home-town restaurants and taverns for visitors to enjoy.  If you’re looking for something sweet, check out Balzer Blueberries of Onondaga, a U-Pick Pure Michigan treat!

7. Ocqueoc

Ocqueoc is home to the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula. In addition to the falls, there is access to the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, which includes loop lengths from six miles to three miles where you’re free to hike, cross country ski or bike. “Ah-KEY-ock” is the perfect place to get lost and explore the beautiful nature of Pure Michigan.

8. Ontonagon

Ontonagon County on the south shore of Lake Superior includes the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park , created in 1945. Famous locations in the park include the Lake of the Clouds, one of the most scenic spots in all of Michigan and Summit Peak Observation Tower, one of the highest points in found in the state. For history buffs, there are self-guided trails to old mining sites on the Union Mine Scenic Trail, and the Nonesuch Mine location. A trip to “On-TON-ogg-en” should be on every Michiganders bucket list!

Porcupine-Mountains-During-Fall

The Porcupine Mountains are truly spectacular in the fall, Photo Credit: Instagrammer @catchupandrelish

9. Bete Grise

Beet grease, you say? Not quite! Bay-DE-Gree can be found southwest of Copper Harbor on Keweenaw County’s south shore. Bete Grise (French for “Grey Beast”) has a beautiful white sand beach as well as a wetland preserve stretching along Lake Superior.

10. Kitch-iti-kipi

Pronounced Kitch-ITI-kip-e (say that five times fast!) is another U.P. gem located in scenic Palms Book State Park. Known as “The Big Spring”, Michigan’s largest freshwater spring is two hundred feet across and 40 feet deep. Over 10,000 gallons a minute gush from fissures in the underlying limestone as the flow continues throughout the year at a constant 45 degree Fahrenheit. By means of a self-operated observation raft, visitors are guided to vantage points overlooking fascinating underwater features and fantasies.

Kitch-iti-kipi-during-fall

Kitch-iti-kipi is the largest spring in Michigan, Photo Credit: Instagrammer @michiganfromtheair

How many did you get correct?

9 Fun Ypsilanti Events for Your Summer Bucket List

Ypsilanti (pronounced ip-sill-an-tee) is a Pure Michigan city located between Ann Arbor and Detroit. The thriving arts community, local restaurants, and endless flow of craft beer make the city authentic and unique. Summer is event season for this town, so check out this list, and tell us which Ypsilanti event you plan to attend this summer!

1)   The Color Run | June 25 

The Color Run races into Ypsilanti for its fifth year, drawing thousands of runners to this historic city. A piece of paradise can be found at this year’s Color Run with tropical color zones, palm trees, and bubbles! Get ready for The Happiest 5K on the Planet.

Runners celebrating at the Ypsilanti Color Run

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

2)   Camaro Superfest | June 30 – July 2

The Chevrolet Camaro’s original production was in 1966 and has been a coveted cruiser ever since. Celebrate this muscle car with hundreds of historic and modern Camaros. Be sure to visit the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum while you’re in town and see famous cars built in Ypsilanti, including a Tucker automobile featured in a Hollywood movie.

Iconic Cameros seen at Camero Syperfest in Ypsilanti

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

3)   Michigan ElvisFest | July 8 – 9

For the past 17 years, Elvis Tribute Artists have been swinging their hips and making audiences swoon at the Michigan ElvisFest. You can also hear the tunes of Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and more at this celebration of oldies music. Experience the joy of hearing this music live in Riverside Park. Thank you, thank you very much.

4)   Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival | July 22 – 23

Over 80 Michigan Brewers gather in Riverside Park for one of the state’s largest celebrations of craft beer. Local breweries from Ypsilanti such as Arbor Brewing Company, Unity Vibration, and Ypsi Alehouse will be joining the mix.

Countless Michigan craft beers are available at the MBG Summer Beer Festival

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

5)   Ton-Up Motorcycle and Music Festival | August 13

Old, new, and custom motorcycles line the streets of Depot Town every year for this exciting festival. Live music takes place throughout the event, so everyone is sure to be entertained.

6)   Firetruck Muster | August 20

Modern and vintage firetrucks roll into Riverside Park for this free, family friendly extravaganza every year. Don’t be shy at this event – ask the demonstrators to sound off a siren or blast a firehouse into the Huron River! This event is hosted by The Michigan Firehouse Museum. Open year-round, this expansive museum is housed in an 1898 firehouse.

Visitors get soaked at the Firetruck Muster in Ypsilanti

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

Fun at the Ypsi Heritage Festival

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

7)   DIYpsi Indie Art Fair | August 27 – 28

Artists from Ypsilanti and all over the region rally together twice a year for the DIYpsi (dip-see) Indie Art Fair. Makers and artists offer affordable, whimsical, and high quality goods at this two-day event. Support local artists and find unique gifts for yourself and others

8)   Ypsilanti Heritage Festival | August 26 – 28

Live music, delicious food, and dozens of community organizations can be found at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. To commence the festival, hundreds of rubber ducks are spilled (and caught) in the Huron River for the annual Rubber Duck Race. Purchase a duck for $5 to enter the race to win amazing prizes!

9)   Thunder Over Michigan | August 20 – 21

Ypsilanti is known for its contribution to aviation history at the Willow Run Bomber Plant – home to Rosie the Riveter. Hosted by the Yankee Air Museum, Thunder Over Michigan draws thousands of spectators every year to marvel one of the greatest “warbird” shows in America. Witness antique bomber jets, and state-of-the-art contemporary aircrafts fly and sometimes flip in the sky!

A crowd enjoying the air show at Thunder over Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

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6 Ways to Explore the Real Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti has become a vibrant arts hotspot around an ever-growing foodie scene. Their rich history is waiting to be discovered in every historic building and park setting. Interested in learning more? The Ypsilanti Convention and Visitors Bureau shares six new things to discover in Ypsilanti. 

1. Eat the eats Ypsilanti takes pride in fostering the visions and dreams of local restaurant owners. From fine dining to the more casual,  the city has a passion for bringing folks together over a juicy burger, a fresh salad or a special dessert. Our chefs are unassuming, fully committing themselves to the power of a delicious meal.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 2. See the parks After indulging at the local restaurants, visit one of the many parks in Ypsilanti to walk off those calories. Riverside Park is a favorite amongst locals as it lies along the banks of the Huron River. Take the three-pointed bridge, called the tridge, from Riverside Park to Frog Island where you’ll find a historic, outdoor amphitheater and a vintage running track. Have a passion for bicycling? The Border-to-Border Trail, which links the entire county from Ford Lake to the city of Dexter.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 3. Drink the drinks Beer and coffee are the name of the game in Ypsilanti. Breweries, tap houses and artisanal coffee shops line the streets of this up-and-coming city. It’s not about the light beers or corporate lattes in Ypsilanti. Every sip is considered. Every drink is a craft.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 4. Learn the history Ypsilanti’s history is rich, vibrant, and relevant when you consider it is home to four museums a dedicated group of local historians and historical architecture.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

5. Pick some apples The fall season is the perfect time for Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard in Ypsilanti Township. Families can go apple picking, select that perfect pumpkin, enjoy  a hayride and get lost in the corn mazes. The open air and endless activities are best if followed by warm cider and sugar donuts.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 6. Discover Eastern Michigan University Whether you’re exploring student and faculty galleries, enjoying a production at the campus theatre or taking a stroll through the walkable campus – Eastern Michigan University is home to many exciting activities. Football, basketball and volleyball games are full of team spirit and held in beautiful facilities. Buildings throughout campus create a beautiful juxtaposition of historic and modern architecture.

Make daily discoveries about Ypsilanti by following Ypsi Real on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.You’ll find photos, videos, and blogs about this historic, yet ever-evolving city in Southeast Michigan!

What do you plan to check out in Ypsilanti this autumn?