The Great Lakes
Michigan's Great Lakes

Michigan’s iconic shape is carved out by four of the Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie and Michigan.

The Great Lakes, including Lake Ontario which doesn't touch Michigan, account for one fifth of the world's supply of surface fresh water.

Michigan’s name is even rooted in the Ojibwa word for “large lake,” Michi Gami. Lake Michigan forms the eastern coast of the Lower Peninsula, and its shores are lined with sand dune—most notably the towering Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. At the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron.

The majority of Michigan’s eastern border is spanned by Lake Huron. Better known as the “Sunrise Side,” this shore is famous for its spectacular views of the sun peeking over the water’s horizon. 

Just below the "Thumb," in the southeast corner of the state, is Lake Erie. While Erie’s Michigan lakeshore is the smallest of the four lakes, the wildlife and hiking is unrivaled. 

Along the northern shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to 42 miles of sandstone cliffs and lines the lake’s edge from Munising to Grand Marais. Lake Superior is also home to Michigan’s only National Park, Isle Royale, with miles of hiking trails and untouched wildlife.

Dive Into the Michigan Great Lakes Challenge
To celebrate that Michigan is the only state to touch 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, we attempted the “Michigan Great Lakes Challenge” -- to swim in Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie in one day, between sunrise and sunset.
Test Your Great Lakes Knowledge With These 10 Questions
Michigan is known as the 'Great Lakes State.' How much do you know about our namesake lakes? Test your Great Lakes knowledge with these challenging questions. 
Beautiful Lighthouses in Michigan Worth a Visit
Tall and elegant or short and utilitarian, beautifully restored or lying silently forgotten, the dozens of lighthouses standing sentinel along Michigan’s 3,200 miles of shoreline are worth a visit.
McCarty's Cove Beach
Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to dozens of beautiful beaches. Travel Marquette shares a few top spots.
Dive into Michigan Shipwrecks at these 12 Underwater Preserves

The bottomland of the Great Lakes is a time capsules of another era, with thousands of lost schooners, steamers and barges carefully preserved by the cold, fresh waters. 

Where to Find Petoskey Stones in Michigan
The Petoskey stone, Michigan’s state stone - and its lesser-known cousin, the Charlevoix stone – are unique to the Great Lakes and can be found along the shores of Michigan’s lower peninsula. These tips can help get you on track to your first discovery!