Michigan Travel Guide
Michigan Travel Guide: General Information
The Midwestern state of Michigan in the USA consists of two major peninsulas, namely the Lower Peninsula, and the Upper Peninsula, that are separated by the Straits of Mackinac. The state was named after Lake Michigan, meaning ‘large lake’. It is bordered by the states of Ohio and Indiana in the south, Wisconsin in the west, and Ontario, Canada, in the east. An impressive freshwater shoreline 3,288 miles long gives it the distinction of being the longest shoreline in the world.
Native Americans have lived in the area for centuries. 1668 saw the establishment of the first French settlement by a Jesuit priest, Jacques Marquette. The British, however, took possession of the area after the French and Indian War in 1760. The state became a part of the United States after the American Revolutionary War in 1783, with the signing of the Treat of Paris. Michigan has a thriving tourism industry and is also the center of the American auto industry.
Michigan Travel Guide: Key Facts
Capital city: Lansing
Area: 97,990 sq miles (253,793 sq. km)
Population: 10,003,422 (as per 2008 census)
Monetary Unit: US Dollars
Official Language: English
International Dialing code: 001313
Michigan Travel Guide: Popular Tourist Destinations
- Detroit: This is the state’s largest city located in the south east region. Known as the birthplace of the modern automobile, Detroit is home to three major automobile manufacturers – Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford. The city is also the music capital of Motown, modern rock, and rap. Major sports team like the infamous basketball team, The Pistons and Red Wings (Hockey) are the pride of the city’s sport fraternity. The Lions (football team) and Tigers (baseball) have the largest stadiums located in the city.
Detroit today is a popular destination for people in the Midwest. Music lovers will appreciate a visit to the Motown Historical Museum while automobile enthusiasts can make their way to the Detroit Historical Museum. A large urban park in the middle of the Detroit River on Belle Isle houses the Belle Isle Zoo, a place that will keep your children engrossed for hours. If you are bitten by the gambling bug then head straight for the MGM Grand Detroit Casino, for a shot at poker.
- Lansing: The capital city is an important center for business, education, and culture. The largest and most prestigious university in the country, the University of Michigan is situated in the capital city. Known as the ‘Car Capital of America’ the city produces the largest number of cars every year in the country. The city has a lot to offer in terms of museums, historical neighborhoods, shopping, and a vibrant music and arts scene. A visit to the Old Town, will give you the chance to do some antique shopping.
Michigan Travel Guide: Economy and Infrastructure
Manufacturing accounts for more than 30% of GDP of this state of US. Apart from being the focal point of the American automotive industry, the state’s economy is also boosted by the information technology, copper, iron, and aerospace industries. The recent economic meltdown compelled automakers to opt for some major restructuring with the help of the U. S. Treasury. The industry now accounts for one in every ten jobs in terms of employment. The state ranks fourth in information technology employment in the country. Research and development in various sectors comprises a high percentage of GDP. The government’s commitment to public education has made the universities important contributors to the state’s economy. A highly educated and skilled workforce attracts investments by several companies. The region is rich in minerals including sandstone, limestone, and cement. Manufacturing accounts for 30% of GDP.
Michigan Travel Guide: Culture
Michigan’s diverse culture is exhibited in its art, music, and films. The state has a perfect blend of rural simplicity and urban modernization. There are many Native American reservations along the banks of the Mississippi River. Detroit is known for its creativity in the Arts and Music scenes. A strong African-American presence is evident at the African American Parade and Heritage Festival hosted by The Capital City African American Cultural Association every year. A large number of multinational companies in the state attract a working population from all over the world, adding to the state’s multicultural mix. The Lansing Jazz Fest and the Old Town Blues Fest portray the state’s vibrant music scenes.
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