The first Europeans to explore Michigan did so in the year 1620. And long story short… From there Michigan was passed from French ownership over to Britain’s and then fought over some more during and after the American Revolution. In the year 1805, the state of Michigan was named and established and that it has remained.
Known for Henry Ford setting up his first automobile shop in Detroit, Michigan’s capital and then General Motors being founded in Flint. Michigan was also of huge importance during World War I and World War II, in helping build major weaponry in its many factories. President Roosevelt referred to Detroit as “the great arsenal of democracy” during World War II. But during the great depression, it’s economy was hit hard, some saying that Detroit has never fully recovered to its former glory.
Michigan is a state that is certainly steeped in history and drama. So if you are looking to explore a part of America that is rich in American history this is the place for you. But not only that, the sightseeing, camping, boating, and food is an attractive quality, leading me to believe that this is a place worth visiting.
I was privileged enough to interview a beautiful blogger Emily from Fantastic Em who was born and raised in Michigan and she shared some interesting facts and suggestions with me regarding this cool Midwestern State. Thank you for chatting with me Em, and for sharing some great tips and insights regarding Michigan.
Let’s talk about your hometown…
Can you tell us about Michigan?
Michigan is a neat state with a lot of Character. If you look at a map of America, it is the mitten-shaped state in the Midwest, surrounded by the five great lakes. Some positives are the wonderful food, great sightseeing, and close knit communities. The only negative is the harsh winters.
Why should we travel to Michigan?
You should travel to Michigan because there are so many great things to experience. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tahquamenon Falls, and Frankenmuth to name a few. Not to mention the many lakeside towns and metro parks that have so much to offer.
If I just landed in your town, where should I go first?
If you just landed in my town, I would suggest heading over to one of many of the Coney Islands to try a Coney Hotdog. It’s a staple here in the Metro-Detroit area! I would also suggest spending the day in the small town of Lexington. There is a beautiful walking area over the water of Lake Huron, cute little boutiques, and a lunch at Wimpy’s Hamburgers is a must have.
What are some tips for people traveling to Michigan for the first time?
If you’re traveling to Michigan for the first time, I advise you to be careful driving. The roads are typically not the best due to the harsh winters and lack of fixing, and we’re known for being aggressive drivers. Also, pack a wide variety of clothes, the weather here changes in an instant! It can be snowing one day, and the next you may not even need a jacket.
What are some tips for people traveling to America for the first time?
If you’re traveling to America for the first time, my only suggestion is to see as much as you can. With 50 states that have different climates, and so many national landmarks and attractions, there is SO much you don’t want to miss out on. Try and extend your stay as long as possible and see what each state has to offer.
Are there any specific restaurants that you would recommend a tourist try? Or food?
There are a bunch of restaurants I can be recommended in Michigan. First and foremost, any restaurant within Greektown in Downtown Detroit is amazing! My favorite one is Pegasus. If you’re looking for some unique places to eat, drive up the coast of Lake St. Clair and along the St. Clair river, and you’ll find many. Bobby Macs, Junction Buoy, and The Raven Café are some of my all time favorites.
When is the best time of year to travel to Michigan?
The best time of the year to travel to Michigan is in the summer time. If you ask anyone from this state, they will all tell you the same thing: There’s nothing quite like a Michigan summer. Our summers are filled with warm breezy days, followed by cool comfortable nights. No matter where you are in the state, you are pretty close to a Lake, so many of us spend the summers boating. You won’t be disappointed floating around on the cool water.
What are some places in America that you have traveled that you would recommend visiting by someone who has never been there? Why should we travel there?
The best places I have traveled to in America are Topsail Island-North Carolina, Watkins Glen State Park-Watkins Glen New York, St. Augustine-Florida, and The Great Smoky Mountains-Tennessee/North Carolina. Of all the places I have been to, there are the most scenic and beautiful places I’ve seen so far. You should travel there because they each offer such a unique experience. Topsail Island is a small/secluded island. During the off-season, it is very quiet and you’ll often see dolphins playing around near the shore! The smoky mountains are something that everyone should see at least once in their life. There are many strenuous hikes required to get some gorgeous views, but it is 100% worth every step. Watkins Glen looks like something out of a fairy-tale. And St. Augustine is a step back in history.
Let’s talk about culture…
What are some of the best things about being women in America?
The best things about being women in America is that there is a lot of opportunities to be successful. Gone are the days where we are looked at as only good for “housewives” and “homemakers.”
What are some stereotypes you wish to change about Americans?
A stereotype I wish to change about Americans is that we are not all a reflection of the current outspoken discriminatory words being put out there by certain potential presidential candidates. We are not a reflection of the propaganda that Fox News puts out. There are extremists in any country, and I wish that their discrimination is not a reflection of how genuinely caring and welcoming the majority of us in this country truly are!
If you could change one thing about your country what would it be?
One thing I could change about this country, in general, is our ability to get along and come together for the common good. We are pretty much divided on many important issues, and I wish that someday there can be a common ground and end the vicious arguments.
If you have any suggestions for questions to ask our Chatting Compass bloggers let me know in the comment section below… Stay tuned for next weeks post.