Explore Lake Michigan & Mackinac Island

Lake Michigan is a part of the Dynamic Great Lakes. Not only can you enjoy Chicago’s 26 miles of open and free lakefront as part of the Midwest. But you also have the option to indulge yourself in enjoying all that the Midwest Lakes and it’s surrounding areas, and islands have to offer. Whether it’s in the summer or winter it’s a lake for all seasons.

Let’s start with a little history of one of the Biggest Great Lakes, Lake Michigan. Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan’s shores, mainly in Chicago and Milwaukee. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and it’s the third largest Great Lake by surface area which is 22,400 square miles. It’s also the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world.

Lake Michigan is 307 miles long and 118 miles wide with 1,660 miles of shoreline consisting largely of sand and pebble beaches. It averages 279 feet deep and reaches 925 feet at its deepest part.

Lake Michigan is surrounded by Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Michigan City, Gary, Chicago, Racine, Milwaukee, and Escanaba are the major lakeside cities. Visitors and Chicagoans takes advantage not just only of what Chicago has to offer but the unique islands and recreational opportunities offered off other states by Lake Michigan.

Mackinac Island

Many islands are found in the northern part of the lake, such as Mackinac Island. Lake Michigan has the world’s largest freshwater dunes that line the lake shore. These sand dunes border the eastern and southern shores of the lake.

Millions of people visit the dunes and beaches at state and national parks, and lake shores every year. The Straits of Mackinac is a strip of water that connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Since Lake Michigan is joined to Lake Huron at the Straits of Mackinac, they are considered one lake hydraulically.

Many people are aware of how interesting a Mackinac Island Vacation is. If you are interested in venturing out further up Lake Michigan, why not take a unique Mackinac Island vacation.

Since the late 19th century, people have been taking their Island vacations in the Midwest, as it has been a popular tourist attraction, and hot spot for years. Mackinac island is located on Lake Huron and is a vacationers paradise and resort area that’s 3.8 square miles in land area.

It’s a part of the U.S. state of Michigan at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island has 492 residents and as many as 15,000 tourists per day during peak season. You will discover that the island has extensive historical preservation and restoration.

It’s listed as a National Historic Landmark and named one of the top 10 islands in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.

HGTV also named it one of the Top Ten Christmas Towns in America. There are so many unique things about this island. It’s booming and bustling in all four seasons with so many different things to do. So if you are interested in a Mackinac Island vacation there is are always events and attractions going on.

From sleighing around the island in the winter to sail boating in the lake, and hiking up the island in the warmer months, you won’t run out of things to explore. Not only can you enjoy these activities but there are a host of other things to do such as watching butterflies in their butterfly conservatories, carriage tours, horseback riding and walking along the many nature paths.

You can also enjoy beautiful views of the vibrant lighthouse!

You can also go to the many museums and shops, enjoy sailing or charter fishing, and golf. You can cross country ski, enjoy live bands and do so much more. If you are a nature and water lover you will be able to find your serenity here surrounded by nature, the forest and meadows.

Restaurants range from fine dining to delis, hamburgers and hot dogs. There is something here for every appetite. Travel on the island is either by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Roller skates and roller blades are allowed, except in the downtown area.

However the island primary forms of transportation such as Bicycles, roller skates/roller blades, carriages, and saddle horses are available for rent. One of the many unique things about this island is that motorized vehicles have been prohibited on the island since 1898. The exception to this is snowmobiles during winter, emergency vehicles, and service vehicles.

Horse-drawn taxis are a way of life on Mackinac Island so be prepared for a lot of horse traveling. You can event rent your own buggies. The horse-drawn taxis are radio dispatched. Their contact number is (906) 847-3323. There are courtesy phones located at the Taxi Office downtown.

Lake Michigan Shipwrecks

Diving for Lake Michigan Shipwrecks is a growing Great Lakes sport, thanks to many underwater preserves and parks throughout the lakes. It’s been reported that more than 300 ships have been lost to massive storms off Lake Superior’s Whitefish Point, which is known to sailors as the “graveyard of the Great Lakes.” There are many adventures that these lakes have to offer. Safety is a plus when enjoying all your interests.

There are many Lake Michigan Shipwrecks from ships that have tried to navigate these large bodies of water. The Great Lakes are the largest group of fresh water lakes on Earth. If you are interested in this known fact, or scuba diving in old wrecks then you can find some of the best preserved Lake Michigan shipwrecks in the world in Lake Michigan, as well as the other great lakes.

The lakes are all connected into the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence River also known as the St Lawrence Seaway. Many ships have traveled through the Great Lakes throughout the centuries while carrying large quantities of bulk freight, such as iron ore, lumber, coal, and grain.

Hundreds of them sank to the bottom of these lakes. Quite a few of them have been discovered, and others are still waiting to be discovered and explored by divers. If you choose to dive to see any of the shipwrecks, then you will have to do it with experienced guides and divers. Also be aware that you will need training on how to dive and that scuba diving can be a dangerous sport.

You will have to make sure you seek and attain the proper level of training and information on water conditions before attempting to dive in any of these wrecks.

These shipwrecks range from small pleasure boats to huge ore carriers. Very bad weather on the Lakes sank a number of these ships. Some ships have been there for hundreds of years. However since the lake is free of the corrosive effects of salt, many of Lake Michigan’s wrecks are well-preserved.

Experienced divers know that great lakes diving is an incredible area to scuba dive in the United States without having to travel to another country. If you are interested in an interesting past time and a very skilled, and sometimes challenging endeavor then you many want to consider deep shipwreck scuba diving. I’m sure there isn’t going to be a dull moment as you discover all the treasures and ships of times past at the bottom of the lake.

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