Mike Chowla


Prior to this road trip, I'd hadn't seen anything of Michigan beyond Ann Arbor so I didn't know what to expect. Detroit was fascinating due to its gorgeous Art Deco buildings and learning how the conventional wisdom on how Detroit went bankrupt is almost entirely wrong. Beyond Detroit, the highlight was Mackinac Island where it feels like you are stepping back in time, primarily because there are no cars and lots of horse carriages on the island.

The next bit will make me sound like the coastal elitist that I am but the rest of the places I visited are overrated. Sleeping Bear Dunes is supposed to be a gem of the Midwest but I found it to be meh. Frankenmuth, a town that is done up to look like a Bavarian village and is the largest tourist attraction in the state, would be pleasant if the town didn't have 4 lanes of traffic running the middle of it. Quaint European villages do not have big roads through the center of them. Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore has some decent scenery but it's in the more remote Upper Pennisula and it's questionable if it's worth the drive.