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Lower Peninsula of Michigan

Sometimes referred to as "The Mitten" or "The Hand" because of its shape, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is generally flat and comprises two-thirds of Michigan’s land mass. The Lower Peninsula is often divided into the sub regions of Northern Michigan, West Michigan, Mid-Michigan, Southeast Michigan and the Flint/Tri Cities area (also known as "the Thumb"). The peninsula is marked by many lakes, marshes and inland rivers.

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, the Upper Peninsula (or simply, the "U.P.") is characterized by dense forests and rugged lakeshores. Bordered by Northern Wisconsin, Southern Ontario, and three of the Great Lakes, the Upper Peninsula makes up almost one-third of Michigan’s land mass. Steep highlands in the western portion of the peninsula give way to flatter lands of the Great Lakes Plain in the east.

The state’s lakes and waterways provide ample opportunity for fishing and boating, and in the summer thousands flock to beaches and lake front resorts. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy 99 state parks and thousands of miles of hiking and bike trails. Hunting is a major pastime in Michigan, and peninsulas offer excellent opportunities to hunt big game, small game, waterfowl and upland game birds. Michigan is also a fantastic place for golfers, with over 900 golf courses (more than any other state) long summer hours and a persistent autumn season. All of the major professional sports leagues have a team that call Michigan home, and heated college rivalries keep sports fans entertained all year long.

Each winter Michigan transforms into a snow covered landscape ideal for winter sports. Michigan boasts some the Midwest’s best downhill skiing and snowboarding resorts, miles of cross-country and snowmobile trails and even the U.S. National Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum. All told, some 840 runs, and 40 terrain parks can be found within Michigan’s peninsulas.

Michigan also boasts world-class educational institutions, outstanding museums and extensive public libraries throughout the state. There are at least 7 symphony orchestras in the state, and many cities host individual concert seasons. Over 45 wineries can be found in Michigan, located in some of the most beautiful areas of the state.