5 Interesting Facts about Michigan

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Photo: Pure Michigan

Surrounded by five massive fresh-water lakes, this state is second to none in regards to lakefront property and waterfront activities. While it may not get as warm as oceanfront states such as Florida or California, Michiganders fully enjoy all the lakes have to offer day in and day out. From summers on Lake Michigan to winters snowmobiling the trails of Cadillac, Michigan has a little something to offer everybody.

Mackinac Island

Start your day off right with a short ferry ride to the one and only Mackinac Island. For centuries, this national landmark has boasted millions of visitors coming by to enjoy the lakefront views, the car-less atmosphere, historic background, and world-famous fudge. Ranked as a top ten island in the United States by USA today, families, couples, and solo travelers alike can enjoy all the beauty this island has to offer. Activities include hiking the trails, paddling a kayak, or riding bicycles around the 8-mile loop to see the entire island. For those seeking a more historical journey, be sure to book a room at the Grand Hotel, spend the afternoon at Fort Mackinac, or explore the war cemeteries around the island.

Mail by Boat

If you are on a ship on the Detroit River, you are still able to get mail. The J.W. Wescott II is the world’s only floating zip code and post office. It will deliver mail to ships as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge. It is addressed “Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222.” The Westcott Company was founded in 1874 by Captain John Ward Wescott. He would ferry supplies to passing ships by rowboat. In 1949, the company commissioned the J.W. Wescott II to be built and named it for the founder of the company. The ship sank in 2001, the captain and one crew member were killed. It was later salvaged and refurbished and returned to service. 

Detroit Rock City

What started as the hot spot of the automotive industry, Detroit has seen its share of trials and tribulations over the years. As time has passed and the city has revamped itself, Detroit has become a hot spot for those looking to explore its rich history, techno-based nightlife, and delicious cuisine. With it’s close proximity to Canada, many may find themselves looking across the river at Hart Plaza over to Windsor and enjoying the views. Others may find their way to the many breweries in the area, such as Atwater Brewery, which is actually based out of the old Stroh’s factory. Be sure to stop by Campus Martius for a drink or hit the local farmers market to find one of a kind items from makers all over the state.

Beer City USA

Photo: Culture Trip

Voted Beer City USA in national polls and named Best Beer Town and Best Beer Scene by USA TODAY readers, Grand Rapids is the perfect place for your next beercation. Our Beer City Ale Trail boasts 80+ breweries – that’s more incredible craft beer per square mile than just about anywhere else on earth. Plot your journey along the Beer City Ale Trail and enjoy all the delicious beers and amazing hot spots that Grand Rapids has to offer.

Death Penalty

In 1847, Michigan became the first English-speaking territory in the word to abolish the death penalty. Treason remained a crime punishable by the death penalty in Michigan despite the 1847 abolition, but no one was ever executed under that law. The last execution under Michigan law was that of Stephan Gifford Simmons, who was hanged in 1830 for killing his wife in a drunken fit. The death penalty was constitutionally banned in Michigan in 1963. Only 13 executions were carried out in Michigan’s history, with 6 of them occurring after Michigan became a territory in 1805. There has only been one execution in Michigan since it gained statehood. It was the federal execution of Anthony Chebatoris in 1938.