Michigan means “large water,” and fittingly so, as the state is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and has almost 65,000 inland lakes or ponds. Boating, anyone? But ironically, Michigan is known more for its land vehicles than watercraft, as it has long been the epicenter of the U.S. auto industry. Its largest city, Detroit, features a distinctive skyline of art deco skyscrapers as well as pro sports, casino hotels and great live music – a staple of Detroit nightlife dating back to the days of Motown.
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On the shores of Lake Michigan, this small city is transforming from a struggling manufacturing town to a community known for progress and diversity, as seen in its new arts district, dedicated community programs, growing businesses and Harbor Shores golf course.
Besides being very industrial, Michigan’s largest city has many assets, including professional sports, great shopping and cultural events. The cost of living in Detroit is significantly lower than in the rest of the country, and new tax and recreational initiatives have helped revitalize the city.
About 60 miles northwest of Detroit, Flint is a charming city mostly dominated by the automotive industry, although recent initiatives have been put in place to diversify the economy. Flint has the feel of a vintage town, with railroads, museums, small local restaurants and a historic library.
Located about 25 miles east of Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids has more to offer than is suggested by the nickname Beer City USA. Because of its abundant natural resources, outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and swimming, are popular among residents.
The capital of Michigan, Lansing is an important center of governmental and educational institutions, including Michigan State University. Residents can enjoy various museums, performing arts, farmers markets and annual parades.