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This state in the U.S. Midwest embraces a diverse menu of appealing sights and experiences for visitors, from urban culture in cities like Detroit to natural beauty across the state. If like most people you'll be arriving at Detroit Airport, consider picking up your rental car at the airport upon arrival.
You can experience the Blue Water Tour with just a drive of up to 60 miles from Detroit to Port Huron along the shorelines of Lake St. Clair (above) and the St. Clair River. This shoreline drive will allow you to see and explore tiny, charming towns (including Algonac and St. Clair itself) as well as the small city of Port Huron, with many restaurants, inns, and historic buildings along the way.
The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens are found just 40 miles away from Detroit. Admission is free, although you're free to offer a donation to the Conservatory. You'll find the drive to the gardens is quite scenic in itself, as it follows the beautiful Huron River. There are other things to do in the area, as well, including cute book shops and coffee shops.
This is yet another breathtaking drive, running east-west through the Huron National Forest and offering gorgeous, memorable views along its nearly 24 miles. If you'd like to do some hiking, you'll be pleased to learn that there are hiking trails and staircases that have access to the edge of the water. Bring your walking shoes just in case a craving for exercise and a bit more fresh air kicks in!
Driving across the Mackinac Bridge provides many views that can only be described as simply gorgeous. Also drive west from St. Ignace on U.S. 2. Once you pass the well-known "Mystery Spot" (a patch of land where gravity seems to work a little differently, and now home to an outdoorsy attraction with ziplines and other activities) you'll find the highway comes back together with the shoreline of Lake Michigan, allowing even more splendid vistas. You'll probably want to stop along the way to enjoy a picnic and even perhaps to swim in the surf of Lake Michigan and maybe enjoy a tasty Upper Peninsula pasty.
On the Lower Peninsula between Standish and Mackinaw City, this drive offers views of Lake Huron as well as quaint coastal villages such as Harrisville and Oscoda, with plenty of nature, historic sites, and white-sand beaches. You should bring a picnic to enjoy at Alpena's waterfront park, near the marina on Thunder Bay.