Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes that is located within the United States of America.
With an average depth of 279 ft., it has a surface area of 22,404 sq miles, which makes it the third-largest Lake by surface area after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Clear and calm one day, raging with storm-surge waves the next, the Lake is a complete spectacle. It is 494 km in length and almost 190 km in width.
Lake Michigan has several beaches. It is also referred to as the “Third Coast” after the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Sailing the edge of Lake Michigan, your eyes are treated to both coastal landscapes and wild forest, with lots of places to stop and explore along the way. One can spot many dunes at the Indiana Dunes National Park in Lake Michigan.
Many passenger and vehicle ferries run their ferry services on Lake Michigan, thus joining Wisconsin on the western shore with Michigan on the eastern coast. The Lake Express was established in 2004, and it now carries passengers and vehicles across the Lake between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Muskegon.
A brief history of Lake Michigan:
As the white-crested, sky-blue waves drift towards the shores, they bring with them a long history. The name is acquired from the Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning large Lake. The form that is recognized as Lake Michigan today began about 1.2 billion years ago when two tectonic plates were ripped aloof, creating the Mid-Continent Rift.
French explorer Samuel de Champlain sent his assistant Jean Nicolett to find the “Northwest Passage,” but he ended up discovering Lake Michigan around 1634. In 1679, Nicolette traveled the southernmost part of the Lake where modern-day Chicago is.
Along with an innumerable number of beaches and Islands in Lake Michigan, there are also many parks. The National Park maintains both the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes National Park. There are various state and local parks located on the shores of the Lake, such as The Chicago Park District Beaches, Duck Lake State Park, etc. There are a few more lighthouses across Lake Michigan. They are:
· Illinois Lighthouses
· Indiana Lighthouses
· Michigan Lighthouses
· Wisconsin Lighthouses
Tourism and recreation are major industries of Lake Michigan.
A few cruise ships operate on Lake Michigan, including a pair of sailing ships. Ferry and boating services are available daily.
You can learn water sports on the lakes, such as yachting, sea kayaking, diving, kitesurfing, and Lake surfing.
The Great Lakes Circle Tour offers a phenomenal tour that connects all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Great Lakes steamers have been operating since the mid-1800s. Several ferries currently serve on the Great Lakes to carry passengers to various islands, including Beaver Island and Bois Blanc Island (Michigan). Now, two-car ferry services cross Lake Michigan from around April to November: the SS Badger, a steamer, and the Lake Express, a high-speed catamaran, from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Michigan.
Restaurants and local food spots:
St. Joseph is a beach town pub that sits atop Lake Michigan. It offers one of the best cuisines and a great atmosphere that you wouldn’t expect from a brewpub. Burgers to full course meals, this place serves it all. You can also visit the Silver Harbor Brewing Company to have a taste of the local food. It serves vegan and 100% gluten-free food too! Restaurants like Hub Central 185 and The Blackbird Waterhouse provide you with authentic American cuisine.
Lake Michigan is truly an exotic beauty of the world. With glass-like features and an alluring expanse beyond imagination, it is truly nature’s gift to humanity.