Celebrate Being a Michigander on National Michigan Day

January 18 is National Michigan Day, a day to celebrate all that makes Michigan great (including, and beyond, the lakes). As any Michigander knows, there’s so much to love about the Mitten State! 

My own love for Michigan runs deep. I was born and raised here and, by choice, have lived here my entire life. In fact, my college advisor once exclaimed, “We can’t get this girl out of this state!” That’s because I believe Michigan is more than just pleasant, as our state motto proclaims; it’s the ideal place to call home. 

Here are a few of the top reasons to love living in Michigan.

The Educational Opportunities

With numerous well-performing public school districts and more than 90 colleges and universities, Michigan has abundant educational opportunities. When considering higher education, Michiganders have opportunities available within our state to meet a variety of needs, interests, and preferences.

Notably, two of those universities are consistently ranked within the top 30 public universities in the United States according to US News and World Report (University of Michigan and Michigan State University are number three and number 28, respectively). And who can talk about universities without mentioning that Michigan is home to not one, but two, Big Ten football teams, making for fun football Saturdays and even more fun rivalry teasing!

The Four Seasons

Don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change, as the joke goes. Some days that proves to be true! But its four distinct seasons are part of what makes our state a wonderful place to live.

The seasons show us the cyclical nature of life and remind us that change is constant. They provide beautiful backdrops for different activities and traditions like swimming in the summer, visiting cider mills in the fall, and skiing in the winter. The fact that things don’t remain the same year-round make it that much sweeter when each season comes around again.

The Great Lakes

Michigan is fondly called “The Great Lakes State” because it is bordered by four of the five Great Lakes including Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Superior. What’s more, Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes and more freshwater shoreline than any state in the nation.

Most residents appreciate being so close to these beautiful bodies of water, whether they love them for the water sports, fishing, or boating. Nothing can beat a beautiful summer day spent on a lake or the joy of finally finding a Petoskey stone along the coast of Lake Michigan! 

Michigan’s natural beauty extends beyond the lakes as well. Its many parks, nature preserves, and gardens make the Great Lakes State an amazing place to camp, hike, and generally explore the outdoors. Visiting one of those parks or nature centers would be a great way to celebrate today.

The History + Culture

Michigan’s rich history and cultural diversity are an important part of what makes it exceptional. For starters, we have a knack for producing famous musicians, from Motown greats like Aretha Franklin and The Supremes to modern ones like Madonna and Eminem. Michigan was also home to president Gerald R. Ford, the 38th president of the United States, as well as the innovator and creator of the Model T car, Henry Ford. The history of the automobile industry is inexplicably tied to our state, and gave Detroit its nickname: “The Motor City.”

Exploring this history with my children by visiting places like the Motown Museum, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, and Greenfield Village make me proud to count myself among those who have called Michigan home.

It’s also important for me to teach my children to appreciate diversity. And Michigan (especially the Metro Detroit area) provides abundant opportunities to do so. Whether it’s by eating at a black-owned restaurant in Detroit, touring Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland, visiting the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, or attending the Annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, there are a wide variety of ways to experience different cultures in Michigan. 

The Vacation Destinations

Michigan is the only state to encompass two peninsulas, and both are full to the brim with stunning vacation destinations. Michigan is home to Isle Royale National Park, the bustling downtowns of Detroit and Grand Rapids, both the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, an entire island without cars called Mackinac Island, and numerous picturesque “Up North” towns such as Traverse City, Saugatuck, Petoskey, and Charlevoix, to name a few.

No matter what type of vacation you desire, you can likely find it here. Looking for a beach trip, casino night, off-the-grid camping, wine-tasting tour, or visiting museums in a big city? Michigan has it all! For tips on a variety of Pure Michigan vacation destinations, check out Detroit Mom’s Travel Series.

And, Lastly: The Quirks

We call it pop. We like our pizza square and our ice cream superman flavored. We play Euchre by the real rules. Our roads require you to turn right in order to head left. We prescribe Vernors for an upset stomach. We buy our cars from The Big Three. And most importantly, we show where we live by using our hand as a map. Michigan has its own character. As a lifelong resident of the state, these quirks are some of the things I love most about living here.

With all this, Michigan sure is worth celebrating! Whether you’re a life-long Michigander, are a new resident of the Great Lakes State, or are just here for a visit, Detroit Mom hopes you celebrate all that makes Michigan wonderful today and every day.

For more of what makes Michigan amazing, check out our list of where to go for a Michigan day trip and our favorite Michigan-made items!


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