Michigan's best-kept secrets being shared

Some of Michigan’s best-kept secrets are being discovered.

The lastest jewel shining in the national spotlight is Traverse City. The Cherry Capital was named to National Geographic’s list of the Best Summer Trips for 2012 — along with such well-known destinations as Baltimore, St. Petersburg (the Russian one), Pawley’s Island in South Carolina, the Spencer Glacier in Alaska, Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park and California’s Channel Islands.

That’s heady company, for sure, but I think as a destination Traverse City and that patch of Up North hold their own.

Here’s what National Geographic had to say about Traverse City: “The region’s 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline basically trace the upper left edge of Michigan’s ‘mitten’ Add another 149 inland lakes that are 10 acres or larger and you get a rambling Cape Cod-on-freshwater summer playground: quaint port villages, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, rolling orchards, family-friendly festivals (including the National Cherry Festival, July 7-14), and summer-only Traverse City Beach Bums pro baseball games (team members bunk with local families).”

That accolade comes on the heels of Travel & Leisure naming Grand Haven as one of the Best Secret Beaches on Earth, Brockway Mountain Drive in the Upper Peninsula as one of America’s Best Spring Drives, and Ann Arbor as one of the best Main Streets in America. The International Business Times also named Lake Michigan as one of the Top Destinations for Summer 2012.

And who can forget the viewers of Good Morning America last summer naming Sleep Bears Dunes National Lakeshore as the “Most Beautiful Place in America.”

You can read more about Traverse City and National Geographic’s other choices at Best Summer Trips 2012.

Greg Tasker
Greg Tasker is Detroit News Arts and Entertainment Editor and has been writing about travel for more than a decade. His travel stories have appeared in AAA Living, Frommer's Budget Travel, Scouting, AMC Outdoors, Vermont Life and Island Life.