Fun Things About Visiting The American Great Lakes Region

Sleeping Bear Dunes

The American Great Lakes region is hard to define exactly, or confine to any one small area. Basically though we’re talking about a stretch from the northeast to the midwest, and specifically from new York to Minnesota. All in all the Great lakes touch eight American states, and there’s a lot to be enjoyed about visiting this general region. Read on for some of the particular highlights.

Wonderful Beaches

One of the strangest things about the Great Lakes is that they’re widely known as some of the world’s largest freshwater bodies, and yet very few people seem to equate them with beaches. It seem simple to say, but when you’re dealing with lakes of this magnitude – to be clear, you absolutely cannot see the opposite bank from most places – there are beaches! And as a matter of fact, there are some pretty extraordinary ones. Granted, much of the year is cold in this part of the U.S. But in warm weather places like Michigan’s Oval Beach, Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park, and most of all the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, also in Michigan make for absolutely gorgeous vacations.

University of WisconsinSports Towns

The Great Lakes region happens to be a hot spot for sports activity in a way, when you consider some passionate sports towns dotted around the area. From a college town standpoint, Madison, Wisconsin, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a few others are somewhat legendary, particularly during football season. And on the professional front, both Chicago and Detroit cherish their franchises to an incredible degree. Throw in the fact that the U.S. Great Lakes states, with the exception of Wisconsin, are among those working on laws to legalize sports betting, and the region is only going to get better as a sports hot spot. It’s just a lot of fun to dive into this kind of atmosphere if you enjoy sports at all.

DetroitAuthentic Culture

It’s somewhat vague to say that an area this large has authentic culture, and yet there’s something to it. The aforementioned college towns are oozing with charm developed over decades. Little vacation towns near the bets beaches have every bit as much quaint appeal as more famous beach destinations in, say, New England or the Southeast. And the big cities – Chicago, which we’ll get to below, and Detroit, which is in the midst of a prolonged cultural revival all make this a fascinating place to simply explore and get to know.

Diving great lakesBoating & Diving

It almost goes without saying that there are awesome boating opportunities out on the Great Lakes, and in fact they can be a particularly nice place to learn to sail given relatively calm water. What isn’t quite as expected is that the Great Lakes offer what some estimate to be some of the best shipwreck diving in the world. The simple fact of the matter is that the Great Lakes have had boating activity dating back 400 years, and there are wrecks from the 1700s – many of them – that can still be explored. Yes the water can be somewhat cold but a quality wetsuit offsets this little issue, and makes the lakes incredible for a scuba experience.


Illinois Chicago Lake Michigan Water Skyscraper

The City Of Chicago

We’ve discussed the cities and towns of the region already, but Chicago deserves its own category because it is to Lake Michigan what New York is to the Atlantic. It’s a massive, wonderful city perched right at the edge of the lake, and plenty of people who spend time there ultimately count it among the best American cities. There’s excellent food, a surprisingly communal atmosphere, great sports, great views, and even celebrated architecture. There’s just a lot to love about the city, and ultimately if you’re looking for a prolonged exploration of the Great Lakes area it’s a nice base from which to explore.


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