8 Things International Students Should Know About Vacation Living and Traveling in Michigan

Michigan is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. It is a place you will remember for a long time. Unsurprisingly, it has everything your soul desires. Do you like cars and the things that go with them? Or maybe you prefer fishing and hunting? What about kayaking, canoeing, campfire nights and hiking? Or do you like beautiful landscapes and views? Then this location is for you. From the most seasoned traveler to the first-time visitor, Michigan is a paradise for everyone. The place has become increasingly popular as a family vacation destination. This article discusses Michigan activities, attractions, and famous places to visit in Michigan along with things international students should know.

You know you’re in Michigan when…

Michigan has a unique geographic location as the state was formed by the merger of two peninsulas: the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula looks like a mitt, so Michiganians use their hand like a card. So, for example, if you ask a resident “And where is the town of Bad Axe?” You will get a thumbs up!

There are five major metropolitan areas in the state. The largest cities are Southeast Michigan and Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Marquette, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor.

Another exciting thing about Michigan is called “the Great Lakes State.” This name comes from the fact that it is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. It also has over 12,000 inland lakes. There are also 1,300 public boating access sites and more than 80 harbors and marinas throughout Michigan. The natural waters here cannot be found in any other state in America. This is what makes it so unique and world famous.

Getting around the state

Public transportation in Michigan is poor, but available. The largest network of bus routes in the United States, Greyhound, is the state’s de facto transportation system. Amtrak provides rail service primarily in southern Michigan. But don’t expect it to take you anywhere in the state. The best option for tourists is to rent a car.

To rent a car and drive it freely, you need an international driving license and your ID. And then, of course, you need money on your bank card. A week’s rent can cost up to $300. Yes, it may not be affordable for a single student, but get your friends together and share the cost.

Entertainment and outdoor activities

Michigan has a well-developed entertainment industry. Sailing and motorboat excursions are very popular here. The Great Lakes are mainly chosen for this. Fishing and canoeing are also very popular. There are plenty of meandering rivers in Michigan for this purpose. And some enthusiasts even manage to surf the great lakes.

When winter arrives, skiing, snowboarding, and relaxing at the state’s ski resorts become the main attractions. Additionally, many enjoy visiting the Detroit metro area for the local theater, opera, cinema, and casinos. There is a lot for a student to do, as long as you have time to do it, because if you have a lot of unfinished academic homework, you won’t be able to relax as much as possible. We therefore advise you to settle all your student debts or contact a writing service for assistance.

Smartphone Connectivity and Public Safety

You can find cell phone service from US and European carriers almost anywhere in Michigan. Mobile carriers in other countries also do not provide state coverage and their services can be quite expensive.

That’s why it’s best to get the card from a local service provider as soon as you arrive in Michigan. Internet access is free in almost all hotels.

The level of security in Michigan is not the highest. After all, Detroit is the biggest city used to top the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States. However, it is no longer at the top of the list and the crime rate is not as high, but you should always be on the lookout for safety and security in the city.

Nature and climatic conditions

Lake of Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains of UP – Photo by Dave Hoefler

As already mentioned, Michigan is located on two peninsulas, which are separated from each other by the Strait of Mackinac. The Upper Peninsula (aka UP) is quite large. The eastern edge of the Upper Peninsula is covered with lowland forests and swampy areas.

On the west side of UP, the terrain is hilly. The biggest surprise for travelers, and not just tourists, is one of the largest lakes, called Lake Gogebic. To the north, nestled in the Porcupine Mountains, is the famous Cloud Lake. Everything around it is covered with dense forests. The scenery here is simply mesmerizing.

It should be mentioned that the fauna and flora are quite rich here. The animal world is very diverse. The forests are home to moose, deer, coyotes, bears, foxes, squirrels, river otters, raccoons, snakes, various kinds of turtles, bald eagles, and many other animals. The rivers and lakes of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are rich in fish of all kinds, including pike, perch, lake trout, salmon, and other species.

The lower peninsula differs slightly from the upper peninsula mainly in shape. Almost the entire peninsula is covered with plains. Small hills can only be seen in certain places.

The summer climate is humid and continental. There are the usual four seasons: a hot summer, a cold winter, a brisk spring and a very beautiful and colorful autumn. The southern and central parts of the state are the hottest here.

Another important information for tourists is that blizzards and long snowfalls are very common in winter in Michigan. There’s even a word for it here, “lake effect snow.” An interesting aspect of Michigan’s weather is that since the Great Lakes surround it, there are never extreme fluctuations in temperature. Winters are generally mild with temperatures rarely dropping below -18°C and summers are pleasant with only a few days above 32°C.

It should also be mentioned that frequent thunderstorms with strong winds, hail and tornadoes, which can appear about 20 times a year, are also common. This is mainly concentrated in the southern part of Michigan. Therefore, check the weather forecast before going on vacation.


When it comes to accommodation, you have the choice between many hotels, motels and campsites. It all depends on the importance you place on the equipment and the comfort you are looking for. If you don’t place much importance on accommodation, you can check out budget hotels and campsites. They cost as little as $50 a night.


  • A major auto show is held every year in Detroit, Michigan. A large number of rare and original cars take part in the competition. car enthusiasts can visit the Henry Ford Museum, tour the Ford Rouge Assembly Plant in Dearborn, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, the Eleanor Ford Estate, and the Dodge Brothers Museum.
  • The living museum called Greenfield Village attracts many tourists with its historical buildings. for example, you can visit the courthouse itself, where Abraham Lincoln worked.
  • The city of Holland hosts an amazing and unique tulip festival.
  • Take a day trip to Detroit’s historic buildings and sample local cuisine like the Coney Island HotDog. You can also head to the massive historic Wright Museum.
  • Mackinac Island is another nice place to visit in Michigan. There are no cars on the island and you must get there by ferry across the Strait of Mackinac. Try some of the island’s famous fudge. Yum!
  • Do you love sports and have always dreamed of being in the large stands with a large number of fans? Then your dream will come true. After all, here you can buy tickets for the games of professional and famous teams in hockey, basketball, American football and baseball, the favorite game of Americans. Standing seats are only $25. And to relax and enjoy the game in a seat, you have to pay between $50 and $150.

Local Cuisine and Foods

Michigan cuisine is very tasty but also very high in calories. Most of the dishes here are steaks, salads, all kinds of fast food and other typical American food. But the most popular regional dish here is the Upper Penninsula Pasty, which is made with vegetables, potatoes, carrot meat and wrapped in a flaky crust. Similar to Samosa, the taste will pleasantly surprise you.

Whitefish Chowder Soup is another masterpiece of culinary art. Once you try it, you’ll want to taste it again and again. After all, it’s a wonderful combination of vegetables, a mild milk and whitefish broth. Also be sure to order the cherry pie for dessert.

Final Thoughts on International Students Should Know About Living and Vacation Travel in Michigan

We recommend that you visit this amazing state when traveling through the United States of America. Michigan has something to surprise you with and will leave you with pleasant memories.

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