Dear Crabby, What’s So Great About Michigan?

Dear Crabby,

I’m planning my summer vacation and want to visit some new places. A friend suggested I look at Michigan, but I recently heard Madonna badmouth her former home state. Is visiting Michigan worth spending my hard-earned money and vacation time?

Thanks, Wendy Wanderer

Dear Wendy Wanderer,

Yep. It’s true. Madonna probably won’t be starring in any Pure Michigan ads in the near future… or ever… but that’s her loss because Michigan is definitely worth visiting. Our state motto is in Latin, which just looks like gooblygook to me, but I’m told the translation is: ‘If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.’ And Michigan is made up of two peninsulas – lower and upper, which means you have double the reasons to come see us. In the Upper Peninsula there’s the famous Mackinac Island, a quiet place (no cars allowed) known for its great fudge. Ahhh, and you can smell it the moment you step off the ferry. Over on the west side of the state next to Lake Michigan is a little town called Saugatuck. Last year USA Today named it the ‘Best Summer Weekend Escape’ and this year it won ‘Best Coastal Small Town in America.’ Not too shabby for a place with around 1,000 people. DearCrabby

And if you’re feeling truly adventurous, you can tackle the 43-city road trip – a mere 2,098 miles – created by some smarty-pants from Michigan State University. The trip starts in Ypsilanti, heads east toward to Detroit and then goes north along the Lake Huron shoreline, with a cut west to see Mt. Pleasant, before heading north again into the Upper Peninsula. It will definitely give you a taste of what our great state has to offer. But don’t just take my word for it. Michigan is the first Midwestern state to hitch their wagon to those fancy tech people at Google Maps. They went around taking pictures of our iconic locations and now more than a billion people around the world can see how fantastic Michigan is! And you know what they say: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Not to mention that Rochester has received national attention for its thriving Main Street creativity (actor Henry Cavill was a frequent visitor while shooting Superman last year) and Money Magazine ranked Rochester Hills as the number one place to live in Michigan and number nine is the U.S.! Not too shabby for being ‘basic and provincial-thinking,’ eh?

And one more thing, actor J.K. Simmons (a former Michigander) recently threw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers Opening Day. He loves Michigan and has an Oscar; Madonna does not. Just something to think about.

Hope to see you in Michigan this summer! If you can find me I may even treat you to a coney dog and a cold Faygo pop.

Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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