Michigan - Abbey Travel, Ireland



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Welcome to Michigan


The northern state of Michigan consists of two peninsulas that extend into the Great Lakes, actually touching four out of five of the magnificent bodies of water that contain 80 percent of the United States' fresh water. Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas are divided by Lake Michigan and linked by one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, stretching across the Straits of Mackinac. The long freshwater shoreline, extending for 3,000 miles (4,828km), is also made up of Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. In Michigan you're never more than six miles (10km) from a river or stream, and never more than 85 miles (137km) from one of the Great Lakes. Most of the state is well forested, with the Upper Peninsula home to a variety of wildlife, and boasting trout fishing lodges and winter ski resorts. The southern part of the Lower Peninsula is mainly characterised by rural farmlands and industrialisation, but the west coast offers several popular beach resorts.

With all this water and forest, hunting and fishing are major drawcards for sportsmen to Michigan, but the other main attraction in the state is its large industrial city, Detroit, birthplace of the motor car: the city that put the world on wheels. The legendary names of the original automobile manufacturers like Ford and Chevrolet still resound loudly in Detroit, which offers numerous institutions and attractions paying homage to the car.

Despite being the spot where the development of Michigan began back in 1701, when it was founded as a trading post, Detroit is not the capital. The attractive Victorian State Capitol stands in Lansing, chosen in 1879 for its location in the centre of the Lower Peninsula, which made it less vulnerable to invasion by British forces from Canada. Back then Lansing was but a sawmill settlement, but today it is home to about 128,000 residents and vies with Detroit as a major motor manufacturing centre.

Information & Facts


The Great Lakes influence the climate by generally warming the winters and cooling the summers, creating more moderate temperatures in relation to other areas. The lakes also create more humidity and moisture throughout the year. Snowfall is heavy in winter and Lake Erie is often iced over. The north generally experiences cooler weather compared to the south, but the climate in Michigan is unpredictable and changes rapidly particularly during the spring and autumn months.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
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