Michigan’s 177th Birthday: 177 things to love about the Mitten State

“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

Looking as beautiful as ever, our great mitten-shaped state is turning 177 this year. As the tenth largest state in the union, there are plenty of ways to show your love for Michigan this year. In fact, the Awesome Mitten goes as far as showing you how to throw your own Michigan-themed birthday party!

Here are 177 things, in no particular order, that are pure Michigan to make you love the Mitten state even more.

The Great Beer State

6th largest home in the United States: Meadow Brook Hall

World’s Largest Haunted House

World’s Largest Wooden Dome

Motor City Brew Tour

Michigan Farmers Markets

North American International Auto Show

Detroit Institute of Art

The Detroit Zoo (United States’ first cageless zoo)

World’s Largest Freshwater Boardwalk: St. Clair

World’s Longest Porch: Mackinac Island Grand Hotel

4 National Parks: Sleeping Bear, Pictured Rocks, Isle Royale, and River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Ambassador Bridge

Beer City, USA


World’s Largest Christmas Store

World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan

World’s Largest Musical Fountain

Over 4,000 miles of snowmobile trails

26th state in the United States

5th largest maple syrup producer (Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival)

Belle Isle, five miles of Detroit River shoreline

Mackinac Bridge

Great Lakes Pub Cruiser

Traverse City Ale Trail

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

Petoskey Stones

Two seasons: Winter and Construction

Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Wings, Oh my.

Copper Mine Tour in the U.P.

Mackinac Island

John Ball Zoo

Copper Harbor, Upper Peninsula: Farthest U.S. city from an interstate highway (251 miles)

Binder Park Zoo

51 Different Ski Areas

Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City

Michigan is home to both Paradise and Hell (cities)

Pictured Rocks

150 Lighthouses: You can even stay in one as a Bed and Breakfast!

Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria

Michigan’s 197 Waterfalls, in the Upper Peninsula

3,228 Miles of Shoreline, second longest shoreline of any state

4th Largest Grape Growing State


Built In Map on Our Right Hand

UofM and MSU Rivalry


Mitten Crate: monthly Michigan-made food subscription

Michigan Trails



Greenfield Village

Henry Ford Museum

Michigan’s Adventure

The Detroit People Mover

Potter Park Zoo

More lakes than Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 Lakes:” 11,037

Largest State Park and Forest System: 78 state parks and 6 state forests

Michigan’s abundant fruit crop: Leading grower of fruit in the United States

Tulip Time Festival

The Great Lakes Circle Tour

Forestland covers 52 percent of Michigan

Better Made Potato Chips

State Capitol Building


Wolverine State (But there are no longer any wolverines in the state)

Lake Michigan is the fifth largest lake in the world

World’s largest limestone quarry: Rogers City

Jackson: birthplace of the Republican Party

Northern lights

Only State to touch 4 out of 5 Great Lakes

6 International Crossings with Canada

Only floating Post Office in the World

Anywhere in the state you are within 85 miles of the Great Lakes

Gilmore Car Museum

Largest Dutch population in the United States

Dearborn: Middle Eastern Capital of the Country


Soo Locks

Motown Museum

The Big House

Historic Depot Town, Ypsilanti




Herman Miller

America’s Furniture City: Grand Rapids

Coney Dogs

Porcupine Mountains: Part of Oldest Mountain Chain in the World

Stormy Kromer

Detroit’s Eastern Market

Frank Lloyd Wright Houses

The Fisher Building

Snow Biking

Vernors: First Soda in the United States

Michigan Lefts

Downtown Market Grand Rapids

Tahquamenon Falls

Traverse City State Hospital




Two Peninsulas

The Two Hearted River

2nd in the nation for diverse agriculture

Air Zoo

Learning to play Euchre

Fall Color Tours

First people in the nation to receive assigned phone numbers: Detroit

First state police radio system in the world

Largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere: Frederick Meijer Gardens

Apple Orchards, Kent County is largest producer in the state

Golfing: 1,047 courses in Michigan

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Most popular official state tourism website in the United States, 7 years in a row

Battle Creek is the Cereal Capital of the World: Kellogg’s headquarters

38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford: from Grand Rapids

The Big Three: Center of the U.S. Automotive Industry (Ford, GM, Chrysler)

Traverse City Tall Ships

Most state registered boats

Edmund Fitzgerald

Ford Rouge Factory

Butterfly House on Mackinac Island

Fifth Third River Bank Run is America’s largest 25K road race

Grand Rapids was the first city in the United State to add fluoride to the water

Largest man made ski slide: Iron Mountain

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge: World’s Oldest Jazz Club

The Heidelberg Project

More timberland than 40 other states, including Alaska

45th Parallel in Grand Traverse Bay: halfway between equator and North Pole

Michigan’s Constitution was first in the country to provide for establishing public libraries

World’s Largest Tire

The name Michigan comes from Michi-gama, meaning large lake

Montague: World’s largest working weathervane

Woodward Ave was the first US Street to be paved with concrete

Michigan is the only state you can look south to Canada

Alpena is home to world’s largest cement plant

Elsie is home to the world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd

Four flags have flown over Michigan: French, English, Spanish, and United States

Michigan leads in sale of hunting/fishing licenses

Madonna, Kid Rock, Tim Allen, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, Eminem, Henry Ford, and more

Packard Motor Company in Detroit manufactured first air-conditioned car

First university established by any state: University of Michigan

Isle Royale Park has United States’ largest remaining moose herd

Tunnel under the Detroit River was world’s first car tunnel to connect two countries

High Five Threads

Cherry Republic

Woodward Dream Cruise

The Homestead

Marquette is home to the world’s largest piece of float copper

Paul Bunyan Day: August 10 (to honor the first printed copy of Paul Bunyan’s story in Oscoda County)

The Mighty Mitten

Michigan Awesome

The Awesome Mitten

Native Americans first settled in what is now known as Michigan

One is never more than 6 miles from an inland lake

Campus Martius Park

83 different counties

Michigame Heritage Trail

Live Downtown Games

5th in United States for number of breweries


11th largest state in the United States

Grand Marais


Les Cheneaux Islands’ Antique Wooden Boat Show


Detroit International Jazz Fest

The Guardian Building

Gerald R. Ford Museum

Michigan Tech is snowiest university in the country

3rd leading grower of Christmas trees

Michigan has 38 deep-water ports

Michigan Underwater Preserves

World’s Largest Salt Plant, Morton Salt: Manistee

Michigan International Speedway

Happy Birthday, Michigan! You sure get better with age.

What is your favorite thing about the state of Michigan? Share your favorite facts with #MIturns177!


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Read 12 Comments

  1. The link for Tahquamenon Falls is wrong.

    But I love this list. There are definitely some new stops being planned for our summer vacation.

    1. Billie,

      The link should be fixed now. And thank you! Glad you found some new ways to enjoy Michigan!

      Kristin Coppens

  2. You omitted Keweenaw National Historic Park as the fifth National Park.

    Also, Vernor’s was the first pop. In Michigan, we had it first; we call it pop; it is pop! Soda is something you back with, or has ice cream in it.

  3. What about Leader Dog for the Blind in Rochester Hills? It started in 1939 and has grown to be a worldwide service for the blind. Gotta love that! Love your list too!

  4. I love your list so much that I wanted to send it to my home email and it wouldn’t take. Want to take my time to look over the items so I can figure out drive trips.

  5. You mention Sleeping Bear Dunes twice and that we have 83 counties, but no mention of Frankenmuth? Sure, you have the world’s largest Christmas store on the list, but the town is actually separate from that…maybe I missed something :-\

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