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Visitor Information

Contact Travel Michigan, 300 N. Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48913 (tel. 888/78-GREAT; www.michigan.org), to request a state map, to sign up for the Michigan eNewsletter, or to obtain a copy of the most recent Michigan Travel Ideas book, which is more of a fun read than most state travel guides tend to be.

There are 13 visitor centers in the state, which are staffed during business hours (hours differ at each spot, but you can check the Travel Michigan website for specifics), and the New Buffalo and Coldwater centers now offer WiFi access. Also, if the kids need to stretch their legs and blow off a little steam after too much time in the car, new playgrounds are open at the New Buffalo and Monroe visitor centers.

Getting There

By Plane -- Detroit Metro Airport (tel. 734/AIRPORT; www.metroairport.com), the largest in the state, recently underwent a $2 billion spiff-up, including the addition of a sixth runway, a new terminal and parking garage, and a luxury Westin Hotel. To the west in Grand Rapids is the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (tel. 616/233-6000; www.grr.org). There's also the Bishop International Airport in Flint (tel. 810/235-6560; www.bishopairport.org), the Lansing Capital City Airport (tel. 800/748-0406; www.flylansing.com), the Muskegon County Airport (tel. 231/798-4596; www.muskegonairport.com), the MBS International Airport in the Midland/Bay City/Saginaw area (tel. 989/695-5555; www.mbsairport.org), and to the north, the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City (tel. 231/947-2250; www.tvcairport.com).

By Train -- Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) has three lines that make various stops in Michigan. The Pere Marquette line has daily service between Grand Rapids, MI and Chicago, with Michigan stops in Holland, Bangor, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, and New Buffalo. The Wolverine line offers daily service between Detroit and Chicago, with Michigan stops in Pontiac, Birmingham, Royal Oak, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Albion, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Niles. The Blue Water line runs between Port Huron, MI and Chicago, with Michigan stops in Lapeer, Flint, Durand, East Lansing, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Dowagiac, and Niles.

By Car -- I-75 starts winding its way from Sault St. Marie (one of Michigan's first established cities) on the edge of Ontario, Canada, all the way down, jutting to the east and winding through Detroit, until it exits into Ohio. Right at the point where I-75 juts to the east, Route 127 picks up the straight line down the middle of the state, continuing south into Ohio, just north of the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/90). Pick up I-69 at Port Huron, which will take you southwest, on into Indiana. I-69 also intersects with I-96, which runs east from Holland to Detroit, and I-94, which also runs east to west, ending in Detroit and passing through Battle Creek and Ann Arbor.

Special Events

The oldest festival in Michigan (100 years and still going) may well be the prettiest one, too. The Blossomtime Festival (tel. 269/926-7397; www.blossomtimefestival.org) is staged for 1 week every spring, and it celebrates the springtime tree blooms as well as the start of the growing season with one of the largest fruit markets in the country, the big Grand Floral parade, a Miss Blossomtime Pageant, and a 5K run. The annual River Raisin Jazz Festival (tel. 800/252-3011) entered its fifth year in 2006, attracting over 30,000 music lovers for 2 days of big-name jazz greats and regional talent in historic downtown Monroe. Depending on whether you're a beach or snow bunny, the adorable town of Holland (named for its original Dutch settlers), with its canals reminiscent of Amsterdam and stately windmills, has its annual Tulip Time Festival (tel. 800/822-2770) in May, and its 2-week Dutch Winterfest (tel. 800/506-1299) in November, which ushers in the holidays with a stunning light parade (and lots of opportunities for holiday shopping).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.