Ludington State Park

(Pure) Michigan

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

For the long Thanksgiving weekend, Randi and I took a roadtrip around Michigan – conveniently upping my total of states visited by one. (A double bump, technically, if you counted the brief drive through Indiana… but that would be cheating.) So here is a story of five very different Michigan towns.

1. Paw Paw
Population: 3534
Most notable feature: Adorable name
Ideal movie setting for: Plucky small town beating the odds

Snowy Paw Paw

Snowy Paw Paw

2. Saginaw
Population: 51,508
Most notable feature: Town square podium
Ideal movie setting for: Local political thriller

Courting the centre-ground

Courting the centre-ground

3. Frankenmuth
Population: 4944
Most notable feature: World’s largest Christmas store
Ideal movie setting for: Winter family film featuring Santa, elves and the baby Jesus

It's not really possible to capture how much Christmas there was. Plus Jesus. And the US military.

It’s not really possible to capture how much Christmas there was. Plus Jesus. And the US military.

4. Ludington
Population: 8076
Most notable feature: Beautiful sand dunes by the lake in the State Park
Ideal movie setting for: Voyage to the Desert Planet

Charging across the dunes

Charging across the dunes

5. Muskegon
Population: 38,401 (allegedly)
Most notable feature: Spooky emptiness
Ideal movie setting for: Zombie apocalypse

These are not real shops. They are fake store fronts.

These are not real shops. They are fake store fronts.

In all seriousness, it was a really lovely weekend, fuelled by a great in-car Spotify playlist, a sure touch at stumbling across wonderful B&Bs without any prior arrangement, and friendly people all round. (Also, I lost track of the number of times we met Father Christmas.) The adverts on the side of the buses in Chicago don’t lie: Michigan is a beautiful state, at least in parts, and it was well worth a visit.

Simon T Abernethy liked this post

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