As a Michigander, there are plenty of rivalries and sides to pick especially in sports, food, drinks, and even in locations. While there will never be a true winner in any of these categories, we want to share some things we love about the west side of this great state.

For starters, majority of Michigan’s wine grapes grow within 25 miles of Lake Michigan, supplying production for the 121 commercial wineries in the state. Let’s not forget about the beer scene either, which is now budding in SE Michigan, but the west side has given Michigan some critical acclaim.

Not a drinker? Not a problem. The left coast is great for tapping into your inner nature-seeker. Take a family-friendly trip to one of the many campgrounds and RV parks for ample camping opportunities. Popular places to set up shop include Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City, Ludington, and Petoskey; but make sure you book well in advance because spots fill up fast.

The west side has plenty of opportunities for fun and exploration, so to make it a little less daunting, we’ve broken it down by region to make your trip planning easier.

Northwest Region:

West Central Region:

  • Our state’s capital: Mostly known for being the home of our state’s government, Lansing is the place to learn Michigan’s history and enjoy big city convenience with small town charm.
  • College towns: Three public universities reside on the west side including Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and Ferris State University
  • Grand Rapids: Also referred to as Beer City, USA, Grand Rapids really put Michigan on the map as far as breweries go. Explore the craft beer scene, take in a Grand Rapids Griffins game, or learn the vast history behind the furniture factories.

Southwest Region:

  • Beach towns: St. Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck, and more make up a large part of the 200-mile lakeshore with exhilarating views, crisp-cool winds, and warm, sandy beaches.
  • Kalamazoo: Yes, it’s a real place and is home to many craft breweries, an artisan food scene, and a buzzing arts & culture environment. It’s also home of the Western Michigan University Broncos, the 2016 MAC Football Champions!

Whether you’re looking to lounge around on the beach, break a sweat along the forest trails, or enjoy some of Michigan’s finest food and drinks, the west side of the state is a great place to be. The U.P. is just as divine

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