I follow a LOT of Michiganders on Instagram because the Great Lakes State offers so many stunning photo opportunities that they undoubtedly prioritize capturing and sharing. My neighbor to the East of the big lake holds a special place in my heart for containing so many genuinely lovely humans and a whole community of adventure-seekers who appreciate the lake life in a distinctly Pure Michigan way. One such human is Kate Dorse, who has captured some of the most stunning lakescapes that I’ve ever seen and effortlessly has connected me back to my purpose - celebrating and sharing the magic of lake life. Often, you hear people refer to Michigan winters as dreary and cold; but I’ve learned over the past four years, they don’t have to be dreary. Our beautiful coastlines and lakes offer amazing things each season of the year. It’s what has allowed me to fall in love with every season, and this post about Lake Michigan will barely scratch the surface of what I think Michigan has to offer. I often think our lakes are still hidden gems, as I know many people don’t take full advantage of them. To me, escaping north to these places is what offers me life changing experiences that I often find myself re-dreaming of and wanting to escape to over and over again. Lake Michigan and the beauty it offers is what keeps me captivated regardless of the location along the coastline. My Lake Michigan favorites include traveling to South and North Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes by boat on a hot calm summer day. The blues of the water will make you think you are in the Caribbean, the warmth of the hot sun and the clean air is refreshing, and the limited people there makes it feel like a true escape. You don’t have to hop on a motor boat to enjoy the beautiful coastline though; paddle boarding, kayaking or even just swimming are still some of my favorite ways to enjoy the Lake Michigan blues. Don’t forget, the sand dune overlooks on a partially cloudy night tend to offer some of the best of sunsets. I find myself still thinking about my favorite sunsets that have taken place from the sand dune overlook. My first Lake Michigan sunset was from Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Many of us have seen pictures from the famous #9 spot in Sleeping Bear Dunes, and it still never gets old. Lake Michigan during the fall is also incredible. I’ve experienced some of the windiest Lake Michigan days during these seasons and I always love the breeze when walking along the shoreline. I could stay for hours at a time, and I always wish time would slow down so I can soak it all in for just a little bit longer. This past fall, I experienced gusts over 30 mph and enjoyed one of my favorite sunsets to date: after spending all day on Frankfort beach, I was the last to leave as I stayed to soak in the afterglow of the sunset. I enjoy photographing it all to freeze a moment in time. I don’t want to forget it. Lake Michigan has officially turned me into a sunset chaser. Lake Michigan in winter is pretty special too. Beaches are always free of people except for the few brave enough to explore in the cold. The ice buildups and cave formations are amazing. Unfortunately, I did not experience the 2014 ice caves, as my love for Lake Michigan was discovered that summer. I hope to be lucky enough to experience another phenomenon like that in my lifetime. If you experienced it, you were able to witness some of the astonishing things Lake Michigan is capable of. Not many places in the world can offer what this fresh coastline does, and I take full advantage of it. Life is meant to be experienced and fully embraced, and that’s why I fell in love with Lake Michigan. I learned to no longer chase the future and constantly work towards the next thing, but to enjoy life in the moment. This lake holds a special place as my favorite lake as it really has changed my perspective on what’s important in life. I feel like I have barely touched on the reasons as to why I love Lake Michigan, but it would take a lot more than a blog post to express my love for it. The lakes I have listed below are some of my other favorites in Michigan that I hope all the readers of the post deicide to go enjoy. They have offered me some of my best memories and I hope others make some too!