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When we think of large bodies of fresh water, one of the more famous ones in the United States is the Great Lakes. Among them is Lake Michigan, which is the only Great Lake fully encapsulated within the United States. It got its name from the Ojibwa Indian word “Mishigami or Michi-gami” which means “Large Lake”.

Spanning about 58,000 square kilometers and having an approximate water volume of 4920 cubic kilometers, it the second largest among the Great Lakes, second only to Lake Superior (hence the name).

With large bodies of water come great recreation and business, so what are the great recreations and businesses Lake Michigan is known for?


The City of Chicago and Lake Shore Drive

The best parts of the lake are close to the shores, where people can best enjoy land and water. Chicago is the go-to spot when you traverse Lake Michigan, which hosts numerous places for indoor shopping, outdoor recreation, and family must-sees like the aquariums, indoor ice-skating rinks, holiday festivals, and of course, Lake Shore Drive.

As its name suggests, the Lake Shore Drive is a long stretch of lake shoreline along Lake Michigan. The lengthy shore, stretching approximately 25 kilometers, is filled with all sorts of places to go such as the Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, Soldier Field, Buckingham Fountain, and of course, the sandy shores of the lake.


Lake Michigan’s Frozen Pier and Lighthouse

The St. Joseph North Pier features two lighthouses that take on a majestic form when winter arrives. During winter, on times when the tide is high and the waves crash on the lighthouse’s structures, it forms a ghostly ice veil around the entire structure, creating a haunting view of sleek ice spikes as if it was a creature that sprouted from the lonely icy waters. It makes for great photography. You can go there to get up close and personal if you want, just mind your step.


The Lake Michigan Triangle

An infamous area around Lake Michigan to the liking of the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. Around the area of Manitowoc, Ludington and Benton Harbor is where the theorized triangle is. The first mystery there was during 1891 when Thomas Hume sailed across the area for Lumber. He and his seven shipmates disappeared one night in that area, never to be seen again.

Another notable mystery is the disappearance of Northwest Flight 2501 in 1950. The airline flight that carried 58 people crashed into Lake Michigan, with their last report stating severe electrical storms and high-velocity winds. The plane vanished from radar and no wreckage was found.

To this day, there are reports of strange weather phenomena and UFO sightings in this area. In 2007, researchers discovered an ancient underwater rock formation similar to Stonehenge, and many people believe it was related to the mystery of the lake.


These are only some the many attractions Lake Michigan is known for and why we love it so much. There are many more, and they change as the seasons go by. Some attractions are great and some are small, but all that matters is you make the best of it. Tell us about your favorite Lake Michigan recreation activities and businesses in the comments below or check out our Lake Michigan inspired clothes and accessories.