The State of Michigan is divided into two large sections: the familiar, mitten-shaped "lower peninsula" and the more remote and less visited "upper peninsula." Since 1957, the two have been joined by the Mackinac Bridge, the ninth longest span in the world (and the third longest in the U.S.). The bridge allows drivers to easily cross the Straits of Mackinac (where the Great Lake's Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet) from Mackinaw City on the lower peninsula to St. Ignace on the upper peninsula.

Mackinaw City (some places are spelled "Mackinaw" and others "Mackinac") is a popular tourist destination during the summer (I think it has more fudge shops per-capita than any other place I've been). From Mackinaw City visitors can take a ferry across to nearby Mackinac Island, a popular resort area where even today cars are not permitted.

While Michigan's lower peninsula became heavily industrialized (and home to the U.S. automobile industry), the upper peninsula has remained largely a thickly-forested wilderness area, where the main businesses are recreational tourism, timber and mining.

A 2003 drive up the eastern coast of Michigan offered views of Lake Huron, Mackinaw City and a chance to drive over the Mackinac Bridge to the upper peninsula.