Posted by: Kath Usitalo | August 18, 2011

Sleeping Bear Is Most Beautiful

A view of the Sleeping Bear Dunes from the Empire Bluff Trail

It’s official: Sleeping Bear Dunes is “The Most Beautiful Place in America.”

Because we’re busy with Paige’s college preparations, I’m just going to pick up the announcement and photo released by Mike Norton at the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Viewers of ABC’s “Good Morning America” have voted Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore the “Most Beautiful Place in America,” edging out such better-known spots as the Grand Tetons, Sedona, Newport, Cape Cod, Aspen, Ashville and Hawaii’s Lanikai Beach.

The honor was announced on the air this morning by “Good Morning America” hosts, who called Sleeping Bear “one of the nation’s best-kept secrets” and said they were amazed at its beauty. That came as no surprise to Brad Van Dommelen, president of the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, who hears similar comments almost every day.

“When people discover our area, their prior perceptions of Michigan are shattered,” he said. “The natural beauty of our area is breathtaking.  When you add to that the quaint character and charm of our towns and villages, our amazing culinary product, and our four-seasons of recreation – people fall in love with us and become repeat visitors.  It’s an easy sell.”

Located 20 minutes east of the park in a glacier-carved landscape of deep clear bays and rolling hills, Traverse City is the gateway city to Sleeping Bear and a significant recreational, culinary and cultural destination in its own right. The Traverse City area is known for its splendid restaurants, fascinating shops and galleries, fine lodging, championship golf, miles of beaches, and a vibrant arts & music scene.

Viewers were able to cast online votes for 10 locations selected by the program’s producers from hundreds of nominations. Sleeping Bear Dunes, the only Midwestern location to make the list, was nominated by Grand Rapids resident Jim Madole, who said he went there often to “sit in awe and wonder at the perfection of Mother Nature.”

Visitor Info Clicks:

Traverse City

Pure Michigan

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