Lake Michigan is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
It has a surface area of 22,404 sq. miles, average depth of 279 feet, and greatest depth is 923 feet.
Learn more about the businesses surrounding this magnificent lake below.
The Lake Michigan Experience
Lake Michigan stretches for 307 miles and the towns, cities, islands and nature on its shores offer a huge range of experiences, food and drink.
The lake has a shore length of around 1,400 miles in total, with more than 200 additional miles of shore on Lake Michigan's various islands, and this means that there a lot of great beaches to be found all around the lake.
From big cities, to pristine beaches to great fishing, amazing fall colors, Lake Michigan has it all.
Click the respective businesses and resources below to view helpful listings and information covering your every need for a great Lake Michigan experience.
Lake Michigan In Depth
Lake Michigan is the largest lake by area in one country and the only Great Lake located wholly in the United States. It is shared, from west to east, by the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.
Ports along its shores include Milwaukee and the City of Green Bay in Wisconsin; Chicago in Illinois; Gary in Indiana; and Muskegon in Michigan.
Green Bay is a large bay in its northwest, and Grand Traverse Bay is in the northeast. The word "Michigan" is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami or mishigami meaning "great water".
In the late 20th century, construction of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes Waterway opened the Great Lakes to ocean-going vessels. Despite their vast size, large sections of the Great Lakes freeze in winter, interrupting most shipping. Some icebreakers ply the lakes.
Lake Michigan is connected by the Illinois Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico via the Illinois River and the Mississippi River. Commercial tug-and-barge traffic on these waterways is heavy.
Pleasure boats can enter or exit the Great Lakes by way of the Erie Canal and Hudson River in New York. The Erie Canal connects to the Great Lakes at the east end of Lake Erie (at Buffalo, New York) and at the south side of Lake Ontario (at Oswego, New York).
Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan's shores, mainly in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan area. The southern tip of the lake near Gary, Indiana, is heavily industrialized.
Sports fishing includes salmon, whitefish, smelt, lake trout and walleye as major catches. In the late 1960s, successful stocking programs for Pacific salmon led to the development of Lake Michigan's charter fishing industry.
- The largest verified lake sturgeon on record was caught in Lake Michigan. It weighed 300 lbs. and was eight feet long.
Lake Michigan is so much fun with so many things to do. From dining in Chicago to surfing in Sheboygan and exploring the Indiana Dunes, Lake Michigan has something for everyone.