Michigan travel website offers best-kept secret destinations, kayaking trip giveaway

My Michigan Beach, the state’s biggest independent travel information website, is partnering with Clear Water Kayaks this month to give away a three-hour, six-person Torch Lake kayaking trip with lunch at Short’s Brewing Co.

“Summer in Michigan is the best place to be and one of the prettiest spots is Torch Lake,” said Jill Halpin, founder and chief beach officer of My Michigan Beach. “Gliding over the crystal blue water of Torch Lake in a clear kayak with friends is the perfect way to spend a summer day.”

Clear Water Kayaks provides customized tours and is the only see-through kayak outfitter delivering to all Traverse City lakes: Torch Lake, Elk Lake and Lake Leelanau.

Interest in outdoor activities like kayaking has exploded over the past two years, and people are discovering the joys of exploring Michigan’s many lakes, Halpin said.

The “Torch Lake Lunch and Bunch Sweepstakes” asks participants to share their favorite Michigan lakes for a chance to win. My Michigan Beach will compile the responses and share them online.

“We love sharing best-kept secrets, we like to inspire people to travel in Michigan, sharing information about everything that’s so beautiful in our state and things to do,” Halpin said.

The Plymouth-based website has a mission to provide information on Michigan’s best-kept-secret travel destinations, travel inspiration and everything Michigan travel.

After only three years running, the site has grown to 200,000 monthly viewers.

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“I grew up spending all my summers on Michigan beaches, swimming and sailing and splashing on the shores and I think I took it for granted how beautiful it was,” Halpin said. “It’s a lot of fun, I’m gonna say this is the best job I ever had.”

Toward the end of 2019, Halpin started the website to share the wonders of Michigan with the world, especially after many out-of-state friends said how gorgeous her pictures were.

“I have a background as a librarian and a journalist, so I took some classes in coding and got really into web design and information architecture and use experience and put this website together and it absolutely blew up, it was amazing,” Halpin said.

he site’s michigan-beach-map/” data-ylk=”slk:interactive beach and travel maps” class=”link “>interactive beach and travel maps set My Michigan Beach apart, she said.

“We try and really pay attention to giving a user everything they need to know and also making it easier for them to find the information they want quickly and efficiently,” Halpin said.

Halpin includes dog-friendly spots and accessibility on the website whenever possible. The website has a team of writers and interns that update information multiple times a day.

“We have everything from how to explore the ice caves in the Upper Peninsula to best beaches in metro Detroit,” Halpin said. “There’s just so much to explore in Michigan and it’s so much fun to share it with everyone.”

Often, My Michigan Beach partners with Michigan resorts, wineries and other local businesses for travel giveaways to promote Michigan travel and tourism.

The kayaking trip contest is open to U.S. citizens age 21 or over.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: My Michigan Beach website giveaway: Free Torch Lake kayaking trip

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