Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is Most Beautiful Place in America
What was once a heap of glaciers that melted over centuries to reveal 64 miles of blue beaches surrounded by colossal sand dunes, now draws visitors with its picturesque landscape and small town charm. The 26 inland lakes and two islands at Sleeping Bear are the cherry on top (and speaking of cherries, the area boasts the title of largest cherry growing region in the world).
GMA's search, which began in June, called for their viewers to nominate the most beautiful places online. Also in the running were Cape Cod; Aspen; Lanikai Beach, Hawaii; Newport, R.I.; Point Reyes, Calif.; Sedona, Ariz.; Destin, Fla.; Asheville, N.C.; and Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. Tens of thousands of GMA viewers were seduced by photos and stories of Sleeping Bear's beauty and took to the polls, voting it the clear winner.
Grand Rapids, Mich., resident Jim Madole nominated Sleeping Bear. In his GMA submission, he wrote: "It is peaceful and serene, a place for gazing out into the world, night or day, and realizing that the universe is truly a magical, majestic mystery, and humans are just a very small part of it all. Here at Sleeping Bear, I sit in awe and wonder at the perfection of Mother Nature."
Even celebrity chef Mario Batali is a fan, spending his summers there to escape the New York hustle.
"I spend my entire summer here on Lake Michigan because it's beautiful, because it has farmers, because it has great food artisans," Batali tells ABC News. "It has great products. It has magnificent fresh water."
All of that fresh water provides a plethora of activities for Lakeshore visitors to choose from, including paddle-boarding, fishing, or simply taking a swim at one of the many beaches. Those who opt to stay dry can climb the colossal sand dunes or hike through the forest.
It looks like Midwesterners finally have something on East Coast and West Coast dwellers.
WATCH GMA's big reveal below: