If you're like me, you're already thinking Summer and beaches. I'm over this snow trash. Upon scouring the internet for a new place in Michigan to get away to, I came across a Forbes article from a few years back that shows a tropical paradise with, as they describe, "Crystal clear turquoise waters, white sandbars, and raucous summer parties." Then it turns out that this lake, which they describe as being similar to the Caribbean, is only 3 1/2 hours away from us, up north in the Lower Peninsula.

Torch Lake is a short drive away, located about a half hour Northeast of Traverse City. From Kalamazoo, you take 131 North, continue onto 605 North, then merge right onto US 31 N and you're all set. You can bet I'm taking a trip up there this summer. I'm not spending thousands of dollars to go to the sub tropics when THIS is just a few hours away from me. Just look at this lake:

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