WASHINGTON – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was named the Most Beautiful Place in America by viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday, August 17, 2011. It beat out nine other finalists after online voters selected the park.
Located on Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park has 71,00 acres of trails, woods and huge dunes for playing around. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis describes the Park as, “something of a hidden gem in the national park system. It’s off the beaten path and perhaps not as well known as some other national parks.”
The massive dunes located in the area where the park occupies is perched on glacial ridges 450 feet above the blue waters of Lake Michigan. There are two large islands just off shore which are part of the park and offer seclusion and beauty. Local Lake Michigan and Park visitors enjoy the area and the Park’s Lake Michigan waters are clear to a depth of 30 feet.
The complete list of ten finalists, including the winning Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park are: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Grand Teton National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Asheville, North Carolina, Aspen, Colorado, Destin, Florida, Lanikai Beach, Hawaii, Newport, Rhode Island and Sedona, Arizona. Alberto Orso, who produced the segment for Good Morning America said that Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore received 22 percent of the nearly 100,000 votes cast in online voting.
Only minutes after Good Morning America’s announcement was made, the telephone lines at the Park were ringing off the hook. “I think we’ve been ‘discovered’,” park superintendent Dusty Shultz said. “We actually have more than a million visitors a year but Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore still retains the amazing qualities that make it the most beautiful place in America. I’ve been here for ten years and every day reveals a new aspect of its beauty.”
To watch The Good Morning America segment on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, please go here at at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/ gma-beautiful-places-america-point-reyes-ca-sleeping-14262721.
For more information about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or any of America’s 394
national parks, visit http://www.nps.gov . For Sleeping Bear Dunes information call 231-326-5134 or visit the park web page http://www.nps.gov/slbe/