TikTok’s ‘Wandering Michigander’ recommends visiting these 5 winter spots

Two-and-a-half years into building her brand as a travel influencer, Taylor Dustin still finds it difficult to believe how little people living outside of Michigan know about all the state has to offer.

Taylor Dustin, of Grand Rapids, pictured at Boyne Mountain, shares Michigan's travel hot spots and lesser-known gems through her TikTok account "The Wandering Michigander." "I’ve always had something inside me that wanted to explore," she said.

“Michigan is not a drive-through state,” said Dustin, 25. “You have to actually be going to Michigan to explore, unlike a lot of other states that you drive through to get to another one. It’s surrounded by water and nobody from other states understands how big the Great Lakes are. When they think ‘lake’ they think, ‘Oh, you can see across it.'”

On social media, Dustin, a Grand Rapids resident and self-described “explorer,” makes videos that seek to dispel those misconceptions. She created her TikTok account, “The Wandering Michigander,” in the spring of 2020 and started traveling the state. Her video posts showcasing Michigan’s hot spots and hidden gems have drawn more than 181,000 followers so far, and the endeavor recently became her full-time job.

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