For those of you who have never had the pleasure of visiting the great state of Michigan, chances are you think the northern territory is a year-round winter wonderland, not a tropical paradise. But, believe it or not, there is actually a HUGE lake at the tippy-toppy of the state that looks like it belongs on a Jamaican postcard.

In fact, it’s such a dupe for the Islands that you could easily fool your Instagram followers into thinking you’re really vacationing on Saint-Tropez, when you’re really Stateside–and landlocked to boot!

See what we mean?

The lake is called Torch Lake and it is located north of Traverse City on Michigan’s famed Upper Penninsula. It’s a massive lake, spanning roughly 29.33 square miles, with an incredible 19-mile length. As a matter of fact, Torch Lake is Michigan’s longest inland lake, a pretty incredible feat considering the region is known for its vast water features.

How Torch Lake gets its incredible color

What’s even more incredible than its size is the fact that its crystal-clear waters look like they belong in a tropical part of the world, not Michigan. As it turns out, the good people of Michigan haven’t been “punking” us by adding the wrong location to their Instagram posts, the lake really does boast shocks of blue and green that are so vivid, you would think there is a filter on them.

According to the Torch Conservation Center, the unique hues occur because of the lake’s varying depths and plants growing within its waters.

The Conservation Center breaks down the colors into three unique categories: indigo, turquoise, and aqua. Shades of the indigo hue are most often found in the drop-off point towards the lake’s center, where the depths get down to around 350 feet. Because red and green light is absorbed in the deepest areas, only a dark, indigo is noticeable at the surface level. Pretty!

In terms of turquoise, the Center says that, once you look closer to the shore, the naked eye is most attracted to particles in the water that reflect, piercing, light-blue shades. This is why the bright, bright, light-blue is so noticeable, especially from aerial views.

And, for the signature aqua color, captivated Torch Lake visitors can thank the lake’s levels of concentrated phytoplankton, an underwater plant that appears green when viewed from the water’s surface. There are also areas of Torch Lake that seemingly have “no color” at all–those are the parts of the water that have only a small amount of phytoplankton floating around.

Of course, Torch Lake also doesn’t disappoint in the sunset department. Because the beautiful body of water contains a color spectrum that’s so complex, the setting sun tends to reflect colors off of it that are, simply put, just out of this world.

Ok, are you guys planning your summer vacays to Michigan now–because we know we are!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Michigan’s Torch Lake. Have you ever visited the lake before? If so, do you have any pictures that you would like to share? What’s your all-time favorite lakefront?