GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Taylor Dustin is using TikTok to show off Michigan.
“There’s a lot that I like about the state,” said Dustin, 24. “That’s why I created the account."
She created “The Wandering Michigander” last spring during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was curious as to what it meant for her job in marketing and social media management but says she soon saw another opportunity.
“There’s the component of me just wanting to learn the platform,” said Dustin. “Then the other one is, people are always like, ‘There’s nothing to do in Michigan,’ and I’m like, ‘There’s so much to do here; I want to show everyone.’”
Dustin's TikTok feed shows off different spots across the state, like the best places to watch the sunset, restaurants to try, and the top five things to do in Traverse City.
“Personally, I was like, ‘Oh, everyone knows about this stuff,’… and people are like, ‘I’ve never seen that; where’s that blue water at?’” said Dustin. “People are still in Michigan and don’t know or have a clue that that exists here.”
RELATED: Places to explore in Pure Michigan
It has gained nearly 110,000 followers and amassed more than one million likes in the year since it began. Dustin says it has even brought on some partnership opportunities with local tourism associations. She hopes to eventually travel full time for work.
According to Longwood’s International, Pure Michigan’s research firm, 87 percent of American travelers plan to do so in the next six months, which is near pre-pandemic levels. Dustin wants her account to show those adventures can happen right here.
“I hope it brings people joy, like, first of all, and that they don’t have to travel or spend a lot of money on having a good time,” said Dustin. “You don’t have to be trapped in your house, in your city. A lot of times it doesn’t take a far drive to get to these places… Michigan has a lot of places to offer.”