Tale of Two Harbors Grand Marais, Minnesota
01-Oct-2017
Tale of Two Harbors
On the lonely, rocky northern shore of Lake Superior, captains and crews seek the welcome refuge of Grand Marais, Minnesota — a vibrant arts community and sweet waypoint nestled in the rugged wilderness of water and forest.

With the Sawtooth Mountains as a dramatic backdrop and a population of 1,351 in the off-season months (and probably double that in the summer), Grand Marais was voted USA Today’s 2017 Best Midwestern Small Town, Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America, and Lake Superior Magazi...

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Lazy Days in Port Stanley Port Stanley, Ontario
01-Sep-2017
Lazy Days in Port Stanley
The history-rich community of Port Stanley, Ontario was once a hive for fishermen and industry; now, this tranquil Lake Erie village is a playground for boaters, beachcombers, hikers and culture lovers.

There are beautiful landscapes and lakeshores elsewhere. Other Great Lakes ports are rivals in terms of attractions. But nowhere else will you find so many enchanting scenes and engrossing attractions in one small port package, where the past and present meld, as in Port Stanley, Ontario. ...

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The Northern Frontier Ontonagon, Michigan
01-Aug-2017
The Northern Frontier
Nestled alongside Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon, Michigan offers stunning landscapes, a deep mining heritage, restaurants, museums, shops and more.

My family and I cruised north along the wild Lake Superior shoreline of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.), where marinas are 30-some miles apart. We had just traveled 35 miles from Black River Harbor, and it was another 38 to the upper entry of the Keweenaw Waterway. My husband, Mark, said the...

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Harbor Heritage Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
01-Jul-2017
Harbor Heritage
In the heart of Wisconsin’s Door County, Sturgeon Bay carefully preserves its rich yesterday, while celebrating a vibrant, contemporary today.

Sturgeon Bay was our home for nearly 10 years. Our daughter was born there; we kept our first boat at SkipperBud’s, right in the shadow of the historic Michigan Street Bridge; and I launched my independent writing career in our 90-year-old house. I had the opportunity to revisit my old ho...

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Jewel of the Great Lakes Mackinac Island, Michigan
01-Jun-2017
Jewel of the Great Lakes
Take a Step back in time on Mackinac Island.

Charmingly perfect and anchored to its picturesque past of horse and buggies, grand homes and stately hotels, Mackinac Island, Michigan — located where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron converge — remains much the same as it was in 1897, when town leaders banned automobiles. A traffic jam on ...

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Picturesque Port Washington Port Washington, Wisconsin
01-May-2017
Picturesque Port Washington
Boaters in the know head to Port Washington, Wisconsin for terrific fishing. But part of the fun of visiting for the first time is exploring the village’s delightful shops, food, New England charm and lighthouses, and then passing the discovery along to other boaters.

Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coastline appears to be fairly quiet between Milwaukee and Sheboygan, but don’t be lulled into cruising past Port Washington, a small town that evolved from a commercial port into a charming village. Look for the flashing red light on the New Pierhead L...

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Fit for a King Kingston, Ontario
01-Apr-2017
Fit for a King
Kingston, Ontario welcomes boaters with fine food and fine art, great entertainment on a Great Lake, and a bit of Old England in the New World.

Kingston — Ontario’s oldest city — holds court at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It serves as the gateway to the historic Rideau Canal and the St. Lawrence River’s picturesque Thousand Islands. Strategically located in the middle of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, Kingsto...

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Out of the Blue Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan
01-Mar-2017
Out of the Blue
With impossibly blue water and a long history as a welcoming safe harbor, the city of Sarnia, Ontario — along with the neighboring city of Port Huron, Michigan — continues to delight boaters from across the Great Lakes.

Although its sapphire blue water looks far more Caribbean than Canadian, the elegant city of Sarnia enjoys a long and colorful history as one of Ontario’s most inviting Great Lakes ports. The city’s heritage dates back to the 17th century, when Father Louis Hennepin and several other mem...

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Fabled, Fantastic Petoskey Petoskey, Michigan
01-Feb-2017
Fabled, Fantastic Petoskey
There is a moment in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novella, “The Torrents of Spring,” when the soul-searching protagonist, Scripps O’Neill, finds himself at the train station in Petoskey, Michigan, in the middle of a snowstorm. Adrift, unhappy and in the midst of an existential crisis, the bewildered Scripps looks at the sky above and wonders if it is in fact the sky. He feels a gust of warm Chinook wind and wonders, too, if that could be the warm Chinook wind. Was it true, as he had been told, that spring was not far behind? Finally, he looks at the station’s signboard labeled “Petoskey, Michigan,” and asks himself: Does that signboard truly read “Petoskey, Michigan”? And, if so, could this place really be Petoskey, Michigan? In fact, it was — for Scripps and for Hemingway — as it is for countless other seeking souls, Petoskey, Michigan, a place whose otherworldly charm makes it seem an almost unreal place to find yourself.

Putter on in Unlike Scripps, you likely won’t arrive in Petoskey between wives and by way of Mancelona, a northwest Michigan town to the east. You’ll drift in the way the ancestors of the area’s Native Americans, the Anishnaabek tribe, did: Floating atop the azure ripples of Little...

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Sanctuary of the Great Lakes Alpena, MI
01-Jan-2017
Sanctuary of the Great Lakes
Woods and water. Fossils and fishing. Sinkholes and stars. Alpena, Michigan’s natural attributes initially shaped its history as a Lake Huron fishing port and lumbering center. After the forests were depleted, limestone for cement production helped the city continue to thrive. Located on Thunder Bay, a natural harbor and port of refuge, the area’s maritime history is accessible at several lighthouses and underwater at the country’s only freshwater marine sanctuary.

The largest city in the northeast corner of Michigan’s Mitten, Alpena’s appeal is rooted in what it isn’t, according to Mary Beth Stutzman, president and CEO of the Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This is not the place for massive shopping sprees or jumping out ...

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