Rust Belt Renaissance Buffalo, New York
Rust Belt Renaissance
Who would have thought that the New York Times would include Buffalo, New York on its 2018 list of “100 Places to Visit in the World”? But there it is, testament to the fact that Buffalo is buzzing and making a big comeback from its Rust Belt image. The waterfront leads the way after a decade-long redevelopment, with new hotels, restaurants, patios, parks and bike trails dotting the shoreline and attracting boaters of all stripes.

Check out Canalside Start your visit to Buffalo at Canalside, where the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal converge at Buffalo’s Inner Harbor. Here, the city is repurposing historic buildings for entertainment, dining and recreation, turning its long-dormant grain elevators into tourist-worthy...

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Sandusky by the Bay Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky by the Bay
A small town with a grand Lake Erie location and two centuries of stories to tell.

The sounds of Sandusky epitomize the many reasons why this small Ohio town is a huge Lake Erie tourism hub: The long blasts of a horn on the Jet Express ferry; the caw of gulls scavenging for fish; the courthouse clock ringing on the hour; the cheerful clink of wine glasses; the periodic shrieks of ...

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Maples, gourds and sunsets Port Elgin, Ontario
Maples, gourds and sunsets
Once known as the Town of Maples in reference to its tree-lined streets, Port Elgin, Ontario has long been a popular destination for Great Lakes boaters thanks to its delightful harbor, inviting beaches and one of the largest pumpkin festivals in the world.

While many towns and villages along the Great Lakes have engaged in massive revitalization programs to restore their once-industrial waterfronts into inviting recreational areas, the little village of Port Elgin, Ontario has never had to do so — it’s beautiful waterfront has always been ...

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A Great Lake and Two Rivers St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan
A Great Lake and Two Rivers
St. Joseph and Benton Harbor — both quaint and charming southwest Michigan towns — offer boaters a fun mix of fishing, food and a PGA golf tournament.

Around 1780, William Burnett built a trading post on a bluff overlooking the St. Joseph River as it flowed into Lake Michigan; the mouth of this waterway was an important point of Native American travel and commerce. By 1825, a mail route — albeit a very slow and sporadic one — exist...

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Cruising the Comeback City Detroit, Michigan
Cruising the Comeback City
Visiting Detroit, Michigan by boat is a unique way to see this resurgent city. Starting at the riverfront — as the earliest settlers did more than three centuries ago — provides a great opportunity to explore a batch of new breweries, trendy restaurants, world-class museums, eye-catching architecture and bustling public spaces. From their riverside playground — Detroit’s dynamic front-door — Motor City residents warmly welcome boaters and are eager to show off the city they call “The D.”

Ray Batt has a vivid memory of the summer day 10 years ago when he took a dozen business associates from across the country on a cruise of the Detroit River aboard his 42-foot Meridian, The Batt Cave. From the upper helm on the bridge, bound for Lake St. Clair, he felt great pride as his collea...

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Trip of a Lifetime Trent-Severn Waterway, Ontario, Canada
Trip of a Lifetime
Linking Lake Ontario with Lake Huron, Canada’s Trent-Severn Waterway offers such exquisite views and unique experiences that it’s been described as one of the top cruising routes in the world.

One of the best parts of cruising the Great Lakes is getting off the big water to explore new paths and fresh horizons. Sometimes we journey for the day, other times for a long weekend. But when it comes to enjoying a longer cruise, it’s hard to resist the allure of Ontario’s Trent-Sever...

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Tale of Two Harbors Grand Marais, Minnesota
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
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
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
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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