S.S. City of Milwaukee and USCGC Acacia – Manistee, Michigan – 05/15/2018

For more fascinating Great Lakes Maritime History, be sure to check out these two vessels docked in Manistee, Michigan. The S.S. City of Milwaukee, a former Great Lakes railroad car ferry, is now preserved as a National Historic Landmark, Museum, and a Boatel available for tours and reservations! The USCGC Acacia served many years on the Great Lakes, performing such duties as ice breaking, search and rescue, fire fighting, logistics, oil spill response, and many other tasks. It is also preserved as a museum and open to the public for tours!

Arcadia Scenic Overlook at Inspiration Point – Arcadia, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Another gorgeous vista of Lake Michigan… Just north of Arcadia, Michigan, along MI Hwy 22, you’ll find the Arcadia Scenic Turnout and Overlook at Inspiration Point. A quick stop affords you stunning views of the crystalline waters below!

Lake Michigan Shoreline at Point Betsie – Frankfort, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Just outside of the Point Betsie Lighthouse, we enjoyed a walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Rolling, crashing waves of brilliant aquamarine… Endless stretches of smooth lake rocks…. Golden dune grasses blowing in the breeze… The Great Lakes are actually quite stunning if you allow your senses to engulf all they have to offer!

Point Betsie Lighthouse – Frankfort, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, take some time to explore Point Betsie Lighthouse! Great Lakes Maritime History is brought to life through various exhibits and artifacts throughout the property of this 1858 Lighthouse and Keeper’s Residence! Make sure to check out the gift shop for great souvenirs!

Some Artsy Photo Fun in the Dunes – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Glen Arbor, Michigan – 05/15/2018

The longer we stay in one place, the more likely we are to let the photos get creative! Just having a little fun at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

Fun in the Sand – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Empire, Michigan and Glen Arbor, Michigan

Start your vacation fun at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with a visit to the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, located in the town of Empire. Check out the National Park bookstore, grab your Junior Ranger Materials, and enjoy learning about the park. Once you are set, head on out to the dunes and enjoy a little fun in the sand! Be sure to download the FREE Happy Birthday Sleeping Bear Dunes 50th Anniversary Junior Ranger Program!

Northern Michigan Cherry Blossoms – Kewadin, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Heading south on US31 through Northwestern Michigan, enjoying the Cherry Trees beginning to bloom! Click on either photo to learn more about Michigan Cherries!

World’s Largest Cherry Pie – Charlevoix, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Every town has at least one claim to fame! In Charlevoix, Michigan, you can find the “World’s Largest Cherry Pie” monument! 14 feet in diameter, 2 feet deep, and over 14,000 pounds! What???!!! Apparently the record is no longer current, but I’ll give credit where credit is due! We’re talking about a 7 ton cherry pie!

Kilwins Cafe at the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Factory Tour – Petoskey, Michigan – 05/15/2018

After you get done touring the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Production Facilities, make sure you enjoy some of the free samples! And then partake in some on-site goodies from the cafe such as ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, coffee, and/or handcrafted espresso drinks! And, of course, don’t forget to buy some delicious Kilwins goodness to keep the chocolate joy going long after you leave Petoskey!

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Production Facility Tour – Petoskey, Michigan – 05/15/2018

We love learning about how things are made! Factory Tours are one of our absolute favorite activities! In Petoskey, Michigan, you can tour the Kilwins Candy Kitchen Production Facilities! Watch white, milk, and dark chocolate in all stages of production. Different kinds of candies, fudge, packaging, packing… Seeing all of the different aspects of making chocolate come together makes for a great morning! And all the smells! Did I mention free samples? Our tour guide was incredible! He did a phenomenal job explaining everything and allowing us to really enjoy the experience!

Visiting the Kilwins Chocolates Headquarters – Petoskey, Michigan – 05/15/2018

Tucked away in a quaint little corner of Northwest Michigan, in the Lake Michigan coastal community of Petoskey, you will find the headquarters of Kilwins Chocolates! You can take a FREE tour of the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen production facilities, shop ’til ya drop on thousands of chocolate creations, and even enjoy ice cream and espresso drinks from their cafe! If you are in the area, you definitely want to check this place out! We sure do love it when learning is delicious! Yumm!

A Few Random Shots Around Mackinaw City – Mackinaw City, Michigan – 05/15/2018

I’ve been to the Mackinaw City area several times over the years, but I never knew about Pasties. We ended up eating entirely too much at the hotel breakfast, and were a bit early for Pasties anyway… So, we ended up missing out completely. But, don’t make the same mistake we did! Get some Pasties! Next time we get back up there, that will be the first thing we do! Mackinaw City is one of the two gateways to Mackinac Island, and it was so very tempting to hop on that ferry for a day on the Island! But, for…

Cabins of Mackinaw – Mackinaw City, Michigan – 05/14/2018

We rolled into Mackinaw City for our evening lodging! Check out these SUPER CUTE cabins! Even though we live in a log cabin, it’s always a lot of fun to enjoy the rustic character of the cabin-style setting while on vacation! We absolutely adored all the extra details such as the raw wood furniture! How cute are the beds, tables, and chairs! There are lots of cabin sizes and styles from which to choose, and a full breakfast at the resort across the street is included with your room! A lovely end to a great day! We curled up with…

Midnight in Mackinaw – Under the Bridge at Michilimackinac State Park – Mackinaw City, Michigan – 05/14/2018

We enjoyed a little late night stroll along the lake fronts! Walking under the Mackinac Bridge is super cool, because it marks the spot where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron come together via the Straits of Mackinac. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest bridges of its type in the world, and boasts many superlatives for its kind! It is awesome during the day…. And quite lovely at night!

Nighttime on the Straits of Mackinac – St. Ignace, Michigan Across the Mackinac Bridge into Mackinaw City, Michigan – 05/14/2018

Another lovely night… Another trip across the Mackinac Bridge! Southward bound!

A Sunset Walk Around The Soo – Sault Ste, Marie, Michigan – 05/14/0018

After we said goodbye to our friend, we spent a little while longer walking through Downtown Sault Ste. Marie to take in the unique mix of historic architecture, local business, community preservation, and even some of the more modern creative street art.

Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

After an afternoon of chocolate shopping and learning about the Soo Locks, we concluded our time in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan with our dear friend by enjoying dinner at Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub on Portage Avenue, across from Canal Park. A little Irish Stew and some awesome Poutine… Alysia had the Bang Bang Shrimp, and Logan enjoyed a Michigan Apple Burger…

Watching Freighters Pass Through the Soo Locks – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

Start your visit to the Soo Locks by checking out the US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center and engaging with their educational exhibits, interactive models, and informative signage. Then, proceed outside to catch a freighter passing through the locks right before your very eyes! Obviously, you’ll have to get the timing right, but we’ve been fortunate to catch the locks actively raising or lowering a ship every time we have been here. The Soo Locks are definitely an engineering marvel, and folks young and old will be delighted to see just how they work. Lake Huron and Lake Superior…

The Soo Locks Visitor Center – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

No visit to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is complete without a visit to Canal Park to see the Soo Locks in action along the St. Mary’s River, connecting Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The US Army Corps of Engineers Soo Locks Visitor Center offers lots of kid-friendly, hands-on, interactive exhibits, models, and signage so your family can learn more about how the locks function, and their importance in the Great Lakes shipping industry. Check out the indoor exhibits to learn more! And then be sure to catch a freighter passing through the locks!

Alpine Chocolat Haus – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

Getting right to business! Our friend knows us well, and she wanted to make sure we got to check out the yummy goods at her favorite local place of indulgence, Alpine Chocolat Haus in The Soo! Elk Patties, Chocolate Truffles, and Ice Cream for the win! Yes, you read that right! Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips! Michigan Style!

Welcome to the Soo! – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

We are on our way to visit a dear friend in the Soo! Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie on the US / Canadian border in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – 05/14/2018

A gorgeous day, indeed, to be crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron come together. It runs from Mackinaw City into St. Ignace, Michigan. And on this perfect day, we were headed towards Sault Ste. Marie to see an old high school friend of mine!

Michigan State Capitol Building – Lansing, Michigan – 05/14/2018

One of Trillian’s favorite things to do is check out Capitol Buildings in each state. It is her personal goal to get to them all! She especially enjoys the little nooks, crannies, basements, staircases, and other unusual locations off the beaten path! She loves the details of railings, mouldings, lights, knobs, hardware, and all the historic touches that make the interiors and exteriors of these buildings so unique! The Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing is a building full of all of these beautiful details!

MOO-Ville Creamery – Nashville, Michigan – 05/14/2018

Even though this was just a quick stop for us this morning, MOO-Ville Creamery looks like it’s QUITE the destination! So many cool flavors from which to choose! And you can watch the ice cream being made right in front of you! The gift shop carries lots of local Michigan goods. And outdoor fun abounds as well!

Late Night Welcome to Pure Michigan – Fremont, Indiana into Kinderhook Michigan – 05/12/2018

A late night, blurry welcome to Pure Michigan! Interstate 69 Northbound from Fremont, Indiana into Kinderhook, Michigan! 1:30 in the morning… But, we’re almost to our first stop! Welcome to Michigan!