We hit the road and headed north, way north, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!
First Stop – Pictured Rock National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a scenic wonderland on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Known for its towering cliffs, colorful sandstone formations, and pristine beaches, the park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
There are many ways to experience Pictured Rocks, from hiking along the scenic trails to taking a boat cruise to admire the cliffs from the water. Some of the most popular activities include:
Hiking the Chapel Loop Trail: This easy 2-mile trail offers stunning views of Lake Superior and the colorful cliffs.
Taking a boat cruise to Spray Falls: This iconic waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the park.
Camping at one of the park’s many campgrounds: This is a great way to experience the park’s natural beauty and solitude.
We had a great time just exploring the area.
Next Stop – Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls State Park is one of Michigan’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. The park is home to the Tahquamenon Falls, the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The Upper Falls is the more impressive of the two, with a drop of over 50 feet and a width of over 200 feet. The Lower Falls is also impressive, with a drop of over 20 feet and a width of over 250 feet.
There are several ways to experience the Tahquamenon Falls. Visitors can hike to the overlooks for stunning views, or they can take a boat tour to get up close to the falls. There are also several trails that lead through the park, offering visitors a chance to explore the surrounding wilderness.
In addition to the falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy. There is a campground, a picnic area, and several hiking trails. Visitors can also rent canoes or kayaks and explore the Tahquamenon River.
Here are a few tips for visiting Tahquamenon Falls:
- The park is busiest during the summer months, so it is best to visit during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) if possible.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking involved.
- Bring a raincoat, as the falls can be misted by the spray.
- Be aware of the changing water levels. The falls can be dangerous during periods of high water.
- Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
Dinner – Jose’s Cantina
After another couple of hours in the car we stopped for dinner at Jose’s Cantina. Good thing we got there early as there was a long lone by the time we left. They were a little short staffed so the service was not spectacular but the view from the deck where we were seated and the food and beverages were awesome!
Time to Turn In - The Moosewood Inn
We stopped at a cute little local motel, The Moosewood Inn for the night. Although the rooms were small, there were newly renovated, clean and comfortable.
Next Stop – Mackinac Island
We had a great breakfast at a local cafe that was recommended by the hotel owner, then it was off to catch the ferry to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island is a charming island located in the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It is known for its Victorian architecture, horse-drawn carriages, and world-famous fudge.
One of the best things about Mackinac Island is that there are no cars allowed. This means that visitors can enjoy the island’s peaceful atmosphere and explore at their own pace.
There are plenty of things to see and do on Mackinac Island. Visitors can visit Fort Mackinac, a historic fort that offers stunning views of the island and the Straits of Mackinac. They can also take a horse-drawn carriage tour, visit one of the many shops or restaurants, or simply relax on the beach.
Mackinac Island is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy a truly unique experience.
Here are a few tips for visiting Mackinac Island:
- Book your ferry tickets in advance, especially if you are visiting during the summer months.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring a hat and sunscreen, as the weather can be unpredictable.
- Be prepared to spend money, as the island can be expensive.
- Take your time and enjoy the island’s unique atmosphere.
Heading Down State
The next day we drove several hours, stopping at multiple local shops, on our way to Dearborn and Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum.
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is a unique destination where visitors can learn about American history and innovation through interactive exhibits and living history demonstrations.
The museum features a vast collection of artifacts, including cars, airplanes, trains, and household appliances. Visitors can also see exhibits on American history, science, and culture.
Greenfield Village is a living history museum where visitors can see historic buildings and artifacts from all over the United States. Visitors can also see demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills.
We had a great day exploring both the village and the museum; we even took a ride in a Model T.
Look out Canada, here we come!
It took forever to cross the border at the Windsor bridge. Canada had implemented a program for entry and you were supposed to go online and fill out a form. Apparently, not many people did (we did). Once we finally made it into Canada we drove to Niagara Falls and checked in at the Ramada Hotel. Again, there was a very long line at check-in but they had a full complement of people working the desk and it didn’t take too long. We walked to the falls, enjoyed the views, and then stopped for dinner on the way back to the hotel.
The next day, we checked out some of the local vineyards. There are a lot of vineyards just north of Niagara Falls.
Niagara on the Lake
After wine tasting and visiting several vineyards, we headed to a small town called Niagara on the Lake. It’s about a half-hour north of Niagara Falls and well worth the visit. The town has a cute main street area filled with shops, restaurants, and some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. We worked up an appetite with all that shopping so we stopped for lunch at The Irish Harp Pub. The food and ambiance were great.
After our late lunch, we headed back to our hotel in Niagara Falls. Although we originally thought we wouldn’t bother with dinner because our lunch was so late in the day, we changed our minds and thought a treat at the Dairy Queen on the corner was in order. Even though we are vegan, and don’t eat dairy, our local dairy queen has a non-dairy dilly bar, we were hoping this one did also. Alas, it was not to be, they did not carry one of our favorite summer treats. By this time we were hungry so we stopped at an Italian restaurant across the street from the Dairy Queen. The person at the desk said there would be a 30-minute wait. We settled in and were considering a beverage when the hubster said he would be right back. He had seen a small cafe next door and went to check it out. They told him they were open and would welcome our business. We moved to the Casa Contadina Cafe and were treated royally! The place was small and we spoke directly to the chef. We advised him of our dietary restrictions and he said he would take care of the rest. We were there a very long time but had the absolute best meal ever! It truly felt like we were in his house and we were his family. He had a helper or two but he was very attentive. The is was the absolute highlight of our trip!
Time to head home
Another great travel adventure for the books!