At the end of the other pier in Duluth, Minnesota is Duluth South Pierhead Light, complete with “Warning: Loud Fog Horn” sign. Thankfully it was a clear, sunny day, and we didn’t have to worry about experiencing the sound of the fog horn close-up! Although Sara was worried anyway and couldn’t wait to leave!
On our way back home from Michigan we spent a night in Duluth, Minnesota, and visited some lighthouses before getting back on the road the next morning. The first lighthouse we went to was Duluth North Pierhead Light.
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse offers very reasonably priced tours ($5 for adults, children under 16 are free) and we took the self guided tour of the lighthouse and adjacent maritime museum. The lighthouse is still an active one and even though we could take the stairs all the way to the top, we couldn’t get into the room where the light is.
We could have taken a boat tour to visit Copper Harbor Light, but it was a bit expensive and we decided to skip it. We did have a nice view of it from across the water…
Unfortunately this is as close as we got to this beautiful little lighthouse.
While looking through one of the travel brochures for more things to do in the Munising, Michigan area, I came across Miners Castle Overlook. There weren’t any real details about what exactly Miners Castle is, but how wrong can you go with an overlook on Lake Superior, right? So off we drove to check it out…. and WOW! So glad we didn’t miss this!
Turns out that Miners Castle is the sandstone formation you see in the distance (once you can tear your eyes away from the gorgeous color of the water 😉 )
After enjoying the beautiful view for a while, we walked down the path that lead down to Miners Castle to get this beautiful view of part of Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore.
About 8 miles west of Grand Marais, Michigan is Log Slide Overlook, where in the late 19th century loggers used to slide logs down the steep slope into Lake Superior where they were loaded onto lumber schooners. There are outdoor exhibits along the trail to the overlook (none of which I photographed).
Once at the overlook, you can see Grand Sable Dunes to the east…
…and catch a glimpse of Au Sable Lightstation to the west. That’s as close as we got to this lighthouse.
Just a short hike from Sable Falls is Grand Sable Dunes. It was strange how on our walk, the ground changed from dirt to all sand. We had to climb up the dune, and across to get a view of Lake Superior. And what a view it was!
We decided not to climb down to get to the water, that would have been a very steep climb back up!!
A little fun fact: I was the only one who managed not to get any sand in my shoes. And yes, I was wearing them the whole time! 😉
This is Presque Isle Park’s Sunset Point in Marquette, Michigan. Sadly we were there at around 8pm, and with the sun not setting until about 10pm (or later!) we didn’t want to wait around that long. Meant to come back another day, but then never got around to it. A good excuse to go back another year, right?
Luckily the lucky shot wasn’t the only one I got of Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater Light. We did get a bit closer, although we decided NOT to walk out to the lighthouse. We could have….and most certainly would have, if the waves hadn’t been crashing over the pier. Didn’t want to risk getting the camera wet.
McCarty’s Cove is in Marquette, Michigan, which was one of our vacation destinations this summer because it was more or less central to several other places we wanted to visit, and it was much more convenient to just stay at a hotel there for a few days instead of checking into a new one every day.
On our first evening there, we drove along Scenic Drive in search for the Marquette lighthouses. This is about as close as we got to Marquette Harbor Lightstation because it is U.S. property and maintained by the Coast Guard. Tours are available, but it was too late in the evening, and the fences and gates were locked.
On Monday, July 11, we got to see a little bit of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After a quick stop at Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, we headed north to Whitefish Point Lightstation at Lake Superior. This was our worst weather day on this trip, and it started to rain a little just as we got to the lighthouse. I quickly snapped a few pictures, and went to the beach to take some pictures of Lake Superior (never did get my feet wet in it) and then went back to the car to keep the camera dry while I waited for Greg and the girls, and then we drove to Tahquamenon Falls. It started raining heavily at times, and we weren’t sure if we would get to see any waterfalls. It was still raining when we got to the Lower Falls, and we ran from the car to the restrooms, and then hung out at the gift shop until the rain let up a little. We were in there for quite a while, always keeping an eye on the rain, and making a run back to the car as soon as we got a chance. We got a very quick look at the Lower Falls on the way back, but I had left the camera in the car, so there are no pictures. They weren’t very impressive anyway.
We still took a chance with the Upper Falls, but when we arrived, Melissa and I decided to wait in the (huge!) gift shop while Greg and Sara went to look for the waterfall. There were no maps around the parking lot to let you know how far you had to walk. When they finally came back and found us at the gift shop, they were soaking wet from the rain! Their jackets were soaked through, and Sara was shivering from the cold. We had dry clothes in the suitcase, but no way to get to them without getting everything wet. And no other jacket. Greg and Melissa went to the restaurant next door to the gift shop, while Sara and I searched for a new jacket or sweatshirt for her. Thankfully I found one that was fairly reasonably priced (still expensive, but cheaper than most of the other ones they had) and I got it in a bigger size to give her room to grow into. I asked the cashier to cut off the tags, and Sara was able to wear it right away and get warm again. We joined Greg and Melissa at the restaurant for lunch, and by the time we were done, the rain had stopped and the sun was out again. Greg said that the falls were really nice, so I got the camera out of the car, and we all went to the Upper Falls. There were lots of steps up and down, but it was fun, and worth it!
After the falls we made our way south again, across the Mackinac Bridge into the Lower Peninsula, and along Lake Michigan. Our scheduled stop was Petoskey, because supposedly petoskey stones are very common there. On our way through town we stopped at Mackinaw Trail Winery for some wine tasting, and then Magnus Park to look for petoskey stones. We didn’t have any luck at all, but the hotel (another Holiday Inn Express) was really pretty, AND when Greg went inside to ask if they had any rooms, they said we could take their limousine to dinner at no extra charge if we wanted to! We relaxed in our room for a while, chose Bob-In Again for dinner and then went to the lobby to see if the limo was available. As luck would have it, the restaurant was at the very edge the driver was willing to go (something about traffic being really slow further out, because everyone slows down to enjoy the beautiful view of the lake). He dropped us off at the restaurant, gave Greg his card and told him to call when we wanted him to pick us up again. Before he left, he told us that it was really easy to get to the lake from the hotel, and if we wanted to go for a walk after dinner, we can just let him know where we are and he would pick us up. Sounded good to us! We even ordered dessert after dinner, and then walked along the lake before calling the limo driver to come and pick us up.