Continuing the tour of the Upper Peninsula…

Our Travel Michigan team continues their Upper Peninsula adventure with a group of travel writers….

Day 2 – Sault Ste. MarieSt. Ignace, and Cedarville

Day two started with breakfast and a tour of Sault Ste. Marie’s River of History Museum. Based in their new location, since July 2009, the museum tells the history of this part of the Upper Great Lakes through a series of galleries. Plan on spending at least two hours to listen to the narrated tour of the museum.

My group then traveled on to St. Ignace to continue learning about the heritage of the area at the Museum of Ojibawa Culture and the Fort Du Buade Indian Museum.

A fresh perch basket for lunch at the Mackinac Grille Restaurant and Waterfront Pub reenergized everyone to continue for the afternoon.

After a short drive over to Cedarville, the group headed in to tour the The Great Lakes Boat Building School. Visitors to the school can tour and watch as the students build a handcrafted boat. Different programs offered at the school include a weeklong summer program, a 9-month program and a career boat building program. Boats range from 12 ft – 27 ft and are completely built by hand, using hand tools.

The day wrapped up with a visit to Creekside Herbs and Art to meet several local artists, enjoy the crisp fall air and the smell of herbs along the veranda.

Day 3 – Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point, and Paradise

Hoping that everyone had a restful night, the group set out to Tahquamenon Falls State Park to do some hiking and

view the falls. Arriving at the park headquarters the group decided to take a short hike to the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls at Tahquamenon. In addition, we took small rowboats, available to visitors for a small fee, to an island to hike the ¼ mile trail around the island. Unfortunately the fall color is just a little behind this year and not yet peak in this area, but the view was still spectacular. Pressed for time we drove over to the Upper Falls and did a short hike before heading to Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub at Camp 33. Located within the state park, the brewery is a natural stop for a beverage or meal while hiking in the area. Make sure to sample the local brews, this week they are offering a Peach Wheat brew that is quite tasty. Several writers decided to have the buffalo burger, made with locally raised buffalo meat, and commented that it was a wonderful choice, very moist burger.

After eating and feeling like a nap we drove to Paradise to learn about the Edmund Fitzgerald at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Such a piece of Michigan’s history, a museum dedicated to the hazards of maritime transport on the Great Lakes. The museum campus includes the main museum building that houses models of boats that have sunk in Lake Superior along with artifacts from the wreck sites recovered by divers. Text describes the causes of disaster in each case. In addition to the main museum, the lighthouse keeper’s quarters has been restored to the period of the 1920s and is open for tours, as has the 1923 Coast Guard Life Boat Station. The property is also home to the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.

The rain held off long enough to tour the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, but started to come down on our way to Point Iroquois Lighthouse. That didn’t stop our group. A quick tour of the history of the lighthouse along with a climb up the 72 stairs to the viewing platform at the lighthouse wrapped up our day of touring as we headed back to Sault Ste. Marie.

Friday night dinner in Sault Ste. Marie would not be complete without heading to Antlers. A rustic bar and grill with great food, not to mention the décor. As the name suggests, Antlers, displays animal antlers and taxidermy of all kinds.

Stay tuned for Day 4 and 5, a hike at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and a day of cycling on Drummond Island.