Do You Know The Way To Grand Marais?

Thanks to Jennifer Rees for sharing the story of her U.P adventure!

Every year, my husband rides his bike from Cedar Springs to Mackinaw City. Every year my sister, kids, and I take a trip ‘Up North’ to pick him up. This year, the group my husband rides with decided that 285 miles just wasn’t quite enough. They got to Mackinaw and kept right on going.  In fact, they went all the way to Grand Marais.

Meanwhile, we had an adventure of our own.

We headed up to Leland, where the first order of business was a stop at Carlson’s for A.P.’s favorite food – smoked fish. When we asked him how it was, he couldn’t even stop eating long enough to use words.

We hung out on the waterfront for a while then strolled around town. After a fun afternoon, we headed to Petoskey for the night, where my husband was.  In the morning we went to the Oden fish hatchery.  We couldn’t believe there was no charge! There was, however, a gift shop. The kids came away with patches, a book about animal ‘scat and tracks’, and “I’m A Michigan Kid Passports” which, really, should be issued to every child born in our state.

There hatchery has walking trails, an interpretive museum in an old box car, and an underground stream viewing area. The highlight was the trout feeding. For a dime, we got a handful of Trout Chow and I don’t mean to bruise any fish egos but it’s time for these guys to be finding their own dinner. They were fat. Still, my kids scrounged up about $2.00 in dimes and contributed to the Trout Obesity problem.

Back in the car, we headed up to the Soo.  I have to say that although I completely appreciate having a bridge to the Upper Peninsula; I hate actually driving across it. But, the U.P. is worth the white knuckles. We headed straight for the Locks and hopped on a boat tour. It was fun to watch the kids try and grasp where the water went, where it came from, and how it all came worked.

The next morning we headed to Munising for the Pictured Rocks boat tour. It was stunning. And windy, but mostly stunning.

From there we drove back to Grand Marais, where we met up with my husband and his biker buddies. We’d all had an incredible journey were happy to be reunited in such a special place. We ate dinner with friends, then went to Lake Superior Brewing Company for a beer. We went to the beach and watched the sun set over Lake Superior. The next morning, we checked out the Gitchee Gumee Agate and History Museum, and headed to Taqhamenon Falls.

We ate lunch at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery where, naturally, we had pasties.

We cannot wait to get back and re-visit these places, and also to discover new ones. We’re proud to be raising Michigan Kids, and thankful that a vacation like this is so close to home.



Jennifer Rees is a stay at home mom of two young children in Grand Rapids.  Jennifer writes at, a blog about raising kids in Grand Rapids who are active, involved, and culturally aware.