Fifth in a Series
On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise aboard Blount Small Ship Adventures‘ 88-passenger ship Grande Mariner, we started in Illinois (Chicago), sailed to Michigan, made three stops (Holland, Beaver Island and Mackinac Island), and now were headed to Wisconsin.
The world’s fifth largest lake, Lake Michigan borders parts of four U.S. states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana — and only Indiana is not included on the itinerary.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the five Great Lakes not to share its waters with the province of Ontario, Canada. That made it ideal for some of the American passengers who didn’t own passports. (Though as an aside I would encourage everyone to get one; for example, to take… Continue reading
Third in a Series
I’m sure that many residents of Michigan have heard of Beaver Island, even if they haven’t actually visited there. But when I saw it on the itinerary for my recent “Magical Lake Michigan Cruise” aboard the Grande Mariner from Blount Small Ship Adventures, it had me scurrying to my atlas.
It turns out that Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan: about 13 miles long and three to six miles wide. But it’s remote and sparsely populated — with only about 550 year-round residents — and it can only be reached by boat or small plane.
Ferries serve the island from the mainland in warm months, but when the weather gets cold and the northern reaches of the lake ice over, Beaver Island residents mostly have to hunker down… Continue reading
Second in a Series
How can you get from Chicago to Holland without crossing the Atlantic Ocean?
Just book a “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, a line that specializes in taking passengers along the rivers, lakes, waterways, and seas of the United States, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Holland, in fact, is a town on the west coast of Michigan, and it was the first stop after embarking in Chicago, Illinois, aboard Blount’s 88-passenger ship Grande Mariner.
For those unfamiliar with Lake Michigan, it’s one of the five Great Lakes that top several states in the northern (mostly Midwestern) tier of the U.S. and together comprise a fifth of the world’s fresh water supply.
First in a Series
Having been born in Michigan, reared in Indiana, and then returned to Michigan to attend college before moving to the West and East Coasts, I often wince a bit when I hear friends in the latter refer to the Midwestern U.S. as “flyover country.”
I’ve even been guilty of a bit of snobbery myself when I’ve noted that most of our friends in California and New York originally came from the Midwest — “but had the good sense to get out.”
I’m now officially retracting that statement, which was based on my childhood memories of bitterly cold winters, hot, humid summers, and what I perceived as a lack of cutting-edge cuisine and culture.