Tag Archive | lighthouse

Paradise – Wild Blueberry Capital of Michigan


6-24-16

Entering Paradise sign

Paradise is located in the U.P. of Michigan and is in Chippewa County. It is unincorporated and in the heart of beautiful natural wilderness.  Every year on the 3rd weekend in August is their Wild Blueberry Festival. We found these artifacts and historical marker to the right of this sign.

Whitefish Township historical marker

Artifacts in Paradise

Oil Lamp Buoy in Paradise

We were too early for the blueberries, but not too early for the hospitality of this friendly community and other visitors in the area.  We began our morning in the nearby Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  The staff there are exceptional and were clearly enthusiastic about being there.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

Just before we finished our tour I asked where a good place for lunch would be in Paradise. They said without hesitation, The Berry Patch Bakery and Restaurant.   They knew about the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song by Jimmy Buffett and took advantage of that by selling t-shirts. I got one!

Berry Patch Restaurant in Paradise MI

Cheeseburger in Paradise shirt

Downtown Paradise

Let’s explore the businesses downtown while we are here.  See all businesses listed in the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Paradise Recreational Sports

Paradise Recreational Sports

Paradise Food Pantry Market and  TJ’s Restaurant.

Downtown Paradise 2

We were not here long, but we enjoyed a great lunch at The Berry Patch and learned more about the many offerings in the U.P.

Leaving Paradise back of sign

 

Yoopers for a Day – The U.P. of Michigan


Day 4 – 6-24-16

Welcome to the U.P.

Sadly it was time to leave Michigan but we weren’t leaving without seeing as much as we could on our way to Crivitz, WI.  This was our route through the U.P.

Yoopers for a Day

It was a real thrill crossing the Mackinac Bridge for the first time.  The agency charged with the upkeep of the bridge and safety of people crossing is theMackinac Bridge Authority.  They have offices in both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

There is a $4.00 toll payable on the St. Ignace side, which helps pay for maintenance and professional drivers. They drive people across the bridge in bad conditions or if you have a fear of bridges.  Tune your radio to 530 or 1610 AM to hear a broadcast on bridge conditions.  If there are good conditions, you hear a welcoming message to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.).

Enjoy this view of the bridge from  Michilimackinac State Park and hear the broadcast, a 4 min-33 sec. looped message.  A bonus, the freighter Joseph L. Block  goes under the bridge!

The sunrise was beautiful as we crossed the bridge. I apologize for not having a video of that, the camera was misbehaving. Enjoy these photos of our crossing though!

Mackinac Bridge Crossing

We left Mackinaw City about 6 AM to have breakfast at the St. Ignace Truck Stop. First though, we could not resist a selfie at the Big Boy next door!  Next time we will eat there.

Big Boy Selfie in St. Ignace

The truck stop was great too, still glad we stopped there.

St. Ignace Truck Stop

After breakfast we continued on, passing what I thought was a lighthouse the day before.  We found out that it was a lookout tower attraction, $1.00 admission as part of a souvenir store called Curio Fair.  Maybe we can stop there on our next visit.

St. Ignace Look Out Tower IMG_1754

Curio Fair in St. Ignace

We also drove by Castle Rock, we didn’t stop this time.

Castle Rock in St. Ignace

We continue on, our next stop is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise.  Here we saw MANY great displays, including one dedicated to the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot’s song  “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”  figured prominently here.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

After our visit we headed into Paradise for lunch at The Berry Patch.

Entering Paradise sign

They knew about the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song by Jimmy Buffett and took advantage of that by selling t-shirts. I got one!

Berry Patch Restaurant in Paradise MI

Cheeseburger in Paradise shirt

We also enjoyed talking to some of the other patrons eating there. One couple we met suggested visiting Tahquamenon Falls State Park  to see the waterfalls. The day pass was $9.00 to be able to see both falls. We took them up on their suggestion and did go after lunch. We ran into them there too!  The falls were beautiful and were worth the visit. We went to the Upper Falls first.

Upper Teq Falls info

Upper Teq Falls in Michigan

And now the Lower Falls.

Lower Teq Falls Info

Lower Teq Falls

Lets see both falls in action!

By this time it was 3:40 PM and it was time to move on.  We passed through other communities on our way to Crivitz.

Escanaba

Escanaba

We have reached the entry into the U.P., Menominee.  This is how we will enter Michigan on a return trip and skip the car ferry.  We discovered we could get to St. Ignace in a day from Madison by entering Michigan from here.  Menominee also has a well-stocked Welcome Center to pick up literature on ALL of Michigan. We actually visited Menominee on our way home, also the last lighthouse we saw.

Menominee marker

 

Menominee Visitor Center

Menominee North Pier Light House

We arrived in Crivitz at about 7:30 PM. A long but fun day.

Michigan Light Houses


June 20, 21,22,23, 26, 2016

On this trip we saw many lighthouses since most of our destinations were located lakeside.  There are so many, we only saw a small sampling of them.

We begin with Ludington, the North Breakwater Lighthouse.

North Breakwater Lighthouse

Also the Big Sable Lighthouse, visible from the S.S. Badger Carferry.

Big Sable Light Station in Ludington

Manistee

Could not see it since it was wrapped for restoration work.

Manistee light house

Mackinac Island

Round Island Lighthouse

Round Island Lighthouse and sailboat IMG_0036

Round Island Light and rainbow

Round Island Passage Light Station

View of water from Windmere Point on Mackinac Island

Mackinaw City

McGulpin Point Lighthouse

McGulpin Point Light House in Mackinaw City

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

St. Helena Island Lighthouse

St. Helena Island Lighthouse in Michigan

Paradise

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum 

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

Menominee North Pier Lighthouse

Menominee North Pier Light House

 

We hope to see more on a future visit!

 

Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City


6-23-16

Headlands sign

Headlands International Dark Sky Park is one of the few Dark Sky certified sites in the United States.  If you can’t get here, this Light Pollution Map can help you find your local spot of darkness.  We just went to see it in the day on our visit.  It is open 24/7 365, free admission.  Donations are happily accepted!

Headlands Dark Sky Park entrance

Emmet County Self Guided Tour

Headlands Welcome sign

There are big things going on here, making this special park more accessible for workshops and events in the future.  We could not see the whole park due to the new Observatory under construction right now, a telescope will be housed there and rooms for groups to gather.

Headlands map

We walked down to the shore where the sky viewing is located.  To keep the skies dark, only red flashlights are allowed.  We got our red LED flashlights from Ebay.  Here is the Bortle Dark Sky Scale, the Headlands darkness levels can be found here.

red flashlightlight-pollution-levels_small

Now to the shoreline!

Dark Sky viewing by shore at Headlands

After passing though the gap in the trees, we see the new Observatory building under construction. I look forward to seeing it completed next year!

Headlands Telescope building in Mackinaw City

You can also see the St. Helena Island Lighthouse from here.

St. Helena Island Lighthouse in Michigan

A wider view of the shoreline, the water is so blue on this sunny day!

Dark sky viewing area in the daytime at Headlands

Even though we didn’t get back that night, it was worth the time to stop here.  A beautiful park any time of the year to visit.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City


6-23-16

McGulpin Point sign

McGulpin Point Light House in Mackinaw City

McGulpin Point Lighthouse has been a sentinel on the Straits since 1869 and was recently refurbished to continue the service.  Admission is free but donations gratefully accepted.

Lighthouse sign

This is a self-guided tour , the rooms are decorated with many historic items. This is the ground floor.

McGulpin Tour InfoMcGulpin tour QR code

Let’s take a look at the many rooms in the lighthouse.

McGulpin Lighthouse room 1

McGulpin Lighthouse room 2

McGulpin Lighthouse Room 3

Here is the attic level rooms.

Attic level map McGulpin Lighthouse

McGulpin Lighthouse small bedroom

Large Bedroom, now a room to view a video about the lighthouse.

Large Bedroom McGulpin Lighthouse

Now, lets go up into the light area of the tower, what a great view of the Straits and the Mighty Mack!  Also a panoramic view from all of the windows.

McGulpin Light House light

Panorama View from Lighthouse windows

You have to crawl through this small door to go outside to the Observation Deck, we did!

McGulpin Lighthouse small door

Just in time to watch the barge Lewis J. Kuber go under the bridge!

Lewis J. Kuber going by McGulpin Point

It was time to go down and take the trail through the woodland down to the shore. There were info boards along the way.

Ch-Sin trail at McGulpin

Chi-Sin trail display at McGulpin

McGulpin Family Life sign

Across from this display is a replica of a wellhead constructed by an Eagle Scout. Very impressive!

Wellhead sign at McGulpin

McGulpin Wellhead

Further down the trail, we learn more about John McAlpin.

John McAlpin sign

John McAlpin figure

Charles de Langlade was another significant person in this area.

Charles de Langlade sign

Chi-Sin trail

Nissowaquet at McGulpin

And the last display before reaching shore, life here 9000 years ago.

Native Americans at McGulpin  9000 years ago

Native Americans in the Streights

We are here!  What a great view, a lot going on this summer day.

GcGulpin point shoreline

You could see Mackinac Island and St. Ignace from here.

St. Ignace view from McGulpin

Mackinac Island view from McGulpin

The St. Helena Island Lighthouse was also visible across the Strait.

St. Helena Island Lighthouse in Michigan

Also this interesting structure I thought was another lighthouse. We found out the next day after we crossed that it was a lookout tower attraction, $1.00 admission as part of a souvenir store called Curio Fair.  Maybe we can stop there on our next visit.

St. Ignace Look Out Tower IMG_1754

Curio Fair in St. Ignace

What a good time and we learned a lot about the early history at this crucial  Straits of Mackinac Lighhouse.  Stop in if you can!

McGulpin Lighthouse back

 

Manistee – The Victorian Port City


6-20-16

Manistee The Victorian Port City sign

Manistee is a city of 6,226 and is the county seat of Manistee County.  We only a saw a little since we were just staying overnight here before going to Mackinaw City the next morning.  It’s 25 minutes from Ludington and is of course, another port city.  The sun was getting low since it was after 7:30 PM by this point. We did want to see the light house so we went to First Street Beach. Unfortunately, it was under wraps for some restoration work.

Manistee light house

There was still plenty to see here, this is a beautiful park and even has a walking path that we saw many people using this evening.

Manistee Riverwalk sign

There is also a beautiful marina here called Harbor Village and a Coast Guard station is located here as well.

First Street Beach marina marker

Manistee First Street Beach marina

Manistee Coast Guard Station

On display to the right of the buildings.

Coast Guard boat in Manistee

Also a Lions Club concession stand and pavilion, complete with lion.

Manistee Lions Pavillion

On the other side of the pavilion is a ship propeller and plaque.  It was from the S.S. Glen.  When I was walking around I saw Al looking at them, he appeared to be saluting. He actually was trying to block the setting sun while reading the plaque.

Al in silouhette in Manistee

Manistee Ship Propeller display

S.S. Glen plaque on rock in Manistee

We were getting hungry and asked some passing walkers what would be a good place for dinner.  Without hesitation they said T.J.’s Pub in the historic Ramsdell Inn downtown.  Now I see how it got it’s slogan, “Victorian Port City”.

Downtown Manistee

IMG_9799

And here we are!  What a beautiful building at the heart of downtown!

Ramsdell Inn and T.J.'s Pub in Manistee

Ramsdell Inn corner view

T.J.'s Pub outside in Manistee

A few steps down and you are in!  We had a great dinner in a relaxing setting at the end of the day. This crystal decanter reflected the light in the room beautifully.  The french dip and chips hit the spot too.

T.J.'s Pub crystal decanter in Manistee

French Dip at T.J.'s

What a great dinner, it was time to go to our hotel, Microtel not not far from here.

Microtel in Manistee

On the way we saw the S.S. City of Milwaukee ship and Coast Guard Cutter.  Both retired ships  are museums now.

City of Milwaukee ship in Manistee

Our stay here was short but we are glad we came!

Racine – Wisconsin Harbor Town


April 18 and 19, 2015

 Also known as America’s Kringle Capital, Racine is one of the many beautiful Wisconsin Harbor Towns on the shore of Lake Michigan. We didn’t waste any time acquiring one of the delicious Danish pastry. We entered Racine on the west side and made our way to Bendtsen’s Bakery, providing Kringles to Racine for four generations, since 1934. We enjoyed the Turtle Kringle. They ship too!

Bendtsen's Bakery in Racine

Turtle Kringle from Bendtsen's Bakery

Racine also has a statue unique to the state, if not the country. On the grounds of Gateway Technical College is a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd. It depicts them before he became President. Mary Todd had been in Racine in June 1867 to see Racine College, which had been recommended for her son Tad.

Gateway College in Racine

Lincoln Statue in Racine

Lincoln Statue Inscriptions

Lincoln and Mary Todd Statue inscription 2

Racine Light Stations

A very important service protecting ships and boats on Lake Michigan for over 100 years. The one below is managed by the Coast Guard.

Racine Harbor Light Station

Racine Lighthouses

 The Racine Reef Lighthouse is also equipped with a warning horn, protecting boaters from a limestone reef in the area. Here is what is sounds like.

Finding this Light (directions provided by terrypepper.com)
From I-94, take Hwy 20 east. Hwy 20 eventually becomes Washington Ave. Follow Washington Ave. to Hwy 32, and head north on Hwy 32. Turn right on Christopher Columbus Causeway, and follow around the marina until the road ends in a parking area. Walk the short distance to the lighthouse at the marina entrance.”

There is also an info board telling more about the light station.

Racine Reef Lighthouse Info

Wind Point has a marker and a museum open during the summer.

IMG_7401

Historic Downtown Racine

Racine’s history has been well-preserved for all to enjoy. The Racine Heritage Museum is a great place to learn more.

Racine County Historical Museum

 In Monument Square you will find many markers telling of Racine’s early history. Also a Civil War monument in the center.

Monument Square

Racine marker in Monument Square in RacineJerome Case Marker in RacineJoshua Glover marker in RacineEagle Mascot marker in Racine

The Racine Art Museum

Racine Art Museum

 Post Office

Racine Post Office

 It’s noon!  St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is ringing it’s bells. The whole downtown was chiming in fact.

Restaurants

We ate a meal at three restaurants and got a snack  at another place during our visit. Lunch on Saturday was at Kewpie Lunch, open since the 1920’s.  Yes, the theme is Kewpie Dolls.  They have great food too!

Kewpie Hamburgers collageKewpie hours

 Got a snack at the Sugar Shack Sweet Shoppe in Monument Square.

Sugar Shack Sweet Shoppe in Racine

We had dinner at Apple Holler, with a country theme. Lots of fun with many activities for kids and adults alike. Wonderful food there too.

Apple Holler in Racine

 On Sunday morning, we enjoyed brunch at Reefpoint Brew House, quite a nice menu there and a view of the Marina from the large windows.

Reefpoint Brew House in Racine

 Frank Lloyd Wright in Racine

He had a large presence in Racine, including company buildings.  There is one house designed by him, the Hardy House. It’s located in the Southside Historic District.

Southside Historic District and Parks in Racine

Hardy House FLW in Racine

Also Wingspread, which we took a free tour of!  You have to book this tour in advance. S.C. Johnson and his family lived here originally.  Due to high demand, we scheduled our tour about a month before our trip.  You can also book a tour of SC Johnson Research Tower as well, they are just five miles apart. The tower looks beautiful at night! Book your tour(s) here.

Wingspread House in Racine

SC Johnson Research Tower in Racine

 Also on the site is the beautiful Golden Rondelle Theatre and Fortaleza Hall, where a Sikorsky S-38 amphibious aircraft is displayed.

Rondelle Theatre and Fortaleza Hall in Racine

 Parks

Quarry Lake Park

We had been to Racine before, but it was all the way back in 1998, before we were married. We were very active scuba divers back then and we took a dive in the quarry here. We got a sketch of what you can find underwater in the quarry, facing north.

Racine Quarry facing North with symbol

Racine Quarry diagram

Pritchard Park

At this park is a Vets memorial and a historical marker as well.

Vets Memorial in Racine

The Spark marker in Racine

Washington Park

Across from Mound Cemetery (where we also visited), George Washington and other soldiers are honored. A cannon is also at the park.

Cannon in Washington Park in Racine

At Mound Cemetery, we saw a marker commemorating  Revolutionary War soldiers buried there.

Revolutionary War Solder marker at Mound Cemetery in Racine

Racine Harbor Park

Over by the lake and Marina, this park has a walking path along the lake, plus an elevated platform where you can see both the Breakwater light station, the other one across from it, and the Racine Reef  lighthouse as well. You can eat at the Reefpoint Brew House too out by the Marina.

Viewing Platform at Racine Harbor Park

Other Markers

Near the Racine Zoo is another marker (2131 N. Main), describing the cream-colored brick that many of the buildings are built from.

Cream Brick marker in Racine

At Windpoint we visited a Bohemian Schoolhouse, a large part of Al’s heritage.

Bohemian Schoolhouse in WindpointBohemian Schoolhouse marker in Windpoint

There is so much to see and do in Racine, well worth a visit.  One day is not enough, so we spent the night at Knight’s Inn. It was economical to stay there and quiet.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Racine!