Ten to Try (Summer 2024)

From gluten-free beer to shipwreck sites, here’s a sampling of summer favorites in Northeast Michigan and a bit beyond.
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Photo courtesy of Alcona Brew Haus.

1Allergen-Free Meals: The Alcona Brew Haus in Harrisville specializes in allergen-free menu options (nuts, gluten, and more). It features house-made beer (some gluten-free varieties) and other beverages to wet your whistle. The crew makes their own pizza dough and smokes their meats out back. Favorites include the slow-roasted pulled pork, veggie burger, gluten-free (and regular) pizza, and vegan bowls. alconabrew.com

Photo courtesy of Soo Locks Boat Tours.

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History Outing: On a two-hour cruise, visitors can experience upbound and downbound passage through the engineering marvel of the Soo Locks, which link Lake Superior with Lake Huron. Two companies offer tours that include Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan and Ontario) sights along the St. Marys River. Afterward, dine at the legendary Antler’s Restaurant or the Soo Brewing Co. & 1668 Winery. saultstemarie.com

Photo courtesy of Megan Swoyer.

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Lighthouse Visit: The Forty Mile Point Light, a lighthouse built in 1896 in Presque Isle County on Lake Huron off U.S. 23 near Rogers City, shares property with a pilot house, an old school, and a former work crew building that’s now a gift shop. Check out the lovely trails to the beach, where you can see the remains of a shipwreck, have a picnic, and more. fortymilepointlighthouse.org

Photo courtesy of Ron Garbinski.

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Climb Aboard: Alpena is home to several enjoyable bike trails. The 70-mile crushed limestone North Eastern State Trail starts north of town and heads into Cheboygan. The fairly flat route runs through rural terrain and scenic forests, with a link to Rogers City and the 11-mile Huron Sunrise Trail. Another path, the Presque Isle and Grand Lake Loop, passes two lighthouses and views of Lake Huron. Find great maps at trailscouncil.org.

Photo courtesy of Ron Garbinski.

5Park It: Straits State Park in St. Ignace is a delightful spot to enjoy picturesque day or night views of the Mackinac Bridge, awesome campsites on the Straits of Mackinac, hiking, birding, and more. St. Ignace is a great launching pad for trips to Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, and the Father Marquette National Memorial (undergoing restoration). stignace.com

Photo courtesy of Megan Swoyer.

6Migration Paradise: Truly off the beaten path, the Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area, between Oscoda and East Tawas, is a 5,000-acre wonderland of ponds, nesting islands, and lots of birds and animals, especially during spring and fall migrations. Drive slowly on a long dirt road that skirts the wetlands; you never know what you’ll spot. Part of the AuSable Valley Audubon Trails system, Tuttle also has a few marked hiking trails. us23heritageroute.org

Photo courtesy of Bluewater.org

7Tempting Trifecta: Free museums, freighter-watching, and tasty dining await in Port Huron. Start at the Thomas Edison Depot Center (one of four fun museum sites) to learn about the famous inventor. Then step outside to explore the Blue Water River Walk and watch the international freighter traffic plying the St. Clair River. End the day at nearby Freighter’s Eatery & Taproom or Courses Restaurant. bluewater.org.

Photo courtesy of Ron Garbinski.

8Magical Paddling: The two-plus-hour guided Pictured Rocks Kayaking Tours from Munising are amazing. After a 45-minute boat ride, pairs are launched from the vessel into sea kayaks to explore sections of the Lake Superior national lakeshore up close. Paddlers glide through the crystal-clear, turquoise-colored water for about five miles to see towering cliffs, waterfalls, and caves. picturedrockskayaking.com.

Photo courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay.

9Play Ball: Tickets to Great Lakes Loons minor league baseball games include fun times in the stands and lots of action on the field. The team plays at Dow Diamond, overlooking the Tittabawassee River in Midland. As an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, they compete in the 12-team Midwest League with the Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland A’s) and the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers). milb.com/great-lakes

Photo courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay.

10Welcome Aboard: For 30 years, the 418-foot U.S.S. Edson destroyer proudly served American interests around the world. After being decommissioned in 1988, the decorated warship was acquired by the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in 2012. Today, the restored vessel is a floating museum that’s open for tours and even overnight activities at its home dock on the Saginaw River in Bay City. svnsm.com

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