Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, National Park, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

The Great Lakes | Very cool USA must-see…

The unparalleled, natural beauty of the Great Lakes inspires a sense of wonder and possibility. They are one of the world’s most significant water resources and the most extensive freshwater system on Earth. The Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario — represent thousands of years of history and continue to play an important role in the physical and cultural heritage of North America. They are critical to the social and economic vitality of the entire North American continent

Lake Superior – Michigan

With an area of over 80,000 square meters, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The lake is known as boisterous: countless ships perished on the lake and hundreds of sailors found their seaman’s grave here. The Lake Superior Provincial Park starts about a hundred kilometers northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Ontario. The rugged landscape of the provincial park is wooded with a mix of pine and deciduous trees. The predominantly rocky coastline is interrupted by sandy beaches. A large population of moose is present in the park. The best time to view these elk is the months of April, May and June. Other large animals that live in the park are the black bear and the gray wolf.

Places of interest & activities

Trans-Canada Highway: The TCH runs through this nature reserve over a distance of 80 kilometers. You don’t have to deviate far from the road to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. For example, at Old Woman Bay you can admire the steep, pine-covered rock walls that surround the bay. You can picnic and camp at various places in the park, including at Agawa Bay, Rabbit Blanket Lake and Crescent Lake.

Visitor Center: Visit the Tourism Information Center at Agawa Bay, recognizable by the large steel sculpture of a Canadian goose. Interesting to know is that “Wawa” in the Ojib law means “wild goose”. At this center you can obtain maps for walking and canoeing trips. In addition, they provide information about the local flora and fauna. At a distance of two kilometers from the viewpoint at Agawa Bay you can see rock drawings made by Indians. You can see images of moose, bears, fish and canoes.

Did you know this?
Lake Erie could fit inside Lake Superior 25 times!
There is enough water in Lake Superior to submerge all of North and South America in 1 foot of water!
Lake Superior’s beaches are open and safe for swimming over 90% of the time, and the water is extremely clear, with an average underwater visibility of 8.3 m (27 ft).

Lake HuronMichigan

With the longest shoreline of all of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron is one of the most unique lakes on Earth. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes, and the fourth largest lake in the world by surface area. Huron is renowned for its beaches, sand dunes, wetlands, forests, and extensive river systems. Its coves, channels, and bays are steeped in history, including the hundreds of shipwrecks that lie beneath its surface. The bright turquoise waters will invite you to explore all that Lake Huron has to offer.

Places of interest & activities

Lake Huron’s icy waters preserve sunken ships for decades with little disturbance. Fathom Five Marine Park, a land and water reserve on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay at the end of the Bruce Peninsula, is a four-hour drive north of Toronto. With 22 significant shipwrecks dating back to the 19th century, Fathom Five presents a microcosm of maritime history. The wrecks include shallow-water hulks that even snorkelers can enjoy, but also wood-hulled schooners more than a dozen fathoms deep.

Did you know this?
Lake Huron is said to host some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
Huron has some of the most popular recreational spots in the summer, with water temperatures that can reach approximately 23° C
Every hour, approximately 8 billion litres (2 billion gallons) of water flow from Lake Superior into Lake Huron.
Lake Huron has an underwater petrified forest of 7,000 year-old trees!

Lake Michigan – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin

Lake Michigan is a true treasure. Standing on the shores of Lake Michigan — with its bright blue waves, fresh breeze, and varied shorelines — it is hard to believe that you are looking at a lake and not an ocean. It is home to over 12 million people — many found in the booming cities of Chicago and Milwaukee — and hundreds of rare and diverse plant and animal species. Prominent beach towns in the north are popular tourist attractions, boasting sandy beaches and a mix of lively and quaint atmospheres. Michigan’s beautiful wilderness shores have been the playground for many of America’s industrial elite for almost three centuries, and they continue to draw millions of people to the water year after year.

Places of interest & activities

One of the great things about Lake Michigan is that no matter where you are around the lake, there are always interesting places to travel to. Let us take a circle tour of Lake Michigan, which will take us through four states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana) and explore the best places to visit.

Illinois :
The main attraction along Lake Michigan in Illinois is the City of Chicago. It is a destination in and of itself.
Navy Pier is a fun place to go and hangout that has something for everyone. It is located on a pier that juts out into Lake Michigan. They have an indoor area for shopping with a few different restaurants. It is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Lake Shore Drive is a very beautiful and scenic route that offers amazing views of the city of Chicago and Lake Michigan
Illinois Beach State Park is located just south of the Illinois-Wisconsin border on the shores of Lake Michigan. The park boasts around six and half miles of sandy shoreline with plenty of area for swimming, picnicking, and just enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. 
Wisconsin :
Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and has a lot to offer. The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country.
The next stop as we continue to drive north is Manitowoc, which is about 40 miles south of Green Bay. Manitowoc is home to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum that offers people a chance to see lean about the shipbuilding industry, fishing, and a tour of an actual submarine. The other cool thing about Manitowoc is that you can take a ferry boat from there to Ludington in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
Green Bay is a wonderful place to stop and has a lot of things to do for a smaller city. It is home to the Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field. If you are a sports fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this historic stadium and the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.
Door County is northeast of Green Bay on the Door Peninsula that separates Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay. It is very beautiful and one of the top vacation spots in Wisconsin. The best time of the year to go is in the fall. The whole area is full of quaint shops, bed and breakfasts, and unique small towns. There are also a lot of lighthouses to checkout. 
Michigan :
Fayette is located on the Garden Peninsula in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is home to an old iron smelting settlement from the 1800s and has since become a ghost town. Most of the buildings are open to the public so that we can see how they lived and worked back then.
The drive between Manistique and St. Ignace on US 2 is beautiful all year long, but especially beautiful during the fall with all of the bright colors. This route offers beautiful views of Lake Michigan and dense forests.
As you drive into St. Ignace, you will be able to see the Mackinac Bridge stretching five miles from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to its Lower Peninsula. The Mackinac Bridge is the dividing line between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The bridge is a spectacular sight.
Mackinac Island is one of the most fun places to travel to because you have to take a ferry to get there and they do not allow cars on the island. Riding bikes, horse and buggy, and walking are the ways to get around on the island.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located to the west of Traverse City. This is a great area to enjoy the beautiful sand dunes, hike, swim, take a scenic drive, and camp. 
Indiana :
Indiana only has a small piece of coastline on Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes State Park is the best place to visit in Indiana on Lake Michigan’s shoreline. The park boasts sand dunes that can reach a height of 200 feet

Did you know this?

Did you know this?
Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, stretching across the Strait of Mackinac an impressive 8.04 km
Lake Michigan is home to the pebble-shaped Petoskey stone, a fossilized coral found only on the northern shores of this lake.
Lake Michigan contains 735 islands!

Lake Erie – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York State

Lake Erie’s name is derived from “erielhonan,” which is Iroquoian for “long tail.” Aptly named, over 40 km of its sandy shore stretches out as a peninsula into the deepest part of the lake where sweeping sand cliffs dominate, left behind after the ancient glacial retreat. Erie is the most southerly, shallow, and biologically diverse of all of the Great Lakes. Its shallow depth makes it the warmest Great Lake and a favourite destination for summer recreationists and migrating birds. Lake Erie also supports a variety of industries and is home to one of the world’s largest and most valuable freshwater commercial and sport fisheries.

Places of interest & activities

The Michigan Shoreline:
-By boat or car, however you get here, just get here. The Michigan shoreline of Lake Erie along with the Detroit River is a feast for the senses at every turn. From grand casinos and famous riverboat cruises to revitalized and restored downtown historical districts, theaters, restaurants and shopping blocks there is entertainment available around the clock and around every block.
Ohio’s Coast & Islands:
– The Lake Erie Islands, Cedar Point Amusement Park, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the best fresh water fishing in North America are must see and do 
– Offering everything from antique shopping to indoor water parks and festivals to sandy beaches, the Lake Erie coastline is jam packed with fun and entertainment.
– A midwest boaters dream come true, Ohio offers a coastline of marinas, restaurants with dockage and quick day trips to the Lake Erie islands. Charter fishing is on the list of most popular activities with Port Clinton, OH. being well known for its title of “Walleye Capital of the World” while Put-in-Bay Island offers live entertainment around every corner in downtown restaurants and nightclubs. Visit the Marblehead Peninsula for a walking tour of the Marblehead Lighthouse or enjoy a taste of the region with a fresh Lake Erie perch dinner. State parks offer sandy Lake Erie beaches for a day of swimming and picnicking along with transient dockage and scenic camping.
Pennsylvania Coast :
-Preque Isle State Park on the Pennsylvania Coast of Lake Erie with its 11 sandy beaches and abundance of outdoor activities is only the beginning! The Pennsylvania coastline is home to amusement parks, waterparks, Lake Erie cruises, shopping for unique gifts & collectibles, fishing and boating.
New York State:
– A Lake Erie vacation to New York isn’t complete without a trip to the Niagara River where Lake Erie dumps into Lake Ontario. The Niagara Falls. A top tourist destination for people from around the world. Enjoy the sights and sounds of American Falls up close or from a room with a view and visit some of the hundreds of attractions around Niagara Falls that offer hundreds of reasons to take a Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall vacation in New York.

Did you know this?
Lake Erie has its very own mythical lake monster (named Bessie) that was first sighted in 1793. Unfortunately, it’s likely nothing but a very large Lake Sturgeon.
There are rocks within the Lake Erie watershed that date back 400 million years ago, formed from an ancient tropical ocean reef habitat.
Even though it is the warmest lake during the summer, Lake Erie freezes over during most winters — much more than any other great lake — due to its shallow depth.

Lake Ontario – New York State

Lake Ontario is an ecological wonder. Every drop of water within the Great Lakes basin flows through Lake Ontario. Being so close to the Atlantic Ocean makes Lake Ontario a crucial corridor for transportation, water exchange, and fish migration. The diversity of habitats surrounding the lake includes sand dunes, forests, wetlands, and rocky cliffs, each providing home to thousands of plant and animal species. Not only is it home to a variety of wildlife, but Lake Ontario is home — and provides drinking water — to over 9 million people. Although it is the smallest of the Great Lakes, more Canadians live in the Lake Ontario watershed than any other watershed in the country.

Places of interest & activities

Lake Ontario may be the smallest of the Great Lakes, but it’s a giant by any other standard, spanning more than 7,500 square miles between the United States and Canada. It’s one of the greatest outdoor attractions in either country, its shoreline populated by vast cosmopolitan cities and unmatched natural landscapes. Whether your travels take you to the Ontario or New York side of this great lake, some attractions are not to be missed.
– It’s been described as the prettiest town in Ontario, and that’s a hard claim to argue with. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming and beautifully preserved 19th-century village on the lakeshore, in the heart of Ontario’s wine country.
– Nestled in the spot where the Genesee River tumbles over a series of spectacular waterfalls before emptying into Lake Ontario, Rochester is New York’s third-largest city and one of its great destination for arts and entertainment. It also offers a truly charming lakefront. 
– Toronto offers its share of world-famous attractions – the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum – but some of its greatest treasures lie long the Lake Ontario shoreline. 
– A tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village in Central New York, Fair Haven is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to experience the lake far away from cities and crowds.

Did you know this?
The province of Ontario was named after the lake, not the other way around.
There is a lake on Saturn’s moon, Titan, named “Ontario Lacus,” after Lake Ontario.
Due to erosion from the rushing water, Niagara Falls retreats approximately 0.3 metre (1 foot) every year!
Legend has it that Babe Ruth’s first ever home run baseball sank into the depths of Lake Ontario, right next to Toronto Island, never to be found.

A road trip through the Great Lakes region is a journey through northeastern American states and southeastern Canada. The Great Lakes region owes its name to lakes such as Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. These are some of the largest freshwater lakes on earth. In addition to beautiful coastlines, rolling landscapes, waterfalls and canyons in Michigan and New York State, you can include impressive cities in your Great Lakes tour: Chicago in Illinois and Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

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