Lake Superior circle tour | Midwest Living

Lake Superior circle tour

Two cars, five days and 1,200 miles of highway. Two sets of travelers with different ideas of the perfect vacation create memories of a lifetime around massive Lake Superior.
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    Canada's Highway-17 near <br>Rossport, Ontario.
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    A freighter passes Duluth.
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    The dining room at Naniboujou Lodge <br>near Grand Marais, Minnesota
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    Guests can climb the tower for a <br>Lake Superior view from Michigan's <br>Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn.
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    Both trailers and tents find beachfront <br>camping at Munising, <br>Michigan's Tourist Park.
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    Ojibwa pictographs decorate Agawa <br>Rock in Lake Superior Provincial <br>Park, where hikers follow signs <br>of the lake spirit Misshepezhieu <br>down the rock.
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    Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn

Barbara and Joan's Itinerary


DAY 1...4 STOPS 116 miles Duluth, MN—Walked along the harbor and watched Aerial Lift Bridge rise. Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN—Wished we had time to join kids splashing in the falls. Grand Marais, MN—Could have spent a day in shops and galleries. Naniboujou Lodge—Had dinner and settled into a room with a Lake Superior view.

DAY 2...4 STOPS 140 MILES Thunder Bay, ONT—Explored Fort William Historical Park, a re-created fur trading post. Detoured to massive Kakabeka Falls. Amethyst Mine Panorama, ONT—Sifted through rocks rich in semiprecious stones. Ouimet Canyon, ONT—Awed by this detour. Rossport, ONT—Reached the Rossport Inn at last!

DAY 3...6 STOPS 338 MILES Rossport, ONT—Lingered at potter Tim Alexander's studio. Terrace Bay, ONT— Town beach felt like a discovery. Traveled the edge of Pukaskwa National Park, past crystal lakes. Wawa, ONT—Had to see the goose statue and Young’s General Store. Marveled at Silver Falls and Old Woman Bay. Sault Ste. Marie, MI—Checked into Ojibway Hotel beside the Soo Locks and busy harbor.

DAY 4...9 STOPS 358 MILES State-123 detour—Left the official Circle Tour route to see Iroquois Point Lighthouse, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and giant Tahquamenon Falls. Munising, MI—Chowed down on pasties and backtracked east to two of spectacular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s s most accessible spots, Miners Castle and Miners Beach. Marquette, MI—Made a quick stop in the vibrant historic downtown of the UP’S biggest city, which has huge iron-ore docks still looming over the harbor. Can’t resist Da Yooper’s Tourist Trap to the west and its kitschy collections. Ahmeek, MI—Arrived at Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn in time for dessert and to watch an orange sun sink into the lake.

DAY 5...3 STOPS 230 MILES Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI—Amazed by Lake of the Clouds overlook and drove through tunnels of trees in Michigan’s largest state park. Wakefield, MI—Ate our favorite pasties at Randall Bakery; no gravy needed and great with chocolate milk. Duluth, MN—Tooled back to our starting point via Superior, WI, past a freighter-filled harbor.


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