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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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  • 1
    Canada's Highway-17 near <br>Rossport, Ontario.
  • 2
    A freighter passes Duluth.
  • 3
    The dining room at Naniboujou Lodge <br>near Grand Marais, Minnesota
  • 4
    Guests can climb the tower for a <br>Lake Superior view from Michigan's <br>Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn.
  • 5
    Both trailers and tents find beachfront <br>camping at Munising, <br>Michigan's Tourist Park.
  • 6
  • 7
    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.
  • 8
    Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn

Trip Guide

 

Michigan

Travel Michigan (888/784-7328; www.michigan.org).
Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association (800/562-7134; www.uptravel.com).
For Sault Ste. Marie information: 800/647-2858; www.saultstemarie.com.
Antlers If you can take your eyes off all the taxidermy inside this burgers-and-steaks Sault Ste. Marie landmark, look outside for passing freighters (906/632-3571; www.antlersgiftshop.com).
Da Yoopers Kitsch doesn’t get more silly or irresistible than this collection of souvenirs in Ishpeming (800/628-9978; www.dayoopers.com).
Dogpatch In Munising, steak and lake fish star at this down-home eatery (906/387-9948; www.visitmunising.com/dogpatch_restaurant/index.html).
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Detour from the Michigan section of the Circle Tour onto State-123 to this museum near Paradise, which includes shipwreck accounts and artifacts, restored keeper’s quarters and onetime U.S. Coast Guard quarters renovated as an inn. Open May 1—October 31 and by appointment. Admission charged (800/635-1742; www.shipwreckmuseum.com).
Michigan state parks Daily entry fee: $8. Information and campsite reservations: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (800/447-2757; www.michigan.gov/dnr).
Tahquamenon Falls (906/492-3415).
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness (906/885-5275).
Munising Tourist Park In Munising, camp on Lake Superior’s shore for $15—$25. (906/387-3145; www.munisingtouristpark.com).
Northern Waters Adventures Carl Hansen leads kayak trips, including one-day tours along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From $115 for adults (906/387-2323; www.northernwaters.com).
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trails lace more than 40 miles of cliffs, dramatic rock formations and dunes east of Munising along Lake Superior.
Campsites available (906/387-3700; www.nps.gov/piro).
Pictured Rocks and shipwreck tours On boats departing from Munising, cruise past cliffs and waterfalls or gaze at wrecks through glass-bottom hulls (906/387-4477; www.shipwrecktours.com).
Point Iroquois Light Station Detour to Brimley and this picturesque white station and tower, managed by Hiawatha National Forest (906/635-5311; www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/hiawatha/recreation/).
Ramada Plaza Ojibway Hotel. This renovated hotel stands beside the harbor in Sault Ste. Marie. From $139 (906/632-4100; www.waterviewhotels.com).
Randall Bakery Try the pasties and pick up cookies for dessert (906/224-5401). Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn Some rooms have lake views, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. From $135 (906/337-1744; www.sandhillslight houseinn.com).
Soo Locks Boat Tours Sightseeing cruises "lock through" and explore Sault Ste.
Marie's busy international harbor (800/432-6301; www.soolocks.com).

Minnesota

Explore Minnesota Tourism (888/868-7476; www.exploreminnesota.com).
For Duluth information: Visit Duluth (800/438-5884; www.visitduluth.com).
Grandma’s Saloon & Grill Memorabilia covers the walls and ceiling of this Duluth institution (218/727-4192; www.grandmasrestaurants.com).
Grand Portage National Monument Watch canoe building at this re-created fur-trading post near the Canadian border in Grand Portage. Admission charged (218/387-2788; www.nps.gov/grpo).
Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center In Duluth, displays focus on navigational history (218/720-5260; www.lsmma.com).
Naniboujou Lodge Some rooms have fireplaces and lake views at this lodge near Grand Marais. From $70 (218/387-2688; www.naniboujou.com).
Minnesota Parks Daily entry fee: $7 (888/646-6367; www.dnr.state.mn.us/parks).
Cascade River (218/387-3053).
Split Rock (218/226-6377). Split Rock Lighthouse Visitors can tour the cliff-top lighthouse and keepers’ quarters, restored to their 1920s appearance. Open May 15—October 15. Admission charged (218/226-6372; www.mnhs.org/places/sites/srl/).

Ontario

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (800/668-2746; www.ontariotravel.net).
For Thunder Bay information: 800/667-8386; www.visitthunderbay.com. Prices are in Canadian dollars (at press time, each Canadian dollar was worth about 85 cents in American currency).
Passport requirements For the smoothest crossing from Canada into the United States, carry a passport or birth certificate. Beginning January 1, 2008, people entering the States may be required to present passports. For more information, contact the U.S. State Department (877/487-2778; www.travel.state.gov).
Caribou Charters Near Terrace Bay, a one-day, four-person fishing charter with Doug Caldwell is $300 (807/825-3719).
Amethyst Mine Panorama Tour North America’s largest amethyst mine, 35 miles northeast of Thunder Bay. Admission charged (807/622-6908; www.amethyst mine.com).
Fort William Historical Park In Thunder Bay, more than 40 replica buildings on 25 acres. Admission charged (807/577-8461; www.fwhp.ca).
Ontario parks Campsites from $22.25 (800/668-2746; www.ontarioparks.com).
Kakabeka Falls (807/473-9231).
Lake Superior (705/856-2284).
Ouimet Canyon (807/977-2526).
Rainbow Falls (807/824-2298).
Rossport Inn Rooms and cabins are basic, but comfortable. From $85 (877/824-4032; www.rossportinn.on.ca).
Island Pottery You’ll find Tim Alexander in his Rossport studio daily mid-May—October (807/824-2409). Young’s General Store This store in Wawa is packed with souvenirs and fishing gear (705/856-2626; www.youngsgeneralstore.com).

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Tourism (800/432-8747; www.travelwisconsin.com).

Bayfield Detour to this charming town and the famous Apostle Islands National Lakeshore nearby (800/447-4094; www.bayfield.org).
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center In Ashland, this museum teaches about the lakes’ human and natural history (715/685-9983; www.northerngreatlakescenter.org). 

 

 

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