Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Scandinavian heritage, quirky charm await on winsome Washington Island" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Scandinavian heritage, quirky charm await on winsome Washington Island" from the Chicago Tribune

Unlike many island vacation spots, Washington Island — a half-hour ferry ride from Wisconsin's Door County peninsula — takes pride in being quirky.

Let's start with the sign in the window of K.K. Fiske Restaurant: "Fresh Lawyers." No, it's not an ad for cocky litigators. These "lawyers" are tender and tasty — freshwater fish caught each morning by local anglers.

Down the road is Nelsen's Hall, which claims to be the world's largest purveyor of Angostura Bitters. Nelsen's — whose founder reputedly drank a pint of bitters every day as a restorative and lived to be 90 — issues Bitters Club Certificates to anyone willing to knock back a shot.

Along Washington Harbor, countless palm-size stones shape the popular Schoolhouse Beach.Scattered here and there are stones that have been hand-painted with miniature tableaux by unnamed artists. Beware: Anyone caught pocketing a stone, painted or not, faces a $250 fine. 

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-washington-island-door-county-travel-0711-20170629-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Charleston, West Virginia, is an escape from big city prices, crowds" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Charleston, West Virginia, is an escape from big city prices, crowds" from the Chicago Tribune

A city that has time for you is a win.

In Charleston, West Virginia, you can park your car all day for $3, catch free live music almost every night and be seated right away - sans reservations - at the city's best restaurant.

Servers and shopkeepers have the time to exceed expectations, often in delightful ways: The owner of Swiftwater Cafe designed me a custom sandwich, and the owner of Elk City Records, after we bantered about dogs, asked, "Ever heard Portuguese music?" Seconds later, a record spun and a gorgeous sound emanated from the speakers.

I've visited three times in the last four years, taking small detours from road trips to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in the region, Bluegrass Kitchen. This time, I cast a wider net.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-charleston-west-virginia-travel-20170706-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "A deep dive into Michigan's eerie, beautiful Shipwreck Coast" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "A deep dive into Michigan's eerie, beautiful Shipwreck Coast" from the Chicago Tribune

The Shipwreck Coast — a stretch of shallow waters at the southern end of Lake Superior that's littered with hundreds of doomed vessels — can be found in the shadow of the Au Sable Point Lighthouse.

How's that for irony?

The history in this nook of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is grim. Sean Ley of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum estimates that of the 600 shipwrecks on Lake Superior's floor, a third are clustered on the coast here between Munising and Paradise, Mich., where the museum sits on Whitefish Point.

But on the bright side of this dark reality: The artifacts are accessible. Masts from some of the shipwrecks protrude from the water a century after sinking. The remains of other wrecked vessels rest at the shoreline like beached whales. And those that are fully sunk require only a quick trip on a glass-bottom boat to inspect.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-shipwreck-coast-lake-superior-travel-0730-20170714-story.html

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Floating water park coming to Indiana's Lake Michigan shores" from Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Floating water park coming to Indiana's Lake Michigan shores" from Chicago Tribune

Workers at Whihala Beach in northwest Indiana have started installing a floating water park along Lake Michigan.

The 1-acre sports park is to open Saturday and will include slides, towers, jumping platforms and bridges. It will sit in water that is between 5 and 12-feet deep about 100 feet off shore of the beach in Whiting.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-floating-water-park-lake-michigan-20170619-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "From bar to barber shop: Visit Hemingway haunts in Northern Michigan" from Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "From bar to barber shop: Visit Hemingway haunts in Northern Michigan" from Chicago Tribune

"You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another," wrote Ernest Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises."

For much of his early years, the novelist didn't move much beyond Oak Park, where he was born, and Northern Michigan, where his family had a vacation cottage. Far from getting away from himself, his experiences there figure into his earliest writing.

Walk around the resort town of Petoskey, and you'll see markers on buildings with a Hem history: the barber shop where he got a shave and a haircut (now a pet store) and the former boarding house where he lived and wrote. You can drink in the bar where he was a fixture (second stool on the left). Out in the countryside he loved, you can buy a souvenir or a sandwich at the general store he frequented. The church where Hemingway married the first of his four wives once stood on the vacant lot next door.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-hemingway-northern-michigan-petoskey-travel-0702-20170613-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "N. Michigan observatory extends sky-gazers’ reach" from the Detroit News

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "N. Michigan observatory extends sky-gazers’ reach" from the Detroit News

Mackinaw City — One of the best views of the heavens is tucked away here in the tip of the Mitten. 

Featuring more than two miles of undeveloped shoreline along Lake Michigan and 600 acres of trails and old-growth forest, the Headlands International Dark Sky Park boasts one of the darkest skies in upper Michigan, undiluted by light pollution and preserved by Emmet County.

The dark sky park’s latest crown jewel is its newly opened $9.3 million observatory and event center that began welcoming visitors this month.

“This equipment allows us to give students, guests and photographers exceptional opportunities to photograph the sky and its many wonders,” said Mary Stewart Adams, program director of the park. 

Continued on website.

 Link: 
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/06/29/beautiful-dark-northern-michigan-park/103275330/

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Late to the craft beer scene, Milwaukee's small brewers are a big hit" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Late to the craft beer scene, Milwaukee's small brewers are a big hit" from the Chicago Tribune

It took only a couple of hours to hear the inevitable.

"What do you have that tastes like Miller Lite?"

In a city made famous by pale and mostly bland beer, I was surprised it took so long.

The question arrived early on a Saturday evening at Good City Brewing, which opened less than a year ago near Milwaukee's handsome, weathered downtown. During a wave of brewery openings in a city most familiar with the classic brands made there — Miller, Schlitz and Pabst — Good City has been particularly popular. But the sudden diversity of beer choice can leave some drinkers befuddled.

The bartender was surprisingly thrown by the question. He briefly wore a pained expression while calculating the options. Ten beers were on tap, five of which were bitter-meets-fruity pale ales, IPAs and double IPA. Those wouldn't work. The most obvious choice, a Pilsner, was probably too robust, he said.

The woman said she wanted something "light" and "smooth."

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/brewstraveler/ct-milwaukee-craft-breweries-travel-0611-20170526-story.html