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