Best Places to Visit by the Great Lakes

Any time of year is perfect for a visit to the Great Lakes. Each of the lakes is a destination unto itself but prepare to be surprised by some of the small wonders along the way. From the shoreline of Superior to the Finger Lakes of the Ontario headwaters, there are some awesome sights to experience.

If you are looking for a guide to show you to the best places to visit by the Great Lakes, look no further. Let us describe destinations for road trips that will create memories and carve a place in your heart for the beauty that keeps HOMES top-of-mind for travel. Additionally, it’s good to know there’s a Great Lakes map that will commemorate the beauty of the land and shores you traveled.

7 Incredible Destinations by the Great Lakes

  1. Munising, Michigan
  2. Saugatuck, Michigan
  3. Mackinac Island, Michigan
  4. Two Harbors, Minnesota
  5. Chesterton, Indiana
  6. Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio
  7. Finger Lakes, New York

1. Don’t sleep on the beauty of the Upper Peninsula.

Lake Superior 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

Munising offers some of the most beautiful – and fun – experiences on the shores of Lake Superior. On a Great Lakes map, you can locate Munising on the shoreline of the peninsula connecting Michigan and Canada. From shipwreck tours to kayaking, Munising quietly gives all the feels of a destination to remember. 

Where to Stay in Munising

The top place to stay in Munising is the lodge-like home of a lumber baron, Roam Inn. Cozy and conveniently located, this inn offers stunning views of Lake Superior as well as easy access to some of the best adventures this area has to offer. Be sure to book the Lumber Baron suite - it is popular for its two balconies overlooking the bay.

What to Do in Munising

Where to Eat in Munising

When you are looking for good eats, the variety in Munising will not disappoint. Start your day with a breakfast sandwich from the Falling Rock Café & Book Store. Lose yourself in the shelves and study a book of Great Lakes maps, looking for your next adventure. The unique goodness of Pictured Rocks Pizza is a perfect break in your scenic day.

Don’t want to wander far from the inn? Some say Tracey’s at Roam Inn is the best place in the whole darn U.P.! Legend has it this restaurant was inspired by friendship, so be prepared to make a new friend and create memories over savory selections. 

2. Saugatuck explodes with the beauty and artistry of Michigan.

Lake Michigan Cribbage Board

This town will bring out your creative side! More than 40 art galleries and beautiful beaches create this Lake Michigan shoreline oasis. The long, sandy beaches and dunes entice nature enthusiasts, bird-watchers, and hikers from near and far to explore this little artsy town that is easy to find on any Great Lakes map. You simply can’t leave Michigan without a quick stop in Saugatuck.

Where to Stay in Saugatuck

Get into the spirit of the artistry in Saugatuck at the Belvedere Inn. This 1913 Inn will inspire visions of European style with the aura of serenity. Treat yourself to warmth and hospitality you will remember long after your time in Saugatuck. Lodgings abound, so treat yourself to a stay close enough to experience the magic of this little town by the water. 

What to Do in Saugatuck

Where to Eat in Saugatuck

If you are staying at the Belvedere Inn, you don’t have to go far to find the five-star experience of The Restaurant. For something more chill, check out the Saugatuck Brewing Company for local brews and casual food. You’ll find great tastes around every corner – the only question you’ll be asking is whether you want a water view with each meal.

3. Go back in time to Mackinac Island.

Great Lakes Cribbage Board

One glance at a Great Lakes map, and you’ll see: Mackinac Island isn’t just near the Great Lakes – it is IN the Great Lakes! Nestled in the Straits of Mackinaw between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, this timeless islet offers a refuge from the fast pace of modern-day life. Board a Star Line Ferry and treat yourself to a relaxed lifestyle where gas-powered cars can’t be found, and cell phones are optional.

Where to Stay on Mackinac Island

You simply can’t argue with the draw of the Grand Hotel. Featured in the film “Somewhere in Time” starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, this majestic hotel is a vision on land and from the water as you cross by ferry. If you fancy something right on Main Street, the Murray Hotel offers timeless accommodations with a fudge shop in the lobby and horse-drawn carriages outside the front door. 

What to Do on Mackinac Island

Where to Eat on Mackinac Island

If you find yourself drawn to a lifestyle with horses, you are sure to enjoy the Seabiscuit Cafe. If you are looking for a fun time, good drinks, and a sassy bartender, The Pink Pony is always on point. Whether you hike it or bike it, Mackinac Island will keep you well-fed with casual breweries and fine dining experiences.

4. Two Harbors is worth the trip to Minnesota.

Lake Superior Clock

Your Great Lakes map will show you that Two Harbors is about 27 miles northeast of Duluth. Some of the area highlights include expansive outdoor exploration in North Shore near Lake Superior. With hiking trails that head all the way to the Canadian border, Two Harbors offers unparalleled outdoor adventure. Check your Great Lakes map for points of interest, including hiking trails, as you hike through the state park.

Where to Stay in Two Harbors

If you can’t decide between a standard room, cabin, or lakefront home, Grand Superior Lodge & Lake Homes has you covered. In addition to housing options, Grand Superior has activities to keep the whole family engaged. If you are looking for a luxurious lakefront getaway, Superior Shores is an authentic retreat overlooking Lake Superior.

What to Do in Two Harbors

What to Eat in Two Harbors

For all who live by the expression, “Eat dessert first,” you’re going to want to go straight to world-famous Betty’s Pies. After you satisfy that sweet tooth, follow Route 61 in either direction to find local favorites like Black Woods Bar & Grill and Vanilla Bean. You’ll want to go back to Betty’s time and again, but good news – Betty’s ships their famous pies to anywhere on your Great Lakes map!

5. Big beauty in the small Lake Michigan town of Chesterton.

Lake Michigan 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

Find the small-town charm of a lakeshore destination in Chesterton. This Great Lakes map destination offers easy access to the Indiana Dunes in addition to breathtaking views of prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. There’s enough small-town goodness for everyone in this charming Lake Michigan town.

Where to Stay in Chesterton

This town offers modern lodging as well as cozy bed & breakfast options like At Home in the Woods. If you prefer a relaxed hotel with a free breakfast, the Spring House Inn is a perfect option for you.

What to Do in Chesterton

Where to Eat in Chesterton

If you are looking for eclectic American eateries with great bites and beer selections, Chesterton is the place for you. The Octave Grill, Wagner’s Ribs, and Ivy’s Bohemia House are the local go-to’s for great food and a fun atmosphere. Save room for the delicious home-baked items you selected at the European Market! 

6. You’ll never forget the summer resort town of Geneva-on-the-Lake.

Lake Erie 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

Nestled on the edge of Lake Erie, your Great Lakes map will reveal the spectacular resort town of Geneva-on-the-Lake. Every inch of this area offers an opportunity for upscale food and vintage boardwalk fun. From paved walking paths to spectacular vineyards, Geneva-on-the-Lake is not to be missed.

Where to Stay in Geneva-on-the-Lake

The Cottages at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake make a perfect home away from home. Spend your evenings on the porch, just steps away from the waters of Lake Erie, or enjoy the views from your panoramic windows. If you are looking for accommodations just steps from where you’ll enjoy local wines, The Lakehouse Inn Resort offers one of the area’s only wineries on the lake.

What to Do in Geneva-on-the-Lake

Where to Eat in Geneva-on-the-Lake

If you came to Geneva-on-the-Lake for the upscale food, you’ll enjoy Crosswinds Grille. Located at The Lakehouse Inn, this exceptional restaurant can keep you steps from your lodging and close to the food and wine that fuels your new love for this small town. Local favorites like Mary’s Kitchen and Eddie’s Grill can’t be missed for a food bite after touring the local landscapes you’ve plotted on your Great Lakes map. 

7. The Finger Lakes are part of the Great Lakes, too.

Finger Lakes 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

The Finger Lakes of New York are part of the Great Lakes headwaters. The Native American legend of the Finger Lakes is that the Creator reached down to bless the land and left an imprint of his hand creating the Finger Lakes. No Great Lakes map collection would be complete without including these old, natural lakes. 

Where to Stay Near the Finger Lakes

If staying in an 1880s castle tops your bucket list, Belhurst Castle and Winery is ready and waiting for you. Those that prefer a tranquil rural inn with lake views will enjoy The Lodge at Grist Iron Brewing Co. Consult any Great Lakes map to find points of interest in the heart of the Finger Lakes, each of which can serve as the perfect base for your Finger Lake adventures.

What to Do Near the Finger Lakes

Where to Eat Near the Finger Lakes

Seneca Lake, New York 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

The Waterfront offers a relaxing dining option overlooking Keuka Lake. On Seneca Lake, Stonecat Café is a rare treat that just cannot be missed! As you study your Great Lakes map and see the vineyards that are identified in the landscape, consider hiring a private tour driver to take you through Finger Lakes wine country.

The best part of a series of road trips to the best places to visit by the Great Lakes is the Great Lakes maps you can collect to keep those memories top of mind. Each destination was an opportunity for new adventures, to find new vistas, and meet new friends. A Great Lakes map commemorates your journey in an elegant way, preserving your memories in a beautiful wood map you can see every day.

Capture Memories in Wood Maps

Each roadway, city, and shoreline that you explored are artfully etched into birch, replaying the story of your travels in high-quality wood art. The Great Lakes maps will be treasured in any collection, whether you purchase the wood maps for yourself or to give as gifts to those who joined you on the journey. The expansive landscape of our country is meant to be explored, with every view captured in our memory and the topography and bathymetry of land and water etched in exquisite detail into the lake art we collect.

Let maps of the Great Lakes tell the story of your travels with friends and family. Collect these elegant wood maps to remind you of the good times and inspire future adventure and travel to other destinations near the Great Lakes. Dare to make each adventure more meaningful than the last!

Lake Huron 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

Feed the spirit of travel within you with Great Lakes maps. These high-quality works of art instantly elevate the décor of any home or office and inspire the feeling of wanderlust within you. Each stop on your journey around the Great Lakes is etched in a stunning wood chart, providing a memory of each destination and the points of interest that made it so memorable.

Each time you look at your collection of Great Lakes maps, you’ll remember. These aren’t just wood maps. These details are the story of your life. And you wouldn’t change a thing!

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