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Planning a Trip to the Great Lakes: Must-See Spots and Souvenirs!

The East Coast has the Big Apple, and the West Coast has L.A.—but what vacation destination sits in the middle of the country? The Great Lakes draw 6.5 million tourists annually, making it one of the most popular places to travel to in the Midwest. But where are the best places to stop on your trip? And what 3D map makes the best souvenir?

Whether you’ve always dreamed of road-tripping around the Great Lakes or are looking for a new adventure, we’re here to give you a head start in planning an unforgettable trip! Learn tidbits and travel tips with our guide to must-see spots, and learn more about why wood maps make the best souvenirs. 

History of the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Cribbage Board

Fun fact about the Great Lakes: they have been around for over 20,000 years, formed when the climate began to warm up after the last Ice Age. For centuries, different groups have migrated to the areas found on a Great Lakes map, from Indigenous tribes to foreign settlers. Nowadays, some of the most popular and beloved American cities exist on their shores, from bustling Chicago to scenic Buffalo—and we have wood maps for all of them!

Why Visit the Great Lakes?

When you visit the Great Lakes region, you can stay in different cities rich with culture, culinary options, and history, all on the coast of the largest freshwater lake system on Earth. Some say that the beautiful trails along the shores are their favorite view in the Midwest, as seen in our 3D maps. Others love the endless activities, such as sailing, kayaking, ice skating, and fishing. And everyone loves a wood map of their favorite lake!

Which Lakes Are Depicted on the Great Lakes Map?

  • Lake Michigan
  • Lake Huron
  • Lake Erie
  • Lake Ontario
  • Lake Superior

How Long Does It Take to Travel Around the Great Lakes?

Great Lakes Serving Tray

If you’re traveling by car, you can comfortably travel around all five lakes in seven days. If you want to see as many sights as possible, plan a leisurely trip of at least ten days or longer. As you navigate your Great Lakes map, determine which lake is your favorite to find a wood map perfect for your home (or pick the Great Lakes map depicting all five!).

What’s the Best Month to Visit the Great Lakes?

When planning your trip around the Great Lakes, it all comes down to choosing the time of year. While there are beautiful sights year-round, late August through September is the best time to visit to see the leaves transition to a new rainbow of fall colors. 

Best Places to Stay to See Each Great Lake

As you plan your trip with the Great Lakes map, these are the most popular and beautiful spots to stay:  

Stay in Chicago, IL, for Lake Michigan

Great Lakes 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

Start your Great Lakes map navigation in Chicago, with its 26 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan. Spend the day at one of the many free beaches or go on a bike excursion down the entire 18.5-mile-long bike path to see incredible views (as seen on our wood maps!) Sip a classic Midwest beer on the waterfront or picnic on the River Walk and live like the locals. Don’t forget to grab a classic Chicago dog when you’re there—just don’t ask for ketchup!

Visit Mackinac Island, MI, for Lake Huron

Mackinac Island is located in between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, in Lake Huron. Famously, this tiny island doesn’t allow cars, so you’ll need to take a ferry to get to shore. But it’s worth it for the quaint shopping towns, miles of scenic hikes, and unforgettable sunsets on the horizon! Order a 3D map to remember this adorable town at the end of your trip! 

Travel Through Grand Marais, MN, for Lake Superior

Grand Marais attracts visitors from far and wide to Lake Superior. Home to the oldest art colony in Minnesota, this town always has concerts, museums, or craft fairs to attend! Walk around the town to see charming shops, chat with fishermen on the docks, and experience the peaceful beauty Grand Marais has to offer. 

Drive Through Buffalo, NY, for Lake Erie

Great Lakes Map Wall Clock

Make a pit stop in Buffalo to discover the memorable views and nature Lake Erie has to offer. Take a walk-through of world-renowned architecture and plan a few outdoor adventures for you and your family. If you have spare time, travel up the river that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and experience Niagara Falls!  

Stop in Toronto, Canada, for Lake Ontario

Visit Toronto and experience one of the world’s longest urban waterfronts on Lake Ontario. From beaches and green spaces to vibrant art galleries and concert venues, this city has countless activities for travelers of all ages to enjoy.  

Why Do 3D Maps Make the Best Souvenir?

Skip the same-old souvenirs when you’re on your trip and invest in a timeless and durable 3D map. While it can be tempting to grab the kitschy, colorful baubles on the road, they aren’t made to last and certainly aren’t unique. Buying a high-quality item like our 3D wood maps will help you reminisce about your travels for years. 

3D maps are also the perfect blend of science and art, using beautiful colors and the study of topography to carve intricate, dimensional wood maps of your favorite places. Whether you choose a wall clockserving tray, or wood map wall art piece, you can commemorate your vacation memories in your home with a 3D map. 

You can also travel light when you skip buying souvenirs on the road! When you fall in love with the beautiful sights on your Great Lakes map road trip, you can choose a meaningful location for your 3D map to be shipped right to your front door. Throughout your trip, a Great Lakes map featuring all your favorite spots will be waiting to greet you when you arrive back home!  

Top 5 Best-Selling Great Lakes Maps

Great Lakes Cork Map

3D maps are a personal and beautiful way to commemorate your trip to the Midwest once it’s over. Remember your travels with these Great Lakes maps:

  1. Great Lakes Cribbage Board
  2. Great Lakes Serving Tray
  3. Great Lakes 3D Nautical Large Wood Chart
  4. Great Lakes Clock
  5. Great Lakes Cork Map

Everyone should see the Great Lakes at least once (if not more) in their lives! After your trip, you can invest in a durable, artfully crafted wood map to reminisce on your fond memories for years. Plan your trip to the Midwest and buy a meaningful 3D map today.


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