July 11 2017

Day Trippin’ to Port Huron

 

port huron travel guide

 

We kicked off Betsy’s birthday week celebration with a trip to Port Huron in an attempt to satisfy her two birthday requests: beach time and adventure time. Technically she had a third request, a Kate Spade purse, but that doesn’t really line up well with our travel blog does it?

 

port huron travel guide

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse

Last year we went on a Michigan Fall Color and Lighthouse Tour so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. It is located just a short drive off of I-94 along Lake Huron. The Fort Gratiot’s Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan and the 2nd oldest on the Great Lakes. The lighthouse is open year round but the hours vary based upon the season. It is free to view the lighthouse and tour the grounds but there is a fee for the official tour and to climb the lighthouse. Unfortunately we were not able to partake in the tour and climb because we were both wearing sandals and closed toe shoes were required. We did however, take in the sights and stop in at the gift shop. For those of you who are beach buffs like Betsy, there is a small beach near the lighthouse.

 

port huron travel guide

Lakeport State Park

We opted to forgo the beach near the lighthouse and instead made our way over to Lakeport State Park which is where Chris spent a lot of time during his childhood. Lakeport State Park is a Michigan State Park that offers beach access and camping. A Recreation Passport is required to enter ($11 annual fee) or you can purchase a daily pass for $9. We entered the park on the east side of Lakeshore Rd and walked over the bridge to the park. In addition to the beach there is a large grassy area with picnic tables, grills, play areas, bathrooms etc. The beach area is not large but it is clean and scenic. An added bonus is that you can see freighters going by in the distance. This was Betsy’s first time at Lakeport but it won’t be her last. You should give it a try too!

 

port huron travel guide

Freighters Eatery & Taproom

We love restaurants that provide an experience and not just a meal. Freighters Eatery & Taproom was the perfect fit for our lunch as it sits along the St Clair River overlooking the Blue Water Bridge. We were seated at a great table by the windows so we were able to see the freighters as they passed by. The food was excellent too and the menu had a wide variety of offerings with a focus on local Michigan items. Betsy had the Chicken Caesar Salad and Chirs had the Mac and Cheese. Both were excellent choices. We also both had  a Faygo Float.

The restaurant is connected to a hotel which is near the Blue Water River Walk. We recommend parking down by the River Walk and then walking across the street to the restaurant. After lunch we walked the River Walk and saw several more freighters as well as many pieces of artwork. It is a fun little area to visit!

 

port huron travel guide

Lexington

Our last stop of our day trip was a visit to Lexington. Lexington is a small beach town just north of Port Huron. We heard that it was a good place to visit so we thought we would give it a try.

We discovered that it has a cute downtown area with unique shops and small restaurants. We also visited the beach area which was very small and very crowded when we visited. The beach had a nice boardwalk to walk on, a playground area, a marina and an ice cream shop. While we had a good time in Lexington it was a little too crowded for our tastes. We preferred the beach at Lakeport State Park and our time in Port Huron over the craziness of Lexington.

 

port huron travel guide

Final Thoughts:

Betsy: I was surprised with how much I liked Port Huron. I had only passed through before on my way to Canada and I didn’t realize it had so much to offer. I grew up just south of Mackinaw City so I spent much of my summers at the beach. While I love living in the Detroit Area, I ‘ve always missed having a nice beach to go to. Lakeport is small but nice so I will definitely be spending a lot of time there now that I am aware of it. I also loved the River Walk in Port Huron. It was fun seeing the freighters up close while taking a leisurely walk along the water. Lexington on the other hand was not a good fit for me.

Chris: While technically, we’re just minutes from Lake St Clair… the beach nearby really isn’t a great place to go swimming. Lake Huron is so much “cleaner” and it’s really not that far of a drive for us… I can’t believe I haven’t taken Betsy up there sooner. Growing up we’d go to Lakeport every summer but I haven’t been back there in years so I was surprised how much Port Huron has changed since way back when. I’m sure we’ll make multiple treks up that way this summer for sure.


Seattle_728x90

Category: Day Trips, Michigan, State Parks | Comments Off on Day Trippin’ to Port Huron
August 21 2014

Tahquamenon Falls – Paradise, Michigan – Travel Guide

tahquamenon falls paradise michigan

The Overview:

The beautiful Tahquamenon Falls are most definitely a place in Paradise! Paradise, Michigan to be exact. Roughly an hour and a half drive from the bridge will bring you to this must-see Michigan attraction. The Tahquamenon Falls State Park is split up into 2 separate areas: the Upper and Lower Falls. A Michigan Recreation Passport is all that is required for entry. If you do not have one they are available for purchase at the Upper Falls for the low price of $11 which grants you entry to all of Michigan’s state parks for the year.

tahquamenon falls paradise michigan

The Upper Falls:

The upper falls are the most grand of all the waterfalls in the area. The second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi so they say. There are several viewing platforms both at the top, and bottom of the falls. Also, there are even hiking trails which travel from the Upper to the Lower falls which are really quite scenic. There is also a really nice gift shop as well as a food stand, and even a pub. The Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub offers fine dining and micro brewed beers. It is located right next to the gift shop and is open year round. We did not, however, eat there as it wasn’t in the schedule for this visit.

tahquamenon falls paradise michigan

The Lower Falls:

The Lower Falls area has several smaller waterfalls to view. The park is much more understated than the Upper since it is not as big of a draw. There is, however, one feature unique to the Lower Falls and it’s that you can take a row-boat across the water to the small island where you can actually go play in the falls themselves! The row boats are available for rental for a small fee (around $7) and it is an incredible experience which we highly recommend!

tahquamenon falls paradise michigan

Things to Note:

  • Some viewing areas are not wheel chair accessible and require climbing up and down a great deal of steps, but there are plenty of viewing spots that do not require stairs.
  • The best time to go is late fall. The park is almost deserted and you practically have the place to yourself.
  • If you’re into Letterboxing, there are several in the park, however, we could only find one.
  • The pub is open year round but the website suggests calling ahead during the off season to be sure they’re open.
  • There are several hiking trails to choose from ranging from 1 mile to 7.5 miles and are also open to cross-country skiing.

tahquamenon falls michigan

The Opinions:

Betsy: I have been to the Falls many times in my lifetime but they still never cease to amaze me. Thanks to the beautiful scenery and calming atmosphere it is actually one of my favorite places to go. I really love taking the row boats across and exploring that area of the lower Falls. There is just something about actually being able to get into the Falls that makes that aspect extra special. This is a must stop for me while in the UP.

Chris: I visited the falls as a child and it’s one of my fondest memories growing up. We never traveled much when I was younger except for a tour of Northern Michigan so it had a major imprint into my memory. The Falls will always be on top of my list of must see Michigan attractions and we will continue to go back year after year.

tahquamenon falls michigan