Picture this: a weekend getaway to one of the most beautiful shorelines among all the Great Lakes, complete with hiking, kayaking and a cruise along the shore.
I spent this past weekend soaking up every possible second at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan. It was a perfect long weekend, but honestly, it wasn’t long enough.
From the moment we arrived, we were busy. The BF and I sat down, circled half a dozen trails, and waterfalls and got right to work – you know – chasing waterfalls. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist… I mean, if you saw a waterfall and didn’t quote TLC, did you really see a waterfall?
Words really don’t do justice to the shores and forests of the Upper Peninsula. Pictures don’t do much justice either, which is a little bit ironic considering the shoreline is known as the Pictured Rocks. Every time we rounded a corner on a trail and saw a new waterfall, we’d say to each other, “this one might be my favorite.” And we’d repeat that same phrase at the next fall. Same goes for the cruise tour of the Pictured Rocks. They’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and it felt as though I barely had time to absorb each unique rock formation before we were approaching yet another amazing and unique structure. Even the way the sunlight bounced off the water was captivating. The water looked so vibrant, shimmering in distinct shades of turquoise, aqua and teal. I easily took 300 photos – narrowing it down to a handful of my favorites for this blog post was nearly impossible.
Well, of course, when you spend all day outdoors, you get a bit hungry. We came prepared, with protein bars and trail mix that I threw together. I took a base mix of peanuts, M&M’s and raisins, and added almonds to keep our energy high, and banana chips as an extra treat in the bag. If you’re planning a hiking trip, I think above all else, trail mix is the easiest thing you could pack. It’s easy to seal bag up so it doesn’t attract any unwanted company, and the little bites of chocolate keep the mix from becoming boring.
We also spent time exploring some of the restaurants in Munising, and I fell in love with Falling Rock, a cafe that doubled as a bookstore. We were surrounded by an incredibly eclectic collection of books, ranging from your typical airplane bookstore selections to historians who detailed the histories of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan and the Great Lakes in painstaking detail. If we didn’t have so many amazing places to visit outdoors, I probably could have wandered around the shop all day.
The food there was also delicious. I ordered a UP staple: the smoked whitefish bagel. It was delicious! Not only did the fish itself taste great, but the bagels were soft to bite into and I can’t complain about the cream cheese. Sadly, I did not have time to try the other major staple, the pasty, while I was up north, but I suppose that’s just another reason I’ll have to return one day!