Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Celebrating National Rum Day in the Blue Water Area

Made from a byproduct of molasses production or directly from sugar cane juice, precursors to rum date back to antiquity. In the 17th century distillation of these byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums.

Rum first made its way to the United States in colonial times and has been a staple in cocktails ever since. It even has a day dedicated to it. That day is today, August 16th.

In celebration of the day, we asked one of the Blue Water Area's favorite mixologists, Bob Nickerson
from Casey's in Port Huron to mix up one of his favorite rum drinks, The Cobra's Fang.

According to cocktail history books, the Cobra’s Fang was one of Don the Beachcomber’s original go-to recipes. Opened in the early 1930's in Hollywood, California, Don The Beachcomber's is considered the world's first tiki bar, predating the huge popularity of such places in the late 40's through the early 60's by more than a decade.

Though their original locations are long gone, the drinks they invented and inspired are still popular today.

If you can't celebrate National Rum Day today, don't fret. Many of the drinks done in the style are featured at Casey's during Rumba Thursday through Rockin' The Rivers this month so you still have time to enjoy a tropical and flavorful drinks served up in colorful and fun glasses in a breezy and lively setting before autumn arrives.
Casey's is located at 628 Huron Ave in Downtown Port Huron.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

3 Spots To Visit On A Family Trip In Michigan's Thumb

On a work-related tour around Michigan’s thumb, I was reminded how important it is to “be a tourist in your own town” on occasion. Every day I promote our beautiful blue shores as a getaway for people in the Detroit area or hailing from west Michigan and beyond. But I forget it’s a great day-cation spot for me and my family, too. Here are three great points of interest that I’ll hit up again with family in tow.

1) Port Austin Farmer’s Market, Port Austin, Michigan
Port Austin is abuzz on Saturday mornings Memorial Day thru mid-October.  Cute downtown shops and diners are a draw; however the biggest culprit is the farmer’s market.  Over 150 vendors display their goods ranging from fresh produce to handcrafted items. 
Freshly plucked berries, peaches, tomatoes and yellow peppers pour from baskets and leafy greens splay across checkered table cloths along with all the colored vegetables that you know you should be eating.  Homemade honey, jellies, baked goods as well as antiques, refurbished furniture, metal art, wooden signs and more are yours to peruse in this happy market. 
After shopping, grab a bite downtown, or walk the couple blocks to the shore of Lake Huron to enjoy the beach, lake breeze and gorgeous view.
2) Port Crescent State Park’s Dark Sky Preserve, Port Austin, Michigan
Port Crescent State Park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve.  This means artificial light is reduced or eliminated so the night sky is visible in all its glory, without the distortion that artificial light evokes.  Though I was there in the middle of the day, it was easy to see why this area is an excellent environment to view star constellations, meteor showers or the northern lights. 
Night sky enthusiasts can choose anywhere in the park to look up, however there’s one spot in particular that suits a star gazer.  The observation deck, also known as the Hawk Watch, sits slightly elevated over an area of natural trees, brush and sandy grassland.  Enclosed with a wooden guardrail, and several benches to lean back on, the deck is an ideal setting.   A wonderful and logical addition to the deck is a night sky guide that points out the constellations and their names. 

The deck is also a great spot to view hawks and other birds of prey during the day time, since it is on a migratory route.   
3) Harbor Beach Lighthouse Tour, Harbor Beach, Michigan
The Harbor Beach Lighthouse is anchored in stone at the end of a rocky break wall.  So how do you get to it?  By boat, of course!  The taxi boat picks up at the marina and takes passengers on a quick ride to the lighthouse.  From there, the Preservation Society tour guides tell the tales of life on the lake and about the many ships that have needed to take refuge in the harbor. 

Visitors will get a glimpse of the duties of a devoted light-keeper.  Most guests are surprised and happy to see that it is not one long spiral staircase to the top, but six decks (rooms) inside the tower, so catch a breath between flights of stairs.
I will warn you though, the 360 degree view from the top is breathtaking! 

Tours fill up fast, so early reservations are suggested.     
Whether you are from our Blue Water Region or somewhere beyond, explore and enjoy 140 miles of shoreline and all that there is in between. Discover the Blue Water Area at our website. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

From the Blues to the Blue and the Grey: What's happening in Port Sanilac this Weekend

From the Blues to the Blue and the Grey. Port Sanilac has it happening this weekend.

On Friday, take a tour of the Port Sanilac Lighthouse. Now a private residence, the lighthouse has rarely been open to the public before so it's a unique chance to check out on Friday through September 1st. Tours are from 11am to 2pm.  Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 & under are free (must meet height requirements.)

The boogie is going to be full effect on Friday along the lakeshore. The Port Sanilac Blues Festival kicks off at 3pm. The headliner for the evening is Mr. Larry McCray.

The Arkansas-born, Michigan-based singer/guitar player has been playing soulful blues in the vein of B.B. King and Albert King for close to three decades. In 2014 Larry was voted Top Guitarist in International Blues Matters' annual writer's poll.

The music, food and craft beer tents continues through Saturday evening with the Mike Wheeler Band closing out the festival.

It's a battle of the Blue and the Grey in Port Sanilac this weekend too. Check out Civil War Days at the Sanilac County Historical Museum and Village on Saturday & Sunday. This year, the reenactors will recreating the drama of Battle of Shiloh.

Looking for a bite to eat while in Port Sanilac? Let us suggest the tasty seafood at the Stone Lodge, some good old fashion homemade eats at Mary's Diner and the awesome barbecue at the Portly Pig.

A post shared by Dale (@smashintransistors) on

Feel like driving into the sunset while visiting Port Sanilac? Check out the Hi-Way Drive-In. Located nine west on M-46, this locally owned outdoor theater is only one of the nine still in operation in the state of Michigan. Opened in 1947, it's also the state's oldest operating drive in. It's a bit of working Americana. A visit to it is family memory that will last ages.

Find out more things happening in the Blue Water Area at our events page.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The End Of July Is Packed With Things To Do In The Blue Water Area

Even though this weekend marks the end of month, there's still plenty of time left to celebrate summertime. The Blue Water Area has quite a few things happening over the weekend to finish up July and welcoming in August.

Port Crescent State Park takes a blast to the past this Saturday at the annual Vintage Camper Show. Last year's even saw Tin Can Tourists bringing close to 100 cool, classic and kitschy vintage trailers and campers to the park to show off and have people check out. Visit and see how your grandparents luxury camped. 

Another port along the eastern shores is having a party too. Starting Friday at 5pm with a barbecue and a beer tent, The Port Sanilac Summer Festival kicks off and runs through Sunday. The fun for the weekend includes Kid's carnival games, a watermelon eating contest, inflatables, a karaoke contest and live music.

Also, while in Port Sanilac stop by the Historical Museum & Village and check out their annual Arts & Crafts Fair which is happening this Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Schoolhouse Grille in Harsens Island invite you to bring a lawn chair, your favorite friend or friends or come alone and meet someone during this casual and easy summer day and enjoy some music to warm your soul. The 8th annual Harsens Island Roots Music Festival starts at 2pm and will feature music throughout the day as well as a fish fry, a barbecue and local vendors. 

How long will a cardboard boat float? How fast can an outhouse move? And, most importantly, who will be the next King and Queen of Bologna. All these questions and more will be answered at the Yale Bologna Festival this weekend. This 3 day weekend event closes the streets of Yale's downtown and transforms the community of just under 2,000 to a gathering of over 20,000 Bologna starved party-goers! Find out more at the Yale Bologna Festival website. You can also download the schedule here 

Come see what Port Huron has to offer, view the many cars, see old friends and make new ones this Saturday. The MainStreet Memories Car Show will many have sweet machines of the past up to modern times to check out along Quay Street starting at 10am and through the afternoon. Find out more at their website.

The water is gonna roar and there's a party on the shore at St. Clair's Riverfest this weekend. On the St. Clair River thundering powerboats charge in a race to be the fastest machine on the water! On land, there will be a carnival midway along with live music from Skid Row on Friday and the Guess Who on Saturday. Admission to the races and concerts are FREE! See the whole schedule of action at the Riverfest website.

Other events happening along the Blue this weekend include the Blue Water Volleygrass Festival at Port Huron Northern, the Glow Dash 2.5k Fun Run in downtown Port Huron, Our Lady Of The Lake Huron's Summer Festival in Harbor Beach and Almost Queen at the Lexington Village Theater.

What's your plans for this Blue Water Weekend?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Festivities On The Sand

The Blue Water Area has two big beach parties happening this week. Both of them serve up a unique kind of fun that only the eastern shores of Michigan can offer.

Now in it's 5th year The Blue Water SandFest is Michigan's first and only Master sand sculpting and Advanced Amateur competition/festival. For 3 days the grounds of the Fort Gratiot Light Station will see extraordinary sculptures crafted from sand and water that will dazzle and impress visitors to the site.
Photo by Dale Merrill

Voted one of the 10 Best festivals of its sort by USA Today, the Blue Water Sand Fest is much more than just checking out the impressive works of art.
Photo by Dale Merrill

There will be an eclectric array of live music through out the weekend, a Quick Sand Speed Sculpting Show, hands on sculpting lessons, tours of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and much more.

Photo by Dale Merrill

The Blue Water Sandfest runs July 14th-16th in Port Huron.

Discover all the things to do in the Blue at our events page.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Racing Towards The Beach

Every summer Harbor Beach's Trescott St. has many people on it heading down to the water. One Saturday each July though there's transportation a little more unusual than normal making way to the shore.

Based on the same type of set up one would see at an American Soapbox Derby Association competition, it's time for the annual Harbor Beach Cart Derby on Saturday, July 15th.

This community event, co-sponsored by the City of Harbor Beach and The American Legion, is open to to ages 8 years old an up with four division competing throughout the day.

The first green flag drops at 9 in the morning with the over 18 group and races continue through to around 2 in the afternoon. Come on down, cheer them on and make summertime fun memories for the young and young at heart.

See photos and more from last year's derby at the Harbor Beach and American Legion Cart Derby Facebook page.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Beach Life is the Best Life -- It's Maritime

The Harbor Beach Maritime Festival starts this coming Thursday, July 6th and runs through Sunday. We knew just the guy to get talk to for all the details. Welcome guest blogger Clark Ramsey.

Right on the heels of America’s biggest block party comes the best beach party on Lake Huron. The Harbor Beach Maritime Festival takes place the weekend after the Independence Day festivities in the small town nestled along the shores of Lake Huron in Michigan’s Thumb. It’s four days filled with music, sand, water and sun – combined with some of the friendliest and welcoming people in all of the Great Lakes State.

The Maritime Festival is most known for its open-door policy: concerts on the beach with no cover charge. That’s right, you heard me right, no cover charge! This is not a limited time offer (although operators are standing by) and has been that way since the festival began in 2001. What began as a celebration to commemorate the transfer of ownership of the Harbor Beach Lighthouse from the federal government to the City of Harbor Beach, it has now turned into a city-wide party with some of the biggest talent in the Midwest.

This year’s festival features 13 different music acts on two separate stages. The Hooligans kick off the music Thursday night during the self-proclaimed “largest bocce tournament this side of the Mason Dixon Line.” Whether that is considered Fake News or not, it doesn’t change the fact that there are 64 four-person bocce teams playing on 20 courts just feet from a Great Lake.

Friday pushes the Maritime Festival into full gear with both music stages underway, the weekly Farmer’s Market on the Murphy lawn, a 64-team corn-hole tournament (this is the Midwest after all…) with the party going all the way until Midnight. Imagine yourself on a beautiful sandy beach, enjoying a cold beverage (that you brought yourself and didn’t have to purchase on site), listening to some excellent live music, conversing with friends, admiring the World’s Greatest Man-Made Harbor, the Harbor Beach Lighthouse and suddenly Mother Nature reveals a massive constellation and star galaxy right above your head. ALL OF THIS COULD BE YOURS IF…. you’re in Harbor Beach July 6th through the 9th (the author of this post is a game show host…). It truly is a remarkable sight and every band that has performed at Maritime over the 17-year history says the same thing “this is truly the best place we have ever played.”

If you didn’t have too much fun Friday night, you can join the 300+ runners and walkers for the Harbor Beach Community Hospital 5k. Considered one of the most beautiful courses in the state, it begins beach-side and follows the shoreline on the Harbor View Trail (paved) all the way to the Marina, onto the break-wall and back to the beach for the final push. If a Great Lake can’t motivate you to run faster, nothing will (that’s my excuse at least).

Shortly after, the H&R Block Jet Ski Invitational gets underway on the same course the professionals used to race on; and if you really feel like putting your body through the ringer, sign your team up for the beach volleyball tournament, beginning at 10am. Music begins at 1pm and officially starts the all-day beach party. The beach and water is open to the public and be sure to take advantage of our hidden gem. A small village of inflatables is available for everyone to enjoy (free of charge) and the Harbor Beach Conservation Club display is next door.

At 1pm the fast-paced world that we live in comes to a screeching halt as the world-famous Maritime Festival Frog-Jumping Contest begins. Imagine living in the time of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer while watching contestants get their favorite amphibian to jump the furthest (collective length after three jumps). This event is definitely a crowd favorite. Due to eligibility issues of some of the international competitors, the hot dog eating contest is taking a one-year sabbatical (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it – actually the host has a wedding out of town…).

All the while on Saturday, music continues to fill the light offshore breeze from the stage underneath the tent and the mainstage, featuring our freshly-completed mobile stage. This has been three years in the making and gives Harbor Beach the ability to have a pop-up concert, whenever and wherever we so choose. It is definitely an added benefit to the community.

The music acts continue into the night and keep getting better, leading up to the best fireworks in the state of Michigan…after the 4th of July. But for real, as David Letterman used to say “call the dog, wake the children, call your neighbor, because this is an extravaganza you don’t want to miss!” A spectacular spectacle of American Patriotism lights up the summer sky over the harbor just after dusk (typically 10:15pm). Any spot from the beach or water is a great way to view the 25-minute fireworks show. Immediately after the last shell, Brett Mitchell and the Giant Ghost retakes the stage and rocks out until the cows come home (actually much later than that).

Sunday brings a wrap to the festival with an ecumenical service in the morning, a fish fry, car show, dueling pianos and the community big money cash raffle. It truly takes an army to make this festival happen and we are extremely grateful for those who make it a reality. It is an expensive venture, but is made possible by very generous businesses and sponsors so that the Maritime Festival can remain a free and fun event for all to enjoy.

So tell your friends, clear your calendar and turn your iPhones to “Do Not Disturb” because everything is happening down at the beach, in Harbor Beach.

For more information and to register for events, go to

Harbor Beach: Life’s at ease, with an offshore breeze!

Clark Ramsey is a former Chairman of the Harbor Beach Maritime Festival and remains on the festival committee presently. He was born and raised in Harbor Beach and chose to make it his home after graduating from Michigan State University in 2011. Clark is the vice-chair of the Harbor Beach Parks & Recreation Commission, sits on the Harbor Beach Planning Commission and hosts various events throughout the area – most notably, The Harbor Beach Gameshow Series which takes place every Mother’s Day weekend at the Harbor Beach Community Theatre. It is his goal in life to spread the gospel of the great things Harbor Beach has to offer, and bring Harbor Beach up in conversation as much as possible (eight times in this profile alone). His day job is the Director of Marketing at Scheurer Hospital, while moonlighting at his own production company, Clark Ramsey Productions; sports broadcasting with The WLEW Sports Network, and is the founder of a non-existent business, The Clark Ramsey Manor. He enjoys boating, porch-sitting, tennis, Spartan Athletics, reading books, candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach and complaining about the weather.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Red, White and Blue Water Area: Independence Day Weekend Celebrations

The 4th of July celebrations will be plentiful in the upcoming week. Picnics and parties are on many agendas to celebrate the United States independence from the British Empire. Two of the main things that people look forward to during the holiday are the fireworks displays and parades. Many of Blue Water Area communities will be having both over the weekend.

Port Sanilac kicks off celebrating Friday, June 30th, with a lighted boat parade that starts at the harbor and winds along the lakeshore at dusk. Saturday it's time for their annual Independence Day at noon. That evening you can enjoy fabulous explosion of light, color and sound over Lake Huron at their fireworks display.

Friday, June 30th also kicks off the 79th Annual Algonac Lions Club Pickerel Festival. Along with the fishing tournamet there will be all kinds of family such as fun as a carnival midway, daily entertainment, food, arts & crafts and more. On Sunday, June 2nd they're having the antique boat parade along the waterfront at 4pm and fireworks at dusk.

On Tuesday, July 4th itself, festivities are in full swing too. Port Austin starts off with floats and pageantry with a parade at 1pm. At dusk, families and friends will gather at Bird Creek County Park, Veterans Waterfront Park, Port Austin State Harbor and along the shoreline to watch the fireworks.

St. Clair invites you to grab and blanket or lawn chair and come sit down along their boardwalk on the evening of the 4th around dusk. That's when their fireworks happen over the river there.

Find out more about these and the many other summer events happening around the Greater Port Huron Area at our events page.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Urchins Of The Thumb: Mountain Babies Play Port Austin's Porch Fest This Saturday

This weekend, people on porches across the village of Port Austin will extend more than just their always friendly waves and warm greetings.

Now in its second year, the Porch Fest welcomes musicians from all around the region to come and play songs in the porches, yards and gazebos of Port Austin residents. Featuring 30 different acts this year, the casual gathering gives visitors a chance to hear a wide variety of music, take a stroll, maybe grab a bite to eat and check out the beauty that the tip of Michigan's Thumb has to offer.

One of the groups returning to play the festival this year is Mountain Babies. Though the band is Port Huron based these days, their shepherd Dave Peters has a lot of ties to Port Austin. We had a little chat with him about what area means to him.

The region has had an lasting effect on Dave and served a lot of the inspiration and subjects on their 2015 album The Cottage, The Creek & The Spirit.

That thread of exaltation still runs through their music on their latest release Existence Of Resistance. Sometimes, it's obvious with song titles such as "Pine Cones & Grindstones" but also is in mood in general as songs such as the arcadian feel of songs such as "The Temple."

It's like one can practically see the stars twinkle in the clear night sky and smell the smoke of a bonfire while the song plays.

Port Austin's Porch Fest runs from 1 to 5 pm this Saturday, June 23rd. Mountain Babies play at 4 pm at 111 W. Spring St. To find out more and to see a full schedule of all the acts playing check out Porch Fest's website.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Things To Do In Port Austin This Weekend

Located at the tip of Michigan's Thumb, Port Austin has been a destination for vacationers and day trippers alike. It's a haven for those who want paddle on the water, hike a trail or peddle around on a bike and for those who want just simply want to kick back and watch the sun shine over Lake Huron all day long.

While things to do in Port Austin are quite plentiful in the summertime, there's some weekends where there's even more happening. This weekend is one of those.

Photo courtesy of
Surrounded by water on three sides, one of Port Austin's biggest diversions is kayaking. For the beginner taking on the activity may seem a little intimidating at first but once they get the hang of it their hooked.  Starting on Friday and running through the weekend the annual Port Austin Kayak Symposium covers many aspects of the fast growing sport.  The symposium is one where the teaching is entirely student driven.  Tell the teachers what you want to learn and they'll will coach you at your own speed in a fashion in which you learn best.  A lot with lesson there will guest speakers, demonstrations, guided paddles, plus bonfires, cookouts and parties. There's still some spots open for this weekend and you can register at Riverside Kayak's website.

Speaking of fresh produce the Port Austin Area Historical Center celebrates the start of strawberry season with treats, activities & music at their Annual Strawberry Social on Saturday from 3 to 6pm.

While in Port Austin this Saturday don't forget to take a stroll around the streets of town. You'll notice many front yards will be filled with music. Many homes in the downtown region have donated their porches for Porch Fest.  Offering a wide variety of music throughout the day, Porch Fest is now in it's second year and

After your adventure is done and people ask you what you did over the weekend you can hold up your hand, point at the top of your thumb and simply say "here."

Find out all the things happening this weekend at our events page.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fun For Fathers Day Weekend

Father's Day is this Sunday. If you're like me, you are probably still racking your brain about what to get dear old dad. You don't want to be "that person" who goes for the old standbys like a tie or something like that. There's the dilemma of figuring out what he may want though. I don't know how many times I've tried to find hints of something he might want but most of the time he pretty much says "I have everything in the world I need."

The solution? Why not take him out and spend some time with him this weekend. The Blue Water Area has a few things going on that might be right up his alley.

Does pops like to turn the music up loud when there's some classic rock playing? The village of Lexington has something that will get him to say "Turn It Up" this Saturday

John Waite first made a name for himself as the lead singer of the Babys. With classic rock standards such as "Head First", "Isn't It Time", "Every Time I Think Of You", "Back On My Feet Again" and "Midnight Rendevous", his voice had made an indelible mark on the rock-n-roll scene with the band in the late 70's and early 80's. Following his departure from the groupband he continued to make smash hits as a solo artist and with Bad English.

John be performing many songs from his long and illustrious career at the Lexington Village Theater this Saturday.

If taking pops to Lexington, why not make the day of it? You can take him on a trip back to time by pulling up to the Lakeside A&W on the village's main street and having the car hops come up, take your order and bring it back to your window. The weather looks great for the weekend so the old man and you can even enjoy a frosty mug of famous root beer on the restaurant's patio.

After grabbing a bite to eat this Saturday afternoon the Lexington A&W this Saturday take a stroll with pops out back of the place and check our the Antique Tractor Show going on from 10am-5pm. Equipment from the early days of agricultural machinery all the way up to modern times will be on display throughout the grounds.

If dad is "car guy", he might also get a kick out the vintage rides at the Classic Car Show in Lexington that's happening at the A&W on Sunday too.

When you're young your dad is bigger than life. And what should a bigger than life fellow have? A big truck, right?

This Saturday there will plenty of big rig on display for the big man at the Harbor Beach Truck Show. From the super semi's that ply the highways to the trusty work horses that run the back roads, trucks of all shapes and sizes with buffed and shined to show off. Who knows, maybe you can even talk someone into letting your dad up in the cab so he can blow the horn.

Find out about more things happening this summer around the Greater Port Huron area at our events page.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Free Concerts, Great Theater and Bocce Balll…Who Knew?!

Eastern Michigan summers bring people to the water’s edge to bask in the sunshine, splash in the fresh lake water and to view an incredible horizon line. Who knew you’d also get free concerts, great theater, vintage shows and the best master sand sculpturing competition in the state? The Greater Port Huron Area and its blue shores meander along Lake Huron and the St. Clair River and pack the summer days with fun and excitement for the whole family.

Free waterfront concert series take place in nearly every shoreline community in the Greater Port Huron Area. The concerts usually occur on the same day every week, and the days vary by town. Music genres range from current hits and songwriters to oldies but goodies, jazz, county and more. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and be ready to enjoy the water view and the moving rhythm.

Unexpectedly, delightful theater has also ripened in the Greater Port Huron Area. Lexington Village Theatre brings rocking musical acts, comedians and fun entertainment to the stage in Lexington. Grab dinner in town then a play or musical at two venues in Marine City: the River Bank Theatre and Snug Theatre. The Citadel Stage conveys an intimate ambiance to Port Huron’s theater scene while the McMorran Place Theater presents a grand stage. The Barn Theater of Port Sanilac is indeed a barn; however, its rousing talent brings brilliant performances to the stage and the crowd to their feet.

Awesome festivals also take place along these eastern shores. Blue Water Sand Fest, occurring July 14-16 in Port Huron is a master sand-sculpting competition and the only one of its kind in Michigan. Master sculptors from around the country compete to create the greatest sculptures from sand and therefore present an incredible display for public viewing. Quick sculpting contests as well as amateur contests are also part of the fantastic festivities that take place.

Harbor Beach’s Maritime Festival is happening July 6-9 and brings a great weekend of entertainment to the shores of Lake Huron. Live music all day and all weekend, tasty eats, friendly competitions like frog jumping, hotdog-eating, bocce ball (reportedly Michigan’s biggest bocce ball tournament) and even an invitational jet ski race take place right on the beach. What says summer-fun more than that?

Antique car shows, vintage boat shows, impressive art shows and even kayaking events will take place this summer in the Greater Port Huron Area amongst an array of other adventures to partake in. For more details on these events and other things to do on the blue eastern shores of Michigan, please visit