Fly in to explore the islands of the Great Lakes.
Beaver Island, Michigan: Rising gently from the depths of upper Lake Michigan, Beaver Island provides affordable year-round recreation. Many local businesses provide free airport pick-up. You can go kayaking, bicycling, fishing, snorkeling, hiking, or camping—nearly half the island is pristine state-owned conservancy land, with old-growth forests. In winter you can ski cross-country, snowshoe, or ride fat-tire bikes. Charter a boat to other islands, take a sunset cruise, or play golf. Beaver Island has two airports, Beaver Island and Welke, rental cars, two lighthouses, and two museums. Learn about the island’s former occupation by a unique American religious monarchy called the Strangites. Irish immigrants later brought their own traditions, which continue today on “America’s Emerald Isle.”
Bois Blanc Island, Michigan: Want to really get away from it all? Fly to the other Straits of Mackinac island, Bois Blanc. Stay at the Insel Haus B&B; they’ll pick you up and you can borrow a car. Catch up on your reading; go for long, forested walks; fishing; swimming; or exploring. Foxes, loons, butterflies, ducks, and eagles all live around the inn. Hawks Landing, the only store on the island, also provides hearty meals and spirits, or you can enjoy occasional live music with your meal at the Bois Blanc Tavern. Or, make arrangements for a special meal at the inn, prepared by a team of chefs trained at Le Cordon Bleu and French Pastry schools in Chicago.
In Lake Huron near the Canadian border, Drummond Island is the perfect weekend getaway. Stay at the Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center and enjoy fine cuisine, a championship golf course called The Rock with unique island greens, off-roading on trails carved out of the island’s natural limestone, wildlife photography (the deer are accustomed to people), sporting clays, and cabins and lodges nestled in the woods.Drummond Island, Michigan:
A cluster of islands rise from the west end of Lake Erie, between Detroit and Cleveland. They are Pelee Island, Kelleys Island, and the Bass Islands. Fly to Put-in-Bay Airport on South Bass Island to explore the town of Put-in-Bay, population about 150, a popular summer resort destination. Rent a moped, bicycle, or golf cart. Historic homes, quaint restaurants and pubs, and America’s third-tallest monument await. Take a boat cruise or kayak or jet-ski in the bay; and visit the nature and wildlife center, historical museum, butterfly house, and winery.South Bass Island, Ohio:
Washington Island, Wisconsin: The island lies about 7 miles northeast of the Door Peninsula, which separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. Washington Island Airport has two intersecting grass runways, 2,300 feet to 2,500 feet long. In summer, a courtesy van and numerous courtesy bikes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The year-round population of about 700 people, many of Scandinavian descent, welcomes visitors with an array of activities like kayaking; public parks and beaches; fishing; birdwatching; golf at the Deer Run resort; a nature trail and center; maritime, farm, and pioneer museums; a school of fiber arts; and a performing arts center. Stay at the resort or in a rental cottage, Danish vertical log cabin, inn, B&B, or shorefront home.