Great Lake Trip – Day 6 – Michigan

2017-05-03 | Travel

Traverse City, Michigan

We continue our northern journey. Next destination is Traverse City on Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. This city is well known for it Cherry Festival. In this area of Michigan, we see many acres of cherry orchards. Before leaving New Buffalo we take one last shot of the wonderful view we have been enjoying for the past 3 days. We’ve gotten quite fond of the Canda Geese families with their broods of goslings. They appear on the grassy shore every evening at sunset.

View of marina at Grand Harbor Hotel New Buffalo Michigan

We stop for lunch is the small town of Manistee, Michigan. There were only a few eateries and we chose T. J’s Pub in the historic Ramsdell building.

Street view of Ramsdell Building and TJ's Pub at Manistee, Michigan

The Ramsdell Building was built in 1891 and housed the 1st National Bank. At the time of construction, the cost was $40,000, equivalent to $1 million dollars today. In 2003 the building was restored and now houses 10 beautifully decorated rooms in the boutique hotel, as well as T. J’s Pub on the lower floor. The original bank vault is still visible in the hotel lobby.

Side view of Ramsdell Building at Manistee, Michigan

One of the striking architectural features of the Ramsdell building is the 3 story turret, supported by a single granite column. After lunch we walked the town, reenergized after some delicious sandwiches and good service.

Front of TJ's Pub at Manistee, Michigan

Manistee, as many other cities in this area, was well known for its ironwork. Iron ore shipping, in earlier days, was prevalent in northern Michigan. Manistee Iron Works was founded in 1907. The company has long been out of business, yet the building was preserved as a historic landmark. In 2010 the machine shop in the building was listed on the national Register of Historic Places.

Manistee Iron Works building at Manistee, Michigan

Further north we arrive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We were drawn to this park by the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

Sign at entrance to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

Pierce Stocking was obsessed with the natural beauty of the forests and dunes, yet knew that too much foot traffic could destroy the dunes. Also, it was difficult for most people to get to these dunes. So he set a goal to create a scenic drive so that the general population could enjoy what he so admired. In 1977 this scenic drive became part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Pierce Stocking plaque at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

Map of Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

This observation deck offered a great view of the steep dunes.

Overlook of dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

The scenery on this short drive was simply gorgeous.

View of lake and dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

Example of dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

Visitors were advised to not climb down to the waters edge with this simple explanation. Nevertheless, some people insisted on climbing the dunes. You’ll see what they mean in the next photo.

Warning sign at top of dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

Steep dunes down to waters edge at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan

That was enough touring for the day. We looked forward to a restful couple nights at Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan. We were not happy with the hotel for many reasons. Below you can see one of the reasons why. Mattresses were everywhere, including the front entrance and in the lobby. There was no consideration of their clients as they changed the mattresses in the rooms. That was our first impression, and it was unfortunately accurate. No wifi while we were there. A really awful room on the first attempt. Then finally we got a room with a good view and settled in.

Matresses in hallway at Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach Hotel Traverse City Michigan

This is a photo of the sunset as we kicked back for the evening.

Sunset over West Arm Grand Traverse Bay Traverse City Michigan

Tomorrow I’ll show you around Traverse City, including one of the oldest saloons in the state.