Wednesday, August 20, 2014

South Haven and Ludington,Michigan

We arrived in South Haven, a beautiful city on Lake Michigan. The weather was fantastic and everyone was out and about enjoying the sun and water. 

The Black River is a 4.2 mile long river in the southwest part of Michigan that empties into Lake Michigan in South Haven. 

The river becomes a canal where boats can travel in or out of the South Haven harbor on Lake Michigan.

For a fee, you could spend a few hours on a period sailboat.
Ships of all sizes and types were coming in and out on the canal.

Everyone was having a really good time.
Visitors were allowed to walk out on the long pier to take in all the sights including this light house.

Many people were getting their exercise........

but this party boat was the best one as we watched some young guys doing tricks on ski jets.

Wow!  I didn't know you could do that, but then, young males will try anything!!!

The beach reminded me of Florida.  Hundreds of people were out, the sand was clean, and the water was pristine blue.  

A few miles up the coast from South Haven was the town of Douglas.  We stopped at a local winery and checked out the downtown area which has become known as an artist's colony.  

Right next to Douglas is the town of Saugatuck.  It is also a boating mecca and we noticed the local yacht club had an odd name.  Singapore, MI, was founded in the 1830's at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.  The land speculators hoped it would rival Chicago or Milwaukee as a lake port.  It thrived as a lumbering town until the 1870's when the timber was exhausted.  Most of the people left and settled in Saugatuck.  Gradually, Lake Michigan's shifting sands buried the town and now only the name survives.

We drove further up the coast to the town of Ludington.

The streets leading to the downtown had flowers planted all along the way.

The town was having a local fair and there was a camel present.

This was part of a petting zoo but the kids (and parents) were all afraid of it.

On the waterfront we found many pieces of artwork.  This one is called 'Reflections' when schooners carried lumber from Ludington to other ports. 

This is called, 'The Car Ferries of Ludington'.

The artwork reflecting the history of Ludington was very impressive.

I thought this one in a playground area was really neat.

This ship in drydock is the S.S. Spartan.  It's sister ship, the S.S. Badger, is stationed in Ludington and is the largest car ferry to sail the Great Lakes.  The S.S. Badger makes a voyage from Ludington to Manitowac, Wisconsin, mid-May to mid-October.  The 410 foot ship can carry up to 620 passengers and 180 vehicles.  It is the last coal-fired vessel operating on the Great Lakes.  The one-way trip takes about 4 hours. On board are two restaurants and activities for kids.  

There was also a beach but the weather wasn't as warm as South Haven, and the water was quite cool, so few people were venturing in.

Even the ducks were hesitant!
We stopped at a local brewery in town for a bite.

The Captain had a Cottage Pie which is an Irish style pie with ground beef and mixed vegetables in demi-glace with mashed potatoes.  It wasn't as good as the beer.

Our next stop is Traverse City, home to many wineries and other interesting sights.  We are looking forward to visiting the area.

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