Big lakes

  • Destination: Mackinaw City

    On the south shore of the Straits of Mackinac, the year is 1775.

    At the top of the Michigan mitten, a little village has seen a lot of action over the centuries. Then the continent's longest suspension bridge went up, a link to the Upper Peninsula and an attraction in itself.

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  • Tales of Tahquamenon

    On Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a state park is a playground for waterfall-lovers.

    At most waterfalls, people mainly sit, look and take pictures. Not at Tahquamenon Falls.

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  • Marquette's double appeal

    With its shops, restaurants and prime spot on the lake, Marquette is both sophisticated and outdoorsy.

    The first time I visited Marquette, I saw mostly Yooper Land. I chuckled at a 10-foot mosquito, a giant chainsaw and packages of Roadkill Helper. I noted the best-sellers in the bookstore window: "A Look at Life From a Deer Stand'' and "Leap of Faith 2: God Loves Packer Fans.'' This is the Marquette that's sports-crazy, hunting-happy and tough as nails, with a population descended from Cornish, Finnish and Italian immigrants who could put up with the rigors of iron mines and, later, their closings.

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  • Touring Mackinac Island

    From a scenic web of bicycle trails, visitors see another side of a celebrated vacation spot.

    In the straits between lakes Michigan and Huron, you can find more than one Mackinac Island. The best-known first was advertised as "the Fairy Isle of Mackinac," and it's not quite rooted in reality. It has a tuxedo shop but no hardware store, a Victorian house called Brigadoon and a fan club that gathers every October in vintage clothing to revere the year 1912. You get to that island in a horse-drawn surrey, driven by a liveryman in a top hat.

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  • Lake Michigan's greatest hits

    Here's a nine-day itinerary that includes the best sights and attractions around Lake Michigan.

    It's America's freshwater Riviera, and everyone competes for a little piece of that beautiful sand: beach bums, lighthouse buffs, campers on a budget.

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