Lake Superior

  • Circling Lake Superior

    Of all the Great Lakes, Superior is the drama queen. It's unpredictable and petulant, throwing tantrums that threaten to swallow any boat that ventures onto its waters. In 1975, it famously swallowed a boat that itself was called Queen of the Lakes. Superior loves irony. The first recorded wreck, in 1816, was called the Invincible.

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  • Duluth 101

    Now, it's packed from summer through fall, and rooms at its hotels and B&Bs can be hard to come by. It's a Cinderella story, really.

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  • Boat watching in Duluth

    When the ore boats start arriving in Duluth, the tourists soon follow. Fifty years ago, ships were part of the industrial landscape on Canal Park, and no one thought they were all that romantic. But things have changed. Today, these hulking big boats are to Duluth what killer whales are to Sea World. Because, boy, do they make people come running.

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  • Giants of Lake Superior

    You can expect to see a lot of big things on the 1,300-mile drive around Lake Superior, the world's largest lake by surface area. There's a fish, a Fox, a bear, a goose and a moose — not to mention a 32-foot thermometer and a 35-foot aspiring saint. These giants all have stories, part of the folklore of this colorful lake, where life isn't for the faint of heart. On a Circle Tour, be sure to stop and say hello.

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  • Dunes of Grand Marais

    The village of Grand Marais, Mich., feels as if it's at the end of the world, sitting in a front-row seat. Beyond it lies Lake Superior, filling the horizon and plunging to its deepest point, 1,333 feet, not far away. Behind it is the vast wilderness of Lake Superior State Forest and the solitary road that cuts through it. And on its western flank loom the Grand Sable Dunes, which would look impressively bleak if not for their wavy toupees of marras grass, beach pea and hoary yellow puccoon.

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  • Planning a Circle Tour of Lake Superior

    Of all the vacations a person can take in this region, a Circle Tour of Lake Superior may be the best. It appeals to waterfall watchers, lighthouse fans and history buffs. It's a magnet for kayakers and hikers. It makes a great honeymoon and also a great family trip, because small children adore frequent stops at the many pebble beaches.

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  • Lake Superior's greatest hits

    The Circle Tour of Lake Superior is one of the world's most scenic drives, 1,300 miles of non-stop scenery and attractions. Planning a Circle Tour.

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  • The season's first ships

    Like robins and maple sap, Lake Superior ore boats aren't much affected by the never-ending winter that humans find so annoying. Toward the end of March, ice-breakers arrive to clear the shipping lanes, allowing the first boats to leave winter layup, kicking off the spring shipping season. Then traffic starts to move within Lake Superior, and when the Soo Looks open on March 25, boats arrive from other Great Lakes.

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  • Graveyard of the Great Lakes

    The Invincible wreck was the first of hundreds along what become known as the Shipwreck Coast. The last — we hope — was the Edmund Fitzgerald, which went down in 1975 with 29 lives lost.

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  • Locking through the Soo

    In Sault Ste. Marie, tourists find out what floats their boats. What really floats a boat, however, is 22 million gallons of water, which is what it takes to lift a boat through the Poe Lock, a liquid escalator between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

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