Gr8LakesCamper: Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the Great Lakes

August 10, 2011 by Gr8LakesCamper · 42 Comments  
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Recently ABC-TV’s Good Morning America came out with a list of “The Most Beautiful Places in America.

In alphabetical order, the list included:

Sleeping Bear Dunes image courtesy of

Sleeping Bear Dunes image courtesy of

1. Asheville, North Carolina
2. Aspen, Colorado
3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
4. Destin, Florida
5. Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
6. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
7. Newport, Rhode Island
8. Point Reyes, California
9. Sedona, Arizona
10. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Obviously, all of these places are spectacular. Majestic mountains, sweeping vistas, gorgeous sunsets over water – they all very much deserve to be on such a list.

But it got me to thinking: Only one spot from the Great Lakes region? Surely there’s others, right? Where’s Hocking Hills, Ohio … or Door County, Wisconsin … or New River, West Virginia … just to name a few?

Obviously, the Great Lakes/Midwest needs its own list.

I now invite you to submit your nomination for the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the Great Lakes.” No rules, no limitations, no prizes, and no handcuffing on what places would be considered in the “Great Lakes/Midwest region.” Include reasons why your nominated place ought to make the list.

I’ll compile all the submissions, research them with the crack Gr8LakesCamper staff (which would be me) and then – perhaps over a beverage or two – put together the list and publish the results here in a future post. Winners will receive tremendous notoriety and a slap on the back.

From the companion blog: I continue to post something new everyday, and some recent ones that might be of interest include the one (with videos) about when my wife and I ran the Warrior Dash, a muddy, ruddy 5K that was “the craziest frickin’ day of our life.” Another good one was the two-part post about our camping trip to Montague, Michigan. The first post talks about how, while en route, one of our camper’s wheels sheared its bolts, came loose and tried to pass us on the highway. The second post reviews our campground, White River RV Park, and some of the area attractions we took in (with videos).

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog, as well as the Gr8LakesCamper YouTube channel.

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42 Responses to “Gr8LakesCamper: Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the Great Lakes”

  1. Joanne Gruskin on August 10th, 2011 4:30 pm

    Mackinac Island–the porch on the Grand Hotel–the waterfront–the clear water–need I go on?

  2. glenn george on August 10th, 2011 5:15 pm


  3. Bill Battle on August 10th, 2011 5:47 pm

    I like the very senic lakeshore drive on M-26 between its intersection with US-41 on thru Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor. Brockway mountain Drive is really nice too

  4. Mike Burdette on August 10th, 2011 5:51 pm

    Umm … West Virginia? New River Gorge is beautiful, but not in the Great Lakes region!

    How about Pictured Rocks National :akeshore?

  5. Karen Larvick on August 10th, 2011 6:20 pm

    The north shore villages of Wisconsin offer wonderful Lake Superior beaches and vistas. I recommend driving Hwy 13 from Superior through Port Wing, Herbster, and Cornacopia to Bayfield. Access to the Apostle Islands from Bayfield via ferry to Madeline Island also offers peaceful and beautiful Lake Superior beaches and views.

  6. butterbean carpenter on August 10th, 2011 6:23 pm

    That was a great article and I’m with you about there being more outstanding places in the Midwest !!! I ain’t been there myself, but my ‘blogger-friends’ have and
    send pics of all kinds of wonderful sights and places to see.. If I ever hit the Lotto I’m agoing up there !!!

    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!

  7. Dave Oglevie on August 10th, 2011 6:29 pm

    The harbor , beaches and sand dunes of Grand Marais, Michigan. Small town, great scenery. Perhaps the best of Lake Superior.

  8. Jim Imholte on August 11th, 2011 5:26 am

    Holland Michigan. Very pretty, lots of bike paths and wonderful sun sets at the beach. We stay at the Oak Grove Camp resort. Very central location. Clean and quite camp ground.

  9. Jeff Spedowski on August 11th, 2011 9:00 am

    How about Leland, MI and it’s historic “Fish Town”, up there north of Sleeping Bear.

  10. Mike & Barb Partchey on August 11th, 2011 9:47 am

    Presque Isle State Park, Erie, PA on the banks of Lake Erie. Best sunsets in the USA, great fishing & boating, swimming, etc. Has a beautiful bay looking onto the city of Erie and the other side looks across Lake Erie towards Canada. Camp grounds available.

  11. barbandfred on August 11th, 2011 10:59 am

    Copper Harbor, for sure.

  12. Larry Archambeau on August 11th, 2011 2:21 pm

    I cast my vote for Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I might be tempted to add the Whitefish Point Lighthouse to this, since they are only a few miles apart.

    Wow, are almost all the responders Michiganders, or is this the only state with beautiful places in it? Where are the rest of you Gr8 Lakers?

  13. Hockeyguy on August 11th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Check out the north shore of Lake Superior in Ontario. The water is unbelievably clear and cool. You are in a wild park setting and it can be super hot during the day and almost freezing at night. You are in a setting that can be as wild or civilized as you want…

  14. Gr8LakesCamper on August 11th, 2011 8:28 pm

    All very good suggestions so far! Keep ‘em coming!
    I lived in the Keweenaw Peninsula for some time so I can vouch for Copper Harbor and the drive on M-26. It’s especially spectacular in the winter when the ice has formed along the rocky coastline.
    @Mike. Yes, I realize West Virginia is not known as being with the Great Lakes/Midwest region. But, in the interest of generating more responses, I wanted people to be able to nominate any place they thought might be appropriate.
    @Glenn – Not sure what you mean; this has everything to do with the Great Lakes (as a region, not bodies of water).

  15. Jean Rusch on August 11th, 2011 10:54 pm

    The bike trail between Two Rivers and Manitowoc, WI .. then ride the car ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington, MI.

  16. Fred Brandeberry on August 12th, 2011 10:03 am

    Hi Guys & Gals:

    Took a trip hauling a 24′ rental trailer in 1960.
    Went around Lake Michigan, don’t forget to find the Light Houses on the lake.

    Didn’t put the stop on the refer door, a gallon of milk spread thruout the coach.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  17. Malcolm Kosowan on August 12th, 2011 4:26 pm

    I have sailed from Mackinac Island to Chicago (Lake Michigan) and to Port Huron (Lake Huron) and to Collingwood (Georgian Bay), I also love to take my RV up the Bruce Penninsula to Tobermory. These trips are filled with good times and great scenery, if I had to chose my favorite it would be the northern part of the Bruce Trail, the trail runs from Tobermory to Niagra Falls, the main trail is over 600 Km and I think the side trails are 800 Km, the hiking varies from a Sunday stroll to extremely rugged and part of the trail in on top of the cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay, the Grotto at Cyprus lake has an under water tunnel to Georgian Bay BUT do not attempt it unless you are an excellent swimmer. Cliff diving is NOT ALLOWED, does nt bother me I am too chicken. Trail map are available in most stores in the area.

  18. Scott Holter on August 13th, 2011 8:49 am

    Here’s another vote for Presque Isle State Park near Erie, PA. Truly gorgeous views of Lake Erie with lots of fun and activities. We take our Ohio family there 2-3 times per summer.

  19. Lee Ensminger on September 3rd, 2011 12:21 pm

    @Dave Oglevie, did you mean Grand Marais, Minnesota? I spent several days there about 8 years ago, and if we’re talking about the same place – protected inner harbor, beautiful access to Lake Superior, charming town with a nice municipal campground – I couldn’t agree more. I can’t wait to go back. But I remember it being in Minnesota, right before I went into Canada on my clockwise tour of Lake Superior.

  20. Keith on November 25th, 2011 2:39 pm

    There is a Grand Marais in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan also. Just about all of the coast along Superior is stunning. Georgian Bay is also beautiful.


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