One of the most iconic natural features in North America, the Great Lakes and its surrounding regions are a treasure trove of historical sights, natural wonders, and vibrant entertainment that remains largely unexplored by most domestic travelers.
The Great Lakes area is one of the most iconic natural features in North America. These bodies of water—the lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Erie—are the largest freshwater lake group in the world in terms of volume and area, altogether containing more than 20 percent of the Earth’s freshwater. This unique feature plays host to both the most spectacular and secluded natural destinations in the United States and Canada and some of its most vibrant cities in the continent.
This region, however, is still one of the least traveled to destinations by domestic tourists, who often prefer the pleasant, relaxed attitude of the West Coast, the charm of Southern Hospitality, or the immersive history of New England. Many tourists from across North America remain blissfully aware of what this region has to offer, having ascribed to its undeserved reputation for being a flyover area.
The Great Lakes offers a broad assortment of entertainment options available across its miles and miles of shores. Each of the lakes has its unique charm. Accommodations range from cabins nestled in the countryside to small cruise ships plowing the lakes to roomy condos and hotel rooms in Fish Creek, WI.
The region offers a broad assortment of entertainment options in both small-town destinations and major cities. Besides water sports and other activities, this reason is also known for its vibrant indie music scene from genres of all types. Historical enthusiasts can several underappreciated historical landmarks visible from the towns in the lakeside and from across the lake.
A Freshwater Ocean
Like most large lakes, their sheer size allows them to behave in some ways like a sea or ocean—and looking closely at their shores, one wouldn’t readily notice how different they are from the sea. The states and provinces that border of the lakes provide not only with a place to host beachside games but also to enjoy various other water sports and leisure activities ranging from kayaking to boating.
Cruise liners are also offering trips to the U.S. Great Lakes area, which provide a domestic and easily accessible alternative for cruises abroad. Already a popular means of transportation well into the early 20th Century, the cruises are making a comeback. Much smaller than their ocean-plowing counterparts, cruise ships provide a clean break from the cliché tropical getaway that most people go for and the tour often showcases many of the hidden gems not often seen by visitors in this lacustrine environment.
Most of the tourists already drawn to the Great Lakes are after the pristine natural beauty of the area; most of the visitors are nature lovers, hikers, or outdoor enthusiasts. Places like the breathtaking Niagara Escarpment or the Peninsula State Park offer grandiose trails showcasing the rich natural beauty of the pristine forests and glittering blue lakesides.
Hikers can take in the natural beauty of the surrounding region and relative peace and comfort through the extensive network of hiking paths all throughout the area. Others can view the natural wonders by boat and by bike. People who also engage in closer-to-nature sports such as angling can also find plenty of secluded places across the lakesides to go fishing.