Camping lakeside in small town MichiganDespite our undying love for the Windy City, we wanted to check out a bit more of the Mid West. We rented a car for two days and set out to the Michigan Gold Coast via Indiana.

Out first stop was the Indiana Dunes (hehe) National Lakeshore. The heatwave was still upon us so it was a nice place to stop for a swim. The clean, golden sand curved down to the sparkling inland sea that is Lake Michigan. It was too hot to sunbathe for long so we enjoyed cooling off in the clear water a couple of times then we hit the road again.

After entering Michigan, we stopped for lunch at the famous (apparently) Redamak’s Restaurant. It is known for its beef burgers but Trav and I tried the pulled pork and BBQ Chicken burgers instead with sweet potato fries. After our satisfying lunch we went for another swim at the beach in New Buffalo.

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I can’t get over how much they look like ocean beaches with their sand dunes and waves. In a way it is kind of nicer to swim at a lake beach because you know there are no sharks and fresh water feels so much nicer on your skin after swimming.

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We camped further up the coast beside Lake Macatawa in Holland, but we made one more important detour before we got there.

Crane’s Pie Pantry is meant to have the best pies in the region so of course we had to try them for ourselves. It is like a time warp in there. Lots of yesteryear memorabilia, including old photos, signs and newspaper articles including one reporting Lincoln’s death. We shared Blueberry and Milk Chocolate Pecan pies. Damn I love pie. We had to visit again the next day for more, washed down with their heavenly apple cider.

I love North America!

It was really hot camping with the crazy humid weather which was a change for us, usually we get too cold. Our campground was quiet and wooded and was a great base for exploring the area. We swam in Lake Macatawa, picked raspberries near Crane’s and we spent a day in Saugatuck, a lovely lakeside tourist town nearby.

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In Saugatuck, we took the chain ferry across to the other side of the river to hike through the dunes and down to beautiful Oval Beach. The chain ferry involves the operator turning a crank which pulls the small ferry along a chain attached to the other side. The Saugatuck ferry is the only chain ferry left in the US. The beach was beautiful but the water was quite murky so we only had a quick dip after our hot walk through the wooded dunes.

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The drive back to Chicago was boring and long, as we were on the Interstate rather than the quiet back roads this time.

Michigan was never on my list of places to visit in the USA but we really enjoyed our time there despite the intense heat and humidity.

I have a feeling we will be back.

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