American Airlines took me to The Great Lakes of North America! First Chicago then Detroit, home of Motown and famous for the motor industry. I toe-tapped through Hitsville – home to the Motown’s Studio a museum in the footsteps of talented USA musicians like The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Then, equally famous, The Henry Ford Museum was on my list to visit. I could have spent a couple of days here – there is so much to experience, a ride in the Model T in Greenfield Village, Museum of American Innovation or Ford Rouge Factory tour.
Leaving Detroit (no, not on a freight train!) I made for the shores of Lake Erie. A ferry to Put-in-Bay on the South Bass Island out there on the vast lake, is an ideal getaway for a few days even in the Winter months, fishing, cycling, wineries and Perry’s Victory – an International Peace Memorial commemorating the 1812 Battle of Lake Erie.
Back on the shores of the Lake my next stop is Cleveland, a city that still has authentic charm from its many theatres still with ornate décor. The city is being rejuvenated and renovated. The city centre has a lovely old-fashioned feel but with modern touches. I could have spent days in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – 7 floors of great stories, memorabilia and interactive stations. The Great Lakes Science Centre was another fascinating excursion with more than 400 hands-on exhibits suitable for all age groups. There is plenty more to see and do from Severance Hall, Cultural Gardens, History and Museum of Art. At lunch I went to a Happy Dog – they serve hot dogs of course and offer more than 50 different toppings to choose from – I tried Fruit Loops!! My passion for music took me to Waterloo Arts District an up and coming area where I stopped off at Beachland Ballroom still unchanged from it’s 1950’s vibe and features an extensive collection of LP’s and 45s, and possibly catch some of the new Indie Rockers. For adrenalin junkies Cedar is the place to go, world famous for its Roller Coasters including Blue Streak – wooden roller coaster.
Continuing on the Lake shore, a 3 hour drive to Buffalo was my next stop. It’s the northern most tip of the lake and very close to the Canadian border. I visited Buffalo Riverworks, and took a tour of the city on a double-decker bus seeing attractions like the Naval Park and Hotel Henry. It was easy to cross the bridge at Niagara Falls to enjoy a ride on the iconic little boat, the Maid of the Mist, or visit the new Cave of the Winds Pavilion.
So many lakes! So much water! Not far from Buffalo is the Finger Lakes, plenty of vineyards, brewing experiences, and the lovely scenery of Taughannock Falls, I stayed the night in the university town of Ithaca and it was an easy journey back to Buffalo airport for my journey home.
If you are looking for something, or somewhere different in USA – the Lakes are beautiful. There is plenty of history, scenery, and quirky American experiences to enjoy.
The Great Lakes are not always mainstream and not always in the brochures – your best option is to come and see me – I can tell you all about it… first hand!
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No, I'm not a Travel Guru, but I have loved travelling since I was five years old, and more than love travel... I love to share my experiences... and show you our Wonderful World through my eyes!