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BIG-CITY VIEWS Chicago’s rooftop bars & bike trails INSPIRATION ABOUNDS Taste, toast majestic Michigan SUMMER SPLENDOR Canada’s urban parks & waterfalls

Discover Wine country, art festivals, food & fun

St. Joseph, Mich.


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GREAT LAKES

CONTENTS

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. A small town with big food and drink specialties National Cherry Festival JOHN L. RUSSELL; GETTY IMAGES

FEATURES

22 GREAT LAKES REGION

ON THE COVER

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IT’S A SCREAM The best amusement parks along the Great Lakes

URBAN TRAILS Reclaimed railroad line provides green space for Chicago

Lighthouses in St. Joseph, Mich. | Getty Images

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View from the Signature Room in Chicago

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

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Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com EDITORS

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UP FRONT

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THE REGION

GRAB YOUR CLUBS Golfing spots with scenic views

Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka

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ILLINOIS Chicago’s rooftop bars

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MICHIGAN Grand Rapids and its great art festival

Karen Asp, Brian Barth, Kit Bernardi, Lisa Davis, Britni de la Cretaz, Nancy Dunham, Cindy Kuzma, Lisa Lagace, Sandra MacGregor, Lisa Meyers McClintick, Katie Morell, Lauren Rearick

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Visit the Upper Peninsula’s sparkling copper region

ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING

INTERN

Antoinette D’Addario CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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BATTER UP Minor league baseball’s fun, family-friendly atmosphere

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BEST BREWS Microbreweries that burst with personality

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MINNESOTA Duluth’s wonders may surprise newcomers

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NEW YORK Beyond wings and weck in Buffalo’s food scene

48 TOLEDO MUD HENS

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ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

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Julie Marco ISSN#0734-7456 A USA TODAY Network publication, Gannett Co. Inc. USA TODAY, its logo and associated graphics are the trademarks of Gannett Co. Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Copyright 2017, USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Editorial and publication headquarters are at 7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108, and at (703) 854-3400.

OHIO Listen to Cleveland’s wide variety of music

For accuracy questions, call or send an e-mail to accuracy@usatoday.com.

CANADA Toronto’s vast urban parks

Niagara Falls on the Canadian side

Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com

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UP FRONT | SPORTS

TEE TIME

Scenic views are par for the course By Lisa Davis

The next time you vacation near the Great Lakes, be sure to hit these links. These courses offer challenging holes, convenient locations and terrific vistas.

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DESTINATION KOHLER The historic village of Kohler, Wis., has been transformed into one of the most coveted golf destinations in the United States, and with good reason. With courses designed by the legendary Pete Dye, it’s a golfer’s paradise and host to many pro events, including the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship (pictured). Two of Kohler’s courses are located at Whistling Straits: the links-style Straits, situated along Lake Michigan and known for its walking-only rule and gigantic sand dune bunkers; and the more inland Irish, defined by grasslands and running streams. Kohler’s River Course at Blackwolf Run is said to have one of the best designed par 4s in the country — the ninth hole, named Cathedral Spires, that runs along the Sheboygan River. ▶ N8501 Lakeshore Rd., Sheboygan; 855-444-2838; americanclubresort.com/golf

SYDNEY R. MAROVITZ GOLF COURSE Hidden among Chicago’s skyscrapers is a nine-hole golf course just minutes from downtown and seconds from the shore of Lake Michigan. Located alongside the lake, the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course lures back golfers not just with its water views but also its plentiful bunkers and tight greens. Finish your golf game at the nearby Clock Tower Café, originally built in 1931; treat yourself to beers, sandwiches and nachos. ▶ 3600 N. Recreation Dr., Chicago; 866-223-5564; cpdgolf.com

BAY HARBOR GOLF CLUB

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Beaches, lighthouses, charming towns and wineries are just some of the big draws for visitors to Michigan’s northwest coast. So is golf, including one of the state’s highest-ranked courses, the 27-hole Bay Harbor Golf Club. Bay Harbor has three nine-hole courses (the Links, the Quarry and the Preserve) that excite golfers with stone cliffs, natural dunes and woodlands. The courses are designed to be played in pairs for 18 holes. Try the Links/Quarry combo, which borders the Lake Michigan coastline, reminiscent of an Irish seaside course, and then winds down to a quarry with 40-foot gorges. ▶ 5800 Coastal Ridge Dr., Bay Harbor; 877-5122247; bayharborgolf.com

SLEEPY HOLLOW “Scenic” and “challenging” are how golfers describe the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, located about 20 miles south of downtown Cleveland. Overlooking the Cuyahoga River Valley, the course — site of several USGA qualifying tournaments — has natural elevation changes and wooded terrain. It also tests golfers’ abilities with strategically placed bunkers around tricky greens and stealthy fairways that are often closer to the trees than you estimate. If you’re not too tired after a round, grab a picnic basket and head to nearby Blossom Music Center to hear the Cleveland Orchestra play under the stars during the summer months or head back to downtown Cleveland for dinner at celebrity chef Michael Symon’s Mabel’s BBQ. ▶ 9445 Brecksville Rd., Brecksville; 440-526-4285; clevelandmetroparks.com/golf/golf.aspx RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY BILLY CASPER GOLF; EVAN SCHILLER PHOTOGRAPHY; KYLE LANZER/CLEVELAND METROPARKS

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UP FRONT | SPORTS

Fans cheer at a Toledo Mud Hens game at Fifth Third Field.

SCOTT W. GRAU/TOLEDO MUD HENS

TAKE ME OUT TO A BALL GAME Great Lakes minor league baseball means major league fun

By Britni de la Cretaz

INOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS the Great Lakes’ best-kept secret, with top-tier teams in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in New York and in Toledo, Ohio. These games allow more intimate access to the on-field action, but they’re about so much more than baseball. While you’re watching tomorrow’s major league stars play, you can enjoy local food and tons of family friendly fun — all for an incredibly affordable price.

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TOLEDO MUD HENS The Detroit Tigers’ Ohio-based Class AAA affiliate — a member of the league that is the last step for players before they reach the majors — is one of the most popular minor league teams in the country, thanks in part to the iconic TV character Klinger from M*A*S*H, who often wore Mud Hens gear. Across from Fifth Third Field, centrally located in downtown Toledo, is Hensville Park, where you’ll find an inflatable theme park for kids on select Sundays. And four times a year, the team runs camps with players and coaches where kids can learn from the pros. You’ll never go hungry; try the Mac and Cheese Burger at Gilhooley’s. ▶ 406 Washington St.; 419-725-4367; mudhens.com TOLEDO MUD HENS

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BUFFALO BISONS The best thing about a Bisons game is the history. The team has seen 20 former players inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame (pitcher Warren Spahn, manager Connie Mack and catcher Johnny Bench among them); and seven former Bisons currently manage major league teams, including the New York Mets’ Terry Collins and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo. Star Wars Night at downtown’s Coca-Cola Field regularly sells out, making it one of the largest attended MiLB games of the season. Tickets for the New York state-based Class AAA team average $14, just a fraction of the cost to see their major league affiliate, the Toronto Blue Jays. (Canadian visitors, by the way, can use their Canadian cash at the stadium.) Be sure to grab Western New York’s classic beef on weck sandwich while you’re there. ▶ 275 Washington St.; 716-843-4373; bisons.com

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ROCHESTER RED WINGS At games for the New York Statebased Class AAA Minnesota Twins affiliate, “we’re about creating memoe ries for families,” says Dan Mason, the e team’s general manager. With average ticket prices ranging from $8 to $13, almost any family can afford a day at the park. And on Sunday, kids run the bases after the game. Frontier Field, located downtown, highlights local fare, including red and white “hots,” hot dogs that are original to the region. While you’re there, grab a Red Wing Ale, locally brewed by Rohrbach Brewing Company. 1; ▶ 1 Morrie Silver Way; 585-454-1001; redwingsbaseball.com ROCHESTER RED

WINGS ROCHESTER RED WINGS

SYRACUSE CHIEFS S

Minor League Baseball milb.com IEFS

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T Tickets to games at NBT Bank Stadium near downtown a are easy to come by. “There are nights where it’s 40 d degrees out and you’re only getting the diehard fans,” ssays Kevin Brown, play-by-play broadcaster and directtor of media relations. “But they know when to ignite tthe stadium’s energy.” The stadium is known for its H Hofmann Ripper: a Buffalo-style hot dog fried with spicy b bang bang sauce, bleu cheese and diced celery. You m might see future stars for the Washington Nationals; ccurrent Nats who are Chiefs alumni include 2015 National L League MVP Bryce Harper, pitcher Stephen Strasburg a and speedy shortstop Trea Turner. And the Nats’ Class A AAA affiliate can laugh at itself — one of last season’s p promotions was the “53 or Free Guarantee,” a free ticket ffor fans if the temperature at an afternoon game on April 113 didn’t reach 53 degrees. (It didn’t.) ▶ 1 Tex Simone Dr.; 315-474-7833; syracusechiefs.com

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UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

HOP TO IT Drink what’s brewing in the Great Lakes region By Lisa Davis ISITING A MICROBREWERY WHILE on vacation has become a standard part of many travelers’ plans. That’s not surprising: Craft breweries are attractions on their own, with rotating drafts made by talented brewers, interesting tours that combine beer tastings with history and culture, plus foods that effortlessly pair well with beer. Quench your thirst at one of these Great Lakes microbreweries.

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Pearl Street Grill & Brewery in Buffalo has something for everyone. The brewery is located on the first level; on the second floor are pool and foosball tables; and those who like to boogie can head to the thirdlevel dance floor. Recommended beers to sample include the Lake Effect American Pale Ale and the microbrewery’s signature brew, the Trainwreck Amber Ale. ▶ 76 Pearl St.; 716-856-2337; pearlstreetgrill.com

Said to be Milwaukee’s first solarpowered brewery, the Milwaukee Brewing Co.’s consistently good pints include both standard and seasonal selections as well as tea-infused brews. Popular $10 beer-in-hand brewery tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays year-round, with tours on Sundays from June 26 to Sept. 4. The brewery plans to expand into a second location inside a former Pabst distribution center on North Eighth Street this year. ▶ 613 S. Second St.; 414-2262337; mkebrewing.com

Muskegon is known for its Lake Michigan beaches, its rollercoasters — and a really great brewery, Unruly Brewing Co. With perfectly hopped IPAs on tap (try the West Coast-style Revel Rouser made with Michigan hops), the brewery also has an outdoor beer garden, periodic live music and free daily tours. ▶ 360 W. Western Ave.; 231-2881068; unrulybrewing.com

OHIO As Cleveland continues to rebuild itself, microbreweries have played a big role in its resurgence, including the Great Lakes Brewing Co. Located in the trendy neighborhood of Ohio City, the oldest craft brewery in Ohio produces several award-winning beers, including the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, named after the ship that sank in Lake Superior in 1975. The Eliot Ness Amber Lager (named for the famed Prohibition agent and unsuccessful Cleveland mayoral candidate) also is a crowdpleaser. Be sure to enjoy a pint outside on the cobblestone patio. Brewery tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays for $5 and include beer samples plus a lesson on Cleveland’s beer history. ▶ 2516 Market Ave.; 216-7714404; greatlakesbrewing.com

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Michigan’s second largest brewery (in terms of annual production) is Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. Beer connoisseurs swear by the year-round Centennial IPA and the seasonal (spring/ summer) Azacca IPA, a caramely, fruity brew. ▶ 235 Grandville Ave. S.W.; 616776-1195; foundersbrewing.com FOUNDERS BREWING CO.

ILLINOIS

BREWHOUSE INN & SUITES

Also located in Milwaukee’s Pabst City neighborhood is the 90-suite Brewhouse Inn & Suites, built in the iconic, once-abandoned Pabst Brewery, with notable beer-related décor including copper brew kettles and a historic stained-glass window featuring the legendary icon of beer, King Gambrinus. ▶ 1215 N. 10th St.; 414-810-3350; brewhousesuites.com

LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY

It’s a daunting feat to name just one craft brewery to visit in Chicago; the city has several outstanding microbreweries, including Revolution Brewing in the Logan Square neighborhood and the Half Acre Beer Company on Lincoln Avenue. But if one has to be named, then it’s Chicago’s largest, the Lagunitas Brewing Company. Located in a former steel warehouse in the Douglas Park area of the city, the brewery has an eye-catching entrance with a psychedelic light show themed to Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination. You’ll arrive at the brewery’s massive taproom, which is suspended above the brewery floor and has an equally huge selection of craft beers, including the New Dogtown pale ale and A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ silky pale wheat ale. Free tours are offered daily, along with periodic live music. ▶ 2607 W. 17th St.; 773-522-1308; lagunitas.com

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E A T, D R I N K & B E

CHERRY Spend a long weekend in Traverse City, where the red fruit reigns supreme

By Karen Asp

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O CITY IS MORE synonymous with cherries than Traverse City. This region of Michigan produces the most tart cherries in this country — almost 75 percent of the most popular variety, Montmorency. During the summer, the fruit is readily found in markets and restaurants and with street vendors; at farms, it’s ripe for the picking. The fruit is so ubiquitous that the city’s airport bears its name: Cherry Capital Airport. Yet Traverse City wasn’t named one of America’s top five favorite beach towns by Travel + Leisure readers in 2016 solely because of its cherries. It’s arguably becoming the Napa of the Midwest, with nearly 50 wineries in the area. Prefer beer instead? You’ll find plenty of company among the region’s 19 breweries. Come with not only a willing palate, but some pedal power. With more than 60 miles of regional trails (and dozens of miles of unpaved back-country trails), Traverse

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City is a haven for cyclists. It’s time to pack your bags.

EVERYTHING’S COMING UP CHERRIES

For years, Michigan has been cherry central, and the Traverse City region celebrates that. “Our unique microclimates along Lake Michigan and sandy soil give us a competitive advantage,” says Ben LaCross, whose family owns LaCross Farms and the Leelanau Fruit Co., which sells both wholesale and retail cherry products. There’s no better time to visit Traverse City than mid-July, when cherry picking is at its peak. You might even plan your visit for July 1-8, during the city’s National Cherry Festival (cherryfestival.org), which dates back 107 years. Even if you can’t make the festival, there’s still plenty of opportunity to be drawn into the cherry craze. The samples I nosh while strolling the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market (downtowntc. CO N T I N U E D

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EAT, DRINK & BE CHERRY

THE HISTORIC CHERRY FESTIVAL DATES BACK

107 YEARS

JOHN L. RUSSELL

Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, from July 1-8, is the perfect time to visit the cherry-oriented town.

com/events-attractions/sara-hardyfarmers-market) — held every Saturday beginning May 6 and every Wednesday starting June 7 and operates through October — as well as those at the iconic Cherry Republic store (cherryrepublic.com), are enough to prompt me to pick my own. Within minutes of driving up the Old Mission Peninsula — Traverse City lies between two narrow peninsulas in northwest Michigan’s Lower Peninsula — I’ve passed at least a dozen spots where I can do just that. I pull over at one, grab a bucket and start plucking. The cherries come off so easily that I quickly harvest more than 6 pounds.

WINE NOT

ASHLEY DAY/USA TODAY

Find every variation of cherry-infused foods, including mustards, sausages, salsas, sauces, coffee, jams, candy and pastries — plus plenty of free samples at Cherry Republic.

Cherries aren’t the only fruit saturating this region. So, too, are grapes. The region’s growing reputation for wine gives oenophiles a chance to expand their horizons. I set my sights on Chateau Chantal (chateauchantal.com), a family-owned business with a bed-and-breakfast on the Old Mission Peninsula. Here, I participate in a 90-minute wine sensory tour, which starts with a walk through the winery. I learn that three factors are CO N T I N U E D

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JOHN L. RUSSELL

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EAT, DRINK & BE CHERRY

W H E R E T O S AV O R A N D S L U M B E R

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Craving tacos with a modern twist (think pork belly, short ribs or roasted squash)? Grab a seat at Mama Lu’s Taco Shop. ▶ 149 E. Front St.; 231-943-2793; mamalustc.com Traverse City is quickly becoming known for its culinary scene. If you’re there on a Friday night, visit The Little Fleet, an outdoor food truck pod with live music. ▶ 448 E. Front St.; 231-943-1116; thelittlefleet.com ASHLEY DAY/USA TODAY

Poppycocks is known for its locally inspired dishes, including Parmesan whitefish entree and whitefish cakes appetizer. ▶ 128 E. Front St.; 231-941-7632; poppycockstc.com Many of the breweries also offer tasty grub, including the Rare Bird Brewpub, where reclaimed wood booths and seats made from sustainably harvested wood slabs dominate the décor. ▶229 Lake Ave.; 231-943-2053; rarebirdbrewpub.com

responsible for the success of wine in this area: hills, vines and water. “This winery lies in the middle of a concentrated thermal sink, which protects the vines against temperature change,” says tour guide and “wine shoppe sheriff” Bill Autenreith. The hilly landscape allows for greater air movement, which provides better pest and mold control in the vineyard. And then my senses are challenged. First, I do a “blind” tasting, initially unaware that the two identical black glasses contain the same wine. During the second test, I sip the same wine while listening to different genres of music. When

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SEE

Book a room at Cambria Hotels & Suites, which has garnered six Hotel of the Year awards from Choice Hotels International. ▶ 255 Munson Ave. (U.S. 31); 231-778-9000; traversecitycam briasuites.com Or head to the recently opened Hotel Indigo in the city’s revitalized Warehouse District in walking distance from downtown. ▶ 263 W. Grandview Pkwy.; 231-932-0500; ihg.com/hotel indigo/hotels/us/ en/traverse-city/ tvcin/hoteldetail

the music resembles white noise, tartness and acidity in the wine are highlighted. Yet when the music becomes smoother and softer, the wine tastes sweeter. Another pairing requires sipping the same wine from three different glasses. Each glass delivers the wine to a different part of the palate, changing the wine’s complexity. The experience ends with a food and wine pairing and an important lesson, appropriately termed the 20-20 rule. The premise? “Most Americans drink reds too warm and whites too cold,” Autenreith says. To remedy this, put reds in the

ASHLEY DAY/USA TODAY

Traverse City has its own version of Hollywood in the upper Midwest in July, hosting the Traverse City Film Festival from July 25-30. Founded by Oscar-winning documentarian and Michigan native Michael Moore, the festival showcases a mix of films and genres. The 2016 lineup included classics Adam’s Rib and Blow-Up; the 2016 documentary Command and Control, about a nuclear weapons accident in Arkansas; and 2017 Best Picture Oscar nominee Hell or High Water. ▶ traversecityfilmfest.org

fridge 20 minutes before serving, while 20 minutes before serving whites, remove them from the fridge.

PEDALING FOR A PINT

For some, a beach might be preferable to a bike trail. They’re both popular attractions here, but because I’m an avid cyclist, I can’t miss the opportunity to pedal Traverse City’s beloved trails (traversetrails.org). I get on my bike, hitting the TART (Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation) trail, a main path that runs not only along the beaches but also near breweries. I stop at two to refuel: Right Brain Brewery (rightbrainbrewery.com) with its

eccentrically decorated tasting room; and the Filling Station Microbrewery (thefillingstationmicrobrewery.com), a former railroad station turned brewery. From there, I take a spin around the Boardman Lake Trail. The next day, I pedal away from the city on Leelanau Trail, a rails-to-trails corridor. My plan is to go for lunch in Suttons Bay, at the end of the 17-mile trail, but a looming storm changes my plans. While I’m disappointed, the trail itself is a highlight, as I ride past apple and cherry orchards, fields of flowers and vineyards. One visit to Traverse City will no doubt have you thirsting for another. Call it the cherry on top, if you will.

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s l l i r h T r e m m u S Wild rides make amusement parks a real scream By Nancy Dunham

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ANT TO HEAR THE best-kept secret in the United States? The amusement parks near the Great Lakes, no matter their size, provide heartstopping, family-friendly fun. The smaller ones can also save you money and give you the opportunity to experience the old-time favorite rides like carousels and Scramblers. And all the parks offer views and access — not to mention the breezes, cooler near the lakes — that can’t be found elsewhere. And every one of them has a roller coaster that you’ll love. “I love doing both,” says Tim

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Baldwin, communications director for American Coaster Enthusiasts, of his joy at visiting large and small parks. “The parks near the Great Lakes draw rich slices of the American population. Everyone from (amusement park) fanatics to casual guests go and they have something in common — they want to have fun. And in today’s world, that is something to celebrate.” And plenty do. Between 2014 and 2015, attendance at the top 25 theme and water parks in North America grew by 5.4 percent, according to the Themed Entertainment Association and the engineering firm AECOM. Like the Great Lakes themselves, the parks near them are rooted in history. Here are some of the popular ones and what you can expect at each:

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Sea Dragon GREEN BAY, WIS.

BAY BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK Nearest Great Lake: Michigan History: Founded in 1892 Size: 73 acres Number of attractions: 22 rides

PROVIDED BY BAY BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK; GETTY IMAGES

Jack Rabbit ROCHESTER, N.Y.

Most popular rides: The Zippin Pippin — Elvis Presley’s favorite roller coaster when it was part of a Memphis amusement park; the city of Green Bay bought the ride in 2010 — and the Giant Slide, which guests ride on burlap sacks

Most popular eats: “The area’s best cotton candy,” according to the park website Schedule and prices: Weekends May 6-21 and Sept. 9-24, daily May 23 to Sept. 4. Free admission; ride tickets are 25 cents each, and rides require between one and four tickets each. Why visit: Where else can you ride a coaster favored by the King for only $1? ▶ 1313 Bay Beach Rd.; 920-448-3365; greenbaywi.gov/ baybeach

Hidden jewel: The park is a return to simpler attractions and family fun and is located next to the bay of Green Bay.

SEABREEZE AMUSEMENT PARK Nearest Great Lake: Ontario History: Opened Aug. 5, 1879; one of the five oldest amusement parks in the U.S. Size: 40 acres Number of attractions: 23 rides and 10 waterpark attractions Most popular ride: The Jack Rabbit, a 2,150-foot-long wooden roller coaster with a 75-foot drop, introduced in 1920. It’s the oldest continually operating coaster in the U.S. Hidden jewel: Oldfashioned Barnstormers, a biplane ride designed for children

Most popular eats: Seabreeze’s famous sugar waffles; Dippin’ Dots ice cream Schedule and prices: Open May 13 through Sept. 11. Tickets cost between $12.99 for spectator passes (no rides) and $31.99 for unlimited ride and water park access. Why visit: “We embrace our heritage, but keep it very timely,” says Rob Norris, park president. “We continually reinvent ourselves and our product.”

FLASHBACK The Jack Rabbit was the fastest coaster in the world when it opened in 1920.

▶ 4600 Culver Rd.; 585-323-1900; seabreeze.com PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SEABREEZE AMUSEMENT PARK

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Summer Thrills

Corkscrew

JORDAN STERNBERG

SANDUSKY, OHIO

CEDAR POINT

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY MICHIGAN’S ADVENTURE

MUSKEGON, MICH.

MICHIGAN’S ADVENTURE

Nearest Great Lake: Michigan

Why visit: In addition to its top-ranked roller coasters (seven in all), visitors can also check out the water park and petting zoo.

Nearest Great Lake: Erie History: Opened in 1870, the self-proclaimed “roller coaster capital of the world” is the secondoldest amusement park in the U.S.

Size: 364 acres Number of attractions: 70 rides, 150 total attractions Most popular ride: The Blue Streak, an iconic traditional wooden coaster introduced in 1964; it was ranked the 35th-best wooden coaster in the world in 2015 by Amusement Today Hidden jewels: The mile-long Cedar Point

Beach at Lake Erie, open to park guests, and the nearby 111-year-old Hotel Breakers

one-day tickets cost $39.99 for ages 3 and up; buy a parking pass online for $15 and save $5.

Most popular eats: The park’s own Fresh Cut Fries, sold at various locations around the park; classic elephant ears

Why visit: The 17 roller coasters draw enthusiasts, but don’t miss the other rides and the water park.

Schedule and prices: Open daily May 6 to Sept. 4; open weekends through Oct. 29. Daily

▶ 1 Cedar Point Dr.; 419-627-2350; cedarpoint.com

▶ 1198 W. Riley-Thompson Rd.; 231-766-3377; miadventure.com GRAND ISLAND, N.Y.

History: Opened in 1956

ERIE, PA.

Size: 140 acres Number of attractions: 35 rides, 60 total attractions

FANTASY ISLAND

Nearest Great Lake: Halfway between Erie and Ontario

Most popular ride: The Shivering Timbers wooden roller coaster, ranked 20th in the world in 2015 by Amusement Today Hidden jewel: The electric cars on Be-Bop Blvd are designed to let children take the wheel. Most popular eats: Kettle corn, popped fresh at a stand next to the Wolverine Wildcat coaster Schedule and prices: Open May 26 to Sept. 4, plus Sept. 9-10; $29.99 or $31, depending on height

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History: Opened in 1961

History: Opened in 1896, it is among the oldest parks in the U.S.

Size: 90 acres

Size: 45 acres

Number of attractions: More than 40

Number of attractions: 33 rides and 25 water attractions

Most popular rides: The Silver Comet, a 3,100-foot wooden coaster with a hybrid steel frame, and the Cannon Bowl enclosed slide in the water park

Most popular ride: The Ravine Flyer II, ranked the seventhbest wooden coaster in the world in 2015 by Amusement Today

Hidden jewels: A classic carousel with handcarved horses; the 1935-era Blue Goose kiddie ride; and a daily Wild West Shootout

Hidden jewels: Classic rides such as bumper cars, a Ferris wheel and flying swings

Most popular eats: Fried dough, sugar waffles and cotton candy, sold throughout the park FLASHBACK Families ride a miniature train.

WALDAMEER & WATER WORLD

Nearest Great Lake: Erie

Schedule and prices: Open weekends and partial weeks May 13 to June 25 and Sept. 9-24; daily June 27 to Sept. 4. $17.99 to $31.99.Why visit: The park features a mix of classic rides such as teacups and bumper cars and modern thrillers. ▶ 2400 Grand Island Blvd.; 716-773-7591; fantasyislandny.com

Most popular eats: Freshly baked cookies; natural cut french fries; funnel cakes Schedule and prices: Open weekends May 6-29 and Sept. 1-4; daily operation May 31 to Aug. 27. Combo passes for rides and water park are $29 or $38, depending on height. Why visit: “We are family-owned and operated and we cater to families,” says vice president Brian Gorman. “You can walk into our park for free, take in the sights and sounds, grab something to eat and relax.” ▶ 220 Peninsula Dr.; 814-838-3591; waldameer.com

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Chicago’s elevated pedestrian path opens up a whole new route USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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By Cindy Kuzma UNNERS, WALKERS AND CYCLISTS use Chicago’s new elevated trail, The 606, for swift passage through parts of the city’s west side. But slow down and you can take in thought-provoking artwork, intriguing local boutiques, delicious bites and refreshing drinks on the 2.7-mile route. Here, we map out an ideal agenda along this urban greenway. Park near Paulina and Cortland Streets or take the Metra commuter train to the Clybourn station, both near the eastern end of the trail.

Snag a sunny window table at Jane’s, a 22-yearold neighborhood gem nestled inside a cozy cottage, for a weekend brunch of blueberry pancakes or a classy breakfast burrito topped with avocado mousse. From there, head a few blocks south to Walsh Park, named for a firefighter who died in a blaze here in 1970. Today, the space features basketball hoops, a dog park and a playground complete with slides, swings and dinosaur-shaped climbing equipment. Follow the sidewalk around the CO N T I N U E D

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A DAY ON

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Brick House, the Chakaia Booker sculpture located at the Damen Arts Plaza

Exelon Observatory

playground, and you’ll wind up on the circular path heading up to The 606’s east trailhead. From there, begin your journey westward. After about half a mile, exit the trail to the north at Damen Avenue. Pop into Havlan & West to browse clothing and accessories (for you and your home) from artisans as far-flung as Ghana and as local as the surrounding Bucktown neighborhood. Three doors down at JuiceRx, choose from 30 varieties of cold-pressed juice to sip with your Harlequin Monkey Acai bowl, a creamy fruit base under banana chips, cacao nibs and peanut-butter drizzle. Back on the trail, you’ll encounter Brick House, a 26-footlong snake-like structure of rubber tires and stainless steel located at the Damen Arts Plaza. Sculptor Chakaia Booker used construction materials both to withstand tough

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winters and to evoke the city’s gritty diversity. A few blocks west at North Milwaukee Avenue, the ConAgra Brands Mural by local artist Jeff Zimmermann takes a more literal approach — you’ll spy floating faces of neighborhood residents. Leave the trail here and stop in Ipsento 606, a coffee shop that shares a wall with the mural, for the signature latte made with coconut milk, espresso and a hit of cayenne pepper. Prefer an adult beverage? Red & White offers a curated selection of environmentally friendly wines. Sip a glass at the bar, or buy a bottle to decant into a disco-ball tumbler purchased from whimsical boutique Bow & Arrow Collection. Or, head south of the trail for an ice-cold brew and a tasty cheeseburger on the patio at Small Cheval.

Come back to the trail and stride a mile to North California Avenue. At street level, ponder the blend of mosaic, text and sculpted concrete in Children Are Our Future, an art installation created by local artists and neighborhood youth. Then perk up with a fresh-baked apple fritter or traditional Eritrean coffee at refugeeowned Donut Delight. If the sugar-and-caffeine buzz awakens your playful side, continue to the Whipple Street crossing and frolic on the climbing web and spider sculpture at Julia de Burgos Park. Then forge ahead another three-quarters of a mile to the trail’s end at Ridgeway Avenue. Take a moment to gaze upon the spectacular sunset view from the circular Exelon Observatory. If you’re lucky — or

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Like much of Chicago’s modern design, The 606 traces its roots back to the Great Fire of 1871. As crews rebuilt the scorched city, the Chicago & Pacific Railroad laid tracks down the middle of Bloomingdale Avenue. In the 1990s, as businesses moved out, trains were rerouted. Trees, flowers, and animals began to reclaim the land, providing residents in an area starved of green space an unintentional nature trail that eventually became an official park. Its name, The 606, refers to the first three digits of Chicago ZIP codes. Aptly enough, the trail opened for public use on June 6, 2016.

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COLIN HINKLE; ADAM ALEXANDER: BOTH PROVIDED BY THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND

if you’ve checked out the606.org beforehand — you might happen upon an astronomy discussion led by a local scientist. Then head north to Armitage Avenue. Celebrate your arrival with a cinnamon-and-sugar treat at the intoxicatingly aromatic Xurro — or, if you prefer, a highoctane cocktail at the retro-feeling Weegee’s Lounge Either way, you’ve earned it.

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IF YOU GO

Jane’s 1665 W. Cortland St.; 773-862-5263; janesrestaurant.com

Havlan & West 1870 N. Damen Ave.; 773-799-8367; havlanandwest.com

Ipsento 606 1813 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 872-206-8697; ipsento.com

Walsh Park 1722 N. Ashland Ave.; 312-742-4622; chicagoparkdistrict. com/parks/walshplayground-park

JuiceRx 1880 N. Damen Ave; 312-252-4938; drinkjuicerx.com

Red & White 1861 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-486-4769; redandwhitewines chicago.com

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Bow & Arrow Collection 1815 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-661-1915; bowandarrow collection.com

Small Cheval 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave.; smallcheval. com

Donut Delight 1750 N. California Ave.; 773-227-2105; facebook.com/ donutdelightinc

Exelon Observatory 1800 N .Ridgeway Ave.; 312-742-4622; the606.org/explore/ arts

Julia de Burgos Park 1805 N. Albany Ave.; 312-742-7548; chicagoparkdistrict. com/parks/ julia-de-burgos-park

Xurro 3755 W. Armitage Ave; churrofactory. com

Weegee’s Lounge 3659 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-384-0707; weegeeslounge.com

Plan your own visit! Go to the606.org to personalize a trip with an interactive map.

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


GREAT LAKES 32

ILLINOIS CHICAGO ROOFTOP BARS

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MICHIGAN GRAND RAPIDS ART + COPPER COUNTRY

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MINNESOTA OUTDOORS IN DULUTH

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NEW YORK BUFFALO FOOD SCENE

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OHIO CLEVELAND MUSIC

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CANADA TORONTO PARKS + NIAGARA FALLS

Palisade Head, overlooking Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn. GETTY IMAGES

USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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ILLINOIS | CHICAGO

PHOTOS BY NICHOLAS JAMES FOCHTMAN

ABOVE THE REST Take in the view from Chicago’s glorious sky-high bars By Kit Bernardi

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AISE A GLASS AT these Chicago rooftop bars, beloved by locals for stunning views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. Some are within walking distance of one another. Up for a bar hop?

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LH ROOFTOP

LONDONHOUSE CHICAGO LH Rooftop’s terrace sets guests amidst the towering skyscrapers along the Chicago River. Executive Chef Jacob Verstegen reinvents retro cocktails; try his lightenedup version of the classic Chicago, mixing vanillainfused cognac, Cointreau, sherry and sparkling wine, perfectly paired with beef tartare. Reservations are recommended. ▶ 85 E. Wacker Dr.; 312357-1200; londonhouse chicago.com/rooftop

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ILLINOIS | CHICAGO

CINDY’S

CERISE

VIRGIN HOTELS CHICAGO Spy on Lake Michigan between the surrounding skyscrapers’ rooftop gargoyles and cupolas at this sky-high club known for its vibrating DJ dance parties and playful décor. Guests circulate around the shadow-box bars encasing exotic butterflies and vintage bar tools. Cradling a craft cocktail, sink into a cushy couch by the cozy fireplace. ▶ 203 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-9404774; virginhotels.com/chicago/ dine-and-drink/cerise

PHOTOS BY ANTHONY TAHLIER

CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION HOTEL At Cindy’s, atop this restored 1890s Venetian Gothic hotel, patrons gather around fire pits to sip gimlets and daiquiris. Open-air, lakefront vistas encompass Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and the Museum Campus peninsula. Sunlight streams through the arched glass roof above guests as they dine on chunky lobster rolls and seasonal berry trifle. ▶ 12 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-792-3502; cindysrooftop.com

THE TERRACE AT TRUMP

OLN L LINC HOTE

J. PARKER

HOTEL LINCOLN Bountiful flower pots and comfortable seating create a casual patio vibe which balances dramatic views of shoreline, lagoon-laced Lincoln Park and Gold Coast skyscrapers. Themed craft cocktails that reflect pop culture and bygone eras are served with seasonal snacks at the year-round bar under a retractable, conservatory-style glass roof. ▶ 816 N. Clark St.; 312-254-4747; jparkerchicago.com

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TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL & TOWER CHICAGO Jaw-dropping views from this luxe, al fresco lounge on the 16th floor of Chicago’s second tallest building are genuinely tweet-worthy. The Chicago River flows through a skyscraper canyon spanned by bridges opening for sailboats heading to Lake Michigan. The Terrace opens May 4, weather permitting; summer menus feature cocktails made with fresh fruit, chilled shellfish towers and a barbecue rib or fried chicken picnic spread. ▶ 401 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-588-8600; trumphotels.com/ chicago/dining/ rooftop-restaurantschicago

PHOTOS BY MIXITAL MEDIA, INC.

THE SIGNATURE LOUNGE AT THE 96TH

JOHN HANCOCK TOWER The city’s fourth-tallest building offers the ultimate bird’s-eye view of Lake Michigan and the iconic Chicago skyline. The lake’s shades of blue transition from shoreline turquoise and jade green to deep cobalt. Guests linger after midnight over craft cocktails and global wines while sharing small plates from the swank Signature Room restaurant. ▶ 875 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-787-9596; signatureroom.com/lounge

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MICHIGAN | GRAND RAPIDS

◀ EVERYTHING IS TRANSFORMED Grand Rapids’ SiTE:LAB created a vibrant contemporary art exhibit from a largely vacant city block.

▲ SWEEPER’S CLOCK A 12-hour video by Maarten Bass showed the passage of time through workers who sweep garbage into the shape of moving clock hands.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ARTPRIZE 2017

‘GRAND’ INSPIRATION For some of the best art in the world, visit this small Michigan city 36

By Katie Morell

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UICK, NAME THE LOCATION of the largest art show in the world. Hint: It also offers the biggest cash prize — $500,000 — and attracts more than 400,000 visitors over a three-week period. Paris? Milan? Maybe New York City? Nope. Try Grand Rapids, Mich. In 2009, local web entrepreneur Rick DeVos decided to change the way the world looked at contemporary art. He

wanted to make it more accessible by creating a one-of-a-kind event that would utilize all sorts of venues (including bars, hotels, alleys, stores, bodies of water and parks) and allow the public to vote on winners via a smartphone app. ArtPrize (artprize.org) was born and ever since, the free annual festival — this year, from Sept. 20 to Oct. 8 — has exploded in popularity. The public can interact with artists and anyone can apply to show their work. In addition to smartphone voting, a jury of art experts weighs CO N T I N U E D

▲ PORTRAITS OF LIGHT AND SHADOW Joao Paulo Goncalves’ angled wood pieces created a pixelated effect via shadow; unlit, the faces disappear.

▲ THE BUREAU OF PERSONAL BELONGING The interactive project by Stacey Kirby gave viewers a chance to learn more about their civil rights.

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MICHIGAN | GRAND RAPIDS

MAKE A TRIP OF IT Grand Rapids-bound art lovers not only have plenty of galleries, gardens and inspiring spaces to choose from while visiting, but a number of well-appointed hotels and tasty restaurants as well. Here are a few standouts:

BRIAN KELLY/PROVIDED BY ARTPRIZE 2017

◀ LIGHT CAVE Inflatable work by Julie Machado, of art collective FriendsWithYou, invites interaction.

▲ VISION Painted on multiple sheets of film, David Spriggs’ work has a 3-D effect.

JEFF WILKINSON, BEET SALAD/PROVIDED BY ARTPRIZE 2017

TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF ARTPRIZE ▶ Register to vote and get pretty much all the information you need about the event and how to find art with the ArtPrize mobile app (available at artprize.org). You can also get oriented by visiting one of the eight neighborhood hubs where you can register to vote, pick up an event guide and get more details. ▶ The highest concentration of the best-quality art tends to be in major venues such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, SiTE:LAB and a few others. The GRAM is a great place to start your visit. ▶ The most efficient way to tour ArtPrize is one neighborhood at a time. Downtown Grand Rapids is easily walkable, but a network of shuttle buses can also get you where you need to go. It’s helpful to make a plan of attack with a specific itinerary, but it’s also fun to leave some room for just wandering and seeing what surprises you. ▶ To avoid the peak crowds, hit the big venues early in the day. Weekdays are preferable to weekends. ▶ It’s impossible to see it all in one day, so don’t run yourself ragged trying. Pick your spots. If you can spend two days, however, you can see a pretty big chunk of the competition. — Mark Stryker

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in and participants are whittled down throughout the festival, making for exciting public engagement. “ArtPrize is changing the behavior of how people look at art,” says Christian Gaines, the festival’s executive director. “It is minting the next generation of art lovers not by the hundreds or thousands, but by the hundreds of thousands.” The experience defines ArtPrize. The street-fair vibe and infectious energy. The way tens of thousands of people pack the streets and venues at peak viewing times. The way you have to bushwhack through dense forests of kitsch to get to the good stuff, and the way the good stuff always redeems the journey. The sublime and the ridiculous are back-to-back at ArtPrize, a byproduct of the populist engine that drives the event — and it’s also a key part of the magic.

GRAND RAPIDS’ ART HISTORY

While ArtPrize has helped skyrocket Grand Rapids to the top of the art world, it is hardly the city’s first entrance into this sphere. In fact, the city of 192,000 has long valued art, starting with the 1969 installation of Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse (French for “grand rapids”), a 43-by30-by-54-foot bright red sculpture next to City Hall.

“Back in the 1950s, Grand Rapids had a committee of women who were dedicated to bringing art to the city; they are the ones that helped bring Alexander here,” says Janet Korn, senior vice president for Experience Grand Rapids. “They also helped the art museum become so well known.” The Grand Rapids Art Museum (artmuseumgr.org), also known as the GRAM, is a spectacle worth a visit in itself. Incredibly modern, it is the world’s first LEED-gold-certified art museum and has 20,000 square feet of gallery space. Just 6 miles east, visitors will find the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (meijer gardens.org), a 125-acre botanical garden; check out the new Ai Weiwei exhibit, on display until Aug. 20. Add to that new artists graduating yearly from the Kendall College of Art and Design (kcad.edu), whose work is showcased each May at the school, and you have yourself a true art destination. “Grand Rapids is a city with a rich history in art, design and urbanism,” says Gaines, who moved to the city three years ago from Los Angeles. “It has a strong entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit. There are so many interesting artists doing great work. I’m a huge fan.”

Terra: This farm-totable eatery is known for its wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta and Michigan craft beers. 1429 Lake Dr. S.E.; 616301-0998; terragr.com Brewery Vivant: The brewery is housed inside a retired chapel that serves Belgian-style beer and Frenchinspired food. First-come first-serve brewery tours are available on Saturday afternoons. 925 Cherry St.; 616-719-1604; breweryvivant.com

Amway Grand Plaza: Regal decorative touches accent this classic, 682-room hotel — think sparkling chandeliers and wide staircases. 187 Monroe Ave. N.W.; 616-774-2000; amwaygrand.com

ASHLEY AVILA

▲ CityFlatsHotel: An adorable boutique property with a modern, eco-friendly aesthetic. 83 Monroe Center St. N.W.; 616-608-1720; cityflatshotel.com

Contributing: Mark Stryker

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MICHIGAN | KEWEENAW PENINSULA

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

COPPER COUNTRY SPARKLES Unplug and recharge along Keweenaw Peninsula Story and photography by Lisa Meyers McClintick

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S THE SUN LOWERS across Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, it’s time to head inland. Never mind Lake Superior’s seductive song of waves caressing cobblestones with a magnetic pull to stay put. A drive along the 9-mile spine of Brockway Mountain rewards

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travelers with a view from the West Bluff that unfurls like a trumpeter’s fanfare. The mightiest Great Lake frames the giant spit of land with a hazy glimpse of Isle Royale National Park on the horizon. An inland lake CO N T I N U E D

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MICHIGAN | KEWEENAW PENINSULA

MAKE A TRIP OF IT Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau

Monks bake boozy gourmet fruitcakes (think molasses or walnut ginger) and wild-harvested preserves at The Jampot near the town of Eagle Harbor. 6500 State Highway M26; store. societystjohn. com

56638 Calumet Ave., Calumet; 800-338-7982; keweenaw.info

Roy’s Pasties and Bakery on Houghton’s waterfront rolls out creative riffs on the handheld meat-andpotato pies once popular with miners. 305 W. Lakeshore Dr.; 906-487-6166; royspasties.com

▲ Laurium Manor Inn in Laurium gives a glimpse at the wealth of early copper barons. 320 Tamarack St.; 906-3372549; laurium.info The historic 1930s

Keweenaw Mountain Lodge near Copper

“You might think you’re on the Pacific with how the sun drops into the lake.” — Sam Raymond, proprietor of Keweenaw Adventure Company

Fitzgerald’s Hotel & Restaurant in Eagle River serves whiskey flights and its own smoked brisket and ribs with beachside views. 5033 Front St.; 906-3370666; fitzgeralds-mi.com

Admire copper formations, a rainbow of gems and minerals, glowin-the-dark boulders and Lake Superior agates among one of the nation’s top rock collections at Hough-

Meet historic figures from 1844 as part of a living history program as you wander through military quarters at Fort Wilkins

ton’s A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, part

Historic State Park near Copper Harbor. 15223 U.S Highway 41; 906-289-4215; michigandnr.com/ parksandtrails

glitters like a sapphire tucked among the greens of birch, maple and pine. A few visitors reverently watch the spectacle while leaning against cars or sitting shoulder-toshoulder on the bluff. “It’s amazing to be in a place so unpopulated,” says Esther Macalady, who lives in Golden, Colo., and summers in Michigan. The northern peninsula’s unhurried pace, wild spaces and lack of cellular coverage approaching the tip make it an ideal place to unplug and explore a wealth of trails, beaches and cobblestone coves. In the gateway communities of Houghton and Hancock (population about 12,200), visitors shrug into

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heavy coats and hardhats for a cogwheel train trip down the hill and into a musty mine shaft that’s 47 degrees year-round. As one of 20-plus locations comprising Keweenaw National Historical Park, the trip tells a story of the rich veins of copper that sparked America’s first major mining rush in the 1840s. The boom years drew more than 60,000 immigrants from 33 European nations, until mining collapsed under the pressure of labor strikes, the Great Depression and world wars. It left a legacy of posh mansions and a historic downtown dotted with galleries in nearby Calumet, where U.S. Route

41, locally known as M41, tugs travelers north through tunnels of trees to the coastal towns of Eagle River and Copper Harbor. Some visitors take hushed hikes into the virgin Estivant Pines sanctuary, while others ramp up adrenaline on single-track trails that make Keweenaw one of the nation’s top mountain bike destinations. Others picnic at Hunter’s Point or take sunset paddling tours of Copper Harbor. “It’s my favorite time to be out there,” says Sam Raymond, proprietor of Keweenaw Adventure Company. “You might think you’re on the Pacific with how the sun drops into the lake.”

Harbor offers rooms and simple cabins plus a golf course and trails. 1452 U.S. Highway 41; 906281-4403; atthelodge. com

of Michigan Technological University. 1404 E. Sharon Ave.; 906-4872572; museum.mtu.edu

▲ Harbor Haus diners savor seafood, German specialties and delicate chocolate soufflés with views of Copper Harbor. 77 Brockway Ave.; 906289-4502; harborhaus. com

Sign up for a mountain bike, paddling or hiking eco-tour through

Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor. 155 Gratiot St.; 906-289-4303; keweenawadventure. com

Houghton’s Sheridan on the Lake B&B offers cardamom-scented Finnish bread and thimbleberry jam, as well as an outdoor sauna you can follow with a jump into cool Portage Lake. 47026 Sheridan Place; 906-482-7079; sheridanonthelake.com

Wander the interactive Keweenaw

National Historical Park visitor center in Calumet and get maps for the park’s many sites, including Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. 25970 Red Jacket Rd.; 906-3373168; nps.gov/kewe

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MINNESOTA | DULUTH

COASTAL COOL

Port city of Duluth excels with superior urban adventure

Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge rises to allow ships to pass through. GETTY IMAGES

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


MAKE A TRIP OF IT

Va Bene Caffe: Tuck into pastas, seafood and gelato in outdoor seating alongside a sweeping lakeside view. 734 E. Superior St.; 218-722-1518; vabenecaffe.com

Visit Duluth 800-438-5884; visitduluth.com GETTY IMAGES

freshwater sandbar stretches 7 miles to Park Point and beckons with its public beach. On the ridges above Duluth (population 86,000), HORN BLARES ITS throaty greeting mountain bikers enjoy the views while rolling as a 1,000-foot-long ore ship slides along 80 miles of new world-class trails that clinch into the canal of Duluth, Minn., three Duluth’s place among the country’s top outdoor hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul destinations (it was voted Best Town in America by on Lake Superior’s southwestern tip. Outside magazine in 2014). The higher-pitched bells of the iconic Aerial Lift Hikers hop onto segments Bridge answer, and its deck rises of the 300-plus-mile Superior as tourists snap photos and the Hiking Trail that threads across towering boat glides underneath ravines where rivers — like and into the harbor. “There is nothing visitors — inevitably find This up-close look at Duluth more mesmerthemselves drawn to Lake shipping should be on every visiSuperior’s shore. tor’s to-do list, but tour guides izing than the In the sticky summer, breezes with The Duluth Experience also across Superior’s super-chilled recommend a trip up the city’s beauty of the surface cool off visitors in Canal famously steep hills to Skyline North Shore and Park. Whiffs of wood smoke Parkway, according to co-owner and toasted marshmallows and CEO Dave Grandmaison. Lake Superior.” drift from a hotel across the Along this scenic byway and — Sandy LeTendre, Lakewalk as a family pedals by from the Enger Tower, expansive Duluth visitor on a four-person surrey. Seagulls views put this city’s unique circle and dive noisily. features into perspective. Many visitors simply find a To the south, the St. shoreline spot and sit for hours, Louis River diffuses into North combing through tumbled rocks, tossing them into America’s largest freshwater estuary before it the water and waiting for the next big boat to empties into Lake Superior. In the harbor, superglide in. sized “lakers,” which operate within the Great “There is nothing more mesmerizing than the Lakes, mingle with smaller “salties,” vessels that beauty of the North Shore and Lake Superior,” said journey more than 2,000 miles from the sea to Sandy LeTendre of White Bear Lake, Minn. “It gets Duluth, the world’s farthest-inland freshwater port in your blood and keeps calling you back.” city. Beyond the Lift Bridge, the world’s longest

By Lisa Meyers McClintick

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

Historic Inns of Duluth: Mansions from Duluth’s lumber-boom years, converted to bed-and-breakfasts, offer elegant rooms and big breakfasts. duluthbandb.com Canal Park: This historic district hums with hotels, dining, art galleries and boutiques filled with local products such as Duluth Pack waxed canvas bags for outdoor adventures. canalpark.com

VIKRE DISTILLERY

▲ Vikre Distillery: Tap the region’s Scandinavian heritage while nibbling on locally smoked fish and pickled beets and enjoying fragrant gin flights with a side of soda and homemade tonic. Many of the spirits are distilled with water from Lake Superior. 525 Lake Ave. S.; 218-481-7401; vikredistillery.com

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center: Free exhibits feature shipwrecks (including a program on the wreck of the famed Edmund Fitzgerald), model ships and history, and also put guests in the pilothouse. Daily ship arrivals and departures are visible from the museum; get times on the door or at duluthboats.com. 600 S. Lake Ave.; 218-7205260; lsmma.com

Canal Park Lodge: Stay in the heart of Canal Park in this arts-and-crafts-style shoreline hotel. 250 Canal Park Dr.; 218-279-6000; canalparklodge.com Fitger’s: Rooms in this converted (and still working) brewery — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — feature lake views and connect to restaurants and shopping on the Lakewalk. 600 E. Superior St.; 218-722-8826; fitgers.com

THE DULUTH EXPERIENCE

▲ The Duluth Experience: Guides offer narrated walking, kayaking, biking and brewery tours, plus multi-day bike treks. 211 E. Second St.; 218-464-6337; theduluthexperience. com

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NEW YORK | BUFFALO

OSHUN This stylish restaurant features art deco décor and prides itself on its sustainable, fresh offerings. The raw bar showcases a thoughtful selection of oysters from Canada and the U.S., and its popularity ensures that lively conversations are peppered liberally with the enthusiastic slurping sounds of guests savoring the tasty mollusk. The restaurant hosts a bustling afterwork crowd thanks to its happy hour menu with discounted drinks and $3 fish tacos. ▶ 5 E. Huron St.; 716-848-4500; oshunseafood.com

NEW STANDARDS

Buffalo’s restaurants take wing in creative directions

B

SEABAR

By Sandra MacGregor

EST KNOWN FOR ITS iconic wings and beef on weck sandwiches, Buffalo was rarely regarded as a high-end gastronomic go-to. In recent years, however, the city’s culinary cred has been steadily rising with a diverse array of restaurants, bars and food trucks reinvigorating a food scene that was in desperate need of new energy. Here’s a sampling of some of the best:

PAUL VAN HOY

BUFFALO PROPER If you’re looking for a fresh spin on classic American cuisine, head to this atmospheric, upscale eatery. It’s well-known for carnivorous delights such as burgers and steak, as well as its one-of-a kind cocktails. Try the Dawn of the Dead, made with tequila, lillet, curaçao, lemon and absinthe. The eye-catching wood and brick-lined bar is one of the hottest watering holes in town. ▶ 333 Franklin St.; 716-783-8699; buffaloproper.com

BEEF ON WECK?

What the heck? JEANETTE CHWAN

THE BLACK SHEEP A celebration of farm-to-table dining, this restaurant highlights a small but flavorful menu that focuses on homemade, sustainable foods. The cheese and charcuterie selections are a wonderful way to get to know Buffalo through your belly. But save room for dessert — the sticky toffee pudding is guaranteed to make your sweet tooth sing. ▶ 367 Connecticut St.; 716-884-1100; blacksheepbuffalo.com

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AARON SPICER/HAMILTON BEACH

This simple but packed-with-flavor sandwich is a Buffalo staple. While there are an infinite number of variations, the classic beef on weck features thinly sliced, rare roast beef topped with beef au jus and horseradish sauce, all served on a kummelweck roll (a bun with sea salt and caraway seeds). While there is no definitive story as to how the the sandwich came to be, it is believed to be German in origin, as the word "Weck" means "bun" in some German dialects.

Leave your preconceived notions of sushi at the door when you enter Buffalo’s most talkedabout sushi bar. Owner and chef Mike Andrzejewski’s innovative take on sushi extends to a playful version of Buffalo’s signature beef on weck. Beef carpaccio is wrapped over rice and seared beef and topped with a horseradish mayonnaise. It’s the weck’s most exotic reimagining. ▶ 475 Ellicott St.; 716-332-2928; seabarsushi.com

LLOYD TACO TRUCK Often credited with fueling Buffalo’s vibrant food truck scene and setting the standard for the wonders that can be coaxed from a kitchen on wheels, Lloyd Taco Truck is the place to go when you’re craving Mexican. The signature Big Lloyd (imagine a Big Mac disguised as a taco) is sure to quash any hunger pangs. Track down the truck’s location by checking out @whereslloyd on Twitter or visit the recently opened Taco Factory restaurant. ▶ Restaurant: 1503 Hertel Ave.; 716-863-9781; whereslloyd.com

MARBLE & RYE Specializing in locavore-friendly fare, this restaurant is said to serve the best burgers in town. The wood-fired oven makes the charred octopus one of many popular choices. Equally esteemed is the bar’s impressive selection of whiskeys. VIPs are given a locker where they can secure prized bottles of their favorite spirits under lock and key. ▶ 112 Genesee St.; 716-8531390; marbleandrye.net

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sic scene beats w u m ith s ’ nd

ds un so indie to from

NORTH SHORE SYMPHONY

Cle ve la

OHIO | CLEVELAND

By Lauren Rearick

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CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA Conductor Franz Welser-Möst

SADIE DUPUIS Dupuis, left, plays with guitarist Jade Payne

▲ CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

▲ SPACE: ROCK GALLERY In order to fully understand the scope of Cleveland’s impact on music, a visit to Space: ROCK Gallery is in order. Part of the Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future organization, this gallery displays rotating photography exhibitions that highlight the city’s music community. Previous exhibitions have included photos of performances at various Cleveland music venues and a peek into the past with images documenting the city’s music scene dating back to the 1970s. ▶ 15721 Waterloo Rd.; 216-2469332; clevelandrocksppf.org

For nearly 100 years, The Cleveland Orchestra — considered one of the best in the U.S. — has dazzled the city with year-round performances. Escape the chill of winter and take in a performance in the architecturally revered Severance Hall in the city, or enjoy a picturesque summer backdrop of wooded surroundings and the sunset from the lawn of Blossom Music Center in nearby Cuyahoga Falls. Past concert seasons have included shows catered toward even the youngest members of the family, as well as projections of classic movies, including It’s A Wonderful Life and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as the orchestra plays along. ▶ 800-686-1141; cleveland orchestra.com

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ARCHIE & THE BUNKERS Bandmember Cullen O’Connor poses next to a photo of himself

o r c h e st

ISTEN CLOSELY AND THE city of Cleveland will share with you its song. Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the city is known for holding the key to rock ’n’ roll history, but in the surrounding neighborhoods you’ll discover where the future of music is headed. From the vibrant Waterloo district keeping tradition alive to a Lakewood bowling alley that welcomes rock stars, Cleveland pulses with stories of music waiting to be heard. Here are a few of the must-visit musical destinations:

▲ MAHALL’S

MUSIC SAVES

By day, Mahall’s is a bowling alley and bar, beloved by locals for its bowling leagues and fried chicken. By night, the neighborhood hangout in Lakewood also transforms into a destination for musical performances and special events, including an annual summer music festival featuring local and out-oftown acts. Depending on when you stop by, your visit may include a show from a nationally known artist on the main stage or an evening of mingling with locals in the cozy downstairs performance space dubbed the “Locker Room.” ▶ 13200 Madison Ave.; 216-521-3280; mahalls20lanes.com

Since 2004, Melanie Hershberger and her appropriately named cat, Vinyl, have played their part in sharing the revival of vinyl records with Cleveland. As the owner of independent record store Music Saves, Hershberger oversees the store’s extensive collection of new and used music. Take a trip down memory lane and search for a favorite record from your youth or find something new to enjoy from a modernday act. Located in the Waterloo Arts District, the store hosts intimate in-store performances by acts playing the nearby Beachland Ballroom & Tavern and holds special events that include album listening parties. ▶ 15801 Waterloo Rd.; 216-481-1875; musicsaves.com

THE HAPPY DOG Foodies are familiar with The Happy Dog for its hot dogs, but music lovers know the self-described neighborhood corner bar in the city’s Detroit Shoreway section as a destination for live music. The Happy Dog stage holds events that appeal to all genres of music fans, including Polka Happy Hour and special performances by members of the Cleveland Orchestra. If you’re looking to showcase your talent, you can take the stage during its famed karaoke nights. ▶ 5801 Detroit Ave.; 216-651-9474; happydogcleveland.com

SHAWN C. MISHAK; ROGER MASTROIANNI; ALEXIS M. CAREK

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5/8/17 3:11 PM


CANADA | TORONTO

By Brian Barth

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IKE ANY METROPOLIS, TORONTO has its iconic attractions. For visitors to this city of 2.6 million on the shores of Lake Ontario, climbing the CN Tower — Toronto’s version of the Space Needle — or paying a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum are often at the top of the list. But Canada’s largest city is increasingly known as much for its forests, beaches and bike paths as it is for its concrete monoliths. “The City in a Park” has become its unofficial slogan as Torontonians embrace the surprising swaths of nature that cut through the urban landscape — 20,000 acres, to be exact, says Richard Ubbens, Toronto’s director of parks. “It’s surreal. Sometimes you forget you’re in the city,” he says. And that’s just the land designated as parks. Toronto’s popular ravine system, a natural greenspace network that runs along nearly every river and stream in and near the city limits, is another 27,000 acres of quiet forests and serene waterways — nearly 17 percent of the city’s total area — where you’re just as likely to encounter a great blue heron as you are another human. Once you’re in the parks, whether your thing is birdwatching — keep your eyes peeled for the resident bald eagles — outdoor yoga, or swimming at any of the city’s 11 pristine beaches, Toronto has something for nature-lovers of every stripe.

TORONTO’S TRANQUIL SPOTS The natural wonders of Canada’s most bustling metropolis

TORONTO WATERFRONT

Toronto is more than halfway through a 25-year plan to transform a 2,000-acre strip of its downtown waterfront from a post-industrial wasteland to an outdoor playscape. The areas completed to date are centered along Queens Quay, a hopping promenade lined with world-class parks, bike paths and boardwalks such as the whimsical Spadina WaveDeck, lit from below at the end of the day. Rent a boat to explore the small bay — with paddleboats, kayaks and even sailboats (lessons included) available, there are options for everyone — or take a nap in one of the complimentary recliners at Sugar Beach at the east end of Queens Quay , a great place to watch the boats go by. This is also the jumping-off point for many Lake Ontario boat tours and the park on the Toronto Islands, an 820-acre playscape just offshore. waterfrontoronto.ca

Orchard Trail, Rouge National Urban Trail PARKS CANADA

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CANADA | TORONTO

EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS

Evergreen Brick Works TOM ARBAN

Located on the site of the Don Valley Brick Factory, which supplied much of the materials from which Toronto’s early 1900s skyline was built, the repurposed Brick Works has quickly grown into a world-renowned environmental center famous for its urban ecology programs. Abuzz seven days a week with farmers markets, outdoor education programs for kids and nature-themed events and festivals, the site boasts a farmto-table restaurant, gift shop and extensive boardwalks and trails through the former quarry, now a wetland preserve. Evergreen Brick Works is also one of the gateways to Toronto’s beloved ravine system. evergreen.ca/get-involved/ evergreen-brick-works

ROUGE NATIONAL URBAN PARK

Spadina Wavedeck

High Park WATERFRONT TORONTO

CITY OF TORONTO

HIGH PARK

GETTING DOWN ... INTO TORONTO’S RAVINES Toronto’s transit system, known locally as the TTC, will deliver you to many of the city’s parks and natural areas via subway, streetcar or bus. Even parts of the greenbelt are accessible via GO Train, the regional rail system. But finding your way into the city’s labyrinthine network of ravines, the steep stream and river valleys can be a little daunting for visitors. In most cases, roads and transit lines cross over the ravines on bridges — they’re hiding

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down below. Hopping on a bike is your ticket to explore them; and fortunately, doing that is easy to do in Toronto. For a little over $11, you can buy a three-day pass to Bike Share Toronto (bikesharetoronto.com); its Transit App (transitapp. com) shows the locations of Toronto’s 200 bikeshare stations, giving you instant access to the ravine network and a healthy way to enjoy the city. Numerous bikeshare locations are found along the Martin

Goodman trail, a multi-use path along Toronto’s waterfront that stretches for miles in either direction from downtown. Head east for a mile or so and you’ll arrive at the Don River, one of the city’s largest ravines, where numerous trails (all well-marked) branch off to take you up various side ravines. About four miles west of downtown along the Martin Goodman trail, you’ll come to the Humber River, the access point to Toronto’s other major ravine network.

Toronto is surrounded by a greenbelt, a wide swath of protected forests and working farmland, which includes this newly formed conservation area, Canada’s first urban national park, located on the scenic Rouge River. While it may not display the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, the Rouge River corridor is home to 1,700 species of plants, animals, birds and other critters, including coyotes, deer and spawning salmon. The 20,000-acre natural wonderland holds extensive hiking trails, canoeing opportunities, Toronto’s only campground and a pristine beach, all less than 20 miles east of downtown. Admission is free. pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/rouge

CITY OF TORONTO

From the midtown area, the Kay Gardner Beltline trail, a shaded bike path along an abandoned rail line, connects you to the trail along Moore Park Ravine, a fun downhill route to the Evergreen Brick Works.

Situated amid several chic neighborhoods in the city’s West End, this is Toronto’s answer to Central Park. The 400-acre space is framed by a pair of glacially-carved valleys: one is home to a large off-leash area for dogs; the other is a complex of ponds and wetlands renowned among birdwatchers. In between are athletic fields, a swimming pool, zoo, an environmental center for kids, extensive forests and hiking trails and a formal Japanese garden along a cascading stream. Parking is free and abundant, and you can access the lakefront bike path — which stretches for 30 miles from one side of the city to the other — at the southern end of the park. highparktoronto.com

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CANADA | NIAGARA FALLS

Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock Welcome Centre

ENTERTAINMENT

If you’re looking for entertainment outside the glitz of the high-end Fallsview Casino lineup (including comedian Chris Rock, Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies and Kool & the Gang; fallsview casinoresort.com), head to Niagaraon-the-Lake for the Shaw Festival’s 2017 season, which began April 5 and lasts through Oct. 15. Playwright George Bernard Shaw’s love of theater lives on in this critically adored festival (shawfest.com). Those seeking the full Niagara Falls experience might be drawn to the trappings of Clifton Hill (see below), but before you head for the Movieland Wax Museum or jump on the Skywheel, ask about a Fun Pass (cliftonhill.com/tickets); buying online will save you even more.

Whirlpool Aero Car

PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE HESS

FALL FOR NIAGARA

Take a different look at a familiar tourist destination By Lisa Lagace VISIT TO NIAGARA Falls can instantly require one thing: a large budget. But that doesn’t have to be the case. If you know where to look and what to do, it’s possible to visit this tourist spot without breaking the bank. With the U.S. dollar maintaining its strong value over the loonie ($1 U.S. was worth about $1.34 Canadian in late April), now is the time to visit the Canadian side of the falls. Note to Americans: Don’t forget your passport!

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DINING

Fuel up at local favorite Basell’s Restaurant and Tavern (dine.to/ basells). Brunch is a rare deal — huge portions of delicious Canadiancuisine-style eats for less than $10. For dinner, stop at Napoli Ristorante & Pizzeria (napoli ristorante.ca) for the best Italian food you’ll find anywhere near the main tourist areas. This whitelinen dining experience is worth much more than you’ll pay for it. Bonus: free parking.

SIGHTS

A trip to the Niagara Glen gorge within the 154-acre Niagara Parks site (niagaraparks.com) is a wonderful way to fill an afternoon without spending a penny. Overlooking the Niagara River Whirlpool, it’s the perfect setting for a fairly rugged hike with spectacular views. Bring plenty of water and a light lunch to enjoy a picnic once you reach the bottom. Also within the park, 10 minutes north of the falls, the Butterfly Conservatory features more than 2,000 butterflies from 45 different species, making it a sight to behold. While it does require tickets (about $11 U.S. for adults), children under 5 get in free, offsetting the cost of a family trip. For the main attraction, the Falls themselves are free to view — just walk down the tourist promenade of Clifton Hill (cliftonhill.com) until you see the mist rising. Beloved tourist attractions such as the Journey Behind the Falls (a stroll behind the mighty wall of water) and the Hornblower Boat Cruise (the classic ferry ride: niagaracruises.com) will cost extra, but you can save a considerable amount of money on these experiences by purchasing an Adventure Pass or, in fall, winter and early spring, a Wonder Pass, both good only on the Canadian side.

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