Happy Tuesday after a long weekend! I have a lot of upcoming posts from our week in the upper peninsula, and I'm kicking it off with our first night in St. Ignace! We decided to break up our drive to the Keweenaw Peninsula about half way, so we stopped right after crossing the Mackinac Bridge. We checked into our hotel, changed clothes (it got a little chilly!) and ventured off to explore the town. I've been here a few times before, so I knew a few of my favorite spots I wanted to revisit, and a few places I hadn't been before!
First, we drove to Father Marquette's Memorial, which was right down the street from our hotel. We parked, and ventured down the path! The memorial itself is pretty much a gazebo, with a few historical things to read and a map of Michigan painted on the floor explaining the timeline of Father Marquette's life. My favorite aspect about the memorial though was the view when you got to the end of the pathway of Mackinac Bridge. So pretty! After exploring for a bit, we drove over to Castle Rock. It's such a fun tourist trap. I love it. You pay $1 to climb to the top, and follow Paul Bunyan's footsteps the entire way. The view is well worth the dollar!
After climbing Castle Rock, we headed back downtown to do a little window shopping and grab a bite to eat. St. Ignace had a pretty big car show happening, so the streets were lined with people viewing all of the fancy and historical cars pass by and rev their engines. It was pretty fun people watching, that's for sure! We stopped to Mackinac Grille for dinner. Eric got the macaroni and cheese burger, and I got a platter of fried shrimp with coleslaw.
After dinner, we headed for a little stroll down to the Wawatam Lighthouse. The least historical lighthouse I've maybe ever seen, but could also be one of the most picturesque! This lighthouse was built in 1998, serving as a Michigan Welcome Center travel icon in Monroe, Michigan. In 2004, the welcome center was being revamped and the lighthouse was to be relocated, and St. Ignace was the recipient. The lighthouse was repainted, and placed finally in it's current location in 2006. Wawatam Lighthouse was first lit on August 20, 2006, and now serves as an official aid-to-navigation. Pretty neat, right? Especially considering most of the lighthouses I saw on my trip were from the 1800s!
I'm glad I bundled up, because as soon as the sun went down, it was chilly! I joked on Instagram that you can still wear your thickest cardigan in summer in Michigan. It's true though! I picked up this H&M blue cardigan last winter on mega-sale, and still see it in stores, but not online, unfortunately! After strolling to the lighthouse though, we headed back downtown, watched some of the cars drive past, grabbed some hand-dipped ice-cream from Zak's and headed back to our hotel.