In North America, ancient civilizations founded their community around the Great Lakes. These bodies of water help cultivate the culture and tradition of the nation we come to know today. As the largest of the Great Lakes, the shores of Lake Superior are home to important cities in both Canada and the United States. This beautiful body of water is also one of the many reasons why states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are awesome places to visit.
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With an estimated population of 86,110, Duluth acts as a major port city in Minnesota and the main town of Saint Louis County. Located in the north and at the westernmost part of the Great Lakes, Duluth is the second largest city located on the shores of Lake Superior. Sea vessels can access the town from the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway.
Duluth established a metropolitan area within the lake with nearby towns of Superior and Wisconsin, referred to as the Twin Ports. It formed the largest port in the Great Lakes for transporting grains, iron ore, and coal for decades since its foundation.
Some of the best family tourist attractions in Duluth include:
- North Shore Scenic Drive
- Canal Park
- Aerial Lift Bridge
- Historic Glensheen Congdon Estate
- Great Lakes Aquarium
- Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center
- Enger Tower
- Lake Superior Railroad Museum
- Spirit Mountain Adventure Park
- Split Rock Lighthouse
Superior is the largest city found in Wisconsin’s Douglas County with a population of 27,244 according to the 2010 census.
It is located at the western end of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin and is adjacent to the Village of Superior and the Town of Superior. Two well-known rivers surround Superior, Nemadji and Saint Louis, which help flourish its trading community. Superior also served as the last dock for the Edmund Fitzgerald before sinking in 1975.
Some of the best family tourist attractions in Superior include:
- Pattison State Park
- Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
- Fairlawn Mansion & Museum
- Wisconsin Point Lighthouse
- SS Meteor Maritime Museum
- Ice Caves
- Old Firehouse and Police Museum
Marquette is a city in Marquette County in Michigan with an estimated 21,355 residents according to the 2010 census. The most populous city of the Upper Peninsula also acts as a key port on Lake Superior. The Northern Michigan University calls Marquette their home and iron ore is its main shipping industry. With the quality of living in the town, CBS MoneyWatch named Marquette among the best places in the US to retire.
Initially, the town was called New Worcester but later changed to Marquette on August 21, 1850. This is to honor the French Jesuit, Jacques Marquette who first discovered the place.
Some of the best family tourist attractions in Marquette include:
- Presque Isle Park
- Sugarloaf Mountain
- Lakenenland Sculpture Park
- Marquette Mountain
- Marquette Maritime Museum
- Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum
- Dead River Falls
- Marquette Regional History Center
- Iron Ore Heritage Trail
Thunder Bay rests in Ontario Canada and, according to the 2011 Canadian census, it has a total of 108,359 residents and is the second-most inhabited city in Northern Ontario. Its municipalities include Oliver, Paipoonge, and Neebing. It also has the townships of Shuniah, Conmee, Gillies, Fort William First Nation, and O’Connor.
In the late 17th century, Europeans made their way to Thunder Bay and it became a French fur trading outpost on the shores of the Kaministiquia River. It then became a popular trading spot for other important goods like grains. Traders usually traveled from western Canada to the east coast through the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway, making Thunder Bay a notably important location.
Some of the best family tourist attractions in Thunder Bay include:
- Terry Fox Monument
- Fort William Historical Park
- Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
- Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
- The Blue Point Amethyst Mine
- Centennial Botanical Garden
- Mission Island Marsh
- Thunder Bay Museum
- Chippewa Park
- International Friendship Garden
Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie pronounced as “Soo Saint Marie” lies on St. Marys River in Ontario, Canada. Located near the Canada-US border, it is the third largest city in Northern Ontario. In its southern area, the US city of Sault Ste. Marie is located in Michigan State. Residents of the place are referred to as Saultites. The International Bridge connects the two countries with Interstate 75 in Michigan and Huron Street on Ontario side.
Early French settlers called the river Les Saults de Ste. Marie in which the town got its name. For at least a hundred years, the descent from St. Mary’s River to Lake Superior slowed shipping traffic requiring overland portage of cargo from one lake to the other.
Some of the best family tourist attractions in Sault Ste. Marie include:
- Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center
- Sault Ste. Marie Boardwalk
- Sault Ste. Marie National Historic Site
- Mill Market
- Roberta Bondar Park
- Gros Cap Conservation Area
Love the Great Lakes? Check out this cute Great Lakes Girl sweatshirt.
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