Local Undiscovered “Up North” – Just outside of Detroit
Just outside of Detroit is our local “up north!”
Dine & drink at several casual Eateries … Christmas shop at Unique Boutiques & Gift Stores … Enjoy lake activities or Scuba Lessons … Stay for a long weekend at one of the year round Vacation Rentals.
You’ll be welcomed by friendly locals while exploring the rural M-29 trail around Michigan’s northern Lake St. Clair’s “farm end.”
Hey girls & guys too! What a nice day it is winding around beautiful Northern Lake St. Clair and finding that one-of-a-kind item for your special person!
Starting just outside the entrance to St. Clair County, several hours can be spent perusing nautical and casual home decor, boutiques with original clothing for your holiday parties, old fashioned candy, jewelry, gifts, a large consignment shop, and Michigan made products at frequented New Baltimore stores of Belle Soeur, Biggby Coffee, Celtic Sisters, Dittos, On the Bay Customs, and Willy & Babbish.
Next stop under 10 minutes north, located in Fair Haven is the popular “Stuck in Seaweed” – a beautifully designed boutique and home store geared toward Lake Living, with the latest clothing styles and many unique gift & jewelry items.
Five minutes up the street hop the car Ferry to Harsen’s Island and visit the Waterfront Shoppe right on the St. Clair River. New owner Katherine has many more gift ideas, home decor, books, “penny candy” for the kids, and island clothing. Off the ferry and back onto M-29, the next stop 5 minutes north – See the huge freighters on the St. Clair River and check out the antiques & flea Market at Algonac Antique Mall where another couple hours can be spent looking at 1000’s of items.
Dining around Northern Lake St. Clair
On the edge leading into St. Clair County’s M-29 trail is Macomb County waterfront town of New Baltimore – Lake St. Clair’s up and coming entertainment district. A few blocks of bars, dining, including Fin’s and Little Camille’s … with new properties coming (Wooden Valve) this fall and more for the 2019 summer!
As you head only minutes north, the three “St. Clair County” communities surrounding Lake St. Clair of Fair Haven , Clay Township and Harsen’s Island are very proud of having zero fast food or chain restaurants! The many local M-29 lake eateries and bars such as a former “train stop” in the old days (Zef’s Lighthouse) are unique, comfortable, AND affordable, just like you’d expect at a frequented “up north” place…. and if you do have a “Big Mac attack” there are a few fast food chains when you reach the town of Algonac at the St. Clair River.
Frequented fall & winter dining by the locals along this northern Lake St. Clair corridor are “best breakfast” at Buck’s Diner, the “Raft Burger” at the Raft Bar, “attention foodies” Schoolhouse Grille on Harsen’s Island, and Club Capri for home made daily meals & fresh bread paired with a variety of craft beers, nice wines, & bourbons.
Homes range from 3 persons to 12+; from cottage to a former Bed & Breakfast with 5 bedrooms & 5 bathrooms. Want a full lodge style atmosphere with personal chef? We have that too. Start a new tradition and rent a lake house for the holiday family get-together!
Fishing & Duck Hunting
Anglers from around the Midwest come into town through November to get deep into the last of the Muskie fishing as these monster fish build their weight for the winter. Click here for the many DNR BOAT LAUNCH ramps around Lake St. Clair. Duck Hunting takes place around the many Lake St. Clair islands, Fair Haven/Clay Township’s St. John’s Marsh, and Harsen’s Island. Waking up to gunfire at dawn is not alarming, but typical around northern Lake St. Clair as 1000’s of beautiful birds make their annual stop here.
In a “normal Michigan weather winter” the first ice on Lake St. Clair’s northern Bouvier Bay begins at Christmas. Ice fisherman sitting on buckets and in dozens of shanties head out for Perch, Sunfish, Bluegill, and Pike.
Early to mid-January the BIG fun begins on the ice! Each weekend pro and amateur snowmobile, motorcycle, and ATV racing begins on Fair Haven’s Bouvier Bay. Several of the vacation homes are walking distance – or a short snowmobile ride – to these ice activities; Similar to Northern Michigan’s “Tip Up Town” but every weekend and a lot closer!
Late January the New Baltimore Lions Club puts on a great festival – Winter Fest January 25-27, 2019, – which includes 100’s of costumed participants walking into the icy waters of Lake St. Clair for charity, chili cook off, live music, and family entertainment.
Other Fall/Winter Options include:
SCUBA LESSONS! Be prepared in advance for your winter vacation! Get certified at Anchor Bay Scuba – Classes & Pool located on M-29 in Fair Haven. Or join them on one of their trips over the winter.
Take a drive / bike ride around Harsen’s Island – a peaceful back to nature ride. Hop onto the car ferry and travel the “South Channel” Drive route where you will see large bays where 1000’s of birds are stopping by as they head south – and if you travel to the end of the road – you’ll see the historical lighthouses outside of Gull Island. Freighter traffic will also be visible on the St. Clair River until around mid-January.
Late Night Entertainment? Zef’s Lighthouse in Fair Haven and Club Capri in Clay Township offer DJ and Live Bands each Friday & Saturday night year round.
Bonfires Several vacation rental houses are equipped with bonfire pits for your group to enjoy the evening waterfront with marshmallows in hand.
Northern Lake St. Clair offers a beautiful quiet “up north” atmosphere. Come for the day or spend the weekend! Under an hour drive from the “western suburbs of Detroit” and under 100 miles from the border of OHIO!