Colorful lights, Santa & Mrs. Claus, flame-throwing juggler, Christmas music, and a roaring steam engine, what else do you need on a chilly evening? I went to watch the beautiful Pere Marquette aka the Polar Express thunder into Ashley, Michigan. Carrying passengers to visit a small town completely decked out for Christmas fun.
Where: The train comes from Owosso to arrive in the small Village of Ashley, Michigan. The passengers enjoy about a 1 hour 15-minute ride, stay in Ashley for a couple of hours, then return to Owosso. The public is welcome to enjoy the small town and view the train coming into town.
When: The Polar Express comes into town twice a day every weekend until Christmas.
What You View: The town is set up with a variety of little Christmas shops, food, hot cocoa, and activities for the entire family to enjoy. For example Penny Lane has handcrafted gifts to wear. The handmade hats are beautiful and warm.
Will I Go Again? Most definitely, yes. I would love to see the train arrive after a heavy snowfall. Hopefully Mother Nature and my schedule allow me to do it. Who knows maybe one of these times, I will actually ride the train.
When you think about the “greatest lakes” in America, you probably think of none other than the Great Lakes – of which there are five. The best part about the state of Michigan is that four out of these five lakes (all except for Lake Ontario) touch along the state’s border, so no matter where you are in Michigan, you’re never too far from a gorgeous waterfront view. While the Great Lakes are the go-to choices for the best aquatic places to visit in Michigan, there are also a lot of smaller lakes in the state that are underrated but just as beautiful. Here are some of the best lake spots in Michigan.
Torch Lake is not only Michigan’s longest lake, but its deepest lake as well, but those are not the only titles this lake holds. National Geographic, also named Torch lake the third-best lake in the country due to its gorgeous blue waters – frequently compared to the Carribean Sea. Torch Lake is known for its incredible parties, particularly on the Fourth of July, where the elite of Michigan gather to relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. On your next visit, you may even spot some Michigan celebrities such as Kid Rock and Eminem!
Lake Charlevoix is a great destination for those that want to enjoy the splendors of nature alongside a great town filled with delicious food and boutique stores to explore. The downtown Charlevoix area that surrounds the lake has so much to offer. While you may think of taking a lake trip on a warm summer weekend, Charlevoix really shines in Autumn. Visit during the 2nd week of October to experience the infamous Apple Festival for an unforgettable experience.
How do the lakes of Michigan have such stunningly blue water? The second deepest lake in Michigan, this natural wonder has the same gorgeous coloring as Torch Lake, but with a more relaxing demeanor. If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation, away from the excitement and business, Elk Lake is the perfect destination for you.
Okay, we implied we weren’t going to name any of the great lakes, but your trip to Michigan wouldn’t be complete without visiting the lake of the same name. It’s probably the best lake in the whole state, perhaps in the whole country. With something to do for everyone, Lake Michigan is the perfect place for your next family trip, girls’ weekend, or romantic getaway. There are many wineries, fishing opportunities, and boating expeditions you can take advantage of here. Even if you’re just taking a long drive along the riverfront, the breathtaking view will be well worth the visit. Many fall in love with Lake Michigan so quickly that they find themselves looking at Grand Rapids real estate after their visit so they can experience this wonder all year ‘round.