Serving New Buffalo, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, South Haven, Fennville, Glenn, Douglas, Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Muskegon

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Red and Yellow Tulips
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Perhaps the truth depends on a walk along the lake. -- Wallace Stevens

Those of us who spend time along the shores of Lake Michigan know there is such a thing as a ‘lake effect’. Whether heading south from Saugatuck-Douglas down the coast to Chicago, or turning north from Holland to Muskegon and points beyond, the lake is never far away. Even on the most hectic day, it is possible to tap into the sense of well-being and tranquility that seems to surround the vast clear lake that the Ojibwa called mishigami, or ‘great water’.

Rock Harbor Light - Isle Royale, Michigan
photo: US Coast Guard Archive
Lighting the Lake: The Lights of Isle Royale

People have been drawn to Isle Royale for thousands of years by its copper deposits, but the icy cold waters of Lake Superior are unforgiving to any ship's crew that has the misfortune of wrecking there. In the 1800s the government began to build several lighthouses on and near Isle Royale to make navigating around the largest island in the largest lake in the United States safer. Explore the history of the island and the lights that guided mariners through the shipwreck laden waters that surround it.

Apples on the ground in an orchard
Apples 101: How to Pick and Store Michigan's Favorite Fruit

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Luckily Michigan has many apple varieties available in great abundance due to the "lake effect" that moderates the weather near the shores. But which one should you choose? Apples 101 will help you decide which of these delicious fruits will appeal to your taste, along with giving you tips for picking, cooking and storage. Even if they don't actually cut your doctor bills, you can still get healthy enjoyment from Michigan's favorite fruit.

different varieties of apples in white bags for sale

Good weather means the harvest will be abundant this year. Make sure to visit our Apple Orchards and Farmers Markets pages to find our where to get the best fruits and vegetables that Michigan has to offer.


Make sure not to miss Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The exhibition runs through September 8th and showcases over 150 artifacts recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic. Full size reproductions of several rooms give a sense of life aboard the doomed ship. Actual dining room china, furniture and ship's fittings are on display along with some passenger's belongings that survived the harsh conditions at the bottom of the ocean.

Camp Office sign at a west Michigan campground
Camping Along Lake Michigan

Warm summer days and nights make it an excellent time enjoy a camping trip at a site near the Lake Michigan shoreline. Check all the campsites out on our popular Lake Effect Guide Camping page.

Boating on Lake Michigan
Boat Rentals Along the Lake Michigan Shoreline

Summer is a great time to explore the rivers and lakes of west Michigan. Even if you don't own a boat, you can still get out on the water. Check out Boat Rentals in the Lake Effect Guide to find where cruisers, sailboats, fishing and pontoon boats, personal watercraft, kayaks and paddleboards can be rented by the day or hour. If you don't feel like playing skipper, you can also find regularly scheduled cruises and crewed charters.

Late summer days are long and lazy, so be on the beach at the right time to catch a beautiful Southwest Michigan sunset. Use our Beaches and Sunset Times pages to make sure you don't miss out.

Don't forget to check out the
Calendar of Events for August and September. There's always something happening on the lakeshore.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Lake Effect Living photographs
are the work and property of Sharon Pisacreta.