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My Final 2 U.S. States: Alaska & Michigan

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Growing up, my family took a ton of road trips: visiting family up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, heading to the Rockies during the summertime and exploring National Parks. My mother would draw an invisible boundary line between my sister and I in the back of our black Mercury in hopes of keeping us from fighting, with toys for rewards. I'm fortunate to have seen so much of the United States, and I have 2 states left unseen: Alaska and Michigan. This Wanderlist is dedicated to checking those off!
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Harding Icefield, Alaska 99664, USA
While in Seward, Alaska one must take the hike along the Exit Glacier up to the Harding Icefield. It is a bit difficult at times, especially if there is snow, which there will be, and there are monster mosquitoes. However, it is amazing; the...
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Skagway, AK 99840, USA
In addition to a fun setting in an old teal-colored building full of esoteric knickknacks, the Stowaway offers the biggest culinary surprises in a port town bursting with souvenir shops and restaurants. The eclectic menu includes wasabi salmon,...
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My bucket list included seeing the Northern Lights. This took me to the Chena Hot Springs Resort located an hour outside of Fairbanks, Alaska (the address is WRONG on the map). The Northern Lights are best seen in clear dark skies which is...
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4380 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603, USA
If you find yourself in Homer Alaska, a visit to The Salty Dawg Saloon is in order. What I remember of Homer Alaska is fishing boats, cool air off the water, and friendly people. What I liked about the Salty Dawg Saloon was its charming rustic...
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Sterling, AK, USA
In researching an article I wrote about the Iditarod, my son and I went dogsledding in February with Sam Deltour, a musher for Team Seavey who was the first rookie to complete the thousand-mile race with his entire sixteen-dog team intact. Later,...
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There are no guarantees the northern lights will start dancing on the night you look skyward, but it's so worth taking the chance. One of the great rewards for hanging out in Alaska once the dark and cold settle over the state, the northern...
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6000 Glacier Spur Rd, Juneau, AK 99801, USA
Stepping out of a helicopter onto the middle of an Alaskan glacier is pretty breathtaking. There are amazing blue ice caves to be explored, deep crevices full of crystal clear water you can drink, and an incredible expanse of white stretching to...
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Arctic
Teller is an eskimo village located 70 miles north of Nome, Alaska. The road is open May through September and there is year round air service from Nome. The people living here live a subsistence lifestyle and salmon is a large part of their diet....
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1104 Peninsula St, Wrangell, AK 99929, USA
We walked on boardwalks through dense woods to a platform surrounded by a low fence. The instructions were: Do not get off the walk!! Along the way a female grizzly was asleep in our path. The ranger threw stones that landed with a racket on the...
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Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, USA
When I lived in Michigan as a child, we went to Mackinac Island a few times. I mostly remembered horses and fudge from those trips. This year I took my son and husband, met up with a high school friend and her family who live in the U.P., and...
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Munising, MI 49862, USA
Part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Grand Portal is a wind-carved arch soaring 200' above the frigid waters of Lake Superior. Commonly called Lover's Leap, the more romantic title derives from a popular legend wherein a heartbroken...
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I've travel many places but I'm still drawn to the place I grew up in northern Michigan. Glen Lake is a gem in the middle of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore
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Munising, MI 49862, USA
To get an idea of the scale of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, look for the yellow kayak entering the mouth of the Sea Cave above!
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161 Vester Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220, USA
If a bar has the guts not to put any kind of signage outside its door, then you know it's going all chips in on reputation, and I respect that. However, it's not much of a risk for Valentine Distilling Co. When you’re a “Michigan native who gave...
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Lake Charlevoix, Michigan, USA
Last summer we discovered this unlikely art installation in Boyne City, Michigan. Just off the shores of Young State Park in Lake Charlevoix, numerous dead trees were repositioned upside down in the shallow water with their roots reaching toward...
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4233 Coolidge Hwy, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA
If you're near Royal Oak on a hot summer day, don't miss Ray's Ice Cream. This '50s era soda fountain is the real deal, and they still make all their own ice cream on site.
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Enter Panache in the small Main Street town of Plymouth, Michigan and you may immediately think that you're in a NYC hotspot. It has the decor and the vibe to be truly chic despite its humble location. However, it's the drink menu more than the...
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27799 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI 48072, USA
Vinsetta Garage, the Detroit area's oldest auto repair shop, was recently converted into a hip restaurant and bar. The menu is full of all-American comfort foods, like mac and cheese, pizzas, and burgers. A lot of care has gone into the menu, and...
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Arctic
Sailing threw Tracy Arm, a beautiful glacier fjord approximately 6 hours south of Juneau is spectacular with waterfalls and inlets around every knock 'n cranny. Any trip to Southeast Alaska is not complete without it nor is a copy of John Muir's...