Sunday, May 7, 2017

Meandering Michigan, Port Huron

Port Huron is a beautiful, nautical town full of history and offering a variety of art, dining and shopping with the attractive, historical storefronts. Located on the St. Clair River, it is the connection to Point Edward, Ontario in Canada through the Blue Water Bridge. The city is located at the southern end of Lake Huron and is the easternmost land location in Michigan.  There several spots to walk and sit along the river, watching very large freighters and ships make their way back and forth to Lake Huron.
A Michigan site to see. Jointly owned by the USA and Canada, the bridge was opened in1938. It has gone through some changes and expanded in order accommodate more International traffic. Crossing from Port Huron over beautiful crisp blue water to PortEdward and Sarnia Ontario. What a great feeling watching large freighters close up, going under the bridge.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County did a great job of restoring and improving the banks of the Blue Water River creating the Blue Water River Walk. The River Walk includes an observation dock, outdoor interactive classroom, pedestrian trail, a diner, wetlands park, fishing pier, and public artwork on display. Guided tours are available.

If you are going to spend the day and visit several places in Port Huron, you should consider the passport. You can purchase a passport that includes entry to the Port Huron Museum, Huron Lightship, Thomas Edison Depot Museum, and the Fort Gratiot Light Station. In addition to the passport there are also special admission prices for families. Passports are available at the Port Huron Museum.

The Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1904, is home to the Port Huron Museum. The Museum is home to the history of the Lake Huron region and tells the stories of Michigan and the Great Lakes. There are many nautical and local eye catching items with a large, beautiful Ship Model collection. The first floor is home to rotating exhibits, with something different and interesting to see each visit from dinosaurs to NASA Space Programs.

The Huron Lightship was the last operating lightship on the Great Lakes, launching in 1920 and retiring in 1970. The ship is located on the Lake Huron, at the Pine GrovePark. Dedicated in 1990 the ship is now a National Historic Landmark. This was the last lightship for the area. Tours for this real, functioning lightship are seasonal and open in April.

The Edison Depot Museum is inside the Fort Gratiot Depot, built in 1858 by Grand Trunk Railroad. Truly a stone's throw from the Blue Water Bridge. At one time, Thomas Edison worked in the building as a news reporter. Full of information and child friendly hands on things to do, makes learning about Edison fun. A beautifully restored Baggage Car rests close to the building, on the rail tracks with easy access. Clearly, well taken care of and restored with alluring colors and charm.

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is the oldest Lighthouse in the area. It's located at the entrance of the St Clair river from Lake Huron. Built in 1825, it collapsed and had to be rebuilt in 1829. Then the lighthouse was worked on again in1860. The height of the structure went from 65 ft. to 82 ft. It is a brick tower painted white and stands proudly at the waters edge. At this inviting area is a working Coast Guard facility, which is still being used. Lighthouse Beach and Park for families to enjoy are side by side. The lighthouse is closed from January through April. Tours are available, see the website for more information. Check Facebook for special, lighted, evening tours.
The lighthouse property also includes a gift shop with a variety of nautical, Port Huron, and Michigan themed gifts. The Fort Gratiot Hospital, currently under restoration, is also on the property. The hospital is Port Huron's oldest wooden structure.

Moved from Military St, to 16th St. at the Grand Trunk mainline is the First International Tunnel and as of 1993 is a registered National Historic Landmark. The Grand Trunk Western Railroad tunnel links Port Huron and Canada. Opened in 1891, this international submarine railway tunnel was the first in the world. The tunnel's total length is 11,725 feet, with 2,290 feet underwater.

Studio 1219 offers six galleries featuring paintings, pottery, jewelry, mechanical art objects and much more. It's a fascinating assortment of high quality art from local artists. If you are interested in classes, Studio 1219 offers classes in the very large studio upstairs, which is also a great space for art parties. Check the gallery's website for calendar of featured shows and events.


A big surprise in a small store, actually two connected stores. One store is focused on gourmet foods, kitchen, home goods, gardening products and recipe books. The other entrance brings you into a store with botanical soaps and lotions, handbags, towels, and quality clothing for  men, women and children.  Weekends has been in business since 1992 and recently re-opened the second, seasonal location in Lexington.  This store is a homemakers delight, with a large variety of Michigan-made items. Michigan products include Zingerman's baked goods and cheeses, American Spoon, Jessica's Natural Foods, Cherry Republic, Patricia's Chocolate , Dave's Sweet Tooth, McClure's, Germack, Detroit's Original Zip Sauce, Motawi Tileworks, Schuil Coffee, and more . In addition to food and kitchen items Weekends sells .

Step back into Port Huron' in the 1890's. What a great place to get ice cream, desserts and a wonderful menu for lunch and dinner. Rock and Gayle have made Port Huron locals proud by collecting local items to restore and decorate with. The Art Deco Room includes actual theatre seats at the tables, shows silent movies featuring Port Huron’s Colleen Moore and is filled with historic theatre memorabilia.

Gayle is responsible for the menu including fresh homemade soups and salads including an artichoke salad. For lunch or dinner, many sandwiches, burgers - including a stuffed pizza burger and stuffed jalapeno popper burger, gourmet loaded baked potatoes, and many dinner entrees including chicken wellington. For dessert in addition to ice cream, there is a wide selection of cakes, pies, and sundaes.

The Atrium not only offers great food, but a great atmosphere. Truly a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

With so many museums and historical sites, we had limited time to meander downtown Port Huron. We'll certainly be back to visit other restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.

To see all the photos from Meander through Port Huron, use either the Google or Facebook Link below:

More to come from the mind of...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks like you had a great time exploring the Port Huron. Travelling is always fun and refreshing. The pictures are all very pretty to look at.

    ReplyDelete