Traveling at the End of the World: A Tour of Canada’s Gaspé Peninsula

It’s the Western Hemisphere’s original superhighway: Long before Route 66 or the Oregon Trail or even the Erie Canal — for that matter, before Henry Hudson ever sailed into New York Harbor French ships, trailing the wake of Indigenous peoples such as the Mi’kmaq and the Innu, were already navigating the St. Lawrence River to explore, exploit and settle the new world. To this day, the St. Lawrence moves more than 150 million tons of cargo a year. But it can also move people, in unexpected ways. Follow alongside, and it will take you through other countries. And realms. And even back in time.

The fleuve Saint-Laurent — a fleuve is a river that empties into the sea; others are merely rivières — flows northward from Lake Ontario for some 800 miles, but a good place to start shadowing it would be about a third of the way downstream, at the Plains of Abraham, in Québec City, where, in 1759, the British effectively secured their hegemony over the French in this part of the world for the next two centuries. Stand up there, on this elevated battleground, and gaze out — over the rooftops of the city that Samuel de Champlain founded 12 years before the Mayflower left England — at the fleuve, spreading out like a bay, and, to your right, two bridges that span it.

The last two.

You don’t have to go across; you could just remain on this side, where Champlain planted roots, and visit waterfalls, ski resorts, artsy towns. But that other side: It’s mysterious. Somewhere out there — around 500 miles of two-lane macadam away — is Rocher Percé (pierced rock), a striking offshore monolith, one of Canada’s great icons, and next door, Île Bonaventure, where cliffs rising hundreds of feet from the water teem with birds rarely spotted south of the border. Both merit the drive; but to do it straight in one day — rather than, as I did, over the course of several — would be like going to an épicerie, buying a Coffee Crisp bar (that cherished Canadian confection), framing the wrapper and throwing the candy away.

Cross over into the city of Lévis and pick up Quebec 132, the road that will take you all the way around the Gaspé peninsula. At first, suburban sprawl obscures the river; then, suddenly, you’re in the middle of lush farmland with open driver’s side views of the fleuve. This region is known as Chaudière-Appalaches, as in, the Appalachian Mountains. They’re up here, too, lurking somewhere off to your right.

You’ll pass many cyclists, their bicycles strapped with bulging saddle bags; the road here runs flat, and straight. The coast, though, does not, so while 132 goes right through some towns, others nestle off to its left. Detouring through one every five or 10 minutes is like unwrapping Christmas presents.

Though they all look like charming mashups of New England and old France, each is distinct from its neighbors. In Saint-Vallier, for instance, I stumbled upon an otherwise nondescript home, its front lawn festooned with more than a dozen elaborate scale models: houses, shops, a gazebo, a church. A neighbor who noticed me gawking walked over to explain, “They’re all buildings in town. The fellow who lives here used to make one a year. He’s 85 now and can’t do it anymore, but he still puts them out every June and takes them in come winter.”

The town of L’Islet has a splendid stone church with gleaming twin spires. Though the parking lot was empty when I passed through, a side door was unlocked; inside, a woman encouraged me to explore its capacious interior, warmer and sunnier than any ornate église I’d ever seen. “This is a patrimoniale church,” she beamed, meaning it’s landmarked, a designation that carries even more prestige here than it does in the States. “It was built in 1768, after the town outgrew two earlier ones.”

Follow the steeples. Churches here stand at the center of town; around them you’ll often find warm cafés, humble museums, public artwork, homemade chapels, placid riverfronts, little houses painted in bright colors. And sometimes — full disclosure — a potent whiff of cow manure. Fertile land, this.

At Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, past a sign welcoming you to the next region, Bas- (or lower) Saint-Laurent, a roadside shrine lists the town’s pioneers, going back to 1715. Others nearby were settled even earlier, like Kamouraska.

There are a few things that will stop you in Kamouraska. There’s that founding date, of course (1674); but there’s also its name — I’m told it’s Algonquin for “the place where rushes grow at the edge of the water” — which may well be the first thing you’ve seen on this whole drive to remind you that other people were living in these parts before the French sailed in.

But what will really stop you in Kamouraska is all the foot traffic, right along 132: people exploring historical sites, yes, but also plenty of boutiques, galleries, eateries. I asked the gentleman at the visitors bureau what drew people there in the first place, figuring the businesses had followed the tourists. “We’re known for having the second-most-beautiful sunsets in the world,” he said. Having heard tell of other Saint-Laurent towns with spectacular sunsets, I asked him where No. 1 was. “Hawaii,” he replied.

But for the silver-painted steeples and mansard roofs, this part of the drive, where the towns are now maybe 15 or 20 minutes apart, may remind you of the Low Countries — at least until Bic National Park begins, bumping smooth shoreline for rugged inlets and channels, peppered with little pine-topped islands, which evoke Norse country. Road and river reunite near Rimouski, population 50,000, by far the largest city this side of Lévis, almost 200 miles back. When I stopped at the tourism office there and asked where the historic district was, the woman behind the counter told me: “There isn’t one. The city burned down in 1950.”

Rimouski does have a pleasant elevated walkway along the shore, though the serenity you experience gazing out at the fleuve there may be tempered by a visit to the Empress of Ireland Museum, dedicated to a liner of that name that sank nearby in May 1914, taking more than a thousand people down with it in just 14 minutes. The museum has a fine film about the ship, how it sank and why it went down so quickly — despite having safety features inspired by the Titanic disaster just two years earlier — and displays hundreds of artifacts salvaged by wildcat divers: water heater, egg boiler, baby bottle, moose antlers. Only as I was walking back to my car did I realize the building itself is a Cubist rendition of the foundering ship, smokestacks and all.

At some point, it will occur to you that you can no longer see the opposite bank, and you’ll come to understand why folks here refer to the river as la mer, the sea. At Sainte-Flavie, you enter the region of Gaspésie. The towns get noticeably smaller and even farther apart, the Christmas presents more surprising, including working phone booths and mechanical gas pumps.

More than 200 years have passed since Métis-sur-Mer was founded by a Scottish seigneur, but it’s still somewhat Anglophone. (It was “Métis Beach” until 2002.) It still has a Presbyterian church, too; in its graveyard, scattered among the marble and limestone, you’ll find a few wooden markers, long since weathered to illegibility. At Baie-des-Sables, while you stroll yet another waterside promenade sprinkled with comfortable chairs, it may occur to you that there is in these towns a tremendous sense of civic pride: Almost everything in them is tidy, well kept (even abandoned houses have mowed lawns) and, by the shore, inviting.

Past Matane, the coast starts to bulge and buckle with approaching mountains. Towns bear-hug the water, sometimes even spilling out over it, like Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, where I came upon a large quay, its surface covered with vehicles, its edges with anglers. These settlements were built on fishing, but people here apparently love it so much they do it in their spare time, too.

Soon thereafter, you will have crested the peninsula, your car’s compass having gradually spun from NNE to just E. It’s here, at the ceiling of Gaspésie, that the Appalachians finally end, and not with a whimper. They crash right into the water, forcing the road to accommodate them by rising and falling and contorting such that you may feel it’s trying to shake you off its back.

But, then: those views. Here analogy fails me; I know of none like them. If you’re the type of person who stares at far-flung places on maps and envisions what they must be like, this one will exceed your imagination. At one point, for instance, a sharp bend in the mountainside road suddenly reveals a vista of more mountains alternating like the teeth of an opening zipper; before them, the village of Mont-Saint-Pierre clings to the slender rim of a half-moon cove. Stand on its dark-gray-speckled-with-white beach, looking forward and back, and you’ll wonder how any thoroughfare — much less the modest one bedside you — can possibly make it around the promontories jutting into the sea.

Past each, other mountains inch back from the shore just enough to accommodate settlements, some only one house deep; a few are simply a handful of small dwellings huddling together against blue infinity. Others are a bit larger, like Madeleine-Centre, where the lighthouse — you’ll have passed many by now: wooden, stone, brick; white, red, white and red — has a small museum that illuminates the history of the area, the life of a lighthouse keeper, and the indispensability of such structures, quaint artifacts though they seem now: In just two decades, from 1856 to 1876, the St. Lawrence swallowed at least 674 ships.

This raw coast, compelling as it is today, was, for centuries, terribly forbidding. The hamlet of Pointe-à-la-Frégate — named for the British frigate HMS Penelope, which ran aground there on April 30, 1815; more than 200 on board either drowned or froze to death — has a pocket park commemorating that shipwreck, with informative kiosks, a couple of picnic tables shaped like (pink) Napoleonic-era warships, and a cannon. You may be tempted to pose behind the porthole for a picture, but I wouldn’t: It’s mounted at the edge of a cliff.

If you like local, Gaspésie’s northern fringe is the place. When I cheekily asked a server at a small restaurant what other kinds of dining options were in the vicinity, she grinned and said, “There’s A&W in Matane, and McDonald’s in Gaspé.” Matane was then 100 miles behind me; Gaspé still 100 miles ahead. Sparsely populated as the area is, though, it has a great deal of history, not all of it tragic. At Pointe-à-la-Renommée, Guglielmo Marconi opened his first North American maritime wireless station in 1904. It’s still there on the spot (next to yet another lighthouse) that Marconi chose precisely because it was so remote.

At the eastern tip of the peninsula, Forillon National Park leaps out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Nearly 100 square miles of conifers, beaches and capes, it was created in 1970, though not without tears: As kiosks at an anse, or cove, there explain, a great many families, some of whom had been there for centuries, were displaced in the process; their memories and lamentations grace other kiosks. (“We had lots of fun at Christmas.” “Families always got together for meals; it was a tradition.” “I know it’s been over 40 years but it still hurts. We’ll never forget.”) Some of their empty houses remain, as does William Hyman’s store, which provisioned generations of cod fishermen.

That cove is called L’Anse-aux-Amérindians (thankfully renamed from L’Anse-aux-Sauvages) to commemorate earlier generations of displaced residents. A trail that starts nearby leads to this eastern tip’s eastern tip, Land’s End. Its French name, Le Bout du Monde, seems more apt — the End of the World. And yet, somehow, inadequate: Ride a whale-watching boat around the Gulf and you’ll behold a land-and-seascape — indigo water waging an ancient war on ochre cliffs, more than you can count — best described as otherworldly.

Heading on, you’ll pass Fort Péninsule, a preserved coastal defense dating to World War II, when the Nazis sank some two dozen Allied ships in the St. Lawrence, before you come into the city of Gaspé, population 15,000. The town of Percé — where the sights include not only Rocher Percé and Île Bonaventure, but more souvenir and tchotchke stores than I care to recollect, not to mention the first paid parking lots I’d encountered in 500 miles — is still about 45 minutes away; but, again, don’t rush. Gaspé, one of the great natural harbors on the Atlantic — with its nearby beaches and surprisingly warm water, enticing restaurants and shops, fine regional museum and snug main street, Rue de la Reine, where the lampposts and parking-meter poles are outfitted with rainbow-striped knitted cozies — is as good a place as any I can think of to hunker down for a bit.

Jacques Cartier would agree. A tall stone cross on Gaspé’s waterfront marks the spot where the explorer planted a more modest wooden one in 1534, when he stopped by seeking shelter from a storm, and decided to do some trading with the locals. And, while he was there, invoke the papal Doctrine of Discovery (the one that decreed Christian nations like France could just assert ownership of territory already occupied by non-Christian Indigenous peoples) to claim the land for King François.

What he claimed — about 35 years before Champlain was born — is what we now call Canada. Though Gaspé also sometimes refers to itself as the End of the World, it was, in fact, the beginning of a whole new one. And well worth traversing several to see.

Lodging: If you’re an R.V. person, there are campgrounds all along Route 132, some right on the water. If you’re not, there are large hotels in Rimouski and Matane, but you might also consider an auberge, or inn, in a Victorian-era house; there are a couple, for instance, in the village of Le Bic, which also has a very fine bakery, Folles Farines, and lovely views of Bic National Park. There are plenty of inns in lower Gaspésie, ranging from humble to much less humble, and small motels. Up on the peninsula’s ceiling, options range from pretty basic motels (which nonetheless usually look better in real life than they appear in pictures online), to small inns, to cabins. (Few will turn up in a hotel app search; better to just use Google Maps.) And in Gaspé, there are motels, inns and hotels; the Baker Hotel is upscale for this area, but not exorbitant. You deserve it after all that driving.

Dining: This area is, not surprisingly, known for its seafood, but there are also plenty of local specialties that don’t come from the water. You will find a number of more upscale dining options — though not as many as you would have before Canada started experiencing its own labor shortage; you can still get a good breakfast at many hotels and inns, and even motels, though dinner at these can be trickier these days — but the food at the roadside shacks (called cantines) is often outstanding, too, even when they’re the only option. The line at Cantine Ste-Flavie, for instance, just outside that town, can be very long, and there’s a good reason for that. Even on such an enticing menu, the poutine aux crevettes — a mountain of fresh local shrimp atop fries, cheese curds and gravy — stands out. (Be forewarned: They only take cash and certain debit cards.) La Banquise 102 de Gaspé offers a delicious Montreal smoked meat poutine; so does Brise Bise, a restaurant on Rue de la Reine. Cafe des Artistes and the bakery Oh Les Pains, both also on Rue de la Reine, are also very good, and the restaurant TÉTÛ at the Baker Hotel is a fine option. Just make sure these are open on the day you plan to go — again, that labor shortage. Finally, when you see the giant roadside strawberry in L’Isle Vert (about 45 minutes past Kamouraska, heading north/east), pull up to the little red shack — Potager Côte D’or — and get a sundae made with their fresh strawberries. You’re welcome.

Museums, etc.: There are many small museums and local historical sites all along the route; serendipity may well guide you to some you won’t forget. The Empress of Ireland Museum is part of a maritime heritage complex that includes a lighthouse and a Canadian submarine. In Gaspé, you might want to check out the nascent Site d’Interpretation Micmac de Gespeg, and the generous array of informative kiosks at a plaza down by the waterfront where Cartier planted his cross. But you definitely don’t want to skip the Musée de la Gaspésie, which has excellent permanent exhibits about the history and culture of the area, including millennia of Indigenous societies and centuries of Anglo-French intrigue and commercial fishing. There’s also a wondrous temporary one (running through fall 2023) called “Cher Léo,” about Léonard Lapierre (1928-2014), an ingenious area folk artist who made everything out of anything. (The exhibit’s name refers to the many fan letters Lapierre got from schoolchildren throughout Canada.)

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places for a Changed World for 2022.

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Fishing for tarpon off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula

Sunlight glinted off the fish’s trademark scales, which reflected like a disco ball mirror in the morning sun. My angling partner, Ken Matsumoto, stepped to the bow of the panga and peeled fly line from his reel. “Eleven o’clock!” Chay called, and Ken made several false casts before landing his fly 50 feet out, just to the left of the bow (which is 12 o’clock). “Slow strips,” Chay instructed. On the third strip, Matsumoto’s line went tight. A second later, three feet of tarpon launched clear of the water … and the line went limp. Ecstasy turned to agony in a heartbeat.

Tarpon fishing can be an exquisite form of torture.

Yet in Campeche, it’s almost certain that you’ll get a second and third chance to make things right.

Campeche rests at the southwestern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula. Though it’s a World Heritage city boasting rich Mayan and Spanish colonial history, it sees only a fraction of the American visitors that descend upon Cancún, 300 miles to the east. Campeche native Raul Castaneda learned there were other riches here — large populations of juvenile tarpon.

“I studied computer science in college, but my mother always told me I’d one day make a living around the outdoors,” Castaneda said. “ ‘Why do you say that?’ I asked her. ‘Because your school materials are a mess, but your hunting and fishing gear is always very organized!’ ” Castaneda launched Tarpon Town in 2004 to lead light-tackle anglers — mostly fly-fishers — to the fish that use the region’s vast swaths of mangroves as a nursery ground.

“The Campeche area has such a prolific juvenile tarpon population because the habitat is intact,” said Aaron Adams, director of science and conservation for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, a conservation nonprofit based in Miami. “The mangroves are healthy, and the fresh water that flows from creeks that feed the Bay of Campeche is unaltered. This makes for good water quality for tarpon, and plentiful prey.”

Tarpon have held a fascination for anglers since the first specimens were caught by rod and reel in southwest Florida in the late 1800s, thanks to their size, power and proclivity for acrobatic jumps. In the warmer regions of the Atlantic and throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, “silver kings” are readily recognizable by their aforementioned silver scales and basketball-size mouths. Though members of the herring family, tarpon can grow to more than 300 pounds; adult fish in the 60- to 150-pound class are more common. (The world record on a fly rod is 202.5 pounds.)

Catching a fish the size of a small person with a willowy fly rod and a fly the size of your thumb is no easy matter. The accepted wisdom is that fly anglers will land 1 in 10 adult fish hooked. One’s odds are better with juvenile tarpon. “The baby tarpon are a great introduction to the species,” said Shaun Lawson, a program director with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, a travel agency based in Bozeman, Mont. “You experience the take, the explosive, acrobatic nature of the fight. And the smaller tarpon really like to eat flies. Though they can be difficult to keep on, you’ll get more chances than when you’re trying for adult fish.”

If you’re used to hooking 15-inch trout, even a “baby” tarpon of 15 or 20 pounds seems pretty darn big.

Although Matsumoto’s first encounter of the morning ended quickly, pods of fish remained in view, some porpoising, some clearing the water as they gorged on bait fish. Chay moved us in casting range; when a tarpon broke the surface, Matsumoto cast his fly, a white EP Baitfish, a few feet in front, hoping to intercept the fish. A few casts fell slightly off target; a few good presentations were ignored. But soon he had a taker, and this time, his execution was flawless.

He stood sideways to the fish, which gave his left arm a wider range of motion to get a strong hook set; he kept his rod tip high, maintaining pressure as he fought the fish, but when the fish jumped out of the water, he tilted the rod down to reduce tension in the line and decrease odds of the fly coming free — bowing the rod, in fly-fishing parlance. Soon he was clutching a fine specimen for photos, before returning it to the Gulf.

When I stepped to the casting platform, I hooked (and lost) several fish in rapid succession. By the third grab, I was able to set the hook firmly and remember to bow when the fish leaped. Soon I was also on the board. (The other four members of our party — two of whom had never fished for tarpon — all landed fish, testimony to the fecundity of Campeche’s waters.)

On our second day, we left the malecón (the esplanade bordering the waterfront) at 5:45, well before the sun had risen above the low hills to the east. Our guide, Roberto Pastrana, opted to fish closer to the mangroves, hoping to intercept the tarpon as they sought cover during the coming high tide. It proved a successful strategy. An almost constant stream of fish presented themselves — sometimes in small groups, sometimes swimming alone, all visible in the clear water. While the sun was low in the sky, we hooked fish with surface flies, transforming the already exciting take to a splashing, heart-stopping adrenaline rush. As the sun and tide rose, we shifted to a purple Cockroach fly — a standby for tarponistas.

During one of my rotations on the casting deck, Pastrana asked me to cast between two stands of mangroves. Naturally, I landed my fly in the right stand’s upper branches. As we poled over to retrieve it, Pastrana pointed out a good-size fish by the mangroves to the left. I thought the fish would be frightened by our presence. But as I retrieved my fly, I saw that the fish had remained in place. I flipped my Cockroach over, and a few jumps later, the fish was at the boat.

Sometimes being lucky is better than being good.

Castaneda and his team at Tarpon Town managed all of the logistics of our adventure, including conveyance from the airport in Mérida, lodging and coordination of non-angling activities, including dinner. Our accommodations were on the malecón at Ocean View, which was clean, air-conditioned and featured hot complimentary breakfasts and a pleasing pool area. It’s also in walking distance — at least during the slightly cooler late afternoons — from Campeche’s walled city.

Campeche was colonized by Spain in the 16th century; over the next 100 years, as trade in logwood dye created wealth, it was under constant attack by pirates, many hailing from Spain’s arch enemy, England. A hexagonal wall was built between 1686 and 1704 to repel the pirates; much of the wall remains today. With its checkerboard streets and well-preserved central square (including the Campeche Cathedral, built between 1540 and 1760), Campeche is a fine example of a Spanish colonial town.

A stroll up Calle 59 highlights Campeche’s cheerful, pastel-painted architecture. Adorned with bright lights, it’s also home to a number of cantinas and restaurants. The Yucatán is emerging as one of Mexico’s newest culinary hot spots. The menus lean toward seafood, which is no surprise, given the proximity of the Gulf; a specialty in Campeche is pan de cazon, a combination of corn tortillas, habanero sauce and bonnethead shark. My group enjoyed several wonderful meals at the more upscale Recova Cincuenta & Nueve. One night we ventured to the San Francisco neighborhood and enjoyed more casual (but equally delicious) fare at Cenaduría Portales de San Francisco. (English is not widely spoken in Campeche, but with our high school Spanish and the patience of locals, we could always communicate.)

“Unlike many saltwater fly-fishing destinations, Campeche has a lot to offer non-anglers,” Lawson from Yellow Dog said. “You can tour the historic districts, participate in cooking classes and visit Mayan ruins that don’t see many visitors.”

On our final day of scheduled fishing, a front blew in from the west, bringing gale winds. With fishing canceled, Castaneda suggested we visit the Mayan ruins at Edzná, a 40-minute drive. I was expecting smaller edifices like those I’d visited south of Tulum, but this settlement was more on par with a smaller version of Tikal in Guatemala or Chichén Itzá. At the entrance, we retained a guide, Elvis Herrera, who illuminated the traditions and meanings behind the stone structures before us, some of which dated from A.D. 400.

At one circular rock monument, Herrera explained that this was the site where community nobles would perform bloodletting rituals to appease the gods and communicate with ancestors. Obsidian blades or stingray spines would be used to cut women’s tongues or men’s penises to collect blood.

This put the pain of losing a leaping tarpon somewhat in perspective.

La Recova Cincuenta & Nueve

Av. Resurgimiento s/n, Bosques de Campeche

A mix of steaks and seafood. Open daily, 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Entrees from about $12.

Cenaduría Portales de San Francisco Campeche

A casual outdoor eatery featuring traditional Yucatán cuisine. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.; closed Monday. Entrees from about $5.

This Campeche-based outfitter provides comprehensive fishing packages, including lodging, guides, breakfast and lunch, and transfers to and from Mérida. Fishing is consistent throughout the year. Package costs vary by occupancy and duration; four-night/three-day fishing packages about $2,150 per person. Book through Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures (888-777-5060;

This outfitter offers cultural tours, such as a walking tour of Campeche and an excursion to see the ruins at Edzná. Tour prices include tickets, guides, private transport, beverages and seasonal fruits. Tours from about $40 per person.

Potential travelers should take local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC’s travel health notice webpage.

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Peninsula man is latest Bay Area resident arrested in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach – Red Bluff Daily News

SAN FRANCISCO — A fifth Bay Area resident has been arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, court records show.

Kenneth Armstrong III, 52, of Pescadero, was charged with four federal offenses, including trespassing, two counts of disorderly conduct, and picketing in a Capitol. He faces up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine if convicted of the most serious charge.

Armstrong was identified by an anonymous tipster who contacted the FBI days after the Capitol riot. He was visited by FBI agents in March 2021 at his business in Half Moon Bay, freely admitted attending the Jan. 6 demonstration, and sent agents of a video he took of himself walking through the Capitol building, according to the criminal complaint.

Armstrong was arrested Thursday and spent a day at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. At his first court appearance Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim released him on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Federal prosecutors did not seek detention, nor ask that Armstrong be ordered not to possess guns.

His case is awaiting transfer for prosecution in Washington D.C., court records show. While on pretrial release, Armstrong must not travel to Washington D.C. unless for court, and cannot travel outside the United States without approval from pretrial services.

Armstrong’s attorney, federal public defender David Rizk, said in court Friday more restrictive conditions aren’t necessary because it’s a misdemeanor case and Armstrong was “completely forthcoming with the FBI.” He said he will likely handle Armstrong’s defense because the public defender’s office in Washington D.C. is “overwhelmed” with cases.

The FBI used surveillance pictures, as well as conversations from Armstrong’s Facebook account, to confirm his identity. In one Facebook post, Armstrong noted that “Capitol Police were very nice and helpful,” but also notes they were firing rubber bullets at the first people to enter the Capitol.

In another conversation, Armstrong said he stayed inside for a short time, took pictures and video and “sang the Star Spangled Banner.” Another user, responding to Armstrong, lamented that he or she was “friends with a traitor, a fascist, a liar, and a thug,” and says they’re unfriending him, according to a screenshot included in the complaint.

Armstrong is now the fifth Bay Area man the be charged in the riots, including one who remains a fugitive and is believed to have fled the country. A Gilroy woman, Mariposa Castro, has pleaded guilty to trespassing and is awaiting sentence, and a Sonoma resident, Daniel Shaw, was charged last month, though he was identified almost immediately after the Capitol breach, according to court records.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a “self-described Proud Boy” and San Francisco resident named Daniel Goodwyn was also charged, and that Evan Neumann, of Mill Valley, is believed to have fled to Belarus to avoid criminal charges.

An Arcata resident, Brent John Holdridge, was arrested and charged with similar offenses last month, after the FBI identified him from surveillance inside the Capitol, court records show.

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A peculiar beauty: strolling on a new trail around Kent’s Hoo peninsula | Kent holidays

At the water’s edge stands a second world war pillbox, a magnet for hundreds of roosting birds. A flock takes to the wing and, through my binoculars, I make out curlew and brent geese; in the distance a pink container ship slinks slowly along the horizon. There’s no one around, the clarity of the cold morning light on the Thames adding to the sense of remoteness.

Grain map

I’m on the Isle Grain, at the tip of the Hoo peninsula in north Kent, being introduced to the newest section of the England Coast Path, officially open today (12 January). This 47-mile stretch runs east from the village of Grain to Woolwich and forms part of, eventually, a 2,800-mile national trail around the coast.

“It’s exciting because it opens up parts of the Isle of Grain that the public couldn’t access before,” says my guide, Jenny Bowen from Natural England. “It also links with the existing Thames Path, which runs from the Cotswolds to central London, meaning there’s a ‘source to sea’ walking route along our most-famous river for the first time.”

A reed-fringed shingle beach at Grain.
A reed-fringed shingle beach at Grain. Photograph: Ian Goodrick/Alamy

Our walk starts at the tiny hamlet of Grain, where the views stretch across the confluence of the Thames and Medway to Southend, sparkling in the winter sun, and Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. As we follow the route slightly inland, we pass a smattering of houses, a church and a pub before a new path leads up on to the sea wall.

The Isle of Grain is not an island at all, but a vast, open expanse of pancake-flat saltmarsh, peppered with signs of industry and a defensive maritime history. Yantlet Creek meanders to our right, edged by reeds; ponies and sheep wander some of the most remote grazing land in the south-east; low tide reveals glistening mudflats stretching to the horizon. To the left, pylons and silhouetted gas works add a grittiness to the scene.

We stop to picnic on one of the tiny beaches dotted along the river, a boundary stone nearby marking the end of the Thames estuary. Opening the new trail has been a long process, Jenny and her colleague Francesca Sanchez tell me, involving environmental assessments and countless meetings with landowners and local councils. While some of the route follows existing paths, access to some private land has been granted for the first time, eroded footpaths have been rebuilt and culverts added to drain waterlogged land.

Remains of old docks and seafarers signs are often visible on the mudflats.
Remains of old docks and seafarers signs are often visible on the mudflats. Photograph: Ian Tokelove

“It’s a complicated process, weighing up different interests – but the goal is to always keep as close to the coast as possible, without disturbing wildlife,” says Francesca.

As we wander on we meet a local couple out for a walk – keen birders excitedly pointing out a rarely seen glossy ibis. The whole area is important for winter birdlife and pockets are protected. New signs tell walkers what to look out for, and our sightings include black-tailed godwit, ringed plover and dunlins, though marsh harriers remain elusive.

The path sweeps close to the water once more as we pass the deserted Allhallows Holiday Camp. From here it’s a wild 12-mile stretch to the RSPB’s Cliffe Pools reserve, with no villages, car parks or connecting footpaths on the way.

Further west the path takes walkers to Gravesend, with nearby Shornemead fort, installed to protect London in the 1860s, and the option of a ferry across to Tilbury and the Essex coastal path. Highlights for those who continue to Woolwich include the Swanscombe peninsula – newly designated a site of special scientific interest – and the Queen Elizabeth II bridge (the busiest estuarial crossing in Europe). From Woolwich, the Thames Path continues to the Cotswolds – meaning a 232-mile path now runs from its source to the North Sea.

Jane Dunford (right) and friend near Grain.
Francesca Sanchez from Natural England (left) and Jane Dunford near Grain

The England Coast Path itself will eventually be the longest coastal walking route in the world. Of the 67 sections, 16 are now open, with more to follow this year, and proposals for 65 stretches have been submitted to government for approval (just over 99.4% of the route).

Our limited time means further exploration must wait for another day and we turn back towards Allhallows. The cries of seabirds fill the air, the incoming tide laps the shore – and this wild, forgotten edge of the country quietly bewitches with a peculiar beauty all of its own.

The Grain-Woolwich stretch of the England Coast Path is easily accessed via public transport. Stations along the route include Woolwich Arsenal, Erith, Slade Green, Greenhithe and Gravesend. Buses connect Grain and Allhallows to Rochester. For moreon the walking route, visit

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7 Must-Try Wineries To Experience On Leelanau Peninsula

Like many of the world’s famous wine regions — Bordeaux in France and Italy’s Piedmont region, for example — Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula is on the 45th parallel, making it an excellent area for producing fantastic wine.

North of Traverse City, the Leelanau Peninsula is one of Michigan’s five American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). An AVA defines a grape-growing region with specific geographic and climate qualities. Lake Michigan’s “lake effect” environment supports growing classic vinifera grape varieties, including riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet franc. These grapes are hearty enough to withstand the sometimes harsh Michigan winters.

Leelanau Peninsula has three loops to explore: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Peninsula Loop, and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. This article describes all seven of the fantastic wineries in the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. I’ve listed these wineries in the order that I visited them.

Hearth and Vine Pizza.
Amy Piper

1. Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay

Situated on a 160-acre estate about 13 miles from downtown Traverse City, Black Star Farms features a bed and breakfast-style destination inn, making it the perfect place to establish a weekend base for exploring the other area wineries.

It isn’t easy to choose a favorite wine at this winery because it has a wide variety to try — red, white, dessert, sparkling, rose, and fruit. Michigan is known for its cherries and apples, and I enjoyed the cherry wine. The semi-dry wine created entirely from Northern Michigan cherries offers a delightful combination of flavors: tart and sweet cherry with a hint of spice. In addition to wine, it has a distillery that produces a variety of products.

If you’re visiting between May and October, plan to go around mealtime, as the Hearth and Vine Café offers farm-to-table dining highlighting its wine and spirits. You’ll find dishes like the cold mixed berry soup that showcases its 2017 pinot gris. In addition, Black Star transformed its red grape skins into flour used to make the dough for its wood-fired pizza. Try the potato bacon pizza topped with a combination of aged Gruyére and fromage blanc from Leelanau Cheese.

Pro Tip: In addition to wine tastings, Black Star Farms offers three miles of hiking and biking trails and an equestrian facility with an indoor and outdoor riding arena. In winter, you can rent snowshoes to explore the area. So while Traverse City has lots of action, you’ll find plenty to do to keep you busy for an entire weekend without leaving the venue.

Shady Lane Board
Amy Piper

2. Shady Lane Cellars, Suttons Bay

Situated on the Leelanau TART Trail, Shady Lane Cellars makes the perfect stop for a glass of wine and a charcuterie board to fuel your continued bike ride. It uses 100 percent estate-grown grapes to create its wine.

Shady Lane Cellars - Wine Bottle
Amy Piper

I enjoyed the Late Harvest Riesling in the fieldstone tasting room, a dessert wine that makes the perfect finish to a meal. Shady Lane Cellars harvests these grapes in December’s cold weather to concentrate the dessert wine’s sweetness. In addition, the wine has bright notes of candied citrus and pear.

Outside of Shady Lane Winery cellars and wine tasting room.
Amy Piper

During the summer months, you’ll enjoy the attractive outdoor bar and seating area. In the Adirondack chairs, at the top of the hill is a fun place to sip a glass and appreciate the vineyard view.

Shady Lane Cellars is one of two SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified wineries outside California. During my time at Shady Lane Cellars, I learned some characteristics of this certification, including dry farming and not mowing every row to retain the beneficial bugs. The vineyard also has a few wildflower plots to bring in those beneficial bugs.

Pro Tip: I recommend that you make reservations as the tasting room has limited indoor seating space.

View of Brengman Brothers Vineyard.
Amy Piper

3. Brengman Brothers, Traverse City

Brengman Brothers is a micro-winery that creates wine from estate-grown grapes. I visited the 25-acre Crain Hill Vineyard, where it grows the gewurztraminer, a popular Michigan grape that grows well in the climate. It’s a complex grape that inspires different sweet and floral notes.

Brengman Brothers - Wine Bottle and glass of white wine.
Amy Piper

One of my favorite wines at Brengman Brothers is its blanc de blancs extra brut, playfully named DaGudScht. This top-of-the-line Leelanau bubbly has a depth of flavor and body.

The micro-winery features a pleasant outdoor area with fire pits that chase off the chill of Michigan’s crisp fall weather so that you can comfortably enjoy a glass outside and watch the sunset over the vineyard. The indoor tasting room has a modern vibe, with art on the walls lending pops of color to the bright and airy space. 

Brengman Brothers Exterior Sign
Amy Piper

Pro Tip: The winery will waive the tasting fee when you purchase two bottles of wine.

4. Two K Farms, Suttons Bay

Ten minutes north of Traverse City, Two K Farms’ tasting room features an outdoor patio with a stunning view of the West Grand Traverse Bay. Inside the tasting room, you’ll find exposed beams and chandeliers that create a rustic setting.

Two K Farms takes its name from the two brothers, George and Max Koskela, who manage it. Two K Farms produces hard cider in addition to making wine. Exemplifying the farm-to-glass philosophy, it creates all the wine and hard ciders onsite north of the tasting room. As a result, you’ll find various American, French, English, sangria, hopped, and barrel-aged style ciders on tap.

One of my favorite drinks from Two K Farms is the Leelanau Radler, a blend of estate riesling and heirloom apple juice. It incorporates two Michigan fruit crops, apples, and grapes, into one refreshing drink. You’ll find hints of spice, fresh apples, and lemon. Radler is German for cyclists, and it’s also a popular drink in Austria and Germany, where it’s made traditionally with beer and fruit juice or soda.

Pro Tip: On their website, you’ll find recipes for food pairings, along with some cocktail and mocktail recipes.

Mawby Exterior Signs
Amy Piper

5. Mawby, Suttons Bay

In 1976, Larry Mawby planted the 14-acre Elm Valley estate vineyard. Today the original vignoles vines still produce grapes. Mawby is one of Michigan’s oldest commercial vineyards. In addition to Elm Valley, it also grows grapes on the 8-acre Sylt Road and the smaller Norvick Road property. It also utilizes fruit from other Michigan growers and growers and producers from California and Washington State.

Mawby specializes in sparkling wine, where it ferments each sparkling wine twice using either the traditional method (fermenting in the bottle) or the cuve close method (fermenting in one of its pressure tanks). The bottle-fermented wines age from 1 to 7 years. The winery immediately chills, filters, and bottles the tank-fermented wines.

One of my favorites at Mawby is Blanc, made using the traditional method, blanc de blanc from Peninsula Chardonnay, and riesling, and it has apple aromas and citrus flavors. It pairs well with seafood and plates of light pasta.

Pro Tip: For a seated tasting experience, make a reservation. This venue features two different tasting rooms with two separate reservations. Be sure you are reserving the tasting room you prefer.

Ciccone - Wine Bottle
Amy Piper

6. Ciccone Vineyard & Winery, Suttons Bay

Located off Michigan 22 at the top of Hilltop Road in the Leelanau Peninsula, Ciccone Vineyard & Winery features award-winning 100 percent estate-grown wines. The winery produces reds and whites, in addition to cider. My favorite sip at Ciccone Winery was the Dolcetto that featured the grape’s typical astringent tannins, bright acidity, dark berry notes, and a dry finish.

Ciccone’s tasting room doesn’t require reservations, and seating is on a first come, first served basis. On Sunday and Thursday evenings during the summer, you’ll find live music. The rest of the year, check its calendar of events for more fun activities at the winery.

Ciccone Gazebo
Ciccone Gazebo (Photo Credit: Amy Piper)

Pro Tip: In its pergola overlooking the vineyard, Ciccone hosts Live from the Hilltop each Sunday and Thursday summer evening, an event that features local musicians. It’s a great way to enjoy some music with your glass of wine.

7. Rove Estate, Traverse City

At 1,165 feet, Rove Estate’s tasting room sits on Leelanau County’s highest point. It’s the perfect place to drink a glass of wine while watching the sunset. You can see Sugar Loaf, Empire, and the highest point in Grand Traverse County from its deck.

Creighton Gallagher, a fifth-generation farmer, and his wife McKenzie welcome your family to the winery, even the kiddos. They have outdoor games to keep busy, fire pits, dance areas, and a trail loop where you can snowshoe or hike. 

They grow nine varietals of vinifera grapes, including three reds. The Gallaghers use these to create small-batch artisan wines and use only estate-grown grapes. The elevation makes the perfect conditions for grapes — southern exposed slopes with abundant sunlight and cool-air drainage with protection from the frost.

One of my favorite wines at Rove Estate is the riesling that offers the aroma of fresh nectarines and citrus. It has a flavor of pear, peach, and a bit of candied ginger.

Pro Tip: Take time to explore the Rove Point Trail, an easy 10-minute walk to Leelanau Peninsula’s highest point.

If you’d like to explore another Michigan wine region, or visit more state sites, check out:

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Tasty tips for dining at the tip of the Baja peninsula: Travel Weekly

It’s virtually impossible to eat poorly in Los Cabos; at least that’s been my experience. I’ve eaten oysters paired with Champagne from a restaurant literally built into the side of a cliff. I’ve snacked on ceviche from the deck of a luxury yacht. I’ve even sampled Nobu’s world-renowned sushi from the outdoor deck of his iconic hotel.

Still, it’s always a good idea to go in with a game plan and a few recommendations. I’ve got some ideas.

Let’s start with a welcome dinner. What better place to become acquainted with Los Cabos than at a seaside restaurant, at sunset, overlooking the iconic Arch? For that experience I’d suggest an outdoor table at Sunset Monalisa. With one of the best locations in all of Cabo San Lucas, Sunset Monalisa appears to be floating directly above the sea. 

The restaurant serves a choice of three-, five- or seven-course tasting menus, all with matching wine pairings. In fact, the wine list is one of the most impressive aspects of the restaurant; wines are organized by mouthfeel rather than region — an enormous timesaver. And there are wine-tasting flights available if the decision is too difficult.

The menu changes on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of ingredients. Sunset Monalisa also has a Veuve Clicquot terrace serving Champagne and appetizers as well as a more laid-back jazz bar with gastropub cuisine and live music.

T0927SUNSETMONALISA_C [credit: Meagan Drillinger]

The best seat in the house at Sunset Monalisa is at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the famous arch of Los Cabos. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger

For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with Blanc Ocean, whether or not you are staying at Le Blanc Spa Resort (which I highly recommend). With panoramic ocean views and a breezy, alfresco setting, Blanc Ocean has a menu that mixes grilled classics and seafood. The restaurant is open for dinner, as well, but its breakfast ambience is truly a special way to start the day.

Next stop is nearby Todos Santos. The village-turned-hot spot has forever been on the surfer/backpacker trail, but over the past few years it has transformed into one of the best places in Mexico for the luxury boho aesthetic.

Galleries, boutiques and five-star design hotels rise from the dusty cobblestone streets and overlook some of the most pristine beaches in Mexico.

After a day of exploring, Santa Terra is a prime landing spot for cocktail hour. Built out of the bones of an old sugar mill, the building is now home to a luxury food park, complete with dining venues, an art gallery and a boutique — and they’re still expanding. Soon to come will be more dining venues, a space for glamping, outdoor event space and more. 

The visuals at Santa Terra are an Instagrammer’s dream backdrop, complete with palm fronds, cactuses, pops of color and soaring ceilings.

T0927OYSTERA_MD [credit: Meagan Drillinger]

Oysters served at Oystera at Santa Terra, which is housed at an old sugar mill in Todos Santos. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger

Oystera can’t be missed — it’s the focal point of the lofty space — and it shouldn’t be. Upon arriving, visitors should ask for Manuel; he is supremely knowledgeable, kind and attentive. A glass of sparkling rose is the right first move, to be savored while looking over an enormous menu of fresh and fabulous oysters or crudo. A heads-up: This fall Oystera will be launching a Bottomless Brunch.

Another can’t-miss option in Todos Santos: El Mirador Oceanview Restaurant. Perched atop a hill overlooking the village’s beautiful beaches, this alfresco dining spot is set beneath a massive palapa.

The menu is, again, all local. I sampled a five-course menu that featured smoked tuna tostadas (my personal favorite), followed by grilled octopus, fish, grilled beef and a decadent bread pudding-style dessert.

The restaurant is at its most magical at sunset, with the best seat in the house for the nightly sky show. On Sunday evenings, live jazz is a perfect companion to a delicious meal.

T0927ACRETIRADITO_MD [credit: Meagan Drillinger]

The tiradito and tostadas are popular menu items for lunch and dinner at Acre. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger

Acre Baja is one of the sexiest hotels in Los Cabos, a boutique, design-forward resort featuring 12 chic treehouse-style bungalows, all tucked amid a palm tree oasis in the desert outside San Jose del Cabo. And its pool scene is next-level.

Acre was, however, a restaurant before it became a hotel. The property sits on 25 acres, and the majority of what it uses for its menus comes from either its own farm or the nearby farms of San Jose del Cabo.

Whether the meal is lunch or dinner makes no difference — it is all incredible. For lunch, I recommend the shrimp tostadas and tiradito, along with the fish or pork belly tacos. But dinner is the main event, as the earthy, elegant alfresco dining room comes alive with locals and visitors.

Get cozy in one of the restaurant’s rounded booths and brace yourself for fluffy cheddar biscuits, fresh oysters, curried cauliflower, stuffed eggplant, wagyu beef cheek and a succulent grilled fish or roasted suckling pig. 

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7 Best Things To Do On Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula In The Fall

Located in the northwest section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Keweenaw Peninsula is the northernmost part of Michigan. The Keweenaw Peninsula’s heavily forested, mountain-like terrain protrudes into Lake Superior and is perfect for autumn leaf-peeping. This area was the United States’ first copper rush site, preceding the California gold rush, so the region is rich with history.

After flying into Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX), rent a car to explore the area. Your Great Lakes State tour begins in Houghton and takes you across the Keweenaw Waterway, 41 miles up US Highway 41 to Copper Harbor. Michigan’s northernmost town. 

The Keweenaw Peninsula is all about outdoor adventures in a remote and rural setting. Ghost towns and the local copper mining history will keep history buffs fascinated.

Note: The Keweenaw Peninsula hosted my visit. All opinions are my own.

1. Tour The Laurium Manor Inn

The village of Laurium, located 12 miles north of Houghton and 35 miles south of Copper Harbor, is a national historic district that provides a home base for exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Laurium Manor Inn, built for Thomas H. Hoatson, who owned the Calumet & Arizona Mining Company, is a 4-floor, 13,000 square–foot, 45-room mansion featuring original details. In the dining room, you’ll see the gilded and embossed elephant leather wallcoverings. The music room showcases a domed ceiling covered in silver leaf. On the landing of the grand triple staircase made from hand-carved oak, you’ll find a 9×14-foot stained-glass window. Finally, be sure to look at the 1,300 square–foot ballroom on the 3rd floor.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to spend at least one night in this historical manor, where you can wake up with your morning coffee on the 100-foot-long tile wraparound porch. The circular porch itself is over 1,200 square feet.

Pro Tip: Whether you’re staying at the inn or not, you can take a guided audio tour of the Laurium Manor Inn. The tour takes about an hour.

Jamsen's Baker; Copper Harbor, Michigan
Amy Piper

2. Explore Michigan’s Northernmost Town

In Copper Harbor, Michigan’s northernmost town, begin with breakfast at Jamsen’s Fish Market and Bakery, where you can get a cup of joe and pastries. If you’re looking for a heartier start to your day, it offers breakfast sandwiches and savory scones. Then, sit at the picnic tables on the Copper Harbor waterfront and take in the fresh air view. I enjoyed the yeast donut twist with the thimbleberry glaze. The bakery’s cookies make a tasty snack while you’re road tripping through the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Built in 1844, Fort Wilkins, now a state park, initially helped keep order in the region. You can learn about life at the fort from costumed interpreters onsite from mid-June through mid-August. Of the 19 buildings today, 12 are original from the 1840s. The Copper Harbor Lighthouse is also part of the state park, but you can only reach it by boat.

Have an Austrian-inspired dinner at Harbor Haus, situated on Lake Superior’s shore. You’ll have a stunning harbor view with marine activity of all types — ore freighters, boats, and kayakers, scattered about. You won’t mind if you have to wait for a table on its outdoor patio. If you’re there when the Isle Royale Queen IV returns in the evening, you’ll see all the servers come out and greet the boat as it passes. The wait seems short when you have a cocktail and enjoy the lake views. To avoid an extended wait, call about a week ahead for reservations.

Pro Tip: To enter Fort Wilkins State Park and Historic Site, you’ll need a Michigan Recreation Passport, which you can purchase at the park.

Keweenaw Mountain Lodge; Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan
Amy Piper

3. Spend A Few Days At Keweenaw Mountain Lodge

Situated in Copper Harbor, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is a wilderness resort at the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The refuge, built in 1934 as part of the Works Progress Administration, offers year-round activities in a relaxed setting. The cabin accommodations are a perfect fit for multi-generational family trips. The two-bedroom, two-bath cabin with a single entryway has two areas separated by doors that include two living rooms simultaneously, making for collaboration and privacy. In addition, it offers a variety of cabin layouts to fit your requirements.

If your group has a combination of outdoor enthusiasts, culinary geeks, and history buffs, the resort will have something to entertain them. The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) offers complimentary guided mountain bike rides and social and adventure hikes. In addition, its nine-hole golf course provides occasional stargazing and astrophotography courses. History lovers should request the self-guided tour booklets of the property and the lodge. Each tour will take about an hour.

The Lodge has a restaurant offering rustic worldly cuisine, where the food is simple, done with quality ingredients influenced by cuisines from around the world. An alternative is ordering one of the lodge’s grill kits, which include the food and equipment required for dinner on your cabin’s grill. Then, enjoy it at your cabin’s picnic table.

Pro Tip: The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge cabins have a minimum required stay. As of this writing, the minimums are two nights in the spring, fall, and summer, and three nights in the winter.

Scenic view at Esrey Park, Michigan
Esrey Park (Photo Credit: Amy Piper)

4. Sightsee Along Michigan 26 North Shore Drive

To take full advantage of the brilliant fall colors, you’ll want to take a scenic drive, and Michigan 26 North Shore Scenic Drive provides stunning landscapes. The drive from Copper Harbor to Eagle Harbor along Lake Superior has several roadside parks and scenic turnouts along the way. For example, you could have a picnic lunch at Esrey Park, a small park about halfway between Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor. A rock staircase provides an elevated view of the area. You’ll also see the Keweenaw lava flow rocks along this drive, which adds more interest to the landscape.

Once you reach Eagle Harbor, have lunch at the Eagle Harbor Inn, and if you’d like to extend your stay in Eagle Harbor, the inn has seven comfortable rooms and an apartment to meet your needs. Next, tour the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museum. In 1980, the current red-brick lighthouse (built in 1871) was automated. Today, you can tour the lighthouse and museum and discover more about maritime history in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Right along the highway, you’ll find Jacobs Falls, one of Michigan’s 300 waterfalls. The falls showcase a 40-foot drop that you can easily see without leaving your car.

Pro Tip: With any luck, Jampot will have a jar of wild thimbleberry jam in stock. Products at Jampot are handmade by monks from the nearby Poorrock Abbey. Thimbleberries are a slightly tart regional berry. Unfortunately, this popular jam sells out quickly.

Brockway Mountain Drive; Michigan
Photo Credit: Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau

5. Reach The Summit At Brockway Mountain Drive

Brockway Mountain Drive, off Michigan 26, is a nine-and-a-half-mile drive between Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor. Because it’s the highest above sea-level drive between the Alleghenies and the Rockies, it’s challenging to beat the view for fall foliage. At this vantage point, you’re high above the treetops, where the mountain forest contrasts with the deep blue water of Lake Superior and the inland lakes.

Pro Tip: The scenic drive is open May through October, but while snow covered, you can take in the stunning winter wonderland via snowmobile.

South Shore Drive in the fall; Michigan
Photo Credit: Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau

6. Meander Along South Shore Drive

The South Shore Drive is a county road running between the community of Gay and Lac La Belle. You’ll see a panorama of the Huron Mountains and the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula jutting into Lake Superior. The views of Bare Bluff along this area are beautiful in autumn.

Another exciting way to see the fall colors is through the Fall Color Chair Lift Rides. Mount Bohemia offers them, and you’ll pass by it on your way down the south shore. It also has them on Mont Ripley at Michigan Technological University.

Pro Tip: Settled in 1904, the town of Gay grew around the Mohawk & Wolverine Mining Companies’ stamp mills.

Today, you’ll find black, sandy beaches in the area that came about due to the stamp mills.

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Jacob Boomsma /

7. Hike Isle Royale National Park

If you’re planning a trip to Isle Royale National Park, the perfect time to do it is during your visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula. With the ferry schedule, you’ll want to plan more than a day trip. The average stay at the park is about 4 days, but you could manage with an overnight visit. Most camp on the island, but you can rent a cabin or stay at Rock Harbor Lodge.

Once you arrive, check at the visitor center for a complete schedule of ranger talks. The park rangers provide in-depth historical and cultural information during their talks, which occur daily in July and August. With over 160 miles of hiking trails, you’ll find plenty to explore. Discovering the lighthouses, fishing, paddle sports, and scuba diving will contribute to an active outdoor adventure.

Pro Tip: While the trip to Isle Royale is about six hours from Houghton, it only takes three and one-half hours from Copper Harbor. If you take a seaplane, you’ll be there in under an hour. If you plan a day trip, you will only have about two hours on the island if you go by ferry.

To expand your vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, consider these experiences:

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