The Great Lakes, Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, stretch across eight states in the U.S. and the province of Ontario in Canada. While many towns border the lakes, the Halton region’s municipalities in Ontario are especially ideal for enjoying a wealth of things, both in and around the water.
If living by the lake is your dream, you might even want to tour Halton real estate while you’re here, as the municipalities of Oakville, Burlington, Milton, and Halton Hills, have all been named among the top places to live in Ontario by MoneySense magazine.
Whether you make a move or just plan to visit for a while, these four ways to enjoy the Great Lakes are sure to make for a good time.
Soak Up the Beauty from the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
If you want to enjoy the beauty of the water without getting wet, you can walk or cycle part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, which stretches for 1,865 miles from Sault Ste Marie to the Quebec border. The signed route connects from the 140 communities along the shores of the lakes and the St. Lawrence River. It runs 3.6 miles through Oakville, bringing picturesque water views while winding by two harbors, beautiful gardens, museums, and more.
Play in the Dunes at Sleeping Bears Dunes National Lakeshore
Named by “Good Morning America” as the “Most Beautiful Place in America,” Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the best places to spend the day at the beach around the Great Lakes, home to picturesque stretches of sand and towering sand dunes. There are no others like what you’ll find here, soaring over the sparkling blue water, some more than 450 feet high. Climb to the top and you’ll get a magnificent view of the lake and the islands. Afterward, roll back down.
Take a Cruise on the Friends Good Will Tall Ship
The Friends Good Will Tall Ship is a replica of an original tall ship built as a merchant vessel in 1810, confiscated by the British two years after while it was carrying skins, furs, and military supplies to Fort Dearborn and then recaptured by US Commodore Oliver Perry. It offers day and sunset cruises, as well as the chance to relive its adventurous past by booking a “pirate chaser” excursion.
Play on the Water in Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island, Wisconsin
Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands, lies alongside Lake Superior in Wisconsin. It’s a great place to spend the day, weekend, or longer. Hop on the ferry at the northeast end of Bayfield and enjoy the many activities in Big Bay State Park. It includes a 1.5-mile-long beach right along the edge of the lake where you can sunbathe or swim. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddling are popular too. If you don’t have your own vessel, kayaks are available for rent. Fishing enthusiasts can test their skills and luck at catching several trout species in the lake, or northern pike in the lagoon.