Bayshore Park & Marina - Gateway to Legends & Memories

Munising Travel Blog

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Sunrise over the docs at Bayshore Marina

If you're a summertime tourist, Bayshore Marina is likely the trap that snags you and keeps you in the quaint town of Munising for a few days.  Though the park has seemingly shrunken as I've grown older, it still lures the curious traveler in with celebrations and as a mysterious gateway to what lies on Lake Superior.

Independence Day is by far the time when the most action takes place in the park, and in the city all together.  The park is crammed with vendor booths selling everything from hot dogs to handmade crafts.  Live music from local musicians wafts overhead from the northwest lakeshore and fills the ears of locals and visitors alike with tunes that drug the soul into relaxation and an easy-going feeling.  The laughter of old local well-knowns erupts from speakers as they run dunk tanks, "chicken shit" bingo, and eating contests in the picnic pavillion as they pass their neighbor a beer.  Hundreds and possibly thousands of spectators and participants stroll along the sidewalk winding through the park, while others lounge in a camping chair or sprawled across a blanket on the lawn of the small park.  As fireworks approach, twice as many people spill into the park to share in the tradition that a small town with limited resources does better than any big city.  It's the time of year when we all come together and unite as patriotic human beings, our sacrifical soldiers gluing us together and keeping us as one.  There is not a single day that can compare to the feeling of unity, celebration, and gratitude that is felt in my small hometown than on my favorite holiday, the 4th of July.

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Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises are the crowning jewel of Munising, and are based out of Bayshore Marina.  From May through October, hundreds of thousands come to Munising to take the 2 1/2 hour boat cruise out onto Lake Superior and past many gorgeous natural formations.   Stories and facts of mother earth told by the captain of each ship create visions of Native American legends in the minds of every traveler.  The rock formations provide the perfect, most beautiful backdrop to the narrations.

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For me, Bayshore Park is a place of sweet family memories.  As an only child to a father who was born and raised in the same small town - and even the house my parents still currently live in - and to a mother who fell in love with his quirks and left all to follow him there, my memories and traditions with my family were simple and as old fashioned as something from the 60s when my dad was a tot.  On warm summer nights my parents and I would go on a drive with the windows down to enjoy the fresh air when they would begin converse in spoken morse code that we should go to Dairy Queen.  After a few years, I never told them that I caught on to their amateur-radio-operator knowledge (afterall, they wanted me to get licensed as well), and I knew all too well that "da dit dit, da da dit da" was morse code for "DQ".  We'd drive the winding Munising Avenue/M-28 through town to the Dairy Queen, mom and I standing in line while dad sat in the car with the window down, watching the locals old and young.  It was always a Cherry Mister Misty Freeze for mom with chocolate ice cream, a Butterfinger Blizzard for dad, and a blizzard or ice cream cone for me.  We'd drive the few blocks down to Bayshore Marina and share our ice cream, watching the Pictured Rocks boats leave from the Marina for the Sunset Cruise.  I always wondered what dad was thinking with each sweet spoonful of ice cream as he stared blankly out over the shore.

Munising may be a small town, and the Marina may not be much to look at now that I'm an adult and sometimes lack the wide-eyed interest of a child, but traditions and memories hold strong in the little slice of heaven on the shore of Lake Superior.

inmysimpleheart says:
Thanks. :) I will be adding more as I have a moment. I usually only get a chance to have a moment to myself by coming in to work at 6am, so it may only be an entry a day. Additionally, it's hard to upload photos since my work filters out a lot of photo sites! I hope to compile a bunch about my hometown and surrounding area. :)
Posted on: May 16, 2008
bkretzer says:
This was extremely well written and a great read! I'm putting your town on my Places-to-visit-when-I go-to-Michigan-list!
Posted on: May 16, 2008
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Sunrise over the docs at Bayshore …
Sunrise over the docs at Bayshore…
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photo by: tour_guy