Exploring Michigan's Coasts: A Compendium

by Julie Royce /
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Jun 22, 2022 / 0 comments

I have written a three-book travel series exploring Michigan’s coastlines, entitled Exploring Michigan’s Sunrise Coasts, Exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Coasts, and  Exploring Michigan’s Sunset Coasts.

Exploring Michigan's Coasts: A Compendium

Holland's Big Red photo courtesy Gary Martin Photography

The books are not your traditional travel books. The reader will find no information about motels, hotels, or restaurants, and very few tchotchke shops. I love traveling, and for every place I plan to travel, I like to find out a little about the area beforehand. It makes the visit more meaningful. 

I like the history, the weird or unusual things I discover about the destination, and learning what I should expect to see and do while I’m there. 

If a movie was filmed in a location I plan to visit, I like to watch it. If I’m going to Mackinac Island, I can’t resist watching Somewhere in Time—even for the third or fourth time. I can’t sit on the porch of the Grand Hotel without imagining Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. 

And did you know that Elmore Leonard set The Big Bounce in Michigan’s Thumb? After reading his book, I decided that if I ever owned another cottage on the lakeshore, I’d make very sure it had excellent security.

Until I researched these books, I didn’t know that Michigan’s Great Lakes had their own notorious pirate. I certainly didn’t know that a Michigan governor unadopted the daughter he and his wife had adopted many years earlier, and then he married that prior daughter when he was 89?

I decided to compile a Traveler’s Companion to Michigan's Coasts with information that included lighthouses, ghost stories, weird stories I discovered, shipwrecks, museums, books, famous and infamous people from the area, and more. I talked to shop owners, went to libraries, and always asked, “Who and what do you believe is worth knowing...and who had connections to your city or village?”

Exploring Michigan's Coasts: A Compendium

St. Joseph lighthouse photo courtesy Gary Martin Photography

Please click through on each photo to read excerpts from these three books exploring Michigan's coasts. 

Read This: Exploring Michigan's Coasts

The 10 Scariest Ghosts That Haunt Michigan’s Shores

Lighthouses of Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

Lighthouses of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Lighthouses of Michigan's Sunset Coasts

Michigan’s Sunrise Coasts: The Storm of 1913

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Storm of 1913, Part Two

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Carl D. Bradley

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Rockaway

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Phoenix

Shipwrecks of Great Lakes: The Niagara

The Sinking Of The Lady Elgin, On Lake Michigan, On The Morning Of September 8, 1860, Half An Hour After She Had Been Run Into By The Schooner Augusta, Of Waukeegan. Illustration published in  New York Illustrated News, September 22, 1860.

Downbound St. Clair River opposite the Pine River just below the St. Clair Inn on November 25, 1966 at 5:00pm. This is the last known photo for the Daniel J. Morrell.

he Plymouth, a schooner lumber barge with a seven-man crew, went down during the big storm of November 13, 1913.

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The SS Eastland

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Pere Marquette No. 18

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Milwaukee