Boat. Play. Eat. Repeatů In The Blue Water Area
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018
Port Huron, located on the eastern shores of Michigan, is excited to welcome The Antique and Classic Boat Society’s Annual Meeting and International Boat Show September 9-15. This will be a wonderful time to view an incredible showcase of vessels, explore the waterways and shoreline towns, as well as pay tribute to the nautical breakthroughs that came about here.
Port Huron is an excellent location for boat-lovers. Conveniently located along the Great Lakes Waterway; Lake Huron stretching north as the mighty St. Clair River runs south to Detroit. The nautical city and its surrounding towns are affectionately called “the Blue Water Area” because the deep waterways are truly blue in color and sometimes Caribbean turquoise.
Honoring The Past
Many of the antique boats that will fill the River Street Marina for the ACBS International Boat Show will bear the names Chris-Craft and Gar Wood and it just so happens that the city of Algonac, a few miles south of Port Huron, was the birthplace of these legendary boating companies. With mechanical skill, a passion for building, and, perhaps, a need for speed, Christopher Columbus Smith and Garfield Arthur Wood became innovators of the boating industry. Together and separately, they built wooden recreational powerboats as well as speedboats for racing, even setting many world records including “fastest on water” in 1932 at 124.9 miles per hour. The city of Algonac holds these achievements dear, honoring the builders with a commanding monument along the riverfront and sharing their dynamic stories in the Algonac-Clay Historical Society Maritime Museum.
Bring Your Kayak!
Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, and other inland rivers and canals have together made the Blue Water Area a paddling destination. Bring your own kayak or rent from a local outfitter and see the sights by way of water! Designated water trails exist throughout the region including the Island Loop National Water Trail in Port Huron, the Krispin Blueway on Harsens Island, and the Pine River Paddle in St. Clair. ADA-accessible kayak launches throughout the area provide a ramp with handrails for smoother entry into the water. Find more details on these trails and other paddling information at www.bluewaysofstclair.org.
Seeing The Sights
The Huron Lady Cruises is one of the most popular attractions in the area. The double-decked sightseeing cruise boat takes passengers on a narrated tour of the St. Clair River, beneath the Blue Water Bridges, and into Lake Huron. For a guided tour on land, hop aboard the Blue Water Trolley for only 10 cents! The narrated trolley ride takes passengers through the heart of downtown Port Huron and around to its historical landmarks.
Downtown And Beyond
After-hours entertainment and things to do abound in Port Huron. Grab a bite to eat downtown, choosing from over 20 cafes, diners, and taverns. Guests will appreciate the unique ambiance of each restaurant and their one-of-a-kind dishes. Many locals serve craft beer and locally-sourced menu items.
On Main Street, historical buildings are home to modern storefronts and boutiques. An assortment of shops offer delightful opportunities for lake-style décor, stylish clothing collections, hand-crafted items, and antique treasures. Sperry’s Moviehouse is also right downtown and features 12 boutique theaters with luxury-style recliners and a restaurant that will deliver right to your movie seat!
And, if total relaxation is on your weekend list, then visit one of two day spas located downtown and feel any tensions wash right down the river.
To explore the Blue Water Area’s other waterfront towns, take the shoreline road or cruise by boat. Head north to Lexington for a laid-back beachy community. The quaint village is hopping with excellent boutique shops, a concert venue and beach on Lake Huron, plus several restaurants and a local brewing and wine company. Head south to charming St. Clair for a beautiful boardwalk along the St. Clair riverfront, shops and dining, plus many picturesque gathering spots.
Port Huron and the Blue Water Area will be happy to welcome the Antique and Classic Boat Society in September as well as boat-lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking to enjoy some time along the waterfront.
For more information on things to do and events in the Blue Water Area, visit www.bluewater.org.
This article first appeared in the Launch Issue (May/June) 2018 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.