We left South Dakota on July 24th and spent one night at Hill's RV Park in Plankinton, SD before entering the state of Minnesota. We stayed another night at Checkers Welcome Campground in Welcome, MN before arriving at the Minneapolis Northwest KOA in Maple Grove, MN for a 4-night stay. We decided on this short stay primarily to explore the vibrant city of Minneapolis and visit The Mall of America.
We took the short drive to Minneapolis on July 27th. It was fun exploring the downtown area and old flour mills on the banks of the Mississippi River near St. Anthony's Falls. We walked around the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and took pictures near the colorful and unique art sculptures, including the famous giant spoon balancing the ruby-red cherry. We stopped to admire the beautiful architecture at The Basilica of Saint Mary, and Pat enjoyed a quick brew at Surly Brewery near Prospect Park before heading back to the RV park for the night.
The next day we drove to The Mall of America. With more than 520 stores, this gigantic mall is the largest mall in the United States. Pat is not a fan of malls, and he did visit this mall a few years ago during a work trip, however; he thought I would like to see the famous mall since we were in the Minneapolis area. This is much more than just a mall, with an amusement park, Lego Land, entertainment center, and 50 restaurants. Approximately 40 million people visit the mall annually. We strolled around for a couple of hours, and it was also a great way to get our daily steps in!
Mall of America
On our last day in Minneapolis, we took Myah for a walk in Minnehaha Park. After our hike, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in Powderhorn Park. Myah enjoyed a little treat, too!
On July 30th, we left the Minneapolis area and spent one night at a Harvest Host, Bull Falls Brewery, in Wausau, WI. Pat supported our "hosts" by sampling their selection of beers on tap. He also rated this brewery to be the best one he's visited so far! We'll see if this title holds up as we continue our travels around the country.
Bull Falls Brewery
Our next stop, on July 31st, was at, River Park Campground in Menominee, MI for a 4-night stay. This is a small city park located on the Menominee River which made for a quiet, peaceful stay.
We visited the Lighthouse at Ann Arbor Park and enjoyed the daily, golden-red sunsets on Green Bay.
Stay in Menominnie
We made our way further north on August 4th to Pictured Rocks RV Park, in Christmas, MI, for a 5-night stay. This park was perfectly located near Munising, MI in what I would consider the Upper Peninsula's most scenic area. The name "Pictured Rocks", comes from the mineral-stained streaks that appear to have been "painted" on the rock, from seeping groundwater. It's hard to describe how beautiful this area is and how clean the aqua-green waters of Lake Superior (the world's largest freshwater lake) are without seeing it in person. Pat and I thought the water was reminiscent of the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe.
We took a boat ride on The Riptide one day which took us around Grand Island where we could view the coastline from the water. The multi-colored cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and arches along the lakeshore were absolutely breathtaking. We were also lucky to catch a glimpse of a couple of resident eagles, perched high in the trees above the cliffs, during our 90-minute tour. It was a "picture" perfect day for a boat ride.
Riptide boat ride.
The next day we hiked the strenuous10.3 mile Grand Marais trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to get another perspective of the shoreline from land. It was hot and exhausting but worth the exertion to see more of this spectacular area.
Hike along the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline.
Pat enjoyed a brew and I had a cider at By George Brewing Co in Munising to end our last day in the amazing UP.
This is what the full-time RV'ing lifestyle is all about. We feel so blessed to be able to experience these places in our beautiful country. Our next destination will take us to another country for a short visit!