To the unseasoned Michigan traveler, Sault Ste Marie may appear to be merely a family vacation spot rather than a romantic getaway. However, like many excursions in this fair state, it has the capacity to be the perfect date excursion for couples who are looking for fun, romance, and adventure (even on a budget).
My most recent jaunt to the Upper Peninsula happened to be on my one year anniversary. My goal was to put together and discover the perfect couple’s day in Sault Ste Marie. Never fear! Mission complete. From sunsets out of a storybook to freighter watching at night, the area offered a date for the scrapbooks and the memories for a lifetime.
Our lovely day began with a walk at the park near the Soo Locks Visitor Center. The early morning shed light on the downtown and the freighters slowly passed by in the locks. It was idyllic.
Nearby was the Museum Ship Valley Camp where we were able to run up and down a freighter’s deck, and we took cute selfies in the captain’s quarters (there might have been a selfie stick involved in this process). The back deck offered views of the river and passing boats, so we watched ferries with waving passengers. Here, we also discovered two hanging lifeboats that were recovered from the Edmond Fitzgerald, a ship that sank in rough waters during a Lake Superior storm that killed all 24 crew members.
Lockside Golf is a fun, yet challenging putt-putt course that we chose to add a little friendly competition to our date. During our game, we were both confident we were going to beat each other. Every hole is a par two, although, I can guarantee the course is more challenging than that might imply. I’d like to brag and say I won by a landslide, and I absolutely regret not setting an ice cream bet beforehand.
Right next to the golf course is Karl’s Cuisine, a winery and phenomenal lunch hot spot. Upon arrival, it seemed that the prices would be steep, but the environment was relaxed and prices were reasonable. The low-key environment allowed for good conversation and made us want to set down the distracting electronics. The faint piano music added the final touch of romantic yet casual ambiance.
In the afternoon, we decided it was time for a little adventure and a road trip. We took off toward the west with a destination of Point Iroquois Lighthouse. Located on the tip of a peninsula about a 40-minute drive from town, the lighthouse and beach are the perfect settings for a movie-like evening.
We arrived about forty minutes before sunset, and spent the time skipping rocks (or in my case, attempting to skip rocks), gazing at Lake Superior and the horizon, and enjoying the simple pleasure of nature’s peace and quiet. There is a gatekeeper who lives at the lighthouse year around, and I have to say I am incredibly jealous. He owns a cat who is often seen roaming the grounds and playing in the dunes. The keeper has lined the lighthouse with lights, so it is lit up as dusk settles. We took our time going home, walking slowly up the path and back to the car.
The perfect night ended back downtown for ice cream, freighters, and wine (quite the winning combination, frankly). Zak’s Kandy Haus had the perfect selection of ice cream flavors, and there were benches to eat at along the street. I had my favorite, mint chocolate chip, and had no shame when I ordered the double scoop.
1668 Winery & Lockside Brewery is open until 11 PM equipped with an outside deck where freighters can be spotted going along the river. We made a toast for the closing of a pleasant day, and it ended near the Soo Locks where it began. This moment and everything in between was simply perfect.