This is an excellent free attraction in the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore Park. The drive from Traverse City takes less than one hour. There is almost no traffic up here in the middle of Summer, how strange, and so your kids (or Grandkids) can run up and down the unpaved roads unmolested. The intrepid die hard history buff in your family will just have to wait until the museum opens at 10 or 11AM (very unrushed and laid back here, you betcha), so maybe go down to the wide sandy beach and roll around for awhile until the Park Ranger hoists Old Glory to begin the day's activities.
There are buildings that appear to be defunct barracks of some sort positioned beside the paved road, and close to the car park is a building, labeled "Cannery". I don't remember what was ever canned here but I suspect it was fruit. The 1900's U. S. Coast Guard station is restored and quite a beauty. We didn't go inside and I don't know if anyone can. The Lifesaving boats can be seen without going inside the museum if the big old doors have been opened, facing the Lake.
There was some construction activity going on in the village, apart from the Coast Guard buildings, in and around the "general store" which may at some future time offer Inn lodging, I only heard the rumour.
When the Sun comes up high, you may do as we did and refresh in the lake waters for awhile before moving on to the next tourist attraction, the village of Glen Arbor, another must- do in the area, for a meal. We have usually enjoyed mostly fine weather whenever we visit Lake Michigan up north, anywhere from late July to late August.
Very highly recommended
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