Summer is for camping out on a boozy restaurant patio, trekking to a bizarre street fair, and exploring uncharted literature while planted on the sand. Summer is for buying produce outside, watching bands outside, and indulging in semiridiculous childish acts outside. Summer is for playing on the lake, playing with your dog, and taking a cruise on the lake with your dog. But mostly, summer is for comebacks—coming back from the collective hell we call winter.
We didn't plan for "comebacks" to be the overriding theme in the four travel stories in our summer guide (which includes the goings-on we think are most worth your precious summer hours). But there you have it: a blues festival that's being resurrected, a pristine beach that's seeing a resurgence, and the ultimate comeback: a confirmed visit from the Virgin Mary. Admittedly, we're not exactly sure what kind of comeback Blarney Island is making, but suffice it to say we couldn't resist a floating bar whose claim to infamy is "babes, bikinis, bands, boats, and beer."
All this stuff is about as far from hell as we can imagine. Enjoy it while you can.
This isn't heaven. It's Wisconsin. By Sam Worley
The resurgence of a Benton Harbor beach By Joanné von Alroth
Southwest Michigan's naturally beautiful beaches By Joanné von Alroth
The return of Benton Harbor's old-school blues fest By David Whiteis