Comfy sofas, a full kitchen area, an ample back deck: the amenities of the 1984 Chris-Craft Commander sound like those in a spacious home. But the Commander is actually the 33-foot boat that U.S. Coast Guard-certified Captain Matt pilots on relaxing journeys along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Setting sail from Algoma City Marina at 6 p.m., Captain Matt whisks away upward of six passengers on leisurely 45-minute cruises to Kewaunee. Once there, his guests have 90 minutes to enjoy an indoor or outdoor feast at Port O'Call, whose menu options range from shrimp scampi to chicken wraps with parmesan peppercorn dressing. Afterward, Matt returns passengers to Algoma by 9 p.m. or their fairy godmother-enforced curfew. He invites his guests to bring their own beverages for the journey, and offers picturesque seating on his back deck or the boat's fly bridge.
Fairways stitched by mature trees connect across 6,802 yards of rolling greenery to form Royal Scot Golf Club’s 18-hole, par-72 course. Water hazards come into play on 10 holes, including the par-4 fifth, where a bashful green flanked by bunkers on both sides conceals its ballmarks by hiding behind a front water hazard. Replete with eight yardage signs that extend 250 yards into the distance and a large grass hitting area, the club’s 30-stall driving range gives guests the upper hand by straightening out swings before upcoming rounds.
After hacking their way from green to green, hungry golfers can replenish at the club’s two full dining rooms—both with full-service bars—or place an order from their perch on the expansive outdoor deck. Wireless Internet keeps devices abreast of the latest news, personal emails, or domestic-cat sightings, and golf supplies and veteran instructors wait to enhance games at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,802 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Link to scorecard
Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery's winemaker Steve Johnson and owner Maria Milano shepherd their staff as they transmute Wisconsin varietal grapes into an array of award-winning cool-climate wines. The vineyard's vines?some of which can withstand weather 30 degrees below zero and pinches from elderly snowmen?spawn year-round grapes such as frontenac, st. pepin, and petite pearl. Guides conduct regular public and scheduled private tours of the vineyards, production facilities, and a tasting room decked in cream-colored walls and hardwood accents.
Named for a line of latitude running through Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Green Bay area, the winery abounds with local culture and Mediterranean atmosphere. Villa arches and wide windows overlook colonnades and rolling green fields, enabling staff to ensure free-growing grapes don't wander to other pastures. The winery grounds swell with revelers during a range of seasonal events, such as festivals and a concert series.
If you scroll through RV Charters’ photo album, you’ll spy dozens of proud fishermen standing on the deck of charter boats, straining to lift massive salmon and steelhead above their chests. The success of these fishing trips stems partially from RV Charters' top-notch equipment—captains monitor sonars, GPS, and radars, and equip their charges with electric downriggers. They also offer tips to novice fishermen, from selecting the proper bait to imitating the salmon’s mournful mating call. In addition to hosting fishing charters, RV Charters' staff rents out lakefront condos, thereby facilitating multiday excursions across Lake Michigan.
While fermenting and aging, Von Stiehl Winery's 25 wines reside in underground limestone caverns that date back to the Civil War era. Brothers Aric and Brad Schmiling build on experience as a chemist and theater engineer to maintain the winery and stock its online store with French- and American-style blends such as a gold medal-winning cabernet sauvignon, brandy-fortified cherry wine, and merlot aged in French oak, all of which woo palates more gently than Cyrano de Bergerac in a pillow fight. Visits to the storied winery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, allow guests to soak in bold Austrian and Italian architecture as they pass through fermentation quarters and a production facility. Seasonal events range from tastings and food pairings to live music and grape-stomping competitions. In warmer weather, sprawling grass lawns grant panoramic views of Lake Michigan.