While the S.S. Badger has been honored with a placement on the National Register of Historic Places, its beginnings were humble. First setting sail in 1953, the Badger originally carried railcars, along with a few select passengers, across scenic Lake Michigan year round. Now the last of the United States’s coal-fired steamships, the 410-foot vessel ships cargo of a different kind, transporting guests and their vehicles across Lake Michigan with the comforts and amenities of a modern cruise ship, with efforts to improve their ship environmentally in the near future.
While the boat embarks along between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, guests amble through the open deck for views of the scenic shorelines or set up shop on deck chairs, armed with a cool drink and a Mermaid-to-English dictionary. The ship’s shaded interior entertains with movies, guests shouting at celebratory bingo, and arcade games giving off musical tones as kids set new high scores. For a more muted ride, private staterooms let guests snooze away the hours, and a quiet room elucidates the ship’s history in hushed solitude. An in-house bar blends, shakes, and stirs ingredients into a range of refreshing cocktails, while the café showcases artfully crafted sandwiches like a deli hall of fame.
At Handsome Hobo Pizzeria, the chefs put a local American twist on classic Italian cuisine. In the kitchen, they toss risottos with vegetables and seafood, and pastas with meats and sauce. They also prepare both Chicago-style deep-dish and New York-style thin-crust pizzas. At the bar, 16 wines pour from a refrigerated tap. The aromas of herbs and spices waft through an eclectic space created by interior designer and HGTV Star finalist Tylor Devereaux, conjuring an atmosphere that seems to fit the restaurant's name. Seats gather on the outside rims of striped banquettes, and against a brass-topped table curved around an open fire pit. The restaurant's walls, some painted and others covered with reclaimed wood, are hung with everything from vintage signs to typewriters.
The unconscious mind is where the brain's automatic thought processes reside, making it the realm of habit, addictions, and infuriatingly stuck songs. Master hypnotist Rick Wheeler of Mastermind Hypnosis Services works inside this typically inaccessible sphere, relaxing his clients to the point that he can implant positive ideas or unravel negative ones. With his soothing voice, Rick instructs the mind to cease cravings for unhealthy foods, cigarettes, and other people's fingernails. Rick also turns his talents toward comedy, suggesting outlandish situations and behaviors to volunteers who fall under his spell at parties and events.
Although Nonie's serves up a smorgasbord of internationally inspired eats, ranging from mediterranean chicken to italian sausages, Windy City cuisine is the most prominent. The menu features Chicago-style Vienna beef hot dogs, gyros, and italian-beef sandwiches. Both traditional and deep-dish pizzas emerge from the oven sprinkled with various toppings, such as roasted artichokes, scrambled eggs, and homemade kifta kabob meat. Portions are large, so customers should come with an appetite or a sweater with lots of empty pockets.
At McCabe Aero, Master Flight Instructor Greg McCabe takes aspiring aviators under his wing. Beginners learn the finer points of piloting helicopters and personal aircraft during lessons that cover everything from pre-flight checks to step-by-step instructions for parallel parking between clouds. From there, the sky is the proverbial limit, and students can continue with the instruction until they earn their Private Pilot's License or Airport Transport License, or work toward becoming Certified Flight Instructors themselves.
West Michigan Kiteboarding helps riders conquer Lake Michigan, change their lifestyle, and get in shape with kiteboarding lessons. Using the power of the wind, riders can enjoy being peacefully propelled across the order, or more experienced riders can leap into the air or flip over the waves as the kite holds you aloft.