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.
PDQ Car Wash has been cleaning cars and trucks since 1960. The Ultimate Exterior wash restores a car's youthful shimmer with a double pre-soap and a full exterior wash, and the tricolor and clear-coat sealers ensure a lasting shine. An under-chassis flush removes any dirt or gremlins before car pedicurists clean the wheels. The Manager's Special wash begins with an ashtray emptying, dashboard wiping, and thorough interior vacuuming to remove taco crumbs and dinosaur bones. The attention shifts to the auto's exterior as washers set up a pulley-platform system, helping themselves reach every window, apply tricolor conditioner, and de-ice the locks in the winter or after driving into a meat locker. After an exterior wash and under-chassis flush, warm air and towels dry the car as a Victorian shoe shiner polishes its wheels.
Helmed by a pair of local muscle-car enthusiasts, Apex Autosports restores freshly minted speedsters and tottering jalopies alike to their pinnacles of performance and aesthetics with a full range of services. During the 3–4-hour detailing, the Apex crew meticulously removes built-up grime and clouds of chrome-eating bats from every fender nook and door cranny with an exterior hand wash. Next, an interior detailing shampoos carpets and de-gunks surfaces so that moss-covered dashboards are once again distinguishable from fuzzy dice. To keep cars from falling apart during daily jaunts to the pet store for more whale food, an Apex mechanic will subject steel steeds to an exacting mechanical inspection that identifies issues before they pupate into problems. For optimal service, Apex recommends that customers drop off grungy autos the night before so technicians can start work immediately at 7 a.m. the next day.
Road dirt and grime fall away at the first touch of Full Service Car Wash’s soft cloths and liquid soaps. At any of its four locations, automatic tunnels lavish cars from roof to undercarriage with rust-preventing waxes, triple-coat paint shields, and clear-coat polysealants that rebuild the vehicle’s glossy and reflective finish. For more extensive auto care, they’ll shampoo the seats clean and machine polish the finish in the detailing center.
Scrub A Dub carwash and oil-change centers have been popping up around the Metro Milwaukee Area since the company's origins in 1947. A team of AOCA-certified lube technicians mans each garage, expertly administering professional oil changes and a wide range of transmission, radiator, and other automotive repair services. Each center is home to an advanced automated carwash system, which uses gentle cleaners, conditioning waxes, and premium polishes to gussy up automobile exteriors.
At Diamond Brite Auto Detailing, cleaning crews restore cars of all shapes and sizes with interior and exterior detailing services. They hand-wash and wax surfaces, removing scratches and ridding tires of dirt and muck. On the inside, the team vacuums and steam-cleans carpets and upholstery, wipes down the dash before applying a vinyl protectant, and removes stork nests attached to the roof. Aside from auto detailing, Diamond Brite creates custom paint jobs for cars, repairs or replaces cracked windshields, and removes road paint and overspray. The garage can also detail cars while customers are at work with their free pickup and delivery service.