One place that is really special for our family is Bruce Peninsula in the Georgian Bay. We live in a North Eastern suburb of Detroit, and it takes only a half-hour to reach the Canadian border via Sarnia. From there, the Georgian Bay coastal route winds its way along Lake Huron to a tiny fishing village called Tobermory, which occupies the very tip of the peninsula. Georgian Bay has more than 30,000 islands! The area boasts two National Canadian Parks and Canada's Longest Footpath, the Bruce Trail. The area is remote and frankly, I can't imagine anyone who claims to love either stargazing or hiking missing out on this magical place. The character of Bruce Peninsula is enhanced by its extraordinary granite rock formations, carved away during the last ice age.
One of the most scenic places on Bruce Peninsula rests within its National Park: The Grotto. It's a substantial cave, located right on the Georgian Bay shoreline. I've never seen water this color, except for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Carribean. Swimming is the Grotto is permitted, but wear your hiking shoes, as the shoreline here is quite rocky and challenging. Literally, there are only two ways into the cave: the first is a small tunnel that would be completely off-limits for most young children or elderly visitors; the second is a climb down the open face of a forty-foot high cliff.
Within the Fathom Five National Marine Park rests an incredible place: Flowerpot Island. Access to the Island is not difficult, as there are many tour boats from Tobermory. One of the things that blew me away about this Island was how meticulously well-maintained its facilities and trails were kept. I swear that the bathroom on this island was much cleaner than my own has ever been at home! This care makes it possible for children and older visitors to navigate through most of the Island's most spectacular features, such as the famous "flowerpot" rock pillars (which are naturally, not man-made) and historic light house (pictured below.)