Enjoyed a horseback riding tour through the beautiful Huron National Forest. The route was very pretty and the horses were well trained.
I grew up in Oscoda and never visited Lumberman's Monument because "it's for tourists." Wish I would have gone earlier. The view from the bottom is amazing, well worth the crazy hike back up those steps! The log jam is great for large group pictures too, I've been on it with about 50 other people!
I was pleasantly surprised by this place. It's much smaller than other President's homes, but the staff/tour guides make up for that with shear knowledge of this cool president. When we went it was pouring down rain, so we didn't spend much time checking out the grounds or out-buildings, but even without that it was well worth the trip. The main house is pretty basic, though very authentic. Our tour guide was fabulous. He knew a lot about Monroe and his life and family and took pride in sharing that information in a way that kept your attention. The groups are small (there were only 7 in mine) which make it easier to ask questions and dialogue about what you're seeing/hearing. Very good!
One of the better "President's homes." You can buy tickets and check-in at the gift shop. The tour starts with a video giving a little background and then you begin the walking tour across the grounds and into the house. The tour guide we had was wonderful, very knowledgeable and fun. Once they have taken you through the main house you are set loose to explore some more, including the "basement" kitchens and slave quarters. They also have quite a few extra things going on around the grounds, including a period cooking demonstration, an archaeological dig site, and more. They have taken great care to restore this home to be an accurate portrayal of when Madison lived there.
Highlight: the view from Madison's library/study. Amazing, I can see how he was inspired to write the constitution from there!
I had an afternoon free in San Francisco during a business trip and the one thing I wanted to do was see Alcatraz. It did not disappoint! The boat trip over was about 15 minutes (and very windy, take a sweater even if it's warm out) and you get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way over. Once you land there is a guy to sort of give instructions and a general overview of what's there and where. It's a pretty good walk, all uphill, to the cell block where you can catch the audio tour (included in your ticket price). I didn't have a lot of time and was by myself, so I found myself skipping ahead (and around the throngs of people), so not everything I was hearing was exactly what I was looking at, but it was still really enjoyable. I will say you have to get tickets at least a week or two ahead (longer if you have a big group). There were a number of people from my business meetings who wanted to go but couldn't get tickets once we were there. Very cool, well worth the roughly $30 price tag.