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Great Lakes Maritime Visitors Center Reopens for the Season

One of the gems of northern Michigan, the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Visitors Center opened back up to the public on Thursday.

For the past two years, touring the visitors center hasn’t been the same, but it’ll feel like everything is back to normal this time around. “It was tough for the staff, and it was tough for the community, and we appreciate the patience and support we had from the community throughout the last two years,” said Jeff Gray, superintendent of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

New this year, the roof deck has been expanded, and the many exhibits throughout the building give visitors a better idea of what kind of landmarks there are in the area. “People come in here and learn, not just about the sanctuary, but the wonderful other resources in northeast Michigan, the state parks, the lighthouses,” said Gray. “What we try to do is have them come here and discover the great downtowns and go and explore after their visit here.”

It’s not just tourists that come to visit but students as well. “Student groups will start coming as early as next week, and when we see that first yellow bus from a school, that will probably be the most exciting thing for me,” Gray said.

As of right now, the visitors center is open Thursday through Sunday. Starting May 5, it will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.