MI - Muskegon (US-31) - Great Lakes Naval Memorial

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The Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum is a unique war memorial. Several floating exhibits are prominently featured, two of them carried their sailors to war. The USS Silversides was in service throughout World War II, ranking third highest among tonnage sunk by submarines in that war.

The US Coast Guard Cutter McLane was built in 1927 as one of 33 ships built to enforce the Volstad Act (Prohibition). During WW II these same cutters saw duty as convoy escort in the North Atlantic and patrol duties in the North Pacific. In 1942 Cutter McLane successfully depth charged and sunk a Japanese submarine in the Bering Sea, becoming one of the first naval vessels of any US service to destroy a Japanese vessel of war.

A typical visit will last one or two hours, depending upon the length of time spent aboard the floating units. The small collection of photos and artifacts inside the museum building and gift shop is much larger than it seems, the size of the building is the limiting factor on what is displayed.

Because of its' proximity to the great beach areas of Lake Michigan, this stopover might easily become an overnight stay destination. There are plenty of reasonably priced motels in the Muskegon area and restaurants and entertainment galore. The more adventurous riders might even consider taking a high speed ferry ride across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee and enjoy the sights on the western side of the lake. The only drawback is you must tie the motorcycle down on the vehicle deck and ride in comfort while enjoying the beautiful waters of the lake.

Find the museum by following Lakeshore to Pere Marquette Park. It's a city street, but once you get near the lake it becomes a very scenic ride, complete with a few twists and steep hills.

You will pass by a Lake Michigan park which offers a nice place to picnic before or after your visit. There is ample space in the memorial parking lot. Enjoy your stay.

1346 Bluff Street, Muskegon, MI 49441, phone (231) 755-1230.

GPS 43°13′39″N 86°20′19″W