Great Lakes Gift Guide 2020: Remember that road trip, boat ride, microbrew or sweatshirt you should’ve bought with this list

Great Lakes Gift Guide 2020: Remember that road trip, boat ride, microbrew or sweatshirt you should’ve bought with this list
December 16, 2020 Natasha Blakely

Want to give your loved ones a holiday gift that connects to that summer trip up north or the fall color tour you took together? 

Or maybe you have a trip planned for after the COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed and want to give them something to remind them they have something to look forward to. 

Lake Superior shoreline off Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Great Lakes Now Episode 1006)

Try these gifts from a variety of places in the Great Lakes region in our selected categories of markets, food and drink, potato chips, books, home decor and wearables:


Do you regret not stopping at that mom-and-pop store you drove by during your summer road trips? Or are you looking for a more personal gift to remind someone of those road trips? 

Stop by one of the many holiday and craft markets that have popped up this month. It’s also a great chance to support some of the smallest of small businesses. 

Check out what markets there are in your area, or try one of these:


Food and Drink

If we started listing Great Lakes brews and associated merchandise, that’s all that would fill this guide.

Photo courtesy of spoon.com

American Spoon Foods

  • Most people already have a favorite, but if you’re looking for something new, most towns and cities have a local brewery or distillery like Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 
  • If you want a non-alcoholic brew, grab a bag of beans from Michigan’s Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company or Minnesota’s Northern Coffeeworks
  • American Spoon offers plenty of cooking and baking accessories along with Michigan-made jams with Michigan fruit. 


Potato Chips

This should fall under food and drink, but potato chips are such a big part of Great Lakes region eating culture that they deserve its own section. Who doesn’t have their favorite local or regional brand of chips? If you don’t, it’s time to discover what’s popular near you.

Though there’s sure to be many more delicious brands, here are some of the more well-known in the region:

Better Made potato chips (Photo Credit: Natasha Blakely)




Home Decor

  • This 3D-printed map of Lake St. Clair by DanielsDDDesigns shows the depth and topography of the lake and immediate surrounding area in striking shades of blue and green.
  • Fresh Coast Candles’ Lake Effect candle

    For a more rustic map, this carved wooden map by thirtyAXIS shows the depth and layout of the five Great Lakes, and you can choose whether you want a one-dimensional, two-dimensional or three-dimensional carving. 

  • Coasters made of petoskey stones by HANNI offer a colorful and familiar sight to grace your coffee table.
  • Holland, Michigan’s Fresh Coast Candles will light up your house with fragrances like Sleeping Bear, Harbor Harvest, Dew of the Lake, Lake Effect, Snow Birds and more.
  • Holland’s Lake Effect art gallery offers a wide range of lighthouse paintings that will match the rest of your lake decor. 
  • Lake Superior Photo and photographer Shawn Malone have prints of the Lake Superior region showcasing the gorgeous natural wonders of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior. The photography was featured in Great Lakes Now monthly show Episode 1019 segment “Shooting Superior Skies.”
Night Sky Photography by Shawn Malone / Lake Superior Photo

Night Sky Photography by Shawn Malone / Lake Superior Photo


  • Harbor Wear for Lake Michigan-themed shirts and apparel

    Peninsulas’ HOMES long-sleeved T-shirt

  • Peninsulas for Michigan wilderness-themed gear, including a T-shirt explaining to people what each of the letters of HOMES means
  • Stormy Kromer for that classic Great Lakes look even if the products aren’t emblazoned with the name of a lake. For that 2020 vibe, get their flannel face mask, available in a variety of plaid patterns
  • The Brave Wimp for ecofriendly accessories like these wood Great Lakes earrings or necklace


Great Lakes Now is not receiving any money or sponsorships from these companies or products.

Catch up on news on Great Lakes Now:

“Saving the Great Lakes”: National Geographic December issue explores the lakes and their struggles

Public Concern: Climate change, runoff and chemicals at the forefront of people’s worries about the Great Lakes

Oldest Coast Guard cutter with smallest crew and largest Great Lakes responsibility needs replacing

What should justice look like for Flint after the water crisis? Residents weigh in

Wisconsin climate task force releases its recommendations

API key not valid. Please pass a valid API key.

Featured image: Small snowman figure next to small wrapped present (Photo by Michael Pardo via Flickr CC0 1.0)


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *