I think we can all agree that road trips are some of the best vacations. For one, it gives you many opportunities to spend quality time with friends and family. Some of my favourite memories from when I was young were road-tripping with my family all up and down the North shore of Lake Superior. But what were always my best, most favourite memories? Listening to music and creating playlists for and with my family to sing along to, listen to, and enjoy the melodies that perfectly reflect the beauty we see out the windows. 

So, with that in mind, here are some tunes inspired by parts of the Lake Superior Circle Tour that you will see and experience as you make your way around. Without further hesitation, let’s jump right into it! 

Lake Superior Personified – The Classics of the Shore Line 

The first playlist I put together is in honour of Lake Superior. In the simplest terms, I curated these songs with personifying the lake in mind. The way I see it, Lake Superior already has its own personality; it is a living thing capable of being content, captivating, and calm or wide awake with its massive waves exploding onto the shore. It can switch its mood in an hour, going from peaceful to rageful with the slightest gust of wind. But, overall, one thing’s for sure: it will always be the most breathtaking thing you will set your eyes on. What better way to personify this than through the genre of classic rock? 

If we think about bands from the golden era of rock’n’roll, no matter what decade we’re talking about, they all have the kind of beauty you can’t turn away from. Much like Lake Superior, classic rock songs have immense power, freeness, and a playfulness that is so incredibly gripping. What sounds, or in Lake Superior’s case looks, like chaos is actually very calculated and controlled. Both this great lake and this great era of music allow the people who love them to let go of reality and get lost in the crashing drums (waves), storming guitar (moods), and epic voices (sights).  

Like I said, while Lake Superior is a place with an unbound free spirit that does what it pleases, so does rock n’ roll. That’s what makes it so rock, right? I’ve chosen songs on this playlist that are both calm, beautiful, and atmospheric but at the same time fast, unchained, and rowdy. For a sneak peek, on this playlist, you will find Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and my personal favourite, White Hot by Red Rider.

Into the Woods – A Soundtrack for Magical Forests

One of the most beautiful parts of the Lake Superior Circle Tour is driving through incredible forestry. For starters, the seasons’ many colours give you a sight to marvel at no matter where you go. Then, when you can get out and stroll through the trees with your own two feet, the bush embraces you into tranquility with open arms. Your deep breaths are fresher, and the air is full of the sweetest smelling sap. Within the shade of the tree canopies, it is genuinely one of my favourite places to be.

Folk and happy acoustic tunes always come to mind when representing the forests I am so fond of in song. Whenever I hear a tender strum of an acoustic guitar and soft melodic voices, I always picture the golden sun dripping off leaves and branches or striking snowflakes piled high on naked trees, sparkling bright like winter stars. Either way, they’ve got a magical essence to them, and these songs are no different. 

I curated this playlist to make your spirit happy and yearn for the adventure you can only find within the forests surrounding the Lake Superior Circle Tour. On it, you will find songs like Ooh La La by The Faces, Ophelia by The Lumineers, and Strawberry Swing by Coldplay. I hope these songs bring you as much joy as they bring me and remind you of the trees swaying in the sunshine while it tempts your curiosity to explore the never-ending beauty this piece of nature has to offer.

The Small Town Tunes of the Good Ol’ Days

As someone raised in a small town on Lake Superior, one thing is sure: how we grew up is just like in the movies. We all know each other’s names and business, but we’re all there for each other when it comes down to it. There’s also a certain nostalgia that comes from growing up in a small town. Some houses look like they have stayed the same since 1975, and the downtown strips have been the same since the town’s creation.

Now that I’m an adult, I always find myself being called back to my youth and the memories of exploring the same four streets with my childhood friends without care. The funny thing is, when I talk to my dad about what it was like for him growing up in the same town as me, he says the exact same thing. It’s so interesting how time seems to stay still in these towns. All of the towns you will find yourselves in while travelling the Lake Superior Circle Tour are different, but we’re all the same at our core. 

So, this next playlist is inspired by these feelings of being young and growing up. With influences from specific music decades that I believe are most reminiscent of the ‘good ol’ days,’ these 70s and 80s tunes will bring back your fondest memories of your adolescence and make you smile. To me, they remind me of how I felt growing up here and how I feel looking back on being young in a place that nurtured youthful nonsense and encouraged it. On this ‘mixtape,’ if you will, you will find songs like Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen, Night Moves by Bob Seger, and Waiting for a Star to Fall by Boy Meets Girl.

 You and the Open Road – The Best Place to Sing Along

When it comes to hitting the road for long journeys, the cherry on top, alongside the awesome sights and great company, has to be the tunes that make you belt out those lyrics. It’s not just a blast; it’s a bonding experience for everyone on the trip, and believe me, it’ll be a memory that sticks around for years to come.

This is a playlist that has no particular rhyme or reason to it. It has everything on it; when I say everything, I mean everything. This playlist features hits that span across decades and genres, but the one thing they share is that you’ll definitely know every single word. Want an example? On this karaoke-inspired playlist, you will find songs like Jump by Van Halen, Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and Respect by Aretha Franklin. I hope this playlist allows you to make as many memories as it did for me! 

And You’re Off!

I created these playlists with as much care and thought as possible for you. Where the Lake Superior Circle Tour tells you stories about the people you will meet and the sights you will see, I believe that music tells a story, too. With this thought in mind, I hope you love the stories these songs tell, and I hope they help you make your own. Have a fantastic trip!