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20 Michigan Summer Travel Ideas20 Michigan Summer Travel Ideas

It’s no secret…I LOVE Michigan! I love the winding back country roads, the Mighty Mackinac Bridge and the thriving urban centers. I love the sitting outside on the deck savoring smoked salmon that I caught myself on Lake Michigan, paired with a glass of Michigan wine. I love reading books by local authors and listening to the sounds of local bands. I love our many, diverse festivals and events. (more)
60 Days of Michigan Summer60 Days of Michigan Summer

With two peninsulas, more miles of freshwater shoreline than any other state and countless opportunities from the thriving urban centers to the sprawling rural spaces, Michigan offers a wealth of ideas to keep you busy this summer season. (more)
A Day at the ManorA Day at the Manor

Built in 1925-1926 on the highest point overlooking Gull Lake, the W.K. Kellogg Manor House near Battle Creek and Kalamazoo is one of the most stately homes in Southwest Michigan. The 32-acre site -- with its caretaker's cottage, boathouse, authentic Dutch windmill, lakeside pagoda, carriage house and a greenhouse with a potting shed -- is surrounded by expansive gardens where special events are held during the warm-weather months. (more)
A First-Timer's LookA First-Timer's Look at Bell’s Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race

When I was invited back in October 2014 to cover the Bell’s Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race, it was an honor to accept. Having minimal experience with sailing or sailboat racing (even as a spectator), I thought it was an exciting opportunity to learn about something new that has a long-standing history in Michigan. (more)
All Aboard for Holiday FunAll Aboard for Holiday Fun

Trains have played a key role in the establishment of many of Michigan’s historic tourist towns. Today, excursions trains offer a different kind of traveler experience – especially during the holiday season. (more)
The Allure of FishingThe Allure of Fishing

It's a lesson we can all afford to learn in today's fast-paced world...how to relax, get away and recconect with nature. On almost any given day, fly fishing can teach us just that. (more)
Art of the CocktailArt of the Cocktail

Mixologist Rob Hanks of Reserve Wine and Food in Grand Rapids prides himself on his creative concoctions featuring locally produced spirits. Last year, his passion paid off when his "Shipwreck Rum Punch" was recognized as 2012's top pick in the New Holland Artisan Spirits "Art of the Cocktail" competition. (more)
Avoid Weather WarsAvoid Weather Wars: Become a Skywalker

Getting from place to place in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids doesn't need to be a burden when the weather turns inclement. Whether faced with snow, rain or the heat of a West Michigan summer, you can easily get from "point A" to "point B" in the River city without setting foot outside. (more)
AwakeningsAwakenings

For 24 years in the mid to late 1800s, the community of Fayette was a bustling company town tucked beneath towering limestone bluffs along Bay de Noc at the Garden Peninsula's Snail Shell Harbor. (more)
Back Road BountyBack Road Bounty

Touring the back roads of Michigan will take you past some of the most beautiful countryside, where orchards and vineyards dot the landscape. Wherever you begin your journey, you'll find unique destinations and attractions that pair well with a trip through Michigan's wine country. (more)
Bell’s Brewery Celebrates 5th Year as Title Sponsor of Bell’s Bayview to Mackinac Yacht RaceBell’s Brewery Celebrates 5th Year as Title Sponsor of Bell’s Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race

Larry Bell was born and raised in Chicago, and while he still maintains a presence there (and is a diehard Cubs fan), he has an obvious sweet spot in his heart for Pure Michigan. (more)
Blissful BountyBlissful Bounty

Michigan's tasty treats, bountiful beverages and wholesome snacks make for perfect gift ideas. (more)
Braving New HorizonsBraving New Horizons

At age 12, Detroit native Dawn Riley stepped aboard a 36-foot, Great Lakes cutter with her family and took off on a year-long adventure to the Caribbean and back. She had already learned to sail on Lake St. Clair, becoming a member of the North Start Sail Club and commodore of the junior sailing program. (more)
Bridges to Michigan's PastBridges to Michigan's Past"

In the 1800s when crews began building wooden bridges to cross the rivers and streams around Michigan, they thought it would be easier to add sides and a roof to protect the floorboards as opposed to getting into the flowing water below to replace the basewood. As such, dozens of covered bridges began sprouting up over rivers and streams around the state of Michigan. You are invited to explore these historic structures on your next fall color tour. (more)
Brys Estate’s Secret GardenBrys Estate’s Secret Garden

Tucked back in off Blue Water and Center roads in the heart of the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, a lush 12-acre “Secret Garden” is waiting to be explored. (more)
Buried HistoryBuried History

Much like museums and historic homes, cemeteries offer a glimpse into the lives of a community’s citizens—from the elite to the unknown. (more)
Celebrating a Century of Agricultural HistoryCelebrating a Century of Agricultural History

This year, the Robinette family is celebrating a historic milestone -- their Centennial anniversary! (more)
Cheers to Michigan Beer!Cheers to Michigan Beer!

Have you heard? Michigan is The Great Beer State, and with good reason! Currently, the Michigan Brewers Guild represents 150 member breweries (and counting) throughout the state’s two peninsulas (and ranking Michigan #5 nationally for the overall number of breweries per state). (more)
Circling West MichiganCircling West Michigan

The Lake Michigan Circle Tour route is the culmination of innovation and hard work by visionary Jack Morgan of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Just 14 months after Morgan introduced his Circle Tour concept in 1987, agreement to designate and fund it was reached between the governors of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. In 1998, the route was mapped and signs were posted along all 1,100 miles of Lake Michigan's shoreline. (more)
Classic Resorting Returns in the Style of Bay Pointe InnClassic Resorting Returns in the Style of Bay Pointe Inn

Future guests and local residents are counting the days until the long-awaited Bay Pointe Inn & Restaurant will open its doors, bringing back to Gun Lake the style of resorting found here in the 1800s. The property offers an intimate and boutique feel, resembling communities such as Mackinac Island and Martha's Vineyard. (more)
Clip It, Warm It, Savor ItClip It, Warm It, Savor It

Whoever said enjoying a fine cigar is just for the rich and famous is blowing smoke. A new generation of cigar aficionados has come on the scene and select Grand Rapids establishments are welcoming them. Connoisseurs can enjoy a good smoke at more than a dozen locations in the Grand Rapids area. (more)
Coach Jack Streidl: A Plainwell LegendCoach Jack Streidl: A Plainwell Legend

Ask anyone in this area to name one person synonymous with the Plainwell Trojans and more often than not, you'll hear "Coach Jack Streidl". Since 1945, he has been a fixture here, serving 40 years in the school system as a teacher, coach, role model, father figure, friend, colleague and humanitarian. (more)
Cold PlayCold Play

From pristine trails to rugged wilderness, from towering hardwoods to ice-laden waters, Michigan offers never-ending opportunities to enjoy cold-weather recreation. (more)
Cookin' on the RoadCookin' on the Road

With agriculture and tourism as the state's second and third largest industries, options are on the grow. (more)
A Cool Niche in Carving EntertainingA Cool Niche in Carving Entertaining

Being described “cold as ice” is a compliment for Randy Finch and Derek Maxfield, owners of Ice Sculptures Ltd., in Grand Rapids – and stars of the Food Network’s show Ice Brigade. The two proudly wield chainsaws, picks, saws and other household tools to carve up intricate works of art displayed at weddings, corporate outings, charity functions, community festivals and basically any other venue or event where there’s an audience. (more)
Crafted for LoveCrafted for Love

"Beer and chocolate make wonderful bedfellows," says Fred Bueltmann, Beervangelist at New Holland Brewing Company. "Both delight us with a symphony of roastiness, creaminess, bitterness and sweetness." (more)
The Craft of Judging ArtThe Craft of Judging Art

Perhaps one of the most challenging things for an artist is being judged by others, whether it's by a visitor at an art exhibit or by a juror for an art competition. Art does not fit into a given shape and is not limited by a spectrum of colors. (more)
Cruising into Michigan’s Boating HistoryCruising into Michigan’s Boating History

By the time Walstrom Marine launched its operations in 1946, Harbor Springs was a well-established resort community stretching out along the shores of Little Traverse Bay. Once called called L’Arbre Croche (meaning Crooked Tree) by the Native Americans and later Petit Traverse (Little Traverse) by French traders, the village was incorporated under its current name in 1880. (more)
Deck the Halls – Michigan Style!

As the holiday centerpiece of a home, the Christmas tree is rooted in tradition. For generations, families have been loading their cars and heading out to one of Michigan’s nearly 700 farms, where acres of balsam, white pine, Frasier fir and other evergreens grow. (more)
Discover Harbor Country’s Winter SideDiscover Harbor Country’s Winter Side

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Michigan’s mitten is a quaint collection of towns affectionately known as Harbor Country. A thriving mecca for summer travelers for generations, Harbor Country also boasts a wealth of winter activities along the shores of Lake Michigan. (more)
Discover Hemingway's Northern MichiganDiscover Hemingway's Northern Michigan

You are invited to follow in the Northern Michigan footsteps of one of the world’s most noted authors—Ernest Hemingway. (more)
Discovering & Enjoying Michigan’s Winter PlaygroundDiscovering & Enjoying Michigan’s Winter Playground

For most of my life, I dreaded the arrival of winter in Michigan! The cold, the snow, the blowing winds and treacherous roads – I cursed them and longed for the arrival of spring, the heat of summer and the colors of autumn. Then, about a half-dozen years ago, at the urging of some winter-loving friends, I decided to step outside the warmth of my comfort zone and give the snow a chance. (more)
Driving — The Need for SpeedDriving — The Need for Speed

Imagine driving at speeds in excess of 140 mph behind the wheel of a NASCAR-style stock car with a 600 hp engine. That's the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Student drivers get behind the wheels of actual race cars and drive on real tracks during classes held eight weekends each summer at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. (more)
Earning all A'sEarning all A's

Breakfast by morning. Deli by day. Piano bar by night. The musical transformation of Bite, at the intersection of Pearl Street and Ottawa Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids, has created a classic new hot spot for locals and those in town on business. As you approach the intersection, the piano tunes inside can be heard over the outdoor speakers. (more)
Exploring Henry Ford's northern MichiganExploring Henry Ford's northern Michigan

Early voyageurs to Michigan made their way around the state by birch bark canoes. Then, it was Great Lakes steamers and the railroads that transported families to their northern cottages for summer respite. (more)
Fare TrailsFare Trails

While traversing Michigan's snow-covered trails, skiers and snowshoers can work up an appetite. This winter, at four Michigan locations, they will have a chance to enjoy gourmet foods and tasty fare at stops along their snowy routes. (more)
Finding Thyme on the FarmFinding Thyme on the Farm

Albert M. Todd was one of Michigan's earliest agricultural pioneers, with expansive farms in Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties. By the early 1900s, the A.M. Todd Company was the largest producer of mint in the country; their world headquarters remains in Kalamazoo. (more)
Fire up the GrillFire up the Grill

It’s summer and that means grilling season in the Great Lakes State. With an increased interest in al fresco dining, there are a handful of restaurants opening up their outdoor spaces to accommodate the flavors and savors of the grill. (more)
Fostering the Family TreesFostering the Family Trees

Apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop, with 7.5 million trees covering 37,000 acres on 950 family-run farms. On a national scale, the state ranks third in apple production, with the most popular varieties being Red and Golden Delicious, Gala and the trendy Honeycrisp. (more)
Freeze FrameFreeze Frame

In today's world, consumers are bombarded with thousands of branding messages every day. Planners, exhibitors and promoters need to think outside the cube when choosing a unique element for their event, and the more interactive, the better. Ice may be temporary, but with all the creative ways this old standby is being used, it's sure to leave a lasting impression. (more)
From Farm (and Vinyeard) to TableFrom Farm (and Vinyeard) to Table

With an established history in agriculture and tourism, it's only natural Michigan would proudly embrace an expanding "foodie" culture drawn from the public's desire to whet the appetite with all that is local. (more)
Game Time -- A Cottage TraditionGame Time -- A Cottage Tradition

Elbow-to-elbow with a favorite little-seen cousin or family members too often split by conflicting schedules, nothing much beats a mind-bending Scrabble match, spirited checkers tournament or competitive carrom game played on the screen porch. (more)
Getting Into Michigan's Seasonal SpiritGetting Into Michigan's Seasonal Spirit

Whiskey, vodka and gin…oh my! Distillers around the state are refining their craft and producing an eclectic menu of beverages just perfect for holiday sipping, indulging and gift giving. (more)
Ghostly LightsGhostly Lights

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, and nearly two dozen of these 117 beacons are rumored to be haunted, most by dedicated light keepers or members of their families. Following are a few stories that wash upon their shores. (more)
Giving Thanks for Michigan's Rich BountyGiving Thanks for Michigan's Rich Bounty

Michigan is often referred to as the "Mitten of Plenty" -- and as we head into the fall harvest season it's the perfect time to reflect and give thanks to the state's thriving agricultural bounty. (more)
Glamping is Luxury Camping with ComfortsGlamping is Luxury Camping with Comforts

Imagine yourself getting close to nature with an overnight luxury experience known as glamping. On a global scale, glamping—short for “glamorous camping”—provides guests the opportunity to spend the night in a safari tent, yurt, treehouse, renovated vintage trailer or teepee, often with the amenities of a four-star resort. (more)
Going from Shabby to ChicGoing from Shabby to Chic

I’ve been hitting antique fairs and flea markets since I was in college—intrigued
by the reuse of quaint pieces of furniture that told a story, as well
as served a purpose. Today, I’ve added the online market of eBay to my
shopping repertoire, taking my treasure hunting to the virtual realm. (more)
Gold Coast SunsetsGold Coast Sunsets

The east shore of Lake Michigan, which stretches from Berrien County north to the Straits of Mackinac, is the largest freshwater dune system in the world. With towering sands that rise several hundred feet above the lake, there are countless locales to soak up the sun during the day and then watch it set across the western horizon as night falls. (more)
Grape Days of AutumnGrape Days of Autumn

While only 2,000 of Michigan's 14,600 acres of vineyards are devoted to wine grapes, they hold more than 50 varieties. From bone-dry to ultra-sweet ice varietals, a full range of white, rose, red and sparkling wines are being crafted in the Great Lake State. (more)
Grape Lakes AdventuresGrape Lakes Adventures

The unique conditions created by the Great Lakes provide the ideal setting for growing grapes and crafting them into award-winning wines. Over time, forces of
nature have also shaped Michigan’s shorelines, sculpted towering dunes, carved mile after mile of slow-flowing rivers and peppered the waters with islands of all shapes and sizes. (more)
Guiding Lights - Steering Lake MichiganGuiding Lights - Steering Lake Michigan

As early as the 1830s, lighthouses began dotting the Lake Michigan shoreline, protecting dangerous passages and guiding ships safely into harbors. These sentimental sentinels stand tall today as a testament to the history of the Great Lake’s maritime heritage. More than 100 continue to grace Lake Michigan’s 1,100-plus miles of shoreline. (more)
Harbor ShoppingHarbor Shopping

As winter settles along Michigan's shoreline, festive harbor towns welcome holiday shoppers seeking unique gifts. (more)
Historic Residency at The Village at Grand Traverse CommonsHistoric Residency at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Some might think it's crazy to take up residency in a former mental institution, but the rooms which once housed patients suffering a multitude of ailments are now being converted into some of the most unique, chic and coveted condos in Traverse City. (more)
Holiday Entertaining TipsHoliday Entertaining Tips

You do not have to be an executive chef or own a restaurant to serve up a great holiday gathering for family and friends. You just need a little patience, some creativity and a passion for culinary entertaining. I recently sat down with Matthew Pietsch, executive chef at Salt of the Earth – a rustic American eatery, in Fennville, to get some insider tips to holiday entertaining. (more)
The Hunt for Michigan's Mighty MorelsThe Hunt for Michigan's Mighty Morels

As winter succumbs to spring and the snow melts away, an amazing growth begins to take place on forest floors across Michigan. The moist ground is warmed by the sunshine and sprouts begin to push up through the dirt and dead leaves, alongside fallen elm, ash, poplar, aspen and maple trees. The harvest awaits in this wild edible marketplace, with fiddleheads, wild leeks (also known as ramps) and the elusive morel on the shopping list. (more)
Hunting Treasures in TrufantHunting Treasures in Trufant

Everything from A to Z -- antiques to zippers -- can be found at the Trufant Auction & Flea Market, touted as one of the largest flea markets in Michigan. No matter what you're looking for, chances are you'll find it during this treasure hunt in a town that boasts the title "Stump Fence Capital" of America. (more)
In Search of S'moresIn Search of S'mores

One of the best things about summer in Michigan is gathering around the campfire with a group of family or friends -- enjoying song, stories and s'mores! (more)
Journal from JordanJournal from Jordan

In the last issue of GUIDE, I briefly mentioned a pending trip to the Middle Eastern country of Jordan. The week long trip (February 28-March 7) was the experience of a lifetime, reinforcing my New Year's resolution to try new things. I can't wait to tell you all about it. (more)
Joy in Job keeps Plainwell Entrepreneur MovingJoy in Job keeps Plainwell Entrepreneur Moving

Plainwell consultant and media-relations professional Dianna Stampfler puts in a lot of hours every week representing her tourist-industry clients. (more)
Joy of CookingJoy of Cooking

Is there such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen? Lori and Mike Venturini, owners of the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, don't think so. In fact, 14 cooks is what they normally host for their Chef Night private parties. (more)
Keepers of the LightsKeepers of the Lights

Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state, at nearly 120. Dating back to the early 1800s, these towering beacons protected the often dangerous shorelines and aided ships of all shapes and sizes as they made their way through the freshwaters of the Great Lakes. Those who were charged with staffi ng these lights played a pivotal role in the state’s maritime history and their stories linger on for generations interested in the romance of life by the inland seas. (more)
Lake Effects!Lake Effects!

The eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan goes through a fascinating transition from the warm sunny days of August, through the crisp days of fall, and then into the storms of November and December. There is no need, however, to avoid the beach or to put your cameras away once winter has blown into town. You can brave the beach and the ravages of the weather to capture spectacular photos of both the stormy season and the frozen lakefront that follows with a little preparation and great care. (more)
Lessons Learned from Michigan's One Room SchoolsLessons Learned from Michigan's One Room Schools

In today’s fast-paced world of the Internet, MP3 players and iPads, it’s hard to imagine that a little more than one hundred years ago, Michigan’s children spent the day inside a one-room schoolhouse learning their lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. In the early 1990s, there were more than 7,000 one-room schools in operation in the state. (more)
Lighthouse TouringLighthouse Touring

While some travelers admire Michigan's historic beacons from afar, dedicated lighthouse lovers make pilgrimages far and wide, down one-lane roads and deep into wooded areas to see the stately structures that have aided mariners for generations. Lighthouse aficionados aren't content just viewing the state's famed lights. They want to walk the floors and climb the towers, just as keepers did generations before. (more)
Lord of the Gourd Carves a Gourmet NicheLord of the Gourd Carves a Gourmet Niche

Pat Harrison gets paid to play with his food – and he loves it! The former graphic designer and amateur cartoonist has built a reputation as one of the finest pumpkin and vegetable sculptors in Michigan. (more)
Magnificent ObsessionsMagnificent Obsessions

Wanted: Lighthouse keepers. Must be in excellent health, able to climb stairs, work long hours and have a passion for history. Paid daily in surprises and sunsets. (more)
Manning the PassageManning the Passage

Following the Erie Canal's completion in 1826, Lake Michigan's Manitou Passage between the Manitou Islands and mainland was the most direct course for commercial schooners and leisure steamers sailing between Chicago and the Straits of Mackinac. (more)
Meijer - Michigan's Homegrown GroceryMeijer: Michigan's Homegrown Grocery

In Michigan, Meijer has become a household name. A homegrown
company rich in tradition, value and a growing dedication
to local. (more)
Michigan Chefs Serve Up Farm to Fork FareMichigan Chefs Serve Up Farm to Fork Fares

Long before chain restaurants inundated our lifestyles, chefs from around the globe relied on their local farmers to supply fresh produce, meats, cheeses, breads and other edibles to develop their menus. Thankfully, this philosophy of sourcing locally has become more common for restaurants seeking to offer an authentic culinary experience. (more)
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Is Where Carter's Heart IsMichigan Is Where Carter's Heart Is

Wildly recognized as a prominent fixture on the HGTV and TLC networks, remodeling- and design-icon Carter Oosterhouse is even more at home in Traverse City – where he was born and raised…and where his heart remains. (more)
Michigan ParksMichigan Parks

Michigan -- the Great Lake State -- is a four-season camping paradise. From the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula to the outskirts of the Metro Detroit area, there is a privately owned campground, county, state or national park waiting to be explored.. (more)
Michigan Wine ToursMichigan Wine Tours

Throughout Michigan's wine regions, you'll find countless lodging properties offering a variety of packages, with everything from wine dinners and guided tours to special events and unique gift baskets.. (more)
Muskegon’s historic Century Club revivalMuskegon’s historic Century Club revival

As one of Michigan’s early lumber towns, Muskegon quickly grew up as an industrial and social center. Community leaders like Charles H. Hackley and Thomas Hume built elaborate homes, donated funds to build libraries and hospitals, laying a foundation for the future. (more)
Networking is Par for the Course, Regardless of GenderNetworking is Par for the Course, Regardless of Gender

I dare say the art of networking was mastered, if not invented, on the golf course. When the creators of Mackinac Island's Waswashkamo, one of the first courses to open in Michigan, completed the task in 1898 they no doubt hosted an outing and talked trading and lumbering over a quick round, followed by cigars and brandy at the clubhouse. (more)
Opening the Door to Wright Homes in MichiganOpening the Door to Wright Homes in Michigan

No other architect in the country holds the level of recognition and prominence as Frank Lloyd Wright. Born in 1867, he undoubtedly is the most noted American architect and interior designer of the 20th Century. (more)
O TanenbaumO Tanenbaum

This year, make the selection of your Christmas tree a real family experience, by visiting one of the hundreds of farms throughout Michigan that have kept the tradition of fresh-cut trees alive and growing. (more)
Pack Your Bags for (Adult) Summer CampPack Your Bags for (Adult) Summer Camp

Who knew—summer camp is no longer just for kids! As many as a million adults, aged 21 and older, attend summer at more than 800 locations nationwide each year. And while some camps are theme focused—such as wine camp, baseball camp or band camp—many are created to replicate summer camps from our youth (with the addition of adult beverages, of course). (more)
Petoskey Celebrates Hemingway’s BirthdayPetoskey Celebrates Hemingway’s Birthday

The year was 1899. The intersection of Bay and Lewis streets in downtown Petoskey was taking shape with the completion of The Perry Hotel—the only one of this city’s grand turn-of-the-century resort hotels still in existence and the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Station—which was part of the 500-plus-mile passenger and freight system that traveled between Cincinnati, Ohio and the Straits of Mackinac from 1854 until 1918. (more)
Postcards to Michigan's PastPostcards to Michigan's Past

The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design -- posted with a "Penny Black Stamp" in London, to the writer Theodore Hook in 1840. The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp -- issued on May 1, 1840. Displaying a portrait of Queen Victoria, it was primarily black in color and was one cent -- thus, it became known as the Penny Black. (more)
Protecting Michigan’s Historic FortsProtecting Michigan’s Historic Forts

Michigan is home to nearly 20 historic forts, some dating back to the early 1700s—decades before the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. (more)
Q & A: Dianna StampflerQ & A: Dianna Stampfler

As founder and president of Promote Michigan, Dianna Stampfler is one of the state's most passionate cheerleaders. The Plainwell resident has more than 20 years of marketing and public relations experience. She also is a newspaper and radio journalist and is active in a number of tourism organizations. Among her clients is ShowSpan Inc. so expect to see her in action this month at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival. (more)
Rediscovering Michigan's Historic Farm MarketsRediscovering Michigan's Historic Farm Markets

It's summertime...and that means the return of fresh-grown produce, harvested by local growers and brought to you at dozens of historic farmers markets around the state. Michigan is the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the country, ranking among the top for growing everything from asparagus to cherries to peaches to zucchini. Add to that, locally crafted cheeses, meats, honey, breads and more, and it's no wonder that our farmers markets are among the hottest -- and sweetest -- summer destinations! (more)
Red PrestigeRed prestige (Pretty in Pink, Cream and Purple, Too)

Grown in a rich array of hues, poinsettias lend elegance and warmth to winter décor, while their colorful star-shaped bracts — according to a 16th-century legend — symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. (more)
Renting a Piece of Vacation HistoryRenting a Piece of Vacation History

For generations, Michigan has been recording its rich history as a summer travel destination. In those early years, visitors escaped the heat of the city by traveling north on ferry boats and trains, then later by personal vehicles, seeking out quiet retreats along the lakes and rivers, under canopies of towering forests. (more)
Revivin' the Drive-inRevivin' the Drive-in

Like a scene out of a 1950s-era movie, Michigan drive-ins still serve up frosty mugs of foamy root beer along with juicy burgers and fries in red plastic baskets. Here, hungry patrons push aside their dietary restrictions and dig into fare as nostalgic as it is flavorful. (more)
Ring in a Year of RenewalRing in a Year of Renewal

With the arrival of a new year, comes a renewed energy. A time to escape the mundane day-to-day for something refreshing and relaxing -- including a visit to one of Michigan's noted destination hotel and resort spas. (more)
Rolling into Michigan's Luxury RV ParksRolling into Michigan's Luxury RV Parks

Scattered throughout Michigan, high-end motor coach and RV resorts are popping up to welcome travelers who want to relax in the lap of luxury. Many also offer options for lot ownership. Providing gated access, well-apportioned amenities and classy services, these communities are the seasonal homes for those on the go. (more)
Roll Out the BarrelRoll Out the Barrel

With its blend of fresh water and creative talent, Michigan's craft beer industry is taking the state and the country by storm. Ranking fifth nationwide in breweries -- already over 130 and counting -- the Great Beer State is a burgeoning market for unique brews. (more)
Sample the Spirits of MichiganSample the Spirits of Michigan

Michigan has a longstanding history of crafting worldclass beverages. The state’s wineries and craft breweries have been gaining international attention for their diverse products. And now distillers are getting into the game with an array of spirits — from vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, and bourbon to a unique innovation known as Hopquila. Here’s a taste of who’s who, and who’s new. (more)
Sand & SurfSand & Surf

Picture yourself lounging lakeside, with your toes dug into the wet sand and the waves lapping at the shoreline. Above you, the sun radiates. In front of you, a glorious lake reaches for miles and miles before disappearing into the distance. To your left and right, the beach extends beyond sight. This is summer along Lake Michigan. (more)
Savoring the Flavored CigarSavoring the Flavored Cigar

Flavored cigars drifted into the American marketplace about ten years ago, with the intent of atrracting more female cigar smokers. Flavors like vanilla and chocolate soon gave way to stronger varieties laced with bourbon, whiskey, creme de menthe and Grand Marnier, which drew attention from male cigars smokers as well. (more)
Say I Do to an Eco-WeddingSay I Do to an Eco-Wedding

Hollywood Celebrities Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart Tie the Knot in Classic Rustic Fashion on Northern Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula. (more)
Scoping the Perfect Birding SpotScoping the Perfect Birding Spot

It’s no surprise that the woods and waters of Michigan are home to more than 400 species of birds. From the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler and Great Lakes Piping Plover to the majestic Bald Eagle, these winged creatures draw crowds hoping to get a glimpse of them in their natural habitat. (more)
Sharing a Collection of Michigan's Vintage ViewsSharing a Collection of Michigan's Vintage Views

When curators at the Michigan Historical Museum were looking for unique items to enhance their “Michigan’s Roadside Attractions” exhibit in 2007, they went straight to two of the best private collectors in the state – Christine Byron and Tom Wilson. More than 400 pieces were ultimately loaned. (more)
Shedding Light on Michigan’s Haunted BeaconsShedding Light on Michigan’s Haunted Beacons

What is it about lighthouses that seem to attract spirits – most often than naught, the ghosts of former keepers? Maybe it is a never-ending passion for what was more of a lifestyle than a job. These keepers often lost their lives during their service, protecting the sailors on the inland seas from the dangerous and rocky shores of the Great Lakes. (more)
Sipping Michigan, One Glass at a TimeSipping Michigan, One Glass at a Time

The blogging world was just taking shape in 2009 when Shannon and Cortney Casey stepped into the local wine scene with MichiganByTheBottle.com. (more)
Spirited Stories: Michigan's Ghostly EncountersSpirited Stories: Michigan's Ghostly Encounters

You either believe in ghosts -- or you don't Right? I guess, I personally believe in the theory of spirits -- and if nothing else, the stories are exciting to share. (more)
The Spirit of Michigan DistilleriesThe Spirit of Michigan Distilleries

Michigan’s craft distilling industry is growing at a rapid pace – ranking #4 in the nation in terms of overall number of distilleries (behind California, Oregon and Washington). To help unify the interests of the more than two dozen artisan distilleries, the Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed earlier this summer to bring a voice to the industry. (more)
The Spirit of Mission TableThe Spirit of Mission Table

Breakfast by morning. Deli by day. Piano bar by night. The musical transformation of Bite, at the intersection of Pearl Street and Ottawa Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids, has created a classic new hot spot for locals and those in town on business. As you approach the intersection, the piano tunes inside can be heard over the outdoor speakers. (more)
Spring Blooms with New White Blossom VodkaSpring Blooms with New White Blossom Vodka

Spring is a season of awakenings in Michigan – where April showers bring May flowers and May flowers are infused into dazzling artisan spirits like the new White Blossom from Valentine Vodka. (more)
Spring Blossoms Decorate Michigan Woods, Parks, Nature Centers & GardensSpring Blossoms Decorate Michigan Woods, Parks, Nature Centers & Gardens

April showers bring May flowers…and in Michigan, that includes tulips, apple and cherry blossoms, dogwood, trillium and other spring wildflowers, among others. (more)
Spring Cleaning for your Body & SoulSpring Cleaning for your Body & Soul

Each spring, we make a ritual out of cleaning the clutter out of our homes, dusting off the last remnants of winter, opening up the windows to let fresh air in. Have you ever thought that your body deserved the same type of cleaning—a rejuvenation, a cleansing, an opportunity to shed the old and make way for the new. (more)
Stampfler Goes SoloStampfler Goes Solo

Dianna Stampfler has left her position as the marketing and media director of the West Michigan Tourist Association to form a new business, Promote Michigan. (more)
Swaying the MassesSwaying the Masses

Maybe it is the allure of the Petra exhibit at Calvin College. Or it could be the influence of music or movies that incorporate Middle Eastern sounds. (more)
Sweet EscapesSweet Escapes

Chocolate martini or chocolate quesadilla? Sample both at the 4th Annual Chocolate Covered Boyne, Feb. 10-11. Pick up discounts on cocoa-flavored treats, themed jewelry, specialty cookbooks and more at 30-plus sweet spots. (more)
Sweet LegaciesSweet Legacies

From picking asparagus to packaging fresh-cut zucchini, many aspects of farming were ingrained in Kellie Fox growing up in Walkerville. (more)
Take This Job and Love ItTake This Job and Love It

Imagine that wherever you go, gates open without question and services -- facials, pedicures, vacations -- are rendered without charge. Your life is that scene in The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion sit in chaise lounges, having their hair curled and nails buffed to a shine. Imagine you have Dianna Stampfler's job as marketing and media director for the West Michigan Tourist Association, what she calls the best marketing job around. (more)
Tall ShipsTall Ships

Simply marvel at or set sail yourself aboard one of Michigan's majestic ships. (more)
Tapping into Michigan’s Maple Moon WineTapping into Michigan’s Maple Moon Wine

As the Michigan woods thaw and awaken from their winter slumber, a clear fresh sap begins to flow from the sun-warmed trees that dot the rural landscapes. Regarded as the state’s oldest agricultural activity—dating back to the Native Americans—maple sugaring draws a rich history on the process of boiling down sap into syrup. (more)
Tasty Holiday Gifts from the MittenTasty Holiday Gifts from the Mitten

My favorite holiday tradition is giving the gift of Michigan to family and friends. The catalog of “Made in Michigan” products is growing daily, providing countless opportunities to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. Giving always makes me smile…but giving a gift crafted by one of the dedicated people of Michigan just means so much more. (more)
Think, Plan, Eat LocalThink, Plan, Eat Local

Interest in Michigan as a culinary tourism destination is growing. It only makes sense given the agriculture is the state's second leading industry at more than $394 billion and tourism is third, at $18.5 billion. Michigan also proudly ranks no. 2 in the nation for agricultural diversity, second only to California. (more)
Uncorking Michigan's Best Kept SecretUncorking Michigan's Best Kept Secret

Wine production in Michigan dates back to the 1880s, but it's only been in recent years that the industry has come to fruition. Now, with close to 40 wineries in four distinct American Viticultural (AVA) regions, the wine industry is flourishing in Michigan. (more)
Valentine Vodka Wins Gold MedalValentine Vodka Wins Gold Medal

Michigan-made Valentine Vodka has been awarded a gold medal ranking during the Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI) 2010 International Review of Spirits Competition – the largest and most prestigious annual spirits competition in the United States. The BTI game Valentine Vodka a rating of 90 in the "Unflavored Vodka" category. (more)
Vicksburg Blessed by Angels CrossingVicksburg Blessed by Angels Crossing

When Angels Crossing opened earlier this summer, it was an answer to a prayer for many Vicksburg residents. The community, which had been devastated by the closing of the Fox River Paper Co. in April 2001, found inspiration in the ideas of a local farmer named Bob Thompson. The golf course and its proposed housing development, which sits on former mill property on W Avenue, has revived not only the land but the morale of the community as well. (more)
Vintage IndulgenceVintage Indulgence

There are so many opportunities and places in Michigan to enjoy a memorable meal and fine wine in pleasant surroundings with good friends. (more)
Warming up to WinterWarming up to Winter

Even the label art for Cabin Fever, a toasty brown ale from New Holland Brewing Company, is as inviting as a crackling fire. (more)
Warming up to WinterWarming up to Winter

Tucked into the wooded hillside just east of Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlands tallies the most skiable acres in Michigan on its 55 downhill runs. (more)
What's Cooking?What's Cooking?

When families head to northern Michigan for vacation, it is to escape the day-to-day activities back home and to simply kick back and relax. Often, dealing with meals is the last thing someone wants to deal with. Chef Kristin Karam is banking on that, literally. (more)
Women and BeerWomen and Beer

Believe it or not, I was nearly 40 before I consumed my first beer! Up until that time, I'd focused all my attention solely on Michigan's growing wine industry. I remember the day -- it was February 21, 2008 -- a Thursday, at Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids. The beer? Pale Ale. (more)
Women Still Prefer Being their own BossWomen Still Prefer Being their own Boss

Though more businesses are helping their employees with work/life balance, women in the workplace continue to find self-employment more appealing. (more)
Yarrow Ranks Among The Best in the MidwestYarrow Ranks Among The Best in the Midwest

In 2001, the management at The Lodge of Yarrow in Augusta was facing a 20 percent decline in corporate business, attributed to a weak economy, the after-effects of 9/11 and a major October storm that tore up the 300-acre property. Little did they know that the final blow in the "trials and tribulations of three" would actually turn out to be "the third time's the charm" that has now brought them recognition as one of the best new golf courses in Michigan. (more)