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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: sleeping-bear-dunes

My 10 most favorite things to do in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area

Andrew Norton

Good Morning America announced today that Sleeping Bear Dunes won their contest for Most Beautiful Place in America. I'm super excited for the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. It really is one of my favorite spots to visit in Michigan.

I started thinking about what it is about Sleeping Bear Dunes that keeps me coming back and decided that a list was in order. So, without further ado - here are my 10 Favorite things to do in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area:

  1. The 7.4 mile Pierce Stocking Drive. Some of the most beautiful views you will see in Michigan.
  2. The Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum which is located just west of Glen Haven. A really neat museum about the predecessor to the Coast Guard, the U.S. Life-Saving Service.
  3. The picturesque Point Betsie Lighthouse. One of (if not THE) most photographed lighthouses in Michigan. Had a fun time playing a pickup game of wiffle ball there one evening as the sun set into Lake Michigan.
  4. Glen Arbor - beautiful little town that is home to two of my favorite Michigan businesses - Cherry Republic and Leelanau Coffee.
  5. The Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire should be your starting point if you have never visited (shame on you! :) ) the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
  6. The Dune Climb is a great way to wear your kids out. Plus, if you make it to the top you will be rewarded with a great 360 degree panoramic of the surrounding area.
  7. The former logging village of Glen Haven has been restored to how it appeared in the 1920s. Visit the Blacksmith Shop, Glen Haven Cannery Boathouse, and Glen Haven General Store.
  8. Head on over to Riverside Canoe Rentals and canoe the Lower Platte River. It's leisurely pace is great for families and there is plenty of great views and wildlife to see along your trip to Lake Michigan.
  9. Hike nearly 100 miles over 13 different trails in the area.
  10. Visit the Port Oneida Rural Historic District to get a view of farming life without any modern developments. There is an annual fair the first weekend in August.

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Summer

Andrew Norton

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Summer[Edit: May 16, 2014] Wow, this post has gone viral the past few weeks! Thanks for sharing my love of Michigan. Another great way to share some of the great things that Michigan has to offer is by sending our great Michigan gift baskets and boxes.

During the long cold winters here in Michigan I like think of all of the places I want to visit and things I want to do during Michigan's beautiful summer. The list tends to grow and grow until it reaches a length that I know makes it impossible to see and do everything that is on it.

So, I thought I would share my list with everyone in the hopes that others will find something in Michigan that they hadn't thought of before or didn't know about.

These are in no particular order.

  1. Climb the big dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.
  2. Spend the day at Mackinac Island.
  3. Catch a Tigers game at Comerica Park.
  4. Take a copper mine tour in the U.P.
  5. Visit Fort Michilimackinac with your kids.
  6. Go for a swim in Lake Michigan.
  7. Go camping at one of the numerous state or private campgrounds.
  8. Take the family and watch the synchronized musical fountains of The Cascades in Jackson
  9. Climb Castle Rock in St. Ignace
  10. Tour the Valley Camp Ship museum in Sault Saint Marie
  11. Take a hike in the Porkies - The Porcupine Mountains that is
  12. Drive one of the Great Lakes Circle Tours
  13. Bike around the 8 mile highway, M-185, on Mackinac Island. You won't have to watch out for vehicles :)
  14. Love cherries? Get your fill at The Cherry Hut in Beulah, Michigan. It started out as a roadside pie stand in 1922.
  15. Cross the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck via one of the oldest hand-cranked chain ferries in America.
  16. Visit the Roadside Attractions store in Metamora, Michigan.
  17. Take in a movie at the Capri Drive-In in Coldwater. Rated one of the Top 10 Drive-In movie theaters in the country.
  18. Hike or bike the Kal-Haven Trail.
  19. Ride the S.S. Badger Car Ferry from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
  20. Take a couple of days to visit The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village
  21. Watch a Great Lakes freighter pass through the Soo Locks.
  22. Spend some time hiking around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
  23. Visit one of Michigan's 115 Historic Lighthouses
  24. Play a pickup game of baseball at the Tiger Stadium site at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull
  25. If you happen to be driving along U.S. 2 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, stop in for a refreshing glass bottle of soda at the Hog Island General Store just east of Naubinway.
  26. Stay the night at a working lighthouse on Lake Superior - Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast
  27. Drive across the Mackinac Bridge. For only $3.50 for a car you, too, can earn the badge of honor of being able to say, "yep, I drove across that bridge."
  28. Visit one of Michigan's numerous farmers markets. Find a Michigan Farmers Market near you.
  29. Spend a day at Michigan's Adventure. It's the perfect size amusement park for young families. You get all of the rides plus their huge waterpark for one admission fee.
  30. After Michigan's Adventure stop in at a classic drive-in, Dog-N-Suds in Montague.
  31. While I'm on the subject of food - if you are ever near New Buffalo, do yourself a favor and try a burger at Redamak's.
  32. Give some love to the overlooked Great Lake - Lake Huron. Drive along M-25 and M-23 and discover all of the great places on Michigan's east side.
  33. Take in a concert on a Thursday in South Haven along the river. The Community Riverfront Concert Series is all summer long and starts at 7pm.
  34. Get the tastiest and freshest whitefish at Scalawags Whitefish and Chips in downtown Mackinaw City or Traverse City.
  35. Get all Bavarian up in Frankenmuth.
  36. Go for a ride on the dunes with Mac Wood's Dune Rides in Mears.
  37. Do some beachcombing along Michigan's 2,147 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. You never know what you will find.
  38. Go fishing!
  39. If your kids are acting like animals, consider a trip to the zoo. John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, the Detroit Zoo, and Kalamazoo (not a zoo, but still a fun town!).
  40. While you are in Kalamazoo, how about the Air Zoo! (technically in Portage, but who's counting?)
  41. Go blueberry picking eating!
  42. Want to see some Michigan black bears up close, but not be in any danger? You have to go to Oswald's Bear Ranch near Newberry, Michigan.
  43. Tour a Michigan Ghost Town. The Fayette Historic State Park is a unique opportunity to walk through a wonderfully preserved abandoned townsite from the early days of iron mining in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
  44. There are 197 waterfalls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. You won't have to travel far to find one!
  45. Do yourself a favor and visit Traverse City. One of Michigan's most beautiful beach towns.
  46. Stay at one of Michigan's numerous Indoor Water Park Hotels.
  47. Shoot for par (I like to aim low, just like my drives off the tee :) ) at one of Michigan's golf courses.
  48. Spend the day at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners just minutes from Kalamazoo. Over 200 cars of all eras to gawk over, grab something to eat at a 1940s era Diner, and see what a gas station looked like in the 1930s.
  49. Canoe the Platte River near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We canoed the Lower Platte before and had a great time spotting wildlife and enjoying the ride.
  50. Ride into history on the Little River Railroad in Coldwater. Take a ride on a steam-powered locomotive for a unique experience the whole family will love!
  51. Bonus! Stop in at one of Michigan's 14 Welcome Centers and come up with hundreds of ideas for great things to do in Michigan.

Time lapse video of 2009 Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race

Andrew Norton

Ken Scott Photography created this mesmerizing time lapse video of sailboats in the Chicago to Mackinac race. The photos were taken as the sailboats passed Sleeping Bear Point and you can see the southern end of South Manitou Island in the background as well. The time lapse aspect makes the boats appear to skate across the lake's surface as if it were ice. I also found it amusing to watch the people at the beach as they look like ants jumping in and out of the water.

If the video player does not appear - watch the video here.

Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival is this week

Andrew Norton

The Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival runs Thursday, July 31st, through Sunday, August 3rd. You can still get tickets online through tomorrow, July 30th, for pickup at the festival. The gates are open every day at 8 a.m. until 12 a.m. One day passes are $48.50 with full weekend passes starting at $123.50 (with either no camping or off-site camping) on up to $138.50 for on-site camping. VIP passes start at $303.50 (no camping or off-site camping) up to $403.50 for on-site camping.

Here's a smattering of some of the acts this year: Arlo Guthrie Del McCoury Band Railroad Earth Greensky Bluegrass Cornmeal Steppin' In It Daisy May and Seth Bernard

Check out all of the acts at the 2008 Dunegrass & Blues Festival.

On the fence about going? Watch this clip from last year. It sure looks like a lot of fun and sounds great.

If the player does not appear, view it here.