Northern Michigan features an abundance of quaint, charming towns that litter the lakeshore. To be honest, even though I grew up in Michigan, I didn’t even know many of these towns existed until I traveled north with my wife for her sales job and began exploring with my free time. To my pleasant surprise, there is an absurd amount of cute, small towns to explore, all of which have their own flavor and feel. Northern Michigan is absolutely worth your time. Even those from out of state should venture to the great north to see what it is all about and all it has to offer. NOTE: The water color in the summer literally resembles a tropical paradise.
This is the first in a series of five Northern Michigan must sees. Stay tuned!
THINGS TO DO:
1. SLEEPING BEAR DUNES
This National Park is stunningly beautiful. If you are unfamiliar with Northern Michigan, you will be shocked to discover this beauty in the Midwest. The dunes are so expansive that you are able to hike far from anyone else, feeling like you are the only one for miles.
2. GO TO THE VINEYARDS
Traverse has terrific wine country. Truthfully, there are many beautiful vineyards to choose from. That said, Blustone and Bonobo were tow of our favorites. Blustone, in Leelanau county, has a small tasting room, with modern touches. At Bonobo, located on Old Mission Penisula, one can see the vineyards and a water view while enjoying a glass of cherry wine. May I suggest their riesling, which is known for its crisp, but not overly sweet, taste.
3. WALK TC'S DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOODS
Hannah's favorite travel activity. Grab your coffee, take a stroll along the bay, and then finish your long walk appreciating the Victorian architecture lining the streets of the downtown TC neighborhoods.
4. OLD MISSION LIGHTHOUSE
The drive to Old Mission Lighthouse is serene, with views of beautiful lake homes, rolling vineyard, and the clear blue water. This beach is typically less crowded than some of the other TC beaches.
WHERE TO EAT:
1. MAMA LU'S
Amazing tapas. Try the charred corn (recommended by my friend, Mike)! We’ve eaten here several times for the consistently amazing food. A must when in TC. Also, you can order a half order of guac, if tacos, charred corn and the full order of guac are too much. You’re welcome.
2. BLACK MARKET COFFEE (BLK/MRKT)
One of my Hannah’s favorite haunts the past few years thanks to her work up north is Black Market Coffee. Located in the Warehouse market, a small, totally renovated facility on the edge of downtown TC. Great coffee, better vibes. Local folks. Amazing large windows allow a plethora of natural light to pour in. After grabbing your caffiene, check out Hannah's favorite home decor shop next door, Wood + Cloth.
An expansive menu, crazy natural light, outdoor seating… could you ask for much more? Well, three words: sweet potato fries. Some of the best we’ve had. Worth your time.
4. RARE BIRD BREW PUB
A great lunch spot with foodie menu and food. The Banh Mi sandwich was an amazing revelation. The menu is pretty typical Brew Pub food, but often with a twist.
Hannah highly recommends the stuffed avacado. Oh, and if possible, take advantage of their rooftop seating and eat while enjoying views of downtown TC.
Excited to share we will be embarking on a 16 day & 100 hour+ road trip that will cover a large portion of the country later this week. We are beyond excited and can't wait to share our finds with y'all!
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