Tag: Michigan Travel

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Three August Festivals to Celebrate All Things Blueberry

August 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

While we we've busy enjoying the warmer weather it’s been all work for those responsible for tending to this year’s blueberry crop. Thankfully things must have gone according to plan, as it’s time to harvest. Before August slips into September it’s time to celebrate blueberry season, and here’s three of the best festivals where you can do exactly that:

National Blueberry Festival – South Haven, Michigan

Running August 9-12, this festival has everything and anything involved with the berries that are little and blue. All the events go down right on the shores of Lake Michigan at the town’s Riverfront Park. Blueberry Pie Socials, Lawn Tractor Pulls, Pie Eating Contests, and a Blueberry Cookout round out the weekend’s events.

Organizers are expecting at least 40,000 hungry visitors as the event celebrates its 49th year filled with live entertainment and way too many blueberry pancakes. If you need a blueberry break—like that’s even possible—just swing by the Sand Sculpture Contest scheduled to do its thing at North Beach on Sunday afternoon.

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Three Crazy Easy Ways to Get Out on the Water in Upper Michigan

July 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM | by | Comments (3)

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's northern bits.

We known we know. It's too hot outside. That's nothing that a little getting-out-on-the-water can't fix. Plus we have a theory, that as global warming continues, more and more people are going to be looking favorably on beach vacations in traditionally cold locales, like—oh—upper Michigan (where it was in the high 80s last week!)

Flying over the state, you'll be able to pick out at least ten lakes you wish you were cannonballing into right that moment. The good news is that you can...but you know, get off the plane first and check out these three ways to get on the water in Michigan's Upper Peninsula:

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True Story: We Got a Blackberry Peach Pie Past the TSA

July 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

What you see above is a Blackberry Peach Pie in a bag. It is not a weapon. It is not a dangerous material. It is neither liquid nor gel. IT IS A YUMMY NUMMY SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUS PIE.

Luckily we know what it is, because the Transportation Safety Administration sure is confused. After forking our way through a piece of Grand Traverse Pie Company's ABC (apple-blueberry-cherry) pie way too quickly this last weekend, we caved and bought an entire "Tall ship" (blackberry-peach) pie with the noble intentions of flying it back to share with family.

The Delta agents checking us into our flight from PLN to DTW gently ribbed us about our carryon, but were sure TSA would let it through. In it went into the security buckets, with our Keds and laptop, successfully passing through the X-ray machine. Then maybe it made the TSA agents hungry, because they discussed (in front of us) whether or not it was allowed.

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Michigan Field Trip: Sippin' on Sweet Cherry Wine in Harbor Springs

July 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's Upper Peninsula.

In honor of #winewednesday, and partly because we dedicated our palate to Lake Erie Wineries last week, today we visit a winery in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, just outside the hopping town of Harbor Springs.

Harbor Springs Vineyard and Winery sits on Pond Hill Farm, an organic working farm with a general store, restaurant, wine tasting room, garden (full of hollyhocks right now!), sheep, pigs, livestock barn, greenhouses and something called a Squash Rocket.

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Michigan Field Trip: This Island Was Made for Bicycling

July 17, 2012 at 6:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's Upper Peninsula.

Did you know: The entirety of Mackinac Island is both a National Park and a National Historic Landmark?

Did you know: Mackinac Island State Park was only the second National Park established, following Yellowstone?

Did you know: There are over 70 miles of paved and natural trails for biking on the island, and all trails are completely free of motor vehicles?

Stepping off the Shepler's Ferry, the very first thing to greet us on Mackinac Island was a sunburnt tourist man wobbling on his beach cruiser bike, shouting a warning: "first timer here, watch out!" We jumped back onto the sidewalk, but secretly our hopes for mankind were renewed; here is a place where Americans get up off their butts and get to pedaling, enjoying the outdoors. Sure, it's the only option other than hailing a slow-moving horse carriage, but still—progress.

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Michigan Field Trip: How to Make It to Mackinac Island

July 16, 2012 at 6:40 PM | by | Comments (0)


Inside the terminal at Pellston Regional Airport

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's Upper Peninsula.

Google Map Mackinac Island. Do it right now. It's waaaay up there in Michigan, isn't it? And yet, it's a real island that's been insanely popular with vacationers for 125 years. There are no cars on the island nor is there a bridge to reach it, so how do the seasonnaires, the daytrippers and perhaps even you get on over there? Let's see...

By Air:
· Commercial flight. The nearest major airport for scheduled flights is Pellston Regional (PLN). The airport is super quaint with only two gates and an interior chock-full of flannel, stone fireplaces and taxidermied animals. Even the carpeting is hunter's plaid. Delta is the only airline with year-round flights, and only from Detroit, so you'll need to connect at DTW.

Don't miss heading up the carved wood stairs off Delta ticketing to reach the second level of the airport, with its observation windows and couches, plus a full restaurant and bar. FREE WIFI throughout PLN!

You'll still have to drive/call a cab from PLN to the ferry to Mackinac Island, as Pellston Regional Airport is on the mainland, but only a 20-minute drive to the dock.

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Wish You Were Here: The Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island

July 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM | by | Comments (0)


This photo of the hotel and its Esther Williams pool is unedited. Yes, it really looks like this.

If we told you that the temperature is low 80s, the sun is high and the clouds are absent and the water is Bermuda-blue and clear, you probably wouldn't think that we're speaking of somewhere way way up near Michigan's border with Canada, huh? Well, we are and we give Mother Nature a gold star on this one. It's Mackinac Island, a vacation destination since the railroads constructed the imposing Grand Hotel in 1887 and started funneling genteel city folk up here for the summer season.

This year the hotel celebrates its 125th Anniversary—this weekend, actually—but what's being celebrated the most is the fact that it still exists, still is owned privately by a family and still made of wood. Consider that it was built in a remote location with basic handtools and underskilled laborers in only 93 days, with the intention of it not lasting nearly this long, and you can begin to understand the importance of it hitting the century-and-a-quarter mark.

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Megabus is on the Move with $1 Fares for More of the Midwest

July 3, 2012 at 9:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

So at this point it might be a little too late to score a sweet airfare deal for your summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck at home. Think outside of the box when it comes to how to reach your final destination, and it also doesn’t hurt to think about taking the bus. We’ve reviewed survival skills to consider before trying to chase after one of those $1 bus fares, and now there’s even more cities from which to choose thanks to Megabus.

Fresh off their expansion down to Texas it now looks like the Megabus model is moving into Michigan just in time for the summer season. New routes include East Lansing to both Detroit and Chicago, and there’s even service from Grand Rapids over to Chicago and Detroit as well. This will especially come in handy for those college kiddos looking to head back to class in the fall, and they’ll be able to pick a bus that best fits their needs with three trips on the schedule on most days. Just don’t look to escape for the holiday weekend, as the buses aren’t set to start rolling until July 12.

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Perhaps You've Seen This Island from a Plane. Well, It's For Sale.

June 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

You ever been flying over a body of water and looked out the window to spy an island that, from 30,000-ish feet, seems like the best place in the entire world? Perhaps you even say to yourself, "man, that's the island I'd buy if I had a million dollars."

Now, usually islands cost more than a million, not counting all the extra it'd take to build a home and a pool and manage the upkeep, but there's one that actually comes in right under budget...and we happened to have flown over it just yesterday.

Be sure to snag a window seat on the left side of the plane if you're flying Philadelphia to Detroit, and look down about 15 minutes prior to arrival. There's a high likelihood you'll spy the Lake Erie Islands, a grouping of odd pieces of land that you'd never expect somewhere like Ohio to have. South Bass Island is the gem, which spends its summer fostering a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere with rowdy bars and much dock-side drinking in its town of Put-in-Bay. Keep watching....past South Bass is the beach-ringed Middle Sister Island. AND IT'S FOR SALE.

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Stalking the Empire Asparagus Festival: Long Live the Queen!

May 25, 2012 at 5:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird food festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. All this week our Michigan embed Lara Zielin will report back from the Empire Asparagus Festival.

Everything about this year’s Asparagus Festival parade was green—from the clothes to the hats to the face paint, all the way to the parade’s commitment to the environment. No cars or trucks or lawn mowers or greenhouse-gas-emitting anythings were allowed. Other than that, as long as you celebrated the stalk, you could join the fray.

Twice.

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Stalking the Empire Asparagus Festival: Cupcakes and Poetry

May 24, 2012 at 5:46 PM | by | Comments (0)


Blueberry and asparagus cupcakes

Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird food festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. All this week our Michigan embed Lara Zielin will report back from the Empire Asparagus Festival.

Empire, Michigan’s ninth annual Asparagus Festival hosted a cook-off with sixteen entries that showcased, if nothing else, myriad ways in which people will meld asparagus with just about anything. Red lentil dahl, blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, smoothies, pesto; just add “and asparagus” and you’ve got…well, you’ve got something.

Festival attendees can taste all the entrants’ dishes for free. The only requirement is that you stay long enough to hear the top three announced, since eating and bolting is bad form in these parts. And it’s worth it to taste the standouts like winner Janet Golenberg’s asparagus cashew miso dip. A pop of garlic and a fresh, crunchy veggie to scoop it with (not an asparagus spear, thank you very much) made it an easy favorite.

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Stalking the Empire Asparagus Festival: Kick Ass-paragus

May 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM | by | Comment (1)


Two runners who got their Ass-paragus kicked

Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird food festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. All this week our Michigan embed Lara Zielin will report back from the Empire Asparagus Festival.

Ron Zywicki, this year's winner of Empire, Michigan’s “Kick Ass-paragus” 5k may have finished the race in 17:39, but the participants who ran more slowly—perhaps because they filled up on the asparagus beer the night before during the town’s annual Asparagus Festival kickoff—probably weren’t phased. It’s not as if the race is all that competitive, especially considering they don’t begin it with an actual clock, but rather by dropping a single asparagus spear on the ground: when it lands, you go.

The real bummer of running the 5k at a leisurely pace is that you get to the Asparagus Festival’s food tent later than everyone else, lengthening your wait time for a slice of asparagus pizza, or an asparagus boule, or get a brain freeze on some asparagus ice cream.

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