PLAY: Lion? Lamb? Whatever the weather, the landscape at Lighthouse Park, located at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula (oldmission.com), provides a stunning scene to suit: woods ripe for a snowy ski, beaches for a sun-kissed stroll, open fields for puddle jumping. If the gray skies got you down, perk up with a taste tour of Traverse City’s fine reds and whites. You’ll find six wineries on Old Mission (winesofoldmission.com) and one – Left Foot Charley (213-995-0500, leftfootcharley.com) – under the spires of the asylum-turned-hip-hangout west of downtown, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons (thevillagetc.com). Come nightfall, shoot for the stars: a twinkling ceiling – plus super-cush seating, classic red-curtain raising and the sweetest sound system around – awaits at the historic State Theatre 231-947-4800, statetheatretc.org.)
STAY: Every beach cottage-styled room inside Pointes North resort overlooks Grand Traverse Bay and boasts a Jacuzzi tub ($69+, 800-968-3422, pointesnorth.com). Live like a lumber baron in the impeccably restored Wellington Inn B&B, a 1905 neo-Classical mansion in downtown’s cobblestone street-stacked neighborhood ($170+, 877-968-9900, wellingtoninn.com).
EAT: Local, organic eats are a trend here. Try a homemade tempeh Reuben at Oryana Natural Foods Market’s in-house cafe (231-947-0191, oryana.coop); Serenity Tea Bar and Café serves all-organic, hand-blended teas and tea-infused dishes such as oolong coconut curry soup. Try this spring tonic: Peaceful Peninsulas, a green tea with pieces of apple, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, rosehips, grapes and currants. (231-421-1564, opening late Feb.)
INSIDER TIP: Dawn’s the time to emerge from your winter-coat cocoon and stretch your water wings in Park Place Hotel’s indoor pool; the morning sun rises right over the pool’s windowed dome, filling the space – and your spring-starved soul – with sunshine ($6, 231-946-5000, park-place-hotel.com).
Lynda Twardowski is travel editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. [email protected]
Note: This article ran in the March 2008 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.