Northern Michigan Summer Fun Guide

  1. Inhale Legs Inn’s legendary Lake Michigan view and clink an icy Zubrowka vodka tonic made with the authentic, aphrodisiac “bison grass” that grows only in eastern Poland. legsinn.com.
  2. Trout Unlimited was born on July 18, 1959 at George Griffith’s cabin on the banks of the Au Sable River. Celebrate 50 years of conserving North America’s coldwater fisheries with a few casts, and maybe an Arcadia Ales Angler’s Ale. Talks are in the works to make it the official craft beer of this worthy organization. tu.org.
  3. Bike a leg of the bewitchingly beautiful, forgivingly flat, 27-mile Betsie Valley Trail. betsievalleytrail.org.
  4. Bring your copy of the Nick Adams Stories to the beautiful mahogany bar at City Park Grill, where Ernest Hemingway once hung out. Order the Hemingway martini, Bombay gin and dry vermouth. cityparkgrill.com.
  5. Dress up your dog and then hightail it through the streets of Northport for the annual Northport Dog Parade. 1 p.m., August 8. Find out this year’s theme at leelanauchamber.com.
  6. Take a kayak lesson along the protected coast of Harbor Point in Harbor Springs. The good folks at The Outfitter will have you paddling in peak form in no time. outfitterharborsprings.com.
  7. Go Lake Superior agate hunting. The beaches up by Grand Marais are primo. Find rock hounding tips at MyNorth.com/links.
  8. Check out the fine skater shoes and gear at Gordy’s in Ludington then ollie your heart out at the small-town skateboard plaza right at the beach. ludingtonskatecenter.com.
  9. Promote family teamwork on a raft trip down the Sturgeon River, the fastest river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Steer your crew around river bends and obstacles, but paddle easy knowing that this sturdy watercraft has a zero percent tipover rate—versus the 75 percent rate for canoes and kayaks. Departures every half hour. bigbear adventures.com.
  10. Be a part of one of the longest-running festivals in the North at The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Peshawbestown Pow Wow, August 14–16. gtbindians.org.
  11. Run around an island. The 39th Annual Mackinac Island Eight Mile Run & Walk traces the island’s flat perimeter, so it’s both doable and breathtakingly beautiful. Sept. 12, runmackinac.com.
  12. Grand Traverse Bay will be a back-in-time vision as more than a dozen schooners and sloops set sail Sept. 11–13 for Traverse City’s inaugural Schooner Festival. michiganschoonerfestival.org.
  13. Mosey down the break wall to the circa-1932 Frankfort Light during twilight, and watch the parade of Lake Michigan boaters and charter fisherman retire for the evening. frankfort-elberta.com.
  14. Gather around the fire for spooky add-a-line stories. Begin them with: “On a dark and stormy night, just down the road from here …” Proximity really amps the creepiness factor.
  15. Need a classic metal watering can for the window boxes? A new stopper for the cottage sink? A pastel Adirondack for the patio? W.W. Fairbairn & Sons have it. (These handy guys also close your cottage down for the winter, so you can play until the very last day.) wwfairbairn.com.

Article Comments