Lavender Hill Farms
With its rolling terrain and more than 8,000 lavender plants, this pesticide-free Boyne City farm is like something out of the French Provençal countryside. Stop by for a stroll through the fragrant fields, or to shop the lavender products (soaps, sachets, jellies and more). 231.582.3784, lavenderhillmichigan.net.
Dutch Oven Bakery
Folks have flocked to this cozy Alanson shop since the 1930s to get their sugar fix: cakes, traditional pastries, pies and lofty loaves of legendary cinnamon bread are just the start. Stick around for lunch in the cafe, and peruse treasures in the adjacent yarn shop. 7611 U.S. 31, Alanson, 231.548.2231, dutchoven.com.
Headlands International Dark Sky Park
There’s no camping at this Mackinaw City property, but as an official “Dark Sky Park“, it’s open for incredible stargazing, way into the wee hours of the morning. A perfect spot to catch the Perseids meteor shower, August 10 through 13. emmetcounty.org/darkskypark.
Room for a View
For a great photo-op, there’s a little-known overlook in downtown Harbor Springs offering a knockout vista over Little Traverse Bay. To find it, head to the corner of Spring and Bluff Streets, where a wooden stairway tucked among trees leads up to the viewing platform. Pack a camera. harborspringschamber.com.
Crooked Tree Breadworks
Stone-hearth baked breads, sweet and savory scones, legendary granola, and other delights have gained this artisan bakery a serious reputation. Our current obsession: the Pepper-Parmesan loaf for knockout BLTs. 2264 M-119, 231.347.9574, breadworks.com.
This 20-mile two-lane between Harbor Springs and Cross Village is one of the state’s most spectacular drives. Highlights include exploring Good Hart’s historic general store, driving under the canopy-like “Tunnel of Trees,” and finishing with kielbasa and pierogi on the patio at Cross Village’s storied Polish restaurant, Legs Inn.