A picnic on a Northern Michigan beach might sound like a bit of a cliché, but snagging some food and drinks from Traverse City restaurants and parking it at a picturesque beach will elevate your picnic experience. Read on for ‘Red Hot’ picnic food finds and Northern Michigan wine options from the the June 2014 ‘Red Hot Best’ issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
Pick up sandwiches, like the The Gobbler from Mary’s Kitchen Port. Made on ciabatta bread, and stuffed with turkey, lettuce and tomatoes, it’s their most popular sandwich. Make sure to grab a cookie there, too. Another great option is the Manitou sandwich from Grand Traverse Pie Company. Toasted and stuffed with applewood bacon, ham, roasted turkey, pesto mayo, and Swiss, it’s the perfect on-the-go sandwich.
Pick up a bottle of Northern Michigan wine from the Old Mission Peninsula to wash down your sandwich. The Arcturos Pinot Noir from Black Star Farms is a dynamic and dry wine that pairs well with a variety of foods. The Pinot Noir from Brys Estate is also a nice option that pairs well with meats. It’s a smooth wine and is easy to drink. If red wine isn’t your thing, there are some great local white wines, too—just make sure to bring a cooler with you! The Late Harvest Riesling from Chateau Grand Traverse pairs well with fruit, cheese, and meats. Another great Riesling option is the Late Harvest Riesling from Black Star Farms: it has a balanced sweetness and pairs well with a variety of foods.
After you have your supplies, head to one of Traverse City’s numerous beaches. Clinch Park (pictured above) is right downtown, and has picnic tables and big trees for shade. Less popular—but still beautiful—options include Bryant Park on East Grand Traverse Bay and Taylor Park on North Long Lake Road.