The local foods movement is sprouting 
like flowers in the forest all around Northern Michigan. Tap into the flavor with a delicious food and drink escape. From Harbor Springs to Suttons Bay, here are 10 Northern Michigan foodie getaways.

  1. Eat out, repeat, for 10 days straight, if you so please, at the expanded Harbor Springs Restaurant Week, March 4–13. Three- course lunches run $15, dinners, $25. Options include creative newcomers The Paper Station Bistro and Mustang Wendy’s. Stay: Boyne Highlands, where March 4–6 brings “Retro Weekend” fun, March 12, the popular Brew-Ski Fest.
  2. Savor your King Cake by the slopes at Crystal Mountain, where the March 5 Mardi Gras celebration isn’t all slush cup and beads: the restaurant’s local-food focus takes on Cajun flair.
  3. Sample and learn at the new Sip n’ Shop markets, held each Sunday through April at the Les Cheneaux Culinary Institute ( From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., find cooking demos, and sample chef-made artisan breads and soups, or shop for local veggies, soup stocks and crafts to take home. Make it a week- end with a stay at Lakeview Cottages (906.484.2474), around the corner. Go deeper with the March 12 poultry class that helps you perfect chicken galantine, pâté, coq au vin and more.
  4. Sappy is a good thing at the March maple immersion weekend at Suttons Bay’s pastoral Hillside Homestead B&B, where life runs at a circa 1900 pace and includes meals you’ll help cook over the woodstove after collecting sap from taps. Sweeter still: the butter and syrup atop fresh waffles, maple can- dies and cream. March 18–20.
  5. Stalk your asparagus in Empire, because the spring veggie is never more fun (or tasty) than when sampled on focaccia and pizza or in risotto, scones, bratwurst and even beer at the town’s festival of asparagus-inspired poetry, costumes and parades. Round out the weekend with woodland hikes and bike rides amid spring wildflowers. May 20–21.
  6. Sample the rolls and sashimi of new Sushi Grand, Mackinac Island’s first and only sushi restaurant, opening in May on the grounds of the Grand Hotel. Book the Grand’s Bed and Breakfast package ($335/room a night with full breakfast included), and dine amid the elaborate Asian-style designs of decorator Carleton Varney. Gilded wallpaper, rice hat light fixtures and bamboo trelliswork set the stage. Or use the takeout option and enjoy with champagne on the Grand’s famed front porch or at a picnic table on the island shore.
  7. Pair your food with wine and art at the expanded Traverse City Wine and Art Festival, where this year’s June 25 event will feature a stronger culinary focus. Look for dessert and wine pairings, cheese presentations and tastings and local foods that accentuate the showcased varietals. Shuttles make parking easy, and local hotels and cottages offer packages.
  8. Feast on whitefish at the self-proclaimed “Home of the Great Lakes Fish Fry,” St. Ignace. At the July 23 “fish feast,” you’ll sample the fish-fry creativity of local chefs while enjoying live music, games and fireworks at dusk, all on the waterfront.
  9. Go Italian in Ishpeming, where the Jasper Ridge Brewery serves heritage on a plate in the form of the spicy Italian sausage sand- wich known as the cudighi, and your room at the Country Village Resort is right on site—no driving required. For more local culture, take in the July 30 Italian Fest.
  10. Enjoy wild blueberries in Paradise.  The logging of old-growth trees left room for blueberry bushes to thrive. Come summer in Paradise, forage your own or sample them at the blueberry brunch, pie eating contests or bake sales featured at the Wild Blueberry Festival Aug. 19–21 ( Stroll the beach, too, from a room at the Magnuson Grand Lakefront.

More Northern Michigan Foodie Getaways

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner