Lissa’s Swoon: Second Street Sauna & Blackrocks Brewery, Marquette
You could get all healthy talking about the benefits of an hour-long piping-hot sweat at Second Street Sauna in Marquette … or you could just call it the ultimate way to warm up for a pint at nearby Blackrocks Brewery. The oldest public sauna still operating in Marquette (once upon a time there were many of them, thanks to the city’s Finnish heritage), Second Street offers two sauna/shower suites for $20 (2 to 4 people) an hour. But my advice is to up the old-fashioned-fun ante to $40 for an hour in the 2-person sauna/clawfoot bathtub combo. Trust me, the glow will live on long after you’ve seen the bottom of a couple pints. Text 231.715.0067 for reservations.
Photo by Second Street Sauna
Related Read: Read More About Second Street Sauna on MyNorth.com.
Allison’s Swoon: The Dojo Sushi Bar
7738 N. Long Lake Rd., 231.590.4366, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Having returned to the great state of Michigan after a five-year stint in California, my new year’s resolution is to get back to doing what I love: eating lots of sushi. After spending a few years frequenting the local haunts, I was more than stoked to hear about Chef Brent Shafer opening the doors to The Dojo this past December—a sushi bar on the west side of town in the Long Lake Culinary Campus (formerly Long Lake Elementary School). Brent, a sushi chef with 15+ years of experience under his belt, greeted us warmly as we bellied up to the bar, multitasking as he whipped up takeout orders. While all of the rolls looked fab—we had front-row seats as they left the counter—I personally loved the maguro maki (single-item tuna roll), the spicy tuna roll and the gojira roll, which is a spicy mix of unagi (eel), cucumber, avocado, tobiko and scallions. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. You honestly can’t go wrong.
Photo by Allison Jarrell
Cara’s Swoon: Flannel Snugs
I’m currently in the depths of winter’s gray, and for the most part, I’m okay with it—in part because I’ve been winter-hardened over years of life in the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains, and also because I’m a world-class hunker downer. Woolen skies and dropping mercury give me full permission to retreat with a cup of coffee and a good book, and I like to do it with as much flannel around me as possible—sheets, duvet, pajamas, the works.
Flimsy flannel is real—I’ve said goodbye to torn PJs, pilled sheets and disappointing shackets, but an unbeatable snuggle can be found in a tiny shop in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, right in the heart of their sweet downtown: 49th Apparel. The North meets vintage meets woodsy-contemporary vibe inspires small-batch creations of robes, shorts, bottoms only (yes!), full PJ sets and Ebenezer Scrooge–style nightshirts in 100 percent brushed-cotton five-ounce flannel. 49th Apparel upcycles fabrics for their Re-Made line and makes everything locally with as small a footprint as possible, so you can feel good twice over when you jump into a new set of jams. Retail storefront is closed; shop online.
Photo by 49th Parallel
Carly’s Swoon: Trivia Night at Lil Bo
540 W. Front St., Traverse City, 231.421.3100, open daily.
On weeknights, I’m admittedly more of a homebody. Happily in bed by 9:30. But, on Tuesdays, I’ll make an exception for trivia night at Lil Bo (8 to 10 p.m.). There’s always a good mix of questions—pop culture, sports, history, geography—and they aren’t so difficult that you leave feeling like a chump. Plus, this Traverse City neighborhood bar has a fabulously comforting menu with goodies like green bean casserole and a don’t-you-dare-miss deviled egg of the day—the toppings range from hot dogs and Doritos to crispy spam and sweet chili sauce. D-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l.
Photo by Dave Weidner
Emily’s Swoon: Eat More Veggies (On Pizza)
I’m into the Oscar Wilde-way of embracing a new year, with the wisdom of “everything in moderation, including moderation.” So, pizza nights are still in the picture, especially at my local haunt, St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah, where the chewy, bubble-rimmed pies offer prime real estate for some sensible vegetables. The Beetza brings on the earthy braised beets, baby kale, goat cheese and roasted garlic, but my dream pie is the Bianca—with ricotta, roasted zucchini, blistered cherry tomatoes and a welcome shower of summery basil. Dine by heated patio overlooking the cardinal-red barn, or get lively with the locals inside the meadery at open mic and Wii bowling nights this winter. 841 South Pioneer Rd., Beulah, 231.383.4262, open daily, kitchen closes an hour before regular closing.
Photo by Emily Tyra
Rachel’s Swoon: Shopping in Suttons Bay & Dinner at Wren
The best time to shop locally? In the off-season! From locals-only to end-of-the-season deals, beating the crowds during winter shopping has benefits. Head to some of my favorites like Bahle’s Annex, The Front Porch, Wild Lettie, The Roost Consignment Boutique and Poppy Things and then make a reservation at Wren to treat yourself after. I highly recommend the tasting menu to get the best seasonal bites. If you step outside of the tasting menu, don’t miss out on their rotating soup (that always features what’s fresh and local) and their entire dessert selection!
Photo by Rachel Soulliere