Things to Do Page . . .

There is a seemingly endless variety of fun-filled activities to enjoy at Torch Lake both indoors and out. Of course, enjoying the lake is a big part of many of these activities, whether you choose to go swimming, boating, or just sit back and enjoy the view.

Northern Michigan offers hundreds of events and activities. Click on the Local Activities and Events link to see just a short listing of some of the activities on tap for this Summer! If you're feeling adventurous, why not take a day trip to one of the many interesting destinations in the area. There are a number of great places to explore "Up North."

Scroll down the page to view all the "Things to Do..." or click on the links below to jump to that section.

Things to do at the Cabin / On the Lake
Local Activities
Area Events Calendar
Day Trips Worth Taking

Things to do at the Cabin / On the Lake

Jump in the Lake!
Go jump in the lake! The clear blue water of Torch Lake is perfect for swimming. The cool, clear water can be very refreshing on those hot summer days. But bring your "flip-flops" or water sandals, Torch Lake has a sandy or sometimes rocky bottom; those stones can be tough on bare feet.

Ride the Boat
Torch Lake has to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. What better way to enjoy it than to take a ride in the boat? Our 19' Stingray is a comfortable-sized boat for Torch Lake. Waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are all fun on Torch Lake.

If you're not into high-intensity boating activities like waterskiing, how about a boat ride thru Torch River to Elk Lake? At the entrance of Clam River into Torch Lake, you can stop for food and drink at the "Dockside" restaurant. Eat on the patio and watch the boats cruise past. Across the river from the Dockside is Butch's Tackle and Marine where you can gas up the boat. Also at Butch's, there is a party store that can supply almost anything you need.

Ride through Clam River into Clam Lake and continue on to its end where you can find many swans swimming around. At the end of the day, a slow relaxing sunset cruise is a great way to enjoy the twilight hours.

Hang Out at the Sandbar
Taking the boat to the sandbar for the afternoon is a relaxing way to enjoy the lake. There is a large sandbar at the south end of Torch Lake. The water depth at the sandbar is waist-high or lower and is just deep enough to float around in a tube, play frisbee or volleyball, or just walk around and meet new friends. On a nice day, you can find dozens of boats anchored on the sandbar.

Zip Around the Lake on the SeaDoo's
More adventurous water-lovers will want to hop on the SeaDoo's and zip around the lake. Those little yellow "mosquitoes" can really move on the water. This is an especially favorite activity of our younger visitors.

Take a Hike

Want to stretch your legs? How about a walk through the woods? You can take a walk or hike around the cabin where you may find wild strawberries, raspberries, mushrooms, deer, and even the occasional turkey. A trail off the Greenwood School road leads to an old firetower that you can climb. Or, take a walk over to Brownwood Acres and poke around.

Ride a Bike
You can use the bicycles to get some exercise or just for a change of scenery. Pack a lunch and pedal past Eastport to Barnes Park and spend some time at the beach on Lake Michigan. Brownwood Acres is a short ride away. Some really adventurous types have even pedaled to Central Lake's downtown. Or just take a quick ride down East Torch Lake Drive and take in the scenery.

Enjoy the Sunset and a Campfire
Sitting around the campfire at the end of the day is a wonderful way to enjoy the sunset. Sunsets on Torch Lake seem to invent new colors. Year after year, we keep coming back to be amazed by the sunsets. Gather around the fire ring in the front lawn to enjoy the sunset and campfire. After the sunset, we love to toast marshmallows in the fire and make lots of S'Mores on the campfire.

Work on a Project
Feeling energetic? There's always a project underway of some sort. Some of our past projects have included building a shed, making additional dock sections, and installing a satellite system. Projects still planned are building an "arbor" for the grape vines, finishing the lawn upgrade, and more.

Take a Nap
Had too much excitement? Hop into the hammock or grab a chaise lounge and relax. There's something about being on the lake that makes napping very easy and refreshing. Relax, take it easy and enjoy yourself.

Have a Chat
What better time to catch up on old times with friends and family? Make some time to chat with everyone and find out what's going on.

Hunt for Petoskey Stones
A favorite activity of visitors young and old alike is to walk along the shore hunting for "Petoskey Stones." Each year, ice and wave action brings up a new batch of Petoskey stones to the surface. The Petoskey stones that you find are a great souvenir from your trip. Click here to learn more about "Petoskey Stones."

Catch a Fish
Northern Michigan offers the sportsman virtually unlimited options for fishing. Torch Lake has lake trout, rock bass, yellow perch, small mouth bass, muskellunge, ciscoes, brown trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish. However, due to its cooler temperatures and lack of vegetation the fishing on Torch Lake is not as good as other lakes on the "Chain of Lakes."
 North of Central Lake, are six narrow lakes that complete the Chain O' Lakes system. Called the Upper Lakes (Chain O' Lakes) these include Hanley Lake, Benway Lake, Wilson Lake, Ellsworth Lake, St. Clair Lake, and Six Mile Lake. You can find walleye, pike, perch, crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and rock bass in these waters. Due to the shallow depth of the connecting rivers, smaller boats are recommend for this fishing tour. Boat rentals are available in Central Lake.

If fishing for trout is more to your liking, there are many small streams feeding the lakes that hold brook and brown trout.

Play a Game
If you're the indoor type, or the weather's not so hot, there's always something to do. Putting together a puzzle and other other games are good rainy-day activities. In the evenings, we are always up for a good game of Scrabble. Got your own favorite game? Bring it along!

Read a Book
You can catch up on your reading at Shintangle. Whether it's a rainy day or just a quiet afternoon, you can always find the time to read a good book. Bring that book that you just can't quite find the time to pick up or you can choose one from our library.

Church Services
You are welcome to join us at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning in Central Lake.

Local Activities

Alden Evening Strolls
Thursday Night Stroll, At the south end of Torch Lake, the lakeside town of Alden features the "Alden Thursday Night Stroll" each Thursday through the Summer season, featuring street entertainment, late shopping and dining followed by a sing-a-long and campfire in the Alden Depot Park from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Downtown Alden.

Brownwood Acres and Sunday Flea Market

One of northern Michigan's traditions, Brownwood Acres started off years ago as a child's roadside stand selling honey. Over the years it has grown into a "must-see" destination. You can poke around the shops for souvenirs and local products. On Sundays, there is an outdoor flea market where you can pick up a bargain on a knickknack or just walk around.

Each building at Brownwood has it's own unique story. Three of the buildings are described here...

Brownwood Country Store
The building that fell through the ice of Torch Lake in 1957 while being moved to Brownwood was originally the Eastport Inn. Built in 1867 as an overnight stage coach stop between Traverse City and Petoskey, it is now restored as an authentic Country Store. Inside you'll find an old fashioned candy counter, sponge pottery, cook books, Torch Lake tee-shirts and sweatshirts, antiques and Mary Lou's Tea Room. Watch fudge, caramel corn and chocolates being made in our Candy Kitchen.

Mary Lou's Tea Room
Enjoy a leisurely lunch on our Victorian porch overlooking our hollyhock garden or eat inside our quaint tea room amid the antiques and lace curtains. Lunch served from 11:30 until 3:00 daily From Memorial Day to Labor Day. A Great Summertime Menu featuring a Selection of Stacked Sandwiches, Homemade Soups, Salads and Desserts, plus meals for kids. A great spot to sip and savor our famous fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The Honey House
The original building of Brownwood started as a roadside stand selling honey and fresh produce from the family farm. Now a five room shop, you will find distinctive gifts with a "Touch of the North". Browse our wide selection of Minnetonka Moccasins, Petoskey stone items, Sue Bolt and Mary Alice pottery, jewelry and amusing greeting cards.

Adams Madams Adams Madams for fine handmade crafts and gifts in Central Lake, MI
New in Downtown Central Lake is "Adams Madams", a store filled with the creations of more than 50 artists and crafters, most of who live in Central Lake and the surrounding communities. The collection of gifts — for yourself or others — includes jewelry, hammocks, candles, artwork, furniture, pottery, and rock and stone items.

When visitors enter the newly renovated establishment they are greeted with the fragrance of candles, wreaths and potpourri. They gaze upon a clean, bright interior tastefully adorned with a magnificent display of local crafts, art, and antiques. The warmth of the rooms invites them to meander through the creations, lounge in the seating area, or pick through children's literature inside the former bank vault.

This is one of Tracy's favorite places! Visit their web site at for more information.

Friske Orchards Store
This store in Atwood (the Adorable) has changed ownership, but some of us still call it by its old name (Elzinga’s). Animals to pet. Lots of lovely handmade crafts and other quaint things to buy. Good place for lunch. Buy a pie and doughnuts here to take home.

King Orchards Produce Stand
Just north of Central Lake, this is the place to buy black sweet cherries, strawberries, peaches, corn and other good things to eat. They have recently opened another farm stand on U.S. 31 just south of Torch Lake Village.

There are over 26 golf courses within a short drive of Torch Lake. Short and long courses as well as championship, pro and par three courses all provide a different challenge, no matter what your level of expertise.

A-Ga-Ming: Overlooking Torch Lake, this is one of the most picturesque courses in the state. It's located 10 miles north of Elk Rapids off U.S. 31 North. (231) 264-5081.

Antrim Dells: This 18-hole championship course was designed by Jerry Matthews. Plays to 6,670 yards from championship tees. Located 35 miles N of Traverse City on U.S. 31. (231) 599-2679.

Bellaire Golf Club: This 18-hole course has been face-lifted over the last few years. It's slightly rolling with a new back nine. Located 2 miles south of Bellaire on M-88. (231) 533-8942.

Centennial Farm Golf Club: The front nine features rolling hills and the back nine plays through hardwoods. It is located near Bellaire and close to several other Antrim County courses. 18-hole course, driving range, putting green, restaurant. 3388 Eddy School Road, Bellaire, 49615. (231) 533-6886.

Elk Rapids Golf Club: The course offers a view of Elk Lake and the links have re-designed some holes over the past few years. (231) 264-8891.

Lakes of the North: An 18-hole layout with a 71par. From championship tees, the course plays to 6,922 yards. Located on County Road 38, 10 miles W of Old 27. (231) 585-6800.

The Chief Golf Course: Bellaire's newest 18-hole championship course was designed by John Robinson and it plays from 4,708 to 6,541 yards. All carts feature GPS. The Chief is located on Shanty Creek Road, 200 feet east of the entrance to Shanty Creek. (888) 483-5465.

Shanty Creek - Cedar River Golf Club: The new Tom Weiskopf designed course opened last summer at Shanty Creek to rave reviews. The course plays to 6,989 yards from the back tees and 6,528 from the blue, 5,963 from the white and 5,315 from the red. (800) 678-4111.

Shanty Creek - Schuss Mountain Golf Club: The 18-hole course, cut out of Antrim County forest, has sand traps and five water hazards to add to the difficulty. The course has a driving range available. 4 miles W of Mancelona on M-88. (800) 678-4111.

Shanty Creek - Summit Golf Club: This hilly, 18-hole course of 6,559 yards features sand traps on each hole. The greens are lightning fast. Located off M-88 near Bellaire. (800) 678-4111.

Shanty Creek - The Legend Golf Club: Designed by Arnold Palmer and plays to 6,764 yards, the combination of heavily-treed fairways, sand traps and water hazards create difficult shots on a tight course. Three ponds are formed by the headwaters of Shanty Creek, which winds through numerous other holes. (800) 678-4111.

Windmill Farms: One of two par-3 courses in the area, Windmill Farms of Mancelona not only offers nine holes of golf, but a fine restaurant as well. (231) 587-5258.


Bay Meadows Golf Course: Located just two miles from downtown Traverse City, this new course is expanding to 18 holes. The course is developed with the family in mind. There's also putting and chipping greens, plus a range. It's located between M-72 and Barney Rd. 946-7927.

Cedar Hills: One of the few par-3 courses in the area, Cedar Hills is an 18-hole layout with large greens. Located on Cedar Run Road, west of Traverse City. 947-8237.

Crown Golf Club: Located 5 minutes from the Grand Traverse Mall, the Crown is Traverse City's newest 18-hole course, measuring 6,676 yards. It is a championship course for all levels of play. The Crown features a pro shop, putting green, driving range and outside food and beverage area. 946-2975.

Elmbrook Golf Course: The oldest 18-hole layout in the county. The sixth hole, a 360-yard par-4, offers a spectacular view of Grand Traverse Bay and downtown Traverse City from an elevated tee. Water is in play on three holes. Practice range for irons available. Located south of Traverse City off Hammond Road at 1750 Townline Road. 231-946-9180. Fax 231-946-1753.Map

Grand Traverse Resort, Spruce Run: The challenging 18-hole championship course overlooking Grand Traverse Bay plays to 6,700 yards from championship tees. The links, designed by William Newcomb, served as host of the Michigan Open pro tournament before moving to "The Bear." Water is in play on 11 holes. Sand traps dot every hole. Driving range available. 938-1620.

Grand Traverse Resort, The Bear: Designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, the award-winning championship course poses a stiff challenge for all. The 7,000-yard layout winds through rolling hills and apple and cherry orchards with a view of Grand Traverse Bay. Deep sand traps, thick rough and strategically placed water hazards heighten the degree of difficulty and put a premium on shot accuracy. It is also the host for the Michigan Open. 616-938-1620.

Grand Traverse Resort, The Wolverine: This Gary Player course opened for play last summer. Each nine of The Wolverine is distinctive. It plays to 7,000 yards from the back tees and just over 5,000 yards from the most forward tees. 616-938-1620.

High Pointe Golf Club: Designed by renowned architect Tom Doak, the course offers play reminiscent of traditional British courses and natural layout. High Pointe accommodates all levels of golfers and has drawn praise from both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. It was ranked one of the top 100 courses in the U.S., according to balloting by Golf Magazine's panel of selectors for 1998-99. It's ranked No. 74. Located 3 miles east of Acme, just off M-72, at 5555 Arnold Road, Williamsburg, 49640. 267-9900. E-mail "Get to the Pointe."

Interlochen Golf Course: Rated one of America's Top 100 Value Courses by "Maximum Golf" magazine, the scenic Interlochen Golf Course is laid out through a forest of large, mixed hardwoods and white pines. It plays to 6,445 yards, with a slope rating of 130. Its strategically placed bunkers and water hazards add additional challenge for the weekend golfer and the low handicap player alike. Located at 10586 U.S. 31 South, 13 miles southwest of Traverse City. 275-7311 or 1-877-480-7311.

Kingsley Club: Scheduled to open in June, the Kingsley Club was built on high rolling countryside pastures. The club was committed to preserving the environment on this private course, designed by Traverse City's Mike DeVries. The par-71 course plays up to 6911 yards. Membership will be limited to 250. Located 12 miles south of Traverse City. Call 946-5538.

Lochenheath: Formerly a cherry orchard, Lochenheath offers vistas of East Bay on 16 of its 18 holes. Steve Smyers designed a par-71 course for players of all ability to enjoy. The course plays from 7,000 yards to just over 5,000. Scheduled to open in May, Lochenheath will allow a limited amount of daily-fee play initially. It will eventually be a private course. Located on U.S.-31, just north of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Call 938-9800.

Mitchell Creek Golf Course: Mitchell Creek's layout includes two rugged par-5 holes of 540 and 485 yards. The nine-hole course among the area's newest plays to 3,253-yards. Located at 2846 Three Mile Road, 1-1/2 miles south of Munson Avenue in Traverse City. 941-5200.

Grandview Golf Course: Opened in 1992, the 18-hole course plays to 6,400 yards. It features rolling hills and is located on Hagni Road, off County Road 612, about 5 miles east of Kalkaska. 258-3244.

Timber Wolf Golf Club: The area's newest championship golf course plays to 6,500 yards. The 18-hole, par 71 course is shaped through rolling terrain and six- to eight-foot pines, offering challenging play with excellent views. Located 6 miles east of Kalkaska on M-72. 258-5685.

Twin Birch: Twin Birch offers a complete stop for the golfer: A driving range, putting green, complete pro shop, restaurant and an 18-hole course. Located 1 mile east of Kalkaska on County Road 612. 258-9691.

Area Events Calendar

Operation Petunia
Ever wonder how all those Petunias along the roads in Charlevoix get there? A small army of volunteers plants them in one day! It's called “Operation Petunia” and this year it happens on Thursday May 26th from 4 to 7pm at the Downtown East Park.

Taste of Charlevoix
Sample great food from some of the best restaurants in the Charlevoix area. Check out all the food on June 16th in Downtown Charlevoix.

Central Lake "Festival of Arts"
Murphy's Lamplight Inn - Central Lake, MI. Artists & Musicians, Classic Cars. Saturday June 25, 2005

Friske Orchard's Strawberry Social
Friske's Orchard 10743 N U.S. 31 in Adorable Atwood. Come early and enjoy a pancake breakfast with early American handcrafts. Music by "New Old Stock" will be playing throughout the day. Saturday, June 25, 2005 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Charlevoix Annual Used Book Sale
Charlevoix Public Library ClintonStreet, Saturday, June 18, 2005 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is the busiest time of year on Torch Lake. We always have a full house for the Fourth. And there is always something to do. There are parades, picnics, and fireworks. And, the Cherry Festival in Traverse City is also usually scheduled during this week. Don't forget the Central Lake Chamber of Commerce 4th of July Parade in Downtown Central Lake, July 4th, 2005 at Noon.

Cherry Festival
Traverse City, July 2nd - 9th, 2005. Click here for the complete events schedule for the Cherry Festival.

Founded in 1926, the mission of the National Cherry Festival is to promote the cherry industry, promote tourism and community involvement, and to cultivate the business, entertainment, and cultural interests of the Grand Traverse region.

The National Cherry Festival, now in its 79th season, has roots steeped in tradition. Around 1910, when cherries were first harvested in the region, cherry farmers in the Grand Traverse area were performing their own ritual called the "blessing of the blossoms." The ceremonies at first were small, unpublicized affairs, with the pastor of one local church or another invoking the blessing with small groups of people. They became increasingly popular after the first Blessing of the Blossoms Festival held on May 22, 1925. The method of selecting the first Cherry Blossom Queen was unique. For the first and only time in Cherry Festival history, Queen Gertrude Brown, was chosen by drawing her name out of a hat.

The local people then began to entertain the idea of holding an official Cherry Festival each year. The proposal to promote the cherry industry and the beautiful Grand Traverse Region was met with wide-spread enthusiasm throughout the state. Originally called the "Michigan Cherry Festival," in 1931 the Michigan legislature passed a resolution making the Michigan Cherry Festival a national celebration. Thus the Festival took its place among other national events, another step in the on-going process of making cherries and Traverse City synonymous in the minds of people all over the country.

Today, the National Cherry Festival hosts nearly 150 events for the entire family. There are children's events, air shows, free entertainment, sporting events, parades and loads of luscious cherries presented in every way imaginable.

See the U.S. Navy Blue Angels next year!
This Year's Free Air Show over West Grand Traverse Bay on July 3rd and 4th features an acrobatic air show starting at 12:30pm both days.

Charlevoix Arts and Craft Show
During this popular event, artisans display and sell work in the pleasant outdoor setting of the downtown parks. Everything from weaving to metal craft can be found among the 200 exhibitors at the two day show. Saturday, July 9th, 2005 thru Sunday, July 10th, 2005.

Charlevoix Annual Home Tour
Annual Home Tour visits various homes in Charlevoix. Contact (231) 675-7338. Saturday, July 16, 2005 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Charlevoix Venetian Festival
The Charlevoix Annual Venetian Festival is fun for boaters and non-boaters alike. This festival offers a wonderful variety of events geared to delight and entertain every age group. Most events take place in waterfront parks, Round Lake harbor, and lake Charlevoix. The highlight of the Festival is the evening Venetian parade of boats decorated with lights and more. Sunday, July 17th, 2005 thru Saturday, July 23th, 2004

Elk Rapids Harbor Days
Wednesday August 3th, 2004 thru Saturday August 6th, 2004. The Community Dinner and Concert will be held on August 6th.

Northwest Michigan Fair
Food, Rides, and more at the annual NW Michigan Fair just outside Traverse City at the fairgrounds. Sunday August 7th thru Saturday August 13th, 2005.

Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair
Professional artist from across the nation will be in Charlevoix to display and sell their work. The waterfront Art Fair takes place downtown in East Park and is sponsored by the Charlevoix Council for the Arts, reprsented by Mary Beth McGraw. Always held on the second Saturday in August. This year it's Saturday, August 13th, 2005.
Charlevoix Sidewalk Sales
Bargains galore during the Sidewalk Sales in Charlevoix. Merchants move their wares to the sidewalk so that you can just stroll along and choose your bargains. Thursday, August 18, 2005 thru Saturday, August 20, 2005. All Day Event.

Bellaire Rubber Ducky Festival
Includes an Arts and Crafts Show, Taste of Bellaire, Rubber Ducky Race, Car Show, and Parade. Saturday, August 20th, 2005. All Day Event in Bellaire. Click here to register for the Rubber Ducky Parade.

Elk Rapids Arts and Crafts Show on River St.
Elk Rapids - Saturday August 20, 2005. 9am to 4pm on River Street in Elk Rapids.

25th Annual Apple Festival
Experience the magic of Autumn in Northern Michigan at the Charlevoix Apple Festival. This 3 day event is held yearly to honor local orchards and growers who, in the spirit of the season, line Bridge St in order to bring the fall harvest to you. More than 30 types of apples and apple products will be on hand along with a variety of produce, baked goods, jams and honey. Local organizations man booths providing such hot food items as chili, hotdogs and kielbasa. A fine arts and crafts show takes place in East Park on scenic Round Lake harbor along with pony rides, a petting farm and face painting. Relax and enjoy all the beauty and charm Fall has to offer while taking a “free” horse drawn carriage ride. Bundle up and bring the family to our Fall harvest bonanza. Join the festivities and show your support for local orchards and farm markets while celebrating the season in beautiful downtown Charlevoix. Friday October 14th, 2005 thru Sunday October 16th, 2005 - 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Day Trips Worth Taking

Mackinac Island
Visit Mackinac Island and experience the sites and sounds of a bygone era. Located between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, the Island offers you unforgettable natural and historical treasures surrounded by the sparkling blue waters of Lake Huron.

Mackinac Island is the truly "all natural" theme park of America. Limited to transportation of horse and buggy, bicycle or foot., surrounded by water, it has escaped the vast changes of time. It's real Victorian image is preserved and enhanced by a small population of 500 permanent residents and scores of summer residents, maintaining bluff cottages in original state. Families, especially children, love their relatively new found "mobility", exploring the historic, natural beauty of Mackinac Island State Park, honored by National Geographic as one of the ten finest in America.

From romantic weekend getaways to fun filled days with the family, Mackinac Island has something for everyone. Ride a bicycle around the 8-mile lakeshore path, or enjoy the quaint Victorian architecture as you take a leisurely ride in a horse drawn carriage. Discover for yourself why millions have traveled to Mackinac Island……plan your trip today!

The Grand Hotel here was actually the subject of a Hollywood movie. No motorized vehicles here, except for fire trucks and an ambulance. Be sure to purchase a tour of the island on horse-drawn wagons. Or rent a bike. Or both. Worth a tour: colonial Fort Michilimackinac. Plenty of shops to poke through. Do not fail to purchase large quantities of fudge before you leave. (We like Murdick's fudge the best.) Now, you are a true fudgie.

For more information on Mackinac Island, click the links below:

Mackinaw City
This (despite the name) village is a two-hour drive north of the cabin. Plenty to see and do here. It offers great views of the Straits of Mackinac Bridge (longest suspension bridge in the world at the time it was built back in 1955). Continuous demonstrations are available in Fort Mackinac near the end of the bridge. A terrific new shopping center opened up downtown just a few years ago. This is the place to buy good souvenirs! Be sure to stop in at the Traverse Bay Woolens store. Plenty of great restaurants will help you avoid starvation. Mackinaw City is place to catch one of the many ferries to Mackinac Island.

For more information on Mackinaw City, click on the links below:

Sault Ste. Marie.
Another two hours north of the Straits, this is far enough to make it worth considering an overnight stay. Tour the famous Soo Locks by boat. Stand on the observation deck and watch freighters pass through the Locks. Visit the Corps of Engineers Visitors'Center. Several marine museums await those who are interested. Rail fans can check out operations of the Soo Line Railroad. Across the border in Canada, consider a full day trip scenic railroad trip northward into Ontario on the Agawa Canyon Railroad.

For more information on Sault Ste. Marie, click the link below:

Tahquamenon Falls
About one hour northwest of the Mackinac Bridge, this is a neat trip for those who want a close-up look at the north woods. It involves a trip by narrow gauge railroad. Then a transfer to a river boat. Finally, a brief hike along the banks of the river to view the falls. The brown color of the water is caused by tannic acid from decaying vegetation.

For more information on Tahquamenon Falls, click the links below:

We like to frequently visit this small town 17 miles north of the cabin. We show visitors the unusual homes in Boulder Village, some of the Victorian homes built by resorters early in the 20th century, and the picturesque harbor. A highlight of any visit is watching the drawbridge do its thing every thirty minutes as sailboats pass beneath. After some heavy-duty shopping on Bridge Street, shall we try some fish and chips at the Villager Inn?

Charlevoix, a city on three lakes, is a small town combining its resort-tourism tradition with a growing industrial, year-round employment base. The city and surrounding townships have a total population of approximately 8,500 year-round residents and swells to an estimated 30,000 people in the summer. Charlevoix's natural resources make it a recreational paradise for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors either on land or on the water. In addition to Charlevoix's natural attractions, there are other attractions such as shopping, dining and a wide variety of special events which take place each year in the northern Michigan community known as Charlevoix the Beautiful.

Shopping along the harbor in beautiful Charlevoix is a relaxing, enjoyable experience. You may be tempted to linger at a café until sunset. One of the more unique shopping stops in Charlevoix is the Bullfrog Light Company candle factory outlet. Located 1 mile east of town on M-66, the candlemaker's shop is nestled in a beautiful wooded glade. You'll love the factory discounts on their seconds!

Click here for more information on Charlevoix.

Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Cross Village
About an hour north of Torch Lake, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is the city of Petoskey. By 1890, a substantial number of shops had sprung up along what is now Lake Street in Petoskey, creating a very unique shopping area originally known as the "Midway." These shops catered primarily to affluent resorters, and became the core of what is now called the "Gaslight District." Fast forward to 2002, where Downtown Petoskey's Gaslight District continues to feature a variety independent shops offering delights and services not to be found elsewhere.

Petoskey's famed downtown Gaslight District features more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes. With the shining bay in view, you'll enjoy a stroll through historic blocks lined with original and independent stores. If shopping is in your blood, and even if it's not, you'll be delighted with the array of truly unique stores. Located 2 miles south of Petoskey along Little Traverse Bay you'll find the newly opened Bay Harbor Marina District. The opulent shopping complex features 25 upscale stores, boutiques, galleries, restaurants and more.

Petoskey has its share of interesting shops full of collectibles, but we like to view the Victorian cottages in the Methodist settlement of Bayview, too. Harbor Springs has more shops, beautiful lakefront homes and a nice marina (for those who are into boat-watching). A scenic drive northward along the Lake Michigan shoreline to Cross Village completes the trip.

Click here for more information on Petoskey.

Traverse City

People flying in will begin their visit at the Cherry Capital Airport here. It is worth a return visit before leaving the area. Biggest town in the area, this is mostly for shopping. Stroll along Front Street and poke into the many nice shops. Patronize the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Stop at one or both of the two large malls on South Airport Road. Eat in one of the many fine restaurants. The National Cherry Festival in early July is a week full of frenzied activity. On the way back home, take a short detour to drive along the scenic Mission Peninsula.

Traverse City is located at the bases of East and West Grand Traverse Bay. It is the County Seat of Grand Traverse County. It was incorporated in 1881 as a village and later as a city in 1885. First settled in the 1850’s by William Boardman near the mouth of the river now named after him, this town developed over lumbering due to its accessibility to shipping on Lake Michigan. The lumber mill which Boardman and his son started was later bought out by Perry Hannah, who escalated development of the town into a city and is considered its founding father.

Traverse City today is known for its scenic beauty, tourism and recent rapid growth. It is a favorite place to begin a vacation due to its central location to so much of the Lake Michigan Coastline and Michigan’s great Northland. It has also become a popular place for retirement as well as to locate a business due to its diverse economy. Whether you are out for a day or a week, for the first time or the hundredth, Traverse City is always a nice place to visit.

Most of Michigan's sweet cherry production is concentrated in the Traverse City area. Many of the golden sweet varieties are made into maraschino cherries. But in July and early August, the countryside around Traverse City is dotted with stands, markets and u-pick signs offering cartons of sweet, dark cherries. And sometimes the cherries soak in the ice cold water to keep them fresh.

For the musically-inclined, Traverse City has a music museum that includes many rare musical instruments. Hourly tours available. Then, it is on to Interlochen for a look at the National Music Camp. This is the venue for frequent concerts for all musical tastes. For more information on Interlochen click on the following link:

Leelanau Sands CasinoLeelanua Sands Casino
Located five miles north of Suttons Bay and 20 miles north of Traverse City on M 22. Owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the casino offers Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Roulette, Two-Deck Pitch Black Jack, Let It Ride, Money Wheel and over 900 slot machines from nickel to $100 machines. It is open seven days a week. A full service restaurant is available for your dining enjoyment. A 1,000-seat live-entertainment Showroom expansion to Leelanau Sands Casino, convertible to a 400-seat Night Club, brings nationally recognized entertainers. 2521 N. West Bayshore Drive (M 22) Suttons Bay MI 49682 (231) 271-4104 Turtle Creek Casino

Turtle Creek CasinoTurtle Creek Casino, Traverse City
Owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the casino offers Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Roulette, Craps and Let It Ride as well as more than 650 slot machines from nickel to $100 machines. Open 24 hours. It's located four miles east of the M 72 and US 31 intersection. Like the casino, the Misheekeh Cafe is open daily and serves 11 types of burgers; salads, wraps and the incredible Turtle Sundae. As an extra convenience, Turtle Creek Casino offers free shuttle rides to a number of Traverse City hotels and motels. 7741 M 72 East Williamsburg MI 49690 (231) 267-9546

Outlet Shopping
Horizon Outlet Center-Traverse City, MI. Bag a bargain and brag it up at Horizon's Outlet Center. Save 20-70% everyday on brand name men's, women's, and children's apparel, shoes, gifts, home furnishings, and more. Features over 25 stores like Gap, Bass, Dansk, Linen Barn, and Carter's. 3639 Market Place Circle Traverse City, MI 49684. Hours of Operation Sunday: 11AM-6PM; Monday-Saturday Hours: 10 AM TO 9 PM

Tanger Outlet Center - West Branch,MI. Features brand name manufacturers with an average of 40% off retail prices. Provides friendly service, free parking, motorcoach incentives, a children's play area, and a travel information center. There is easy access off I-75 between Detroit and Mackinaw/Traverse City areas. 2990 Cook Road Suite 128 West Branch, MI 48661 Hours of Operation Sunday Hours: 10:00AM - 6:00PM Holiday Hours: WINTER AND SUMMER HOURS VARY. Seasonal hours January through March Monday-Saturday Hours:10:00AM - 9:00PM

Prime Outlets at Birch Run Birch Run
Prime Outlet's at Birch Run is the Midwest's largest outlet shopping center. With 170 fantastic outlet stores, you will find shopping at it's best, clothing, footwear, housewares, shops and more with discounts from 25-65 off retail. Groups welcome. 12240 South Beyer Road Birch Run, MI 48415 Hours of Operation Monday-Saturday 10am to 9 pm,, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm

Frankenmuth, "Michigan's Little Bavaria", delights over 3 million visitors annually. Come experience the Bavarian heritage that attracts these visitors year after year. There are dozens of attractions in Frankenmuth but the two most popular are Bronner's and Zehnder's.

BRONNER'S CHRISTmas WONDERLAND, the world's largest Christmas store, is located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Just minutes off I-75, Bronner's is located between Flint and Saginaw, Michigan. Bronner's offers over 50,000 gifts and trims from around the world. Thousands of twinkling lights, shimmering ornaments and sparkling Christmas trees create this spectacular Christmas wonderland, which is the size of four football fields. Bronner's features a fantastic selection of ornaments, trees, lights, Nativities and collectibles.

America's Largest Family Restaurant Zehnder's of Frankenmuth is the heart of Midwestern hospitality. In its ten dining rooms, which can seat more than 1,500 guests, Zehnder's offers a full-service menu that features all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinners, seafood, steaks, fresh baked goods and European desserts.
Beaver Island
The most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes, with a year-round population of 450 - a large percentage, of Irish descent. The residents' isolation, independence and respect for nature and traditions of the Island have made time slow down. Because Beaver Island offers a serene, relaxed life-style, many visitors have become regular vacationers, property owners and permanent residents.

About the Island: 6 x 13 miles, Seven Inland Lakes Hiking Trails, Campgrounds Seven Nearby Islands. General Stores. Motels, B & B´s, cabins, vacation homes, Restaurants, Car, bike, & boat rentals, Bank, medical center, library, taxi service, Beautiful harbor, two airports, two marinas, and two lighthouses. We welcome you to discover Beaver Island and decide where it may fit into your life.

Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and Sand Dunes
Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. No visit to the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula would be complete without seeing Sleeping Bear. One hour west of Traverse City, we begin at the Visitors' Center. Then on to Pierce Stocking Drive for scenic views, including one of Lake Michigan from a high bluff. The next stop is for those who never got enough sandbox time when young: a chance to climb the giant sand dune. Be sure to stop in the gift shop before leaving.

The 460-foot Sleeping Bear Dunes tower over the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan like shifting pyramids of sand. The dunes stretch for seven of the thirty-four miles of national lakeshore. The Sleeping Bear Dunes are the world's largest perched dunes, so named because the dunes sit atop high, limestone bluffs. The dunes are slowly migrating eastward and inland, where forest remnants of bleached pine, white birch, and cedar swamps persist.

The lakeshore includes North and South Manitou Island, which play a role in the Chippewa Indian legend used to name the dunes. On the shores of what is now Wisconsin, a forest fire forced a mother bear and her two cubs into Lake Michigan. The mother swam to the opposite shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. The cubs could not keep up and drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs slipped beneath the water. Manitou created a solitary dune on the mainland to represent the faithful mother bear.

Thousands of visitors experience the Sleeping Bear Dunes every year. From the highly trafficked Dune Climb to remote beaches, there is something for everyone. the Lakeshore has many trails with wildflowers, animals, birds and great scenic beauty. Beachcombing, canoeing, fishing, biking and cross-county skiing are just a few of the outdoor pursuits available.

After visiting the Sand Dunes, it is on to the historic fishing port of Leland. Some people come here to go out into Lake Michigan on a charter boat for salmon fishing. Us? We like to poke around the quaint shops, wander through "fish town" and then eat broiled whitefish at the Bluebird Café. On the way back to the cabin, you can stop at the light house on the northern tip of the Leelanau Peninsula or check out the shops in Northport.

For more information on the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and Sand Dunes, click on the links below:


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