Six Pure Michigan Activities to Experience in Lenawee County

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

If you’re looking for a picturesque countryside, hometown charm and more than 50 lakes for recreation and enjoyment, look no further than Lenawee County this summer. The Michigan International Speedway located in Lenawee is known for its NASCAR races, Faster Horses Festival and other exciting events for the whole family. If you’ll be in the Lenawee and Irish Hills area this summer, here are six fun-filled places to visit.

Taking a trip down US-12 or M-50 will lead you to a few local wineries and breweries.

Cherry Creek Winery (15750 US-12, Cement City)

Located in a Historic 1870 Schoolhouse, enjoy a wine tasting at the knotty pine bar. Sample Cherry Creek’s freshly made butter fudge, or Michigan Cherry Preserves. Sample gourmet items like fresh pressed Artisan Olive Oil or 18 year old Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Italy, all bottled on site. Special events, including live entertainment by the vineyard, most weekends.

Pentamere Winery (131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

This Downtown Tecumseh winery offers around a dozen wines to choose from, try a few in the tasting room and take a peak at the cellar where all of the wine is stored and bottled. The winery also offers it’s own wine jellies and gift items.

J. Trees Winery (703 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

Located in the Historic Hayden-Ford Mill, this winery’s tasting room also includes small plates and panini sandwiches. Their wines and ciders are crafted from estate grown fruit, as well as other high quality Michigan fruit. Enjoy a drink on the outdoor patio, overlooking the water!

Tecumseh Brewing Company (128 W. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

The brewery offers an extensive selection of craft beer, 12 to 16 beers on tap, ranging from American Ales to German lagers and from hearty stouts to Belgian ales.

Need a place to unwind? The area around Michigan International Speedway includes many parks and lakes, perfect for camping and boating!

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Hidden Lake Gardens (6214 M-50, Tipton)

Hidden Lake Gardens is open 362 days of the year with an admission fee of $3 per person. Guided tours, requested at least two weeks in advance, are available for $3 per person. Year-round educational programs for all ages are offered at the Visitor Center, which also houses a library, exhibits, auditorium, meeting rooms and a gift shop. The Conservatory includes tropical plants, arid plants, and a variety of flowering houseplants. A picnic area with shelter is available without reservations. In addition to more than 6 miles of one-way paved drives, there are nearly 10 miles of hiking trails to allow the visitor a closer look at the beauty the Gardens provides.

Enjoy a day on the lake! Great for fishing, boating, or just relaxing, the Irish Hills area offers many lakes. Devil’s Lake and Wamplers Lake are both located near Michigan International Speedway and offer something for everyone!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Dan Cherry

Devil’s Lake located less than 10 miles south of the track off of US-223, with a public boat access located on Southwest shore off Devils Lake Hwy (Across the street from 9555 Devils Lake Hwy, Manitou Beach). Manitou Beach is a great place for a bike ride, with stops at Jenni’s Coffee and Cream for an iced coffee or ice cream cone. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Manitou Bar and Grill and shopping at Devils Lake View Living, and The Buoy at The Lake which both offer jewelry, purses, home décor and more.

Wamplers Lake located in W.J. Hayes State Park (1220 Wamplers Lake Rd, Onsted)

W.J. Hayes State Park, in the heart of the Irish Hills, is bordered by a group of inland lakes frequented by anglers and boaters. It is home to Wamplers Lake, a 780 acre all sports lake great for fishing and all water sports. There are numerous geocaching hides in the park, metal detecting is allowed in designated areas and dogs are welcome visitors, too. The park offers modern campsites, a large swimming area, two boat launches, fishing pier, foot paths, a picnic shelter, activity areas and free children’s programs.

This summer, enjoy Lenawee, the Michigan International Speedway and the communities surrounding it. For more information and deals in the Irish Hills area, visit the Lenawee County Conference and Visitors Bureau’s on Michigan.org.

From Our Fans: An Adventurous National Tourism Week

This week is National Travel and Tourism Week and the 2015 theme is “travel is”.  To celebrate, we asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter to tell us what travel means to them.  An overwhelming number answered ‘adventure’.

From biking and hiking to diving and kayaking, the adventures are endless in Pure Michigan. We put together a few ideas for your next trip, no matter which part of our gorgeous state you are visiting!

West Michigan

BeachParty_0291. This amusement park has adventure in its name, literally! Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon is Michigan’s largest amusement and waterpark. Check out more than 60 attractions including seven rollercoasters and more than 20 water rides, including the world-class Shivering Timbers wooden rollercoaster.

2. Go diving or snorkeling in Holland to explore underwater shipwrecks. These lost ships harbor the tales of adventures and misfortunes of the Great Lakes and are time capsules of Michigan’s rich maritime past.

 Southeast Michigan

1. Take a group for a day of kayaking at The Argo Park along the Huron River. After kayaking or canoeing, have a picnic and explore the many nature trails Ann Arbor has to offer.

2. Explore the Motor City on two wheels! Whether you want to bike the Detroit Riverfront for a few hours or have a daylong adventure, you’re not going to be disappointed with everything you are able to see on your ride!

Northwest

1. Climb to the top of the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Empire, Michigan. It’s sure to get your heart pumping during the 130 foot climb to the top of the first hill at the Dune climb and about another 130 feet to the top of the second hill. This is easily the most strenuous hike in the Lakeshore and often takes about three hours.

2. For endurance hikers, the Shore to Shore trail should be your next hiking challenge. This 220-mile trail stretches from Lake Michigan in Empire to the Lake Huron in Oscoda on the east side of the state. If you’d rather explore the trail on horseback, that’s an option too.

 Northeast

StJoe_Sailboat_sunset1. With more than 300,000 acres of open water in the Northeast, it’s a great place to try your hand at fishing. You have the option of fishing off the riverbank, fly fishing or even deep water fishing in Alpena. After you visit, you’ll get to say, “I caught a fish THIS big!”

2. Take in the beautiful scenery and catch a glimpse of wildlife in their native habitat during a canoeing or kayaking trip along the mighty Au Sable River in Oscoda.  The Au Sable is one of North America’s best canoeing rivers and runs through Northern Lower Michigan.

Upper Peninsula

1. Explore Isle Royale, a rugged, isolated island, only accessible by boat or plane. Surrounded by Lake Superior, Isle Royale offers unparalleled solitude and adventures for backpackers, hikers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists and scuba divers. Isle Royale is one of the least visited National Parks because of its seclusion.

2. Go whitewater rafting on Piers Gorge. Thousands of gallons of water rush through this constricted section of river each second, which will be a thrill ride you won’t forget. You might even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle while you’re rafting!

Which adventure will you try first? If you’re looking for a different kind of adventure, even one involving your taste buds, here are a few ways to do that, too.

 

5 Ways to Experience Europe in Holland, Michigan

CloseUpTulips

Photo courtesy of Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

You don’t need a passport to enjoy a true Dutch experience in Holland, Michigan! Immerse yourself in historic art and artifacts at the Holland Museum, tiptoe through the tulips in a city park, or kayak in the shadow of a 270-year-old working Dutch windmill.  Here are 5 favorite ways to experience historic and hip Holland without traveling overseas! 

5. History right here! Holland, Michigan was founded in 1847 by Dutch settlers, and you’ll find their stories woven into Holland’s rich historic fabric at the Holland Museum. A curated collection of Dutch history and artifacts tell the story of the immigrants and settlers who now call Holland home, while the 2nd floor Dutch Galleries showcase paintings by influential Dutch artists. The Cappon and Settlers Houses, restored homes of early Holland residents, depict contrasting lifestyles of our Dutch ancestors.

Windmill

Photo courtesy of Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

4. Windmill Island Gardens is home to DeZwaan Windmill, the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States. Stroll along the dikes, canals, and flower beds overflowing with more than 100,000 tulips. Tour
DeZwaan, and learn how our Dutch-certified miller grinds the local winter wheat into flour; enjoy performances of costumed-dancers in wooden shoes or take a spin on a hand-painted Dutch carousel.   2015 marks the 50th anniversary of DeZwaan in Holland, MI, and we’re celebrating with special events throughout the spring and summer.

3. “Klomping” in the streets! You won’t want to miss a performance by Holland’s famous “Dutch Dancers”! During the Tulip Time Festival over 1000 dancers hit the streets numerous times clad in authentic Dutch costumes and wooden “klompen” to entertain visitors and locals alike.  At Nelis’ Dutch Village, one of Holland’s popular Dutch attractions, you and your family can join in the fun and learn a few steps. And this year, during the Tulip Time festival, join the community at “Klomp the Record”, where we vie for the title of ‘Most People Dancing in Wooden Shoes at One Time’. More info here: TulipTime.com/Klomp.

2. The food! Savor a taste of the Netherlands with delicious Dutch pastries handcrafted at DeBoer Dutch Brothers Cafe & Bakkerij, a fifth-generation Dutch bakery. Try the krakalingen, a figure-8 shaped butter cookie covered with a sprinkle of sugar or the banket, flaky pastry filled with a rich almond paste. And don’t forget to stop by the Thirsty Dutchman Pub for an imported Dutch bier (or a local microbrew!) at Nelis’ Dutch Village also home of the Hungry Dutchman Café, which serves traditional Dutch food.

1. Check out the tulips! More than 6 million tulips bloom in Holland each spring as we celebrate our annual Tulip Time Festival. This year’s festival is May 2 – 9. Drive the 6 miles of Tulip Lanes, stroll through Window on the Waterfront Park, city-owned growing fields with 80,000 tulips, or stop at Veldheer Tulip Gardens ablaze with 4,000,000 tulips. And remember…you don’t need a passport!