5 Michigan Sunrise to Sunset Golf Itineraries

Summer is officially here and more daylight hours means more time to enjoy golf in Michigan.

Michigan is consistently named among the best golf destinations in the country and the long summer days make Michigan perfect for teeing off to a sunrise, finding incredible twilight pricing and ending your day as the sun sets over the landscape.  Read more on five sunrise to sunset Michigan golf itineraries to take advantage of this summer:

Crystal Mountain is beautiful no matter the time of day

Photo Courtesy of Janina Parrott Jacobs

1. Southwest Michigan

Southwest Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is home to several courses that attract golfers of all skill levels.  The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area offers courses where you can spend a sunrise to sunset golf day.

Sunrise

Start your morning with the views at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.  This Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course offers diverse terrain and a beautiful setting – three holes have Lake Michigan views, 11 holes border Paw Paw River, Ox Creek and its wetlands and four holes wind through rolling hills, ravines and a hardwood forest.

Afternoon

Over at Berrien Hills Golf Club, also in Benton Harbor, holes 6, 16, and 17 are adjacent to the scenic, tree-lined St. Joseph River. When you reach Berrien’s “19th hole,” it’s time to relax in the clubhouse with your favorite beverage and something delicious to snack on at Ray’s on the Green while appreciating your picturesque vantage point overlooking the course and river.

Berrien Hills is a beautiful rolling course

Photo Courtesy of the Southwest Michigan Tourist Council

Sunset

Lake Michigan Hills is always rated at the top of the Southwest Michigan public golf courses, and when  you can end your day enjoying a beautiful sunset, it’s a day well spent.

Lake Michigan Hills is one of many pristine Michigan courses

Photo Courtesy of Lake Michigan Hills

2. Northern Michigan

America’s Summer Golf Capital

Home to America’s Summer Golf Capital, this region has lured the world’s finest golf architects in search of the perfect setting to create 29 championship golf courses.

America’s Summer Golf Capital offers eight tours that are already assembled, so you can enjoy your golf vacation without the tedious planning.  For a premier sunrise-to-sunset experience, try the ‘Northern Gems’ and ‘Prestige & Awe’ tours.

Northern Gems

Start at Crystal Mountain at sunrise, choosing from the Mountain Ridge course, with fairways winding through stately forests and ascending to high elevations, or Betsie Valley, a course that will challenge the ability of any golfer with its protected greens, tree lined fairways and challenging bunkers.

Spend your afternoon at one of three courses at Grand Traverse Resort:  The Bear, ranked the 18th toughest course in America according to Golf Digest; The Wolverine, Gary Player’s first signature course in Michigan; or Spruce Run, the resort’s original course that is both fun and challenging to play.

End your day taking in the scenic views and incredible sunsets over Grand Traverse Bay at LochenHeath -  a private course that offer limited outside play. LochenHeath is a Scottish links-style golf course meticulously carved from a 300-acre cherry orchard.

3. Shanty Creek, Bellaire

Part of America’s Summer Golf Capital, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire has four full-length courses that feature a variety of challenges for the bucket list golfer to the beginner, where you can easily spend an entire day golfing.

The Summit course offers beginners several PGA-led initiatives to ease players into the game including forward par-three tees on every hole and big 18” cups on every green (in addition to standard cups).

Sunrise

Start your day at Cedar River Golf Club.  Cut through the hardwoods of Antrim County, the early morning light casts incredible shadows while wildlife of all kinds wakes up. The playability and design of this Tom Weiskopf course deserves every accolade it has received including “Top 10 Michigan Public Courses” (Golf Magazine) and “Top 1,000 Golf Courses in the World” (Rolex Timepieces).

Enjoy twilight golf at Shanty Creek Resorts

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

Afternoon and twilight rates

Schuss Mountain Golf Club is an often-overlooked northern Michigan gem that plays like two distinct nine-hole courses: the front nine weaves through pine dotted forests while the back nine ascends and descends over the rolling hills of Antrim County. And with twilight rates beginning at 1 p.m., it’s worth putting on your short-list of courses to play.

All four of Shanty Creek Resort’s courses offer twilight rates with cart:

  • $20 Summit GC after 1pm;
  • $30 Schuss Mtn GC after 1pm;
  • $40 The Legend GC after 3pm;
  • $40 Cedar River GC after 3pm;

Sunset

The Legend by Arnold Palmer has incredible sunset views over Lake Bellaire, and with twilight rates at $40 after 3pm, it’s a steal too. If your round ends before the sun goes down, directly across the parking lot from the Pro Shop is The Lakeview Restaurant and Lounge with its wall of windows with a panoramic westward view of Lake Bellaire and the setting sun.

4. Mid-Michigan

Mt. Pleasant’s Michigan Central Swing, courses and 12 retreats and offers golfers and travelers a reservation service that makes booking your trip easy.

Morning

Pine River Country Club is a private course in Mid-Michigan, where the grounds are mature and every hole offers a different challenge.  Fair for all levels of golfers, the course is cut out of a variety of terrain including trees, hills and the Pine River.  The length of the course is 6615 yards.  It will challenge you at every turn.  You will never tire of playing Pine River.

Limited play makes for a very accessible course.  Tee times are the exception rather than the rule and league play never dominates the course.

Afternoon and twilight rates

Head to Bucks Run Golf Club, where a Jerry Matthews’ designed course hosts 18 challenging, yet playable holes, artfully sculpted fairways and tee boxes, soft sand bunkers, and more. The course also features river frontage, picturesque lakes, and natural wetlands coming into play on numerous holes.

Mt. Pleasant's Bucks Run is a challenging course in the heart of Michigan's Lower Peninsula

Bucks Run, Photo Courtesy of the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every day after 3:00 p.m., Bucks Run offers a twilight rate of $23 off (Monday – Thursday) or $33 off (Friday – Sunday).

Want a later tee time?  After 4:30 p.m. the rate drops $20 from the 3:00 p.m. rate.

Sunset

If you are planning to take advantage of the twilight rates at Bucks Run, you’ll have ample time to play great championship golf before the sun sets around 10 p.m.   After, take in the views and grab a bite to eat on the outdoor patio

{Picture:  18th hole at Bucks Run}

5. Calhoun County

Home to Battle Creek, Marshall and Albion, it’s easy to spend a few days exploring some of the area’s 11 golf courses.

Morning

Start off at Riverside Golf Club in Battle Creek, where you will see the sunrise over the Battle Creek skyline.  Known for its excellent greens and great location, Riverside is an 18-hole, par 72 course designed by W. Bruce Matthews and Jerry Matthews.

Afternoon

Gull Lake View courses in August offers five gorgeous and challenging courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North.  At Gull Lake View you can play a round in the morning and then play a different course in the evening at a discounted price.

Gull Lake's greens are perfect for any skill level

Gull Lake, Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Sunset

End your day at the Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, a championship golf course that has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers, where the landscape and scenery is reminiscent of Northern Michigan and you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of a peaceful summer evening.

What is your favorite Pure Michigan golf course? Share with us by commenting below!

3 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

Michigan’s Sunrise Coast stretches from Au Gres to Rogers City along the blue waters of Lake Huron.  This picturesque Northeast coast of Michigan has pristine beaches, spectacular views and endless outdoor activities.With more than 20 miles of sandy beaches, the Au Sable River and 35 thousand acres of unique trails, the Oscoda area is a great destination for your summer vacation bucket list.

Here are three ways to get your feet wet and enjoy the sun, sand and fresh air in Oscoda.

Oscoda is a paradise destination on the coast of Lake Huron

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Bailey

1. Explore Oscoda’s Water Trails 

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.  The Au Sable is one of North America’s best canoeing rivers and runs through Northern Lower Michigan.

Whether you’re looking for a two-hour trip or a weeklong adventure, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

 2. Go Fish 

If you’re looking for a trophy size fish, Oscoda is the right place for you.  The area is known for walleye fishing, but the Au Sable River and other inner lakes and streams attract trout, salmon and perch.

Once you decide where you want to fish, ,make sure you stop by the local bait shops and spend some time talking with the locals to determine what lures are hot and what is being caught.

George_summer09_096

3. Life’s a Beach

The pristine beaches along Lake Huron, the Au Sable River, Cedar Lake and Van Etten Lake offer something for everyone.

Want a quiet afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of nature? Take in a sunrise at Huron Sunrise Park, along the Lake Huron’s shoreline. Stay for a picnic, wildlife observation, swimming or fishing.

Kids and kids-at-heart can spend a day at Oscoda Beach Park swimming, skateboarding, playing on the playground and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach where there will be more than 150 artisans display and sell their handmade arts, crafts and hobbies.

Don't miss the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach

Art on the Beach is the can’t-miss event of the summer in Oscoda

If you want to take your boat out for a day on the lake, take off from Van Etten Beach Park. This park is a fresh water lake that has all the recreation activities for swimming, boating, water skiing, wave running and of course, fishing.

After all that exploring, you’ll want a place to rest your head.  Oscoda has everything from cottages, Bed and Breakfast resorts and hotels – many of them with views along Lake Huron.

From relaxing on the beach to fishing for walleyes in the lakes and rivers, Oscoda offers endless outdoor recreation activities. It’s perfect for your next family vacation!

What are you looking forward to doing in Oscoda this summer?

7 Awesome Michigan Farmers Markets Sure to Grow on You

There’s something special about visiting a new Michigan destination and experiencing its local fares, but you don’t always have to go far to do so! Agriculture has always been one of Michigan’s major industries, and as Michiganders will tell you, it is still the leader in producing many delicious foods.

Read more on seven Farmers Markets to visit this summer and check out our markets page to find one near you.

1. Flint Farmers’ Market

If you’re looking for fresh and delicious fare near Flint, look no further than the Flint Farmers’ Market. This year-round market has 50 vendors featuring several produce distributors, a great meat market, poultry, breads and baked goods, cheese, a wine shop, an art gallery, a café, middle-eastern and Mexican groceries and many unique gifts. Check out the Flint Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The Flint Farmers' Market is a fresh food mecca

Photo Courtesy of the Flint Farmers’ Market

2. Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market

Located in the Kerrytown District, the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market features locally grown produce, flowers, shrubs, plants, jams, honey, maple syrup, jellies, baked goods, grains, fruits, eggs, dairy products, homemade wearing apparel, toys, jewelry, home decorations, furniture, pottery and candles all in an open-air atmosphere. Head to A2 and check out this historic market, open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am – 3pm May through December.

3. Eastern Market – Detroit

Each week, thousands flock to Eastern Market to enjoy one of the most authentic urban adventures in the nation. This market, and its adjacent district, offers local fare with more than 250 independent vendors and merchants processing, wholesaling, and retailing food. At the heart of Eastern Market is a six-block public market that has been nourishing Detroit since 1891. Every Saturday it transforms into a vibrant marketplace with hundreds of open-air stalls offering great selections of fruits, veggies, fresh-cut flowers, locally produced specialty food products, and pasture and/or grass-fed meat. Additional market days include Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays as well as Sunday Street Market, both occurring seasonally, from mid-Spring through the autumn months. Eastern Market is also a big part of Detroit’s comeback story.

Eastern Market is a must-visit when exploring Detroit

Detroit’s Eastern Market offers more than 250 diverse vendors

4. Fulton Street Farmer’s Market – Grand Rapids

Enjoy the outdoors and a beautiful farmer’s market when visiting Grand Rapids! The Fulton Street Farmer’s Market is a seasonal, open-air, market that offers fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, crafts more. Some vendors start leaving as early as 2 p.m., so get there early for best selection! The market season runs from the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday before Christmas in December and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5. Holland Farmers Market

Dutch heritage and tulips aren’t the only things to love about Holland! This market features more than 90 local farmers and vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to plants, baked goods, floral arrangements, dairy products and much, much more. The Market also features a food court with dining options for breakfast and lunch, as well as street performers who entertain with music, magic and other shows. Explore the Holland Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. May through November and on Saturdays in December.

Delectable strawberries found at the Holland Farmers Market

Strawberries at the Holland Farmers Market. Photo Courtesy of Lindsey J. Scalera, Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy.

6. Marquette Farmer’s & Artists Market

The Downtown Marquette Farmer’s Market continues to grow strong! This Upper Peninsula market is open every Saturday mid-May through October, in the Marquette Commons Parking Lot. Here you’ll find some of the best local produce the U.P. has to offer in addition to delightful displays from local artists. The Market also participates in WIC’s ‘Project Fresh’, which makes fresh produce available to low-income, nutritionally-at-risk consumers, through Michigan farmers’ markets.

7. Lansing City Market

Lansing City Market provides the Greater Lansing region, and out-of-town guests, a year-round, one-of-a-kind shopping experience in a family friendly environment. Established in 1909, the Market’s recent reconstruction along the Grand River has strengthened Lansing’s downtown corridor by creating a welcoming home for more than a dozen merchants. Currently the Market features a wide variety of goods including: kayak and canoe rentals (weather-permitting), local produce, artisan cheese, organic meat, natural heath care products, gluten-free items, and several hot-prepared food merchants including a full-service bar and grill.

The Lansing City Market stands out in the state's capital

Visitors are always delighted when exploring Lansing City Market

What is your favorite Farmers Market in Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!