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.

13 Reasons to Bicycle Tour in Michigan this Summer

Beach Bike

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

Bicycle travel offers a unique way to see Michigan. No matter if you’re north, south, east or west, there’s endless opportunities to revel in the natural splendor of the Great Lakes state. Besides being a great way to see the beauty of Pure Michigan, taking a bicycle tour is also a fun and easy way to stay in shape!

To celebrate Michigan in offering some of the most unique biking trails in the nation, Josh DeBruyn from the Michigan Department of Transportation shares 13 reasons to strap on your helmet and ride.

1) Michigan Routes – Michigan has the most signed U.S. Bicycle Routes of any state. Easy navigation and ready-made maps make your trip a slam dunk.

2) Food – Eat local and eat it a lot. Raspberries, ice cream, blueberries, craft beer, ice cream, coffee, wine, and oh yeah, ice cream; Michigan’s towns have it all.

3) It’s easy to cool your jets – with 3,126 miles of Great Lakes coastline and over 11,000 inland lakes you are never far from fresh water. Take a break from the bicycle saddle and cool off!

4) Michigan has connections – major hubs with airports and multi-modal connections, including Amtrak’s Blue Water Line roll-on bicycle service.

Bike photo-op

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

5) Michigan is Bicycle Friendly – Ranked 14th by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in 2014 and home to 41 different LAB recognized bicycle friendly businesses, universities and cities.

6) From Sunrise to Sunset – Morning people can enjoy the relaxing calm of the sunrise over Lake Huron; while night owls can experience splendid sunsets over Lake Michigan. Not many other states can offer such opportunities!

7) Michigan has the infrastructure you’re looking for – With more improved rail-trails than any other state, thousands of miles of wide paved shoulders and growing networks of urban bike lanes, Michigan has it all.

8) Touring in Michigan is Simple – hundreds of great bicycle tours are already planned and only a few clicks away

9) Look Mom, No Cars! – take car free to the extreme with a stop on Mackinac Island and spend a few days bicycling in a car free paradise.

Boarding Train

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

10) More time for bicycling in Michigan – Located on the extreme western edge of the Eastern Time zone, at the peak of summer, it can be light until 10 p.m. (even later in the Upper Peninsula).

11) Seasonal variety – If you can’t make it in the summer, come later in the year for leaf-peeping and apple picking. Or we’ll see you next spring, when the flowering trees are in bloom.

12) The new B & B – with nearly 200 local breweries and thousands of miles of great bicycle infrastructure; Michigan is the ideal destination for B & B (Breweries and Bicycling).

13) Enjoy the falling water – No we’re not talking about bicycling in the rain but bicycling to the nearly 200 named waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula. Most are quite small, but there are still a good number of impressive accessible by bicycle.

Where is your favorite place to bike in Pure Michigan? Let us know by commenting below!

5 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Take a Michigan Vacation (CLOSED: Plus a Giveaway!)

Traveling is a great way to reconnect and have fun with family and friends.  But, did you know that studies have shown that taking vacations can lead to better productivity, less stress and better health.  

However, many people aren’t taking advantage of their vacation days.  More than 40 percent of Americans say they didn’t take a single vacation day last year, according to Skift.

In honor of National Tourist Appreciation Day, here are five reasons why you should treat yourself to a Pure Michigan vacation.  We are also giving away a $100 gift certificate to the  to kick Pure Michigan Store start your summer!  See details below.

Castleexterior1

Photo courtesy of Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast

1. Recharge Your Batteries: A 2011 study by Expedia found that 35 percent of Americans feel better about their job and are more productive after a vacation. Vacations help us recharge because we sleep better during and shortly after them. When we return, our brain responds quicker. To recharge your batteries, try a relaxing weekend at one of the 400 cozy Bed and Breakfasts throughout the state.

2. Unleash Your Inner Picasso: Staring out at a beautiful Michigan sunset isn’t just a treat for your eyes; it’s good for your brain too! Studies have shown nature scenes activate areas of the brain associated with less stress. Daydreaming allows you to be more creative and be a better problem solver, too.  Take a look at our Instagram page for inspiration on places to take in a Pure Michigan sunset.

Tunnel Park

Photo courtesy of Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

3. Great Lakes, Great Relaxation: Stress is known to be harmful to our health. One of the many antidotes to stress is a vacation, especially near water! One study showed that people were five percent happier when they were near a body of water. The color blue is known to stimulate positive emotional responses, too.  With numerous beaches to choose from along 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, a Michigan beach vacation is good for you

4.Connecting While Relaxing: Picnics on the beach or canoeing as a family can strengthen your bond with loved ones while creating unforgettable memories! Some studies suggest that group travel builds social ties, which encourages life-long learning.

Copper Harbor Trails

Photo courtesy of Copper Harbor Trails and Hansi Johnson

5. Get Physical: Active vacations are proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure and more, according to the Physical Activities Guidelines Advisory Committee. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a mountain biking excursion in Keweenaw.

Vacations offer the opportunity to discover new things and places to enrich and transform your perspective. Where will you take your next Pure Michigan vacation?

Do you want to score a $100 gift certificate to the Pure Michigan store? Simply tell us in the comments section below what your favorite Pure Michigan vacation destination is and what item from the Pure Michigan store you’d want to pack in your suitcase. We’ll then select one lucky winner at random to win a $100 gift certificate. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winner Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winner has been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!