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

Sunrise2Michigan’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.

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.

 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.

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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 Michigan 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.

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?

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Bronner’s – The World’s Largest Christmas Store

‘Tis the season all year long at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store® in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Open 361 days of the year, Bronner’s brings the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season to guests year round. Wayne Bronner, president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland lists 18 things you may not have known about the World’s Largest Christmas Store. 

1. More than 350 decorated Christmas trees are beautifully displayed in Bronner’s salesroom.

2. Decorations and gifts from 70 nations can be found at Bronner’s.

3.  Bronner’s carries over 150 styles of nutcrackers.

4.  Bronner’s artists personalize over 100,000 ornaments annually. One of Bronner’s ornament artists has personally handpainted nearly ½-million ornaments during her 25 years at Bronner’s. Approximately 50% of the glass ornaments sold are Bronner’s own designs.

5. If all the light sets sold in one year at Bronner’s were stretched out in a continuous line, they would span approximately 530 miles.

6. Movie star John “the Duke” Wayne ordered a Santa suit from Bronner’s by telephone on December 15, 1976.

7. Sports figures who have visited Bronner’s include former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, Detroit Tigers’ owner Tom Monaghan (who arrived at Bronner’s in his Domino’s Pizza helicopter!), former Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox, former Tiger catcher Lance Parrish, former Tiger outfielder Willie Horton, race car driver Al Unser, Jr., “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, and Detroit Redwing Sergei Fedorov.

8. Celebrities who have visited Bronner’s recently include former Michigan Governor John Engler and First Lady Michelle with triplet daughters; former Michigan Governor James Blanchard; Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill; vocalists Little Jimmie Dickins, Jim Nabors, Pat Boone, Marie Osmond, Anita Bryant, Andy Williams, the Lennon Sisters, the Lettermen, Ted Nugent, the Ink Spots, Faith Hill, Twila Paris and sister Starla, and Ana Cani; television’s Dave Coulier of “Full House“; First Lady Laura Bush; and actresses Polly Bergen and Cindy Williams.

9. Bronner’s was the first recipient of the worldwide Golden Santa Claus Award in February, 1986, at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Germany. The annual award is presented for “creativity and new ideas in the Christmas business as well as for set-up and presentation of Christmas articles.”

10. Bronner’s electric bill averages $1,250.00 per day.

11. Beamer the Bronner Star was born in 1999, becoming Bronner’s mascot.

12. Bronner’s online store offers appoximately 3,000 items for purchase.

13. The overall size of Bronner’s building is 320,000 sq. ft. (approx. 7.35 acres or 5.5 football fields of space) with 96,000 sq. ft. (2.2 acres 1.7 football fields of space) devoted to the salesroom.

14. Approximately 100,000 outdoor Christmas lights illuminate Bronner’s grounds every evening throughout the year.

15. Christmas Lane, Bronner’s own thoroughfare, is 1/2-mile long.

16. Bronner’s giant outdoor Santa towers 17 feet and the giant snowman is 15 feet tall.

17. The weekend after Thanksgiving is Bronner’s busiest of the year with as many as 50,000 guests.

18. Over two million guests come to Bronner’s annually.

Have you visited Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth? Tell us about your experience! 

Read more Bronner’s fun facts here

Wayne Bronner is the president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. He has overseen the day-to-day operations of the World’s Largest Christmas Store since 1998. Bronner’s is a multifaceted business that includes a brick-and-mortar business, online sales, commercial accounts, catalog sales, and resale and custom ornament accounts. 

A Mid-Mitten Adventure in Midland

Lauren Dennis is a Michigan native who’s always up for an adventure. Today she tells us about a recent day trip she took with her mom and sister to Midland, Michigan.

Do you have a favorite day trip destination in Pure Michigan? Share with us in the comments section below or visit michigan.org for inspiration!

Michigan summers make me want to hit the road – just get in the car and go somewhere!  In the mood for a day trip recently, I chose Midland. Roughly two hours from Detroit, the city boasts numerous “must-see” places and is somewhere I haven’t been.  After recruiting my mom and sister as co-pilots, we fueled up on coffee and headed north with three items on our list: the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, the Dow Gardens, and the Tridge. We were interested in seeing the Dow Home and Gardens, and frankly, just overly curious about this thing called the “Tridge.”

Our first stop was the Dow Home and Studio.  Tucked at the end of residential Post Street, the structure is approximately 20,000 square feet of amazing architecture.  Through a two-hour walking tour of the estate, we learned of Mr. Dow’s innate talent for design, his studies under Frank Lloyd Wright, and a good portion of the Dow family history and its contributions to the city of Midland.

After a brief misread of the map, we arrived at the Dow Gardens just in time to enjoy the grounds under the late afternoon sun. The three of us were greeted warmly by the staff, given a map, and strongly encouraged to enjoy our surroundings, which we did! The walking paths led us through beautifully tended flower gardens and along peaceful streams that offered ample time for reflection as well as numerous photo opportunities.  We all agreed we could spend hours there, but we had one more stop on the agenda!

Finally, we made our way to the downtown area for dinner and the most intriguing stop of the trip!  Downtown Midland offers a variety of restaurant options, and after some deliberation, we chose Pizza Sam’s on Main Street.  We were seated following a brief wait, ordered drinks, and then a pizza of our own design – choosing bacon, pineapple, and onions. It was delicious and reasonably priced! Plus, our server was very friendly and knowledgeable … and cute!

After dinner, we walked to the infamous Tridge! The three-way pedestrian bridge, according to the Midland Online website, was built in 1981 over the spot where the Tittabawassee and Chippewa Rivers meet. The structure itself is pretty amazing and offers beautiful views of both the waterways and downtown. We also got lucky and were able to enjoy a few minutes of the concert playing in the park before hitting the road for home.

Although we only scratched the surface of Midland on our visit, the beautiful scenery and the warm welcome we received were Pure Michigan.  Can’t wait to go back!

Lauren is a Michigan native who enjoys travel, yoga, good wine, and great adventures! If you’re looking to plan a Pure Michigan adventure like Lauren’s, visit michigan.org for ideas.