4 Southwest Michigan Golf Courses to Explore this Summer

Warm weather has finally arrived in Michigan, and with it, another inviting season of golf. If you’re looking to knock the dust off your favorite clubs, or are just looking to hit the links for the first time, here are four Southwest Michigan courses to try this summer:

1. Island Hills Golf Club – Centreville, MI

Island Hills is a gorgeous 18-hole course located on one of the largest lakes in Michigan, Lake Templene. Each hole is very different with some being in hardwood forests and others being in meadow prairies with a lake view. Want to “Play and Stay?” Island Hills has beautiful onsite villas for you to rest your head after playing the links.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

2. Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort – Augusta, MI

Gull Lake View is made up of 5 courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North. All are 18-hole championship golf courses and are ranked 4.5 stars or higher by Golf Digest. Each course has its unique set of challenges like hills, bunkers, water holes (East has 10), huge greens and forested holes. At Gull Lake View you can also “Play and Stay” in their onsite villas.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

 3. Binder Park Golf Club – Battle Creek, MI

Binder Park Golf Club is made up of 27-holes with 3 distinctive 9-hole tracks. The course is right next to Binder Park Zoo and you can even see parts of the zoo while you golf on certain holes. It is a great, user-friendly course for beginners and a challenging one for experience golfers.  Close to downtown Battle Creek and FireKeeper’s Casino, there is a lot to do when you are done golfing.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

4. The Medalist Golf Club – Marshall, MI

Golfing at the Medalist is like playing on a course in Northern Michigan. This premier championship golf course has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers. It is close to FireKeepers Casino and Hotel so you can golf during the day and get your Vegas on at night.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Want to try these courses but do not know the next step? The program, Michigan Southern Swing, will book your tee times for you along with your lodging. Call 1-877-MI-SWING or go to www.misouthernswing.com to get your FREE quote.  

BeccaF

Becca Freybler is the Digital Media Marketing Manager for the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, handling all of their digital platforms.  She has worked for the CVB since 2010. Becca is a Michigan State University graduate and a lifelong Battle Creek resident. Outside of work she enjoys sports, cooking, being outdoors, and owns a Collie named Simba. 

Pack Up Your Pets and Hit the Road with These Dog-Friendly Michigan Destinations

Going on a trip wouldn’t be the same without the entire family – especially your furry family members! In celebration of warm weather arriving for spring, we put together a list of just a few pet-friendly destinations in Michigan. So, pack up Fido and Fluffy and hit the road.

Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula

Photo courtesy of Sharon Hubbard at Porcupine Mountains

Photo courtesy of Sharon Hubbard at Porcupine Mountains

Take a weekend trip to Traverse City, where you can climb mountains of sand, play on dog-friendly beaches and spend quality time with your furry friend. Spend the day in their Victorian downtown district, home to more than 150 shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Treat your furry friend to a special treat at D.O.G Bakery with a variety of treats, guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest pooch.

A trip with your pets wouldn’t be complete without going to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Miles of sand, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, and unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The high dunes afford spectacular views across the lake, something you and your pooch are both sure to enjoy.

Don’t want your pooch to feel left out? Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has put a new twist on accommodating the entire family. Dog Dreams Inn is located on the property and all about pampering your pooch. Access to your dog provides the ultimate in flexibility, cage-free social environment encouraging dog interaction and activity, fully trained, professional staff gives each dog the attention and assistance they need, daily exercise and fenced in outdoor play area, and separate potty/play areas to help support the overall wellness of dogs.

Heading farther north? The Upper Peninsula has a number of great dog-friendly hotels, resorts, cabins and campgrounds so you and your furry family members can get a good night’s rest before exploring the magnificent U.P. scenery.

West Michigan

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Peterson

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Peterson

Well-known for its strong Dutch history, Holland is historic yet hip and the perfect place to take your furry companion. Browse downtown’s trendy boutiques or stroll the tree-shaded campus of Hope College. Hike Holland’s soaring Lake Michigan sand dunes or simply relax on our soft sandy beach at Kirk Park. Urban excitement and homespun simplicity. A sophisticated city wrapped up in small-town charm. Do ALL of this with your furry family member by your side. Here’s a list of pet-friendly places in Holland. 

If a stop at a Michigan winery is on your summer to-do list, bring your pup to Round Barn Winery in Baroda. In addition to a variety of hand-crafted wines, this brewery and distillery also produces microbrews, vodka, and fruit brandies. Dogs are allowed on the grounds to explore with you, though they are not allowed in the buildings.

Take your dog for a walk on over 1,000 acres of beautiful undeveloped woods and sand dunes at Grand Mere State Park. With 985 acres of hiking trails, over 1 mile of Lake Michigan beach for sunbathing and swimming. Your pup can enjoy the day with you while on a leash within the beach and swimming area. Norman F. Kruse State Park in Muskegon is another option for a day at the beach with your furry best friend.

Metro Detroit

Start the morning with a walk along the scenic Detroit Riverfront, which is a beautiful place to walk dogs and meet with other dog owners. Stop in at a local bakery so Fido can fuel up with some homemade tasty treats. For example, the Bow Wow Bake Shoppe in Grosse Pointe Woods offers healthy and scrumptious cupcakes, biscuits, cakes and more all freshly baked daily just for dogs.

Photo courtesy of Anton Ochss

Head up the pet-friendly Dequindre Cut toward Eastern Market to shop around for the latest and greatest in pet supplies at Detroit’s newest urban pet supply store, 3 Dogs 1 Cat 4 Detroit. The store offers trendy, stylish and quality merchandise, from food and treats to popular accessories.

Several Detroit-area hotels and motels welcome pets including the Holiday Inn Express Detroit, the Westin Southfield and the Quality Inn – Troy. Click for a full list of pet-friendly hotels in metro Detroit.

These are just a few places that cater to pampered pets on vacation. Use the list to find more dog-friendly attractions and accommodations in Michigan.

Do you know any other pet-friendly attractions in Michigan? Tell us! 

May These Events Spring You Into Summer

As May flowers will soon bloom, now is the perfect time to plan next month in Michigan. From Spring Flings to the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, there are several events celebrating Michigan’s natural beauty. 

Below is a roundup of a few May events sure to make you fall in love with Pure Michigan all over again. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

May 1-8

Guided Tour of Albert Kahn: Under Construction
May 1, Ann Arbor

Start your May off with a cultural excursion. In the last two decades there has been a tremendous swell of interest in Detroit architect Albert Kahn (1869-1942), arguably the most important architect of American industrialization. Albert Kahn: Under Construction focuses on the remarkable archive of photographs from the River Rouge complex to the Willow Run Bomber Plant. Shot by an array of professional photographers, these often striking documentary images were a novel strategy for conveying information showing buildings as they grew on site to busy managers at the main office. UMMA docents will explore these artifacts as photographs and evidence of Kahn’s innovative solutions to the architectural challenges of his day.

Science Talks: Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler
May 5, Bloomfield Hills

Join experts from The Nature Conservancy for a series of evening lectures on conservation challenges and solutions facing the Great Lakes region and beyond. Each lecture begins with a Meet the Scientist mixer with refreshments and appetizers to enjoy (cash bar) as you learn more about the evening’s topic. This session is about the inspiring story of bringing North America’s rarest songbird back from the brink of extinction, how it’s being protected now and what makes the Kirtland’s warbler unique.

Downtown Tecumseh Art Walk
May 6, Tecumseh

During the evening, downtown merchants will partner with area artists to bring art into downtown businesses. Merchants will offer extended hours and refreshments for the public to enjoy. Local artists will be on hand to greet people and talk about their work, which will range from pottery to photography to jewelry and more. Bring your family down to enjoy watching artists demonstrate their skills! New this year the Carnegie Artist Studios will have an Open House with artists showcasing their work. This popular event is one you won’t want to miss!

Cinco de Mayo Flint 5K/10K
May 7, Flint

Ole! Come help usher in spring by taking part in this festive 5K/10K event. Participants will be able to enjoy post-race festivities that include a delicious Mexican snack from Rico’s Authentic Mexican Take Out! This is definitely a race you will not want to miss.

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly at Ives Road Fen Preserve, Michigan. This wet, spring-fed prairie blends into floodplain forest to create a globally significant habitat. It’s pure, cool water flows in rivulets under the thick grasses and sedges of t

Spring Treasure Hunt
May 7, Raisin Township

Have a fun family outing with a guided hike at Ives Road Fen Preserve to celebrate our brand new quarry trail and interpretative signage. Learn about floodplain and southern mesic forest communities and the restoration projects that saved this globally significant habitat.

Holland Michigan Tulip Festival
May 7 to May 14, Holland

This is a must-see event for you and your family! Holland’s Tulip Time Festival, named “Best Small Town Festival” by Reader’s Digest, Tulip Time has delighted visitors for over 80 years!

blog tulip festival

The number one attraction is the tulip itself and there are literally millions to see, in our city parks, downtown planters, Tulip Lanes, Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis’ Dutch Village, and Veldheer’s Tulip Farm. There are also three parades to enjoy. The Dutch Marktplaats offers Dutch food, merchandise, and demonstrations. Throughout town, you’ll have many chances to experience traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as the Art & Craft Fair, Quilt Show, carnival rides, concerts, theatrical shows, fireworks, trolley tours, and so much more!

May 9 – 15

National Morel Mushroom FestivalMinolta DSC
May 12-15, Boyne City

The festival starts with a Craft Beer Block Party. Then there is a free mushroom hunting seminar followed by an optional guided morel hunt on Friday afternoon and a competitive morel hunt on Saturday morning. The Wine and Dine dinner is Friday night at the Beach House restaurant including five morel-infused hors d’oeuvres paired with five wines. The Taste of Morels gives you your choice of tastes from a dozen great restaurants in the giant festival tent in Veterans Park. There are dances with great live bands and carnival rides and much more throughout the weekend.

Main Street Ladies’ Night Out
May 13, Ann Arbor

Grab you friends and have a ladies’ night! Sales will be offered throughout the day, but from 5-9pm the retailers roll out the red carpet with special offers, discounts, snacks, goody bags, raffles and more! Participate in the passport’ program during this time and be entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes. Check out the link for more information.

Ghost WalkNoir. Silhouette of a passerby on the night street.
May 13, Petoskey

For a spooky outing try a ghost walk! Over the past century, Downtown Petoskey has had its fair share of spooky hauntings, Edgar Allan Poe inspired deaths and mobster dealings. Many of these hauntings have happened repeatedly over the years, and a local historian, Chris Struble, has gathered the facts and the local lore that inspire these stories that tell the history of Petoskey from an otherworldly perspective.

Pollinators Gardening
May 14, Ontonagon

Join this class taught by Marilyn Knuteson & Carol Maass to learn the how to plant a pollinator’s garden and the importance of native plants to wildlife. You will work with a master gardener to plan for the creation of a butterfly garden at your home. Then you will help plan native landscape plantings for the three park entrance signs in the Union Bay area.

Health Plus Tour de Crim

May 14, Flint

Register now at crim.org and Let’s Ride Together at the HealthPlus Tour de Crim, 11AM to 2PM on Saturday, May 14 in Downtown Flint! Check out the Crim’s famous 10-mile blue line course and Flint’s scenic trails by bike. HealthPlus Tour de Crim is a non-competitive, family-friendly bicycle ride with optional obstacles! All ages are welcome to enjoy music, artisan bread, Michigan microbrews or rootbeer from Flint’s very own Tenacity Brewery, and more during the downtown festivities! All finishers will receive a medal, t-shirt, beverage of choice, and snack.

May 16-22

Downtown Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show car show
May 19, Tecumseh

Get your motor running and head on down the highway to the 2016 Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show. Cars & bikes will be displayed in the Old National Bank parking lot for all to enjoy. Special recognition awards will be given so don’t miss this special event.

Tawas Point Birding Festival
May 19-22, East Tawas

Come to Michigan’s Sunrise Coast to enjoy spring birding at its best, attend presentations on the latest birding topics, hone your birding skills and learn about avian conservation work in Michigan.

Festival participants enjoy some of the best birding in the Great Lakes region; Tawas Point is well known for high concentrations of migrating warblers during the month of May. Recent species highlights include: Kirtland’s Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, numerous raptors, shorebirds, and more. Nearly 200 species were recorded during the festival weekend in 2015.

World Expo of Beer
May 20-21, Frankenmuth

This is Michigan’s largest beer sampling event, with nearly 300 different beers available from around the world. You will gain a free collector beer sampling mug. If you love beer, this event is for you.

Color Fun Runblog color run
May 21, Petoskey

For a healthy event, run in the Color Fun Run. This is a beautiful route, a fun activity and a great cause! Run for the health of it and have a great time! 5K & 1 mile run/walk.

Armed Forces Day
May 21, Muskegon

There will be a tribute to Armed Forces Day aboard the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. The program and tours through LST 393 and the museum will be free. Enjoy static displays of World War II and current military vehicles as well as displays of military memorabilia. There will also be presentations, music, a 21-gun salute and more.

May 23-29

Memorial Weekend Arts & Crafts Show
May 27-29, Newaygo

Come have a great time at the annual Memorial Weekend Arts and Crafts Festival. This event offers the very best in handmade crafts as well as a handful of unique resale items.

The Festival strives to emphasize on unique home decorations, garden and yard decor, beautiful jewelry, clothing, ornaments, antiques and collectibles. There are also many delights such as dips, jams, candies, breads, candied apples, cookies, popcorn, dried soup mixes, candied almonds and handmade tamales.

Balloons Over Bavarian Inn
May 27-29, Frankenmuth

Enjoy viewing morning and evening flights over downtown Frankenmuth. An awesome “Balloon Glow” event is featured each night at The River Place Shops Field! Visit with dozens of professional hot air balloon pilots and their crews from throughout the U.S.

Fishing In The Park
May 28, Bay City

Go fishing in the park with DNR. They will supply the poles and bait. This would make a fantastic family event where there is a prize for the longest fish caught!

Art & Wine Festival
May 28-29, Berrien Springs

The Memorial Day Weekend Art & Wine Festival is a two-day celebration of regional art, music and wine. This event is open to the public free of charge at Lemon Creek Winery’s Berrien Spring’s location.

Blessing of the Boats
May 29, Muskegon

The Blessing of the Boats is a spectacular show of boats on Muskegon Lake, celebrating the opening of the boating season. The Port City Princess departs for a brunch on board while sailing in Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. She will then float in the Muskegon Channel where boats can float alongside and be blessed by a priest. Watch from the channel or from Muskegon Lake beach!

May 30-31

Dexter Memorial Day Paradeblog dexter parade
May 30, Dexter

Take your family to Dexter this holiday! The Rotary Club of Dexter is looking forward to another great parade supported by the participants and the community.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park – Memorial Day Ceremony
May 30, Copper Harbor

Families and friends are invited to take part in a Memorial Day program with a music program by students from Copper Harbor honoring our veterans and fallen soldiers. Activities include a Memorial Day Address, the playing of Taps and Fort Wilkins Historic State Park will be presenting the introduction and welcome to our guests.

Wetland Tree Digital Camera Safari
May 30, Bay City

This event is a fun way for families to explore the state park and discover why it is a National Registered Natural Landmark. With your digital camera, take photos of the special trees that are on the scavenger hunt list as you hike the park.

Ypsilanti Memorial Day Parade
May 30, Ypsilanti

Have a fantastic time in Ypsi and watch the parade. Check out the route if you plan on visiting.

Did we miss your favorite May event? Name it below!