From Our Community: Pure Michigan Must-Dos

Who knows Michigan better than a Michigander?  With that thought, we asked the Pure Michigan Facebook and Twitter faithful to pick a place in Michigan and name one thing they HAVE to do when there.  Responses were fairly evenly divided between eating and nature, with frequent emphasis on…potatoes.

So without further ado, here’s a sampling of the must-dos across both peninsulas. Thanks to all who commented and submitted!

Where to Eat

Troy Rowley – Grand Haven: MUST have Pronto Pup!

Gina Helrigel Frazier – Rockford: Eat at The Old Mill above the dam of the Rogue River.

Cindy Hill Freeman – Copper Harbor: We have to have dinner at Harbor Haus. I order the best fresh whitefish ever! Enjoy the great view of Lake Superior anywhere in the restaurant and the wonderful German food.

Michael T. Szczepanski – Mackinaw City: Have Scalawags whitefish and chips, with awesome hushpuppies!

@AudaciousWolfFrankenmuth: Must have the Zehnders family style chicken dinner, Yum!  Mouthwatering road trip.

Susan Laing – Albion! Enjoy an avocado and bean tostada at Lopez Taco House.

Travis Kelley – Baldwin: Jones Ice Cream Shop. Best homemade ice cream ever!

Where to Nature

Shirley Burnett-Moore – St. Clair: Go stand or sit by the river. It speaks to the soul and spirit.

@AndrewPieschkeCharlevoix: Watch the sunset over the lighthouse.

@Natasha ColleenMarquette: You have to hike sugar loaf and check out the black rocks, so beautiful!

Natasha Lynn Snyder – Jackson: To visit the Cascades Falls.

@SandraMitchellMLowell: Fallsburg Park; step back in time and walk across the covered bridge.

@DTreeBayCityBay City: Tall-ship sail under the stars on the Schooner Appledore.

Vicki Pierce Schmucker – Adrian: Visit the historic Croswell Opera House in December to see White Christmas!

Where to Potato

Debra Kay Hukill – Gaylord: Visit the Old Spud Warehouse.  The structure is amazing, not to mention the merchandise they sell.

Tina Lambert – Posen, for the Posen Potato Festival. Can you say Polka?!

Kristel Johnson – Crystal Falls: Don’t forget to stop by Johnsons Potato Farm and pick up some fresh spuds!

Take a Pure Michigan Hunter Widow’s Weekend

With deer hunting season kicking off November 15, hunters have packed up and hit the woods.  If we assume that even half the holders of the 1.1 million hunting licenses sold last year have a significant other at home, that leaves a great many housewives (and perhaps a few house husbands) who deserve their own escape.

Thankfully, Michigan provides plenty of opportunity for “Deer Widows” and their brethren to enjoy the season, no camouflage required.  From wine tasting in Traverse City to poker night in Ludington, there are lots of great ways to relax before the holiday rush.

A few special opportunities include:

Ladies’ Weekend Expo at the Lansing Center
November 18-20.
Dance classes, massage, self-defense and food sampling will compliment exhibits on beauty, health, home décor, travel and wine, with a firefighters fashion show on Saturday and a show-wide scavenger hunt Sunday.

Whitetail Widow’s Weekend at the Palmer House B & B in Albion
November 18-19
A special package includes a light breakfast and body massage, with plenty of great shopping in Historic Marshall.  Grab a bite at the famous Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub before taking in a movie, and wake Sunday morning to a gourmet breakfast.

Those interested in plotting their own course can visit www.michigan.org for information on the latest things to do across the state, during hunting season and throughout the year.

How Did Michigan Cities Get Their Names? Part 3

Photo credit - Michigan Travel IdeasIn parts one and two of our series explaining how Michigan cities were named, we shared unique stories and history of various areas of our state. This week, check out how the five cities below got their names.

Kalamazoo:
Kalamazoo, the largest city in Southwest Michigan, was originally known as “Bronson,” after founder Titus Bronson. In the 1830s, the name was changed to the Native American word “Kalamazoo,” but there are several theories to its exact origin. Some say it means “the mirage of reflecting river,” while others say it means bubbling or boiling water. Another legend is that the image of “boiling water” referred to fog on the river as seen from the hills above the current downtown.

Grosse Pointe:
Grosse Pointe, sometimes called “the Pointes,” refers to a comprised area of five individual communities outside of Metro Detroit. The name “Grosse Pointe” derives from the size of the area and its projection into Lake St. Clair.

Frankenmuth:
Frankenmuth, often referred to as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” was settled and named in 1845 by immigrants from Franconia (now part of Bavaria) in Germany. The German word “franken” represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, and the German word “mut” means courage, which makes the city name of Frankenmuth stand for “courage of the Franconians.” Families flock to Frankenmuth to enjoy Christmas celebrations yearlong, in addition to a number of other activities.

Albion:
The city of Albion was almost named “Peabodyville,” after Tenney Peabody, the first European-American settler to arrive in the area in 1833. The area remained nameless until 1835, when a man named Jesse Crowell formed a residence and land development company called the Albion Company. Peabody’s wife was then asked to name the settlement and while she considered using her husband’s name, she ultimately selected “Albion.” The name was appropriate, since “Albion” is an old and poetic name for England, and many of the early settlers were of English decent.

Muskegon:
Like many other cities in Michigan, Native American tribes inhabited what’s known as Muskegon during historic times. The word “Muskegon” is derived the Ottawa Native American term “Masquigon,” meaning “marshy river or swamp.” The “Masquigon” river was identifed on French maps dating back to the late 17th century, suggesting that French explorers had reached Michigan’s western coast by that time. Today, people enjoy the water and sand dunes in Muskegon every summer.