8 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Michigan Enthusiast on Your List

Looking for the perfect holiday gift with a Great Lakes state touch?  Finding the perfect Michigan-made gem is a battle within itself. To help with some of your gift decision making, guest blogger Hailey Anderson from the MEDC, has compiled a list of some of the most novel items on the Michigan market as well as the benefits of buying local.

There are a number of reasons to consider Michigan-made products when holiday shopping this season, but here are just four specific appeals:

1. 2017 Pure Michigan Calendar – $14.95

The official 2017 Pure Michigan calendar highlights 12 professionally photographed landscapes and landmarks from all across Michigan. Among these “bucket list” locations are Tahquamenon Falls during a winter freeze, Comerica Park during a spring afternoon and Highway M-41 as fall’s colors blanket our state.  If you spend more than $100 on the Pure Michigan store, you’ll get a 2017 calendar FREE!

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Pure Michigan calendars make for great gifts while also keeping important dates in mind

2. Pure Michigan Seasonal Mouse Pad – $9.95 (each)

Pure Michigan mouse pads make a perfect gift for those who might be stuck in the office but are dreaming of the outdoors. Each mouse pad features a beautiful photographic representation of one of our state’s four seasons and measures approximately 8.5″W x 7.5″H

Pure-Michigan-Mouse-Pads

Enjoy Michigan’s outdoors from the home or office with these seasonal mouse pads

3. Pure Michigan Cutting Board (small) – $39.95

Constructed with alternating strips of cherry and maple wood, this small cutting board is as beautiful as it is practical. In addition to the board’s stunning construction, a burned-in map of Michigan and the “Pure Michigan” logo add delicate yet artistic accents. Larger cutting boards also available.

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Perfect for the culinary-enthusiast you know, Pure Michigan cutting boards are an eye-catcher

4. Pure Michigan Lake Signs – $39.95

In a perfect world, every meeting would be held around a campfire. This beautiful lake sign measures approx. 24″ x 7″ and would serve as a great reminder of all campfire memories. Why we love this Pure Michigan Lake Effect sign: Some of our favorite memories have been made around a campfire. Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows sold separately! Check out all of the Pure Michigan lake signs to decorate your home or lake house.

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Photo Credit: Samantha Elizabeth

5. Lightweight Unisex Tri-blend Hoodie – $49.95

Looking to show off your Pure Michigan pride while working out or during a cool evening? This hoodie isfor you. With it’s ultra soft and ultra comfy feel, you’ll be feeling great while looking even better. A perfect gift for the training athlete in your family!

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As comfortable as it is stylish, this Pure Michigan hoodie will delight any recipient

6. Pure Michigan Stormy Kromer Cap - $54.95

It all started in 1903, when George “Stormy” Kromer asked his wife, Ida, to stitch him a cap that could withstand high winds and freezing temperatures. Fast forward over 100 years, and the story of Stormy Kromer lives on as one of the Midwest’s most iconic brands. A longstanding passion for American-made quality and tradition has continued Stormy Kromer’s appeal to new generations of customers. If you aren’t already a fan of Stormy Kromer, we are confident that you will love the quality, attention to detail and traditions they offer in every one of their products.

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The classic look of the charcoal Stormy Kromer cap matched with the Pure Michigan logo is stunning

7. Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers (set of four) – $59.95

It’s easy to show off your love for the Great Lakes state with these Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers. Tervis 12 oz tumblers are the perfect size for casual use in and around the home. The unique blue patch adds the right touch of Pure Michigan pride while maintaining that classic Tervis look. This set of four doesn’t include lids.

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Drink in style with these Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers

8. Tri-fold Pure Michigan Wood Picture Frame – $79.95

Constructed from alternating stip of cedar and featuring durabale hinges, this picture frame promises to become the focal point of any room you put it in. What better way to show off your favorite photos and memories than with a subtle reminder of where it all happened.

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Show off your favorite photos with this tri-fold Pure Michigan picture frame

Be sure to check out the Pure Michigan store for more great ideas!

 

 

 

Pure Michigan Provides a Helping Hand this Winter

After much discussion over which state was the real Mitten State, Pure Michigan and Travel Wisconsin are joining together to encourage folks to ‘shake hands’ and unite for a great cause.

We are encouraging people to put their Michigan pride toward a good cause by donating new or gently used mittens to local charities around the state. If you or your business donate mittens, we want to hear about it – leave a comment on this post or head over to the Pure Michigan Facebook page and share your story.

The outpouring of support from Michiganders and our fans has been tremendous. What better way for the Mitten State to harness this state pride than by providing those in need with mittens to stay warm this winter?

In Traverse City, “In-between” Season Has Charms of Its Own

Traverse City resident Mike Norton used to dread the weeks between Halloween and Christmas, but now he’s learned to appreciate this “in-between season” for its quiet beauty, slower pace and lower prices. In Traverse City, especially, early winter is a time of relaxation, coziness and charm, he says.

I moved to Traverse City because I love being outdoors, and I still do. In the summer, you’ll find me walking this town’s beautiful beaches, kayaking on Grand Traverse Bay or hiking through the Pere Marquette State Forest. In winter, I’ll be out on my skis at Old Mission Point or snowshoeing around the Boardman Valley.

But there’s one time of year that I’m only beginning to appreciate. I mean the season we’re going through right now – these six to eight weeks between the end of fall color season and the start of snowsport season. It’s too cold for swimming, too early for sledding. Is it late autumn or early winter? And what in the world can you do?

Plenty, as it turns out. Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate and even welcome this odd “in-between” season – especially here in Traverse City, where it’s actually become one of my favorite times of year. It’s a quieter, friendlier time, I think, when the true flavor of this lovely place begins to re-emerge after months of overstimulation.
Once October ends, there’s a sudden shift in the rhythm of life in Traverse City. The hectic crowds of summer and fall dwindle to a more manageable level, even on weekends. Suddenly you’re not waiting in line to get a table at a restaurant. Suddenly, hotel rates are much lower, store clerks are much more relaxed, and everybody seems much happier to see you.

The Traverse City area has over 4,000 guest rooms and a wide range of choices, from large full-service resorts to cozy family-operated motels, from condominiums to B&Bs. There are unique winery chateaux, rustic Up North cabins, laid-back beach resorts and an elegant casino hotel. And it all seems just a little bit more relaxed this time of year.

Part of the appeal, I admit, is that there are fewer kids around. I love youngsters (really I do!) but there are some things that just aren’t much fun when you have to share them with the younger set. Once the little ones are safely back in school, Traverse City becomes a perfect setting for adults who want to slip away for a little fun of their own, whether that’s a romantic weekend, a holiday shopping trip, or a girlfriends getaway.

The truth is, I’ve learned to enjoy some of the indoor pleasures of this season. That isn’t hard in a place like Traverse City, which keeps picking up national and international praise for the quality of its restaurants and its outstanding wines. Dining out is much more pleasant when you can do it without feeling crowded or rushed  –  and I always try to get a table near the fireplace, just to enjoy the cozy snap and crackle of a real fire.

On the other hand, “quiet” shouldn’t mean boring — and fortunately, Traverse City isn’t the kind of resort town that shuts down in wintertime. If anything, I think its nightlife actually seems to improve as the weather turns colder — whether that’s a concert at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, some stand-up comedy at the City Opera House, or the gaming tables at the Leelanau Sands or Turtle Creek casinos.

And shopping? Things are still humming along nicely this time of year in Traverse City’s historic and pedestrian-friendly downtown with its fascinating boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and galleries, and at the Grand Traverse Commons, a fascinating “village” of shops, eateries and homes in the turreted buildings of our 19th-century mental asylum. This is when all those places start running their holiday specials – and when their owners actually have the time to stand around and chat with you.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still an outdoorsy guy, and I still prefer to be outside whenever I can. And I’ve learned to enjoy the austere beauty of this season, with its browns and maroons and dark golds framed by the electric-blue water of Lake Michigan and the increasingly dramatic skies of winter. I still like to get the kayak out and paddle across the bay, and I love to hike the deep forests of pine, spruce and hemlock that cover the hills south of town.

But the most fun of all, I think, is being able to combine indoor and outdoor activities by touring Traverse City’s legendary wine country.
Many of the 28 wineries on the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas are located on high hilltops with wonderful views of the surrounding landscape, and there’s something about that splendid setting that goes particularly well with their crisp fruit-forward wines.

So mark me down as a former skeptic who has mellowed in his opinions about this once-scorned time of year. Here in Traverse City, at least, I don’t think of it as “in-between season” anymore. Now it’s my new “relax-and-unwind season” instead!

Mike Norton, a native of Grand Rapids, spent 25 years as newspaper writer and columnist before starting a second career as media relations director at the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau. An avid hiker, skier and cyclist, he lives in the village of Old Mission.