Beat The Heat in the Mitten State with These Summer Activities

After our record-breaking winter, we’re not complaining about warmer temperatures! But when the long mid-summer days get muggy and humid, here are five ways to beat the heat in the Mitten State courtesy of The Awesome Mitten.

Ray's ice Cream - Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Ray’s ice Cream – Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Michigan summers are many things. Predictable, however, does not make the list. One day may be a beautiful 75 and sunny, and the next a sweltering 95 and muggy. Though the former is obviously preferable, there are plenty of awesome activities in Michigan to get you through the latter. Here are a few of my favorite ways to beat the heat in the mitten:

In light of the fact that it’s National Ice Cream Month, and since (inarguably) one of the best ways to beat the heat is with a cold, tasty treat, first on the list is ice cream.

Without a doubt, my first choice for ice cream in Michigan is the MSU Dairy Store. Though I worked at Coldstone Creamery for more than a year while living in East Lansing, I still made near weekly stops at the Dairy Store for a cone or a shake. If you haven’t been, make your way to East Lansing and stop in for a scoop of Michigan State Sesquicentennial Swirl post-haste. (Though I’m actually a fan of the more traditional Mint Chocolate Chip, myself.)

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Now that I’ve left East Lansing for metro-Detroit, I’ve had to find new locales to get my ice cream fix. Luckily, a short one mile walk from my apartment in Royal Oak is the delicious Ray’s Ice Cream. A staple in the area for more than 50 years, Ray’s consistently tops lists of best ice cream parlors in metro-Detroit. Before I wrap up the ice cream shout out’s, I also have to mention Treat Dreams in Ferndale, whose unique and creative flavors I first had and became enamored of at BRU Fest 2013 and have been enjoying ever since.

Possibly the most popular way to beat the heat in Michigan is to head to any number of the gorgeous lakes in the mitten state. Oft-overlooked, however, is the Detroit waterfront. Beautiful Belle Isle Beach is always a great option for just laying out and working on your tan, but you can also take a ride down the waterslide, walk the trails, or (if the weather takes a turn for the worse) check out the wildlife at the Belle Isle Aquarium.

And Belle Isle Beach isn’t the only place to enjoy Detroit’s riverside; Chene Park Amphitheater is another great way to experience the waterfront in the Motor City. With the ever-popular Jazz Series, as well as many other awesome summer performances, Chene Park is a great way to enjoy some tunes while basking in the breeze from the river.

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten

Speaking of the river, Riverside Kayak Connection has events such as the Detroit Eastside Canal Tour that offer a unique and adventurous way to explore the Motor City. (Don’t worry, novice kayakers, Riverside Kayak Connection has classes and events for all skill levels!)

And when the weather is just too unbearably scorching to enjoy the great outdoors, my personal favorite way to beat the heat indoors is with a few delicious Michigan craft beers. Obviously, everyone clamors for Oberon long before summer (“Oberon Day” was way back in March this year), but there are plenty of other delicious brews that have my mouth watering come summer. On my list are Atwater Brewery’s Dirty Blonde, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co’s Simcoe Silly, and Short’s Brewing Company’s Soft Parade (admittedly a year-round favorite of mine).

Since this list obviously doesn’t cover all of the ways to get through the hot days of a Michigan summer (and, as you may have noticed, it is somewhat biased to the metro-Detroit area), I would love to know: what are some of your favorite ways to beat the heat in Michigan?

HS PhotoHayley Serr writes for The Awesome Mitten and works for Vectorform, a Royal Oak-based interactive design company. Born and raised in metro-Detroit, this Spartan alumna relishes any opportunity to share all of the wonderful things there are to do in Michigan. Hayley loves spending time with her family, cooking, and, of course, any opportunity to explore all the fun there is to be had in the mitten!

 

 

From Our Community: The Best Ice Cream in Michigan

Ice cream is a staple treat in Pure Michigan during summer months. From dairy farms to local shops, there are plenty of ice cream options to satisfy any sweet tooth across the state.

With July being National Ice Cream Month, we thought it would be fun to ask our fans on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ “what’s your favorite place to get ice cream in Michigan and what’s your favorite flavor?” We learned that if there’s one treat that Michiganders know and love, it’s ice cream! If you’re looking for a yummy treat this summer, here are some fan favorites to check out.

House of Flavors, located on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington, is one of the clear fan favorites. Serving some of the finest made ice cream in the Midwest, it’s sure to please anyone who stops in this summer. Here’s what fans are saying:

“House of Flavors in Ludington, Michigan. My favorite flavor is Blue Moon. :)” – JoLynn ‘Tacktor’ Jones

“peanut butter cup ice cream at House of Flavors in Ludington” – Karin Dereske Rourke

“House of Flavors in Ludington, after a day at the beach! #icecream” – @beckykoepke

Cook’s Dairy Farm is another cherished ice cream stop for Michiganders. Locals and visitors make it a point to stop by this Ortonville gem. Here’s what people love about Cook’s:

“Ahhhhh Cook’s Dairy Farm is the best and tractor trails ice cream yum-o!!!” – Lisa Jakuszeski Terry

“Cook’s in Ortonville. Cook’s Butter Pecan is the best ever!!” – Dale Ramig

“Favorite place: easy – Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville. Favorite flavor – now THAT’S the hard one to answer – butter pecan, strawberry, cowpuccino, chocolate raspberry torte, eggnog (the best eggnog ever, and then as ice cream – double heaven). I dare anyone to try their triple scoop.” – Karen Kohn

The Michigan State University Dairy Store isn’t just for students. The dairy complex at the university produces some of the freshest ice cream you’ll ever taste. Fans around the state love this East Lansing establishment:

“Hands down the best ice cream in MI is at the MSU Dairy Store. As far as I’m concerned, they only need one flavor: Sesquicentennial Swirl. Chocolate and vanilla with huge chunks of cake and ribbons of frosting running through it.” – Mandy Wakeman

“MSU Dairy Store! Love the butter pecan ice cream!” – Paula Causie

“I’m a u of m guy but I gotta say msu dairy store!” – Scott Moore

“MSU Dairy Store. The best…” – Mary-Jo Lacey

Jones Homemade Ice Cream, an old fashioned ice cream shop in downtown Baldwin, has been manufacturing delicious ice cream since 1942. Fans love this nostalgic, friendly shop:

“Jones Ice Cream in Baldwin is the best place. There are way too many flavors to pick a favorite, though.” – Kathy Nefsey

“Jones Ice cream Baldwin, Mi.. Butter Pecan!!!! The best and biggest cones ever!!!” – Cl Whitman

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream in Traverse City is another clear favorite among fans. Moomers makes over 120 different flavors, offering 20 daily to locals and visitors. Here’s what fans have to say about this family friendly shop:

“Moomers, Traverse City. Coffee toffee, yum!” – Karen Brenneman

“Moomers Traverse City….. Best Ever!” – Bob Stites

“Just went to Moomer’s in Traverse City a few days ago! AWESOME!!” – Dwight Billings

These are just a few of the many ice cream options around the state. View our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts to see what others’ favorite ice cream shops in Michigan are. If we left off your favorite, leave it in the comments section below!