Six Self-Guided Tours You’ll Want to Take in Manistee County

Spring is well under way in Pure Michigan, offering endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. If you’re looking to go off the grid, or maybe just want to have an enriching afternoon, look no further than Manistee County. To celebrate warm weather and longer days, here are six self-guided tours you won’t want to miss in Manistee County.


Photo courtesy of Marty Dunham

Shop Manistee’s historic downtowns: Looking for a great made-in-Michigan item? Come check out the farmer’s markets for locally grown or made foods, or browse the numerous specialty and boutique shops in downtown Manistee. Manistee also has spectacular dining experiences, from fine dining for a special occasion or just grabbing a beer with friends at a local pub.

Experience M-22: A famous stretch of highway in the United States, M-22 starts in Manistee. Take an afternoon drive or make it a weekend road trip and enjoy the beautiful scenery and Lake Michigan shoreline. The historic trunkline’s designation has also become a cultural symbol for the region.

Marty Dunham

Photo courtesy of Manistee County Visitors Bureau

See the Bridges of Manistee County: How can you not love the beauty and engineering that goes into these amazing structures? Manistee County is home to three vehicular, three railroad and one massive pedestrian bridge along with two hydroelectric dams and one egg-take/salmon harvest weir. If you are a fan of these beautiful structures and appreciate the engineering, you are sure to enjoy this self-guided tour.

Learn the History of Manistee: Manistee County has one of the finest collections of historic buildings in the Nation according to the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. You can experience the historic Kaleva Train Depot for railroad artifacts and nostalgia, or visit the Manistee County Historical Museum, which contains one of the most extensive collections of Victorian antiques in the United States.

Go on a Pure Michigan Tasting Tour: Manistee County and Northern Michigan are fortunate enough to have some of the most diverse and bountiful growing seasons in the entire United States. Taste test your way through Manistee County by visiting some the U-Pick farms and markets or dining at one of the many local restaurants that embrace farm to table by incorporating seasonal specials.

22North Photography Brian Edwards

Photo courtesy of 22 North Photography’s Brian Edwards

Explore the Natural Wonders: Manistee is a wonderful place to explore the great outdoors. Traverse the shores of Lake Michigan and explore the Natural Wonders. From the artesian wells in Onekama, the picturesque views atop Old Baldy, or a scenic drive through the Tunnel of Trees, these nine sites were selected as part of the Natural Wonders Tour because of their amazing stories and sights. Make sure to bring your camera!

Are you ready to plan your trip to Manistee County? Learn more about travel ideas and attractions in Manistee here.

Exclusive: Behind-the-Scenes of Frankenmuth’s Pure Michigan TV Ad

Pure Michigan’s national advertising campaign kicked off last month, and today we’re launching the 2013 campaign in local markets throughout the Great Lakes region.

Here’s a look at a new television spot from Frankenmuth that you’ll soon see on TV. Detroit will also have a new television spot coming out later this season. Both will air in markets including Southern Ontario and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

You might recall that we gave fans on social channels a first look at the Frankenmuth spot this past winter, and today we wanted to share some behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot. Take a look at the gallery below and let us know what you think!

Other new partners for this year’s campaign are Binder Park Zoo/Battle Creek, Manistee, Mount Bohemia and Tecumseh. Get a first listen of the Manistee and Tecumseh radio spots below.

Additional ads running regionally this season include Games on the Grass, Road Trip, First Tee, Catch Up and Mermaid Tails.

In total, the television and radio ads feature 34 private sector partners and will air in key regional markets and statewide through June. Learn more about the campaign on

Pure Michigan billboards – showcasing Grand Sable Dunes, Marquette Harbor, Miners Beach Falls and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – will also be featured in regional and in-state markets. Chicago tour buses will also be branded with Pure Michigan again this summer. Learn more here.

What do you think of the latest Pure Michigan ads? Share with us below!


Manistee’s Annual Tight Lines for Troops Event

The 4th Annual Tight Lines for Troops event is happening in Manistee, Michigan on May 18th. Today, guest blogger Maralee Cook fills us in on what the day will entail.

Veterans from 165 communities across the state of Michigan will have the opportunity to land a record catch during Manistee’s 4th Annual Tight Lines for Troops on Armed Forces Day, May 18. Take part in saluting them as they return to port, as well as enjoying a day of special events in downtown Manistee.

Sixty private and charter boat captains will donate their boats, crew and time to host 240 Vets for a day of fishing on Lake Michigan.  Manistee County’s Explore the Shores program makes many of the fishing piers, beaches and the city’s Riverwalk universally accessible as well, for those additional 60 Vets who fish the Shore Division. Veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, the Cold War, plus Vets from conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to join in the fun. 

The boats, crew and Vets will head out on Lake Michigan from the Manistee River basin at dawn.  While the Vets are fishing, downtown shopkeepers and business people will host a variety of activities and specials for the Vets’ families, including the Farmers Market, entertainment, SOS Cook-Off, Customs ‘N Classics Car Show, Art of the Military Art Exhibit, and more.  At noon the fishing teams will return to the channel to make the two-mile trip upriver to Seng’s Marina on Manistee Lake, saluted by the welcoming cheers of thousands of flag-waving onlookers from the piers, Riverwalk and drawbridges. 

Charter boat captain and event founder Bob Guenthardt, with the help of Manistee’s Little River Casino Resort, created Tight Lines for Troops to produce an event that would show appreciation and offer an entertaining day of fishing, fish tales and life stories.  Manistee area boat captains and crews also have the chance to share their passion for fishing Lake Michigan’s premier fishing destination with Vets who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy the experience.

Over 500 sponsors and volunteers contribute to the success of the program. Veterans pay no charter fees or entry fees. Residual proceeds from donations benefit the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Manistee County Veterans Endowment Fund and the Veterans Program at Brain Injury Association of Michigan.  For more information, call the Manistee County Visitors Bureau at 877.626.4783 or visit

Maralee Cook is a freelance writer living in Manistee, Michigan.