An Inside Look at the Pure Michigan 2014 Spring/Summer Travel Guide

While the first official day of spring is still a few weeks away, we’re getting ready for warmer days with the launch of the 2014 official state spring/summer travel guide! The 112-page full color publication will also be offered in a free digital edition, which will allow users to access the guide from their desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets.

The travel guide highlights interesting sights to see, places to go and activities to participate in through the year in Michigan. Featured again this year are Michigan Moments – a collection of fun and exciting things to see and do across Michigan. Also, Carla White’s winning Pure Michigan Moment photo of the sunset over Lake Superior in Christmas, Mich. can be found on page 19 in the Michigan Moments section!

The guide also showcases Michigan as a destination for all types of travelers. The Kids Rule feature offers many suggestions for family-friendly ways to have fun from riding a camel to zip lining over a creek. Summer Camp explores the outdoors at Michigan’s state and national parks from trails systems to fishing. Whatever you love, indulge your interest with visits to the trio of popular destinations: Detroit, Traverse City and Mackinac Island, detailed in Passion Points. Tee Time is a must-read for golf lovers.

The 2014 Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide is now available online at michigan.org, as well as at the 14 Michigan Welcome Centers across the state. You can request your free copy of the Travel Guide at michigan.org or by calling toll-free (888) 784-7328.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the beautiful photographs featured in the guide to get us thinking spring in Pure Michigan!

Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide 2014

Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide 2014

Pictured Rocks, ­ page 44 COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING - Per Breiehagen

Pictured Rocks
COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING – Per Breiehagen

Porcupine Mountains COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING - Per Breiehagen

Porcupine Mountains
COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING – Per Breiehagen

Grand Hotel COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING - Jason Lindsey

Grand Hotel
COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING – Jason Lindsey

Waterfalls COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING - Image Studios, Inc.

Waterfalls
COURTSEY OF MIDWEST LIVING – Image Studios, Inc.

Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier COURTESY OF MIDWEST LIVING - John Noltner

Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier
COURTESY OF MIDWEST LIVING – John Noltner

Do you have a Pure Michigan getaway planned this spring? Where are you headed? 

An Annual Summer Getaway to Harbor Springs, More than a Family Tradition

Melanie Dawson currently lives in Minneapolis, but she’s been visiting Harbor Springs, Michigan for 15 summers now. Today, she shares with us what draws her family back to the area year after year.

Photo credit: Lou Peeples-Photography; www.pointephotography.net


I grew up in Phoenix, AZ, the desert landscape being infinitely different from northern Michigan. But I lucked into marrying a Midwestern man from Indiana, whose family comes to Harbor Springs every summer. I’ve been visiting Harbor Springs for 15 summers now, my husband for 39. His mother spent her summers there, as did his grandmother and her parents, making our daughter the fifth generation. It’s more than a family tradition, for them (and now for me) it’s a way of life. A summer not spent in Harbor Springs is a summer with something missing. Every year we look forward to revisiting old favorites and finding new gems.

Restaurants we love: Depot Club & Restaurant, serving gourmet food. Coat required indoors, more casual on the patio. New this year is Petoskey Brewing, housed in an old brewery from 1898. This family-friendly place serves delicious microbrews (try a flight of three or four 4 oz pours) and a solid pub menu and is located on the drive between Harbors Springs and Petoskey. We also thoroughly enjoy sitting outside at Dudley’s Deck, which provides covered dining on the patio or the open grass area across from the dock. On a gorgeous night it’s a pleasure to sip one of their famous Hummers and watch the sun go down. Don’t miss Turkeys Café & Pizzeria (serving pizza and sandwiches) and Gurneys Harbor Bottle Shop (a liquor store that makes amazing cold sandwiches to order at lunchtime). There’s nowhere to sit at Gurney’s so take your sandwiches down to the pier and watch the yachts come in and out.

For ice cream and treats, my daughter would tell you that Yummies is a must, serving her favorite flavor of ice cream: Superman. As a grown-up, I am loving the new Velvet, an ice cream shop with a more sophisticated interior and delicious flavors. Not a summer goes by where we don’t get a cookie from Tom’s Mom’s. Housed in the tiniest shop you may have ever seen, the cookies are fresh baked. If you love fudge, check out Kilwin’s and Howse’s.

Leaving the downtown area, Pond Hill Farm is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. The farm is home to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and geese. It features a café and winery with farm fresh ingredients.  There’s a trout pond to fish in, a squash rocket to experiment with, and a market that features pesticide and herbicide free produce hormone and antibiotic free organically raised beef, pork, and lamb, plus other organic products. My daughter’s grandparents enjoy taking the grandchildren to Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, featuring a boardwalk through dense woods and beach frontage and several stopping points with educational information on trees, flowers, animals, insects, and environmental topics. You can’t go wrong visiting the beach at Petoskey State Park where you can spend hours searching for the hard-to-find Petoskey Stone.

Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf in Petoskey is my daughter’s number one favorite activity to do when we visit Northern Michigan. With several locations around the country, it isn’t exclusive to Michigan, but it provides an hour or so of wicked fun. What kid (or kid at heart) doesn’t enjoy miniature golf with the family?

If you love being active on the water, visit The Outfitter. This comprehensive shop features all the gear you need (you can rent paddleboards and kayaks) plus a generous amount of activewear, shoes, and accessories for all of your active pursuits.

Melanie Dawson is an avid traveler who loves exploring the United States and abroad with her husband John and 8 year old daughter Reese. She lives in Minneapolis, MN where she pursues her passions of cooking, nutrition, and living an active lifestyle.

For more things to do and see in Harbor Springs, visit michigan.org.

Sharing History: Summer at Fort Mackinac

By working as a soldier at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Niall Farley’s summer job in Michigan is anything but ordinary. Today he shares a little bit about what this role entails.

I wake up a little before 8am, get ready and grab my bicycle for the short ride to work. Not uncommon for college-aged folks working summer jobs in Michigan, but my summer job is anything but common.

I am a soldier at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.

Now in my fourth season, I’m responsible for overseeing the daily interpretative programs as lead interpreter. Dressed as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in the 1880s, I lead tours through the fort, clean, prime, load and fire a model 1841 cannon and an original Springfield 45/70 rifle.

This is the 55th year of historical interpretive programming at Mackinac State Historic Parks. Each year, May through mid-October, we open our gates to visitors from every state and more than 50 countries. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job, seeing how much not just people from Michigan, but people from all over the world enjoy the view, the history and taking part in our interpretive programs

I was drawn to this job for a number of reasons–the chance to spend my summers on beautiful Mackinac Island, the opportunity to tell stories about this fascinating place, and of course, the hats.

During the winter, I study as an English major at Oakland University in Rochester Hills and live in my small hometown of Almont. While history has not been my area of study, I’ve become fascinated by the important events that have taken place throughout the Straits of Mackinac, and sharing them with visitors makes my every day at Fort Mackinac an enjoyable experience, it hardly seems like work.

Are you planning to explore the history at Fort Mackinac this summer? Share with us below!