Fifteen Times Winter 2015 Took Our Breath Away

As we look forward to the warmer days ahead, guest blogger and photographer Joshua Nowicki shares fifteen moments from Winter 2015 that took our breath away! 

More than any other year, it was my goal to get out to enjoy and photograph the beauty of winter in Michigan.  I enjoyed camping, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, ice climbing, and snowshoeing, and I visited ice covered lighthouses, forests blanketed in snow, ice caves, and frozen waterfalls.  From the intricacy of a single snowflake to the grandeur of Lake Superior and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan is simply amazing.  These are just a few of the photos I have taken during my adventures.

Karol Garrison stand up paddle boarding next to the ice covered lighthouse in Saint Joseph

DSC_6671 Karol Garrison SUP photo by Joshua Nowicki

Frozen sand “hoodoos” sculpted by high winds at Silver Beach County Park along Lake Michigan

IMG_9048 frozen sand photo by Joshua Nowicki

The ice covered lighthouse in Saint Joseph at night

DSC_1835 St Joseph Lighthouse photo by Joshua Nowicki

The refection of the ice covered lighthouse in South Haven reflected in a puddle on the pier

South Haven photo by Joshua Nowicki

An icy crashing wave along the lake shore in Whitehall.

DSC_2219 Crashing Waves and ice Whitehall photo by Joshua Nowicki

The view from the bridge in the Pigeon River State Forest Campground

DSC_4244 Pigeon River Country State Forest photo by Joshua Nowicki

Of all of the frozen waterfalls that I visited this winter, Tannery Falls in Munising was my favorite

IMG_8345 Tannery Falls photo by Joshua Nowicki

Seth Haley ice climbing at Grand Island National Recreation Area

IMG_9312 Seth Haley ice climbing photo by Joshua Nowicki

Snowflake on my stocking cap

Snowflake

David Dagenais riding his fat tire bike past an icy cave at Grand Island National Recreation Area

IMG_0192 David Dagenais 2015 photo by Joshua Nowicki

Snowmobiling on Lake Superior in Munising

IMG_0458 Grand Island 2015 photo by Joshua Nowicki

Collin Wheeler backcountry skiing in Marquette

IMG_8829 Collin Wheeler photo 2015 photo by Joshua Nowicki

A piece of ice kicked up next to a footprint in the snow at Lake Bluff Park.

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Relaxing on the ice while stand up paddle boarding taken by drone by Seth Haley Filmmaker & Photographer.

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A view through the melting lake ice at Tiscornia Park

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What was your most memorable experience this winter? Share your photo with us on Facebook or tag them with #PureMichigan on Twitter and Instagram. 

Joshua_Nowicki5-192x250Joshua Nowicki is a St. Joseph, Michigan based photographer specializing in landscape, nature, architecture, and food photography.  His photos can be viewed online on Facebook or his website

Eat Your Way Through Eastern Michigan: 21 Stops on a Foodie Adventure

March is Michigan Food and Agriculture Month! Many travelers are trekking across the state for what they call “Foodie Adventures.” They’re vacations that revolve around great food finds. From classic comfort foods to fresh Michigan produce, your taste buds won’t be disappointed with the culinary delights of Pure Michigan. We put together this list of just a few fantastic places to eat when you’re on the road on the east side of the state. Enjoy! 

Shores of Eastern Michigan

The air is fragrant with fresh breezes and scents of coffee houses, bakeries and award-winning restaurants, all tempting to a passerby.

shores of eastern mi

  1. The shores of Eastern Michigan have delectable food you just have to try for yourself. Start your journey with fresh fish and seafood at(1)Marine City Fish Company Smoke House & Eatery or (2)River Crab.
  2. Go grab some drinks and sample multiple Michigan craft beers at the (3)ThumbCoast Brewing Company.
  3. No day is complete without dessert, make sure to stop at (4)The Atrium Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour, which has been described by its guests as the most elegant and whimsical restaurant they have experienced.
  4. If you don’t have time to sit down, spend some time browsing a unique gift shop, (5)Weekends, with delectable gourmet foods.
  5. Have a mid-day brunch at (6)The Raven Café to enjoy the food and drinks in a unique café atmosphere.
  6. (7)Vintage Tavern, a treasure discovered, with a decor of fine wood, brick and tin ceilings, located in downtown Port Huron, the hot spot to dine or just enjoy your surroundings with a flight of wines.
  7. Cider mills are an exclusive Michigan attraction that everyone should experience, stop at the (8)McCallum Orchard.
  8. Don’t forget to venture to the Lexington Fire Hall to experience the “Think Globally, Drive Locally” movement at the (9)Lexington Brewing Company & Wine House.
  9. Port Sanilac and surrounding areas can expect nothing but a new and wonderful dining experience in a beautiful waterfront setting; (10)Uri’s Landing has to offer.
  10. (11)The Farm Restaurant’s love for cooking, and a great atmosphere for dining makes this restaurant a truly enjoyable destination to gather with your family and your food-loving friends.
  11. Lastly, check out the (12)Port Austin Farmer’s Market with over 150 vendors.

East Central Michigan & Through the Thumb

Driving through east central and the thumb of Michigan, you will stumble upon many hidden culinary destinations that the locals find to be great treasures. The scenery will captivate you as much as the amazing food.

Thumb

  1. Sample wine made from 16 acres of premium wine grapes at (1)Blue Water Winery & Vineyard.
  2. Delight your taste buds with so many bakery items you won’t know where to start at (2)Bake Krazy Bake Shop.
  3. If you want the freshest food, (5)Main Street Café & Bakery creates their food from scratch daily.
  4. Do you love blueberries? If so, (6)Russell’s Blueberry Farm & Nursery have ten different varieties of blueberries you have to try.
  5. Everyone has heard of (7)Zehnder’s Restaurant in Frankenmuth and for good reason.
  6. Or pick out your own food to create a delicious home cooked meal at (8)Montrose Orchards and (9)Flint Farmers’ Market.

 Eastern Upper Peninsula

It is time to take your taste buds on an adventure through the Upper Peninsula. You will find fresh fish from the Great Lakes, meals that fill your belly, wine and beer unique to the north, cranberry farms and local farmers markets.

UP

  1. Start your experience at (1)The Driftwood Restaurant & Sports Bar, one look at the menu and you won’t know where to start. With a delicious variety of Whitefish to their homemade soups, you have to have a taste of everything.
  2. If you want to pair your dinner with a unique drink try Threefold Vine Winery or (4)Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub.
  3. We all love a home cooked meal and some comfort food. (2)Galley Restaurant & Bar or (6)Sydney’s Family Restaurant are both a must stop to get some of your favorites.
  4. If you want to experience some of the freshest, local food grown in the Upper Peninsula, (3)Sault Ste. Marie Farmers Market and (5)Centennial Cranberry Farm are worth the detour.

Michigan has so much for your taste-buds to discover. For more ideas, check out what Detroit and Northeast Michigan have to offer. You don’t want to miss Pinconning Cheese Company, Stoney Acres Winery in Alpena, Rock River Grille in Indian River or Mt. Pleasant Brewing CompanyYour stomach will thank you later!

Which foods and restaurants are must-haves when you’re traveling in Pure Michigan?

Video Tour: Explore Traverse City from Three New Perspectives

Traverse City is a classic Northern Michigan destination loved by many.  See what Traverse City has to offer in a whole new light as guest blogger Coryn Briggs from Traverse City Tourism takes us on a video tour of the “Cherry Capital of the World!”

Photo by Michigan Nut Photography

Photo by Michigan Nut Photography

Of course, we all love those Pure Michigan videos – that goes without saying! They have the perfect combination of stunning imagery and information. They engage us and connect us to experiences – whether we’ve already had them or are planning to have them. The memories and emotions captured and shared in the videos consistently remind us of that unique “sense of place” found all over Michigan and especially in Traverse City!

Maybe the term “sense of place” is overused, but to me there is really no better way to define the emotional and physical connection you feel for an area you love. In Traverse City, this sense of place is defined, strong, and shared by locals and tourists alike.

You might remember late last summer when we released “Take Me There” – the upbeat video by Traverse City natives The Hacky Turtles singing about their love for their hometown – this video, along with the following selection, demonstrates different perspectives and shows the deep-rooted connection to this magical place that I call home. And this is what makes me (and hopefully you) want to watch them.

Let’s start with Summer Sailing Adventures, by bloggers Mike and Megan Gilger, the incredibly talented and creative duo behind The Fresh Exchange and Wild Measure. This video, captured just north of Sutton’s Bay, draws you in right away – the music, the blue water (yes, it is really that blue!) and the ethereal imagery. It’s playful and fun with a peaceful tone that authentically captures a gorgeous day spent on Lake Michigan. Does it make you want to dive in?

This next video has a totally different feel to it but is equally fun and playful. Produced by Amanda from the blog titled A Dangerous Business, it is a whimsical journey around Traverse City in the fall.  Since autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I immediately connected with this video.  Hayrides, roadside farm stands, leaves changing color all amidst the amazing backdrop of Lake Michigan – it doesn’t get any more authentic than this!

The last video from the Leelanau Conservancy, produced in 2010, has a completely different tone and feeling, it is more serious and has a powerful message. There are so many aspects of this one that make it special to me — from personal reflections to professional reasons, this video really hits home! To begin with, the music is by one of my favorite Northern Michigan artists, Mae Erlewine. The song immediately connects you to that sense of place with an image that stands as a metaphor throughout the entire video, driving home the underlying message of conservation. The Leelanau Conservancy used photos submitted by their fans as the main visual content for this piece, which gives the messaging an authentic, home-town feeling.

What draws your attention to travel videos? Is it the images, the music, the scenery or everything combined? Whatever the reason(s) there’s always something that needs to connect with you and leave you feeling inspired or proud to have memories of that special place.

Want to see more? Take a look at Traverse City Tourism’s You Tube channel for a diverse selection of videos about recreational activities, restaurants, breweries, and wineries.

Coryn Briggs is the Digital Marketing & Design Specialist at Traverse City Tourism. A Detroit area native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a masters in Recreation and Tourism Management at Michigan State University. She has lived and worked in Traverse City since 2004 and enjoys baking, running, visiting Traverse City’s brewpubs, beaches, and recreational trails.