Featured in Michigan Travel Ideas 2012, beginning on page 67.
Hungry for adventure? These three foodie trips treat visitors to not-to-be-missed flavors in big cities, small towns and along idyllic country roads. During these trips, you can sample smoky whitefish and a crisp white wine on a lakeshore patio at sunset, pluck blueberries from a you-pick orchard, or savor a dinner of crispy duck confit and tart cherry preserves. You can drink in a view of Detroit’s gleaming skyline as you toast its rebirth with a Motown Lager, or admire modern art in Grand Rapids after a lunch of Spanish-style tapas. Whether you choose one region or try them all, you’re in for a delicious ride.
More Things to Do
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Adjacent to iconic Zingerman’s Deli, Ann Arbor Farmers Market has one of the biggest gatherings of fresh, local foods in southeast Michigan. Chefs revere this extravaganza of heirloom tomatoes, baby lettuce and other artisan vegetables.
This bustling three-building complex sells all kinds of cherry products and treats in the artists’ colony of Glen Arbor at the base of the Leelanau Peninsula. Sample all things cherry—including salsa, peanut butter and wine.
On the Northwestern Michigan College campus in Traverse City, exhibits include an extensive collection of Inuit art.
Ford Rouge Factory Tour
Henry Ford’s original assembly-line factory—still the company’s largest—is open for tours to please car fanatics and history buffs alike. Purchase tickets at The Henry Ford and hop a bus to the sprawling factory for a self-guided tour.
Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo hosts a year-round schedule of Broadway shows, concerts, symphony performances, touring artists and special events.
MotorCity Casino Hotel
This hotspot is a safe bet for spectacular views of downtown Detroit. The building that houses automotive-themed MotorCity Casino Hotel was once a Wonder Bread factory, and it continues to make dough for those who find themselves on the winning side of a blackjack, craps, baccarat or poker table or on a streak at a roulette wheel or slot machine.
Sarett Nature Center
This conservation-minded stop on the outskirts of Benton Harbor is a must-see in the region, and the hiking trails and kids’ programming are a strong draw for nature-lovers. One of the trails is an elevated boardwalk that gives visitors a view of the forest from the tops of the trees.
More Places to Eat
La Cantina RestaurantThis friendly, family-run restaurant in Paw Paw blends traditional Italian favorites, like lasagna and spaghetti, with special concoctions including Pasta Emilio with pancetta and artichokes. Don’t miss the attached wine shop featuring Italian imports.
A 100-year-old horse livery in Benton Harbor’s Arts District houses a restaurant-pub with handcrafted beers on tap. Soon-to-be-hot bands play live. The small but interesting menu is known to change seasonally because the chef uses local produce.
This downtown Ann Arbor restaurant serves sophisticated, innovative cuisine that is somewhat at odds with its setting in a casual store front. The menu is diverse and unique, with favorites including the bacon and egg salad starring arugula, bacon-dusted cornbread and a perfectly fried egg.
Located in the GM Renaissance Center, this elegant, understated restaurant boasts huge windows and an outdoor patio area overlooking the Detroit River. Live jazz is offered nightly, and two bar areas make it easy to stop for a drink if dinner’s not on the agenda.
The Underground Cheesecake Company
Without a doubt, the most fun item on the menu at the Underground Cheesecake Company, a sunny bakery-cafe in Traverse City, is cheesecake on a stick. But purists will be satisfied by Underground Cheesecake’s more traditional offerings, available whole, by the slice and as bite-size samplers.
Whitneys Oyster Bar
This New England-style oyster bar in Charlevoix serves nautical-theme drinks and mouth-watering fish in a festive atmosphere. Savor a summer evening at the bar’s Topside, an open-air deck with a tiki bar.
More Places to Stay
Chelsea House Victorian Inn
Built in 1881, the Queen Anne-style Chelsea House Victorian Inn is a highlight of this charming community. The Carriage House, complete with full kitchen, dining area, living room and two-person Jacuzzi tub, is perfect for an extended stay. Guests are treated to daily breakfast delivery .
Henderson Castle Bed and Breakfast
Set atop the highest hill in Kalamazoo, the century-old Henderson Castle is a local gem with breathtaking views stretching for nearly 40 miles. Murder-mystery dinners and other themed getaways are always on the calendar at this 1895 local landmark.
The Homestead Resort
This Glen Arbor resort nestles along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore and stands ready to welcome people needing respite from life’s bustle. Its mile-long Lake Michigan beach gives guests a chance to rent kayaks or just take walks. The property has a variety of lodgings, including two small resort hotels, a rustic lodge and a historic inn.
Old Harbor Inn
This hotel is located within walking distance of all the entertainment South Haven has to offer. Several room choices are available, from rooms with balconies overlooking the harbor to whirlpool suites.
Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Long a stronghold of Northern Michigan lodging, Stafford’s century-old Perry Hotel is a historic pastel inn with one of the best locations in Petoskey. Situated in downtown Petoskey’s historic Gaslight District, the waterfront hotel is a perfect backdrop for a day of retail therapy, topped off by dinner and the requisite sunset .
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
In its heyday, this hotel hosted such illustrious guests as presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman, singer Frank Sinatra and baseball great Lou Gehrig. A 2008 restoration returned the legendary hotel to its 1924 glory while adding many modern-day luxuries, including 42-inch plasma televisions, laptop safes, in-room spa services and a gym and swimming pool.
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