Featured in Pure Michigan 2014 Spring/Summer Issue, beginning on page 61.
Pristine sandy beaches, bustling small towns and water activities galore welcome families to more than 250 miles of Lake Michigan shore. Stretching from the southwestern state line north through beach towns to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this region provides picture-perfect moments that make for a lifetime of memories. Were highlighting some of our faves.
More Things to Do Glen Arbor
For chic shopping and fashionable finds, get to Diane Oberschulte and Ann Hiltons stylish boutique, open spring through October (231/334-7377).
Crystal River Outfitters
Guided tours let visitors take it easy or take it to the extreme with kayak and canoe trips on the Crystal River. Stand-up paddleboard, kayak and canoe rental also available (231/334-4420; www.crystalriveroutfitters.com)
Glen Arbor Botanicals
Antique illustrations of flowers, garden plans, Japanese woodblocks and other plant-world-inspired artworks pepper the walls of the gallery, built around three red pines that grow through the roof (231/334-3404).
Part of Crystal River Outfitters, this full-service bike shop provides rentals and delivery. Coast along scenic roads or pedal through Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail with weeklong, half- and full-day rentals (231/334-4420; www.crystalriveroutfitters.com.
More Places to Eat Glen Arbor
Marvel at the (taxidermist-created) two-headed fish hanging proudly among other eclectic pieces, like Arts stained-glass portrait. Try Arts Burger or a Michigan-fruit-filled salad, wash it all down with a Michigan beer (231/334-3754; www.artsglenarbor.com).
A daily-changing menu melds European techniques and local ingredients, complemented by a specially-chosen wine list. Views of the Manitou Islands and Sleeping Bear Bay enhance any meal (231/334-2530 ; www.glenarborblu.com).
The Homestead resorts restaurant attracts diners with a seasonal menu of Italian cuisine. With natural-stone fireplaces and a timber-frame structure, Nonnas couples coziness and distinct dishes for a cant-beat combo (231/334-5150).
More Places to Stay Glen Arbor
Opportunities to relax or revel are ample with The Homesteads spa, golf course, fly-fishing school and mile-long Lake Michigan beach. An inn, lodge and two resort hotels offer options (231/334-5000; www.thehomesteadresort.com).
The Lakeshore Inn
A two-story colonial-style motel downtown lets visitors enjoy Glen Arbors amenities, but is just minutes away from local beaches and the splendor of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (231/334-3773; www.lakeshoreinnmotel.com).
The Sylvan Inn
Unwind in a rocker on the large porch at this bed and breakfast on Glen Arbors west end, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, beaches and trails (231/334-4333; www.sylvaninn.com)
More Things to Do Manistee and Onekama (20 minutes north of Manistee)
This home decor store in downtown Manistee features interior accessories and furniture, garden art and a small selection of womens clothing (231/398-9552).
Historic Trolley Tours
Restored trolleys with guides dressed in period attire share stories of the port city's many historic sites. Catch a trolley hourly in downtown Manistee from May through September (231/723-6525; www.manisteecountytransportation.com).
Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary
More than 175 species of birds fly through the 76-acre property along Lake Michigans shore. Watch for great blue herons and eastern screech owls and a towering sequoia in the neighboring arboretum (231/723-4042 or 231/233-7737; www.michiganaudubon.org).
More Places to Eat Manistee and Onekama (20 minutes north of Manistee)
Goodys Juice and Java
A brick-front building in historic downtown Manistee houses coffees, specialty drinks, real-fruit smoothies and baked goods. Stop by for breakfast or grab a panini and soup at lunch (231/398-9580; www.goodysjuiceandjava.com).
Shays Chop House
Premium steaks and fresh seafood highlight the menu at former racecar-team owner Rick Shays Onekama restaurant. A Fish On! option lets customers enjoy their personally-caught fish they way they like (231/889-3121; www.shayschophouse.com).
Reservations are recommended at this Onekama turn-of-the-century former resort, where from-scratch dressings top salads, and hearty meals of Lake Michigan fish are finished with a decadent dessert (231/889-3734; www.glenwoodrestaurant.com).
The cozy pub below the Ramsdell Inn brings food from area farmers to patrons. Finish a seasonal meal with a drink by the fireplace or at the bar (231/398-7901; www.ramsdellinn.net).
More Places to Stay Manistee and Onekama (20 minutes north of Manistee)
Little River Casino
A grand lobby gives way to large rooms and a courtyard. Amenities like an on-site workout room and pool accompany plenty of gaming and an event center for concerts (800/568-224 ; www.lrcr.com).
Manistee Inn & Marina
Perched between Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake, this 25-room hotel lets guests know what its like in a port city with views of boats passing through twin drawbridges (231/723-4000;www.manisteeinn.com).
S.S. City of Milwaukee and Acacia
Sleep aboard a 1920s Great Lakes steamship. Unchanged since their active days, the two steamers let Manistee visitors experience the era. Walk the deck, dine below and fish from the ship in this one-of-a-kind lodging experience (231/723-3587
More Things to Do Holland
The nations largest bulb production facility blooms with 50 million tulips. A nursery/garden center, bison farm and on-site Delftware and De Klomp wooden-shoe factory complete the venue (616/399-1900; www.veldheer.com).
Wander through this 1800s classical post office and view exhibits documenting the history of the Dutch settlement. Use the magnifying glass to see the Rembrandt sketch in the second floors art collection (888/200-9123; www.hollandmuseum.org).
East 8th Street
Running through the heart of downtown, this pedestrian-friendly street is lined with shops, restaurants, bars and attractions. Stop by on Thursdays in the summer for street performances, juggling, and acrobatic displays (616/394-000 or 800/506-1299).
Holland Peanut Store
Although it began roasting peanuts in 1902, the Fabiano-family store expanded to a variety of candies, including handmade chocolates, truffles, and retro candies like wax bottle pops (616/392-4522).
Midwest Barista School
JPs Coffee offers classes for novices wanting to pull the perfect espresso shot, properly grind coffee beans and decorate coffee with steamed-milk designs with individual, tailored 4-hour classes, at cost (866/321-4627).
The Sand Castle for Kids
An oversized-wooden castle for kids to crawl through lends the store its name, but it also carries educational toys crystal-growing kits and microscopes and just-for-fun games, yo-yos and magic kits (616/396-5955).
More Places to Eat Holland
AlpenRose Restaurant and Cafe
Handcrafted woodwork imported from Europe fills this restaurant and cafe, an indication of its classic European menu. After dinner, stop by the bakery for an apple strudel to-go (616/393-2111;www.alpenroserestaurant.com).
An expansive patio overlooking the river lets guests at the restaurant and lounge enjoy warm weather on the waterfront, and varied menu means a meal to everyones taste (616/396-0600;www.boatwerksrestaurant.com).
Butchs Dry Dock
Wooden racks displaying 700-plus wine bottles anchor the dining room of Butch TerHaars restaurant that emphasizes harmonized food and wine with a menu that compliments its vast drink selection (616/396-8227;www.butchs.net).
More Places to Stay Holland
Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods
Nestled in the woods a mile from Lake Michigan, this modern-home bed and breakfast provides full-breakfast spreads and bike rentals for the nearby Lakeshore Connector Path. Walk the gardens to see the propertys beautiful blooms (616/994-0922;www.crimsoncottageinn.com).
Cherry-wood furniture characterizes the 50-room hotel while lush greenery and floral gardens bring natural beauty to the downtown location. Complimentary breakfast and access to Hope Colleges fitness facilities are provided (616/395-7200 or 800/903-9142;www.haworthinn.com).
Lake Ranch Resort
Resting on Lake Macatawa and just minutes from Holland State Park and Lake Michigan, this seasonal waterfront resort places guests close to Western Michigans scenery and the restaurants and stores of Holland (616/399-9380;www.lakeranchresort.com).
More Postcards from Lake Michigan More in Grand Haven
More Things to Do Grand Haven
A home interior and gift shop features American-made and unique items, including decorated dinnerware, local artwork and accessories and imported fair-trade items (616/846-5830).
Tri-Cities Historical Museum
Exhibiting local-area history, the free museum offers visitors a chance to walk through a recreated fur traders log cabin or Native American dwelling (616/842-0700;www.tri-citiesmuseum.org).
Wind Dancer Schooner Charters
A 63-foot schooner lets visitors sail from Chinook Pier for tours around the lighthouse. Be part of the crew and help raise the sails or steer the boat 616/560-1929;www.winddancercharters.com).
More Places to Eat Grand Haven
Rooftop pizza place K2, American-fare bar and grill the Kirby House and the Grill Room steakhouse comprise the three-in-one restaurant, accommodated by a larger former hotel in downtown (616/846-3299;www.thegilmorecollection.com/kirby.php).
A summertime tradition in Grand Haven means lining up for corn dogs Michigan-made hot dogs dipped in a secret-recipe batter from the yellow stand on the boardwalk (616/502-3583;www.grandhavenprontopup.com).
The Grand Seafood and Oyster Bar
Grand Theatre houses a sushi bar and full selection of fresh fish. Try the inventive whitefish pate as an appetizer or meal to take seafood-dining up a notch (616/847-8944;
More Places to Stay Grand Haven
Harbor House Inn
A pink-and-gray, nouveau-Victorian style inn sits on a hillside overlooking downtown Grand Haven. Many rooms feature luxuries like whirlpools and fireplaces. Grab a bag of the inns famous caramel candy (616/846-0610 or 800/841-0610;www.harborhousegh.co).
Turn-of-the-century architecture combines with modern amenities in the resorts vacation homes and suites, perfect for those seeking privacy and quiet getaway (616/842-2761 or 888/205-7677;www.serendipityresorts.com).