Small-Town Spring

Featured in Pure Michigan 2013 Spring/Summer Issue, beginning on page 84.

Blossomtime Festival. Photo Courtesy of Midwest Living. John Robert WilliamsBye-bye, winter. Spring is bursting onto the scene where small towns draw massive crowds to lively festivals.

More Things to Do St. Joseph and Benton Harbor 

Box Factory for the Arts
Works from regional potters, designers, painters, photographers and writers live in the historic Williams Brothers Paper Box Factory. Each of the three galleries features a new artist every six weeks. 

Curious Kids Museum
On the bluff above Silver Beach, Curious Kids Museum allows little hands to pick apples, play firefighter or entrap themselves in a giant bubble. Across the street, Curious Kids Discovery Zone offers more hands-on learning and fun. 

Jean Klock Park
Escape the crowds of other beaches for some fun and relaxation. Jean Klock Park offers all the typical beach amenities a picnic area, playground and sand dunes free of cost. 

Sarett Nature Center
Catch a glimpse of the backyard critters before heading out on the trail. Fifty-five feet in the air, the treetop trail shows off a birds-eye view of the river valley. 

Silver Beach Carousel
This old-time carousel can't be skipped for only $2 per ride. Take a spin on one of the hand-carved animals with a 50 cent bag of popcorn for the complete experience. 

More Places to Eat St. Joseph and Benton Harbor 

Caffe Tosi
Local produce, meat and cheeses team up to make delicious sandwiches like the Muffaletta, a traditional dish stacked with olive spread, ham, salami and provolone. Each sandwich comes on rave-worthy bread from the Bit of Swiss Bakery next door. 

The Chocolate Cafe
Chocolates, truffles and cakes line the walls of this dessert shop. Snack on some chocolate-covered fruit or indulge in the s'mores, which come with a sparkler on top. 

Clementines, Too
Each year, Clementines, Too feeds patrons 10 tons of fish due to their famous dish, Mess o Perch. This St. Josephs version of South Havens Clementines restaurant graces the harbor for dinner with a view. 

Schus Grill and Bar
Schus serves tasty steak and seafood dishes in a relaxing atmosphere. Dine alfresco and enjoy the view of Lake Michigan. 

Silver Beach Pizza
At this pizzeria, located in an old train depot by Silver Beach, the service is controlled by the customer. Each table has a two-sided disk that when green side up, brings a server. 

More in Boyne City 

More Things to Do Boyne City 

Alpine Chocolate Haus
Looking for a non-traditional sweet treat? Alpine Chocolate Haus specializes in chocolate-coconut covered potato chips and bark in flavors like key lime and boysenberry. 

Freshwater Studio
At the heart of Boyne City's new art district, SoBo, this studio houses more than 100 Michigan artists works for viewing or buying. Who knows, maybe a souvenir is waiting to be taken home. 

Horton Bay General Store
This historic general store looks as if it was pulled from an old western film. Amongst the variety of antiques, food is served at the old-fashioned soda counter. 

Lavender Hill Farm
Each year, this farm grows 25 varieties of lavender. They use the flowers in products sold on site, like the laundry bar rumored to remove the most hideous stains. 

Local Flavor
A local hot spot, this book store and cafe offers a variety of reads with an entire section dedicated to Michigan writers and topics (231/582-7499). 

Wine Emporium and Market
Beyond the bottles of wine, gourmet foods fill the market. The selection includes local meats, cheeses, jams and coffee among more exotic foods like squid ink pasta (231/582-2151).

More Places to Eat Boyne City 

Cafe Sante
The perfect place to relax with a cold glass of beer, Cafe Sante bears views of Lake Charlevoix. Select a pint from a long list of local brews and European imports. 

Lake Street Market
The scones at the bakery in this market have a strong following, being snatched up early in the day. Not a morning person? A variety of gourmet foods and pastries fill the shop. 

Red Mesa Grill
Inspired by the Caribbean as well as South and Central America, Red Mesa Grill goes beyond a traditional Mexican taco with dishes like Cuban black bean cakes, Costa Rican garlic steak and Peruvian chicken. 

More Places to Stay Boyne City 

Water Street Inn
Cozy condos line the beach giving guests a beautiful view of the lake. Enjoy from above on the balcony or down below on the private beach. 

More Things to Do Bellaire (25 miles from Kalkaska) 

Uniquely North
The walls of Uniquely North can't be seen beneath the plethora of wall art for sale. Furniture, candles and locally made jewelry also fill the shabby-chic shop. 

More Places to Eat 

The Dockside
The docksides public marina makes it a great lunch stop for Torch Lake boaters. Enjoy waterfront views while munching on a burger with homemade onion rings and sipping on an ice-cold brew. 

Lulus Bistro
This contemporary restaurant features different appetizers and salads daily along with a steady menu of meat and seafood entrees. Enjoy a meal with a glass of wine or beer from the list of local selections. 

The Lunch Box
Breakfast exceeds a simple morning meal at this Harley and hockey themed restaurant. Eggs, biscuits and gravy grace the menu all day alongside soups and sandwiches at lunchtime. 

Moka serves fresh brewed coffee to accompany the homemade pastries each morning. Heading over later in the day? This cafe also serves artisan pizzas pair one with a glass of wine from the extensive list. 

Ruthies Chicken and Dairy Twist
Beyond the menu of fried chicken, burgers and coneys, the ice cream drives people to Ruthies. Ruthie herself may even be spotted scooping an old-fashioned ice cream cone behind the counter (231/533-8538).

More Places to Stay Bellaire (25 miles from Kalkaska) 

The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inn
Positioned just two blocks from downtown, this bed and breakfast resides in an 1890's Queen Anne Mansion. Victorian-era decor fills the interior to maintain its history. 

Stone Waters Inn
Along the Torch River, Stone Waters Inn displays scenic views. Enjoy the outdoor hot tub and grill or make the short walk to explore downtown. 

More Things to Do Mount Pleasant (9 miles from Shepherd) 

Ambiance Salon & Day Spa
Whether its a simple haircut or a body massage, Ambiance embraces relaxation. Enjoy a complimentary head massage with that haircut and take a body massage to the next level with hot stones. 

Art Reach on Broadway
Browse the gallery containing works from more than 100 artists. Art Reach also includes a gift shop and a studio offering classes and workshops. 

Basketree carries country-chic home decor alongside trinkets, candles and accessories. Specialty food items are also available such as locally made chocolates and caramel apples by Sweets N Treats. 

Buckleys Mountainside Canoes
Get the best view of the Chippewa River while paddling the water. Buckleys not only rents canoes and kayaks, they provide pick-up service at the end point. 

Bucks Run
This 300-acre golf course displays beautiful waterfront views throughout its 18 holes. Bucks Run utilizes 1.5 miles of river, natural wetlands and three lakes that add to the . 

This golf courses namesake Dan Pohl PGA touring pro and Mount Pleasant native designed the 18 holes. The challenge revolves around the Chippewa River, but that's the beauty of it, too. 

Rics Food Center
Positioned within walking distance of three parks Island, Nelson and Millpond Rics proves a perfect spot to pick up picnic fixings. Pick up some sandwiches from the deli, grab a blanket and head to the park. 

Stone Soup
Located in historic downtown, Stone Soup sells a smorgasbord of gifts. Choose from a variety of unique baskets or have one custom-made. 

More Places to Eat Mount Pleasant (9 miles from Shepherd) 

The Brass Cafe & Saloon
This comfort food joint sits right downtown on Main Street. Stop for some cozy relaxation with a bowl of adult macaroni and cheese. 

A favorite among the locals, Doozies roadside ice cream stand delivers a wide selection of treats at affordable prices (989/772-2332).

Mountain Town Station
A former train station houses this brewery and restaurant. Sip on a hand crafted beer while digging into some good old-fashioned ribs. 

Cross the threshold at Pixies to enter into the 50's. The decked out rock-n-roll diner features menu items with names like Blue Suede Shoes and Good Golly Miss Molly. 

Water Lily
Complete with white tablecloths, this fine dining establishment resides in the Soaring Eagle Casino. Take a break from the slots to enjoy a traditional steak or seafood meal. 

More Places to Stay Mount Pleasant (9 miles from Shepherd) 

Pleasant Dreams Bed & Breakfast
Filled with antiques and Victorian elements, Pleasant Dreams morphs a 100-year-old house into a bed and breakfast. Breakfast, however, is only available on the weekend.