With 2014 underway, visitors to Michigan can look forward to a wide range of new and improved lodging options, dining spots, and activities this year, including milestone anniversary celebrations.
What’s New to See
- The new LEED-certified Downtown Market Grand Rapids includes retail shops, a rooftop greenhouse, a commercial kitchen and the country's first hands-kitchen for kids.
- Bijou by the Bay, a new 150-seat movie house created by the Traverse City Film Festival, has opened in the historic Con Foster building in Clinch Park.
- Now open for business all year, visit the Historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee.
- Kinderbell interactive outdoor music area will be added to the current Cadillac Sound Garden and Sun Dial.
- After 70 years, the Flint Farmers’ Market is returning to downtown Flint in the former Flint Journal printing facility.
- The village of Clinton will have a Farmer’s Market from May-October on Fridays.
- Binder Park Zoo is making a home in “Wild Africa” for their new cheetah exhibit, as well as welcoming three Alaskan bear cubs into a new home with plenty of shade and a water feature.
- Nelis’ Dutch Village is adding a vintage Dutch Ferris wheel to this 4th generation family-owned attraction.
- Castle Farms in Charlevoix introduces a new garden, “The Dragon Lair,” featuring Norm the Dragon, originally introduced at ArtPrize.
- See the New USS Flier (SS 250) Exhibit at the USS Silversides Submarine Museum in Muskegon.
- The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum is expected to open in summer 2014 on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum.
- A new exhibit at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City will detail the history of shipping on the Straits of Mackinac.
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit “Gridiron Glory” will be on display at The Henry Ford this fall.
- Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame will open their museum in the Castle Museum in Saginaw.
- A new German Christmas Museum,located within the Old Christmas Station in Frankenmuth, reflects on the history of Christmas decorating and the Brewery Museum focuses on the city’s brewing history.
- The Dream it, Build it Exhibit opening March 1 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum will feature architectural masterpieces recreated with LEGO© bricks by Certified Lego Professional Adam Reed Tucker.
- The first new traveling exhibit in Henry Ford Museum for 2014 will be “Women Who Rock”.
- 2014 Tiger Exhibit at the John Ball Zoo will include multiple habitats with a tiger trail near the newly expanded IDEMA Forest Realm
What’s New to Do
Adventure and Recreation
- Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard from the Tecumseh Paddling Company and take a guided, or self-guided, tour of the River Raisin Run, a looped water trail.
- The Ludington State Park features a renovated Beach House on Lake Michigan and a handicap accessible fishing platform.
- Great Wolf Lodge has added a whitewater rafting element to its waterpark.
- Traverse City has completed a nearly $3 million renovation of Clinch Park, including a new terraced lawn area with stone sitting walls, interactive playground equipment, a kayak launch and a splash pad.
- The Traverse Tall Ship Company, operators of the schooner Manitou, have added a new vessel – the cutter Scout – to their Traverse City fleet.
- Visitors will be able to zip-line, climb and navigate five different courses in the new Frankenmuth Adventure Park.
- Find adventure on the new 460' Zip Line at Three Ponds Nature Preserve in Coldwater.
- Holland is now home to BAM! family fun center offering bowling, laser tag and more.
- Try the new Laser Tag and Indoor Bounce Area at the Adventure Zone in Coldwater.
- Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti features a new water slide structure and other improvements.
- The Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail offers six miles of rail with trail that will link the Musketawa State Trail with the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park.
- Eight miles of trail surface improvements and improvements to the bridge over the Grand River have been completed on the Grand River Valley Rail Trail from Ionia to Saranac.
- The new Burt Lake Trail near Indian River starts at Maple Bay Campground and runs 5.1 miles along West Burt Lake.
- A new seven mile section of the Northwestern State Trail connecting Petoskey and Mackinaw City has been paved from M-119 to Alanson.
- Visit Serenity Massage and Hypnotherapy in Indian River for some much needed relaxation.
- Construction is underway transforming the Globe Building in Detroit along the riverfront to a DNR Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center.
- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will have a new hunting, fishing license and ORV permit structure in 2014.
Tours and Classes
Sports and Events
- Ann Arbor: Legion, Merit, Today Clothing, Dancing Dog Gallery, Hipsters Underground.
- Bay City: Artigiano and Izzies on the Avenue.
- Charlevoix: American Man Cave.
- Coldwater: Sauk Trail Trading Post expanding.
- Detroit: Shinola, RUNdetroit, Nora, Hugh, Source Booksellers, Emerald
- Flint: Nick’s Consignment Emporium, Chrysa’s Alterations and Apparel, Timothy Goodrich Custom Shoes, 7 Loaves.
- Grand Haven: Spice Merchants, Tlaquepaque.
- Indian River: The Happy Fish, West Coast Sales, Tori’s Treasures, and the Pour of Indian River.
- Traverse City: Meadowsweet, High Five Threads.
- Ypsilanti: Dear Golden, The Eyrie
What’s New to Eat or Drink
New wineries opened or opening in Michigan include: The Season of the North (Indian River), Hawthorne Vineyards (Old Mission Peninsula), Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery (Alanson), Grand River Marketplace (Jackson). In wine trail news, West Branch is now part of the Sunrise Side Wine and Hops Trail and the Bay View Wine Trail will include wineries in the Little Traverse Bay region.
Michigan’s craft beer scene continues to grow with the opening of the following breweries: Brewery Terra Firma, Big Toe Brewery, Workshop Brewing Company, Rare Bird Brew Pub (Traverse City); Pigeon Hill Brewing Company (Muskegon), Fetch Brewing Company (Whitehall); Rupert’s Brew House and Tibb’s Brewing, Boatyard Brewing Co. (Kalamazoo); Big Lake Brewing Co. (Holland); Shed’s Brewing Company (Jackson); Elk Brewing (Grand Rapids); Biercamp (Ann Arbor); Gravel Bottom Brewery (Ada); Lexington Brewing Co. (Lexington); Old Mill Brewpub & Grill (Plainwell); Pleasant House Brewing Co. (Three Oaks); Stormcloud Brewing (Frankfort); Tapistry Brewing (Bridgman); Upper Hand (Escanaba); Griffin Claw Brewing Company (Birmingham).
Two James Spirits and Detroit City Distillery (Detroit), Barley & Rye (Ludington), The Peoples Cider Co. (Grand Rapids).
- Ann Arbor: Aventura, The Lunch Room, Old German, Tamaki, Eat The Hub, Knight's Steakhouse
- Bay City: Rusty Saw Smokehouse BBQ
- Bellaire: Shorts Brewing Company (expansion).
- Cadillac: The Clam Lake Beer Company
- Coldwater: Dickey's Barbeque Pit, Bills Grill House
- Detroit: Detroit Institute of Bagels, La Feria, Melt, The Grille Midtown, Thomas Magee’s Sporting House Whiskey Bar
- Fenton: The Fenton Fire Hall
- Flint: Café Rhema, Beef and Barley, Table & Tap
- Frankenmuth: Old Christmas Station European Café
- Grand Haven: 12 Corners Vineyard, Electric Cadillac, Baker’s Wife, Morning Star Cafe (renovated).
- Grand Rapids: Punjab Grill, Freshii, Osteria Rossa, Terra Handcrafted Food, Donkey Taqueria
- Hamtramck: Delite Cafe
- Howell: The Candy Bar
- Indian River: The River Rock Grille, Christopher’s Cafe
- Jackson: Klavon’s Pizzeria & Pub (new Location)
- Lansing: Red Haven, Meat, Capital Prime
- Manistee: The Blue Fish Kitchen & Bar
- Marquette: Das Steinhaus, Dia De Los Tacos, Ron's Taco Shop
- Mt. Pleasant: Broadway Bistro
- New Buffalo: Grateful Diner
- Saginaw: Olvera’s Texas Pit Bar B-Q, Teppanyaki Grill, Taboon Restaurant,
- Tecumseh: J Trees Cellars tasting room (to open in February 2014 in the Hayden Ford Mill)
- Three Oaks: Pleasant House
- Traverse City: The Parlor, Low Bar, Blue Heron 2 Cafe & Bakery, The Spanglish Catering Co.
- West Branch: Geneva Artisan Bakery & Bistro
- Williamsburg: Mr. C’s Pub & Grill
- Wolverine: The Thirsty Surgeon
Expansions & Improvements
Michigan’s winter is in full gear and ski resorts throughout the state are featuring new improvements in 2014. Mt. Brighton, now owned by Vail Resorts, recently underwent more than $10 million in improvements, including new snowmaking equipment, new chairlifts, a new terrain park and hills expansions. Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire will be offering new rental equipment, additional ski school options, more mid-day slope grooming and extended hours. Caberfae Peaks has new snowmaking equipment and towers, new backcountry terrain as well as renovations at the MacKenzie Lodge and Beatie’s Bar & Grille. Traverse City’s Mt. Holiday ski area is expanding, adding a new zip line that will run almost 400 feet down and back from the lodge. Snow Snake in Harrison is offering new drop-in classes this year. Treetops Resort has new snow equipment, a Boarder X course and now open seven days a week.
- The former Lexington Lansing Hotel is now a completely renovated Crowne Plaza Lansing West and includes the newly opened Bordeaux restaurant.
- The Holiday Inn Big Rapids will be renovated in fall 2014.
- Traverse City hotel renovations include a $4.5 million upgrade at West Bay Beach Resort, a $1.5 million renovation at Days Inn & Suites and all 47 rooms at the AmericInn. The Super 8 Motel is now a Boarders Inn and Suites by Cobblestone complete with renovation.
- In Muskegon, the Shoreline Inn has a new lobby with a bar; the Holiday Inn Muskegon-Harbor has undergone a $1.5 million renovation and the Hampton Inn of Muskegon has been completely renovated.
- Renovations at the Ramada Inn in Whitehall include the new Woods Bar & Grille.
- The Holiday Inn Express Adrian will be completely renovated in with all new guest rooms in the First Quarter of 2014.
- In Cadillac, The Hampton Inn is celebrating after a nearly two year renovation. Area hotels including the Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn and McGuire’s Resort have combined for $10 million in renovations over the past 18 months.
- The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center will begin a $30 million renovation project in February 2014, transforming 1,329 guest rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
- Baymont Inn Jackson is under new ownership and is planning renovation projects, including a new fitness room, business center, and guest laundry room.
- In the Great Lakes Bay Region, Four Points Hotel Saginaw, the Sleep Inn and the The H Hotel in Midland, and the AmericInn Hotel & Suites of Bay City have all undergone complete renovations.
- The Marriott Courtyard on the Campus of Central Michigan University will have a new hotel adjacent to the Chippewa Football Stadium.
- Pohl Bison Bed & Breakfast is a new Bed &Breakfast located in Rosebush.
- The Country Inn, Double Tree by Hilton and the Fairfield Inn, all in Holland, have undergone renovations this past year.
- In Ann Arbor, hotel renovations include the Residence Inn North (previously Hawthorn Suites) and the Holiday Inn, near the University of Michigan. Additionally, Clarion Hotel will undergo renovations in 2014.
- The Super 8 of West Branch has undergone complete renovations in its interior.
- Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is currently renovating 285 guestrooms on the glass tower side. Other Grand Rapids renovations include Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham and the Ramada Plaza Grand Rapids. The Hotel Royale will be reflagged as a Wyndham Garden after an upcoming remodel and the City Flats Hotel has opened a new ballroom.
- The Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island will unveil a stunning renovation of its 1852 Grill Room with new décor and featured seasonal menus. Also on the island, Grand Hotel has unveiled a new suite in honor of the late R.D. Musser, who was Chairman of Grand Hotel and has begun the first phase of a project to return the façade to the hotel’s historical architecture.
- Beppi’s courtyard at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor received a facelift and now offers outdoor dining and two gas fired bonfire pits.
- Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark at Boyne Mountain has added The Big Coulior, dropping and spinning riders through a four-story tube at 38 feet per second.
- Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has installed a new 15-person outdoor hot tub and the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City is adding a “Ten Paw Alley” and expanding it’s Scoops Kid Spa.
- Zehnder's Splash Village expansion in Frankenmuth includes 32 additional guest rooms, a new 29,000 square foot to the waterpark and new amenities.
More expansions & improvements
What’s New in Lodging & Meetings
- Michigan’s first Aloft Hotel, will be located along Woodward Avenue in the historic David Whitney Building. Opening in 2014, the hotel will offer 136 rooms.
- Cobo Center’s new Grand Riverview Ballroom and Atrium features a 40,000 square foot Grand Riverview Ballroom and offers 21,000 square feet of meeting space directly below.
Elvyn Lea Lodge in Petoskey (formerly the Boyne Valley Lodge) has remodeled their 22 guest rooms to offer a quality rustic group accommodation experience.
Cherry Grove Convention Center in Cadillac will open in February with the ability to host over 1,000 people.
The new Hilton Garden Inn in Benton Harbor is expected to open in the spring of 2014.
Courtyard by Marriott has opened in Kalamazoo.
Marquette now offers a Settle Inn (previously the Super 8), and a new Staybridge Suites scheduled to open in 2014.
The former Holland Inn & Suites is now the Best Western Holland Inn & Suites.
Milestones & Anniversaries
Ingham County Fair
City of Mt. Pleasant
The Whitney, Detroit
Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, Frankenmuth
Perry Hotel, Petoskey
The Inn at Stonecliff, Mackinac Island
The Henry Ford, Dearborn
The Inn at The Homestead, Glen Arbor
Tulip Time Festival, Holland
The Ford Mustang
Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
Capri Drive-In, Coldwater
DeZwaan Windmill imported to Holland, MI
Gerald R Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids
Chateau Grand Traverse Winery, Traverse City
Silver Bells in the City, Lansing
Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, Howell
Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor (Ann Arbor, Charlevoix, Traverse City)
Gillmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo
Black Star Farms (Inn and Tasting Room), Suttons Bay
Annual Michigan ElvisFest, Ypsilanti