Benzie County Spring Fling

See spectacular scenery, wildflowers in bloom and panoramic shoreline vistas. Hear the wind and the waves thrashing against the lakeshore and revel the echo of returning birds. Taste great Northern Michigan wines, beer and local culinary favorites. Bike or hike through the state forest trails or hunt for wild mushrooms. Play a round of golf and a championship course or attend a festival. The season is changing feel the essence of spring in Benzie County.

Benzie County is located along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by viewers of ABCs Good Morning America. This beautiful destination offers the perfect spring escape to experience relaxation and the great outdoors. With nearly 30 miles of Lake Michigan coastline and over 50 inland lakes, the area provides excellent boating and fishing opportunities. The forests, dunes and bluffs of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pere Marquette State Forest offer over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails and wildlife habitats for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

In the spring, over 100 species of birds return to the region or pass through on their migration north making this an ideal location for bird watching. Beautiful wild flowers dot the landscape. Visitors will be impressed with the areas trillium, jack-in-the pulpit, lady slippers and pitchers thistle. They'll also find excellent opportunities for hunting edible wild morel mushrooms and leeks in areas woods and forests.

Carved by glaciers, and shaped by water and wind, the rolling hills of this region create a golf experience with scenic fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and spectacular views. Crystal Lake Golf Club offers impressive scenic views. Voted the #1 public golf course by the Grand Traverse Insider and rated as one of the best places to play by Golf Digest, this 18-hole course has rolling hills, shady nooks, and beautifully maintained greens. The front nine is a relaxed and open course, with wide fairways and rolling terrain, great for all skill levels. The back nine gives advanced golfers an extra challenge with plenty of water hazards and strategically placed bunkers. This tight and winding course is the perfect way to put your skills to the test.

The areas premier getaway escape is Crystal Mountain. This family-owned, year-round ski, golf and spa resort is located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City. Amenities include a full-service spa, 36 holes of championship golf, an outdoor pool and water playground, lodging, dining, indoor pool and fitness center and conference facilities for groups of up to 400 people.

Looking to hit the links? Crystal Mountain offers 36 holes of championship golf on the Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge courses. Crystal Mountain Golf School was named one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in America by GOLF Magazine in 2008, and is home to Junior Elite, the Midwests top junior golf instructional program.

The Mountain Ridge course offers panoramic vistas with fairways that ascend to high elevations and wind through stately forests. The Betsie Valley course that recently underwent a $1 million renovation, is suitable for the seasoned and less experienced golfer with its protected greens, tree lined fairways and challenging bunkers. Both have received a prestigious 4-Star rating from Golf Digest magazine. Crystal Mountain is the home to the Womens Michigan PGA Open Tournament every June. The resort offers golf packages and specials all season long.

Crystal Spa Michigan's "green" spa destination with its 12 treatment rooms, meditation lounge and outdoor meditation garden with hot tub, is one of only six LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) spa facilities in the nation.

Crystal is also home to the Michigan Legacy Art Park, a 30-acre outdoor park that blends art with nature. In the spring, summer and fall, make a splash at the Park at Water's Edge or coast down the mountain on the Crystal Coaster Michigans only alpine slide.

Benzie County and its surrounding areas also feature some of northern Michigans finest restaurants, breweries and wineries.