Splashing through the sand bar,
talking by the campfire
It's the simple things in life like when and where….
I can't think about spending time in northern Michigan without that Kid Rock song running through my head…. (and then there's the fact that my husband grew up with him in a town called Romeo back when he was known as Bobbie Ritchie…..), summertime in Northern Michigan is truly an ideal way to spend a week's vacation! My family and I road-tripped out there back in early July and spent a fantastic week in the Lake City area (about an hour south of Traverse City).
We rented a home on Lake Missaukee that was perfect for us to share with three families (ours, the grandparents, and the cousins!), and although the guy we rented the house from was a little long-winded in the rules department- we had a lot of fun. The kids really got into paddling around in front of the house, and their Uncle Mike and cousins also took them tubing and jet skiing!
So today I thought I would share with you a few highlights…. in case you ever find yourself up in Northern Michigan looking for something to do!
*image courtesy of Chippewa Landing/Facebook
River Tubing on the Manistee
On one deliciously warm afternoon we spent a few hours floating down the Manistee River after being shuttled to the drop-in point by the fine folks from Chippewa Landing. The winding river was completely empty expect for our group of 13- so it was kind of like being a wilderness explorer! (kinda). During our outing, I learned three important things about river tubing:
1. Bring more beer than you think you'll need. And then bring more than that.
2. After two hours of soaking in a river, your sunscreen will be completely gone and you will fry like a tomato on the grill….. Unless your husband discovers that the riverbanks are an abundant source of clay and you paint yourself silly like a contestant on Survivor to shield your skin. In which case- make sure no one has a camera (notice there are no personal pictures here in this section!)
3. A deliciously warm day turns shockingly cold after you've been marinating in the river for three hours. (In a related note: nine miles is four miles too long in cold water.)
Sleeping Bear Dunes
It never gets old. Struggling and panting to march up to the top of these incredible sand dunes only to race as fast as you can back down to the bottom (trying not to topple over as you go!). The kids might have done this once or twice (or a dozen) times. Me…. just a few (showing my age).
And while you are there, be sure to spend some time over at the beach at Glen Haven. The water is Caribbean-blue, the sand is like powdered sugar… it is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to….. the only drawback? The water is quite cold! (And in spite of the rumor that this would be a fantastic spot to hunt for Petosky Stones…. we only found one).
*image courtesy of Cherry Republic/Facebook
The Cherry Republic
You can't make a trip up to the Cherry Capital of the World (Traverse City) and not stop in at the Cherry Republic! (And if you are visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes, be sure to go to the one in Glen Arbor- it's their flagship). A store dedicated to everything cherry- you can sample and purchase cherry BBQ sauce, cherry salsa, cherry wine, cherry sodas, cherry pie, cherry jam, cherry candy, and my personal favorite- chocolate-colored cherries! Be sure to stop by early on your vacation and stock up on the different flavors of cherry soda for the kids- and a range of white, milk, and dark chocolate-covered cherries to enjoy all week long!
Tasty Treat Ice Cream Shop
They claim to have the “biggest cones in the North” and I am convinced that they re right! This awesome ice cream shop was in walking substance of the home we rented, and we made the trek over there almost every night. The flavors were amazing- the scoops were enormous (you don't need to order anything larger than a small and you'll be stuffed!) and the prices were very reasonable. Set your diet-intentions aside for the week- and just surrender your will at Tasty Treat!