- MICHIGAN -
The beauty of Michigan manifests in many ways: cool weather, a slow pace of life, darling downtowns & calming lake views. But as a traveler who can’t sit still for long, my favorite thing about this sleepy vacation was actually the ease of traveling to each little town. One after another, darling townships like Saugatuck, Douglas and Holland are strung along the Lake Michigan coast with plenty of breweries, orchards, art galleries and more just waiting to be discovered. Here, a diary of some of my favorite to-do’s:
Three Mitten Brewing Co | 527 Leonard St NW
Beer flights paired with pizza flights- what more could one want on vacation?
The Southerner | 880 Holland St
Hot fried chicken, towers of flaky biscuits and boozy frozen cocktails make this the perfect spot to kick off a night on the town. The vintage feel in their cozy harborside shack offers great views and plenty of seating to bring a crew.
Pumpernickel’s | 202 Butler St
Upscale and small town all at once, this is the place to go for a long lunch with a craft cocktail and a lobster roll.
Yacht Boat Charters | 220 Water St
Many of the boat rentals in town prefer you stay in the nearby harbor: if you want to make it all the way out to the mighty Lake Michigan, do so in style with the darling husband and wife duo of Yacht Boat Charters. Pack a picnic, pop the rosé and pamper yourself!
Root Beer Barrel | 455 W. Center St
The icon of the Saugatuck/Douglas townships, this giant barrel has been selling hot dogs and rootbeer floats all summer long since most residents can remember.
Mount Baldhead Hike | 769 Park St
The 368 stair climb yields a pretty view, but the real fun is running down the sand dunes on the other side to the beach- it’s like skiing on sand!
Holland Farmers Market | 150 W. 8th St
You’ll find Michigan classics–cherries, berries and asparagus– in abundance here, but you’ll also encounter neat local fare like beer cheese spread, blueberry salsa, and cherry chicken jerky.
Cherry Republic | 29 W. 8th St
The spot to go for all cherry everything. Seriously: dried cherries, chocolate covered cherries, cherry salsa, cherry mustard, cherry BBQ sauce, cherry white chocolate peanut butter… you get it.
Bowerman Blueberry Market | 15793 James St
Enjoy picking blueberries during the late summer months, or pop in year round for their infamous fresh blueberry donuts. Get a sack full– they disappear fast.
Virtue Cider | 2170 62nd St
You’ll turn the corner to Virtue Cider and think you stumbled into the German village from Beauty & the Beast: quaint architecture, extensive farm grounds where sheep and chickens roam, and European style dry sparkling ciders. Give their canned Mezzo Spritz a try– it’s a riff on a classic Aperol spritz, made with apple cider!
Summerhouse Lavender Farm | 2975 65th St
Learn about the process of growing and distilling lavender at this fragrant family run spot. Be sure to pop into the gift shop on the way out and take home some of their locally made candles!
Crane’s Pie Pantry | 6054 124th Ave
The infamous apple pie is worth the scenic drive past the orchards, and walking into the shop dripping with Americana is like going back in time.
Waypost Brewing Co | 1630 Blue Star Hwy
This spot feels fresh out of Brooklyn, but just happens to be plopped down in a beautiful field. Enjoy expertly crafted brews in fresh minimal digs– I could stay on their patio all day long.
Peachbelt Studio Gallery | 6292 124th Ave
Of all the plentiful roadside galleries and antique shops, I felt most called to pull over to this darling brick schoolhouse, inside of which artist Dawn Stafford paints iconic Michigan scenery in the most ethereal manner: perfectly reminiscent of what it feels like visiting for the summer.