16 Reasons Why You Should Visit Northern Michigan
Relaxation—true relaxation—requires a very particular mash-up of elements, at least when it comes to travel. Natural beauty is a must, but so is culture. Good food is also essential, plus activities to help burn off those calories. And heck, if you can throw in a festival or two, you’ve got me on board.
That would be on board a flight to the airport in Traverse City, Michigan, which has all of those things and more.
From there most head to Glen Haven Village, also part of the National Park, which includes a blacksmith shop, general store, and a fascinating Maritime Museum dedicated to 19th-century "surfmen." These heroes were responsible for rescuing shipwrecked sailors on Lake Michigan. They often used a cannon (I wish I had a photo of it) to shoot a zipline-like device to the sinking ship. Those onboard would attach one end to the mast of the ship, and then climb into an oversize pair of trousers dangling from the metal rope and zip to safety on shore. Once a day during summer, rangers demonstrate the device with the help of visiting children.
So how does the wine here compare to what's being grown in, say, France's Bordeaux region (also on the 45th parallel)? They do white-wine lovers right, with tipples that have a pleasant level of acidity, and complex notes of grass and grain. The reds are less satisfying, unless you go to a place like Black Star Farms (pictured, with vineyards on both the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula) which has very nice Cabernet Franc, and the finest Sauvignon Blanc (released in 2017) I've ever tasted. Tastings tend to run $4 for six sips at most places, making this a very affordable way to while away an afternoon.