While I love the people here in Oklahoma, when all I see in the forecast is 100-degree weather, sometimes it makes me question my sanity — especially after going home to one of the most beautiful places in the world where it’s a perfect 70 degrees. Alas, I’m married to a Brazilian who hates cold winter weather, which means we’ll be staying put in Oklahoma. But at least we can vacation in Michigan!
We visited recently for my sister’s wedding so tonight I’m taking a break from my month of homemade ice cream to share some of the things (other than the weather) that I love most about Michigan – which are also some of the reasons you should visit!
1) The Scenery
The Pure Michigan commercials don’t lie – Michigan is truly beautiful! I think God must have created it especially for his vacation home.
2) The Food
If you’re planning a visit, here are some of my favorites.
- BC Pizza: It started in my hometown and now has more than 30 locations across Northern Michigan. It has a slightly sweet crust and sauce and is loaded with fresh ingredients. It’s not fancy pizza, but it’s good! BC Pizza will always hold a special place in my heart.
- Kilwin’s Ice Cream and Fudge: My brother worked for Kilwin’s making fudge and serving ice cream while we were growing up and we took full advantage of our family discount! They make their own waffle cones, which are definitely the best I’ve had. My sister had a surprise treat of Mackinaw Island Fudge ice cream and waffle cones at her wedding and it was a huge hit! Kilwin’s can be found all over Northern Michigan as well.
- Blackbird Gardens: This Petoskey-based company catered my wedding five years ago and catered my sister’s wedding as well. They are amazing! Everything is very fresh — they picked the salad the day of her wedding and served the most delicious homegrown strawberries. Chef Mike is very creative: for our wedding he made a couple of Brazilian dishes (for the Brazilian groom) and for my sister’s he made a Thai shrimp hors d’oeuvre and Thai chicken and dipping sauces (for the Thai groom). Mike is also a very talented chef. The beef in our kabobs was cooked perfectly. We were sitting by a couple who had vegetarian kabobs and they said it was the best wedding food they’d ever had!
- Red Mesa Grill: If you’re ever in Boyne City, Red Mesa is a great casual restaurant with good quality Latin food. Their chili crusted chicken twister is my favorite! Sadly, we were so busy I didn’t get to have one during our recent visit.
- Corky’s: For my sister’s bachelorette party we toured a few vineyards in the Leelanau Penninsula. Our tour began and ended at Corky’s in Sutton’s Bay. While the service was sub-par (our server had only been working there for three days and probably wasn’t cut out to waitress), the peaceful setting with a view of Lake Michigan and good food make it worth a mention. I’m not saying it was the best food ever, but it was better than average and the experience was enjoyable over all.
- 45 Vineyard: Our favorite of the three vineyards we visited. It’s named after its location on the 45th parallel.
- Michigan has an abundance of fresh fruit, from cherries to blueberries to apples and more. Chef Mom recently posted some some delicious-looking recipes featuring Michigan cherries.
3) The People
At least for me, the people (my family) are one of the things I love and miss most about Michigan.