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.
12 thoughts on “Three Things I Love About Michigan”
When you were saying that about our summers (neighbors remember) I was thinking at least we don’t have their winters. I wish we could have our winters and their summers. Wonderful photos. It is a beautiful place.
That would be nice. I literally dread summer in Oklahoma!
Great pics! Now I really want to get up there again. It’s easily one of the places I crave the most. Thanks for the shout-out with the recipes. Have you guys ever eaten at Stella’s? That was definitely our favorite dinner, and we just drank our bottle from 45 Vineyard! That was definitely a good winery. Another good one is L. Mawby’s. Oh, I need to get back up there!!!! :) Thanks for sharing the pics and bring back some good memories for me.
I don’t think I’ve been to Stella’s. Is it in Traverse City? We want to visit some more vineyards next time we go – it was a lot of fun. We wanted to go to Chateau Chantal but we didn’t have time. Have you been there? It looks really beautiful and they have a Bed and Breakfast there as well.
Yep, Stella’s is in TC. It’s in the old state assylum. Creepy place but cool too, and the restaurant is AMAZING! We did make it to Chateau Chantal. The wine was good, but we were very unimpressed with the service in the tasting room. Perhaps it was just the server that we had, but I was so irritated I didn’t want to buy a bottle. (We did though because Mike liked it so much. ;) ) The views were amazing and worth the stop. Our two favorites were Chateau Grand Traverse (http://www.cgtwines.com/) and Bowers Harbor (http://www.bowersharbor.com/).
Great article Laura !
Thanks, Leo. I need to do a story with you sometime! Bruno always talks about how great of a cook you are. I can’t wait to try your food! Maybe you can show me how to cook some real Italian dishes :)
My daughter lived in Michigan for 7 years and now that she is back in Canada, she missed Michigan a lot.
I see you managed to sneak in a mention of ice cream! heh heh.
Haha, you’re right! It wasn’t on purpose though! :)
I love this post! I definitely want to plan a trip there for next summer, it would be amazing! We could stay on walloon lake or lake charlevoix. We can stay for a week and plan all sorts of adventures…I would love to go to a few more vineyards, maybe we could go to an orchard and pick fruit. I would love to take Rut to mackinaw island and bike around it. We can eat BC pizza, Kilwins, Red Mesa…and maybe a few other good places (no corky’s…hehehe). Also, we can take turns making meals, brazilian, thai….and maybe some homemade ice cream!! Miss you lots! Can’t wait for Christmas!
I can’t wait for Christmas either, and yes, we definitely need to plan another Michigan trip soon! I have to get some fudge and a twister!
Hello there girls! Nice blog Laura. I enjoyed the pictures too. Last summer Uncle Fred and I did the wines in the Leelanau Peninsula and TC. Good wines from Chateau Chantel! Still have some in the fridge from that trip! Naughty Red is worth tasting and pair it with some great food and you have a winner. Maybe you’ll let me know when you plan on a week up north next year. Love to join you! I am going to check out your site- need some appetizer recipes! Love you girls- Happy Birthday Rach!