Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Forecast for Warm Temperatures Means Michiganders Are Making Reservations for Spring & Summer Camping

Mild temperatures in the 60s, 70s and even 80s across Michigan this week means that campers will be picking up their phones or jumping online to make campground reservations for the upcoming warm-weather season. According to the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) – Michigan, this is just another indicator of what is expected to be a great summer travel season.

“This year’s RV, outdoor and consumer shows have been a huge success,” says Tom Briggs – owner of Grand Rogue Campground & Paddlesports in Grand Rapids and President of ARVC-Michigan. “So far, we have distributed more than 50,000 copies of our 2010 directory at these shows, which is an increase over last year.”

During the winter months, ARVC-Michigan attended 10 RV shows throughout the Midwest, in addition to partnering with West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) for distribution at nine additional shows and Anderson’s Brochure distribution Service which attended four shows around the country. The annual guide is available at all Michigan welcome centers, member campgrounds, and is online in PDF format at

According to Jim Wolfe from Leisure Time Campground in Irons, reservations thus far this year are already ahead of schedule. “We’re already seeing a large number of reservations for Memorial Day Weekend…two to three weeks ahead of this time last year.”

Although camping is a year-round activity in Michigan, spring signals the onset of the warm-weather camping season in Michigan. By mid-April, a large number of the privately owned campgrounds in Michigan are welcoming guests looking to shake off the winter blues and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are 10 great reasons to head out to your favorite Michigan campground this spring:

1. Wildflowers. April showers bring May flowers, like the trillium that blanket the forest floor. Spring also brings the blossoms on the apple and cherry trees, making this one of the most fragrant times of the year to get out and travel the Great Lakes State. The Blossomtime Festival (April 30-May 7) in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor and Blossom Days on Old Mission Peninsula (May 15-16) are two events not to be missed. Of course when it comes to spring flowers, one can’t forget the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland (May 1-8), it’s a sure sign of spring!

2. Woodland Edibles. Morel mushrooms, wild ramps, leeks and fiddleheads are all delicacies that can be found by foraging through the woodlands of Michigan. After a successful “hunt” you can savor these mouth-watering finds, paired with a fine Michigan beer or wine. Several cities throughout the state – including Mesick (May 7-9), Lewiston (May 7-8) and Boyne City (May 13-16) – have been hosting festivals celebrate the “mighty morel” for more than 40 years. For recipes and other ideas on how to savor these scrumptious selections, check out Earthy Delights online at

3. Fishing. Whether you enjoy fly fishing on the rivers and streams, heading out on a charter on the big lake or casting a line for pan fish in an inland lake, you’re sure to catch something while spring fishing in Michigan. From walleye, trout, steelhead and salmon to perch, bass and bluegills, this is a fisherman’s paradise.

Spring is also a great to visit one of the state’s six fish hatcheries or the famed Fish Ladder in Grand Rapids. The 74th Annual National Trout Festival (April 21-25) in Kalkaska, the Freeland Walleye Festival (April 23-25) and the Mancelona Bass Festival (June 3-6) are among the many opportunities to enjoy spring fishing celebrations in Michigan. June 12-13 is also a “Michigan Free Fishing Weekend,” sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources & Environment.

4. Wine Tasting. While the nearly 70 wineries throughout the state of Michigan are open year round, spring is the ideal time to visit as this is when the new releases are available for tasting. Be sure to purchase a bottle or two, to pair with those woodland edibles and fresh catches! April, after all, is Michigan Wine Month…so celebrate! For a list of the state’s award-winning wineries, visit the Michigan Wine Council’s website at

5. Bird Watching. Nature centers, sanctuaries and wildlife viewing areas are thriving with opportunities for spring bird watching. The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Annual Spring Fling (April 23-25) in Paradise, the Tawas Point Birding Festival (May 14-16) in Tawas, the Kirtland Warbler Festival (May 15) in Roscommon County and the Cerulean Warbler Weekend (4-6) at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, are among the many spring birding events that you may want to check out this season. For more about birding, visit the Michigan Audubon Society website:

6. Paddling. With thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not to mention the inland and Great Lakes, spring is the perfect time to get out in your canoe or kayak and head out on the water for some peace and quite. For more information, check out the website for the Michigan Association of Paddlesport Providers:

7. Peddling. Michigan is home to some of the most scenic biking trails, ranging in distance and level of difficulty. Whether you’re taking a short family trip along a paved trail or are heading out for an off-road mountain bike adventure, you’ll find plenty of opportunities around the state – including special events geared toward cyclists.

Michigan boasts five official State Park linear trails, including Kal-Haven Trail, White Pine Trail, Van Buren Trail, Hart-Montague Trail and Lakelands Trail. Converted from abandoned railroad corridors, these are the only State Parks that do not require a motor vehicle permit; entrance is free.
For more information on biking trails and events around the state, check out the website for the League of Michigan Bicyclists at

8. Hiking. From nature centers to city, county and state parks, you’ll find countless trails waiting to be explored. In Michigan, you can hike more than 200 miles on the Shore-to-Shore Trail that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Or, take a day hike on any breathtaking section of the North Country National Scenic Trail which operates is national offices from Lowell, Michigan.

9. Golfing. Michigan is home to more than 800 golf courses and during the spring season, the rates are often lower, there are fewer people (and bugs) and the temperatures are pleasant. For a detailed list of courses throughout the state, visit the Golf Association of Michigan online at

10. Driving. Michigan Highways offer a state-wide listing of Heritage Routes – in three specific categories: Scenic, Recreational and Historic routes online at Among some of the more noted routes are the M-119 “Tunnel of Trees” which hugs the coastline of Lake Michigan from Harbor Springs north through Good Hart to Cross Village; The US-23 “Sunrise Side Coastal Highway” which skirts the Lake Huron shoreline from Mackinaw City south to Standish for 193 miles; US-12, known as the Sauk Trail, which travels from New Buffalo to Detroit and was once a route for early travelers, Native Americans and slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad; the Allegan County Heritage Trail which travels 122 miles throughout the county, stopping at 28 historic sites including a former POW camp; and the “West Michigan Pike” which extends from the Indiana-Michigan state line north to Mackinaw City and is part of the former Dixie Highway system.

While on the road, be on the lookout for the handful of covered bridges which allow automobile traffic including Pierce Stocking Bridge (on the famed Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive) in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the 282-foot Langley Covered Bridge in Centerville (the longest in the state of Michigan), Zehnder’s Holz Brucke (wooden bridge) leading to Bavarian Village in Frankenmuth, and Fallasburg Covered Bridge spanning the Flat River in Lowell and the historic community of Fallasburg. Details on all the state’s covered bridges are online at

No matter which spring activity accompanies your camping trip, be sure to travel with camera in hand to capture the awakening of all around you. To learn more about how to enjoy Michigan’s “Springtime Splendor” and cure your cabin fever, visit

The Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds – Michigan represents 200+ member campgrounds with more than 30,000 sites available throughout the state. The new Michigan Campground Directory, published by ARVC-Michigan, is now available at various locations statewide, including all state Welcome Centers. The directory not only lists campgrounds by region, but also includes helpful information on the type of sites available, various amenities such as restroom, laundry and dumping station facilities; recreational offerings such as pools and golf courses; and seasons of operation. For an online directory of ARVC member campgrounds, log onto

Friday, March 19, 2010

Set Sail Aboard Traverse City's Tall Ship Manitou

Make memories this summer, with an exciting fresh-water sailing adventure aboard the Tall Ship Manitou, which sails out of its home port in Traverse City, Michigan. Three excursions are offered daily (Noon, midday, evening) with weekly special-themed cruises offered on select days throughout the summer.

• Moomers Ice Cream Sails! (Thru September 3)

Monday and Friday afternoons (3-5 p.m. sail) bring the whole family out for a glorious sail on the bay and the best ice cream in northern Michigan…Moomers! VOTED #1 SCOOP OF ICE CREAM IN AMERICA ON “GOOD MORNING AMERICA!” We’ll sample five flavors, including our very own “Tall Ship Manitou.” $40 per adult, $20 per child

• Wine Tasting Cruises (Thru September 2)
In July and August you can sample a medley of local wines and enjoy specially catered cuisine as we ply the sparkling waters of Grand Traverse Bay. Tuesday nights feature Leelanau cellars, while Thursdays we will taste the offerings of Left Foot Charley. $60 per person

• Entertainment Nights (Thru August 25)
Wednesday evenings in July and August are our entertainment nights, featuring the popular music group “Song of the Lakes” playing lively jigs, chanteys and ballads of sailing and life on the sea. The evening also includes a picnic meal. $60 per adult, $41 per child

• Microbrew & Pizza night (Thru Sept. 5) * * * NEW 2010 * * *
Sunday evenings have just become a bit more exciting with samplings of local beer from Right Brain Brewery and Crusted Creations during your evening sail. $60 per person

Whether traveling solo, as a couple, with a family or as part of a group, a Tall Ship sail makes a memorable traditional Great Lakes adventure. The regular sails are priced at $35 adults/$18 children for the noon and afternoon sails, and $45 adults/$26 children for the evening sail (includes picnic meal). A cash bar is available for all excursions.

In addition to the day sails and specialty cruises, the Manitou offers a “Floating B&B” experience which includes the evening sail (Tuesday through Saturday), accommodations in bunk-style cabins and breakfast the next morning ($209 per couple/$121 single/$61 per child, ages 8-12).

Multi-day fall windjammers are for those with a more adventurous side. The 2010 schedule includes:

• Women’s Wellness Cruise (September 10-13, 2010) * * * NEW 2010 * * *
A weekend of yoga, meditation, massage and life-coaching discussions which will awaken your spirit and your creativity and introduce you to a natural foods lifestyle. Relax and revitalize in an environment of fun and friendship as you ply the sparkling waters of Northern Michigan. Cost $735 per person.

• Wine Tasting Cruise (September 17-20, 2010)
Explore the great wine regions of the world with sommelier and restaurant proprietor Amanda Danielson. Each evening aboard Manitou we will discuss the winemaking histories and taste the varietals of different countries. Dinners will feature paired wines chosen by Amanda as a perfect complement to our meals. Cost $685 per person.

• Music Cruise (September 24-27, 2010)
Join us as we once again welcome renowned folk singer Lee Murdock aboard for four days of Great Lakes music, history, and lore. Cost $685 per person.

• Astronomy Cruise (October 1-4, 2010)
Astronomer Bob Moler will be our guide as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens. Cost $685 per person.

As one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes, the Manitou is a replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. A traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, Manitou measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail.

With a 62 passenger sailing capacity (24 overnight capacity), there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. While aboard the Manitou, passengers are free to leave the sailing to the experienced crew or lend a hand and learn the arts of the sailor. An excursion aboard the Manitou allows you to remove yourself from the trappings of modern life: no TV, phone (cell phones are discouraged), beeper, email and definitely no itinerary.

To make reservations for any of the 2010 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to

Friday, March 12, 2010

Salt of the Earth Presents a “Pub Night” Beer Dinner with Arcadia Ales

A six-course “Pub Night” showcasing the hand-crafted beers from Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek will grace the table at Salt of the Earth – the new rustic American eatery in downtown Fennville on Thursday, March 25 (7-9pm). Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch has teamed up with Tim Suprise from Arcadia Ales for this true culinary celebration. This is the sixth dinner in Salt of the Earth’s four-month Michigan Wine & Beer Series.

First Course
A tasting of Stilton
Stilton- Watercress- Citrus
Cereal Killer Barleywine Ale

Second Course
Scotch Egg
Sweet Mustard- Arugula
Scotch Ale

Third Course
Lamb Shepherds Pie
Root Vegetable – English Pea
London Porter

Fourth Course
Fish and Chips
Mackerel- Curry- Parsnip
Double IPA

Fifth Course
Bangers and Mash
Boar Banger- Mashed Stuff
Imperial Stout

Sixth Coursoe
Beer and Pretzels
Cocoa Loco Ice Cream and Pretzels
Cocoa Loco

Space for the dinner is limited to 40 people, and reservations are required. Call 269-561-SALT (7258). The cost for each dining experience is only $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Dinner starts at 7pm and is expected to last approximately two hours.

Those looking to make a romantic overnight part of their culinary experience should contact Kingsley House B&B, just a few blocks down M-89 in Fennville. A rate of $99 per room (double occupancy), including a full hot breakfast, is being offered. For reservations, call 866-561-6425.

Salt of the Earth is a rustic American eatery and bakery, tucked away in quaint downtown Fennville – in the heart of the Southwest Michigan’s thriving agricultural region. Under the direction of Chef Matthew Pietsch (protégé of ‘Iron Chef’ Michael Symon), this full service restaurant offers a seasonal menu of house-made entrees, shared plates, wood-fired oven pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and creative desserts – using fresh ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. The bakery café features pastries, artisan breads, coffee and espresso drinks, lunch offerings and free wi-fi for their guests. You’ll also find a bar stocked with spirits, and an impressive selection of Michigan wines and craft beers. Seasonal wine and beer dinners are also held throughout the year. Featuring an attractive warm and homey décor, paired with a chic and modern menu, Salt of the Earth is also a popular venue for local and regional musical artists, with live music every Friday evening. House concerts are held on selected Sunday evenings as well.

Arcadia Brewing Company is a charter and proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild and was established in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1996 as a microbrewery and restaurant (TC’s Woodfire @ Arcadia) specializing in hand-crafted, British-inspired ales and wood-fired fare. Produced in small batches on our authentic British 25-barrel Peter Austin Brewhouse and open-fermentation cellar, our process at Arcadia Ales represents over 250 years of world-class brewing heritage. The foundation of Arcadia has been our commitment to sourcing and using the finest raw materials available on the planet, including premium English two-row malted barley and Pacific Northwest hops. Arcadia’s passion is the crafting of unfiltered ales that are bright, bold and balanced. Arcadia produced and sold over 7,091 barrels of beer in 2009 throughout 10 states of distribution in the Midwest, East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region.

Kingsley House B&B, located in the heart of Southwest Michigan, is just minutes away from the resort towns of Saugatuck, Douglas, Holland and South Haven. Experience all that Southern and West Michigan waterfront resort towns have to offer, like sunsets over the beaches of Lake Michigan, a thriving Wine Country, arts & antiques, downhill and cross country skiing and much more. This B&B serves up romantic resort lodging in luxury Jacuzzi, fireplace suites, gracious hospitality, a peaceful country setting and friendly atmosphere. The Inn offers many spa and concierge services. From last minute lodging to romantic weekend getaway packages, Kingsley House is the Michigan Inn of choice. Experience why guests return time and time again to this award-winning B&B. Wireless internet is also available throughout the Inn.

Salt of the Earth’s 2010 Michigan Wine & Beer Dinner Series includes:


• (Th) – 25 Arcadia Ales (


• (W) – 14 Brys Estate (
• (Th) – 22 Bell’s Brewery (

Salt of the Earth
114 East Main Street
Fennville MI 49408
269.561.SALT (7258)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Partnership Established To Produce Live Streaming Video Coverage of Michigan Events, Business News & Politics on

Woodward One Media in Royal Oak is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with MLive, designed to provide expanded live streaming video coverage of Michigan events, activities, business and politics.

The first production will be live coverage of the annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 14 beginning at 2pm on An archived copy of the broadcast will be available on the website late Sunday night.

In addition to this weekend’s parade coverage, the partnership will provide live streaming coverage of WJR’s annual Paul W. Smith’s St. Patrick’s Day radio broadcast from the Detroit Athletic Club on March 17. Plans are in the works for live coverage of activities surrounding Tiger opening day, various political events, and community festivals and events across the state of Michigan.

MLive is Michigan’s most popular news and information website.

“Since MLive’s launch back in 1996, we’ve strived to be a source of live coverage of events across the state of Michigan, thus our name Michigan Live,” says MLive Editor-In-Chief Bill Emkow. We feel that our partnership with Woodward One Media is another significant step in the direction of streaming major events in the state.”

Woodward One Media is a Royal Oak based marketing agency specializing in digital media and multi-camera live streaming video production services.

“Expanded broadband Internet access now allows independent producers a vehicle to distribute live video content to reach the masses,” says Woodward One Media’s Dave Scott, who will produce the segments. “It’s a whole new world where ‘Microcasters’ can carve out a niche market and provide live video coverage to audiences large and small.”

Brian Dailey is Chairman of the Board of Woodward One Media. He is also the founder of The Dailey Law Firm and host of The Law Show, broadcast each Sunday at 2pm on WJR radio Detroit.

For more information on upcoming live streaming events or to find out how your event can be including in an upcoming broadcast, visit or contact Dave Scott at 248-744-5005/248-763-3556 or

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Photography Competition Captures the Essence of Michigan for a One-of-a-Kind Book

A place of unspoiled nature and breathtaking scenery, a land rich with awe-inspiring photo opportunities, the beauty and newness of spring—that’s Pure Michigan®. And so is the new book, aptly named after Michigan’s widely successful tourism campaign, which quite literally puts the Great Lake State’s abundant natural beauty, authentic destinations and unique experiences at your fingertips.

Pure Michigan: Spring (the book) is the result of the Pure Michigan Photography Competition of Spring 2009, organized by Firefly Productions, a Traverse City media group. Ten renowned photographers competed for a $5,000 grand prize. Each was assigned a geographic region in Michigan to photograph during the spring season. The best of their efforts was compiled into an incomparable hardcover book that features more than 110 beautiful pictures.

Each of the book’s ten sections offers a distinct and diverse representation of the state’s people, places and events—reminding readers time and again why many consider Michigan the most beautiful state in the country, especially during this incomparable season. Pure Michigan: Spring is a coffee-table must for every home and cabin. It will have residents and visitors alike “oohing” and “ahhing” with each turn of the page.

Firefly Productions’ Kimberli Bindschatel served as the book’s project manager. A Michigan native, nature/wildlife photographer and editor of Whisper in the Woods Nature Journal, Bindschatel obtained the support of visitors bureaus throughout the state, as well as the aid of reputed regional publisher Adventure Publications. The resulting collaboration yielded a book that portrays the magic of a Michigan spring.

Pure Michigan: Spring is available at area book and gift stores, through online retailers, by visiting or by calling 800-678-7006.