Thursday, July 29, 2010

Michigan House of Representatives Designates August as “Michigan Camping & RV Month”

For generations, Michigan has welcomed campers to its woodlands, freshwater shoreline and along its inland lakes and streams, in two distinct peninsulas – nestled in the middle of the Great Lakes Region. In honor of such tradition, Michigan legislators have declared August as “Michigan Camping & Recreational Vehicle Month” – with Representative Ken Horn’s (R – Frankenmuth) introduction and the subsequent adoption of House Resolution 0315.*

"Camping in Michigan is a truly unique experience that is enjoyed by so many people, both in and outside our great state," Horn says. "Officially recognizing camping and RV use during the month of August is an excellent way to honor a great American pastime and timeless Michigan tradition."

Michiganians and visitors alike take advantage of our great state’s array of sun, freshwater coastline, 19 million acres of woodlands, soft breezes and fresh air, where the temperate climate allows for great camping and outdoor recreations.

“Michigan is fortunate to have countless opportunities when it comes to camping around the state,” says Tom Briggs, owner of Grand Rogue Campground and President of the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) – Michigan. “Designating August as ‘Michigan Camping & Recreational Vehicle Month’ gives us another reason to encourage visitors to explore our woods and water recreational offerings, whether it be from a tent, pop-up, travel trailer, fifth-wheel or RV.”

The official proclamation supports the economic and recreational contributions that the camping industry contributes to Michigan’s overall tourism package:

• The State of Michigan has more than 950 licensed private recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, with more than 111,000 licensed camp sites.

• More than 160 county or government operated campgrounds with over 14,700 sites – from rustic to full-service – around the state.

• The State of Michigan is home to 98 state parks & recreation areas under the auspices of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment, and 7 forests / parks / lakeshores in Michigan under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, collectively offering 15,000 sites on state and federal lands designated for camping.

• Camping encourages visitors and locals alike to partake in activities such as boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, paddling, pedaling, geocaching, nature watching, photography, and other outdoor activities, which also highlight Michigan’s great outdoors.

• More than 40 million people camp in Michigan each year, generating more than $2 billion for the state’s economy, making it a key contributor in the state’s overall $16+ billion tourism industry, offering a true “Pure Michigan” experience.

“For generations, Michigan residents and visitors have gone ‘up north’…either literally or figuratively, to make ‘Pure Michigan’ camping memories,” says Dave Lorenz – Manager, Public & Industry Relations for Travel Michigan. “These experiences bind families as one and build a life-long tradition of appreciation for the environment.”

Michigan boasts two non-profit organizations: ARVC Michigan -- the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds of Michigan and MARVAC -- the Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles & Campgrounds, which equally promote and support private campground and RV parks throughout the state particularly by the distribution of hundreds of thousands of free camping directories at RV and outdoor shows, at statewide chambers of commerce, libraries, lawmakers offices, RV sales businesses and campgrounds. All state lands are managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment, while the national parks and lakeshores are managed by the National Park Service and/or the U.S. Forest Service.

ARVC represents nearly 200 member campgrounds with more than 30,000 sites available throughout the state. Whether pitching a tent, parking an RV or reserving a rustic or modern cabin, Michigan campgrounds offer a great way to disconnect from busy lives and reconnect with families. Campers in Michigan enjoy the great outdoors while fishing or canoeing on the countless lakes, rivers and streams or hiking, biking and riding on the miles of trails that wind throughout the state. There’s definitely no shortage of activities, no matter where the campground is located.

ARVC Michigan’s mission is to lead in the development of the RV Parks and Campground industry through education, communication and representation. ARVC Michigan is a member of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds ( |

*View the official adopted resolution online at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Umbrellas of Harbert Grace Red Arrow Highway in Harbor Country

You know summer is in full swing when you drive up Red Arrow Highway and start to see the umbrellas in Harbert. Stunning hand painted market umbrellas once again greet visitors as they make their way through the town known for its cool shops, art galleries and great restaurants. The popular summer event “Umbrellas of Harbert” sponsored by the Harbert Business Association (HBA) is an annual celebration of art and summer where local businesses display original, hand-painted market umbrellas
designed by various artists.

On August 21, the 20+ umbrellas will be sold at a charity auction that will take place at the Center of the Word Showroom located at 13400 Red Arrow Hwy, beginning at 5pm. The event will feature live music; wine tasting, and hors d’oeuvres. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on their favorite umbrella in a live auction with proceeds benefiting ADA projects at both Cherry Beach and the River Valley Senior Center Each year we look for local charities that perform extraordinary services and we felt both were doing great things for the community!”

The summer long event is a wonderful opportunity to add some unique art to a patio or garden and best of all, it’s for a great cause! For more information visit participating Harbert businesses, visit or call 269.876.7879.

For more information on Harbor Country, including a variety of lodging options, log onto

Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery Opens Tasting Room at Lansing City Market

Two historic agricultural institutions in Michigan are joining forces as Uncle John’s Cider Mill opens a tasting room at the Lansing City Market – just blocks from the state’s capitol. Visitors to the tasting room will be able to sample Uncle John’s full range of wines including traditional grape, fruit, dessert and of course the hard ciders. This is the first winery in Michigan to be licensed to operate a tasting room in a farmer’s market setting.

Over the past five years, Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery has collected state and national awards for its carbonated, dessert and specialty wines, as well as cider, perry and spirits. In addition to distribution at its historic-barn-turned-tasting-room on North US-127 in St. Johns and the Lansing City Market, the Fruit House products can be found at more than 70 retail outlets, restaurants and wine shops around the state. Uncle John’s Cider Mill & Fruit House Winery are owned and operated by Dede and Mike Beck, and John Heystek – fifth generation growers at the 240-acre landmark farm.

A proud charter member of the Michigan Farm Market Association, the Lansing City Market was established in 1909 and is now situated along majestic Grand River. For more than 100 years, quality local farmers and artisans have been bringing their goods to sell to the public in a one-of-a-kind, family-friendly environment.

Lansing City Market is located at 325 City Market Dr. (formerly Museum Dr.), just south of where Cedar and Shiawassee streets meet. The market is open year round, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 7pm and Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Parking can be found on both sides of the new market. An east upper plaza and west-of-the-building lower plaza are currently open. Overflow parking is also available in the old market lots.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill is located at 8614 North US-127. For more information, visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill online at or call 989-224-3686. For more about Lansing City Market, log onto

Monday, July 12, 2010

Check out these Unique Michigan Roadside Attractions

What do Hiawatha, Paul Bunyan and the famed Snowshoe Priest Bishop Baraga have in common? They all are part of Michigan’s roadside attractions that draw thousands of tourists off the main highway to explore wild, wacky, solemn tributes and man-made spectacles.

From Detroit to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, roadside attractions are a great way to inject some fun in vacation itineraries. And only in Michigan can visitors see the World’s Largest Tire (I-94 east of Detroit Metro Airport), The World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan (Traverse City), and the World’s Largest Stove (Detroit). Some of the most popular road side attractions include:

• You don’t have to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Just make a stop in Paris, Michigan, north of Big Rapids, to see a 20 foot tall replica of the European landmark. Crafted by welding steel, this monument sits among the tall trees and was made by industrial arts high school students.

• ‘Bottoms up’ was the engineering route that John Makinen took in 1941 when he built his house with 60,000 soft drink bottles. The bottles lay on their side with the bottoms forming the outside wall. Visit the Bottle House in Kaleva, ten miles from Lake Michigan in Manistee County.

• When visiting the Upper Peninsula stop by to see Big Gus, the world’s largest working chainsaw. Gus is 23 feet long and is powered by a V-8 engine and is the star of Da Yooper’s Tourist Trap in Ishpeming.

• Mystery Spot -- Real or contrived? You be the judge when someone tall is suddenly small, or when you climb a wall into the air and you don’t fall. You can’t miss it, just 5 miles west of St. Ignace and the Mackinac Bridge on Highway US-2.

• Craving for some good Polish food in a unique location? The Leg’s Inn is the place in Cross Village following a short drive through the ‘Tunnel of Trees’ that begins in Harbor Springs. Upside-down stove legs decorate the roof of the inn and the interior is decorated with imaginative shapes crafted from polished twining tree roots.

• Looking for a ‘little night music’? Grand Haven on Lake Michigan offers up its Musical Fountain Memorial Day through Labor Day on Friday and Saturday evenings. The sound and lighting masterpiece pumps out 4,000 gallons of water a minute and sprays 125 feet in the air. Grand Haven had the idea in 1963, way before Las Vegas built the Bellagio.

• Want big? See the 15 feet tall Paul Bunyan in Manistique, or visit the 35 foot bronze Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest Bishop Baraga high atop US-41 in L’Anse. The good Bishop founded 5 missions after he first came to the Upper Peninsula in 1830 from Slovenia.

• Want really big? Go to Ironwood to visit Hiawatha - 50 feet high, weighs 16, 000 pounds and can withstand 140 mph winds.

There are more roadside attractions throughout Michigan that have been visited and captured as favorite vacation photos. Visit to seek out other fun destinations or tell us about your favorite by becoming a guest blogger at Pure Michigan Connect.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rare Beer Club & Jolly Pumpkin Plan Pints for Prostates Brew to Mark National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

People will be able to raise a glass of beer to your health and really mean it during September, thanks to a cooperative effort between Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Michigan, The Rare Beer of the Month Club, which ships unique craft beers nationwide, and Shelton Brothers, one of the leading craft beer distributors and importers.

Biere de Goord, a saison brewed with kale, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin and green tea, was made by Jolly Pumpkin to help raise awareness about prostate cancer and generate funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign. The Rare Beer of the Month Club has joined the effort by making the beer one of its selections during National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September. Shelton Brothers, which handles Jolly Pumpkin, is donating its services to the effort.

The beer will feature the Pints for Prostates logo on its label, which includes the blue ribbon to remind people of the ongoing search for a cure to prostate cancer, a leading cause of death among American men. A donation of $3 from every 750 milliliter bottle of Biere de Goord sold will be made to the Pints for Prostates campaign.

“Pints for Prostates is reaching men through the universal language of beer and now for the first time we are doing it with a special beer that carries a message urging men to get regular prostate health screenings,” said Rick Lyke, a prostate cancer survivor who founded Pints for Prostates after successful prostate cancer surgery in April 2008. “We’re thrilled that Jolly Pumpkin, The Rare Beer Club and Shelton Brothers have joined our campaign in a way that will catch the attention of men needing to hear our message.”

When this very limited batch of Biere de Goord is gone, it is gone. There are only three ways for beer lovers to try the unique farmhouse-style ale:

• Join The Rare Beer Club online or 800-625-8238 and be sure to start your membership by Sept. 1;
• Attend the Denver Rare Beer Tasting II in Colorado on Sept. 17, where Jolly Pumpkin will be pouring samples of the brew alongside more than 20 other great craft brewers offering extremely rare and exotic beers;
• Visit a Jolly Pumpkin location in Ann Arbor or Traverse City, Mich., where a limited amount of Biere de Goord will go on sale Sept. 18.

“At Jolly Pumpkin we are super excited to be involved in this project. We were flattered and honored when we were asked to come up with a special beer to help raise awareness of the Pints for Prostates campaign,” said Ron Jeffries, President of Jolly Pumpkin. “It gave us the chance to stretch our collective imaginations and come up with a saison that not only tastes fantastic, but is full of ingredients rich in lycopene. While we can make no health claims about Biere de Goord, we wanted to use the project to do a little education for men about some of the foods that contain lycopene, which many researchers point to as being essential for prostate health.”

“When Rick first approached us for this project, I immediately felt that it was a perfect fit for The Rare Beer Club. The beer that Ron created for us at Jolly Pumpkin defines the essence of what we’re striving to bring to our members each month, creative, limited release, rare and outstanding craft brewed beers. The cause is a noble one. A little education and early detection goes a long way to save lives and we’re proud to be a part of this effort,” said Kris Calef, President of the Rare Beer Club.

“Shelton Brothers is proud to be associated with this project and get the chance to bring a Pints for Prostates beer to life,” said Ron Extract, Vice President of Shelton Brothers. “We’re quite pleased to be working with one of our brands, Jolly Pumpkin, and The Rare Beer Club on this project. The beer fits perfectly with our mission to bring consumers exceptional brews from great brewers. In this case the beer even comes with a message to men about protecting their health so they can enjoy great beer for years to come.”

Prostate cancer kills more than 27,000 men in America each year. Few people realize there are roughly as many prostate cancer cases diagnosed annually in this country as there are new breast cancer cases. With early detection and proper treatment, prostate cancer has a survival rate of nearly 100 percent.

Since launching in late 2008, Pints for Prostates has reached approximately 100 million people through a combination of donated advertising, publicity, appearances at beer festivals, and coverage on websites, blogs and social media outlets. In 2009, the program was featured at the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland, and profiled on CNN’s Vital Signs hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. During the 2010 NHRA season Bob Yonke and the Yonke Motorsports Pro Stock ran several races with Pints for Prostates as the primary sponsor on the hood of its car. In April, a team of athletes from Columbus, Ohio, ran with prostate cancer survivor Patrick Grubbe in the Boston Marathon wearing uniforms with the Pints for Prostates logo.

About Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Welcome to a land of open fermentation, oak barrel aging and bottle conditioning. At Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales we are dedicated to more than the traditions of old world craftsmanship. Everything we do is designed to create ales of outstanding art and flavor. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers brought to life through labor and love, we strive to create beers to lighten the spirit and soothe the soul. Sharing our joy to the betterment of mankind is the most that we could hope for. Few pleasures accompany an inspired ale more agreeably than an equally inspired menu of hearth baked pizzas and gourmet salads topped with native meats, cheeses, and vegetarian suited alternatives. Whether it's the satisfaction of a quick snack or the fulfillment of an entire meal, an assortment of delectable dishes acknowledges the distinct qualities of both our Traverse City and Ann Arbor restaurants. Preserving local culture by cultivating our appreciation for fresh, seasonal, and regional resources allows Jolly Pumpkin to fulfill our vision for humanity.

About The Rare Beer Club
The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club offers four different options for consumers. From the very inception of our original domestic beer of the month club in 1994, we've focused on consistently providing three primary product characteristics: Quality, Variety & Freshness. And in that spirit, we now offer you four outstanding beer club options, each dedicated to those same principles. Our owner's favorite club features the finest the world of beer has to offer in limited-release, celebratory, artisanal beers from some of Michael Jackson's favorite breweries. Two different selections are presented each month in 750 ml bottles, often cork finished, and some individually tissue wrapped. Members experience bold U.S. and imported interpretations of Farmhouse Ales, Russian Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines, Belgian Abbey Ales, varied Imperial, Extreme, Strong Ale and Grand Cru offerings, oak-aged ales imparting bourbon and vanilla notes, and much more. Many selections are pushing the envelope of creativity, are not yet distributed in the U.S., and brewed such that they can be cellared and aged.

About Shelton Brothers
The best beers...imported by hand. What exactly does that mean, and how do we do it? The best beers are brewed with a sense of place, a distinctive house character, and an appreciation for tradition, value, and/or the natural art of beer-making. Beer should have depth, texture, and nuance – it should sometimes even be a little rough around the edges. There are a few (very few) exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, that means the following about a brewery’s beers: brewed in small batches using traditional methods; unsweetened; unpasteurized; unfiltered/bottle-conditioned; little to no use of spices or adjuncts; slow-fermented; distinctive house yeast or yeasts; and dry as opposed to sweet. There’s no miracle to importing good beer – just hard work and a lot of travel. We specifically seek out unmanipulated beer, generally looking to small breweries with craftsmen taking seriously their passion for a natural, traditionally-made product. Shelton Brothers is the only beer importer with these specific criteria for hand-selecting what we offer to our customers. We’ve turned down offers from large European breweries, and we’ll do it again. We’re only interested in bringing you the very best.

About Pints for ProstatesP
ints for Prostates, a 501(c)3 campaign that uses the universal language of beer to encourage men to take charge of their health, was founded by prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke in 2008. The grassroots effort raises awareness among men of the importance of regular prostate health screenings and PSA testing by making appearances at beer festivals, social networking and pro bono advertising. Pints for Prostates supports the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a 501(c)3 charity that works to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer and their families.

More information is available at Pints for Prostates also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@pints4prostates).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The History of Michigan Wines

150 Years of Winemaking along the Great Lakes
By Lorri Hathaway & Sharon Kegerreis

Savor the taste of wines inspired by the Great Lakes as enthusiasts Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis introduce passionate winemakers like Joseph Sterling, who ignited Michigan’s first viable wine region in the 1800s along Lake Erie.

Discover how the Detroit River was used for bootlegging during Prohibition, how the raid on red wine in the Upper Peninsula generated national headlines and how Michigan became the first state to repeal.

Learn about the wineries that boosted production to make Michigan a leading wine producer through the 1960s, when the changing marketplace caused a slump in production and sales. Since then, new grape varietals have spurred resurgence in the industry, garnering Michigan worldwide attention for its locally influenced wines.

Discover Michigan’s vibrant wine history, which is vital to the second most agriculturally diverse state and top tourism region becoming a premier agritourism destination.

Media review copies, high-resolution photographs and interviews available upon request.

Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis are authors of the award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries (2007). The native Michiganders share a passion for living and playing along the Great Lakes and exploring wine and food destinations. Researching Michigan’s earliest wine pioneers ignited a passion for Michigan’s rich agricultural history and has turned the authors into avid historians. They continue to be most intrigued with today’s hardworking winemakers and other agriculturalists who inspire them to share their stories. Learn more about the authors and stay tuned for upcoming books at

ISBN: 978-1-59629-947-4 • Paperback • 160 pages • $19.99 • July 2010

If you would like to schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Katie Parry at 843.577.5971, ext 113 or

Brys Estate Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Open House & Bubbly Release

In celebration of its 5th Anniversary, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery is hosting a celebratory gathering on Saturday, July 17 (11am-6pm). The Open House is open to the public and will feature all of Brys wines – including the newly released anniversary Bubbly.

“We are very excited to invite the public to join us as we celebrate our fifth year as part of this thriving wine industry in Michigan,” say owners Walter & Eileen Brys. “The release of Bubbly offers us a way to say ‘thank you’ to those who have been with us throughout the years.”

The Open House festivities will include a progressive wine tasting throughout the winery paired with light appetizers provided by TraVino Restaurant – including fresh strawberry panna cotta paired with Bubbly. There will also be door prizes, "5%" discount on any single bottle wine purchase (some restrictions do apply) and a free gift with any "5" + bottle purchase, while supplies last. Local pianist and art gallery owner, Rick Lehman, will perform throughout the day on the winery's baby grand piano.

If you haven't had the opportunity to meet winemaker, Coenraad Stassen, or owners, Walt and Eileen Brys and son, Patrick Brys, the Open House will provide an opportunity to learn about what's behind the name Brys Estate.

Bubbly is a limited release Demi-Sec, made with 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot, using only estate-grown grapes from the Brys Estate vineyards . This refreshing and light sparkling wine shows hints of strawberry and watermelon on the nose, with a soft, fruit-forward mid-palate. The well-balanced sweetness carries the fruit to the finish, making this the perfect wine for everyday enjoyment as well as the ideal pairing for fresh fruit and strawberry desserts.

“Last year was a great year for sparkling wines and we’re thrilled to be able to introduce our first such wine as part of our fifth anniversary,” says Winemaker Coenraad Stassen. “This is a new venture for us and we are looking forward to many more vintages in the years to come.”

Only 288 cases of Bubbly have been produced. It retails for $20 per bottle / $204 per case. It is available at the Brys Estate tasting room on Old Mission Peninsula and in a limited number of select retail outlets in Michigan.

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery is centrally located in the heart of the Old Mission Peninsula – situated on 80 acres with breathtaking views of East Grand Traverse Bay – in Traverse City, Michigan. This boutique winery began with the planting of 32 acres of European vinifera grapes in 2001 and opened the tasting room in May of 2005. Using the highest quality standards, Brys hand picks its grapes and hand crafts its small batch, single vineyard wines, giving attention to detail during the crushing, fermenting, aging and bottling process. In just five short years, Brys has collected more than 250 awards at local, state, national and international competitions. You are invited to visit Brys Estate's 1500-square-foot- old world-style tasting room this summer to help celebrate their fifth anniversary in producing award-winning estate wines.

Bubbly: 70% Cabernet Franc / 30% Merlot | 12.0% alcohol | 4.5% residual sugar | 11 g/L Titratable Acidity

Monday, July 5, 2010

BOOKING FALL & WINTER DATES: Promote Michigan Speaker's Bureau

Featured Presenter:
Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan

Since 1997, Dianna Stampfler has been presenting lively and upbeat programs about the area’s historic lighthouses, ghost towns, islands and other unique destinations and activities in her home state of Michigan. Dianna is a professional speaker, with a degree in communications from Western Michigan University and 23 years experience in radio broadcasting and public speaking. An established freelance writer, Dianna is a regular contributor to Michigan Blue Magazine and Grand Rapids Family Magazine, and has also been published in Michigan Living, Michigan Travel Ideas, Lake Michigan Circle Tour & Lighthouse Guide, Country Lines, Taster’s Guild International and Grand Rapids Magazine. Over the years, she has held memberships in the Great Lake Lighthouse Keepers Association and Historical Society of Michigan.

DETAILS: These programs, tailored at 30-90 minutes each, are ideal for museums, libraries, schools, historical societies, churches, life-long learning programs & senior centers and women’s groups.

PRESENTATION COST: $250 per program

EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT: 50 cents per mile, round trip from Plainwell, Mich.
*Additional expenses, such as a meal per diem and/or accommodations, may be required for destinations more than 150 miles from Plainwell or for those starting before 9am or after 8pm.

EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENT: LCD projector (Presentations are presented on Microsoft PowerPoint)


Ladies of the Lights (Audience Favorite): They were women before their time, taking on the romantic, yet dangerous and physically demanding job of tending to the beacons that protected the shoreline. In all, some 40 women have been identified who excelled in this profession over the years — dating back as early as the 1840s and as recent as present day. Nearly 70 images of keepers, their families and their lights make up this presentation. The program includes readings from newspapers and autobiographies, as well as handouts including the list of featured ladies and additional reading references for attendees.

Michigan’s Ghostly Beacons (Audience Favorite): What is it about lighthouses that attract ghostly spirits? Maybe it’s simply a passion that will not go away. Lighthouse keepers were known to be extremely dedicated to their profession and it seems that many were never able to give it up — even after death. Nearly two dozen lights in Michigan are rumored to be haunted. From the smell of cigar smoke at Seul Choix Point Light to the mysterious housekeeping at White River Light Station and the antics at Waugoshance Shoal, these stories will entertain all ages.

Michigan Tidbits & Trivia: Where will you find the World’s Largest Weathervane? What famous actor hails from Manistee County? In what Michigan city is Jiffy Mix made? How old is the State of Michigan? The answers to these — and dozens of other — questions will be revealed during this interactive program: “Michigan: Tidbits & Trivia.” This family program promises to be entertaining, as well as educational.

Bridge to Michigan’s Past: There are more than a dozen covered bridges throughout the state of Michigan, three within just a short drive of each other. Originally covered to protect the wooden floors from the elements, today they are one of the most photographed structures in the state. While some of these bridges remain open to automobile traffic, some limit their access to those traveling via foot or bicycle. Of course, you can’t talk Michigan bridges without referencing the most famous: The Mackinac Bridge and the Blue Water Bridge. Other uniquely significant bridges around the state will also be showcased.

Michigan Ghost Towns: Hundreds of 'ghost towns' dot Michigan's landscape throughout both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Some even still appear on state highway maps. Originally centered in logging, farming, and mining areas, these towns often faded into history when the natural resources were depleted. Only a handful remain standing, silent and abandoned, as a reminder of what once was. Settle in for an historic tour through Michigan’s past as you visit the ghost towns of the Great Lakes State.

Islands of Michigan: It’s no wonder that the Great Lakes State is graced with hundreds of islands, just waiting to be explored. From the rustic Isle Royale and Les Cheneaux Islands, to the North and South Manitou Islands (which once housed established communities) to the most noted Beaver Island (home of Michigan’s only King) High Island (former home to the House of David), Drummond Island and Mackinac Islands (where automobiles are not allowed), these islands are gems in Michigan’s history.

Michigan’s Historic One Room Schoolhouses: Nearly lost to time to consolidation of districts, Michigan’s thousands of one room schools once dotted the landscape every few miles. Fortunately, many have been preserved and have found a new place in historical villages. Some have been converted into homes, antique shops, art galleries and museums. A small number are still in use. Take an educational and photographic trip back in time and see those that have been lost -- and found.

Michigan’s Winter Playground: Michigan is a giant snow-filled playground when Mother Nature rolls out the winter carpet. Miles of trails available for snowmobiling and cross country skiing, dozens of slopes for downhill skiing and acres of wooded areas for snowshoeing are just waiting to be explored. There’s also plenty of opportunity for more extreme activities such as luging, rafting, ice sailing, camping and dogsledding. Those looking for less actual activity will enjoy one of many winter food offerings, including the Gourmet Glide, Zhivago Night, Mountaintop Dinners and Elk Viewing Carriage Rides. Don’t forget about the festivals such as Tip Up Town, Suds-n-Snow, Toast the Passion, Motown Winter Blast and the Women’s Winter Tour. Learn about all the exciting things just waiting to be experienced in Michigan during the winter season


Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan