14 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.
TVC is the gateway to a section of northern Michigan anchored by Traverse City. The region is home to a dizzying variety of sights and activities. Here are just a few of the adventures you can have:
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 parrallel)? Ummm....Perhaps I chose unwisely among the many wineries that dot the peninsula. "This is a great wine for people who don't really like wine," said a cheerful server as she filled my tasting cup at one of the wineries I visited. That sentiment covered most of the wines I tried—so the tipples here were not a great fit for this oenephile. But if you like sweet wines—Jolly Rancher sweet—this might be the region for you.
That being said, Black Star Farms (pictured) had by far the best vino I tasted that day, and tastings tend to run $4 for six sips at most places, making this a very affordable way to while away an afternoon.