Hello Mantrippers! I have two days to cover tonight. We start with Day where we pick up leaving Boyne Mountain and heading South toward Glen Arbor. On our way we made our way through much of the wine country in the peninsulas surrounding Traverse City. Of note we both enjoyed having lunch at Black Star Farms and Winery in Suttons Bay. The on site restaurant is a fantastic find. Why? They are locally known for having the best pizza around and the locals are right. Upon entering you are greeted by smiling faces and a warm décor. The open kitchen is great to watch your lunch being made, and for us, having pizza we got to see them use the open faced brick pizza oven. Our lunch tasted great, our pizza had a great; not too thin, not too thick crust, fresh ingredients and a fresh tomato sauce. While speaking with the owner we were enlightened by the fact that they are forging ahead with a popular trend in food right now called “farm to table”. In short, everything is organic, fresh from the farm and direct to the restaurant either trough on site farming or through farmers markets. I would encourage if you would like more information you can find the great publication “edible” or can go online to their website at www.ediblecommunities.com and see if your city has its’ representative publication. The magazine is a guide to “farm to table” providing recipes, articles and a guide to local restaurants. We were truly ecstatic to have stopped in to Black Star Farms and learn of how they are making food sustainability and the preservation of local farming a priority. You must stop by and visit if you are in the area or go online to learn more.
After the nice tour of the wine country we continued south to our final destination of our Day 4 trip which was The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor. The resort steals your attention as you enter and are greeted by all the fall color from the abundance of foliage and trees that canopied the entire resort. Before checking in to the room we took a trip to the backside of the resort where you find sand dunes lining the Lake Michigan shoreline where the waves were crashing in. Lining up and down the roads of the resort are condos, houses and bungalows which are rentals, owners or timeshares. It was truly a magnificent resort to just sight see through. You definitely feel you are one with nature, which was further satisfied by the deer we saw right outside our room when we were checking in. The resort room was very comfortable and rustic and our back door opened to a nice patio staring out into the wilderness. As we settled in we ate at Nonna’s one of 5 restaurants on site including a convenience store. Nonna’s was an upscale Italian eatery offering a full menu and wonderful desserts. In the morning as we looked for breakfast we found a great buffet offered at CQ’s next to Cavanaugh’s Convenience store. After breakfast we went up to check out the spa before we left. The notable thing here is it sits at the top of the resort overlooking the dunes and the lake. So picture yourself enjoying that massage while you listen to the wave’s crash into the shore. It was truly a magical place high up in the hills beneath all the splendid colors. The resort also offers golf, skiing and a fitness center.
Today as we began Day 5, we mostly had a traveling day as we made way to the South again towards our weekend play destination of Saugatuck and Douglass along Hwy 31 and 2. Entering into the cities’ you can not help but notice the small town charm of these twin cities that skirt the lake. Looking out as you drive in you are caught by the ships docked in the bays, the restaurants and shops that line the lake and streets, and the overall small town ambience of the people walking up and down the streets or sitting on one of the many benches around town enjoying the views or each others’ conversations. We make our way further in and check in to our home for the next two nights; the Northern Lights Condos. After checking in and making our way into our front door we are greeted with a very elegant condo. The furnishings include two King size beds in two bedrooms with separate baths, fully stocked gourmet kitchen, washer/dryer, patio and a large living room complete with fireplace. The furnishings are all well kept and the space is very clean, we both were quite impressed. We settled in and then decided to take a quick tour of the area before dinner. Our first stop was at the most well known beach here the Oval Beach. What we found is one of the best lake and dune views we have seen on our trip. It is also the best place to visit an absolutely gorgeous sunset as again you can hear the waves crashing and feel the mist hitting in your face. It was a wonderful end to the light of day before we headed to dinner. For dinner we ventured out of town a bit to the town of Holland, Michigan just north of our current stay. Holland is a Dutch settled city and has many influences from some architecture, to flora, to restaurants and bars. Our dinner in fact took us to the New Holland Brewing Company, a local microbrewery and college hang out it turns out. The place was rocking with a local band and seemed to be a favorite of the local college crowd from Hope College. Our crew had some sandwiches and our favorite mantripper James Hills had a microbrew sampler he will blog of separately. It was a nice place to go and hang out and felt very trendy for the area.
We have had a good two days and look forward to our weekend. We plan on doing some shopping in Saugatuck and Douglass, finding some more “good eats”, and maybe will have a little alternative fun as well! Stay tuned. Good night mantrippers, only two more days of our Lake Michigan Circle tour before I head back to the Big “D” in Texas.