By Elizabeth Kinsey
There are many unique things to see in Michigan. Enjoy the Lake Michigan shoreline as you head north.
One of my favorite attractions is the mushroom houses of Earl Young in classy Charlevoix about three hours north of Grand Rapids right on Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. You can take a boat ride on beautiful Lake Charlevoix and see a mushroom house or two, and you can get the map on-line and drive by several. They are so interesting.
Visit Castle Farms near Charlevoix. This mansion was constructed in 1918 by Albert Loeb who was the Vice President of Sears, Roebuck and Company. There’s quite a tale of ownership as it passed hands over the decades, even becoming a concert venue which didn’t go over very well with the locals, before being restored to its original beauty. Although it is currently an events venue, there is an informative AM tour to enjoy with a small museum. Look at many items from the early days of the Sear, Roebuck catalogue, a walk down Memory Lane. See posters advertising the variety of musicians who graced the stages. Some of them attracted such a wild audience that Charlevoix’s tiny upscale hospital emergency room had more than it could handle at the end of particularly wild concerts. The gardens are absolutely beautiful, especially in July and August!
When we drove around Lake Charlevoix, we found a treat, Lavender Hill Farm out in the country, a Boyne City address. Who can resist lavender? Their little shop has everything from stationery and dishcloths to lavender sugar and oils. Hmmmm! I can still smell that soothing aroma. For a short-cut across Lake Charlevoix, take the little Ironton Ferry. It’s a quaint way to find your way to the other side. Charlevoix is a Michigan gem that’s sure to please.
I love your “peeks” at things to see and do in Michigan. We have been going to Traverse City for over 20 years. I would recommend “Moomers” ice cream. It is the BEST ice cream. It is a family dairy that has an ice cream store next door. They are delightful people. If you give them enough time, they will custom blend any combination of ingredients. We live in Dayton, OH, and have access to Graeters in Cincinnati and Youngs in Yellow Springs. Moomers tops them both. It is west of TC adn on the way to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We would recommend Kilchermans Heirloom Aple Orchard in Christmas Cove(just north of Northport). The Kilcherman’s are in their eighties now, Mr. Kilcherman is out in the orchard caring for his 250+ varieties heirloom apples. Summer isn’t the best time, but if you are ever up there in Sept.-Nov., stop in for a treat. There is a great, easy hike at a ski resort just to the east of Frankfort. It’s specialty is a series of art works throughout the trail. There are some beautiful vistas along the trail too.
Please encourage a visit to the Meijer’s Gardens. It is just a beautiful place.
We have a great time there and hope folks take advantage of seeing some of them while they are in the area.