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The View!

Intriguing perspectives from water & land Falling for Traverse City: What’s new, plus favorite classics in and around cherry country | Lake and river cruises | Four home tours: From the Tawas area to Holland | Kitchen & Bath “design stars” | Ludington lowdown | Oscoda, Naturally | Sipping in Saugatuck

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This fall, take a bite out of Traverse City and feel your whole body come alive. Explore over 40 wineries of Traverse Wine Coast, hike the trails of Sleeping Bear Dunes, then feast your eyes on the shortest and sweetest season when the trees put on a vibrant show of color. It’s all here, in a Prey Great Place - Traverse City. Traverse City Tourism_SPRD_MB_1021.indd 2

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38 Just Right

An updated small cottage in northeast Michigan is big on appeal. By Megan Swoyer

44 Restored Retreat Essential renovation maintains cottage traditions. By Jeanine Matlow


50 View Master Stunning vistas of Lake Macatawa — and Lake Michigan nearby — inspire the name and design of this Holland newbuild. By Khristi Zimmeth

58 Brighton Beauty Prairie-inspired residence’s design makes the most of water views. By Khristi Zimmeth

66 Fall’s Best Fruit How do you like them (Michigan) apples? We like them plenty! By Honey Murray

70 A Pretty Great Place Traverse City’s four-season charms extend well beyond the region’s sweeping shorelines and panoramic views. By Ron Garbinski

78 Sit Back and Relax Boat tours offer a delightful way to soak in the stunning fall colors of Michigan’s water wonderland. By Dianna Stampfler

ON THE COVER The views never get old at this Holland-area home. Photo by Ashley Avila Photography. 2

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“It’s a beautiful lot with towering pine trees on a bit of a peninsula ...”


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EXPLORE THE CHANGE. The changing landscape of Ludington's unspoiled natural resources offers a quintessential �Up �orth� experience close by. Pure Ludington delivers the perfect combination of unrivaled outdoor recreation and quaint, small-town charm. With endless outdoor experiences, craft beer festivals and fall lodging specials like 50% off a second night stay, now is the time to get up and go.

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Fa l l 2 0 21 | C O N T E N T S

“Bonanza Falls, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, truly made me feel like a kid again.”







12 Sky, Sand & Surf

26 Studio Visit

86 Tasting Room


The M22 Art2Art Fall Tour features four great stops. By Patty LaNoue Stearns

28 Design Stars 16 Get Outdoors The Shiawassee Refuge near Saginaw showcases migratory wildlife, and Sleeping Bear’s Pierce Stocking Drive leads to scenic wonders. By Ellen Creager and Dianna Stampfler

20 Headwaters Gwen Frostic Prints in Benzonia is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. By Dianna Stampfler


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Meet a couple of professionals who know exactly how to create pretty — and practical — kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. By Megan Swoyer

32 The Elements Around the Cottage: Beachy-keen appeal, cozy bedroom accents, and fire pit accessories. By Jamie Fabbri and Giuseppa Nadrowski

Now with three west Michigan locations, Saugatuck Brewing Co. expands its quest to develop innovative new flavors. By Chuck Warren

88 Book It The legacy of Treetops Resort’s founder lives on in a woodsy Gaylord-area cabin-for-rent. By Megan Swoyer

92 Discoveries A historic ferry, a stellar state park, and a thriving downtown invite visitors to enjoy down-home hospitality in Ludington. By Marla R. Miller

Reflections Points of View By Megan Swoyer

96 Postcard Exploring Bonanza Falls, in Ontonagon County’s Porcupine Mountains, makes this photographer feel like a kid again. By Nick Irwin


Oscoda’s water views and enjoyable trails create great adventures. By Ron Garbinski


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Fa l l 2 0 21 | R E F l E C T I O N S ®


t started when they were toddlers. We’d take them to experience local nature programs or to stroll along the paths that wound through the woods at nearby nature centers. Even a walk in our subdivision, which connects to a park, would bring our sons little joys from the natural world. Cool sticks, a perfectly shaped pinecone, pretty stones, a spent dandelion — they’d all end up in the Nature Box, which is still in our garage today. As our sons grew, my husband and I made the ultimate decision to purchase a cottage where we knew the little Nature Box would overflow. Located in northern Michigan on an inland lake and just seconds away from a Great Lake, our new respite was surrounded by everything from elusive eagles to stalking herons, delicate lady slippers, and bright-white trillium. There was plenty to put in the Nature Box: acorns, colorful leaves, sea glass. You could call the place point-central, because it was there — or on the way to there — that we’d play a game we called Points for Nature. Who would spot a red-tailed hawk? Who could be the first to find a Petoskey stone? Who heard the call of the eagle? See that great blue heron? Shhhhh, be still! You’d get 10 points if you spotted an eagle; 4 points for a hawk; and a couple of points for a bullfrog or a turtle. The great blue heron was rewarded with 5. We played that point game on road trips or excursions into nature for years — and, in fact, we still do. As I’m writing this letter, I’m looking out our cottage’s picture window, and my husband is saying Shhhh. A great blue is there along the shoreline. See it? I stop typing and sneak to a spot where I can get a better look. “Five points!” I tell him. We’ve tracked our finds and animal sightings over the years in our Gwen Frostic journal (Frostic was a renowned Michigan artist and poet who’s featured in this issue). It’s fun to look back through the pages and recall the day we spotted, say, a green her-


on, which is pretty difficult to find. My husband, sons, and I recently drove across parts of the Upper Peninsula together. Rather than sitting in the front, directing and tracking the point searches as I did so long ago, I was in the back seat as we zipped through black bear and moose country. My head was at a constant 45-degree angle as I stared out the window, completely focused and alert to dark shapes and movement. “Mom, are you looking? Mom, are you looking?” our 25-year-old kept repeating. Wow, the tables have turned, I thought, my heart swelling because it seems we’ve inspired our sons to regard nature as a constant provider of simple joy. I admit that I felt like a kid, not only because I was riding happily in the back seat, but because it’s downright exhilarating to see even something simple, like a group of monarchs flitting atop milkweed or a quaking aspen whose leaves are charmingly heart-shaped. We don’t need to see a bear or a moose, although that would be such a thrill (15 points for those types of sightings!). My family and I have explored much of Michigan on foot, by bike, and in kayaks and canoes, and what we all collected on our recent trip through the U.P. could be found either in our pockets (cool stones and sea glass) or as experiences that we’ll keep stored in a special drawer in the back of our minds. This issue is full of ideas on where you can play the points game, from along the shores of Lake Michigan near Ludington and Traverse City to a car ride on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, or cruising by boat through the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Love fall color? Autumn is the best time to hike along the majestic Au Sable River. Or take this issue’s Postcard writer/photographer’s advice and hit a few waterfalls. You’re bound to feel like a kid again.




EDITOR: Megan Swoyer CONTRIBUTING TRAVEL EDITOR: Ron Garbinski COPY EDITOR: Anne Berry Daugherty WRITERS: Ellen Creager, Jamie Fabbri, Nick Irwin,

Jeanine Matlow, Marla Miller, Honey Murray, Giuseppa Nadrowski, Dianna Stampfler, Patty LaNoue Stearns, Chuck Warren, Khristi Zimmeth


ART DIRECTOR: Austin Phillips CONTRIBUTORS: Ashley Avila Photography,

Lisa Baird, Jeff Garland, Shelley Goodlaski, Nick Irwin, Lara Parent, Beth Singer, Werner Straube



Renee Looman, Maddy Messerly TO ORDER REPRINTS: Receptionist, 616-459-4545






French, Ava Majoros, Erica Soroka PRS GRAPHIC ARTIST: Jim Bibart INTEGRATED DESIGN LEAD: Alex Shammami




Luanne Lim, Bart Woinski DIGITAL COORDINATOR: Travis Cleveland



Jeremy Leland




Elise Coyle,

Cathy Krajenke, Rachel Moulden CIRCULATION CUSTOMER SERVICE:








Stefan Wanczyk | PRESIDENT: John Balardo

Michigan BLUE magazine is published quarterly by Gemini Media. Publishing offices: 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-5098. Telephone 616-459-4545; fax 616459-4800. General email: Copyright ©2021 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Michigan Blue magazine, 1965 E Avis Dr, Madison Heights, MI 48071. Subscription rates: one year $14.95, two years $24.95, three years $34.95, U.S. only. Single issue and newsstand $5.95 (by mail $8.95). To subscribe or to order back issues, please contact Circulation at 866-660-6247. Advertising rates and specifications at or by request. Michigan Blue magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.


Points of View

Volume 16 | Issue 4


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To learn about available sponsorship opportunities, contact VENUE SPONSOR

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The Au Sable River’s Champaign Hill dune, near Oscoda.

12 Field Guide A new glamorous camping option, Belle Isle updates, and Pure Michigan vintage prints.

12 Sky, Sand & Surf For great sunrises (and lots of other outdoor diversions), it’s Oscoda, Naturally.

16 Get Outdoors Fall color pops on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, and catch a tour at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

20 Headwaters Gwen Frostic Prints in Benzonia is recognized with an historic preservation distinction. MICHIGAN BLUE

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FIELD GUIDE Exploring Michigan: Tips, trends, and tidbits

nd a note to

ROUGHING IT: Off Map in South Haven has introduced glamorous camping (glamping) options for those who prefer not to sleep on the ground outdoors. The elevated camping experience features 12 hassle-free, pre-set luxury safari tents (with either one king bed or up to three twin beds) located on the 75-acre property. There’s also a large indoor common area, a shower, and a bathroom facility. BEAUTIFYING THE BELLE: On Belle Isle in Detroit, the Michigan DNR continues to restore 200 acres of rare wet-mesic flatwoods, which are important for the island’s wildlife and its wetlands habitat. Projects include improving water flow and enhancing the area’s ecological integrity. Some road closures and enhancements on the Oakway Trail are slated for this fall. The Belle Isle Aquarium reopened in July after more than $1.2 million in repairs and improvements were made to the 116-year-old city landmark, including modernization work, exhibit upgrades, and historical preservation work. ART PROJECT: To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Pure Michigan marketing campaign, Travel Michigan has revealed six limited-edition, vintagethemed prints by artist Brian Walline. The prints, in five sizes, include the Mackinac Bridge, Pictured Rocks, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Grand Rapids, Lake of the Clouds, and the Detroit skyline/Ambassador Bridge. – Compiled by Ron Garbinski

Have news that pertains to Michigan 12

Oscoda, Naturally Spectacular water views and enjoyable trails combine to create great adventures By Ron Garbinski | Photography by Shelley Goodlaski


wo welcoming billboards greet travelers to the Sunrise Side of Michigan while they’re heading north on I-75 and U.S. 23. Those invitations to enjoy the Lake Huron coast spotlight “Oscoda, Naturally” and “Oscoda, The Morning Show” because of the gorgeous sunrises. The signs help promote the many outdoor adventures available near the 22-mile River Road National Scenic Byway surrounding Oscoda and Au Sable. The beautiful 138-mile-long river, which empties into Lake Huron, together with the vast Huron National Forest, play an important part in the area’s tourism appeal. While there are other longer and more challenging trails nearby — such as the delightful 10,000-acre Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area near M-65/M-72, or the peaceful Reid Lake Foot Travel Area off of M-72 — several Oscoda sites provide fun oneto two-hour outings for all enthusiasts. Below are a few shorter favorites in the Au Sable River Valley that are great for fall colors, hiking, wildlife viewings, and bird migrations.

Eagle Run

“Although there are many hiking and cross-country skiing trails along the Au Sable River, the Eagle Run trail system paralleling River Road is the farthest downriver. That means it’s the closest to Oscoda, providing easy access for those staying in the city,” says hiker and marathon runner Grant Garbinski, who enjoys the trails whenever he’s in town. “This trail system boasts more than six miles of trails, with nearly half of them along the meandering Au Sable. With multiple access points and the ability to

quickly hike to the river, the trails offer enjoyment and accessibility for all levels. The terrain changes along the way, from plantation pines to wetlands, which have more potential for wildlife sightings. I love the amazing songbird choruses and colorful wildflowers in the summer, and the spectacular changing foliage in the fall,” he says. “A number of grassy embankments provide ample opportunity where you can relax and enjoy snacks, with views of the Au Sable. Don’t forget to wave to the people floating by in canoes or on tubes,” he adds.

Iargo Springs

From an observation deck about 300 feet above the water, visitors can venture some 294 steps down to the banks of the Au Sable River and elevated viewing platforms. Along the way, they’ll walk under a mature forested canopy and past a group of seven springs emerging from the side of this high bluff. “Look up, look down — Iargo Springs is a hidden gem on Michigan’s east coast. It’s a delicate, tranquil habitat and special place for bird-watchers and plant-lovers. Listen to the soothing sound of water from the springs cascading into the river,” says Sue Rosiek, a nature explorer who has climbed the wooden staircase to the bottom and back several times and cautions first-timers, “It can be a bit of a workout. “It’s a real treat and a great choice for a short day-hike adventure. We love experiencing it over and over again when visiting friends on the Sunrise Side. And, yes, we’ve been treated to a bald eagle floating above the treetops, entertaining us with its majesty. A stop here is Pure Michigan at its finest.”


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Mother Nature shares her fall color magic along the Au Sable River.

Lumberman’s Monument

The memorial — perched high on a sandy bluff overlooking the Au Sable River — with its centerpiece 14-foot-tall bronze statue of lumbermen was dedicated in 1932 to honor Michigan’s lumbering history. Its visitor’s center, along River Road, is open through October. The trails, outdoor displays, and 206-step walkway down to the river are open year-round. “Over the past several years, a handful of my closest friends and I have created memories there that will last a lifetime. Northern Michigan’s most hidden gem is

always at the top of our to-do list when we visit our family cottage,” says Will Garbinski, who says he also enjoys taking sunset photos at the site. “Selfishly, I make it a priority because it’s the place where I feel most at peace. Watching my friends make the final turn of a short hike to my favorite spot, and seeing their jaws drop as they soak in the panoramic view of the majestic Au Sable River twisting through the beautiful Huron National Forest, never fails to put a smile on my face — especially when it’s accompanied by a picturesque sunset,”

says Garbinski, who also loves to hike. “Whether it’s the different combinations of friends I have the pleasure to be with when I visit (my favorite time to visit is autumn), or the infinite amount of cloud formations and sunset colors that Mother Nature blesses us with, Lumberman’s Monument provides a unique, historic, and magical experience that holds a special place in my heart.”

Three Mile Park

This Michigan Department of Transportation rest stop located along U.S. 23 MICHIGAN BlUE

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Clockwise from left: Spectacular sunrises can be seen from the Three Mile Park boardwalk. Au Sable sunsets are especially picturesque from the dunes at Lumberman’s Monument. The bronze monument celebrates lumbering history.

a few miles north of downtown Oscoda’s River Road, usually surprises travelers. It’s right on the shores of Lake Huron and offers lots of rest-stop comforts. “I love the boardwalk there. We’ve walked it so many times,” says Marcie Swanson, of Greenbush Township, north of the Three Mile Beach. Her son, a runner, often will run back and forth several times while she walks it. “I spend a lot of time taking photos along the way,” she adds. “My walking is more about stopping and capturing photos of all the pretty pines, the superb sunrises over the expansive and beautiful Lake Huron beach, the little creek that empties into the big lake (pretty irises bloom in the spring!), and birds such as chickadees or other migrating or local species. “The north-south walk extends quite a way along the sandy beach, where we often see swimmers taking a dip. There 14

are two park sections and both have restrooms and parking lots. If you’re lucky, you can grab one of the parking slots with quick access to the beach on the north end, between the trees. Sadly, most travelers just speed past this stop without realizing its charms. But I’m OK with that, since it makes it less crowded.” From stunning sunrises to mesmerizing sunsets and everything in between, these favorite stops showcase why the area is Oscoda, Naturally!

PLAN IT! Oscoda Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Huron National Forest/Iargo Springs/ Lumberman’s Monument and search for specific destination


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Fa l l 2 0 21 | G E T O U T D O O R S

Michigan’s Everglades Surprising Shiawassee Refuge near Saginaw showcases migratory wildlife and much more


ut on the flats, a thousand birds sing. “It’s 32 square miles of marshes and bayous. The farther we go into the swamp, the prettier it gets,” says Wil Hufton, owner of Johnny Panther Quests boat tours. “I call it the Everglades of Michigan, minus the poisonous snakes and alligators.” You may never have heard of it, but birds on the wing know all about the mid16

By Ellen Creager Michigan Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, which was created for just them. Tens of thousands of birds stop here every year to rest, eat, mate, or live. Eagles, geese, ducks, swans, blue herons, great egrets, white pelicans, warblers, and other birds flutter and fly throughout the refuge. There are several ways visitors can witness this birding nirvana, but the most popular is the Wildlife Drive, a 6.5-mile horseshoe-shaped road that takes explor-

ers close to the vast ponds, marshes, rivers, and wetlands that make up the refuge. Driving slowly on the one-way gravel road, visitors have plenty of opportunities to see nature up close. “I saw 12 bald eagles the other day. I haven’t seen that many anywhere else,” says Mike Budd, former acting director of the refuge, which is five miles south of Saginaw. He recommends coming early in the day, when birds are active “and you


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can hear the pipe of the grebes and the calling of the marsh wrens.” The drive has many pull-offs and several low observation decks. An estimated 25,000 Canada geese and 40,000 ducks stop at the refuge each fall on their migrations. In spring, spectacular songbirds rest or even nest there, including the rare prothonotary warbler. In summer, visitors can see great egrets, blue herons, white pelicans, ibis, and other shorebirds. Hufton takes groups of one to 12 people on refuge tours. His flat-bottom boats can navigate the narrow channels and shallows. “Sometimes we drift right under the eagles,’’ says Hufton, who runs tours from early spring to late fall. “My favorite is spring, when you can see nesting chicks and the air is sweet.” Long a spot for naturalists and serious birders, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge has several trails, a visitor center, and a student education center called Green Point. Budd says Wildlife Drive is the most accessible way for the public to view the wildlife. In many places the gravel road runs along the top of a levee, with water on both sides and no fences, yet it feels safe and sturdy. The refuge was created in 1953 from fallow land and reclaimed farmland, and its water levels are managed for optimum bird conditions. Locals call the refuge the Shiawassee Flats. It’s a critical stop on the Mississippi Flyway, a north-south migratory bird route. Muskrats, turtles, mink, beaver, insects, and other critters live here, but birds are the stars of the show, scolding and singing, feeding and flocking, and dozing and diving along the wide Shiawassee River and wetlands.

With few amenities, humans must tread lightly at the nearly 10,000-acre refuge, but that’s OK. The refuge recently did humans a big favor in return. In May 2020, the nearby Edenville and Sanford dams broke upstream and massive floodwaters surged south. Water at the refuge rose 10 feet within a day, engulfing levees and ponds, but its vast watershed sponged up the flood and saved downstream cities like Saginaw. Today the refuge is again drowsy and serene, with mud flats and shallow ponds. Human visitors come and go, but it’s a place a bird can feel right at home. Visitor’s Info: Wildlife Drive is open June 1 through Sept. 30. Call 989-7591669 to make sure it’s open the day you visit. Listen to the audio guide (available through the refuge’s website, below) as

you drive. Bring binoculars and use zoom lenses on cameras. Come early or late in the day for the best light and the greatest bird activity. The most popular hiking trail is the 4.5-mile Ferguson Bayou Trail, open year-round. Casual walkers may find it challenging. Bicycles are allowed. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. There are no shops or stores (cell service is good, though). Guided programs are available. For reliable GPS directions, use the Visitor Center address, 6975 Mower Rd., Saginaw. Boat Tours: Johnny Panther Quests tours last 3-8 hours and leave from the Saginaw Marina.

PLAN IT! Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

This page: Visitors to the refuge often see one of the resident eagles. Opposite page: Johnny Panther Quests boat tours explore the refuge’s many narrow channels and shallows. MICHIGaN BlUE

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Visionary Views

Sleeping Bear’s Pierce Stocking Drive leads to scenic wonders, especially come autumn


adillac-born Pierce Stocking wanted to share his vision with others who explored the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline along what is now known as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He pictured a series of overlooks atop the vast dunes near Empire where visitors could gaze out to the lake, and up and down the steep drops to the water, soaking up the unparalleled vistas — yet he still wanted to protect the area’s fragile ecosystems. In the early 1960s, Stocking — a land developer, lumberman, woodsman, environmentalist, and naturalist — set out to carve his scenic trail to the top of the


dunes. By 1967, the 7.4-mile Sleeping Bear Dunes Park (also known back then as the Philip A. Hart Nature Trail) opened to the public, complete with a charming covered bridge. Stocking operated the drive until his death nine years later. After that, the National Lakeshore program added it to its portfolio and the trail was renamed the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Over the past 50-plus years, millions of visitors from around the world have traveled along Stocking’s picturesque route, enjoying the legacy he left for generations to come. The road is open to automobiles, motorcycles, and skilled bicyclists. It’s steep, with sharp turns and often heavy vehicle traffic, but it’s worth every minute of the ride to the top.

Fall is unquestionably the most colorful and vibrant time of year to visit, as the changing yellows, reds, and oranges of the maples, birch, and aspen contrast against the deep green pines that showcase the woodland areas alongside the dunes. Top Spots: From the Glen Lake Overlook, Big and Little Glen lakes — separated by the famed M-22 highway — sparkle a deep cobalt blue, while the Lake Michigan Overlook is perched some 450 feet above the Great Lake, overlooking the “Mother Bear” sand dunes. On clear days, the North and South Manitou islands can be seen in the distance, representing the cubs about which the legend of the Sleeping Bear is based. Pack a picnic for a delightful al fresco ex-


By Dianna Stampfler


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minutes or more one way, depending on the skill of the climber, but the expansive views from the top provide a great reward for the effort. Historic Sites: Nearby stops like the General Store, Boat Museum (former Glen Haven Canning Co.), Blacksmith Shop, Maritime Museum inside the Sleeping Bear Point U.S. Life-Saving Service Station, and Maritime Boathouse in Glen Haven, as well as the Port Oneida Rural Historic District, are occasionally open during fall color tour weekends — but even when they’re not open, the buildings themselves are picture-worthy. Traditionally, the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is open from early May through the fall color tour season, depending on weather conditions. It stays open until about an hour after dusk, to allow for those memorable sunsets. Since it’s part of the National Lake-

shore, admission is $25 for a seven-day auto pass or $45 for an annual park pass, which is good for 365 days from the time of purchase. Admission passes are available at the Philip A. Hart Visitors Center at the intersection of M-22 and M-72 in Empire. PLAN IT! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

This page: The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is awash with fabulous colors in the fall. Opposite page: At one of the drive’s overlooks, visitors can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Glen Lake.


perience, or bring a chair or blanket and settle in for a stellar sunset from one of the designated overlooks. Eleven terrific trails meander through the Sleeping Bear Dunes, ranging from 1.2 to 16 miles, each offering varying levels of difficulty. The Alligator Hill Trail splits into three loops (3 to 8 miles) and is rated as easy to moderate, while the Bay View Trail includes an easy 2.4-mile Farm Loop and a 4-mile moderate Ridge Loop. The 3.5-mile Dunes Hiking Trail and 2.8mile Sleeping Bear Point Trail are hilly and sandy, thus earning them strenuous activity level ratings. For a good overview of the routes from hikers and runners who’ve been there, check out Of course, the 140-foot climb to the first dune from the water is the most famous attraction in the National Lakeshore and it’s open year-round for those who are up for the challenge. The trek can take 10


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FA L L 2 0 21 | H E A D WAT E R S

Natural Legacy The National Register of Historic Places adds the renowned Gwen Frostic Prints in Benzonia to its illustrious list By Dianna Stampfler


orn in 1906 in a small town in Michigan’s thumb region, Sara Gwendolen Frostic became a one-of-a-kind artist with a legacy spanning 70 years and counting. Despite suffering from lifelong physical hindrances after contracting polio as an infant, Frostic, who spent her early years in Croswell, found the strength and determination to carve her own path — which led her to Benzonia in Benzie County. This past spring, Gwen Frostic Prints was added to the National Register of Historic Places, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. The path to this honor was peppered with determination from the very beginning. After studying arts education at both Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti (now Eastern Michigan University) and Western State Normal College in Kalamazoo (now Western Michigan University), Frostic went on to master metal crafts, taught art classes at the Detroit YWCA, and even operated a studio in the basement of her parents’ home, where she was commissioned to create two vases for Clara Ford, the wife of Henry Ford. During World War II, she worked in Ford’s Willow Run bomber plant by day, and perfected her art on nights and weekends. By then, a metal shortage led her to discover what would become her signature medium: linoleum. With her vision taking shape, Frostic acquired her first printing press and set up shop in downtown Wyandotte, where 20

Presscraft Papers was born. By the 1950s, Frostic had relocated to the Lake Michigan shoreline town of Frankfort. Here, the marshes and countryside were full of muses — frogs, blue herons, waterfowl, cardinals, deer, and raccoons — along with blossoming wildflowers and vibrant greenery. She spent hours sketching and then transforming blocks of linoleum with her sharp carving tools until delicate scenes appeared. A Heidelberg press was used to print the artist’s (reversed) images onto heavy pieces of feathered paper, as well as napkins, calendars, journals, and even books of poetry written by Frostic herself, all of which are still coveted today. Frostic eventually purchased 40 acres along the Betsie River in Benzonia, where she established her landmark studio and gallery. After just seven months, Gwen Frostic Prints opened on April 26, 1964, her 58th birthday. Tucked into a hillside, the studio melds into its surroundings, which includes boulders, tree trunks, a stone fireplace, undulating rooflines, and a natural spring fountain — giving the space an organic flair inside and out. Frostic never married and never had any children, although she had siblings, nieces, and nephews. One nephew, Bill Frostic, served as head pressman at Gwen Frostic Prints for 49 years. As business grew, Frostic added to her shop, which today encompasses 23,000 square feet. The business has 15 Heidelberg printing presses and 11 summer season employees. Frostic ran the

operation until her death in 2001, just one day shy of her 95th birthday. Upon her passing, she bequeathed $13 million to Western Michigan University (one of her alma maters), and in 2007 the college’s board of trustees renamed its art school the Gwen Frostic School of Art in her honor. Frostic’s easily recognizable art remains timeless, as generation after generation makes the pilgrimage to her shop in what has become a tradition for many families. Kathy McElroy, of Waterford, says: “I grew up in Benzonia and my mom would take us to Gwen’s several times a summer so we could watch the presses printing out the beautiful cards. My sisters and I have continued that tradition through the decades.” In 2010, Kimberly and Greg Forshee purchased the business. Kimberly had a career in media in Traverse City and worked for the Frostic studio for a time before she and her husband bought it. “We’re honored to be caretakers of the building, to keep her legacy going,” Kimberly Forshee says. “People are just drawn to this place. Gwen didn’t believe in advertising. She used to say that if the work is good, people will come and they will tell their friends.”

PLAN IT! Gwen Frostic Prints, located at 5140 River Rd., Benzonia, is open from May through October. The online shop is open yearround.


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Artist Gwen Frostic sketches trees in her studio. They are then transferred with carving tools onto blocks of linoleum to create beautiful prints.

a walk with me by Gwen Frostic, 1958 Presscraft Papers, Benzonia, Mich. Let’s just wander here and there … like leaves floating in the autumn air and look at common little things … stones on the beach … flowers turning into berries … … from the winds we’ll catch a bit of that wondrous feeling that comes … … not from seeing … but from being part of nature …


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A Kaye Krapohl painting represents the many fine pieces that will highlight the M22 Art2Art Fall Tour.

26 Designers’ Notebook Unique wallpaper, northern Michigan fine art aerials, a new Boyne City shop, and a sweet kids’ book.

26 Studio Visit Mark your calendar for the dazzling M22 Art2Art Fall Tour, Oct. 9-10.

28 Design Stars Meet two astute designers who know their way around kitchens & baths.

32 The Elements Beach house looks, great bedrooms, and fire pit must-haves.


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DESIGNERS’ NOTEBOOK Home-related tips, trends, and tidbits

PLEASING PAPER: Brett Design now features a new collection of wallpapers that are both subtle and vibrant, and uniquely inspired by everyday objects — from the mark of a wet bottle on paper to paintings by Amy Silliman. Unusual repurpose-themed patterning is, for example, painted with gesso on Amazon boxes. Available through Cloth & Kind in Ann Arbor. HE AIMS HIGH: Fine-art and travel photographer Gray Malin has released a collection of northern Michigan aerials. The series is close to Malin, as his family has spent the summers in Michigan since he was young and he now owns a home “up north.” Malin’s Michigan collection includes Mackinac Island, Charlevoix, and Harbor Springs, all taken from a doorless helicopter. GO NORTH: Whimsical Wit, based in Ferndale, recently opened a shop in Boyne City at 109 Water St. Stop in and browse a curated selection of home décor items. PAGING READERS: Add this to your bookshelf. Author Lindsay McFarlane of Brighton and illustrator Svetlana Trayser of Mackinac Island teamed up to create the perfect storybook for early grade-school-age children. Called “Crimson,” its colorful, whimsically painted crayon characters teach littles about teamwork, diversity, and friendship. — Compiled by Megan Swoyer

Have news about waterfront living? Email


Art Crawl The M22 Art2Art Fall Tour features four great stops with paintings, furniture, and more on a special fall weekend


By Patty LaNoue Stearns

ay back in 1995, a group of talented artisans from Leelanau County gave birth to the Leelanau Furniture Show (LFS). It was a stunning debut for a fall event that ran for many years, showcasing dazzling displays of original art and fine crafts — the kind of work you’d only find at the big shows on both coasts, always held on Columbus Day weekend. The cool news is that many of the same award-winning artists have been putting on a similar, but bigger and better, event — the M22 Art2Art Fall Tour — on that same October weekend. Now in its fourth season, The M22 is not only about furniture; it includes the works of painters, ceramicists, fiber artists, sculptors, and other artisans in four themed spots along the highway that winds through the glorious Leelanau Peninsula. Sleeping Bear Twig Furniture maker Bill Perkins, one of the directors of the M22 and among the LFS’ founders, says this year’s show will be the best ever. “Columbus Day weekend is the busiest weekend, the wineries tell us, for wine sales. People are up here driving around going to wineries and looking at colors,” he says. “The artists are so ready to get out there,” says another LFS founder and M22 director, Donna Popke of Dream Covers furnishings in Suttons Bay. She looks forward to great attendance. “People are hungry to get out there and hungry to shop,” she asserts. “The painting show in Glen Arbor Township Hall is more of a gallery/mu-

seum,” Perkins adds. “We asked just nine painters (and gave them) lots of wall space to hang their paintings, (as well as) lighting.” Among the participants is Kaye Krapohl, whose ethereal landscapes capture Leelanau’s magic. “Through my work I hope to bring the power of nature into people’s inside environments,” Krapohl says. Perkins says he expects that Northport’s Village Arts Building, this year’s furniture venue, will be bustling. “We jam it full of furniture and sculpture, so people have lots of stuff to look at,” he says. Familiar names to look for include Larry Fox, another LFS founder, with his modern wall pieces; Fred Rehak, with his reclaimed industrial-chic tables and benches; Peter Czuk, with live-edge and sleek wall art and benches; and Perkins, with his intricate twig furnishings. In Cedar’s Cleveland Township Hall, the ceramics show will feature stunning functional porcelain pieces. Check out Stephen Kostyshyn’s intricately woven works that combine fiber, clay, and wood, and wife Julie Kradel’s clay sculptures. “We both have such a passion for what we do,” Kradel says. “Then, to know that someone buys it for their home and comes back again the next year, is so wonderful.” MORE INFORMATION The M22 Art2Art Fall Tour, sponsored by the nonprofit Suttons Bay Art Festival committee, runs Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


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Clockwise from above left: Some of the M22 Art2Art Fall Tour organizers and artists. Julie Kradel’s fox-in-boat clay sculpture charms. Attendees enjoy the works at the Glen Arbor Township Hall, while K aye Kraypohl’s ethereal waterscape mesmerizes.


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This page: This home features a kitchen and powder room that reflect its botanical-loving owner perfectly. Nature-related touches include floral fabrics and wallpaper, a twig-and-berry backsplash, and wood accents.

Earthly Delights A look at a landscape architect’s practical-and-pretty kitchen and baths By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Werner Straube


my and Jason Squires and their three children needed more space after enjoying several years in a quaint Heritage Hill-area home in Grand Rapids. Construction began on a new family home in Ada in 2019. “She’s a landscape architect and this home provides a great space for gardening, raising chickens, and for her to expand and enjoy her sense of creativity,” says interior designer Deidre Remtema, right, of Deidre Interiors in Grand Rapids. “The homeowners didn’t want it to look brand-new because they love historic homes, and they didn’t want anything matchy-matchy or contrived.” The astute 28

designer mixed different wood tones, metal finishes, and countertop materials to create a very eclectic look. “It’s warm, inviting, and comfortable,” Remtema says. Lorenz & Co. of Grand Rapids handled the architectural duties, and they were the “masterminds behind the home’s architecture,” Remtema says. TruKitchens of Grand Rapids also created magic aplenty. “We set out to build a home that felt like it belonged where it stood and told a story,” adds Amy Squires, who owns Amy Squires Landscape Design. “Every room has a purpose, is used on a daily basis, and feels homey.” Because kitchens and baths are some of the most important spaces in a home,


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we asked designer Remtema to share some of her insights on these rooms’ appointments. “They’re big cooks and love to bake, so having an island where the kids can help works out great. The windows over the kitchen sink look out to a beautiful garden chock-full of vegetables; it’s very much an inside-outside type of kitchen and home,” Remtema explains, adding, “Different tones of wood bring the outside in.” Of note are two barn beams across the range hood and at the ceiling between the kitchen and dining room. The color for the kitchen island was a custom mix, created to match the twigs-and-berries-themed tile behind the range. “The berries have this bright coral-red tone and the stools are slipcovered with a treated material in a botanical print because, as a landscape architect, Amy loves anything botanical,” the designer says. “Where (Deidre) found the patterns she presented to me are beyond wizardry,” Amy adds. Like the backsplash, the kitchen rug (not shown) features elements of red. Cookbooks fill iron shelves that were hung from the ceiling. A mudroom off the kitchen showcases pretty blue tones, while a powder room has a blue door that plays off the mudroom. “We put in an arch door and wanted it a deep blue, to make it pop and give the space a different feel,” Remtema says. Wallpaper and lacquered brass fixtures give the space a cozy appeal. In the son’s bathroom, not shown, open vanity shelving provides a unique look, while a vinyl wallpaper evokes a

watercolor-y feel. “The custom vanity was made to be a little more casual, with the open wood shelves,” Remtema says. The refreshing blue tile (by Ceramic Tile Co., in Army Blue Glaze, from Genesee Ceramic Tile Co.) is reminiscent of watercolors, as well. As for the master, the homeowners wanted it to feel light and airy, “so the vanity has more of a furniture look, elevated, but it still has feet,” Remtema explains. A quartz countertop provides a chic touch, while the wood floor runs from the bedroom to the sink area, “to create more warmth.” The couple’s two daughters enjoy a bathroom replete with gorgeous green vanities and floral wallpaper. “It’s largescale paper; we had fun creating that space and knew they would delight in something like this,” Remtema says. Ceramic tile that looks like marble caps the beauty. “The bathrooms add spark and highlight our personalities,” Amy says. “Our powder room hints at our love of antiquity and my love of flowers. The master bath has so much functionality, and space was used smartly. It’s sleek and modern, yet warm and handcrafted. My son’s bath has a fun twist, but still feels sophisticated and

natural. The girls’ bath is feminine and pretty in an ageless way.” “We had a great relationship,” the designer shares. “There was a high level of trust between everyone. My goal was to really pay attention to how this family functions day in and day out, and recognize how that relates to the look and feel of their home.” Goals met!


DE SIGN STA R’S SECR ET “I love designing with layers of wood and stone, and beautiful textiles,” says interior designer Deidre Remtema. “My mother is a quilter and my dad was in commercial textiles. I grew up surrounded by fabrics and now, as a designer, they’re a huge part of my design process.” — MS

This page, clockwise from top left: Pretty blue tones adorn the mudroom. The daughters’ bath charms with femine touches. Wood flooring runs from the master bedroom to the master bath, creating a warm feel.


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Saving History A 1930s Ford estate cottage gets a thoughtful transformation. Take a peek at the updated kitchen, powder room, and laundry room.


By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Jeff Garland

hen James and Megan McGovern purchased their home in 2017, they knew their kitchen and laundry room were not going to be functional. Their solution? Call Mom, of course! Enter James’ mother, Kathleen McGovern, right, a longtime interior designer who knew just what to do. Built in 1935 and designed by legendary architect Albert Kahn, the little cottage was the home of the head groundskeeper and his family at Ford House (the Edsel and Eleanor Ford estate in Grosse 30

Pointe Shores). Although the kitchen was renovated in the 1950s, McGovern — whose renovation results feel like they’re part of the original home — notes the space was in serious need of a modern update. “The cottage-style home’s architecture is beautiful in its simplicity,” adds the designer, who runs Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design in Grosse Pointe Park. She says the team was able to save the original quarry tile floor in the laundry room, as the material was very serviceable, like a

utility tile. “It has a weather-permanence to it,” McGovern says. An unexpected three-step stairway in the kitchen meets a staircase at the landing and leads to the master bedroom and bathroom. “We wondered if we should close off that little kitchen stairway, but it’s part of the history and it’s lovely. Plus, it gives fast access to the second floor,” McGovern says. The decision meant the couple lost counter space, but they kept the cottage’s original charm. “When you’re transforming a


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home that has some history to it … if you can retain any or all of the architectural aspects of the house, like how we maintained that little staircase, you’re maintaining a bit of history,” the designer says. Also saved during the renovation were the original steel casement windows. “These types of windows were all through the house, and they’re a beautiful part of the architecture,” McGovern says. “It’s a big decision for people with casement windows to keep them. They’re notoriously known as not weather-worthy.” As for the color palette, the renovation is singing the blues. “My love of blue got passed down to all of my children,” McGovern says. “My son loves blue.” Using Sherwin-Williams’ Favorite Jeans in the kitchen creates a casual and peaceful mood — and it reflects the blue Lake St. Clair waters that splash along the nearby shoreline. “It’s beautiful,” she says, “and goes so well with the gray quartz countertops. We chose that color because it feels historic, and there’s a lot of gray in that blue. We felt those pigments are reflective of that time.” To give the cabinetry an even more historic look, the finish has a “bit of a rub through it,” McGovern says. “It feels like it’s been there a long time.” A copper sink, copper plumbing, and copper light fixtures, as well as a handknotted rug from Yarmouth, Mass., purchased on a family trip, add to the cottage feel. In the laundry room, a different blue was used for the cabinetry, while a lami-

nate countertop that looks like wood is practical and echoes the walnut wood used for shelving. “With a toddler, there’s lots of laundry,” McGovern says with a laugh. The renovation team also opened up a wall, installed a pocket door, and squeezed in a half-bath. “The plumbing was somewhat there, and they really needed a half-bath,” McGovern says. Megan McGovern sourced the tiny 28-inch custom vanity and mirror. “She wanted something that looked cottagey,” the designer says. “The vanity goes from wall to wall, and it works well!” As for the mother, son, and daughterin-law design process, McGovern says it was fun. “It brought out some aspects that I didn’t know about my son. His interest in architecture and design is something I wasn’t aware of. My daughter-in-law has a real interest in how design affects function, because she’s an extraordinary cook and they entertain a lot. It was important to her that the kitchen was going to be useable and easy to maintain,” McGovern notes. “Many of the ideas came from James and Megan, and evolved from a lot

of conversations about how they would use that house.”


DE SIGN STA R’S SECR ET “I personally couldn’t be happy without being surrounded by beautiful and robust color in nature, in art, and in textiles,” says interior designer Kathleen McGovern. “I am wildly happy when we can join up with a client who’s also a color-lover. Designing and living in one’s own personal palette is comforting, and can actually be joyful. And blues, with the biggest, boldest, brightest pigments, have become a signature for us. In our studio we laugh about our ‘blue addiction.’ It has become our No. 1requested project color.” — MS

Both pages: The kitchen, powder room, and laundry room all underwent a design overhaul in this historic 1935 home, which was once the cottage of the head groundskeeper at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores. Orchestrated by Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design, the renovation turned out superb and retains the character of the home.


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Sweet Dreams

Cozy accents for your cottage bedrooms Styled by Jamie Fabbri 1. Give storage a beachy spin with these La Jolla baskets from SERENA & LILY. $88$178,

2. Keep jewelry, trinkets, and more tucked neatly away with AERIN’s Conch Shell Dishes. $75/two, Neiman Marcus, Troy,,


3. Accessorize with LOCKWOOD’s Palermo Tropical Leaf Tray and add a pop of color. $19.95,

4. KRAVET’s Rosa Table Lamp lights the way. To the Trade, Kravet/Lee Jofa/ Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy, kravet. com,

5. These MATOUK Pomegranate Quilted Shams pack a punch. $84-$198, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy,,

7. The Miraya Open Nightstand from RH lends warmth and character. $1,125, RH, Troy,

6. Complete the look and cozy up with SERENA & LILY’s Nantucket Stripe Quilt. $328$428,


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CHANNING A long history of making lasting memories

Share love…renew vows…celebrate family…recharge your team…or just stop in to enjoy a pint with a friend! Set on the shore of Upper Scott Lake in Pullman, MI, once YMCA Camp Channing (established in 1928) where campers refer to it as “a place we considered sacred ground in our youth.” Now a truly special location for quaint and personal events, from weddings to anniversary celebrations, birthdays to family reunions, and corporate retreats! The spirit of adventure, camaraderie, lake fun and creating memories to last a lifetime are all alive and well in the recently restored building now simply known as Channing. Breathtaking views, sprawling lakefront yard, large comfortable deck, and interior spaces creatively decorated to fit whatever gathering you have in mind. On-site lodging also available.

This historic beauty is also home to Rusty Rocket Brewing, a familyowned local brewing company. The owners are dedicated to supporting economic development in Pullman and providing easy drinking, flavorful craft beers for locals as well as those just passing through. You won’t find a better setting to enjoy a craft beer. ‘Tap into our community.’ You’ll be glad you did!



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Fire Up! When gathering around the flames, consider these stylish additions Styled by Giuseppa Nadrowski 1. POTTERY BARN’s Geometric Coated Gunmetal Firewood Holder turns log storage into an artistic expression. $699, potterybarn. com. 2. Naturally water-resistant and crafted using workshop cutoffs, this teak Tana Stool from ARTICLE is a multipurpose must-have to keep near the pit. $279,


3. With a hidden bottle opener and a sleek design, the Lollygagger Lounge Chair from DESIGN WITHIN REACH is made from recycled plastic that’s water- and fade-resistant. $595, 4. A chilly night calls for a cozy blanket, and this Alpaca Blanket from SHINOLA and CRATE & BARREL is a luxe way to cover up near the fire. $395,

5. Designed by Barcelonabased designer Hiroshi Tsunoda, Stix 8 from ECOSMART FIRE features varying size stainless steel “sticks” to create a campfire mood while using clean-burning bioethanol fuel. From $3,495,

7. The Plodes Petal Fire Pit is a classic wood-burning design crafted in an elegant steel corolla whorl from the geniuses at DESIGN WITHIN REACH. $1,890,

6. Make tasty treats over the campfire with ROME INDUSTRIES’ sturdy cast iron Double Pie Iron. $32,


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Kolbe Windows & Doors leads the industry with innovative products that push the boundaries and defy the limits of function, performance and style. Contact Old Mission Windows, northern Michigan’s premier window and door supplier since 1985, to schedule a personal design consultation today.

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Beachy Keen

Take the casual, lakeside feel indoors Styled by Jamie Fabbri 1. VERELLEN’s Olive Nesting Coffee Table (walnut, deadflat finish, shown here) has a cool, retro vibe. $2,640$4,155, Chatham House Lifestyle Gallery, Bay Harbor, chathamhouseinteriordesign. com. 2. The Cantina 6-Light TriSpreader LED Pendant by SONNEMAN – A Way of Light adds a modern touch. $3,400, Kendall Electric, Grand Rapids,, 36 3. Bring the beach inside with KRAVET’s Mimi Shell Chandelier. To the Trade, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy,, 4. This KRAVET mirror is upholstered in Brunschwig and Fils’ Les Touches Aqua. To the Trade, Kravet/Lee Jofa/ Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan

Design Center, Troy, kravet. com, 5. Derived from palm leaves, ARTERIORS’ Hari Sculpture has an organic aesthetic. Lighting Resource Studio, Michigan Design Center, Troy,,

to the casual luxury of living by the water (shown in Coral Island). $130-$150/roll, Windows Walls & More, West Bloomfield, windowsandwalls. com, 7. Go nautical with ORIGINAL BTC’s weatherproof Ship’s Well Glass Light. $689,

6. Water’s Edge by YORK WALLCOVERINGS speaks


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Left: With a new entryway, the cottage instantly welcomes. Below: The charming living room features pretty blues that echo the outdoors.

Just Right

An updated small cottage in northeast Michigan is big on appeal By Megan Swoyer | Photography By Jeff Garland


ucked away on northeast Michigan’s Little Island Lake sits an enchanting updated cottage where fresh, watery blues (on both the exterior and indoors) mingle with peaceful neutral hues, all absorbing Mother Nature’s gorgeous surroundings through several windows. “It was a plain brown cottage, both inside and out,” recalls interior designer Denise Seifferlein, of d’avignon interiors in Clarkston. She was called on by the homeowners, who live in Lake Orion, to transform their cottage, about 15 minutes west of Tawas City in National City, into an inviting getaway 38


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at which family and friends would be extremely comfortable. “My husband wanted a small, nice house that’s turnkey,” the wife says. She explains that she her husband purchased the cottage in the mid-1990s and started the transformation about five years ago. “Denise (Seifferlein) is awesome. She figures out her clients’ personalities, and that’s hard to do,” the homeowner shares. Indeed, the designer whipped the nondescript brown bungalow into the beauty it is today, while retaining all of its endearing qualities. High-end came in the way of fabrics and upholstery, because the homeowner is a top-notch seamstress and quilter. “We had an upholstered headboard made for the master bedroom, and all window treatments and throw pillows were custom-made,” Seifferlein says. “After all, the wife is very motivated by beautiful fabric, so that was a given.” In fact, the design’s jumping-off point came from specific fabric patterns, from the blues in the main living space to the eclectic oranges and blues in the guest bedroom. The rest of the home was furnished modestly. “The family had owned the place for years, enjoying it for snowmobiling and boating, but now with their son grown, they wanted to use it for entertaining their own friends. (They) wanted a nice getaway that made them feel good, like a happy place,” Seifferlein says. She worked with a local contractor to increase the height and square footage in the living space, and added more windows to “bring the outdoors in.” She also added a front entryway. “Before, there was just a door that opened to the driveway; now there’s more of an entryway. It gives it presence.” Small-cottage owners and designers are often some of the first to discover that luxurious appointments don’t equate with the perfect getaway. “The goal for the (Little Island Lake) cottage wasn’t to bring in high-end things, but to create a space that maintains that cozy feel the homeowners wanted,” Seifferlein says. She stresses that to maintain the carefree nature of a small cottage, aim for function first and then beauty. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Above: Small-space smarts include using kitchen seating that can be easily moved to other areas for double duty. Right: Harbor Gray wall paint complements the Battleship Gray cabinetry in the powder room.


For example, Seifferlein says, “We only put rugs in the bedrooms, so there’s a cozy spot for feet when getting out of bed, but the rest of the flooring is a light, maintenance-free, engineered wood that doesn’t show dust and is easy to clean.” In addition, the blue denim-look fabric chosen for the sofa evokes a casual feel and is easy to maintain. “The biggest issue in small spaces is storage, but we built that in, in the way of a pantry and a utility room.” The design team brought in as much natural light as possible with the installation of several windows and a doorwall that leads to a deck with a beautiful lake view beyond. “Furniture that’s easily movable can do double duty in smaller homes, like ottomans or kitchen seating that has a couple of wicker chairs. Things can be moved to wherever you need to use them,” she says. “Also, a small desk between twin


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Clockwise from left: A desk in the guest room does double duty as a nightstand. A charming vignette exudes serenity. Simple furnishings in the master bedroom create a peaceful feeling.

beds can be a desk, but it also can replace nightstands, which take up space.” She’s also one to skip heavy drapery. “Consider just window shades for privacy, and keep those colors light,” Seifferlein suggests. “I like the idea of small, more intimate getaways,” Seifferlein says. “It’s a cozy, cocoon kind of thing.” She’s worked on all different sizes of projects, and says if she were designing a second home for herself and her husband, it wouldn’t be immense.


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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER Denise Seifferlein, d’avignon interiors, Clarkston BATHROOM, POWDER ROOM Artwork – HomeGoods Cabinet – Dynasty, Puritan, Battleship Gray and Maple, Future Building & Construction Sales, Washington Countertop – Quartz Frosted Rhino, MGC Granite & Design, Warren Flooring – 12 x 24 Porcelain, Soul-Flow Gray, Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lighting, Sink – Minka-Lavery, Great Lakes Electric, Auburn Hills Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Harbor Gray BEDROOM, GUEST Accent Pillow – Upstream Aegean, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Artwork – Bedding, Bed Skirt – Custom, RoomDress; Farber Persimmon, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Bedding, Quilt – Pottery Barn Flooring – Smoked Whitewash with Oil Finish, Duchateau, Northern Wholesale Flooring, Lake Orion Lamp – White and Navy, Coastal Collection, Lamps Plus Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Soft Pumpkin Window Shade – White Lotus, Fiji Dimout, Hunter Douglas; Peter Maurer, Interior Services by Peter Maurer, Sterling Heights BEDROOM, MASTER Bed Frame – Custom, Sandie’s Stitchery, Ortonville; Richardson Spa, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Bedding – Pottery Barn Bedside Tables – Lexington Furniture, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Bedskirt – Custom, Roomdress; Richardson Spa, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Drapery – Roomdress; Natural, Giata, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy 42

Flooring – Duchateau, Northern Wholesale Flooring, Lake Orion Lamp – Turned Urn, Wildwood Rug – Wool Charcoal, Pottery Barn Vase – Nordlie, Flint Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Stratton Blue Window Shade – White Lotus, Fiji Dimout, Hunter Douglas; Peter Maurer, Interior Services by Peter Maurer, Sterling Heights DISPLAY CHEST Bird Figure – eBay Chest, Display – Pottery Barn Lamp – Antique Nickel Finish, 360 Lighting, Lamps Plus Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Stratton Blue DOOR, FRONT Building Materials – Evening Blue siding, James Hardie Light Fixture – Hinkley, Great Lakes Electric, Auburn Hills Manufacturer – JELD-WEN Masonry – Genesee Cut Stone & Marble Co., Grand Blanc Paint – Benjamin Moore, San Jose Blue Windows – JELD-WEN KITCHEN Appliances – General Electric Backsplash – Matte Gray, Ceramic, Olympia, Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy Cabinetry – Dynasty, Puritan, Oyster, Maple, Future Building & Construction Sales, Washington Chair Cushions – Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Countertop – Granite Azul Platino, MGC Granite & Design, Warren Flooring – Smoked Whitewash with Oil Finish, Duchateau, Northern Wholesale Flooring, Lake Orion Lighting, Sink Pendant – Hinkley, Great Lakes Electric, Auburn Hills Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Harbor Gray Window Shade – Hunter Douglas; Peter Maurer, Interior Services by Peter Maurer, Sterling Heights

LIVING ROOM Armchair, White – Julia Tub Chair, TCS Designs; Parchment, Hillman, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Artwork, Starfish – Basket, Decorative – Serena & Lily Flooring – Smoked Whitewash with Oil Finish, Duchateau, Northern Wholesale Flooring, Lake Orion Lighting – Distressed Iron and Wood, Cordoba, Hinkley, Great Lakes Electric, Auburn Hills Lighting, Floor Lamp – Bronze/Cream Shade, Shelburne, Quoizel Lighting, Lamp – Painted metal, Dana Gibson, One Kings Lane Lighting, Lantern – Polished Nickel with Rope Handle, Pottery Barn Pillow, Monogrammed – Number 411 Pillows, Accent – Aqua Blue, Waterloo, Kravet; Blue, Nautical, Duralee, Michigan Design Center, Troy Sofa – English Saddle Arm, TCS Designs; Cachet Denim, Pindler, Michigan Design

Above: The living room looks out to Little Island Lake and four seasons of changing beauty.

Center, Troy Stools, Patterned – Hourglass Stools, TCS Designs; Bayeux in Indigo, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Table, Dining – Harrison’s Coastal Living Collection, Universal Furniture Table, Occasional – Vanilla Bean, Mendocino, Somerset Bay Home Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Ozark Shadows Window Shades – Fence Post, Empire Screen Shades, Hunter Douglas; Peter Maurer, Interior Services by Peter Maurer, Sterling Heights ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTOR General Contractor – Randy White, RLW Design Build, Lake Orion


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Michigan’s Michigan’s history history extends extends beneath beneath the the beautiful beautiful surface... surface...

It’s It’s time time to to dive dive in. in.

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Restored Retreat Essential renovation maintains cottage traditions By Jeanine Matlow Photography by Lara Parent


fter countless visits to Michigan’s Harbor Country, Kirsten and Michael Young, from Western Springs, Ill., decided to invest in a second home in Sawyer. Their family enjoyed the house for almost two decades before severe weather got in their way. The Youngs had just flown to Puerto Rico for a vacation with their two kids when they got a call from a neighbor, who said he saw icicles coming out of their house. A broken pipe adjacent to an exterior wall had caused a leak, and the lower level took the brunt of the damage. “We use the home year-round, but we hadn’t been there for two weeks, and our neighbor had been on vacation, as well,” explains Kirsten, who runs Interior Blooms Design in Sawyer and Western Springs. An extensive renovation was soon in the works for the interior designer. Luckily for the Youngs, it led to a kitchen upgrade, with a bigger island and two dishwashers that come in handy for entertaining. “There’s a lot of space,” Kirsten says. “It’s a good layout for company.” The open-concept family room, living area, and dining area also get plenty of use. “For the most part, this is where we all hang out,” she says. “In the winter it’s cozy, and there’s a beautiful view when it’s


snowing.” The space opens to a screenedin porch that makes the room feel larger when the French doors are open. As a result of the leak, everything had to be replaced on the lower level. A bunkroom can now handle a whole family with bunkbeds, a trundle, and a queen-size bed. “It’s very comfortable. Five people can sleep in there,” Kirsten says. “For our daughter’s 16th birthday, she had a bunch of girls over and they all piled into the room. It’s fun.” A built-in bookcase that doubles as a desk was made by Kirsten’s late father. On

the wall, a watercolor by Peggy Taylor, an artist in Western Springs, was based on a photo of the Lake Michigan shore. Another piece of art came from a trip to Bald Head Island in North Carolina. “Anything personal, like photos or souvenirs from a vacation, are a great way to add character and charm and personality to your home,” Kirsten says. It’s a short walk up the hill and down 120 stairs to the beach from the couple’s A-frame house, which sits on the leeward side of the dunes. The overall design was a good compromise between the husband


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Both pages, clockwise from far left: An open floor plan features a dining area, kitchen, and family room. Furnishings are built to last and most have special meaning. “I like pieces that are going to last a long time and aren’t too trendy,” says homeowner/interior designer Kirsten Young.

and wife, with blue and yellow hues that speak to her beach aesthetic and warmer colors that satisfy his cabin vibe. “It was the blending of both of those looks,” she says. “Also, we’re in the woods, so I went with a cabin/cottagey feel.” Young knows how to give interiors a sense of timeless appeal. “I approach my clients’ homes the same way as my own,” she says. The designer notes that she also stays mindful of budget. “You want to pick things that you’re not going to want to change,” she says. “I like pieces that are MICHIGAN BlUE

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Left to right: The Youngs enjoy their cottage yearround and love the centerpiece fireplace. A built-in desk area in the bunk room comes in handy.


going to last a long time and aren’t too trendy, but are comfortable and family friendly.” She also mixes high and low price points, like custom bedding paired with pillows from T.J. Maxx and Home Goods. Kirsten says she scores charming secondhand finds from places like Poppy Hill Vintage in Three Oaks. “If you find something that you love, buy it,” she says. “It will work somewhere.” In her home, special pieces appear throughout — like the circle of friendship art in the entryway. “I thought it’s appropriate for a home where you often entertain friends,” Kirsten says. A light above the artwork makes it more of a focal point, while the bench below, made by her father,

adds another personal touch. A stacked stone fireplace with a live edge mantel highlights a piece of vintage art that reminds her of a dune. “I love finding treasures,” says Kirsten, who also treasures the memories made at their cottage near Lake Michigan. She says she fondly recalls the time relatives were visiting and everyone carried their stuff to the beach to sleep in tents. “A neighbor came and got us because severe storms were headed our way, so we hauled everything back up the 120 stairs and we camped out on the screened-in porch that night,” she says. “It didn’t rain a drop!” In any weather, seasonal activities are enjoyed by all. “In the winter, we go cross-country skiing,” Kirsten says. “This


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is a great place for bike rides, and the sunsets are (beautiful). We like hiking Warren Dunes, hosting friends and family for bonfires, and camping out on the beach.” Other adventures include looking for beach glass and biking to get ice cream. The family also enjoys visiting the local farmers market and getting donuts from a Swedish bakery in Harbert. Back in Illinois, they live in an old brick Colonial from the 1930s. “(The cottage has) a much more open floor plan that’s ideal for entertaining. I like that (our homes) both feel so different,” Kirsten says. “Everything here is very relaxed. Nothing is fragile. We hope everyone always finds it welcoming and inviting.”

Clockwise from above left: A lowerlevel bunk room is comfortable for all ages. A guest room features a vintage desk and chair from Poppy Hill Vintage in Three Oaks. The mirror in the bunk room defines a relaxed cottage look.


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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER Kirsten Young, Interior Blooms Design, Illinois and Sawyer, Mich., BUNK ROOM Armchair – Vintage; Upholstery, Kravet Fabric Artwork – Peggy Taylor Bedding – Crate & Barrel Blinds – Hunter Douglas, Whole Nine Yards, Lakeside Bunk Beds – Relics Furniture Co. Mirror – Ballard Designs Pillow, Textured – Crate & Barrel Shelving Unit – Custom, Douglas Fir Flooring Tray, Woven – West Elm Vase – West Elm Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Stonington Gray DINING/FAMILY ROOM AREAS Chairs, Dining – Custom, Byways Furniture Co. Chandelier – Tower Lighting Flooring – Douglas Fir Wood Floors; Chip Steffey Custom Homes, Sawyer Pillows, Accent – Danielle Oakey Shop Sofa – Kravet Furniture, The Merchandise Mart Table, Dining – Custom, Byways Furniture Co. Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Warm Sand FIREPLACE AREA Artwork – Lakeside Antiques, Lakeside Basket – Poppy Hill Vintage, Three Oaks Fireplace – Chip Steffey Custom Homes, Sawyer 48

Flooring – Douglas Fir Wood Floors; Chip Steffey Custom Homes, Sawyer Vase – Hobby Lobby FOYER Art Light – Visual Comfort, Tower Lighting Artwork – Garnet Hill Basket, Striped – West Elm Bench – Custom, Interior Blooms Design Flooring – Chip Steffey Custom Homes, Sawyer Pillow – Calico Corners Rug – HomeGoods GUEST ROOM Bedding – Pine Cone Hill, Annie Selke Chair, Desk – Poppy Hill Vintage, Three Oaks Desk – Vintage; Refinished in Benjamin Moore, Newburyport Blue Headboard – Custom, Interior Blooms Design Lamp – Pottery Barn Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Indian River KITCHEN Artwork, Photography – Michael Young Artwork, Still Life – Poppy Hill Vintage, Three Oaks Backsplash – Lilywork Artisan Tile, The Fine Line Cabinetry – Christopher Peacock Cabinetry, The Merchandise Mart Countertops – Taj Mahal Leathered Quartzite, Stonecutters Dishware – Sawyer Home & Garden Center, Sawyer Dutch Oven – Le Creuset Cookware Flooring – Douglas Fir Wood Floors; Chip Steffey Custom Homes, Sawyer

Lamp, Counter – Target Lighting – Tower Lighting Runner – Old New House Sink, Island – Julien Inc.; House of Rohl Faucet, ABT Electronics Storage Cabinet, Wine – Sub-Zero, ABT Electronics Stove – Wolf, ABT Electronics Tea Kettle – Chantal Teapot Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Warm Sand Wine Rack – Custom, Interior Blooms Design

Above: Upon entering the Young cottage, visitors feel right at home, thanks to an inviting foyer.


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View Master

Stunning vistas of Lake Macatawa — and nearby Lake Michigan — inspire the name and design of this Holland new-build By Khristi Zimmeth | Photography By Ashley Avila


omeowner Lisa DeBoer describes feeling “like I’m on a cruise ship” in the kitchen of the newly built waterfront residence near Holland that she shares with her husband, Randy. With views that look out over the blue expanse of Lake Macatawa, it’s not hard to understand why. Interior designer Kristi Carlson; TruKitchens’ senior designer, Todd Wiley; and Doug Butterworth of Creekside Companies took the idea one step further with the design of the kitchen itself, which features a bit of cruise ship dazzle in the form of a bright, shimmering backsplash that adds light and interest to the space’s darker cabinetry. “Lisa is definitely a glitzand-glamour girl,” Carlson says. “She likes to have a little pizazz.” Wiley, who designed the cabinetry throughout the DeBoers’ home and has worked on many others in the community, says the space — and particularly beneath the counter, which features Chilewich marine matting, an indestructible woven metallic mesh that looks like stainless

steel — has “great texture and sparkle.” Open to the main living area, the dramatic kitchen is just one of the many highlights of this stunning four-bedroom, 3,600-square-foot residence located in Point West, a luxury gated cottage and condominium community. The newly retired couple had looked for lake property for some time before deciding on Point West. “Part of the issue was that we were undecided between Lake Michigan and an inland lake,” Lisa explains. When they found the lot their home is built on, they knew it was the one. Nestled on a peninsula near Holland’s Big Red lighthouse, the development has Lake Michigan on one side and Lake Macatawa on the other. “It’s definitely the best of both worlds,” Lisa says. Inspired by the location, the homeowners even named the property Glendalough, a Gaelic word meaning “the valley between two lakes.” Carlson had worked with the DeBoers on previous homes and was involved even before ground was broken. The couple scooped up the prime lot when its original owner decided not to build, and gath-

ered team members that included architect Steve Hester of J. Visser Design, Carlson, Wiley, and builder Butterworth to help make their lakefront dream a reality. The lot came with a house plan and the team used the foundation footprint and some ideas from that plan. On the DeBoers’ wish list: an outdoor grilling deck, and a rooftop patio with screens, an indoor bar, and a bathroom. The home has a convenient outdoor shower and an elevator that serves four floors for easy accessibility. “The home was constructed with aging-in-place design,” Butterworth says. “It’s zero steps from the garage entry to every floor via the elevator.” Even with its great location and views, as well as a formidable project team, the narrow lot posed challenges. The solution was to build up, rather than out. “The small cluster lots led to some interesting design and construction challenges,” Butterworth says. “Creating 3,600-plus square feet of lake home vertically instead of horizontally led to creative uses of materials to adhere within setbacks and height encroachments. Blending modern materials

Opposite page: The homeowners’ wish list for their Lake Macatawa home included a rooftop patio, grilling deck, and more. 50


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Both pages: Many levels means many gathering spots. The top level is homeowner Lisa DeBoer’s favorite area. “It has everything we need.”


with hints of yesteryear cottage construction took some forethought.” Carlson agrees. “It can be difficult on these small lots to get enough square footage so you can comfortably host family and friends,” she says. Another challenge: working within the parameters set by the developer, which include aesthetic, environmental, and height restrictions. Architecturally,

all homes should have a “quintessential cottage feel,” she says, while not being too similar to others in the community. The designer’s goal was to provide the homeowners with a residence that was both distinctive and timeless, inside and out. “We celebrated their home’s proximity to the water but purposely avoided creating a ‘coastal theme park’ so often seen in


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lakeshore home design,” Carlson explains. Instead, they chose a soft, dreamy palette of blues, original art from local galleries, high-performance fabrics, and “pure transitional design,” she says, adding, “Ten years from now, there’s nothing that would date this home.” Carlson admits to being partial to the home’s fourth level, which she says is “ab-

solutely incredible, with the best views” in the area. Butterworth agrees. “The motorized screens, the tile floor, the countertop bar with an awning window, and the heaters provide this space with every need for every event Mother Nature sends,” he says. The homeowners take full advantage of the space, enjoying coffee on the deck in the morning and savoring cock-

tails in the evening. Not surprisingly, Lisa DeBoer also ranks the top level as her favorite. “It has everything we need,” she says. Overall, she says she and Randy have no regrets, and the house (makes them feel) like they’re on a permanent vacation. “We love it,” she says. “We’ve been really happy here.” MICHIGAN BLUE

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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNERS Kristi Carlson, Infinite Concepts, Grand Rapids, Todd Wiley, TruKitchens, Grand Rapids, BUILDER Doug Butterworth, Creekside Companies, Hudsonville, creeksidecompanies. com BATHROOM Cabinet – Metropolitan Door Style with Seagull Finish, Shiloh Cabinetry, TruKitchens, Grand Rapids Faucet – Pivotal Widespread Faucet, Polished Nickel, Delta Flooring – International Excelsior, Pebble Mirrors – Jacuzzi Single Oval Door, Aluminum Cabinet Mirror Shower Doors – Vos Glass, Grand Rapids Tile, Shower Accent – Legno Oakbrook Limestone Tile, Shower Mosaic – Field Tile, Royal Brown Dark Décor, Splendours Wall Treatment – DL Couch Colt Nesting, Metallic Vinyl Wallpaper – WJG Wallpapering BEDROOM Bed Frame – Caracole Bedding – Custom, Eastern Accents 54

Bench – Charleston Forge Chair, Armchair – Caracole Door, Sliding – 400 Window Series, Anderson Windows; Standale Lumber, Grandville Fan – Matthews Fan Co. Flooring – Aspire Waterfall, Dove, Stanton Carpet Lamps, Bedside – Silverleaf, Regina Andrew, Detroit, Wyandotte Tables, Bedside – Caracole Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Crushed Ice Wallpaper – Meridian, Twilight, Koroseal WJG Wallpapering KITCHEN/LIVING ROOM Backsplash – Subway Tile, Dark Stainless Steel Multi-Rounds, Splendours Bar Stools – Custom, Charleston Forge; Fabric, JF Performance Cabinetry – Statesville Door with Carbon Perimeter Finish, Shiloh Cabinetry, TruKitchens, Grand Rapids Cabinetry, Island – Square Flat Panel Door, Dovetail Gray Finish; Front Panel, Biofelt, Bougle, Sterling, Chilewich Ceiling Treatment (over sofa) – Kyrocraft, Coopersville Chairs, Armchairs – Norwalk Fireplace – Flame Center, Hudsonville Flooring – Handcrafted Maple, Ocean Gray Hardware – Modern Hardware Hood – Zephyr, Gerrit‘s Appliances, Wyoming Lighting (over sofa) – Regina Andrew, Detroit, Wyandotte Lighting, Bar – Avant Large Linear Pendant, Kelly Wearstler, Visual Comfort Lighting, Sink – Visual Comfort


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Both pages: Interior designer Kristi Carlson, TruKitchens’ Todd Wiley, and Doug Butterworth ofC reekside Companies created a kitchen that features a bit of cruise ship dazzle. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Shelving, Built-In – Creekside Companies, Hudsonville Sofa – Caracole Stove – Café Series, Gerrits Appliances, Wyoming Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Reflection Window Shades – Lafayette Interior Fashions, Creations by Carol, Byron Center LAUNDRY ROOM Cabinetry – Metro Door Style with Coastal Finish, Shiloh Cabinetry, TruKitchens, Grand Rapids Flooring – Foundry 26, Rail Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Egret White Washer and Dryer – LG, Gerrit’s Appliances, Wyoming

Snowbound Paver Work – Creative Brickscapes Inc., Kentwood Railing System – VertiCable, Standale Home Studio, Grand Rapids Screens – Phantom Screens Siding – Horizon Home Exteriors Inc., Zeeland Stain, Exterior – Charleston Forge, Raven Maple Windows – 400 Window Series, Andersen Windows; Standale Lumber, Grandville ADITIONAL CONTRIBUTOR Architect – Steve Hester, J. Visser Design, Grand Rapids

PATIO Awning – Custom, Creekside Companies, Hudsonville; Zeeland Architectural Components, Zeeland Backsplash, Bar – Aria, Burlap Bronzo Bar Stools, Outdoor – Charleston Forge Cabinets, Bar – Metro Door Style with Coastal Finish, Shiloh Cabinetry, TruKitchens, Grand Rapids Countertops, Bar – Concrete, Iron Mountain, Hard Topix Cushions – Brown Jordan Heating System – Infratech, Infrared Heaters Pillows, Accent – Brown Jordan Seating, Outdoor – Pasadena Collection, Versailles, Brown Jordan Table, Outdoor Coffee – Pasadena Collection, Versailles, Brown Jordan Table, Outdoor End – Pasadena Collection, Versailles, Brown Jordan EXTERIOR Awning, Exterior Bar – Custom, Creekside Companies, Hudsonville; Architectural Components, Zeeland Awning, Heating – Infratech, Infrared Heaters Decking – TimberTech, Legacy Espresso Grooved, Standale Lumber, Grandville Landscaping – Greenline Inc., Hudsonville Masonry – Ashfall Country Ledgestone, BBS Masonry Paint Color, Siding – Benjamin Moore, Museum Piece Paint Color, Trim – Sherwin-Williams,

Both pages clockwise, from upper left: The laundry room, master bath, and master bedroom utilize a relaxing, neutral palette. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Brighton Beauty Prairie-inspired residence’s design makes the most of water views By Khristi Zimmeth Photography by Beth Singer


Both pages: The 5,000-square-foot Prairie-inspired home suits the wooded, lakeside lot well.

oo good to pass by.” That was the opinion of the owner of this new build on Brighton Lake in Brighton when the breathtaking lot the house now sits on became available in 2018. Architects John and Donna VanBrouck, of Birmingham’s VanBrouck & Associates, live nearby and, like many of his neighbors, John had had his eye on the property for a number of years. “It’s a beautiful lot with towering pine trees on a bit of a peninsula sticking out into the lake,” he explains. He goes on to describe Brighton Lake as “an idyllic Michigan inland lake,” adding that because it’s a conservancy lake with no power boats allowed, it’s also peaceful and eco-friendly, and features a number of picturesque and wooded lots. VanBrouck worked with the homeowner and interior designer, Amanda Sinistaj of Ellwood Interiors, on the three-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot project. Sinistaj walked the property early in the process and was inspired by its beauty, agreeing that the lakefront lot was “definitely the best spot on the lake, with water on three sides.” The homeowner, a water lover, relished the opportunity to build the lakefront home of his dreams, the designer explains. Besides taking full advantage of the views, he envisioned a distinctive residence with “clean lines, low maintenance, and a slightly less fussy (than his last house) but still detailed design,” she says. VanBrouck calls the resulting award-winning design Contemporary Prairie, and says it pays homage to the original style made popular by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright. “True Prairie can be pretty dark,” he adds, explaining that the updated design drew on Prairie themes including strong horizontal lines, vertical stone elements, and the use of glass, metal, and wood. Nods to the architectural tradition can be found throughout the house, from its metal and wood components to the transom-topped windows in all of the rooms, and the emphasis that was placed on employing local craftspeople. Like the Prairie style’s original practitioners, the Brighton Lake house also emphasizes an intrinsic connection to the landscape through organic shapes and textures, and a warm color palMICHIGAN BLUE

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Both pages, clockwise from above: The study, kitchen, foyer, and living room all sport a warm color palette with several natural elements.

ette. “Natural elements were very important throughout,” Sinistaj says. “The house sits very beautifully on the lot, and has a woodsy vibe.” Walking into the home, visitors are treated to a watery panorama featuring a dramatic infinity pool, which is seen through the open-concept living room. The living room’s palette of gray, white, and sand tones gives the space a pleasing tranquility, says the designer, who reinforced the serene vibe with landscape-themed art throughout the house. Blue tones also ribbon their way through the home.



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The living room is at the center of the floor plan, with the guest bedroom suite off to one side and the more private master suite on the other. “The bedroom is surrounded by windows, so the view really is everything,” contends the designer, who says it’s among her favorite areas in the house. The lake is also framed through a large window in the master bath’s tub area — a spot Sinistaj says would be the perfect perch for watching the sun set. “A glass of wine in that tub? Yes, please,” she says with a laugh. Another of the homeowner’s priorities was the inclusion of an exterior patio with lake access and an adjacent “big, beautiful” office that doubles as a den. He 62

wanted the office to open onto the large deck so he could enjoy the lake as much as possible, even when working from home. “He’s very active and is out on the lake all the time,” Sinistaj says, adding that regular kayaking and paddle-boarding allow him to take full advantage of his lakeside location. A lower walk-out level includes a family room, guest suite, and games area — not to mention more water views. The project took two years, says VanBrouck, who adds the team ultimately did justice to the site, the Prairie tradition, and the homeowner’s vision. “The house is the perfect marriage between architecture and interior design, and that’s rare.”


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Both pages: The master suite is a true respite, with excellent views and a lovely sitting area and bath.

“Natural elements were very important throughout. The house sits very beautifully on the lot, and has a woodsy vibe.” — Amanda Sinistaj


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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNERS Amanda Sinistaj and Valerie Dehnke, Ellwood Interiors, Birmingham, BEDROOM, MASTER Armchairs – Abingdon Chairs, Vanguard Furniture, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Artwork – Next Step Studio & Gallery, Ferndale Bed Frame – Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham; Foam N’ More, Troy Bedding – Legacy Home, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Bench – Mansfield Bench, Bernhardt, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy; Fabric, Weitzman, Emperor Fossil Blanket, Throw – Williams-Sonoma Chandelier – Cannele Chandelier, RH Flooring – Masland, Lynx Den, 238, Professional Rug Works, Troy Lighting, Bedside – Cannele Pendants, RH Pillows, Accent – Lez Riziere Pillows, Ryan Studio; Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Table, Glass – Triumph Drink Table, Charleston Forge, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Tables, Bedside – Jones End Table, Durango Finish, Vanguard Furniture, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy FOYER Ceiling Treatment – Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham; DC Studios, Taylor Flooring – Wide Plank White Oak, Everlast Floors, Troy Lighting, Ceiling – Apothecary 12 Chandelier, Hammerton Studio, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Rug – Transcend Rug, Jaipur Living, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Stools, Patterned – Foam N‘ More, Troy; Fabric, Jim Thompson, Makut – Ashes Table – Triumph Table, Charleston Forge, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham KITCHEN Backsplash – Tundra Tile, Virginia Tile, 64

Michigan Design Center, Troy Bar Stools – Stiletto Bar Stool, RJones, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Cabinets – Medallion, Vantage Construction Co., Brighton Countertop, Bar – Meltdown Glass Countertop, White – Bellem, Dwyer Marble and Stone Supply, Farmington Hills Flooring – Wide Plank White Oak, Everlast Floors, Troy Lighting, Bar – Lightspan OVO Pendants, Hammerton Studio, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Stove – Wolf Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Skyline Steel LIVING ROOM Armchairs – JB Loungechairs, Van Pursem, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham; Fabric, Pindler, Legacy Taupe Bench – Ardmore, Bernhardt, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Candleholders – West Elm Fireplace – Leatherized Eramosa, Ciot, Troy Flooring – Wide Plank White Oak, Everlast Floors, Troy Lighting, Ceiling – Carlyle Chandelier,

Hammerton Studio, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Rug – Scott Group Studio, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Shelving, Built-In – Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham; DC Studios, Taylor Sofa – JB Sofa, Van Peursem, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham; Fabric, Schumacher, Broadway Chanterelle Table, Coffee – RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Tables, End – Cooper End Table, Charleston Forge, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Skyline Steel STUDY Desk – Custom, Douglas Madaras, Ann Arbor Entertainment Stand – Custom, Douglas Madaras, Ann Arbor Flooring – Wide Plank White Oak, Everlast Floors, Troy Lighting, Ceiling – Aura Large Pendant in Dark Smoke, Hubbardton Forge Rug – Revelle Loop with Silk, Scott Group Studio Sofa – Hudson Sofa, American Leather, Ellwood Interiors Inc., Birmingham

Above: Water, water everywhere, from the serene infinity pool to Brighton Lake.

Table, Coffee – Tully Cocktail Table, Vanguard Furniture, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Skyline Steel EXTERIOR Brick – Glen-Gery, Urban Gray Exterior Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Caribou Woodscapes Pavers – Select Stone, Natural Cleft Bluestone Pool Floor – StoneScapes, Black Mini Pebble Pool Wet Tile – Oceanscapes, Blackies Blend Roof – Butcher & Butcher, Dark Bronze Stone – Select Stone Silver Quartzite, Dry-Stacked Windows – Marvin Windows, Bronze


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Photo Cedit: Oetman Construction, Inc.


Photo credit: Top Choice Builders, Fenton, MI

From farm house to lake house to your house, our real wood wall and ceiling planks create the perfect backdrop for your entertainment space. Explore the many color, style and profile options and find what inspires you at

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Fall’s Best Fruit

How do you like them (Michigan) apples? We like them plenty! By Honey Murray



Red, crimson, maroon, gold, pink, yellow, green: Bite into any one of these colors of fresh, Michigan apples and a sweet or tart, crisp or mellow taste and texture will immediately delight, refresh, and nourish. Archaeologists believe people have been eating apples since at least 6500 B.C., according to the Michigan Apple Committee ( Michiganders, meanwhile, have been growing sweet apples since the 1700s, and the state currently boasts more than 14.9 million apple trees and 775 apple farmers, with an average annual crop of 20 million apples. Michigan is the third-largest producer of apples, behind Washington and New York. Thanks to a great location, lake effects, moisture-rich soil, and four seasons, the state turns out superb crops. In her 2015 book, “Michigan Apples: History & Tradition” (American Palate), right, Michigan native Sharon Kegerreis shares these and other bites of knowledge about this crop and its impact on our state’s industry and on our personal, everyday eating experiences. For example, did you know Jesuit missionaries spread apple seeds in Detroit long before John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) traveled the Midwest?

These close-to-the-shore Michigan apple orchards and farm markets — some with wineries — are just a few of the more than 130 that are mapped and noted on the Michigan Apple Committee’s website. Apple Valley Orchard at 6480 Davis Rd. in Saginaw; 989-776-6820 Erie Orchards & Cider Mill at 1235 Erie Rd. in Erie; 734-848-4518; erieorchards. com Fox Barn Marketplace and Winery at 500 S. 18th Ave. in Shelby; 231-861-8050;

VARIETY IS THE SPICE Hundreds of apple varieties can be found in Michigan’s apple orchards, which offer everything from antique heirlooms like Cox’s Orange Pippin to the modern Ginger Gold, Gala, and Honeycrisp. Many of today’s popular apples are heritage varieties from the 1800s: McIntosh, Jonathan, Northern Spy, and Red Delicious. As a former restaurant owner (How About Lunch in Birmingham) and longtime food/recipe fan, I suggest crisp Gala and Braeburn apples. They make great apple crisp for last-minute company. 66

Gold Coast Farms at 6331 120th Ave. in Fennville; 616-834-2317; goldcoast-farms. com Knaebe’s Apple Farm & Ciderworks at 2621 S. Karsten Rd. in Rogers City; 989351-7868; McCallum’s Orchard & Cider Mill and Winery at 5697 Harris Rd. in Jeddo; 810-327-6394

Nye’s Apple Barn at 3151 Niles Rd. in Saint Joseph; 269-429-0496 Royal Farms Farm Market and Winery at 10445 U.S. 31 in Ellsworth; 231-5993222;

MY FAVORITE RECIPES THAT FEATURE APPLES RUSTIC APPLE GALETTE APPETIZER Serves 8-10 For the pastry: 1 ¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces 4-6 tablespoons ice water For the topping: 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup very thinly sliced red onion 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves 2 large Empire or other tart red apples halved, cored, and cut into very thin slices (2 cups) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 egg, beaten 3-4 ounces goat cheese Tip for Success For this recipe from her book, “The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook” (Storey Publishing), author Amelia Levin says: “During prep, tossing the apple slices, once cut, into lemon juice will prevent browning.” Prep For the pastry, combine the salt and flour in a medium bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until it’s the size of coarse crumbs. Drizzle four tablespoons of the ice water over the top and stir


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with a fork. Gently knead the mixture with your hands until the dough holds together. Shape into an oval disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, for the topping, melt the butter in a 10-inch, deep skillet over medium heat. Separate the onion slices into rings and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in one tablespoon of the thyme. Toss the apples with the lemon juice in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 14inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread the onion mixture in a 10-inch circle in the center of the dough. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the onions. Bring up the edges of the pastry, folding as you go and pressing over the filling to partially cover it. Brush the egg over the edges of the pastry (discard any remaining egg). Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and crumble the goat cheese over the exposed filling. Sprinkle the remaining ½ tablespoon thyme over the goat cheese. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature. Let’s Eat! “I came up with the idea for this sweet and savory appetizer after tasting tangy fresh chevre from Evergreen Lane Farm in Fennville (evergreenlanefarm. com) and sweet-tart Michigan apples together,” Levin says. “… the galette hits on all your senses.”


Serves 8-10 2 pounds of premium deli turkey breast,

be “just right” for having three or four pieces fit on the spoon or fork for tasting the flavors and textures together. Let’s Eat! This salad keeps beautifully, refrigerated, for four days and is an ideal entrée for a brunch or celebration buffet, possibly served with muffins or rolls and a spinach Mandarin salad (fresh, tossed, spinach salad with a slightly sweet vinaigrette dressing and topped with thinly sliced red onion, mandarin orange segments, and slivered almonds). At How About Lunch, the catering/ carryout restaurant I had in Birmingham for many years, this is something we served daily and was our most popular entrée for catered bridal and baby showers.

NUTTY-APPLE TUNA sliced to ½-inch thickness 6 medium to large apples: 2 Granny Smith; 4 Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp 3 ribs of celery 1 cup of drained pineapple tidbits 1 to 1 ½ cups mayonnaise (more or less, to desired consistency) ¼ cup lemon juice 1 tablespoon granulated sugar Prep Stir the lemon juice and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Chop the apples, unpeeled, and add them to the bowl, gently coating them in the lemon juice mixture. Drain off any extra juice. Dice the celery and gently stir it into the apple mixture. Add the pineapple tidbits. Cut the turkey breast into smaller-thanbite-sized cubes. Add to the bowl and gently mix. Add the mayonnaise in small portions, folding the ingredients in, until the salad is moist and everything is coated. You may need more or less mayonnaise, according to taste. Tip for Success When chopping the turkey and apples and dicing the celery, their size should

Serves 6 Five pouches of albacore or light tuna, 2.6-ounce size, or one 11-ounce pouch 1 Michigan red apple ½ cup crushed pineapple ¼ cup dark or golden raisins ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts 1 rib of celery 1 container, 7-ounce size, Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided ½ teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, if desired ½ teaspoon grated orange peel, if desired Prep Empty the tuna pouches into a mediumsized bowl and break up the tuna with a fork. Add one tablespoon of the lemon juice and mix it, with the fork, into the tuna. In another bowl, put the remaining two tablespoons of lemon juice and the sugar. Stir together. Chop the apple, unpeeled, into small (approximately ¼-inch) pieces. Toss the chopped apple into the lemon juice mixture and stir. Drain off the extra juice. Drain the pineapple well, and add it to the bowl containing the tuna. Also add the chopped apple mixture, the raisins, MICHIGAN BLUE

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Fa L L 2 0 21 | E N T E R Ta I N I N G aT H O M E

Rustic Apple Galette is a tasty treat come autumn. The recipe is included here and is from “The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook.”

the pecans, and the celery, diced small. Gently mix. Slowly blend in, by small spoonfuls, the yogurt until everything is coated and the mixture is a pleasing consistency. All of the yogurt might not be needed. If desired, add the cinnamon and grated orange peel. Tip for Success Add the yogurt by small spoonsful, slowly, to obtain the consistency that fits your taste. Let’s Eat! I must admit, my mom (and How About Lunch manager Darlene “Big Red” Longo) and I first discovered a fruited tuna years ago in what had been a local gallery that also had a lunch counter with freshly made, healthy, and extremely delicious sandwiches — including one similar to what became our own Nutty-Apple Tuna Pita. This can be made the day before and is wonderful in rolled or pita sandwiches or on croissants. It’s also delicious on a 68

bed of chopped, fresh greens, garnished with Michigan red apple slices.

ROSE STEFFENS’ APPLE CAKE 1 ²/³ cups flour 1 ¹/³ cups sugar ¼ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon cloves ¼ teaspoon allspice ¾ teaspoon salt ¹/³ cup shortening ¹/³ cup water 1 cup applesauce ¹/³ cup nuts, chopped ²/³ cups raisins 1 egg Prep Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan or a tube pan.

In a large bowl, mix the first eight ingredients. Then add the next six ingredients. Beat for two minutes and add the egg. Beat another two minutes. Bake for one hour. If using a tube pan, let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool the cake right-side up. Tip for Success “Make your own applesauce,” says Sharon Kegerreis, author of the book “Michigan Apples: History & Tradition” (American Palate), which includes this recipe by Sharon Steffens, owner of Steffens Orchard Market of Sparta, Mich. “Cook down apples — like Cortland, McIntosh, or Paula Red — with a little fresh cider or water. Puree for a smooth blend.” Let’s Eat! If desired, top slices of this cake with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


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FA L L 2 0 21 | C H E R R Y C O U N T R Y F U N

Both arms of Grand Traverse Bay and Boardman Lake border Traverse City.

A Pretty Great Place Traverse City’s four-season charms extend well beyond the region’s sweeping shorelines and panoramic vistas


dent/CEO of Traverse City Tourism. “We have all the amenities that guests seek: championship golf designed by the greats of the game; more than 40 wineries with world-class wines for sipping; diverse and unique restaurants; spas for pampering; one-of-a-kind shopping; water parks for kids; sand dunes to climb; trails for hiking and biking; and plenty of beaches where you can get away from the crowds,” he adds. Downtown Traverse City’s tree-lined streets showcase more than 150 shops including retail stores and a wonderful mix of coffee shops, bookstores, yummy restaurants, and other fun attractions. “Diversity is the key to the dining scene,” Tkach says. “This is a foodie town. Area restaurants have a strong reputation for fine dining, brew pubs have great food combined with craft beer, and folks looking for just a great, juicy burger have many places from which to choose. The choices have expanded from American cuisine to include Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian, and so many others.” A Favorite: Drive north on M-37

through the middle of Old Mission Peninsula. At the tip, explore Mission Point Lighthouse and its nautical history, take a swim at the beach, or walk along a trail. Venture off M-37 on the way back and stop at a few of wineries for tastings or tours. “Traverse City has truly become a four-season destination, and the experience changes based on the season. Wintertime brings an interest in downhill and cross-country skiing. People also flock to the snowmobile trails. Fall has great interest in the changing leaf colors and visits to the wineries and farmers markets. The springtime is all about viewing the cherry and fruit blossoms,” Tkach explains. The following stories share more examples of why this magnetism helps the Cherry Capital consistently rank among the top travel destinations in the Midwest and beyond. I’m ready to head north again!

PLAN IT! Traverse City Tourism



he deep waters of Grand Traverse Bay’s two majestic arms have a way of luring travelers into that hypnotic, laid-back northern Michigan getaway state of mind. The 32-mile-long basin, split by Old Mission Peninsula and flanked on the west by the Leelanau Peninsula, plays a major role in attracting fun-seekers to this four-season Lake Michigan water wonderland, which includes scenic, wide-open spaces with stunning panoramic vistas. It seems everyone wants to vacation around the charms of Traverse City. Don’t you? The region stands out as a prime example of how natural resources, effective marketing campaigns, and decades’ worth of word-of-mouth recommendations have transformed it into a tourism success story. And even with all that booming activity, visitors don’t seem to mind, as they keep coming back for more. “Traverse City is defined by its natural resources. Lake Michigan, the Grand Traverse Bays, and our many lakes and rivers beckon visitors,” says Trevor Tkach, presi-

Stories by Ron Garbinski


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Take Your Pick of 41 Wineries The Traverse Wine Coast serves up award-winning tastes, spirited flavors, and amazing landscapes


raverse City continues to flourish as one of America’s premier wine-growing regions, and friends often tell me it’s difficult to decide on which winery to visit, which vintages to sample, and which new distilled spirits to try. They’re all tough choices, but that’s part of what makes a Cherry Capital getaway so appealing. “The Traverse Wine Coast no longer is a fledgling wine region with up-and-coming aspirations. It has arrived,” says Gabe Marzonie, marketing director for Leelanau Cellars, which sends 350,000 cases of wine annually to locations in 26 states. “With major media outlets proclaiming the region as a top-five wine destination, and our internationally acclaimed wines bringing home prestigious awards for quality and creation, our wine coast is not only known for the high-quality wines we grow and produce, but also for everything else that goes with it — a beautiful region, one of the top foodie towns, and our outdoor recreation,” he says. Visitors to the Traverse Wine Coast can sample goodies at 41 wineries dotting both the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas. Together, these establishments produce more than 60 percent of all Michigan-made wines. The wine coast has become a distinguishable brand and major economic driver over the past 40 years, Marzonie explains. Local wineries produce “exceptionally well-balanced white and red wines that are fruit-forward, crisp, and clean, with bright finishes that pair perfectly with foods of all styles.” Adding to their appeal, many wineries now offer brandies and spirits, as well, says Sherri Campbell Fenton, managing owner of Black Star Farms and president of the Traverse Wine Coast association.

“We’re enjoying an increase in boutique distilleries. Our northern climate, which grapes thrive in, is also well-suited for wheat, corn, and barley — the basic ingredients for whiskey and vodka. Add in the cherries and other fruits grown up here, and now you have a variety of spirits available,” she says. Many wineries offer spectacular water and rural landscape views from outdoor patios, and some even have hiking trails, equestrian options, special gardens, inns, and outdoor fun. “The wine and spirits scene adds another dimension to the entire Up North experience. From the gorgeous, sweeping vineyards dominating the landscape to the fruit orchards that have been here for generations, they all add a taste of the region,” Fenton explains. “They complement the farm-to-table restaurant theme, and really complete the experience for visitors.” Black Star Updates: Fenton says Black Star is having fun in both its tasting rooms on Sundays by featuring mimosas, bellinis, and bloody Marys made from wines and spirits. “Our fruit-based brandies are generally known as eau de vie-style spirits, a staple in some European countries. We’ve produced brandies from the best local cherries, pears, plums, raspberries, and grapes since 1999. Our barrel-aged brandies spend three to 10 years in French and American oak barrels.” The Inn at Black Star Farms offers guests an outdoor adventure that includes biking the Leelanau Peninsula, a Grand Traverse Bay waterfront picnic, and an option to paddleboard or kayak, all before returning to the inn for a nightly hospitality hour with wine and hors d’oeuvres. Fenton’s Area Favorites: “I love to go to places that offer something unique, whether it’s the surroundings or views,

Black Star Farms (above) includes an inn and two tasting rooms. The vineyards of Leelanau Cellars (below) are part of the gorgeous Lake Michigan/ Leelanau Peninsula scenery.


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Culture Showcase

and it has to have good wine. My favorite wineries that check those boxes are Mari, Chateau Chantal, 2 Lads, Brys, Bowers Harbor, Shady Lane, Rove, and, of course, Black Star Farms,” she says. “Wineries have a special way of making even the novice wine drinker an enthusiast. Several local wineries (Brys Estate, Black Star Farms, Chateau Chantal) offer estate tours accompanied by a dedicated tasting experience. This provides an opportunity for guests with all levels of knowledge to learn more about the region’s uniqueness, as well as the individual wineries’ stories.” Fenton believes comments from recent participants in her winery’s tastings best sum up a Traverse Wine Coast getaway: “We’ve done tours in Napa, Calif. — this was way better!” New at Leelanau Cellars: Its retail online store now ships to 25 states. This fall, guests will enjoy the facility’s new 48-foot bar, overlooking a Lake Michigan marina. Leelanau Cellars launches its Wine Club in September, and will provide customers direct-to-their-door quarterly shipments of wines. “Sweet or dry, fruity or bubbly, bottle or can, we have a little something for everyone,” says Marzonie, who’s also a Traverse Wine Coast board member. — RG

PLAN IT! Traverse Wine Coast 72

raverse City’s art scene blossomed again last summer, and residents anticipate a fun fall after a long COVIDinduced hibernation. “We’re looking forward to the return of movies at the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay late this summer or early fall. It’s been hard to see this landmark in our downtown shuttered over the past year and a half,” says Katy McCain, director of community development for the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority. “We brought back our Art Fair series this summer, which was a great way to celebrate local artisans,” she adds. The Holiday Light Parade and Tree Lighting Celebration should return in November. McCain’s excited about two major projects the Traverse City Arts Commission will complete this year. “The ‘Union’ Mural Project will have two sets of murals painted on Union Street businesses. This project is the first step in what we hope

Dewitt Godfrey’s banded steel sculpture, “Enspire,” enhances the downtown artscape.

will be a yearly event, with multiple murals being added,” she says. The Art on the TART Tenth Street Trailhead project should be completed by early fall. “Traverse City has theater, an extensive public art collection, wonderful galleries, and great exhibits at the Crooked Tree Arts Center and the Dennos Museum Center,” she boasts. “Visitors are often surprised by the numerous galleries and arts locations around town. “The Old Town Playhouse produces some amazing theater and has numerous performances showcasing many genres each season. The City Opera House attracts popular national and international acts. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the most historically beautiful venues in the state,” McCain says. — RG



Visual treasures welcome back visitors


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Interlochen Arts Festival performances are hosted in the 4,000-seat Kresge Auditorium.

An Arts Oasis



Interlochen celebrates with concerts, classes, and more

he Interlochen Center for the Arts always rated as a special place when I’ve visited Traverse City. While many friends considered it just a music camp south of town, I’d counter with stories about how it’s so much more! “A much-anticipated northern Michigan tradition, the summer Interlochen Arts Festival has brought top-tier performers to Interlochen’s wooded campus since 1964,” says Katharine Laidlaw, vice president for strategic communications and engagement. The festival’s 2021 marquee of major artists included Harry Connick Jr., country star Jake Owen, and Chicago. Lots of other talented performances, concerts, plays, and musicals featuring Interlochen’s top student ensembles also are part of the Arts Festival, and open to the public. “In recent years the festival has attracted audiences of more than 130,000 patrons annually, making it one of the largest arts festivals in northern Michigan. Festival

events in the summer are primarily hosted at Kresge Auditorium, a 4,000-seat outdoor venue on the shores of scenic Green Lake,” Laidlaw adds. The center also includes the Interlochen Arts Academy, one of the nation’s premier arts boarding schools; Interlochen Online, a leader in virtual arts education; and Interlochen Public Radio, which operates classical music and news stations. Each summer, Arts Camp draws thousands of young artists ages 8 to 18 from around the world who are seeking to expand their skills in music, theater, dance, creative writing, visual arts, and film. Something for You: The Interlochen College of Creative Arts offers year-round lifelong learning programs for adults, including lectures, workshops, and seminars in music, visual art, fiber arts, creative writing, theater, media, and more. Accomplished professional artists lead intensive, hands-on courses that range in length from an hour to a month. This fall, Laidlaw says Interlochen

“will celebrate a momentous milestone” with the opening of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow House, a lakeside convertible residence hall with guest artist suites. It’s part of an ambitious campus master plan developed more than 30 years ago by Sasaki Associates. That plan has helped to guide 16 other major campus improvement projects since 1990, including dedicated state-of-the-art “homes” for each arts discipline, such as a newly opened Music Center and lakeside Dance Center. “Northern Michigan offers a rich cultural scene amid a stunning setting that draws some of the most celebrated and exciting artists to our region,” Laidlaw says. “It’s not surprising that for the second year in a row, the Arts Vibrancy Index released by Southern Methodist University named Traverse City among the country’s most vibrant arts communities.” — RG


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FA L L 2 0 21 | C H E R R Y C O U N T R Y F U N

Noted author Alice Walker (right) discusses her work in poetry and prose during a National Writers Series appearance.

Live From TC


fter a long run of hosting events virtually because of pandemic restrictions, the National Writers Series (NWS) anticipates returning to the City Opera House with in-person programs for the fall season. The fascinating series brings worldclass book authors and readers together to discuss their works and more during individual sessions. On tap this fall are a mix of authors covering topics ranging from thriller to young adult to memoir. “We’re thrilled to be returning to live events,” says Jillian Manning, executive director of the series. “Perhaps the most exciting news is that we’ll be livestreaming our in-person fall events, so no matter where people are, they can tune in and experience an incredible conversation. “The pandemic actually helped us 74

not just embrace the ‘national’ part of our name, but it also added international viewers to our audience. We’ve had people tune in from 40 different states, and countries such as England and Switzerland.” Since its launch in 2010, NWS has hosted more than 200 authors and a live audience exceeding 68,000 book lovers. “We’re a one-of-a-kind organization that connects readers across our community. We bring world-renowned authors to our corner of Michigan — a place they may never have appeared for a book event, unless they really loved cherries! Those authors get up on the stage and shareenjoy stories Runners about their books, theirthewriting forestedprocess, trails Marquette and their lives in waysaround you don’t see at that are other venues. It’s engaging andavailable intimate to outdoor and inspiring all at once,” Manning says. enthusiasts. “The biggest — and best — change we’ve made in the past five years is to

make a concerted effort to showcase diverse voices. Northern Michigan is a rather homogenous region in terms of race and religion, and NWS has worked hard to introduce folks to different voices and perspectives,” she adds. “I can’t tell you how many people tell me ‘I would never have known about this author’ or ‘I learned something new from this book’ after an event. Part of our mission is to create a deeper understanding of issues and ways of life that exist within and outside of our rural boundaries.” Any Recent Highlights? “Our summer program had such a wide range of books featured — environmental essays, a romantic beach read, an antiracism memoir, an Agatha Christie-worthy mystery, a powerful coming-of-age novel, and an inspiring leadership book. We were virtual for all but our event with John U. Bacon,


Inspiring National Writers Series goes global and expands its reach with readers


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author of ‘Let Them Lead,’ which was our first event back at the Opera House. That was certainly a highlight for all of us.” Any Fun Partnerships? “Another shining moment was our conversation with Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of ‘Braiding Sweetgrass.’ We partnered with so many amazing organizations to bring that event to life: Michigan Humanities (a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), FLOW (For Love of Water), the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, and The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park. That’s an amazing group of people who came together around a book, and we had nearly 700 people sign up to attend the virtual talk.” Upcoming Favorites? “It’s hard to say.There are so many amazing authors in our lineup! One that stands out is Anthony Doerr, who is perhaps one of the bestselling authors of our lifetime and is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’ He has a new book out in September called ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land,’ and he’s visiting our series on Oct. 14.” Favorite No. 2? “We have Pam Houston, whose memoir ‘Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country’ is about how the natural world can heal us after trauma, and Mary Roach, author of ‘Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law,’ a lighthearted look at the sometimes-fraught relationships between humans and wildlife.” Any Tips? “The most magic happens when you’re in the room at the beautiful Opera House. Nothing can replace the laughter or gasps of the crowd, the energy you can feel radiating from the stage. With technology we now can bring the conversation to you wherever you are,” Manning says. That means you can be anywhere — on your couch, enjoying dinner, savoring a glass of wine, or lounging poolside — as you watch the livestream. — RG


Hilltop Retreat

Grand Traverse Resort leads the list of comfy getaways


ith 550 guest rooms and three famed golf courses, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa ranks high on my list of getaway destinations because it has so much to offer in such an amazing patch of Michigan. The good news is that since mid-April, business and leisure travel occupancy levels have continued to rebound, and the resort doesn’t expect that pace to slow down. Through the later part of COVID-19 restrictions, “we continued to grow in both offerings and with business levels. While our business model shifted from corporate events and meetings to leisure travel in 2020, we’re back to hosting and booking large conferences and events, while also staying busy with leisure guests who have recently discovered the area and the resort,” reports Caroline Rizzo, the facility’s PR manager. “Golf continues to be a huge area for us,” she says. “We saw historic golf numbers in 2020 and are, shockingly, breaking

some of those records in the 2021 season. The pandemic brought a lot of new golfers and people to the area. “Something new for us this year is the completion of our nearly $3-million meeting space renovation,” she continues. “The Michigan Ballroom, our 10,000-squarefoot lobby ballroom, was the final area to be renovated with state-of-the-art amenities for events such as weddings, conventions, conferences, and group meetings.” Rizzo says The Den, which opened in early 2020, is flourishing as an entertainment hub for the city with an escape room, boutique mini-bowling, arcade games, a full bar and restaurant, plus Traverse City’s first two axe-throwing lanes. It’s open to the public and is a great place for families, group events, or special parties. “We truly have something for everyone. You won’t find a more inclusive property in Traverse City,” Rizzo says. — RG


Grand Traverse Resort and Spa features 550 guest rooms and three championship golf courses.


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The Traverse City region offers more than 100 miles of fourseason trails for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

Exploring on Foot or by Bike


rom this outdoor lover’s perspective, a wonderful way to explore Traverse City’s lake country bounty is by venturing out on a bike or by foot on the area’s trail network. “The trails and in-town cycling and pedestrian infrastructure connect people to all the places they want to go — downtown restaurants and shopping, beaches, parks, breweries, wineries, and nature,” says Kate Lewis, community engagement manager for the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails. “Looking to go farther than your legs want to peddle? Take your bike on the local Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) bus to explore nearby villages such as Glen Arbor, Suttons Bay, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Visiting in winter? The Vasa Pathway, Leelanau


Trail, and Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail are groomed for cold-weather activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing,” she adds. “TART Trails hosts nine different trails and one cross-town route within the TART Trails Network. Over the past 20 years, we’ve been able to build nearly 100 miles of community trails; our goal is to double that over the next 20 years. There are so many impactful projects on the horizon,” Lewis reports. All of the routes within the TART Trails Network are non-motorized, and many are paved, multiuse Runners trails. Most enjoyare suitable for families andthe individuals of all forested trails around Marquette ages and experience levels. that proud are available “On the east side, we’re to conto outdoor tribute to the management of the Vasa enthusiasts. Pathway, a collection of dirt trails primarily used for mountain biking, running and

hiking in the summer, and cross-country skiing in the winter,” Lewis says. “The new Vasa Bike Park (aka Vasa Skillz) is a must-ride,” she continues. “Two one-mile, single-track loops have been completed and feature elements such as jumps, table tops, berms, and rock gardens designed to help people advance their mountain biking skills. A BMX jump line was recently added to the mix. In the winter, connect to the Vasa Pathway for world-class cross-country skiing or the Winter Sports Singletrack for fat biking.” A natural surface trail located south of downtown is the Boardman River Trail, ideal for backpacking, bike camping, trail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and birding. When the last section of the Boardman Lake Loop is completed next year, the trail will showcase the region’s natu-


A growing trail network spokes out in various tangents for fun and adventure


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ral, cultural, and recreational resources, and will feature public art installations. What’s Next? “The Nakwema Trailway will connect the TART Trail network in Traverse City to the Top of Michigan Trails network in Charlevoix, creating a 325-plus-mile, non-motorized network in northern Michigan. The first segment of the trail, the Acme Connector, is slated to break ground this fall,” Lewis says. Looking into the future, TART Trails envision a network that takes outdoor enthusiasts to destinations such as Kalkaska, Fife Lake, Kingsley, Interlochen, Lake Ann, and beyond. Favorite Route No. 1: Lewis recommends experiencing the local goods, food, and beverages along the Leelanau Trail. “It’s 17 miles of relatively flat, paved trail that was once a rail line between Traverse City and Suttons Bay. It hosts a quiet landscape through meadows, woods, and orchards, with a few fun stops along the way — such as the historic potato barn (great photo opp) and Leelanau Peninsula wineries. Groomed in the winter for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking, it truly is a four-season trail destination,” she says. “Some of our favorite stops along the trail include Hop Lot in Suttons Bay, which has plentiful outdoor seating, great food, and awesome local brews. Shady Lane Cellars, Mawby, and Black Star Farms are just a few of the beautiful wineries located right off the trail.” Adventure No. 2: The 20-mile Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has something for all ages. It connects Empire and Glen Arbor, and meanders through the Dune Climb, Glen Haven (don’t miss the Maritime Museum), the D.H. Day Campground, and the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. It passes lots of great beaches, plus it’s groomed for cross-country skiing, Lewis says. — RG


Destination Highlights Suggestions to round out your visit

Fun Tips: “Try a zipline, kayak the Boardman River rapids, mountain bike the Pere Marquette State Forest, or take a hot air balloon ride. Groups can take sailing or boat cruises in Grand Traverse Bay, or they can fish the deep waters of Lake Michigan. If you love baseball, there’s nothing like a Pit Spitters game at the Turtle Creek Stadium. Traverse City was named one of best top 10 small towns in the country for its craft beer scene by USA Today readers.” — Trevor Tkach, TC Tourism Art Beat: “When you’re downtown, you’ll come across dozens of murals and sculptures that add vibrancy and delight to the experience. If it’s raining, visit The Dennos Museum Center. Check out the interactive map on the website of the Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Network. It connects you to the creative communities all across northern Michigan.” — Katy McCain, TC Downtown Development Authority Tour Time: “One of my favorites is a tour at the Grand Traverse Commons, formerly known as the Traverse City State Hospital. The tour guides are out of this world, and you get to explore the beautiful grounds, old buildings, and shops throughout the property. Our two amazing downtown bookstores — Horizon Books and Brilliant Books — have incredible selections and staff.” — Jillian Manning, National Writers Series Must-Dos: “See the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (voted by viewers of ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ as the Most Beautiful Place in America) and travel along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, or hike up the dunes climb. Spend time at the beach and put your toes into Lake Michigan. Watch a sunset at the Frankfort Beach.” — Trevor Tkach, TC Tourism Get Tough: “Check out the Nov. 6 Iceman Cometh race, the biggest single-day mountain bike race in the nation. Follow the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike As-

sociation for info on even more mountain bike events.” — Kate Lewis, TART Trails Lay Back: “You need two days here to do it any justice. I definitely recommend some serious exploration outside of downtown TC. Drive up Old Mission Peninsula to enjoy incredible vistas and wineries with styles ranging from a former farm market to an ultra-modern tasting room and an Italian villa. Dine on the water’s edge. I also recommend exploring the Leelanau Peninsula — its rural, relaxing vibe is intoxicating during all seasons.” — Sherri Campbell Fenton, Black Star Farms Road Trip: “An M-22 driving tour is what northern Michigan is all about. The tree-lined road hugs West Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. Along the route stop in Suttons Bay, Northport, Glen Lake, Leland, and Frankfort. Each town has its own charm. For example, Suttons Bay has a vibrant art scene and Leland reflects its deep history, which gives it the moniker of Fishtown.” — Trevor Tkach, TC Tourism

Stunning views abound at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, voted one of the most beautiful places in America.


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Sit Back and Relax Boat tours offer a splashy way to soak up the stunning fall colors of Michigan’s water wonderland


By Dianna Stampfler

here’s something magical about drifting along a scenic waterway under a canopy of branches adorned with colorful leaves on a fall day in Michigan. That adventure became a dream come true for Capt. Jason Rollings, who launched Cruise Leelanau in late 2020. An artist by trade, Rollings made his first visit to Leland, west of Traverse City, after graduating from high school in Brighton. There, he helpd his parents build a summer home. “I was hooked,” he says. “I went away to college (studying fine art at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida) and tried Chicago for a while, but Leelanau always calls me back.” In addition to skippering the 21-foot Duffy electric cruiser named A Lake Trick, Rollings designs and crafts custom furniture and functional


art from reclaimed materials. While his 2014 vessel is relatively new, its design is based on the type of coal-fired steam or diesel engine launches that operated around Michigan rivers and lakes — including Lake Leelanau, from Cedar to Leland — at the turn of the 20th century. “After seeing pictures of these old boats 15 or so years ago, I thought what a cool and fun thing it would be to restore one and take people on tours,” says Rollings, who received his captain’s license from the U.S. Captain’s Training school in Traverse City. “It was actually my uncle, Jeff Rollings, who told me about the Duffy boats as an alternative to the old vessels. He loved my idea of doing lake tours, so he became my silent partner. I credit him with helping me make this dream a reality.”


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Fall delivers a different experience along the Leland River and Lake Leelanau, thanks to less boat traffic, cooler temperatures, and a spectrum of color amplified by the reflections on the water. With its electric motor, A Lake Trick leaves so little wake it barely creates a ripple effect in the water as it moves up and down the river. “I had a larger group that came out on a particularly chilly day, and they brought blankets and had what they called their ‘slumber party on the lake.’ They’ve scheduled again this year and plan on making it an annual trip,” Rollings relays. “There’s no better compliment than to see people have a great time and come back again.” While Rollings says he shares some area history with passengers, it’s not what one would consider a guided tour. “It’s definitely more of a sit-back-and-enjoy type of trip,” he says. From May through October (weather permitting), Rollings motors the eight-passenger boat along the Leland River — formerly known as the Carp River — into north Lake Leelanau, while guests relax and take in the natural surroundings. “We toured with Jason last fall for our anniversary,” says Chuck Valleau, of Suttons Bay. “Colors were near peak for the quiet, sunset tour. The river is lovely, and

while there was a south wind that kept us from venturing far into the lake, Jason skillfully toured us along shore in the protected corner of north Lake Leelanau.” Whether celebrating a special occasion or just enjoying the day, every excursion aboard A Lake Trick is a memorable one. Rollings says guests are invited — even encouraged — to turn the trip into a floating dinner party by picking up appetizers, takeout meals, and/or desserts at one of the downtown eateries, along with a bottle or two of wine from nearby Verterra Winery (or one of the nearly 20 other wineries along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail). Cruise Leelanau operates from the dock next to the Bluebird Restaurant and Tavern in downtown Leland, across M-22 from historic Fishtown and Lake Michigan. Trips take about 90 minutes, cost $50 per person, and run on a seasonal schedule. Small dogs are allowed on the trips, although guests are asked to bring a blanket or mat for them to lay on, to protect the boat’s vinyl seats. River Rambling Sternwheel paddleboats offer another enjoyable river cruising experience, reminiscent of Mississippi River excursions. • The double-decker red, white, and blue-painted AuSable River Queen is the only such boat operating in northern Michigan, traversing the waters of the famed Au Sable River’s Foote Basin along the River Road National Scenic Byway near Oscoda. A heated lower deck, snack bar, and live music on weekends make this a popular Iosco County destination not far from Lake Huron. Trips last about two hours. • The Star of Saugatuck paddleboat offers trips along the Kalamazoo River, and down the Lake Michigan shore. • Along the Grand River — the longest river in Michigan, at

This page: The Detroit Princess paddlewheeler (left) explores the sights along the Detroit River. The Grand Lady Riverboat (right) cruises the Grand River from Jenison. Opposite page: Jason Rollings’ Cruise Leelanau tours local lakes and rivers from its home base in Leland.


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where passengers enjoy views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, skylines. Setting Sail For those seeking a fall sailing experience, the tall shis Appledore in Bay City and Manitou in Traverse City fit the bill. • Autumn color tours aboard the 85-foot Appledore — complete with warm apple cider and fresh donuts — transport passengers from downtown Bay City up the Saginaw River toward Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, at the tip of Michigan’s thumb. • The Manitou offers windjammer trips throughout September


252 miles — several sternwheel excursion options are available, including The Grand Lady Riverboat in Jenison (with two identical stern paddlewheels), The Michigan Princess Riverboat in Lansing (a replica of a 19th century steamboat), and The Grand Princess Riverboat in Grand Ledge. • Paddlewheel boats also operate in Frankenmuth, on the Frankenmuth River (Bavarian Belle Riverboat), and in Detroit, along the Detroit River (Detroit Princess), MICHIGAN BLUE

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and early October in Grand Traverse Bay, aboard a 114-foot replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. Overnight capacity for these three- and four-day trips is 24 passengers in 12 double cabins.


Big-Lake Thrills A handful of boating options out on the Great Lakes are also available into the fall season, weather permitting. • In Munising, Pictured Rocks Cruises offers unparalleled trips on Lake Superior, just as it has for more than 50 years. Visitors cruise past Grand Island and its 1868 East Channel Lighthouse, and out along the towering sandstone cliffs the area is named after (Pictured Rocks became the first National Lakeshore in the U.S. in 1966). The Classic Cruise, Spray Falls Cruise, and Sunset Spray Falls Cruise are all offered until mid-October. • In the Straits of Mackinac, the Ugly Anne takes passengers under the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge aboard a onetime lobster boat purchased from a shipyard in Maine. Aboard the Mackinaw City & Mackinac Bridge History Cruise, guests learn the history of the shipwrecks found deep in the chilly waters where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron converge. • Sip and Sail fun awaits passengers who can sign up for everything from Sunset to History to Craft Beer cruises aboard the Isle Royale Queen III as it plies the Straits of Mackinac. “The advantages of boating in the fall are many,” says Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “Fall offers amazing displays of color, and the treeline reflection on the water doubles the view. Also, the angle of the sun at that time of year creates a glistening on the water that’s magical. The cool air paired with the warm sun is my favorite.”

Above: The tall ship Manitou plies Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. Right: Ugly Anne cruises from Mackinaw City take passengers under the Mackinac Bridge.


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88 Read all about Grinning Bear Lodge and its inviting fire pit area inside this section.

86 Tasting Room Saugatuck Brewing Co. expands to three locations, with lots of innovative flavors.

88 Book It In Gaylord, a Treetops Resort-area cabin-for-rent in the woods reflects the founder’s outdoor flair.

92 Discoveries With Lake Michigan getaway options galore, Ludington’s a popular four-season waterfront destination. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Saugatuck Brewing Co. Now with three west Michigan locations, an ambitious beermaker expands its quest to develop innovative new flavors


new beer’s creators can also choose the name and design a specialized label for the bottles or cans. Brew on Premise was an immediate success; its limited-run productions have been used for family gatherings, wedding parties, corporate retreats, and other events. SBC is known for its special brews, and its flavors — such as Blueberry Maple Stout, which tastes like pancakes, or Neapolitan Milk Stout, with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry — often sell out immediately upon release. Many of the company’s innovative flavors come from staff meetings, where new ideas are often thrown around for all to critique. “Our Blueberry Lemonade Shandy was an idea tossed out in the boardroom,” says sales director Michael Biddick. “Now it’s one of our most popular flavors.” SBC maintains a stable of mainstay brews, adding two seasonal options and a variety of specialty flavors to its lineup throughout the year. Regularly available flavors include local favorite Oval Beach Blonde, the award-winning Bonfire Brown, and creamy, rich Neapolitan Milk Stout. “Now we do a blood orange Oval Beach Blonde, which has been really popular for us,” social media manager Robert Antor says. “I feel like the orange comes out in a natural way, not too sugary or sweet.” In 2019, with its popularity continuing to grow, SBC decided to expand and merged with Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing in Kalamazoo to create SBC Kalamazoo. The merger increased SBC’s footprint, giving it new exposure and a larger circle of clientele. This year, SBC expanded again by acquiring Creston Brewery, which had been an up-and-coming brewpub in

Opposite page: It’s all about the beer and keeping customers happy at the Saugatuck Brewing Co.’s production facility and pub in Douglas.

Grand Rapids when the pandemic shut down restaurants and bars. The closure strangled the sale of kegs and, like many breweries, Creston never recovered from the drastic reduction in sales. “We saw an opportunity to expand into the Grand Rapids market,” Antor says. “Creston was well-loved by the community, and it’s been fun to save it.” SBC also intends to launch an ambitious sour program this year, with new brews expected to hit the shelves in 2022. The barrel-aged creations will include flavors such as mango lime sour, which is slated to be the first off the production line. With three locations, a variety of popular beers that span a broad spectrum of tastes and styles, and great food to tie everything together, Saugatuck Brewing Co. has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Whether stopping by the original location or one of its new destinations, visitors will find everything from smooth IPAs and bold, dark beers to unique flavors such as the ever-popular Blueberry Lemonade Shandy, which is available on tap in the bar or in 6- and 12-packs sold on-site.

PLAN IT! Saugatuck Brewing Co.



nique, bold, and sour — Saugatuck Brewing Co. brings it all. In 2005, after international travel exposed salesman Barry Johnson to beer variations worldwide, he decided to leave his career and open a brewery. Following his dream, he started a new company in a modest storage building with a small-barrel brewing system. Saugatuck Brewing Co., or SBC as it’s locally known, quickly developed a strong following for its innovative flavors, and Johnson soon outgrew his small facility. In 2008, he moved operations directly across the street to the brewery’s current 25,000-square-foot home on the south end of Douglas, near Saugatuck. The site provided SBC with enough room to add a pub and kitchen offering sandwiches and finger foods. Johnson retired in 2009, passing control to experienced hospitality industry professional and current CEO, Ric Gillete, who fueled SBC’s rising popularity. He expanded the kitchen to provide a wider variety of entrées and appetizers, including Three Pigs Grinders, a Crispy Shrimp Po’ Boy, and a Bavarian Jumbo Pretzel appetizer with SBC’s own beer cheese dip. SBC’s inventive thinking also drove the company’s decision to put its old 3.5barrel system back to work. The team installed the copper kettles at one end of the bar and dining room, and offered customers the opportunity to create their own, personalized beer flavors. Through a process known as Brew on Premise, customers can work with brewery staff to create unique flavors, which are then brought to life in the smaller brewing system. The

By Chuck Warren


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Touring Grinning Bear The legacy of Treetops Resort’s founder lives on in a woodsy Gaylord-area cabin-for-rent

By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Jeff Garland | Styled by Birch Design Associates


hen Harry Melling decided to build a hotel, and what are today recognized as some of the most beautiful golf courses in northern Michigan, he stayed in a home that was close to the course. That was the early 1980s, and after renovating the home and enjoying it with his family until the late 1990s, Melling purchased a house on a lake nearby. Meanwhile, Treetops Resort (formerly tiny Sylvan Knob) came to life with gorgeous golf holes (now 81!) and ski hills that stretch up and down the rolling Gaylord terrain. In some areas, you can stand and look out over the tops of trees to the vast beauty of the Pigeon River valley beyond (thus the inspiration for the name, Treetops). Today Melling’s daughter, Michelle McShane, and siblings Mark and Matt, as well as thousands upon thousands of vacationers, still enjoy the stamp Melling made on this treasured area. The old home the clan once stayed in while their dad, who died in 1999, developed Treetops still stands, and it’s been renovated once again — this time as a vacation rental. The overhaul began in 2019 and was completed in 2020. If you’re looking for a quiet, quintessential northern Michigan retreat surrounded by super tall hardwoods, plenty of big sky, and challenging golf and ski opportunities, this is the place. In fact, says Treetops General Manager Barry Owens (the resort rents the property), “it’s adjacent to a ski slope, so you can ski in and ski out to and from the property. You can literally go outside, walk a short distance, strap on your board or skis, and head to the slopes.” Owens says those who rent the cottage 88


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Grinning Bear Lodge has been lovingly restored by the original owners’ family. It’s now available to rent.


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get the best of two worlds. “You’re not far from the resort, but it’s your own private cottage in the woods,” he says. “Secondly, it’s a neat, older home, and the Melling family has done a wonderful job bringing it up to today’s standards, making it very comfortable.” “It wasn’t in the best of shape when we started working on it,” McShane says of the home, which was built in the mid1960s. “It was like, ‘Are we going to keep it or bring it back to life?’ It’s such a beautiful setting and has such good bones and a lot of history for our family, so we said we’ll keep it.” The family decided to name the cottage Grinning Bear Lodge. McShane, who lives in Commerce Township and oversaw the renovations, says the name comes from the fact that, sure, while there are bears in beautiful Otsego County, the “grinning” adjective is key. “It reminds me of my dad. He was quiet, not a man of many words. But 90

he would grin. He would find humor in things, quietly.” Visitors will find a touch of “grinning bear” on the shutters, which feature bear silhouette cut-outs. The multilevel cabin can sleep about 20. “We wanted it to be practical and comfortable for ski families and golf groups,” McShane says. That comfort is the result of an eclectic combination of furnishings and accents, including a small nod to the Mid-century Modern aesthetic “because of when it was originally built,” she says. “We also tried to keep some of the character, like the cedar ceilings in parts of the house.” When it came to color, she chose teals and blues to complement the wood. “It has an Up North, woodsy feel,” she says. “I wanted something brighter and fresher than, say, hunter green, which blends in with the outdoors.” New plumbing, new air conditioners for the bedrooms, reno-

vated bathrooms, a new kitchen, plus a lot of painting went into the makeover. “The exterior design has a bit of the Alpine look of downtown Gaylord, which is known as the Alpine village,” McShane says. Outdoors in the back area, along an expansive tree line, she says an inviting fire pit is a top attraction. “It made sense to create a spot that people can enjoy outside. We’re all about bonfires and s’moremaking. I knew we needed to have the bonfire area.” McShane found a craftsman near Gaylord who custom-made several Adirondack chairs for the fire pit area. The backs of the chairs are shaped like the state of Michigan. “And now I hear they’ve ordered 60 for the resort and added the Treetops logo,” McShane says. Just inside, in the lower level, there’s a foosball table, card area, and bar. “We call it the game room,” McShane says. “There’s a fireplace in that room, too.”


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B O O K I T | Fa l l 2 0 21

Both pages, clockwise from far left: The great room, kitchen, lower-level game room, and fire pit area welcome guests with plenty of space and great views.

Thinking of her father and his remarkable impact on the area, McShane says he’d be thrilled that they were able to keep the cabin, renovate it, and rent it out so others can enjoy the amazing surrounds. “Our 4-year-old granddaughter will come this winter and she’ll learn to ski here. Dad would be happy.”

PLAN IT! Book Grinning Bear Lodge through Treetops Resort, 989-732-6711. Check regularly for information on upcoming fall events and specials.


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9/7/21 10:10 AM

Fa l l 2 0 21 | D I S C O V E R I E S

This page: The legendary S.S. Badger car and passenger ferry glides into its Ludington home base. Opposite page: The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum focuses on local history.

An historic ferry, a stellar state park, and a thriving downtown invite visitors to enjoy down-home hospitality in Ludington


fire truck ladder stretched out over Ludington’s channel at the end of Ferry Street was the first thing that caught our attention. Then we noticed a crowd of onlookers gathered along the waterfront walkway. “I see a big boat,” said my companion, a boat aficionado and experienced captain who was driving us back to our motel after dinner so we could walk the city’s pier and watch a Lake Michigan sunset. As we stopped to join the festivities, firefighters turned on the hose and shot water into the sky as locals cheered and waved. 92

By Marla R. Miller The S.S. Badger, the city’s legendary attraction, cruised by, blasting her whistle at the crowd on her maiden 2021 voyage into the Port of Ludington last May. It was an accidental discovery for me, but sometimes those are the best kind. The S.S. Badger, a floating National Historic Landmark and the last coal-fired car ferry operating in the country, is a point of pride for Ludington. The historic ship, with a capacity of 600 passengers and 180 vehicles, makes daily four-hour, 60-mile trips across Lake Michigan (the fall season runs through Oct. 10) between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis.

For many travelers, the massive ferry offers a relaxing shortcut that connects U.S. 10 in Michigan (departing at 9 a.m.) with U.S. 10 in Wisconsin (departing at 2 p.m. CST). Admiring the 410-foot-long, sevenstory ship, either aboard or on shore, is just the tip of the iceberg of things to see and do in this coastal community that’s rich in maritime and lumbering history. Ludington State Park is a vacation within itself. As one of the busiest such parks in Michigan, a visitor could easily stay there for a week and do something different each day. The 5,400-acre park features miles of inviting, sandy beachfront on both Lake


Legends of the Lake


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Michigan and Hamlin Lake, which dominates the eastern flank of the park. It’s also a hot spot for camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. Fun nearby outings include tubing on the Big Sable River or hiking to Big Sable Point Lighthouse, which is open for tours until Oct. 24. The park is part of a former lumbering village and one-time home to Camp Ludington, where members of the Civilian Conservation Corps lived while they built roads, campsites, and other structures in the 1930s. Several original shelters still remain. “It’s like you have all of these different ecosystems so close together in the park, and even on a busy day, you can feel like you’re the only human out there (because it’s so big),” says photographer and Ludington native Brad Reed, who runs a gallery downtown with his father, Todd. “It’s a photographer’s paradise, really.” The options of camping at the state park or staying downtown present two vastly different worlds. There are several small motel options, plus historic B&Bs, within walking distance of Ludington’s waterfront, the city’s Stearns Park Beach, and the main shopping district. Most of the restaurants, bars, and stores are concentrated along Ludington Avenue and James Street in the city’s new Outdoor Social District, where you can enjoy alcoholic beverages within the designated area. I was thrilled to try my first gluten-freecrust pizza at the Ludington Bay Brewing Co., which also cans and distributes nine brews throughout Michigan. My next stop was the friendly Sportsman’s Restaurant & Bar, one of Ludington’s oldest dining establishments. This historic Irish-themed pub adjoins The Mitten Bar, which is another local treasure. We then headed toward the beach, making an impromptu stop to watch the Badger pulling back into port on her return voyage from Wisconsin. With low wind and a bright moon rising, it was a delightful evening to walk the pier while the sun set. That’s something I recommend every traveler puts on their Ludington to-do list. While strolling by the waterfront and passing the marinas on Pere Marquette Lake, the historical signs we encountered

along the channel which connects to Lake Michigan were another interesting feature. The Maritime Heritage Trail includes 13 different markers that share the history of Ludington for those who can’t visit the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, located in the former 1934 U.S. Coast Guard Station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can use a QR code or dial in (available through its website) to listen to a period-era character talk about the industry and location each sign describes. “Ludington has a vibrant maritime history and an equally vibrant and gorgeous waterfront,” says the museum’s executive director, Rebecca Berringer. “The Maritime Heritage Trail allows people both near and far to learn that we’re a community built out of the lumbering era with a deep connection to the shores of Lake Michigan and the flowing fields of Mason County.” Fall Tips: The Historic White Pine Village and museum is open through Oct. 23. A new Armistice Day Exhibit at the museum commemorates the Armistice Day Storm on Nov. 11, 1940, that killed 154 people on Lake Michigan.

A favorite stop was Waterfront Sculpture Park, a beautiful public park with bronze sculptures, two playgrounds, a band shell, and plenty of green space. As I enjoyed views of the marinas and the Ludington channel, I moved on to refuel with coffee from Red Rooster Coffee and tacos from The Q Smokehouse. Yum. I’m normally drawn to the big lake, but Waterfront Park is one of those places that can lift your spirits. It’s a great model for other communities that are trying to improve public access, and it’s a relaxing place to sit and soak up your surroundings. Because I live only an hour away, Ludington was one of those towns I usually passed on my travels up north. But this time, by venturing off my predictable route, I discovered in this four-season waterfront destination plenty of public access, a wonderful walkable city, affordable food and lodging, and lots of down-home hospitality.

PLAN IT! Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau,


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9/7/21 10:09 AM

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Fa l l 2 0 21 | P O S T C a R D

Child by the River

He felt like a kid again as he photographed waterfall beauty Text and Photo by Nick Irwin


his game of photography I play is great fun, primarily because it naturally encourages me to explore new places. New places lead to new experiences, and new experiences can sometimes trigger different emotions. If photo stops are like games, as I eluded, this stop was a winner! Bonanza Falls, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, truly made me feel like a kid again. I was smiling ear to ear while jumping on rocks in what was a combination of hopscotch and frogger, and my foot only slid into the river twice — albeit at the same dang spot! Moments before I took this photograph, I was standing on a flat, copperstained slate shelf looking at my reflection in the water below — the reflection of my 14-year-old self. Positioned above the wa96

terfall, as I watched the upstream current progress toward me, the water seemed to collect my thoughts, gently giving them a ride down the shoot. Those thoughts were my dreams, and I dream in reality — in part by embracing the present while admiring the past. As I watched my dreams float by, I noticed the grooves shaped into the stone. It made me wonder how many autumns it took for this river to make such a marvelous sculpture. Details like this can be easily overlooked but are extremely rewarding when you stop to notice them. Pause. Close your eyes. Inhale fall and exhale stress. Most importantly, take in your beautiful surroundings. After all, although moments like this don’t always last a long time, they can stay with us forever. If you embrace the magic of appreciation, the

appreciation of nature will bring you joy. This was just a stop along the way. I had small expectations, but ended up with a big reward. I found something while looking for nothing: I found my childhood by the river. P.S. Bonanza Falls, in Ontonagon County’s Porcupine Mountains, are easy to reach. They’re located on the Big Iron River, south of Silver City. Numerous natural pools and small drops invite exploration. To get there from Silver City, take M-64 south and follow the signs to the falls via a short gravel road on the west side of the highway. See more of Nick Irwin’s works at or on Instagram: irwin.nick.

PLAN IT! Porcupine Mountains


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Michigan Blue - Fall 2021  

Michigan Blue - Fall 2021  


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