Lifestyle Archives - Lakes and Grapes

Traverse City’s Top 8 Patios to Enjoy the Fall Color Tour

Traverse City’s Top 8 Patios to Enjoy the Fall Color Tour

It FINALLY feels like Fall and I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited! Fall is about bringing people together, enjoying the outdoors, discovering new places and indulging in the local wine, cider and beer scene.

With great color and Great Lakes views, it’s no question as to why hundreds of fall color chasers make their way to Traverse City for the annual color tour every year. Northern Michigan displays a spectacular colorful scenery, and there’s no better place to experience it than on a Traverse City patio with a view.  

From Old Mission Peninsula to Leelanau County, you’ll find the best patios to relax with a glass and enjoy the Fall color.

Check out the Top 8 Patios to Enjoy the Fall Color Tour


Bonobo Winery

12011 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Check out the Lakes and Grapes Bonobo Winery Guide

Traverse City Fall Color Tour

Traverse City Fall Color Tour

Hop Lot Brewery

658 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Hop Lot Brewery

Brys Estate

3309 Blue Water Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Check out the Lakes and Grapes Brys Estate Guide

Traverse City Fall Color

Brys Estate Winery and Vineyard

Rove Estate

7007 E Traverse Hwy, Traverse City, MI 49684

Traverse City Fall Color Tour

Traverse City Fall Color Tour

Suttons Bay Ciders

10530 E Hilltop Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Traverse City Fall Color Tour

Shady Lane Cellars

9580 E Shady Ln, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Traverse City Fall Color Tours

Chateau Grand Traverse

12239 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Traverse City Top Fall Patios

Mari Vineyards

8175 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Mari Vineyards


For more Fall adventures… follow along on Instagram!

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Traverse City 4th of July Guide

Traverse City 4th of July Guide

Star Spangled 4th of July

Traverse City 4th of July

There’s no shortage of 4th of July festivities when it comes to celebrating in Traverse City! With the summer’s biggest holiday around the corner, it’s time to enjoy all the activities that salute the nation and honor its history. From spectacular fireworks over West Bay, to lakefront concerts, beach parties and more, there’s no better place to celebrate the country’s independence in Michigan than Traverse City.

Traverse City 4th of July

Grab your friends, family, and sparklers, and turn up your USA-themed playlist, then head to one of these Northern Michigan 4th of July celebrations!

Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A


Witness the colorful Fireworks over West Bay

Traverse City 4th of July

Enjoy the Traverse City Boom Boom Club’s spectacular 4th of July firework display shot over West Bay beginning at dark! You’ll find great viewing from anywhere along the West Bay shoreline in Traverse City. Click here for more information.

Hit the Beach

The best part about Northern Michigan is its beaches. No salt, no sharks, and nothing but fresh water! If you’re looking for the biggest 4th of July gathering, head down to West End Beach or Clinch Park along the shores of Traverse City’s Open Space. Locals and visitors alike will claim their space on the beach, with boaters anchored nearby, creating a fun boat-to-shore social scene.

Adventure through the National Cherry Festival

Traverse City 4th of July

Each summer since 1968, Traverse City has celebrated one of its most famous and delicious goods: the cherry. The 2017 National Cherry Festival takes place July 1 through July 8, and it’s full of all sorts of fun – concerts along the bay, good eats, local wine and beer, athletic events, a spectacular air show and of course lots and lots of cherries. I highly suggest hitting up a concert, walking the midway, and topping of your evening at the beer tent.

Red, White & Wine – Take a wine tour Traverse City 4th of July

Michigan Wine Country

Happy Birthday America! Let’s raise a glass and toast to our history and accomplishments, and if you’re a wine drinker like myself, you’re going to be sipping on that TC local good stuff. Situated on the 45th parallel – just like France’s Bordeaux region, and Italy’s Piedmont region – Traverse City has quickly become a notable wine destination, boasting a variety of cool-climate wines that pair entirely well with the booming cuisine scene. Combine all of that with the beauty of Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau County, Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, the region’s wine scene will have you craving for more!

Check out a few of my recent winery visits: Bonobo Winery, Black Star Farms, 45 North, & Mari Vineyards. 

Hike the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes Pierce Stocking Drive

Let’s be honest, are we even in Michigan? Named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” on ABC’s Good Morning America, the Sleeping Bear Dunes encompass 65 miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan’s Eastern Coastline, with bluffs that tower over 450 feet, luscious forests, clear blue inland lakes, and breathtaking views. Escape the town and crowds, and enjoy the scenic ride and experience out to the area’s most beautiful spot. 

Hit up a Northern Michigan Brewery

Traverse City 4th of July

Here in Northern Michigan, we get to take our beer outside and enjoy it in cool places such as my favorite, Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay. There’s something enticing about getting to enjoy Northern Michigan’s charm with a good beer in hand, surrounded by your friends and family. Hop Lot’s Beer Garden has established itself as the ultimate Northern Michigan destination to embrace the local beer culture, while taking in the breathtaking outdoors.

ICE ICE BABY – Concert by the Bay

Traverse City 4th of July

With a venue like this, how can you pass up a Cherry Festival Concert. The 90’s Dance Party 2.0 featuring Vanilla Ice, All-4-One, and C & C Music Factory will be taking the stage along the Bay this 4th of July. Last year I was able to attend this one-of-a-kind dance party, and I can promise you that it’s a great time. Get your tickets here!

Eat a slice of Cherry Pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Co.

Traverse City 4th of July

A Traverse City 4th of July isn’t complete without a big slice of cherry pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Co. With two Traverse City locations, they make it easy for you to indulge on their cherry deliciousness.

Enjoy a cocktail and the amazing view on the rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo

Traverse City Cherry Festival

With a prime location, incredible views, and good drinks, The Hotel Indigo is a must-visit! The rooftop view lines up perfectly with the main stage of the Traverse City Cherry Festival, and the Lake in the background doesn’t hurt either. It’s the perfect destination to kick back and enjoy a nice sunset over the bay, while listening to the sights and sounds of the Cherry Festival.


Now that I’ve provided you with a fun-filled 4th of July, it’s your turn to get out and enjoy what Northern Michigan has to offer! Cheers and Happy Birthday America!

 

Follow along my 4th of July Adventures here!

Spring ‘Time’ with JORD Wood Watches

Spring ‘Time’ with JORD Wood Watches

The Perfect Northern Michigan Accessory

It finally feels like Spring in Northern Michigan, and I found the perfect accessory to pair it with — JORD Wood Watches. When I received my Frankie 35 Series Zebrawood & Champagne watch from JORD I was super excited! I love how unique these hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind wood watches are, and I’m slightly obsessed with JORD’s natural, sleek and modern design.

Made from 100% natural wood, JORD watches are easy to style and go well with anything. My JORD watch fits in perfectly with my Northern Michigan lifestyle. Whether I’m enjoying an evening out downtown Traverse City, wine tasting at a local vineyard, or hiking the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, I have found my JORD watch to accommodate every occasion.

JORD is run by artists, designers, marketers and minders who are focused on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. One of my favorite things about JORD Watches is that they are designed with sustainability in mind, and use a range of beautiful raw materials to craft each timepiece.

Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes

Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes


JORD Watch Giveaway

Great news guys! I’m working with JORD Watches on an awesome giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a $100 credit towards a JORD watch of their own! Also, just for entering the contest you’ll receive a $25 credit — awesome right?!

Enter the contest here!

Contest ends 8/31/2017 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!


Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes

Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes

Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes


JORD Watches are designed for people who don’t just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go.


Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes

Jord Watches Lakes and Grapes


Shop My Watch: Frankie 35 Series


JORD Watches Lakes and Grapes

Shop JORD Wood Watches: Women’s ShopMen’s Shop

 

Want your own JORD Watch. Enter to win a $100 credit here!

 

Watch Gift Ideas

Disclosure: JORD sent me the watch for free to try out. I only review products I believe in, that I would use myself, or think might be of interest to you. 

Traverse City Cider Tour

Traverse City Cider Tour

Northern Michigan’s Top Cider Destinations

While Traverse City and Leelanau County are predominantly known for their wine and beer scene, hard cider isn’t to far behind as a Michigan favorite. With the country’s third largest apple crop, Northern Michigan has emerged as an industry leader, and with warmer weather on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to tour the leading cider destinations in the area.  Whether you’re a local or traveler, no trip to the area would be complete without a visit to these Northern Michigan cider establishments.

Here’s a list of my favorite places around Traverse City to grab a glass of hard cider:


Traverse City

Taproot Cider House

300 E Front St #104, Traverse City, MI

With a prime location in the center of Downtown Traverse City, Taproot Cider House has become a Front Street favorite. With 17 ciders on tap, there’s a cider for everyone in the group to enjoy. What I enjoy most about this cider house is that it’s a true Northern Michigan establishment with a welcoming atmosphere! Taproot captures the essence of Northern Michigan, with accents of reclaimed wood from a big storm that hit Traverse City in August of 2015. Other features such as a physical taproot that was donated from a local orchard acts as the famous centerpiece behind the bar.

Taproot Cider House is known for supporting local farmers, distilleries, wineries, and craft breweries. Their earth to table concept features a food menu with a nice variety of local and organic produce. Let Taproot be your next downtown destination!

Lakes and Grapes Taproot Cider

Lakes and Grapes Taproot Cider

Lakes and Grapes Taproot Cider

Lakes and Grapes Taproot Cider House

Lakes and Grapes Taproot Cider House

Favorite Sips

Yes, I tasted all 17 ciders on tap, and here’s a list of my favorites!

House Dry

Taproot Blend (Aged in Bourbon Barrels)

Elderberry

Ginger Man

Lavender (Comes served with fresh lavender)

Totally Roasted

El Chavo (Most unique cider, and it was the server’s favorite!)


 Left Foot Charley

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, 806 Red Dr #100, Traverse City

The regions first urban winery located in the center of the historic Northern Michigan Asylum, now known as The Village Traverse Commons, offers a unique space that allows them to create wine and cider from vineyards and orchards around Traverse City. Left Foot Charley has a variety of wine and cider on hand, and is only a short drive from downtown Traverse City! Open until 9pm, think of Left Foot Charley during your next outing! Their patio is unbeatable in the summer months. 

Left Foot Charley

Left Foot Charley

Left foot charley

Favorite Sips

Cinnamon Girl

Henry’s Pippen

Perry


Leelanau Peninsula

Suttons Bay Ciders

10530 E Hilltop Rd, Suttons Bay, MI

With unparalleled views of Grand Traverse West Bay and a bar that looks out to Power Island, Suttons Bay Ciders is the optimal setting for a Northern Michigan Hard Cidery. Family owned and operated, Suttons Bay Ciders is located just a half mile off of M22, and offers the perfect cozy and laid-back atmosphere. My recommendation is to enjoy a nice sampler of all their ciders up at the bar, while taking in the pure Michigan sights.

Suttons Bay Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Suttons Bay Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Suttons Bay Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Suttons Bay Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Suttons Bay Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Favorite Sips

Power Island (A great dry cider)

Commodore Pear (Favorite pear cider in town!)

Highlander (Infused with lavender)

Hawkeye


Tandem Ciders

2055 N Setterbo Rd, Suttons Bay, MI

Make yourself at home, because Tandem Ciders is the ultimate local cider hangout. Found along a scenic country road in Leelanau County’s wine country, Tandem Ciders offers a variety of ciders that you can enjoy in the tasting room, or take to go. I recommend getting a flight, and taking home a growler of your choice to enjoy! Their highly popular “Smackintosh” cider is a crowd favorite.

Tandem Ciders - Lakes and Grapes

Tandem Ciders Lakes and Grapes

Lakes and Grapes Tandem Ciders

Lakes and Grapes Tandem Ciders

Favorite Sips

Dry Guy

Our Perry

Pretty Penny

Bees Dream (Honey infused)


45 North Vineyard & Winery

8580 E Horn Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI

Located right on the 45th parallel, this Northern Michigan winery has become a Leelanau Peninsula destination thanks to its variety of wine, casual atmosphere, outgoing staff, and of course their unique ciders. 45 North has been able to capitalize off of its distinct location as the driving force behind its approach to crafting world-class wines and ciders that represent the West Michigan wine and cider scene. Tucked between the woods, 45 North has a great Northern Michigan vibe. Stop in for a cider tasting, and pair it with their award-winning wine. You can even enjoy your taste from their horse saddle bar stools.

45 North Vineyard & Winery

45 North Vineyard & Winery

45 North Vineyard & Winery: Lakes and Grapes

Favorite Sips

Hard Cider

Citra Cider


Verterra Winery’s Chaos Ciders

103 E. River Street, Leland, MI

In addition to their wines, Veterra Winery’s sister project, Chaos Ciders makes a variety of hard ciders that are becoming a staple known to the Northern Michigan cider scene. Nestled in the town of Leland, their unique tasting room — which once was a barber shop/pool hall in 1927 — is one-of-a-kind.  Whether your tasting, grabbing a glass, or taking home a growler, Verterra is a great one stop shop for both cider and wine lovers.  When you do visit, be sure to ask for Lindy because she was absolutely wonderful! Lindy gave such an educational, yet enjoyable tasting experience and was full of knowledge!

Verterra Winery

Verterra Winery

Verterra Winery

Verterra Winery Lakes and Grapes

Favorite Sips

Hard Just Apple Cider (My favorite! It’s super light & smooth)

Raspberry (It’s like taking a step into summer)

Peach

Apple Pie (Only available in the fall, but I was able to steal a sip and it was delicious, and had a nice spice and aroma to it)


Chateau De Leelanau

5048 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI

For the cider drinkers with a sweeter palate, Chateau De Leelanau is the place for you. As you’re entering Leelanau County’s wine country, Chateau De Leelanau is an easy stop to hit with direct access off of M22.  Try one or all five of their ciders, and take a glass to enjoy outside on their patio. Their large tasting room is fully equipped to handle you and all your friends tasting needs!

Chateau De Leelanau

Chateau De Leelanau

Chateau De Leelanau

Chateau De Leelanau

Chateau De Leelanau

Favorite Sips

Oakee Dokee (Plain apple cider that’s been oaked)

Berry Bonanza (A nice cider infused with cherry)

Carmel Apple (Most popular)

Peach Fizz (Blend of Bianca Select & Riesling Select)

 


Old Mission Peninsula

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

2896 Bowers Harbor Rd, Traverse City MI

Situated halfway out on Old Mission Peninsula, with views overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, Bowers Harbor offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy wine and cider, while learning about the different varietals, and growing practices.  Whether you’re enjoying a glass on the patio, or tasting at the bar, the staff provides a fun, yet knowledgable experience. Their Apple cider was my favorite, however, Bowers Harbor’s cider list has a nice variety of seasonal tastes and flavors. Sipping on their Peach and Blueberry ciders were a nice taste of summer in the middle of winter.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Favorite Sips

Peach Apple

Blueberry Apple

Apple

 

Now it’s your turn to get out and try these local cider favorites!

CHEERS,

Abby

Follow on Instagram for more Lakes & Grapes Adventures

National Pie Day, January 23rd

National Pie Day, January 23rd

#NationalPieDay

 

Add pie to Monday’s menu. The American Pie Council turned an American tradition into a holiday that has become highly celebrated. A holiday that’s not to be confused with National Pi Day, January 23rd is a whole day created simply to celebrate pie. Whether you enjoy baking your own pie, or know of the perfect bakery, it’s a day set aside for eating pie…lots and lots of pie.

 The only way I know how to celebrate is by indulging in some of my favorite pies from the Grand Traverse Pie Company, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan. In honor of the holiday, GT Pie Shops will be giving away a free slice of Michigan fruit pie (Apple Crumb or Cherry Crumb) with any purchase.

Grand Traverse Pie Company is encouraging people to share their free pie photos with the hashtag #LovePeacePie via social media.

Grand Traverse Pie Company, National Pie Day

Grand Traverse Pie Company, National Pie Day

Grand Traverse Pie Company, National Pie Day

Grand Traverse Pie Company, National Pie Day

Grand Traverse Pie Company, National Pie Day

Pie is made for sharing! Treat your friends and family this holiday with pie from the best, the Grand Traverse Pie Company. National Pie Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in pie, as if we even needed one.

May your day be pie-filled!

CHEERS,

Abby

Donut Lover? Check out Peace, Love & Little Donuts

The 411 in the 231: Weekend Wine and Beer Fun

The 411 in the 231: Weekend Wine and Beer Fun

Weekend Wine & Beer Events & Deals

Despite the cold weather, and the endless amounts of snow we received over the week, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy what the Northern Michigan wine scene has to offer. If you’re on the hunt for weekend festivities, there are some awesome events happening in the wine and beer industry around the Traverse City area.

Here’s the 411 in the 231: (click on the links for more info)

January 13th: Wine & Game Night at Bonobo Winery

January 13th-14th: Roll Out the Barrels at The Workshop Brewing Company

January 13th: TC Celtic live music at Rove Estate

January 13th: Live Music by Jeff Brown at Left Foot Charley

January 14th: Winter Warm Up with the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula

January 14th: Winter WINEderland and live music at Bonobo Winery

January 14th: Turbo Pup live music at Short’s Brew Pub

January 14th: Live Music by Christopher Dark at Taproot Cider House

January 14th & 15th: Snowshoe Wines and Vines at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay

January 15th: Snowshoe Wine and Brew at Jolly Pumpkin

Lakes and Grapes Rove Estate

What’s Up Michigan Wine & Beer Deals

What’s Up Michigan is a great source for the best events and deals happening around Michigan daily. Here are a few of their current wine and beer deals to take advantage of.

(Click here to see all the coupons.)

Bonobo Winery – Cheese & Charcuterie Board with 2 Featured Tastings for $15. Expires 3/31/17

Aurora Cellars – 50% off a 2nd glass of wine. Expires 5/31/17

45 North Vineyard & Winery – $2 off a glass of wine. Expires 3/31/17

Shady Lane Cellars – $3 Wine Tasting. 3/31/17

Rove Estate Vineyard & Winery – Buy on get one free wine tasting, and 10% off retail purchases. Expires 3/31/17

Left Foot Charley – 25% off munchie menu item with purchase of wine or cider pour. Expires 3/31/17

Brew Bus – $75 off private tour. Expires 5/31/17

Bowers Harbor Vineyards – Buy 1 wine or hard cider tasting, get 1 free, plus 10% off wine & cider purchases. Expires 11/30/17

Grand Traverse Tours – 2 Wine Tour Guests for $99. Expires 3/31/17

Rare Bird Brewpub – 50% off Tacos. Expires 3/31/17

Hearth & Vine Cafe at Black Star Farms – Monday thru Thursday buy 1 wood-fired pizza, get the 2nd 1/2 off. Expires 3/31/17

The Workshop Brewing Co. – 4oz Tenpenny American-Style Ale for 10 pennies. Expires 3/31/17

Grand Traverse Distillery – $ 2 off any regular priced drink. Expires 3/31/2017

Taproot Cider House – 50% off Nachos. Expires 3/31/17

Enjoy your weekend fun!

xx,

Abby

Follow all of my adventures on Instagram @abbyclear

Local Lakes and Grapes Winery Guides:

45 North Vineyard and Winery

Bonobo Winery

Mari Vineyards

Peace, Love & Little Donuts – My Tasty New Obsession

Peace, Love & Little Donuts – My Tasty New Obsession

Peace, Love and Little Donuts

411 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI

Donuts are by far my favorite “happy carb,” and the moment I heard about the recently added donut shop to downtown Traverse City’s Front Street, I had to go check it out! Peace, Love & Little Donuts is one of the grooviest donut shops I have ever seen.  It’s a 1970’s inspired donut shop with a hippie vibe, and everything is made fresh throughout the day, and assembled right in front of you. They use the hippest ingredients, and offer a variety of flavors and toppings everyone will enjoy. Not to mention the donuts are so cute and little, you won’t feel bad about buying a dozen or two!

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

Customers can choose between three categories of donuts: Groovy, Far Out, and Funkadelic.

Groovy is any of their little donuts with Groovy toppings, such as: Cinnamon Sugar, Powered Sugar, Saigon Cinnamon, Ginger Sugar, Honey Glazed and Maple Sugar.

Far Out donuts are made with their Far Out frostings, such as: Vanilla, Chocolate, Maple, Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange, Banana, Lemon and a fan favorite Mocha.

My favorite, the Funkadelic little donuts have frosting, plus crazy toppings, such as: Fruity Pebbles, S’mores, Strawberry Cheesecake, Salted Caramel, Birthday Cake, and tons more!

Peace Love and Little Donuts Traverse City

I highly suggest taking their advice, and feeding your inner-hippie! These donuts taste just as good as they look, and you won’t be disappointed. From their welcoming staff, to their funky atmosphere and delicious creations, it’s a must-try in downtown Traverse City!

xoxo – Abby

Sunflower Heaven

Sunflower Heaven

After my Facebook’s homepage was flooded with images of a picturesque yellow field, my sister and I had to go check out all the hype behind this town attraction. Maple Bay Farm’s 11 acre property is currently filled with sunflowers in full bloom, and it’s the perfect fall outing!

a10Traverse City Sunflower Field

This is Lakes and Grapes

This is Lakes and Grapes

Hello and welcome to Lakes and Grapes, a place for me to share my passions in life. I started this blog as an outlet to capture all things lakes, grapes, travel, and Northern Michigan living. I am fortunate enough to call Traverse City my home, a town that is blessed with miles of Lake Michigan coastline, surrounded by a countryside full of vineyards and orchards.

It has been a longtime dream of mine to start a blog that is my own, and I’m excited to finally share it with you all.  I could not be more thrilled to see what the future holds as I embark on this new journey!

Thanks for stopping by Lakes and Grapes!

xx Abby

Abby Clear

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