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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Part 1 of our Michigan Vacation

Hello all! We returned from our Michigan vacation on Friday night, and now we have the weekend to relax at home and recover from all of the excitement and adventure we had the past week!

Today I'm sharing some of the highlights in Part 1 of my Michigan vacation post. It was so much fun and a whirlwind, and went way too fast!

On the way up to Michigan we stopped at a couple of places in Indiana, 3 Floyds Brewery and Indiana Dunes State Park. The brewery took up a lot of time, but it was one of Trent's favorite places, so he was pretty glad we stopped there. The Dunes were ok, but it looked like you had to hike to see most of the scenery, which we didn't have the time for.


The beach there looked awesome, though. It would be a fun spot for a little weekend getaway if you're nearby.

My favorite place along the way to our hotel in Traverse City was the Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, Michigan.


There was an awesome pier and lighthouse there, the Muskegon Pier Light. We happened to be here while the sun was setting, and it was the most gorgeous sunset! I was so glad we could stop and capture the moment here.


They ended up being some of my favorite photos from the whole trip!



We got to our hotel in Traverse City pretty late at night because of the few stops we made along the way, so we were pretty tired when we finally arrived. We had decided to stay in Traverse City because it looked like a fun place to spend a couple of days, and we wanted to see the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which is what we did the next day.

We spent most of the day at the Dunes. There are miles and miles of dunes and lakeshore, and you can drive along the Scenic Drive to various locations, park your car, get out, and see the views along the way.


There are also areas where you can hike to view the dunes, and you can even hike for miles on the dunes. One area we spent most of our time at was called the Dune Climb.


It's a really steep hill of just sand, that you climb up, and then have a pretty good view at the top.


Once you get to the top of the hill, you can continue to hike through the dunes. We hiked for a while. Some of it is uphill, and it's pretty strenuous. You kind of feel like you're in the middle of a desert!


We thought we would hike for a while and maybe reach the lake, but we ended up getting to a certain point and turning around, because it looked like it was still miles away, and we had already gotten quite the work out.


We decided to drive down to North Bar Lake after the Dune climb. Once you drive down and park there, it's just a short walk down to the beach area.


The shore and beach there were really pretty. It's definitely worth going down to check it out.


I didn't see any shells there, but there were tons of super polished rocks from the waves hitting the shore, so I kept a few to take back home. It was so relaxing after the strenuous dune hiking!


That night we got cleaned up and went out for a little night on the town downtown Traverse City. Trent was all about the brewpubs downtown, and we checked out both Mackinaw Brewing Company and The Workshop Brewing Company.

 

Trent enjoyed the beer in both, and I even had some too. We had a nice meal at Mackinaw Brewing, and watched a live band at The Workshop.


The National Cherry Festival was also going on downtown, so we checked that out, too. There were art and craft vendors, carnival rides, and you could pay to hang out in the beer tent, but we just walked along the Grand Traverse Bay and watched the sunset.


There was a band playing called Here Come the Mummies, who were pretty entertaining. There were also several vendors selling cherry themed food items. I'm not a huge cherry fan, but we did stop at a cool store there called Cherry Republic, which had everything from cherry wines, to cherry barbecue sauce, cherry jam, and cherry salsa. You could sample several things, and we got some cherry almond butter, espresso beans, and chocolate covered cherries to take home.


It was a fun but short couple of days in the Traverse City area. Next, we headed up north to Mackinaw City and the Upper Peninsula. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

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