• By CHRIS SMITH Illustrated by LINDSAY HIBBARD

Autumn in Michigan’s north country can make any sportsman crazy.

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‘Wait Until Dark’; Into the Arctic; Guided Walking History Tour. (Plus more)

This year's summer Harbor Days served up the usual festival fare — games, rides, contests, food and fun — but added a new twist — a tornado. The National Weather Service reported that a small tornado touched down in Birch Lake, a few miles from Elk Rapids' downtown, festivalgoers took cover and no damage was reported.

The summer marked the 50th Annual Northwest Michigan Engine & Thresher Club Show. The Old Engine Show’s golden anniversary featured Lily Pearl’s Square dancing Tractors, expanded exhibits of International Harvester Collections, scale model tractors, and steam traction engines. Photos by JAN-MICHAEL STUMP.

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  • Story by STEPHANIE BRZEZINSKI

In the mid-1960s, two businessmen visited Switzerland and set out to transform Gaylord’s Main Street into what Otsego County Historical Society Executive Director Jim Akans called “Swiss with a Bavarian touch.”

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  • By SALLY BARBER Photos by DAN NIELSEN

Chilly autumn weather summons sweaters which haven’t seen the light of day for months. Slip one on, pour a cup of hot chocolate and chew on this yarn of an East Jordan family’s serendipitous journey to success.

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  • By KATHY GIBBONS Photos by TESSA LIGHTY

Name: Chris Day. Position: Executive chef, Poppycocks, Traverse City.

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  • BY CYMBRE FOSTER Photos by KATY BATDORFF

Since you only live once, you might as well live adventurously, says Traverse City entrepreneur Heather Harrington.

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  • BY CODY SOVIS Record-Eagle photos

If you’ve got a calendar handy, consider pulling it out and counting the weeks between Aug. 13 and Nov. 4.

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  • BY SALLY BARBER PHOTOS BY TESSA LIGHTY and JAN-MICHAEL STUMP

Great picnic sites abound throughout the area whether for the quickie lunch, the leisurely alfresco afternoon or a romantic outdoor feast.

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  • STORY BY DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOS BY TESSA LIGHTY

Summertime at St. Ambrose Cellar keeps the Beulah tasting room abuzz with customers looking for their honey fix in a tall glass of cider, beer or good old-fashioned mead.

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  • STORY BY MIKE TERRELL

It’s the busy season on our northern rivers. Hordes of paddlers and anglers take to the rivers. It’s an annual tradition enjoyed by many outdoor people, myself included. But what if it weren’t available?

Editor's note: This story was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's Summer 2017, Part 2 issue. For more stories from the magazine, click here to read Grand Traverse Scene in its entirety online.

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  • BY KATHY GIBBONS PHOTOS BY TESSA LIGHTY

Name: John Larson

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  • BY STEPHANIE BRZEZINSKI PHOTOS BY TIM SALMONSON

People may think of the canal-filled Italian city of Venice when they hear the word “Venetian.” But it has another meaning in northern Michigan: the Charlevoix Venetian Festival, which runs July 15-22.

  • Story by MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS

Ben Nye fell in love with kites during a college break. He watched a toy shop’s kite demonstrations from his job across the street. Shortly after, he took a job at the store.

  • Story by LEIF GRUENBERG Photos by the MARITIME HERITAGE ALLIANCE

The Maritime Heritage Alliance is getting ready to splash the newly restored Witchcraft, a 33-foot wooden sailing vessel of important local historical value.

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  • Story by SALLY BARBER

Skiers rejoice when Mother Nature delivers perfect powder, while fellow winter enthusiasts, ice sailors, celebrate snow-free lake ice.

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  • Story by CAROL SOUTH Photos by JAN-MICHAEL STUMP

Moving beyond aromatic and soothing, herbs are jumping into drinks as sexy and sassy flavors.

  • Story, illustration and photos by CHRIS SMITH

I am an insufferable, certifiable bird brain. With the exception of a good hunting dog (even a not-so-good one), birds are quite possibly the coolest critters the Big Guy ever invented. I’ve been writing about how to hunt, shoot, and prepare them for the table for years, but rarely do I writ…

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  • Story by STEPHANIE BRZEZINSKI Photos by JAN-MICHAEL STUMP, BLACKBIRD ARTS and JOSH STOLTZ

For many, winter in northern Michigan means seeking indoor activities, like reading or crafting.

  • Story by Marta Hepler Drahos Photos by Jan-Michael Stump

The Sunday before Christmas means only one thing to friends and family of Kelly Curtis: her annual caroling party.

  • Story by Sarah Elms Photos by Jan-Michael Stump and Katy Batdorff

Editor's note: This story was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's holiday 2016 issue. For more stories from the magazine, click here to read Grand Traverse Scene in its entirety online.

  • Story by Cymbre Foster Photos by Nancie Billingsley and Fran White

Every year when Thanksgiving week rolls around, Fran White and her husband Joe haul out the holly and start decking the halls. When they finish, their home is transformed into a showplace that would give Santa Clause pause.

  • Story by Stephanie Brzezinski

Mackinac Island is a great place to visit for the holidays, said Tim Hygh, executive director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. He commutes from Mackinac City.

  • Story by Kathy Gibbons Photos by Jan-Michael Stump

When it comes to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, one important tradition is solidly rooted in the kitchen — oil.

  • Story and Photos by Chris Smith

Christmas is that one time of year when sportsmen don’t have to be bashful about their wish list.

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  • Story by Mike Terrell Photos by Jan-Michael Stump and Dan Nielsen

It’s the eve of a holiday party that you’re attending and you want to take a gift, or maybe you need something for a relative or friend that’s not easy to buy for.

  • BY ALLISON BATDORFF GT Scene Editor

It was pure, holiday magic — our practical, egalitarian stockings ended the emotional rollercoaster of childhood gift-opening on an up note once all the gifts were opened.

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  • Story by Kathy Gibbons Photos by Tessa Lighty and Jan-Michael Stump

Something happens at the farmers market in the fall. The greens, golds and reds of lettuces, herbs, peppers and berries give way to the deeper, heartier tones of produce that is also sturdier and heavier than its spring and summer counterparts.

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  • Story by Marta Hepler Drahos

Seeing autumn in all its glory means abandoning the open road and tapping your inner adventurer. Here are some of our favorite ways — from tracks and trails to waterways and airways — to get your fall on in northern Michigan.

  • Story and Photos by Allison Batdorff

You won’t find Rebecca Tranchell at a party wearing the same shirt as you. Tranchell, 28, makes a point to avoid big box clothes shopping for precisely that reason, among others. Tranchell instead scouts her favorite resale stores for unique clothing that suits her style and makes her feel good about buying it.

  • Story by Cymbre Foster and Photos by Tessa Lighty

Every September for nearly a decade, landscaper Cori Oakley and her crew pull out the coleus and begonias in the front door planters at The Cherry Tree Inn and replace them with all things fall.

  • Thoughts by Bob Gwizdz and Photos by John Gessner

A lot of trout fishermen hang up their fly rods once the Hex hatch has finished in mid-July. The water temperatures in the rivers have risen — especially in marginal trout streams – to the point that anglers worry about overstressing the fish.

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GT Scene video

Low Bar General Manager Josef Hess demonstrates how to make a Bourbon Smash at the Low Bar in Traverse City. Record-Eagle video by Erin Sloan