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  • Story and Photos by CHRIS SMITH

At the risk of pirating someone’s patented line about “teaching a kid to fish,” here’s my version:

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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.


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

  • Story by SALLY BARBER

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


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…


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.

  • 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.


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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

editor's pick featured
  • Story by Sarah Elms Photos by Tessa Lighty

Lavender's soothing scent wafts from farmers markets, roadside stands and area fields throughout the spring and summer, a time when farmers boast their fresh or dried bouquets, essential oils and body butters, and refreshing lavender lemonade.

  • Story by Carol Thompson Photos by Tessa Lighty

To go whole hog means to do something as completely as humanly possible — like, for example, a cook who spends hours tending a pit of charcoal or stoking an open flame to slow-roast an entire pig. It's a whole hog enterprise.

  • Story by Cymbre Foster Record-Eagle photos

An empty nest was looming, so I did the logical thing –– brought home an 8-week-old puppy, Maizy. Then, while my kids moved out or finished up college, I focused my time and energy raising her to be my well-mannered sidekick.

  • Story by Kathy Gibbons and Photos by Katy Batdorff

There’s nothing like pulling a jar of peak-season peaches off the shelf in the dead of winter.

  • Story by Kathy Gibbons and Photos by Tessa Lighty

Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven; when it comes to cookies, that’s especially true.

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

What’s in season is what’s on the plate when your family is full of farmers.

Find out more about where to pick up your free copy of GT Scene, how to advertise in the magazine and how to contact the magazine staff.

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