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At F & M Park in Traverse City, participants of the National Cherry Festival’s Kids Club play Cherry Jenga, draw with colored chalk, go bowling, and engage with a variety of other activities for children ages 2-12.

Everyone has a happy place where they go to escape the bludgeoning of life from work, illnesses, the news, family responsibilities (via relatives by marriage?), etc. Sometimes, it’s a physical, special spot where life makes the most sense, which in turn leads to mental happiness when we close our eyes and remember.

Summers in Northport wouldn’t be complete without Music in the Park on Friday nights. Taking place at the Marina Park, attendees set up their fold-up chairs and blankets on the lawn and enjoy a variety of free live music from regional bands.

"Timeless: Inside Mackinac Island’s Historic Cottages," By Moira Croghan, Photography by Mark Bearss

M-22 travels about 116 miles. The southern point of the state highway begins in Manistee and follows the Lake Michigan shoreline north to Northport. Drivers can also take M-22 along West Grand Traverse Bay from Traverse City to Northport.

Recently, a young man with aspirations to open a brewery in northern Michigan was visiting with us. He shared his plans and we sat around brainstorming names, having way more fun than I would have imagined. The task was not without its challenges: a name needed to be easily found on Google (no weird spelling), unique (not already taken) and evoke the idea of the business it represents.

Fall is a beautiful time of year to explore nature trails. Autumn and hiking go together like October and pumpkins. Temperatures are normally comfortable for hiking, and the kaleidoscope of fall’s color throughout the woodlands can be breathtaking.

On a sunny June day in downtown Frankfort, a block of Main Street was closed off to traffic for the 2021 Frankfort Craft Fair, presented by the Frankfort-Elberta Area Chamber of Commerce. Patrons munched on kettle corn while browsing a variety of local crafts including agates, lanterns and h…

From tomato butter and artisan cheeses to fresh asparagus and herbal teas, patrons of the 2021 Elk Rapids Farmer's Market browse the disparate local-produce offerings at Rotary Park in Elk Rapids. Presented by the Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the event recurs every Friday from 8 a.m.…

The Trails of M22: 48 of the Most Beautiful Paths Along Michigan’s Most Beautiful Highway, 2nd Edition, by Jim DuFresne

Events are back on the calendar this summer, returning to the schedule in Charlevoix after many were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Editor's note: This was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's June 2021 issue. Pick up a free copy at area hotels, visitor's centers, chambers of commerce or at the Record-Eagle building on Front Street. Click here to read GT Scene in its entirety online.

The family barbecue: One of man’s last bastions of masculinity, where he is Captain Kirk, Admiral Ackbar, General of the Felix Legions, and Lord of the Manor. His weapon of choice? A spatula. His army of one? A perfectly engineered, stainless steel contraption of gas, knobs, and fire, all working together — to cook meat. Could it possibly get better? Absolutely! Just add beer to the chef, kids playing in the yard, a faithful hound snoozing nearby, and a few birds chirping in the trees. Like the Good Wife is fond of saying, “Those are days I live for.”

Editor's note: This was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's June 2021 issue. Pick up a free copy at area hotels, visitor's centers, chambers of commerce or at the Record-Eagle building on Front Street. Click here to read GT Scene in its entirety online.

Rolling sand dunes meet turquoise waters. Vineyards form pleasing pastoral patterns. Farmhouses and fish shanties. Stunning sunsets. Leelanau Peninsula is a feast for the eyes. Not surprisingly, it also inspires and nourishes its art communities. A number of outdoor events are on the summer calendar geared for both artists and art appreciators. Watch a professional paint in real time, peruse a summer morning art fair or try your creative hand at capturing Leelanau’s many moods. Let Leelanau be your muse.

More than 99 miles of state-recognized water trail opened in Antrim County during a late May ceremony.

Before moving to Traverse City, Catherine O’Connor made a career out of shopping. Not for herself — but for the high-end clients she got to know while working in luxury retail.

Fall fishing can be exceptional but the weather can change quickly especially on the Great Lakes. Rain and windy conditions this week have slowed fishing and limited angler participation.

Families gather for fun at the Frankfort Fall Festival in downtown Frankfort. The annual event features giant pumpkin-carving and the Crazy Pumpkin Drop, a parade and Mutt March, a craft fair, home brew and pie-eating contests, helicopter and wagon rides, and music, food and games like the Hillbilly Olimpiks obstacle course.

Holiday shopping is always charming in the Grand Traverse Region’s charming cities, towns and villages decked out for the season with twinkling lights and a cloak of snow. But it’s especially fun when area for these special events designed to encourage visitors to come, shop and stay a while.

Bridgett Beckwith’s friends and family can expect some amazing holiday gifts each year.

A favorite book, “Crap at My Parent’s House,” has recycled among family and friends so often that it could be in Guam, for all I know. Its popularity resonates because it pokes fun at bizarre gifts and traditions, many associated with the holidays.

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