Category Archives: West Michigan

#37 Play Euchre around a fire pit

Photo by Lynsday Israel.

#37 Play Euchre around a fire pit

Location: All over Michigan

The game we all love and know, Euchre is a summer classic and perfect for bringing friends and family together after a day or exploring or relaxing. Don’t know how to play? A Michgander will surely teach you around a bonfire this summer.

Related Articles:

7 Ways To Become A Euchre Pro

#43 Stand up paddle along your favorite river or lake

Photo courtesy of @boatingindc on Instagram

#43 Stand up paddle along your favorite river or lake

Location: All over Michigan

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports around the world and Michigan is the perfect place to practice. Buy, borrow or rent a board for the day and cruise down your favorite inland river or lake — or one of the Greats if you’re feeling confident!

Related Articles:

What’s Up With SUP? One Uncoordinated Girl’s Experience With Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga

Wet Mitten Surf Shop

#46 Soak up the sun at Pere Marquette Beach

Photo courtesy of Aerial Cinematography on YouTube

#46 Soak up the sun at Pere Marquette Beach

Region: Northern

Location: Muskegon

If you’re looking for a great destination for a classic Michigan beach day, look no further than Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon. This city park, located on Lake Michigan, offers a wide expanse of beach, playground, volleyball courts, a restaurant and access to lighthouses and the Muskegon Channel, also the site of the “USS Silversides,” a World War II Submarine.

Related Articles:

Fun (And Cheap!) Stuff To Do In The Marquette Area

Grab lunch At The Sweetwater Cafe in Marquette!

A #MittenTrip Guide To The City On The Bay: Marquette

#47 Support Michigan artists at My Secret Stash

Photo courtesy of My Secret Stash

#47 Buy local at My Secret Stash

Region: Northern

Location: Traverse City

My Secret Stash is the epitome of shopping locally – everything in the Traverse City shop is a representation of a Michigan-based business. Some as small as two hands and a kitchen table and some as small as a crew of 10 working to build a lifestyle and brand

Related Articles:

How to Actually Enjoy The Dune Climb At Sleeping Bear – Traverse City #MittenTrip

Traverse City #MittenTrip – The Port of Cherries, Lighthouses And Mini Golf

Traverse City Food Trucks

6 Great Hikes For The Whole Family In The Traverse City Region

#20 Explore a public library and read a book by a Michigan author

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

#20 Explore a public library and read a book by a Michigan author

Region: All over Michigan

Public libraries are just as an amazing of a resource as they used to be and the perfect place to enjoy a quiet morning or afternoon this summer. Check out some of the historic libraries like Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, or your basic local library for some quiet time surrounded by books. While your’e at it, check out Michigan writers like Gloria Whelan, Jim Harrison, or Bonnie Jo Campbell. Settle down with a good book from an amazing Mitten State author!

Related Articles:

Ferndale Area District Library Makes Libraries Fun Again

Loving the Lansing-area Libraries

Traverse Area District Library

Flint Cultural Center: The Art, Science, And History Of Genesee County #MittenTrip

Michigan Books For National Reading Month

2016: #16 Host a Michigan Backyard BBQ

Michigan Backyard BBQ - #MIAWESOMELIST
Photo courtesy of

#16 Host a Michigan Backyard BBQ

Region: All over

Location: Your backyard or a public park!

This one is pretty self-explanatory: invite some friends over to enjoy some delish Michigan food and beverages. Bonus points if you add in a late-night bonfire!

Related Articles:

Michigan Asparagus Recipes

Three Magical Recipes for your Michigan Strawberries

3 New Ways to Enjoy this Summer’s Zucchini Abundance!

Make the most out of juicy local Michigan tomatoes this summer

Five Mid-Michigan Food Items for which to Be Thankful

The Great Michigan Food Experiment

Great Michigan Food Experiment: The Sequel

A Simple Evening: Harbor Springs, Michigan

2016: #29 Taste wine from one of Michigan’s 100+ wineries

Wine tasting - #MIAwesomeList
Photo courtesy of Rachell Genesky.

#29 Taste wine from one of Michigan’s 100+ wineries

Region: All over

Location: Michigan

Traverse City is known for their wine, have two peninsulas (Old Mission Peninsula & Leelanau Peninsula) full of it, but did you know that southwest Michigan has the Lakeshore Wine Trail? And in Irish Hills you can find the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail? Plus, if you’re not feeling up to the wine tasting adventure, and prefer to try something at home, stop by your local Meijer or wine shop to grab some Michigan vino.

Bonus: if you’re in the Metro-Detroit area, stop by and check out a Michigan By The Bottle location in Royal Oak, Shelby Township, and (coming soon) Auburn Hills. MBTB has eight partner wineries (2 Lads Winery, Bel Lago Winery, Chateau Aeronautique, Chateau de Leelanau, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Peninsula Cellars, Sandhill Crane Vineyards and Verterra Winery) that you can sample from. Plus, you can grab bottles to go or enjoy one of their fun events.

Related Articles:

Three Tips for Making the Most of Wine Tours

The Good Neighbor Experience

Tour the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

Take Your Time at Pond Hill Farms and Harbor Springs Winery

Michigan Made Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

How to put a Local Twist on a Tourist Attraction: Wine Tasting Edition

Longview Winery and Vineyard

The Leelanau Peninsula Winery That Will Make You LOVE Wine

2016: #25 Take a tour of one of Michigan’s 96 lighthouses that are open to the public

Michigan Lighthouses #MIAwesomeList
Photo courtesy of Shalee Blackmer

#25 Take a tour of one of Michigan’s 96 lighthouses that are open to the public

Region: All over!

Location: On the water.

Lighthouses in Michigan – where do we even begin with this category?! If you have never been to a lighthouse – now is a good time to go. If you’ve never toured the inside of a lighthouse – just do it. If you’ve never spent the night in a lighthouse – this is your chance. If you’ve never been on an epic roadtrip to visit as many lighthouses as you can – make it happen this summer.

Why the urgency? Because lighthouses are expensive to maintain, and each year we’re seeing fewer and fewer open to the public. But you can help save the lighthouses of Michigan by doing these things.

Related Articles:

6 Lighthouses Perfect for an Adventure

On Top of the World on Middle Island – Alpena #MittenTrip

Beginning With a Lighthouse: Lake Michigan Road Trip

A Summer Lake Michigan Road Trip, Ludington to Frankfort

Continuing a Winter Lighthouse Road Trip Along Lake Michigan

Beaver Island Bucket List from a Pro

An Upper Peninsula Road Trip – The Tahquamenon Scenic Byway

Continuing a Road Trip Up Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

A Must See List for Michigan State Park Camping Adventures

2016: #27 Scour the beaches for a Petoskey stone

Petoskey Stones - #MIAwesomeList
Photo courtesy of Instagram user @rigansam.

#27 Scour the beaches for a Petoskey stone

Region: West, Northern

Location: Lake Michigan Shore

Our state stones, Petoskey stones, are made from 350 million-year-old fossilized coral polyps. They are notoriously difficult to find because the fossil only becomes apparent when wet. The most popular hunting ground for this stone is on the beaches of Lake Michigan. The most rare type of Petoskey has a pink hue which indicates iron had permeated the now fossilized coral as it calcified. Get on our there and find one!

Related Articles:

Why you should live Michigan by camping Michigan

Spring in the Mitten: 30 Reasons Michigan is Awesome

2016: #43 Ketchup or Gravy? Grab a pasty and sample both!

Eat a Pasty - #MIAwesomeList - Pasties
Photo by Beth Baerman.

#43 Ketchup or Gravy? Grab a pasty and sample both!

Region: Natively found in Upper Peninsula, but now all over the state

Location: too many to count!

One of our most popular series on The Awesome Mitten was called “Pretty Awesome Pasties”. Friends Beth and Julie selfless visited a number of pasty establishments, grading each one on a special KPI scale (pictures below). Check out their adventures below, and choose your destination! Or, feeling inclined to make your own? Julie and Beth have just the recipe!

Related Articles:

Michigan Cuisine: Enter the Pasty

Introducing Pretty Awesome Pasties

Pretty Awesome Pasties: “The Pasty Place” on Michigan’s Sunrise Side

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties of Traverse City

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Suzy’s Pasties

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Hermann’s Bakery

Pretty Awesome Pasties: With Lehto’s Pasties, It’s A Good Thing Our KPI Score Goes To 11!

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Hiawatha Pasties

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Our Place in Lincoln, Michigan

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Weldon’s Pasties

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Pasty Central

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Wildwood Pasties

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Hunt’s Mackinaw Pasty Shop, Mackinaw City