SOURCE: Travel Michigan

Travel Michigan

January 17, 2011 13:40 ET

UPDATE: What's New for Pure Michigan Visitors in 2011

LANSING, MI--(Marketwire - January 17, 2011) - Michigan's two peninsulas offer a bounty of attractions, manmade and natural, from Great Lakes beachtowns to the beautiful landscape of the Upper Peninsula. Visitors can look forward to new lodging options, dining spots, and activities in 2011, including milestone anniversary celebrations. Additionally vacationers can now purchase tee shirts, caps, winter wear, golf balls, and much more at the Pure Michigan online store at michigan.org.

What's New to See
Last year the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe became a part of the National Park System. January 22, 2011, will mark the commemoration of the War of 1812 Battles of the Raisin, the largest conflict ever fought on Michigan soil.

After ten years of planning and fundraising, the sprawling Botanical Garden of Northwest Michigan is taking shape on a 25-acre site at the Grand Traverse Commons, the former home of Traverse City's mental asylum. Located in a 56-acre agricultural area near the asylum's massive "cathedral barns," the property encompasses a wide range of ecosystems, and will be home to a variety of display, demonstration and research gardens. This summer Wellington Farm, USA, where it's always 1932, will open a new museum on its 60-acre grounds.

What's New to Do
Benzie County Visitors Bureau is introducing a new winter event called Benzie County Water Festival that will take place in and around the Frankfort area March 18 and 19.

Take a tour of Michigan's Little Bavaria with the new Frankenmuth App, launching the end of January. Download the app from the either the Apple store or the Droid Marketplace to enjoy the foodie tour, the inside scoop on hidden treasures in town, or the three other tours. Visit The Lager Mill late January to learn about Frankenmuth's brewing history. The Frankenmuth Coach is now offering canoe and kayak rentals and custom river trips on the Cass River. Frankenmuth FunShips/Chocolates & More and Wolcott Winery have teamed up to offer a wine & chocolate tasting experience indoors or in the summer on one of the electric Duffy Boat Cass River cruises. Frankenmuth has expanded its festivals for Memorial Day weekend featuring the Tour de Frankenmuth Bike Race, Frankenmuth Dog Bowl and the Great Lakes State Championship Hot Air Balloon competition.

The LochenHeath Golf Club in Acme Township will reopen as a resort course in spring 2011, allowing public play while offering membership opportunities.

Michigan Adventure amusement park will introduce Beach Party, a giant interactive water play attraction, in its WildWater Adventure Waterpark this summer. Beach Party will feature the first of its kind giant geyser, which blasts water over 90 feet in the air plus multiple waterfalls and more.

For hockey fans, the Muskegon Lumberjacks 2010-2011season is the first time the hockey club is competing in the United States Hockey League. The league is the only Tier-1 junior league and the leading producer of NCAA players and NHL draft picks in the United States.

Expansions and Improvements
Dawson & Stevens Classic '50s style diner & Coca Cola Museum, in downtown Grayling, is moving forward with a 3,000 square-foot expansion of the Bottle-Cap Museum and Gift Shop; doubling the current floor space which will allow them to display an additional 5,000 Coca Cola pieces. Target date for a soft opening is May 1st.

The Points North Inn in Traverse City has begun an extensive renovation of almost all guestrooms. Upon completion, scheduled for April 30, virtually the whole property will have been updated. Also in Traverse City, the historic Park Place Hotel is being steadily renovated in a multi-stage program of cosmetic and infrastructure improvements.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will begin construction this summer on a 27-mile hard-surfaced multi-use trail that will allow cyclists, runners, roller bladers and wheelchair users to travel safely between the park's major destination areas. The first segment of the trail will be constructed between the Dune Climb and Glen Arbor and could be done by the fall of 2011; and since it's being built to bicycle trail standards, it can be groomed in winter for cross-country skiing.

The Keweenaw County Historical Society will open two new sites in 2011, the Eagle River Museum and the USCG Life Saving Station. The museum will focus on telling the story of the neighboring Cliff Mine, the first commercially successful copper mine in Michigan, as well as the story of the towns of Phoenix and Eagle River. The USCG Life Saving Station has a series of temporary exhibits that detail the important role the Life Saving Station and its crew played in many heroic rescues around the Keweenaw Peninsula.

What's New to Eat and Drink
Recently opened in Battle Creek is Malia, a Mediterranean Bistro at 34 West Michigan Avenue. The restaurant was formerly located in Marshall.

Detroit's Corktown District is expecting new eateries including a Coney island/diner which is getting ready to open at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, and an Italian/pizza spot at Michigan and Eighth. Burgers are planned for the Mercury Bar space at Michigan and 14th; and classic cocktails will be pouring from Sugar House Bar, opening soon at 2130 Michigan Ave. Mudgie's restaurant is moving to downtown Detroit next door to Vincente's Cuban Cuisine.

Great Lakes Olive Oil Company and SugarHigh Bakery, are now open at Frankenmuth River Place Shop. SugarHigh offers decorating classes, hands-on cupcake decorating, birthday parties, and the Great Lakes Olive Oil Co. has a tasting bar. Frankenmuth Brewery has begun bottling their Frankie's Rootbeer which is available in the gift shop.

Get revved up at Wheel Works, a motorcycle-themed restaurant and bar adjacent to the Hot Rod Harley Davidson dealership on Shoreline Drive in downtown Muskegon in 2011. The Hot Rod Power Tour is coming to Muskegon, June 9, 2011 (then on to Detroit). Wheel Works isn't the only new downtown restaurant being developed in Muskegon. Construction is also under on Jefferson Street for a new Irish-themed pub.

Traverse City (recently opened and coming soon)

  • 9 Bean Rows, an artisan bakery specializing in naturally leavened breads baked in a wood-fired oven opened on E. Front Street in early November.
  • The Cooks' House, a market-fresh eatery, recently increased its floor space by 10 seats (for a grand total of 30) with a move around the corner to 115 Wellington St. with a new liquor license.
  • Now open at The Gallery of Shops at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is Dylan's Candy Bar, the "magical candy emporium" created by Dylan Lauren. The 1,300-square foot store includes such touches as an 18-foot Chocolate Wall loaded with bulk and packaged chocolate.
  • Visit Simply Cupcakes for cupcakes made from scratch with up to 12 flavors to choose from and a free cup of coffee with every purchase.
  • Sweet Alchemy Lounge & Café opened in December 2010 as a new take-out food venture in the city's "Little Bohemia" neighborhood. Enjoy many local ingredients and smoked and cured meats for sandwiches.
  • The Grand Traverse Pie Company, whose pumpkin pie was just named "best in the nation" by Country Living magazine, is opening its first "Bakery Café" in the city's new 101 North Park development in spring 2011.
  • Boathouse Vineyards, the newest addition to Leelanau Peninsula wineries, is scheduled to open this spring in the village of Lake Leelanau in a boathouse on the north end of The Narrows.
  • Opening soon, The Bay Leaf, featuring a wine bar with 40 labels (15 of them local) and extensive selection of microbrews, and a country/rustic European-style menu.

What's New in Lodging and Meetings
Bavaria Haus Bed & Breakfast, a new property located just outside of Frankenmuth, offers 7 bedrooms, an indoor pool, theatre room, a stocked pond and offers a wonderful setting for a wedding or romantic getaway.

Hostel Detroit will open in April in Detroit's Corktown, just north of the former Tiger Stadium. Built in 1900, the Hostel is undergoing renovation and will have 9 bedrooms with a total occupancy for 20 travelers with single beds and bunks. Book a single room for just $25, or $45 for a double.

The Shoreline Inn and Conference Center in Muskegon will be open for its first full year in 2011, along with its new restaurant The Lake House.

Opening over the Fourth of July weekend is Camp Turkeyville RV Resort, located in Marshall, across the street from Cornwell's Turkeyville USA.

2011 Milestones & Anniversaries
170 years - Hell, Michigan founded
150 years - Keweenaw County
100 years - Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery Centennial Farm, Grand Rapids
 Bay View Terrace Inn, Petoskey
 - Chevrolet - 100th anniversary of continuous production
 90 years - Winter Carnival, Michigan Tech University, Houghton
 85 years - America's Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit
 - National Cherry Festival, Traverse City
 80 years - The Dearborn Inn, Marriott Hotel, Dearborn
 - Romeo Peach Festival, Romeo
 70 years - Pines Theater, Houghton Lake
 65 years - Michigan Bean Festival, Fairgrove
 60 years - Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Art Fair
 - Posen Potato Festival
 50 years - Grand Haven Art Festival
 Stafford's Bay View Inn, Petoskey
 45 years - Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners
 35 years - Belleville National Strawberry Festival
 30 years - Grand Marais Music & Arts Festival
 25 years - International Bridge Walk, Sault Ste. Marie
 Japanese Cultural Center and Tea House, Saginaw
 20 years - Purple Rose Theatre, Chelsea
 Zehnder's Snowfest, Frankenmuth
 10 years - River Raisin Jazz Festival, Monroe

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan's official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state's tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For more information on traveling in the State of Michigan, visit the official travel Web site at michigan.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Dave Lorenz
    (517) 335-0007

    Joanna Wilbee Amis
    (906) 420-8046