Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Cheap Dates: The Best of Times...
. . . .

Cheap Dates: The Best of Times are Free & Easy in Northern Michigan

Danielle Horvath - June 10th, 2004
For around 20 bucks or less, you can…

…go back in time for that all-American summer date at the Cherry Bowl Drive In, just east of Honor. One of only a handful of drive in movie theatres left in the U.S., the Cherry Bowl is celebrating its 51st year and boasts all the nostalgia you’d expect, including the occasional Elvis sighting. Since it is a family-run place, movies are in the PG-13 range. Flicks are $7.50, with kids under 12 free. They change weekly, open April – September, show starts at dusk, call ahead for the latest line up, 231-325-3413.

…fill a cooler, grab your sunscreen and spend a day at the beach that gives you the best of both worlds – warm North Bar Lake and a few feet away, Lake Michigan to cool off. Just north of the village of Empire, the beach goes on forever and offers panoramic views of the dunes and the coast. There is a considerable hike around North Bar to the Big Lake, so it tends to attract a younger crowd.

...check out a free concert. Pennsylvania Park in Petoskey is typical of many towns across the north, including Bellaire, Cadillac, Northport and Charlevoix, which offer free concerts in the park by local talent every week all summer. See the Express calendar listings for the shows nearest you.

…enjoy a Northern Michigan summer stroll on Main Street in the harbor town of Frankfort. Treat yourselves to an ice cream cone from Kilwin’s and meander down the street to watch the sunset at the end of the pier overlooking Lake Michigan. Or splurge and get fudge! Then catch a movie for under $5 at the Garden Theatre, Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights they start at 7 p.m. Movies change weekly, call for current listings, 231-352-7561.

…stop at Trick Dog in Elberta to check out some of the best in locally inspired artwork, then spring for a cappuccino and some munchies and head up to one of the best Lake Michigan views anywhere. Or head down to one of the best (and most secluded) beaches around. Bring some firewood and snuggle up for the sunset and a bonfire. Trick Dog is open daily 9-5 all summer, 231-352-8364.

... spend a day in Mackinaw City. A shoreline park offers spectacular views of the Mackinac Bridge. Combined with Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, the town offers plenty of quirky attractions and people-watching opportunities to keep you entranced for an afternoon.

…. tube down the Platte River to where it empties into Lake Michigan. A summer tradition, they’ve got it down to a science at Riverside Canoes, off M-22 near Frankfort. Everything’s provided, including transport from your vehicle, all you have to do is lay back and float! One hour tubing trips start at $6 per person. Open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. all summer, call ahead for reservations, 231-325-5622.

….pick a bouquet of fresh flowers starting at around $4 at Omena U-Pick Flowers, off M-22, one mile south of Omena, where 25 beds are blooming from May – October. Self-serve, on the honor system, everything is laid out for you. The beds are open dawn to dusk, if you can see, you can cut. Then go one-mile north to Leelanau Wine Cellars, for wine tasting at no charge or try a bottle of their popular Tall Ship Chardonnay for $11. Summers hours are Mon-Sat., 10-6 and Sunday, 12-5.

…kick up your heels for no cover charge at the Cabbage Shed, overlooking Betsie Bay in Elberta. With live music by local bands on weekends, a big dance floor and seating for over 150, it’s a hoppin’ spot on a hot summer night. They pour nine draft beers, ales and stouts - including the popular Shed Light and scores of bottled brews from around the globe. They also stock 11 single malt scotches and boast the world’s best martini (they keep the gin in the freezer.) Call the Cabbage Shed at 231-352-0843.

... take a hike. The Jordan River Valley Trail, Pigeon River State Forest, Manistee River Trail, Empire Bluffs and Sleeping Bear Dunes all offer gorgeous scenery just a few miles from the madding crowd.

…visit the world renowned studio of artist Gwen Frostic Presscraft Papers, off River Road in Benzonia, where the print shop is practically grown into it’s surroundings. Purchase very affordable and unique nature-inspired note cards, books, and other artwork. Open 9-4:30, Mon-Sat., 11-5 on Sundays. Stop just up the road at Beedazzled Candleworks for unique gifts from the hive, including handmade soaps, candles, potpourri, lotions and fragrant gardens for strolling in. Call for their summer hours, 231-882-7765.

…find a free festival almost every weekend in July and August somewhere in Northern Michigan. One of the local favorites is the Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival, June 19, in Brethren The event is in its 28th year and features folk, bluegrass eclectic and old-time music from all over the Midwest. A free family festival and a day full of music on two stages, arts and crafts vendors, children‘s activities, great food, and a closing square dance. Music runs from noon to nine p.m. For more information, contact 231-477-5381.

… check out one of the premiere summer art events in Northern Michigan, the Suttons Bay Art Festival, coming this year on August 7 – 8. This highly competitive, juried art festival, draws artists from across the state and nation, with collections of unique jewelry, furniture, glass, wood, painting, fiber arts, photography, sculpture and much more. Held in Marina Park, on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, local restaurants will host food booths. For more information, call 231-271-5077.

…enjoy a real taste of Northern Michigan with fresh smoked whitefish from Carlson’s, located in famous Fish Town in Leland. Walk on a real fisherman’s wharf and you might even see them unloading the catch of the day. Stop in across the street at the local favorite Bluebird Restaurant for their yummy 50 cent cinnamon rolls, or splurge on the whitefish sampler plate for $15.95. Open June – Oct., 11:30-3 for lunch, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and the tavern is open daily 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

…pack up a picnic lunch, then head out to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, for a $5 entry fee, you can get lost anywhere along the picturesque Pierce Stocking Drive. Bring your camera for dramatic views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou islands and Glen Lake. Feeling energetic after lunch, you can still climb the sand dunes for free. Located north of Empire, off M-22, call the Visitor’s Bureau at 231-334-2000.

…start with lunch for around $12 at Elberta Beach Diner, where they specialize in authentic Polish dishes, then take M-22 south from Elberta to Manistee for the most amazing view of Lake Michigan anywhere along the coast. The drive winds and climbs to an overlook point that’s sure to take your breath away and impress any date!

…absorb some summer culture at Interlochen’s National Music Camp. Bring your bicycles and tour the campus from June-August when it’s abuzz with fine art students from all over the world. Music and art is everywhere and student productions and recitals are happening almost daily and most are free. Refreshments are available for purchase and you could plan your next date to attend one of their premiere summer concerts. Call 231-276-7200 for summer concert info.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5