By Rick Coates
It‘s the last official weekend of summer (even though summer is still around officially for a couple more weeks) and from BBQs to boating there is plenty to do in Northern Michigan. Here are a few
suggestions that might not be on your radar for a Labor Day Weekend getaway:
Mackinac Island Jazz Weekend:
The highlight of the weekend in the Straits of Mackinac is the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk, so consider packaging that in with a weekend stay on Mackinac Island. The annual Grand Hotel Labor Day Jazz Weekend has brought major acts to the Island in the past and this year is no exception.
The three-day fest includes The Manhattan Transfer, The Four Freshmen, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Sun Messengers, Marion Hayden and Rev. Robert B. Jones.
The Grand Hotel has put together an all inclusive package that includes three nights accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, three evening receptions, all the entertainment, and a cookout luncheon both Saturday and Sunday in the Tea Garden.
For details on the Jazz Weekend and other happenings on Mackinac Island go to www.mackinacisland.org.
Pure Michigan Days At Crystal Mountain:
Crystal Mountain has packaged together a weekend of fun that includes a two-for-one package. Stay two nights and get the third night for free over the Labor Day Weekend. They‘ve also loaded
the weekend with all sorts of family friendly activities.
The weekend will include a Farmers Market on Friday night with local produce, crafts and value-added agricultural products. On Saturday, Crystal Mountain hosts Taste of Michigan, featuring Michigan craft beers and wines along with local foods and signature products from throughout the state - along with music from The Bihlman Brothers.
During the evening they will host an Outdoor Float-in Family Movie where you may sit in a tube and float in the pool and watch a movie on their big screen. Other weekend activities include a family golf outing, and day trips to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.
Additional details at crystalmountain.com
Upper Peninsula Getaway:
Heading to the U.P. for a getaway is a perfect way to wind down the summer. Consider the community of Curtis where they have lots of lakes and they are close to such attractions as the
Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Curtis is hosting their annual Art on the Lake Music and Art Festival Saturday featuring an art fair, live music, food, kids‘ art projects and a parade. They also have their own Curtis Bridge Walk on Monday morning.
Curtis has a lot of mom & pop motels and cabins. Consider staying at Chamberlins Ole Forest Inn. This 100-year-old lakeside country inn has plenty of charm and sits on a bluff
overlooking Big Manistique Lake. They always have great music on the weekends and the food is fantastic.
To learn more about Chamberlin‘s, the events in Curtis and places to stay go to their chamber website www.curtischamber.com
The Windy City Weekend:
Okay, suggesting people leave Northern Michigan for the weekend might not seem like the best idea, but there is a lot going on in Chicago over Labor Day. Chicago sends a lot of people our way so returning the favor only seems like the right thing to do.
Chicago has five festivals and six ball games going on Labor Day Weekend, among other attractions.
The 32nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival takes place starting Thursday and continues through Sunday and will feature Ramsey Lewis, among others; for info, visit www.chicagojazzfestival.us.
The Taste of Polonia is September 3-6 and is one of the most popular ethnic fests in Chicago, drawing crowds of 30,000 plus during its four-day span. The Taste celebrates Polish heritage,
customs and traditions through music, dance, cuisine and folk art. Sample delicious Polish cuisine while enjoying performances by ethnic dancers and musical groups on five stages, playing games
of skill and chance and viewing original arts and crafts. Admission ranges from $3-6 and children under 12 are free. For info, visit www.tasteofpolonia.copernicusfdn.org.
The Chicago Cubs are home all weekend and Chicago even has 29 beaches along Lake Michigan. Plus there is plenty of great nightclubs, museums, restaurants and more. For additional
information on a Chicago Labor Day Weekend visit www.ExploreChicago.org or call 877-244-2246.