January 24, 2022

Al Parker | Author


Book Now for Summer

Jan. 22, 2022

Maybe the white stuff outside your window has you dreaming of a trip to the Caribbean this winter. By all means, we won’t stand in your way. But one thing we find when showcasing some of our best summer travel ideas in our summer issues is this: Most are already booked out a full ye... Read More >>

The Need for Speed

Jan. 8, 2022

If you’re suffering from the winter blahs, you might want to check out a couple of adrenaline-charged events in January and February.

Keiser Boys Motorsports is hosting the Snowflake Derby at Northern Michigan Speedway in Elmira on Jan. 15. Four weeks later on Feb. 12, this ... Read More >>

Josh Burnham’s Big Week

Jan. 1, 2022

Being born on St. Patrick's Day, you could almost predict that Josh Burnham would be Irish – Fighting Irish, that is.

The Traverse City native, who turns 18 in March, is starting classes at the University of Notre Dame this week, after a stellar football career at the high s... Read More >>

A Michigan Christmas Classic: Honey Baked Ham

Dec. 18, 2021

With a flaming propane torch in his left hand and a scoop full of white sugar in his right, Mike Muzljakovich spends hours every week adding the delicious sweet glaze for which Honey Baked Ham is known to the hundreds of hams he sells weekly at his shop.

After the sugar is caramel... Read More >>

A Night at the Local VFW

Oct. 30, 2021

We’ve all got an opinion about America’s wars, politics, and place in the world. On the heels of the United States’ recent withdrawal from Afghanistan and ahead of Veterans Day 2021, Northern Express thought it a worthwhile time for all of us to pause the bickering a... Read More >>

Home of the Brave

Oct. 30, 2021

A canine-cuddling couple with decades of dog training experience is working hard to provide service dogs to northern Michigan veterans dealing with disabilities.

Ron and Diane Monroe established Mission Six Service Dogs for Veterans in 2018 and have provided six dogs for deserving... Read More >>

Don't Call it Puppy Love

Oct. 23, 2021

Linda Gottwald's inspiration to start an animal shelter: a little brown dog with a jaunty red scarf. 

“I first saw Frannie many years ago when I was volunteering at an animal shelter in Oakland, California,” says Gottwald. “She was being dragged into th... Read More >>

All In The Family

Oct. 16, 2021

It started life as a common northern Michigan resort cabin, but over the years it's been transformed into one of Benzie County's most popular places for a quality dining experience.

The Manitou, out on M-22 between Empire and Frankfort, is a family-owned operation opened in 1979 b... Read More >>

Closing The Books: The Bookie Joint Closing After Five Decades

Oct. 9, 2021

Jann Norton adjusts her COVID face mask and cheerfully greets some of the first customers of the day at Traverse City's venerable used bookstore, The Bookie Joint.

“We have several genres here,” the shop owner explains to a visiting couple. “And everything is at ... Read More >>

Auto Manufacturing Used To Thrive In Gaylord, Traverse City, And Around The North

Oct. 9, 2021

Early in the 20th century, automakers like Henry Ford, the Dodge Brothers and Billy Durant dominated the industry in Detroit and Flint. But there were a handful of optimistic, energetic entrepreneurs in northern Michigan who dreamed of launching their own motor car enterprises. Here's a l... Read More >>

14 Great Reasons to Hit the Bay View Wine Trail

Oct. 2, 2021

The Bay View Wine Trail is growing, enhancing its reputation for quality vintages.

The seven-year-old trail is home to 14 wineries and runs from Ellsworth to Harbor Springs, but most are clustered around Petoskey.

On a crisp autumn day, the drive alone is a beguiling way t... Read More >>

Sweet's Bar & Grill

Sept. 25, 2021

With many restaurants closing their doors for good because of the twin disasters of a global pandemic combined with the difficulty of finding staffers, it takes a pretty confident owner to launch a new eatery.

Meet Bill Sweet, an outgoing guy who — along with his wife and pa... Read More >>

All the Warm Fuzzies

Sept. 11, 2021

After living in the Detroit area for two decades, Rebecca and Jason Gill longed for a change.

They said good-bye to their long daily commutes, high-stress jobs, and hectic schedules, then planned a relocation to northern Michigan. They sold their house, their lake house and their ... Read More >>

Hofbrau Steak House & Grille

Sept. 4, 2021

A traveling musician for much of his adult life, Brian McAllister never expected to settle in Northern Michigan.

“Back in 1997, my wife Laurie and I were planning to go to St. Martin but took a trip up here,” explains the guitar picker with a smile. “We just neve... Read More >>

Dig In: Cherry Fest 2021

June 26, 2021

It's been a long time coming, but the National Cherry Festival 2021 promises to be one of the most interesting in years – combining much-loved classic attractions — like Arnold's Amusements Midway, the Gold Pin Program, and the Cherry Farm Market — and some new activitie... Read More >>

Words to the Wise

June 26, 2021

It could be the setup for a corny joke: A former monk, English professor, and advocate for senior citizens walks into a radio station.

It’s a joke that only word geeks — local word geeks, in particular — might understand.

“Words to the Wise,” ... Read More >>

Labor of Love

June 19, 2021

It takes a lot of confidence to launch a new service-oriented business during a pandemic when the national mantra urges folks to mask up, socially distance, and, basically, don't touch each other.

But that didn't deter Brit Averill from founding the Birth Center of Northern Michig... Read More >>

Dinghy’s Restaurant & Bar

June 12, 2021

Kelly Sandman chuckles at a customer’s joke, runs a cloth across a section of the 33-foot-bar, then greets a famished family seeking BBQ at one of northern Michigan's most venerable eateries, Dinghy's Restaurant & Bar. 

Sitting on Frankfort's main drag, right across... Read More >>

Home Run Summer!

May 29, 2021

Northern Michigan baseball fans will finally get a chance to see live games when the Traverse City Pit Spitters throw out the first pitch on May 31.

It's been well over a year since the Pit Spitters took the field before a live audience, and the squad returns as reigning champions... Read More >>

Gaylord’s Cops & Doughnuts

Sept. 12, 2020

There's a cop shop in Gaylord where the phrase “D.W.I.” has nothing to do with adult beverages or erratic driving.

At the Cops & Doughnuts Bakery, “D.W.I.” means “Donuts Were Involved,” a bit of sly humor that adorns coffee mugs, T-shirts, h... Read More >>