February 26, 2024

Lynda Wheatley | Author

Elevating Eats & Drinks

April 15, 2023

Consider these high times for Michigan’s cannabis industry and users. No longer locked into shadowy back-alley exchanges, the now-legal market has grown from less reliable weed and shake sourced from origins unknown to a highly tested, regulated industry in which buyers can select t... Read More >>

The Secret to an Affordable Spring Break

March 25, 2023

There are two things, as a parent, I am not: 1) Patient. 2) Willing to pay peak prices for anything. While I salute those parents willing to spend 20+ hours in a car with their kids or shell out triple-the-average airfare to fly the fam to a sunnier state for spring break, I am not one of... Read More >>

Say Cheese! Five Fromagers Putting Northern Michigan on the Cheese Map

Aug. 13, 2022

The European Union might be the world leader in cheese production (7 million metric tons annually), and, sure, Wisconsin has rightfully earned its “America’s Dairyland” title (it produced 3.5 billion tons in 2021). But Michigan—northern Michigan, in particular&mdas... Read More >>

Feeding a Community

Aug. 13, 2022

At first glance, Melissa West appears warm and boisterous, with a take-no-BS bearing, a big growl of a laugh, and meticulous manners.

But a childhood of abuse and neglect has taken its toll, forcing her to see and live through things she says she wouldn’t wish on anyone else... Read More >>

High, Pioneers!

Aug. 13, 2022

When first-timers slip through the mirrored-glass door under the maroon awning at the corner of Fourth and Cedar streets in Kalkaska, Chris Atteberry says their reaction is almost always the same: eyes wide, smile broad, and brows raised in disbelief.

“I kind of feel like Wa...

Finding Their Rhythm

Aug. 6, 2022

Not every 10-year-old is lucky enough to have a dad who played alto sax in a 1940s-era Big Band, a mom who majored in and later taught piano performance at Central Michigan University, and a couple of live-in “hippie uncles” who played guitar (not to mention two grandmothers w... Read More >>

Leelanau Cellars’ Watermelon Wine

Aug. 6, 2022

There was a time in our life, maybe one we’re not too proud of, when we’d eat spears of pineapple or clusters of blackberries soaked in Bacardi rum. Now that we’re older—and at least somewhat wiser—we’ve found an equally delicious yet not so potent part... Read More >>

Following the Music

Aug. 6, 2022

We wish we had infinite room in our Dates and Nitelife sections to alert you to every live music show in northern Michigan. Problem is, we print a paper each week—not a book—so we limit our listings to the 13 counties in northwest Lower Michigan we cover. Enter an opportunity ... Read More >>

Pedal to the Metal (and Mud)

July 30, 2022

Are you—and your truck—tough enough? The Northwestern Michigan Fair (and, OK, a screaming crowd of hundreds, plus a very attentive Fair Queen Court) will be the judge of that next week.

Every year for nearly 15, NWMF has hosted Tough Truck, a dramatic contest of guts, ... Read More >>

Sage’s Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs

July 30, 2022

Mom always warned us that too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. And in most cases of culinary lily-gilding—Twinkies transformed into “Raspberry Zingers,” double-cheese pizzas with cheese-stuffed-crusts, etc.—she’s right. In the case of Sage&rsquo... Read More >>

Getting Smarter with Age

July 30, 2022

Raven Hill Discovery Center is all growed up. Founders Cheri and Tim Leach’s “baby” turns 30 years old this summer, and if you haven’t been since your own kids were small, consider taking your grands before Labor Day shrinks the hands-on hot spot’s hours from... Read More >>

Grocer’s Daughter Strawberry-Ginger Kombucha Float

July 23, 2022

For a couple summers now, choosing between Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate’s fudgesicle—made with 70 percent direct-trade dark chocolate from Ecuador, natural cocoa powder, and the milk from The Farmer’s Creamery in Mio—or its decadently rich and real chocolate s... Read More >>

(Almost) Free Love

July 23, 2022

Maybe you’re one of the few who made it through the first year of the pandemic without adopting a dog or cat. Should you still have the hankering for a new furry best friend, the time is right—but running out quickly. Just one week remains for the Bissell Pet Foundation’... Read More >>

Binge Fest

July 23, 2022

Got an eye for indies? Have only a weekend to catch up on the year’s best? Or simply want to watch a movie on something other than your television screen? Film festivals, single showings, and shorts galore are coming soon to a bona fide theater near you. Here’s where to go, an... Read More >>

Centering Community

July 16, 2022

The mission that drove Amanda and Brad Kik to co-found the Institute of Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design (ISLAND) in 2005—to build strong communities through the intersections of art, farming, ecology, and economy—might bring to mind that old kindergarten challenge... Read More >>

Hippie Chippies

July 16, 2022

We don’t often wax rhapsodic about something as mundane as a corn chip, but Michigan-made Hippie Chippies deserve our exaltation. At first glance, these tortilla triangles might seem like they’d be just another sad sack of snacks gone wild, with “exciting new flavors&rdq... Read More >>

A No Swimming Short

July 16, 2022

Since the members of Chicago soul band The O’My’s came together a decade ago, they’ve retreated to a family barn in Leelanau County to write and record their music. In October, they brought along an audio and visual team to film a live rendition of their latest EP, N... Read More >>

Happy Meals

July 9, 2022

None of us thought being a server, bartender, host, busser, or chef was easy, but the public and private tales restaurant industry folks shared with us about the way they’ve been treated by guests in recent years have been nothing short of disheartening. We’ve heard of staff&m... Read More >>

The Burrow’s Squirtsky

July 9, 2022

Walk into Elmwood Township’s newly opened The Burrow, formerly the cozy digs of Tuscan Bistro, and the place is almost unrecognizable. The circular bar is still there gleaming anew amid the ceiling and walls drenched in fresh whites. With touches of moody gray-blue glass tiles, an i... Read More >>

Keeper of the Lights

July 9, 2022

At age 7, Nick Korstad fell in love for the first time. He was with his family on a vacation to Disneyland, wending along the northern California coast from their home in Washington state, when he saw her just south of San Francisco. She was standing near the edge of a craggy outcropping ... Read More >>