Every year summer seems to come and go in the blink of an eye. In an effort make sure I enjoy it I’ve learned a helpful trick. Start out the season with a summer “Must-Do” list. Mine is usually a combination of favorite activities and things I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t made time for. There’s something to be said for writng things down that makes you more apt to do it.
So I’ll share with you a few from my 2009 Summer Must-Do checklist:
1. Enjoy a Day at the Park – I’ve never been on a walk through the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain Resort, so this is the year. I can’t wait to see the larger than life-size sculptures, like Five Fingers, scattered throughout the park.
2. Learn a New Trick – It’s important to keep learning. So this summer I thought I might take a watercolor class. There are great day classes or seminars at the Crystal Lake Arts Center. Or maybe I’ll try to improve my photography skills with the digital photography workshop at Interlochen. There’s something out there for everyone if you know where to look.
3. Pick Fresh Fruit – When I was a kid we picked cherries, strawberries and raspberries to eat, freeze and make jam. I think my kids are ready to continue the tradition. My favorite was always picking cherries. But since that usually requires a ladder, perhaps we’ll go for blueberries this year. With all the U-pick farms in the area it shouldn’t be hard to decide.
4. A Quiet Day at the Beach – Sometimes the best activity is inactivity. Toes in the sand, book in hand, and all by myself. That sounds like a perfectly relaxing way to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
5. Eat a Barrel of Popcorn – …on a lawn chair, in front of the car, at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In. I’ll try to share, but I’m not promising. With real melted butter poured on top of the fresh kernels, it’s hard to resist this movie-lover’s treat.
6. Sip and Savor – I’ve been looking forward to an evening sipping a glass of Riesling and one of the small plate appetizers at Left Foot Charley in The Village. Sitting outside watching visitors come and go – ahhh, this is the life.
7. Try a New Restaurant – Summer is a great time to try new things. And since I love food, one of my favorite adventures is to discover a new restaurant. Whether it’s new to the area, or just new to me, it’s always a treat. Last summer we enjoyed Blu in Glen Arbor, and this winter LuLu’s in Bellaire. Who knows where this summer will lead.
8. Shop the Farmers Market – Almost every town in Northern Michigan has a farmer’s market. From the Sara Hardy market in Downtown Traverse City, to The Village, you can’t beat the fresh foods, handmade products and beautiful plants available each week.
9. Climb the Lighthouse – I’ve been to the beach at Point Betsie Lighthouse dozens of times, but I’ve never been inside. This summer I want to climb to the top of the light and check out the view. It’s amazing that after 150 years, boats still depend on the light to guide them safely through the Manitou passage.
10. Experience a Silent Movie – I’ve seen movies at the drive-in, the State Theatre and even at the City Opera House, but I’ve yet to experience an authentic silent film at the Music House Museum. Watching Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin with live accompaniment on the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ is a truly unique opportunity.
Now that I’ve shared some of my Up North Michigan summer must-do list, what about you? Take a few minutes and compile your own list of new places to visit, favorite activiites to share, and adventures to experience. Already have a list? Join our discussion on Facebook and share your summer ideas! Let’s make this season a memorable one.