On our way to Traverse City, I wanted to take M-22 up through northern Michigan and explore any stops along the way. M-22 is a popular highway in Michigan, which closely follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan. From Grand Rapids, we drove up to Manistee before finally hopping onto M-22. Almost immediately, we saw a sign for Douglas Valley Winery, so we decided to stop and do a little wine tasting!
We drove off a little bit on back country roads to reach the winery, which is surrounded by grassy farmland. Douglas Valley Winery sits on a 640-acre historic fruit farm, which was beautiful! Their tasting house offers up wine, and various ciders to try. All grapes are grown on their property, but bottled at Black Star Farms in Traverse City. We ended up buying a growler of their "Raz-Mango" cider, which was incredibly delicious! Definitely worth the quick detour off M-22 if you're in Manistee heading north!
Our second stop was to the Arcadia Overlook, which is one of my favorite roadside scenic views in Michigan. As you continue to drive north through Manistee into Arcadia, you'll find a small parking lot off M-22, which is also known as "Inspiration Point". We hopped out of the car, and climbed the 120 steps (80 vertical feet) to the top lookout to see the most picturesque view of Lake Michigan. Honestly, it was breathtaking. Plus, it was amazing weather... it was windy, but super warm. I loved the atmosphere of our road trip that day. I think this has honestly been my favorite summer yet.
After hopping back into the car, we decided to stop into the quaint town of Frankfort, which is one of my favorite small towns! We wanted to check out Stormcloud Brewing Company, after seeing some pictures and hearing good reviews. It was so busy when we arrived, but we snagged a table and ordered up a brew (cider for me!) and some of their homemade butter and sea salt popcorn, which was so delicious. They also serve up tons of food options, including some flatbread pizzas we saw that looked amazing!
After finishing our popcorn and drinks, we drove down the street to the Frankfort Lighthouse. I've been to this one before (and wore the same skirt, without even knowing!). This lighthouse is by far one of my favorites. I just love the skinny pier that waves crash over, and the shape/look of this lighthouse. Plus, the water up here is so blue/green, that the white structure just pops. It just makes for the prettiest photos! We braved the wind to walk to the end, and I ended up getting totally soaked. But it was so much fun. Such a perfect evening in Frankfort.
After jumping back into the car, we decided to get off M-22 and cut over east to Traverse City so we could check into our hotel and head downtown to grab a bite to eat. My next goal is to finish M-22 from Frankfort up to Northport though. We might have to do that next summer , since this summer is already jam-packed with travel plans! We arrived in Traverse City, and headed downtown to grab a burger at Bubba's. Honestly, it was one of the best burgers I've ever had. I had the bubba's burger and sweet potato tots with garlic aioli. So GOOD. I'll be back with the rest of our trip in Traverse City. Hope you're having a great week!