Straight from his recipe box, Chef Britt from Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, shares delicious fall treat of Michigan Red Apple and Gruyere Bread Pudding with Toasted Pecans. This is the perfect recipe during “apple season.”
- 2 cups Michigan Apples such as Red Delicious or Fuji diced small
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 day old French baguette cut in 1/2 inch slices
- 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/4 ham diced (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated nutmeg to taste
- 6 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Butter a 2 quart baking dish
- Layer 1/2 the bread in the pan
- Add cheese and apples to top the bread (ham optional)
- Cover with remaining bread
- Beat together eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and scallions
- Fill the pan with the mixture, covering the bread
- Bake for about 45 minutes until the custard is set up
- Sprinkle with pecans
We welcome the first day of fall with a popular fall drink – a Pumpkin Pie Martini! Below, please find our drink recipe.
- .5 oz. Stoli Vanilla
- 1 oz. Pumpkin Spice
- .5 oz. Kahlua
- .5 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
- .5 oz. half & half
- In a cocktail shaker, mix ingredients with ice and shake well.
- Strain into a martini glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs.
Cheers to a beautiful fall & harvest season!
It’s harvest time, the season to enjoy the fruits of the land, the crisp air and the amazing changing colors that surround us. Northern Michigan offers an array of family-friendly activities throughout the autumn season. We hope you’ll enjoy all that fall has to offer in our neck of the woods!
Uncle Frank’s Apple Town
Sundays, September 14 – end of October, 12 to 4 pm
Visit the Cider Mill and Pumpkin Farm in Brutus for hayrides, corn maze, cider and fresh apple donuts
Annual Taste of Harbor Springs
Saturday, September 20, 12 to 3 pm
Enjoy favorites by local restaurants, delis and gourmet shops
Harvest Festival at Friske Farm Market
Saturday, September 27, 8 am to 4 pm
Pumpkin pancake breakfast, tractor-drawn wagon rides, pick-your-own apples and kid games
Fall Festival Weekends at Pond Hill Farm
Saturday & Sunday, September 27 & 28; Saturdays & Sunday, October
Pumpkins, cider, donuts, hayrides and much more
Harvest Festival at Castle Farms
Sunday, September 28, 11 am to 2 pm
Celebrate fall with cider, donuts and fall-themed activities
Hayrides at Bill’s Farm Market
Saturdays, 2 pm
Enjoy a 30 minute hayride driven by Bill himself
Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch
Saturday, October 4
Boyer Glass Works in Harbor Springs and Three Pines Studio in Cross Village create a spectacular patch of hand-blown glass pumpkins
Apple Festival at Friske Farm Market
Saturday, October 4 & 11, 8 am to 6 pm
Homemade apple streusel pancakes, tractor-led wagon rides, family activities and all things apple
Apple Fest in Downtown Charlevoix
Friday – Sunday, October 10 – 12
Family activities, arts & crafts show, pony rides, petting zoo and more
What’s your favorite fall activity? For a complete list of fall activities in northern Michigan, please visit the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau or check out our list of 100 Things To Do in Northern Michigan – Fall 2014.
We know it’s difficult to let go of summer for another year, but when it’s followed up by an incomparable northern Michigan autumn, all is good and right! Enjoy the amazing colors and crisp air that are the essence of fall in northern Michigan. Be sure to visit some of our favorite spots listed below!
M-119 – The Tunnel of Trees
Drive north and enjoy a scenic car ride through the Tunnel of Trees from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Take the tour on your own or purchase a narrated CD for a guided tour – available at any one of our hotels.
Bear River Valley Recreation Area
Strap on your walking shoes and head to the Bear River Valley Recreation Area in Downtown Petoskey. The rushing waters and rich fall colors will knock your socks off. You may even spot fish swimming by.
Bay View Area
Take a walking tour of the Bay View Association. The changing leaf colors combined with the historic buildings and architecture make for an exciting adventure.
What’s makes a more beautiful backdrop for the Inland Waterway and Crooked River than rich fall colors of a northern Michigan fall? Nothing! Hop in a boat and tour the Inland Waterway (boat rentals available at Ryde Marine, Windjammer Marina and Indian River Marina). When you are finished, the nature trails, fish pond and swings at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge await you.
Harbor Springs Bluff
Head to higher ground in Harbor Springs for a view that cannot be beat – no matter the season! No words can express the beauty in the landscape paired with the vibrant and changing colors of fall.
Little Traverse Wheelway
Take a bike ride along the Little Traverse Wheelway, a 26 mile bike trail extending from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. You will enjoy views of Little Traverse Bay paired with the autumn landscapes of northern Michigan.
Take in all the sights with a 35 mile drive around Lake Charlevoix! See driving directions below (provided by the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau).
Depart Boyne City North on Lake Street (c-56) to US-31. Turn left at US-31 and continue for about 1 mile. Turn right at Mercer Boulevard and continue to the last street. Take a left at the end, and then another left. Continue to Mount McSauba Road and turn right at the stop sign, return to US-31. Continue on US-31 straight into town. Depart Charlevoix on US-31 to M-66. Take a left into Ironton. Turn left and board the ferry (nominal fee). Continue straight along Ferry Road to Boyne City.
We’d love to hear about your favorite northern Michigan fall spot! For complete driving tours in the area, visit the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau Fall Color Guide.
It’s hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is upon us. Here is a small list of our “Top Ten Things To Do Over Labor Day Weekend” in the area – for visitors and locals, too!
1. Hit The Beach Or Cruise The Inland Waterway
Ahhh, toes in the sand, and waves splashing in the background. Need we say more? The Petoskey State Park, Sturgeon Bay, Harbor Springs City Beach and the Michigan Beach in Charlevoix are among our personal favorites, here’s a full list of local beaches. We also recommend cruising the famed Inland Waterway. Boat rentals are nearby.
2. Listen To Local Musicians
- Catch the last of Harbor Springs’ popular Street Musique on Thursday. Stroll the streets and listen to performances by outstanding musicians from 7 to 9 pm.
- The Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel features entertainment nightly Thursday – Sunday, 8:30 to 11:30 pm. Get a full entertainment schedule here.
- Enjoy some Friday night entertainment by Michelle Chenard in the Wheelhouse Lounge at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. Bring your friends!
The most scenic bike trails are right here in northern Michigan. The Little Traverse Wheelway spans from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix and offers breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay. The North Western State Trail can be accessed on M-119 and continues on a newly paved trail all the way to Alanson.
4. Browse The Boutique Shops In The Historic Gaslight District Of Downtown Petoskey
A little something for everyone can be found in the quaint Gaslight District. While you’re there, hop on the Historic Trolley for a tour, available Thursday – Saturday. You can find a Trolley Schedule here.
5. Enjoy Al Fresco Dining
Whether it’s lunch, dinner or cocktails with friends, you won’t want to miss your chance to enjoy the last days of Al Fresco Dining! Dudley’s Deck in Harbor Springs is a summertime favorite. The Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel offers exquisite views of the picturesque Little Traverse Bay or try Jeff’s Deck in downtown Charlevoix to watch the boats cruise by on the Pine River Channel.
6. Explore And Hike New Trails
Northern Michigan is surrounded by hiking trails. Discover a new one at the Little Traverse Conservancy Nature Preserves. Or visit Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites and discover our nature trails through the wooded areas and along the Crooked River.
7. Watch Lake Charlevoix’s Regatta
The 46th Annual Red Fox Regatta happens this weekend and it’s fun to watch. More details found at the Charlevoix Yacht Club.
8. Indulge In Sunday Brunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
A tradition since 1962 and voted Northern Michigan’s Best Brunch! Our Sunday Brunch is served 8:30 am to 1:30pm. Enjoy chef-carved meats, homemade waffle station, breakfast favorites, lunch entrees, traditional sides, salads and a sweets table! $20.95 adults, $11.95 children. Reservations encouraged, 231-347-2771.
9. Harbor Springs Street Sales & Celebration
Downtown Harbor Springs merchant’s will be hosting the annual Street Sales & Celebration. Find some great “end of season” deals! More information can be found here.
10. Walk The Mighty Mac
The best way to view the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac! The 5-mile span welcomes thousands of visitors each year to participate in the walk. Head to St. Ignace where the walk begins (bussing is available in Mackinaw City). More details can be found here.
Straight from his recipe box, Chef Britt from Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, shares a simple and delicious appetizer of Smoked Salmon Corque Monsieur.
- 1/2 pound smoked salmon (we prefer John Cross Fisheries of Charlevoix)
- 8 slices of rustic bread, preferable sourdough
- 2 cups high quality grated Gruyere cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Layer the smoked salmon and Gruyere between slices of bread.
- Butter the outside of the sandwiches. Toast the sandwiches over medium heat slowly so that the outside is golden brown and the cheese is thoroughly melted on the inside.
- Cut the sandwiches in ¼ sections and serve immediately.
- Optional: Serve with a side of Béchamel or Mourney sauce for dipping.
Relax in an Adirondack chair. Sip on your favorite wine. Listen to the waves. Walk, hike or bike. Sleep in. Eat a delicious breakfast. Enjoy time with loved ones, family or friends. Sound good? Head to northern Michigan for an August getaway filled with unforgettable memories at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge & Perry Hotel. Our lodging package includes:
- Two nights lodging
- Breakfast vouchers each morning of your stay
- $40 in Stafford’s Dining Dollars (redeemable at any Stafford’s location)
Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge
Available Sunday – Thursday, August 17 – 21 and August 24 – 28, 2014
Reservations: 866-548-0700 or 231-548-5000
Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Available Sunday – Thursday, August 17 – 21 and August 24 – 28, 2014
Reservations: 800-737-1899 or 231-347-4000
Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Available Sunday – Thursday, August 24 – 28, 2014
Reservations: 800-258-1886 or 231-347-2771
Starting at $280, based on two guests per room (plus tax and gratuities). Please mention Celebrate Summer when booking. More information can be found here.
As soon as you experience a sunset in Northern Michigan you understand why the phrase ‘Million Dollar Sunset’ is so fitting for our area! Watching the sun fade into the horizon is breathtaking from any view – but we’ve compiled a list of our top five sweet-spots in the area!
#1: Sunset Park, Petoskey
Whether you pull off 31 into Sunset Park for just a few minutes, or you pack a picnic and make an evening out of it, you’ll watch in amazement while the glorious colors stretch the horizon and blend with Lake Michigan.
#2: Rose Garden Veranda, Petoskey
Sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite beverage on the Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel – all while watching the sun fade into the waters of Little Traverse Bay.
#3: Jeff’s Deck, Charlevoix
Locals and tourists alike would agree, you just can’t beat Jeff’s Deck at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant for a view of the sunset. While you’re waiting you may even see the bridge raise as the Beaver Islander cruises through the Pine River Channel. Or, take a walk along the Charlevoix Pier and enjoy the view near the lighthouse.
#4: The Bluff, Harbor Springs
Strap on your tennis shoes and head for high ground in Harbor Springs. Just a short walk from downtown Harbor Springs you’ll find the perfect frame for a northern Michigan sunset.
#5: East Park, Petoskey
Near Bay Harbor, enjoy the breathtaking view along with a brand new playground. Enjoy some time on high ground, then follow the path toward the shore and skip stones into Little Traverse Bay.
Did we miss one? Where is your favorite spot to enjoy a ‘Million Dollar Sunset’ in northern Michigan?
Last summer, we introduced our first three wines in our private label collection. Today we are pleased to introduce our fourth wine – a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford Napa Valley!
Our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford Napa Valley, was chosen for Stafford’s Bay View Inn. This wine is a crisp, flavorful wine with refreshing acidity with notes of orange blossom, melon and a tropical pineapple finish.
A full bodied, jammy and slightly tannic wine is our 2011 Pinot Noir from Carneros. This was selected specifically for Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in Charlevoix to complement their salmon, chicken and pork tenderloin entrées.
Chosen for Stafford’s Perry Hotel is our Chardonnay from Russian River. This wine has notes of lemon, pineapple and balanced with a long finish. This wine was selected to pair with our classic whitefish entrées.
Third, we introduce our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. This wine is a classic Napa grape with great cherry preserves and snappy! This wine was specifically chosen for Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs to complement our all-natural steak selections.
Our wines are available at each of our dining locations and offered on our banquet menus for weddings and special events. Our wines are also available at a special retail price at Stafford’s Gallery of Art & History in downtown Petoskey, along with wine gifts and accessories. Cheers!
Local and talented music festivals and musicians fill our northern Michigan communities with fantastic entertainment in the summer months. If you haven’t had the chance to experience the events below – you’re missing out! Be sure to mark your calendar and catch one of these fun-filled events.
- 34th Annual Blissfest Music Festival
Friday – Sunday, July 11 – 13, 2014
A celebration of music! If you find yourself in northern Michigan – this is a must do. The weekend can be shared with families and friends of all ages, with cultural and diverse music featuring: Bluegrass, Blues, Zydeco, Celtic, Folk, Jazz, Latin, Ethnic and World music. View a full schedule here. Full weekend and day passes are available at the gate. All events take place at Blissfest Festival Farm, 3695 Division Rd., Harbor Springs, MI 49740.
- 84th Charlevoix Venetian Festival
Saturday, July 19 – Saturday, July 26, 2014
Throughout the week, bands will perform a wide variety of live entertainment in East Park. View a complete festival line-up here.
- Annual Alanson Riverfest
Wednesday – Sunday, August 6 – 10, 2014
A celebration of the Inland Water Route! Fun for the whole family, this festival features live music in the entertainment tent beginning on Friday, August 8. View entertainment schedule here. All events take place in downtown Alanson and feature an arts and crafts fair, antique flea market on the hillside, bouncer carnival, river stories, a lighted boat parade and more!
- 12th Annual Festival on the Bay
Thursday – Sunday, August 14 – 17, 2014
Another family-friendly festival filled with blues, funk and steel drum entertainment, right on the bay in Petoskey. Festival on the Bay also includes a children’s area, youth fishing derby, arts and crafts fair, chalk & chocolate festival, petting zoo and so much more! All events take place on the waterfront in Petoskey. A complete entertainment schedule can be found here.
Weekly Music Around Northern Michigan
- Harbor Springs Community Band
Monday evenings, 8 to 9 pm through August 25, 2014
Grab a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy this group of local musicians. They play on the lawn next to Stafford’s Pier Restaurant.
- Bidwell Plaza Singer/Songwriter Series
Thursday’s, June 5 – July 24, 2014 at noon
Just outside Crooked Tree Arts Center in downtown Petoskey, the new outdoor Bidwell Plaza hosts a Singer/Songwriter series. View complete event line up.
- Downtown Charlevoix Concert Series
Thursday’s, 7 to 9 pm
Located in the East Park Performance Pavilion – with a beautiful view of the marina. Schedule and information here.
- Harbor Springs Street Musique
Thursday’s, June 26 until Labor Day, 7 to 9 pm
Stroll the streets of Harbor Springs and listen to local musicians!
- Red Sky Stage
Sunday’s, 1 to 4 pm
Downtown Petoskey is now home to the Red Sky Stage, hosting Blissfest Jam Sessions. More information can be found here.
- Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park
Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s throughout the summer
Grab a blanket and head to Pennsylvania Park Gazebo in downtown Petoskey to enjoy the return of this concert series. Tuesday’s (12 pm), Wednesday’s – Kid Themed (12 pm) and Friday’s (12 and 7 pm).
- Petoskey Rocks!
Friday’s through August 1
Continuing its third season, this Friday night program is fun for the family! Browse downtown shops and catch the great line-up of concert series!
- Bay View Vesper’s Concerts
Sunday’s through August 10, 8 pm
A Bay View Association tradition, the Sunday evening Summer Sunset Vespers Concerts continues the ongoing tradition of evening music, a staple since the 1800’s when families gathered at the end of the day to sing hymns. Complete details here.
- Petoskey Steel Drum Band
The local and talented Petoskey Steel Drum Band performs all around northern Michigan. Follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date with performance dates.
- Noggin Room Pub
Nightly, 8:30 to 11:30 pm
Local musicians fill the pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. Grab your friends and come on down. View our schedule here.
- Wheelhouse Lounge
Friday’s, June 20 – August 29, 2014, 8:30 to 11:30 pm
Head to the Wheelhouse Lounge at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant for entertainment by local favorites. View our entertainment line-up here.
Have you attended any of the above? Share with us your favorite experience!