Things To Do This Thanksgiving Weekend

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Holiday Decor Makes Downtown Petoskey Sparkle!

The entire Stafford’s family wishes you peace and appreciation which brings us together this Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday weekend with these great events to kick-off the most “wonderful time of the year!”

1. Charlevoix Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting Celebration
Friday, November 28, 3:30 to 6 pm
Join the community of Charlevoix for a kick-off to the holiday season!

2. Christmas in Indian River Celebration
Friday, November 28, Evening
Enjoy the parade, Christmas tree lighting and pictures with Santa.

3. Stafford’s Annual Downtown Petoskey Holiday ParadeAn Old Fashioned Holiday
Saturday, November 29, 10 am
A downtown Petoskey tradition! Floats, bands, Santa and holiday cheer – a great family event! The parade circles through downtown and ends at Stafford’s Perry Hotel with Santa’s Workshop where you can visit with Santa on his sleigh, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, too. Bring your camera, this is a free event and happens every Saturday from 12 to 2 pm on the Rose Garden Veranda until December 20, 2014.

Santa's Workshop at Stafford's Perry Hotel

Santa’s Workshop at Stafford’s Perry Hotel

4. Downtown Harbor Springs Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 29, 6:30 pm
Join the community of Harbor Springs for a downtown tree lighting and a heartwarming kick off to the holiday season!

5. Shop Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 29, all day
Get a head start on your holiday shopping and support our local downtowns with Small Business Saturday.

We wish you a safe, healthy and hospitable holiday season!

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70 Things To Do In Northern Michigan This Winter

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The outdoor firepit at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites

Winter has arrived to Northern Michigan and we couldn’t be more excited! There’s nothing quite like a frosty shopping foray during the holiday season in the nearby downtown or the excitement of fresh powder for snow lovers to enjoy skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing! Whether you are a local or vacationer, check our list of Things To Do In Northern Michigan This Winter.

1. Petoskey is home to Kilwin’s quality confections – take home a delicious treat or schedule a tour of the kitchen.

2. Enjoy world class skiing at Nub’s Nob, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain (all a short drive from our hotels).

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Experience the Midwest’s best snow!

3. Wine & dine at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs.

4. Grab a drink in the Noggin Room Pub, complete an around the world tour of over 30 brews and add your name to the “Hall of Foam.”

5. Bundle up to hike the picturesque sand dunes or cross country ski at Petoskey State Park (located off of M-119).

6. Browse the boutique shops of Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District, Harbor Springs or Downtown Charlevoix.

Shopping in our quaint downtown’s

7. Indulge in some comfort food with a Saturday evening Innkeeper’s Buffet at Stafford’s Bay View Inn.

8. Experience exceptional northern Michigan wines along the Bay View Wine Trail.

9. Rent a snowmobile and discover the hundreds of miles of trails in northern Michigan.

10. Browse through our collection of Michigan artists at Stafford’s Gallery of Art and History – located behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

11. Try your luck at Odawa Casino.

12. Walk or cross country ski through the winding community of Bay View and enjoy the gingerbread Victorian cottages.

13. View the ever changing exhibits at Crooked Tree Art Center – located in downtown Petoskey.

14. Visit the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center – located in Oden on US-31.

15. Enjoy outdoor winter activities at Mt. McSauba Recreation Area in Charlevoix – one of the few municipal ski facilities left in Michigan.

16. Visit Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain.

17. Head to Indian River and visit the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods and museum.

18. Take home some jam & sauce from American Spoon Foods – Petoskey is where the company was founded.

19. Dine at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in downtown Charlevoix overlooking the Pine River Channel.

20. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the historic community of Bay View at Stafford’s Bay View Inn (Every Saturday in January & February, weather permitting).

Sleigh rides in historic Bay View

Horse drawn sleigh rides in historic Bay View

21. Stop by Symon’s General Store in downtown Petoskey for some gourmet snacks.

22. Sample Oils and Vinegars from Fustini’s in downtown Petoskey.

23. Sit back, relax and take in the views of our beautiful corner of northern Michigan.

24. Catch a flick at the Petoskey Cinema (northernmicinemas.com).

25. Stroll the Bear River Recreation Area in Petoskey.

26. Enjoy a zip line adventure at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs.

27. Sweet tooth? Tom’s Mom’s Cookies in Harbor Springs is a great treat.

28. Ice skate or sled at Petoskey’s Winter Sports Park.

29. Take a tour of Earl Young’s Mushroom Houses in Charlevoix. Maps are available at the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce.

30. Snowshoe through historic Bay View or one of our many hiking trails in the area.

31. Pamper yourself with a day of relaxation at one of the areas renowned spas.

32. Relax by the cozy fireplaces at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge or Perry Hotel.

33. Browse through the Andrew Blackbird Museum in Harbor Springs (open seasonally).

34. Go ice fishing on one of the many local lakes.

35. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians in the Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel every Friday & Saturday evening. View a schedule of entertainers here.

36. Big Bear Adventures in Indian River offers guided winter rafting trips and snowshoeing (17 miles northeast of Petoskey; 9 miles east of Alanson).

37. Our indoor pool and hot tub at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites in Alanson is open for public swimming!

Indoor pool & hot tub at Stafford's Crooked River Lodge

Indoor pool & hot tub at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge

38. Learn about the famous Petoskey Stone, available for sale in our gift shops.

39. Bundle up and take a walk along the Pine River Channel in Charlevoix.

40. Try Stafford’s Oak Planked Whitefish – a Stafford’s specialty since 1961!

41. Peruse the Harbor Springs History Museum in downtown Harbor Springs.

42. Walk, shop and dine in the unique village of Bay Harbor.

43. Gather local produce from the year round (indoor) Farmers Market in Harbor Springs.

44. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at our newest location, The Drawbridge Bistro, in Charlevoix.

Bacon n' Brie pancakes at The Drawbridge Bistro

Bacon n’ Brie pancakes at The Drawbridge Bistro

45. Visit Pond Hill Farm and try out their new wine tasting room (north of Harbor Springs on M-119).

46. Sample local wines from Mackinaw Trail Winery in downtown Petoskey.

47. Create your own pasta on Thursday evenings at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant – $12.95 (not available on holidays).

48. Watch local performers at the Crooked Tree Arts Center. Or catch a concert by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.

49. Boyne City has shops, restaurants and events to explore.

50. Visit a northern Michigan brewery. Beards Brewery located in downtown Petoskey or Petoskey Brewing Co. located on M-119.

51. Relax by the outdoor fire pit at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites.

52. Take the family to play a few frames of bowling at Northern Lights Recreation (located on M-119).

53. Take a tour of Maple Moon Family Sugary and sample some of their homemade treats (mmsyrup.com)

54. Read one of our many books or magazines in one of our libraries at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge or Perry Hotel.

55. Relax during Happy Hour at the Noggin Room Pub, Monday – Friday, 4 to 6 pm (staffords.com).

Noggin Room Pub

Noggin Room Pub

56. Friske Orchards is open year round (10 miles south of Charlevoix).

57. Visit one of the many antique shops in northern Michigan.

58. Peruse the historic Inland Waterway Museum in downtown Alanson – seasonal.

59. Visit Boyer Glassworks in Harbor Springs for one-of-a-kind items.

60. Explore the picturesque trails of Little Traverse Conservancy Nature Preserves – locations throughout northern Michigan.

61. Sturgeon River Pottery offers a great selection of homemade pottery and gifts, and they make it right in the store (sturgeonriver.com).

62. Visit one of the areas signature fudge shops – locations in Charlevoix, Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

63. Take the little ones to enjoy some playtime at Busy Bodies Bounce Town (busybodiesbouncetown.com).

64. Explore the 20 acres surrounding Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites. Hike, snowshoe or tube down our hill (maps available at the front desk).

Snowshoe at Stafford's Crooked River Lodge & Suites

Snowshoe at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites

65. Visit Deer Park in Harbor Springs.

66. Sip a gourmet cup of coffee at North Perk Coffee, Drip Works or Roast and Toast in downtown Petoskey.

67. Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center holds performances year round.

68. The Headlands in Mackinaw City is an international Dark Sky Park and the perfect place to watch the night sky. Be sure to bundle up!

69. Catch a winter sunrise over the Crooked River.

70. Get into the holiday spirit with a community holiday event listed below!

View more area events at petoskeyarea.com!

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Holidays in Downtown Harbor Springs

We hope you enjoy the beautiful season that is upon us!

Stafford’s Dutch Apple Pie

Stafford's Dutch Apple Pie

Stafford’s Dutch Apple Pie

Our Dutch Apple Pie is a recipe from Stafford’s Cookbook – 40 Years of Recipes from the Bay View Inn.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Granny Smith apples, sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Single pie crust

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 10 tablespoons butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

Directions
Peel, core and slice apples. Combine sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Mix with apples. Layer sliced apples to form a very high mound of apples in pie shell. This mound will be considerably higher than pie shell. Apples will cook down.

Sift flour, cut in butter and add brown sugar. Sprinkle over pie and let it trickle down among apples. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 1 1/2 hours.

Stafford’s Cookbook – 40 Years of Recipes from the Bay View Inn is available for purchase at Stafford’s Gallery of Art and History, Bay View Inn, Perry Hotel or Crooked River Lodge. These make wonderful gifts!

Recipe Box: Fried Brussel Sprouts with Teriyaki Cream

brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Straight from his recipe box, Chef Britt from Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, shares one of his delicious menu items – Fried Brussel Sprouts with Teriyaki Cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 table spoons water
  • Dried Italian style bread crumbs

Sauce

  • 1 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki glaze
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 pint vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  • Boil the sprouts in water for about 5 minutes till tender but firm.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water till cold and reserve.
  • Beat the egg with the water and reserve.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees in a large stove top pot making sure you have plenty of room to work with.
  • Toss the sprouts in the egg wash, drain and then toss the sprouts in the bread crumbs to cover.
  • Remove and place the covered sprouts in the hot oil gently.
  • Fry until golden brown and remove and place on a paper tower.
  • Place the sprouts on a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy!

Fall Color Tour

This has been one of the most beautiful autumn seasons we have seen – did you get to experience it? Enjoy a few of our photos of a very colorful northern Michigan!

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Forest Floors

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Color Along The Maple River in Brutus

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Rainbow in Downtown Petoskey

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Waterfront in Downtown Petoskey

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Charlevoix Colors Pop Against Bright Blue Skies

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Colorful Drive in Alanson

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Stafford’s Gallery – Colorful Indoors and Out

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Pops of Orange at Stafford’s Bay View Inn

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The Crooked River in Alanson

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Colorful Walking Paths in Bay View

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The Tunnel of Trees on M-119 in Harbor Springs

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Vibrant Reds and Oranges

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Harbor Springs Bluff

Have your own photos of autumn in northern Michigan? Post them to our facebook page to share with our social media family!

Come Sip Along – Northern Michigan Wineries

Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery

Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery

It’s harvest season and the wineries of northern Michigan are something you don’t want to miss! Add these stops to your next “must-do” list and sample some award wining wines right here from northern Michigan, along the Northwest Bay View Wine Trail. These include wineries in Charlevoix, Petoskey, Walloon Lake, Harbor Springs, Alanson and Indian River.

“The Bay View Wine Trail region is centered in the exposed shale of the geological Devonian formation which encompasses Charlevoix and Emmet counties. These unique outcrop areas fold and crimp exposed bluffs and river gorges along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Coupled with the warm breezes off of Little Traverse Bay, the Bay View Wine Trail region has unique micro-climates providing for a young but flourishing wine region.”- Bay View Wine Trail Website

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Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery (Credit: Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau)

Northern Michigan Wineries & Tasting Rooms

Have a favorite wine from these vineyards? Please share with us in the comments. Cheers!

Fall Harvest Events

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We know it’s difficult to let go of summer, but when it’s followed by a northern Michigan autumn, all is good and right! It’s harvest time – the season to enjoy the fruits of the land, the amazing colors, the crisp air and Stafford’s signature hospitality. Here are some autumn events & activities we don’t want you to miss!

A Fall Wine Tasting
Friday, October 10, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
A perfect fall event, Stafford’s Gallery is pleased to host an evening of wine tasting! Guests will enjoy a taste of Stafford’s Private Wine Collection:

  • Stafford’s Chardonnay, Russian River Valley (2012)
  • Stafford’s Pinot Noir, Napa Valley (2011)
  • Stafford’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (2011)
  • Stafford’s Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford Napa Valley (2013)

$12 per guest and includes light appetizers. Guests of the wine tasting can also take advantage of special pricing the night of the event – 10% off art and 20% off all accessories throughout Stafford’s Gallery. We can’t wait to see you! More information can be found here.

Fall Festival Weekends at Pond Hill Farm
Every Saturday & Sunday in October, 11 am to 4 pm
Pumpkins, hayrides, cider, donuts and more! View details and more events here.

1602178_10152736717903844_6093696505157556516_o36th Annual Charlevoix Apple Fest
Friday, October 10 – Sunday, October 12
Fun for the entire family! This 3 day event celebrates local orchards and growers. Events include a parade, arts & crafts show, fall farmer’s market, children’s activities and more! View a schedule here.

Petoskey Restaurant Week
Friday, October 17 – Friday, October 24
Enjoy a week long culinary event celebrating the restaurants of the Petoskey Area. Many restaurants will offer a two for $15 lunch, 3 course dinner for $25 or two for $25. Now is your chance to try out the amazing restaurants that surround us! View more information and menus here.

Murder Mystery Dinner
Saturday, November 1, 6 pm
Local detectives and out-of-town sleuths are invited to join us at Stafford’s Bay View Inn for a four course interactive Murder Mystery Dinner with Murder Mystery entertainment provided by Murder Mysteries Ink with ‘Inspector Russell.’  $49 per guest, inclusive. View our menu here. Please call our friendly front desk for reservations, 866-258-1886.10669231_786130691425806_2408320030759602937_o

Beer vs. Wine Dinner
Saturday, November 1, 6:30 pm
Join Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant for a ‘head to head competition’ to see which pairs better with Chef Rob’s courses, Short’s Beer and Bowers Harbor Wine. Entertainment by John Archambault Band following the dinner. Four course dinner and pairings, $50 per guest. Visit our website for more details of call for reservations, 231-547-4311.

Happy Harvest Season! 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.

Recipe Box: Michigan Red Apple and Gruyere Bread Pudding

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Michigan Apples

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.”

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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

Enjoy!

Executive Chef - Britt Beaumont of Stafford's Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, MI.

Executive Chef – Britt Beaumont of Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, MI.

Fall Drink – Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumkpin Pie Martini

Pumkpin Pie Martini

We welcome the first day of fall with a popular fall drink – a Pumpkin Pie Martini! Below, please find our drink recipe.

Ingredients

  • .5 oz. Stoli Vanilla
  • 1 oz. Pumpkin Spice
  • .5 oz. Kahlua
  • .5 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • .5 oz. half & half

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker, mix ingredients with ice and shake well.
  • Strain into a martini glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs.
Crooked River

Fall Color Reflection on the Crooked River in Alanson, MI.

Cheers to a beautiful fall & harvest season!

Things To Do in Northern Michigan This Fall

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!

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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

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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

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Fall Festival Weekends at Pond Hill Farm
Saturday & Sunday, September 27 & 28; Saturdays & Sunday, October
Pumpkins, cider, donuts, hayrides and much more

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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.

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