Other things to do…
Okay – seriously – there are so many things to choose from, it is impossible to know where to begin. And there is just no way to list everything. But here are some thought starters!
Have you been to the Point Betsie Lighthouse? Just a short trip from the cabins, it is worth the visit, not matter what time of year it is! There are semi and self guided tours, and a cool gift shop as well. The view from the top is outstanding! You might even see a few freighters far out on the lake.
You may not have any room in your car to take home any plants, but a stop at Crystal Gardens should still be on your list! Of course the selection of plants and trees is amazing, but the grounds are just as cool. There is a donation only nature center that is interactive. A cool rock shop that has rock lamps, Petoskey stones and even jewelry. And of course The Barn Swallow, an antique shop that has some really fun things! Keep your eyes open for Thuja, one of the resident peacocks who patrols the grounds and the buildings!
Want something even more off the beaten path? Take a drive up to Interlochen and take a stroll through Donna’s amazing hosta garden. Located at 9948 Harmony Drive. Not widely advertised, Donna has a bit of an issue when it comes to Hostas – she can’t get enough of them, and has literally surrounded her home and property with winding paths planted with every kind of Hosta you can imagine. Open 7 days a week for the summer months, you can stroll through the winding paths, take a walk out onto the dock, and just surround yourself with nature. Oh, did I mention that she also sells more types of Hostas than you ever knew existed.
Just be warned – going here can be very addictive! Below is a blog article about Donna’s Garden!
Or how about the Iris Farm on M72, with hundreds of varieties of Iris, it is a site to behold when they are all in bloom. You can wander up and down the aisles and see all of the beautiful flowers and color combinations. Take home a bouquet if they are in bloom to set on the table in your cabin, or perhaps a few rhizomes to plant in your own garden!
Do you like art? Or perhaps you might like to try your hand at creating some of your own! Check out The Oliver Art Center in downtown Frankfort. They always have interesting exhibits, hold great events, and have a wide selection of classes that you can sign up for. So whether you think you might like to try painting, silk screen, or perhaps ceramics, this is the place for you. The classes are typically held to a reasonable size so that you are sure to get great instruction from some great artists! They also have classes for children, so check it out!
Thinking about riding the Betsie Valley Bike Trail? While in Thompsonville, stop in at Crystal Mountain Resort, and visit the Michigan Legacy Art Park . Over 40 outdoor sculptures are situated in a forest, on an over 30 acre preserve. The sculptures are really amazing to see as they come into site as you crest a hill you have just climbed, or find it just around the bend in the path.
They also have some great events, and in the summer, have a summer concert series where you can listen to some great musicians in a lovely outdoor amphitheater. The park survives largely with the help of volunteers and through donations, so drop a little something their way when you visit!
Music & More:
In Benzie County, there is always something going on. Music in the park, a 5K run, an art fare! Whatever your fancy, you will be able to find something you will want to come back and do again every year! Below are just a couple of links that might give you some ideas.
CLCBA – Crystal Lake Community Business Association: Events sponsored by and put on through the efforts of local business owners. They really work hard to bring about events that everyone can enjoy!
Frankfort/Elberta – Check out their local calendar here. There is a huge Art Fair in August!
Interlochen Center for the Arts – Take a stroll through the campus and listen to the students practice, or attend a paid or free event. If you haven’t been to Interlochen Center for the Arts, you have no idea what you are missing!!
COGnition – So new, they don’t even have a website yet. Next to the old bank in downtown Beulah there is now an interactive Children’s Museum. So if the weather isn’t great for hiking and biking, stop in and check them out!
Feeling the need to kick back and put your feet up for a while? There are a couple of options. The Garden Theater in Frankfort is home to the Frankfort Film Festival, held in October. They work hard to bring great movies to the area. Check out their link to see what is currently showing.
Ever been to a drive in? How about the kids? Well just down the road is the Cherry Bowl Drive In! One of only a few drive in movie theaters left in Michigan, drive into this one and it will take you back in time. With loads of activities like a playground and put-put golf, in addition to being able to watch a great new run movie, it is a must go!
Okay – don’t know about you, but I am exhausted! But always feel energized when somebody mentions shopping!! Where to start…
There are numerous interesting and fun shops in Beulah, Frankfort, and all of the surrounding area. Really too many to be able to list them all. Below are just a few thought starters. Let us know your favorite, and we just may add it here!
Need something for your picnic lunch? Or perhaps you want to try a new recipe with local ingredients. Or just pick up a fresh made pie to go along with those hot dogs you are going to make over the campfire next to your cabin tonight. The Market Basket is the place to go. Open year round, the market basket has fresh fruits and vegetables, dried herbs and spices, locally made salad dressings, marinades and more! So stop in and check it out!
It is difficult to decide whether to add Gwen Frostic under Art…or Shopping. You can still visit her studio and see the presses used to create all of her wonderful designs. Although she passed away in 2001, you can still feel her in the sounds of the animals and birds around what is now a store that sells notecards, calendars, napkins and so many other items, that it is impossible to list them all. Located in Benzonia, it is only a short drive away!
Into items for your kitchen, home decor are want something with a Michigan flare? Check out Crystal Crate & Cargo. With items that are both functional and fun, there is always something you’ll want to take home. Located in downtown Beulah and on your way to Beulah Beach!
If you’ve ever wanted to be inside an historic granary and shop at the same time, then Myers Granary is the place for you. Located in downtown Beulah, they boast 10,000 square feet of antiques and collectibles. They also have a tasting area serving Leelanau Wine Cellars Wines. They also carry a selection of local Michigan products.
Downtown Frankfort has tons of fun shops. Michigan Rag Co. is a great place to pick up a local or Michigan shirt or sweatshirt. There is a lovely local bookstore aptly named “The Bookstoore”, go grab a book to read on the deck of your cabin. There is also a hardware store, in case you need to pick up an extra chair to take down to the Frankfort Beach, and The Corner Drugstore in case you are in need of extra sunscreen, or a card of gift for that friend who is about to have their birthday. Tired of shopping? Order a beer and a burger and enjoy it on the deck of the Villa Marine, or grab a cone from the Frankfort Dairy Maid and head down to the beach to watch the Kiteboarders as they zip across the waves!