Golf & Golf Courses

Sunset on Mackinac

Stephanie of Stephanie Stevens Photography recently added a few timelapses from Mackinac Island to the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr. About her incredible timelapse of Mackinac Island harbor at sunset, she writes:

Hour & a halfish time lapse of Mackinac Island as the sun goes down, with ferries coming & going, horse carriages & bicycles on the streets, people in the park, & even some glowing Frisbees. :)

Watch it in HD and definitely check out Stephanie’s Flickr, her photography site and also a timelapse of stars at Arch Rock. More from Mackinac on Absolute Michigan.

March Michigan Event Calendar

Our monthly calendar contains a selection of what’s cool to do in Michigan. If you have an event to share, please POST IT IN THE COMMENTS. We read them all and might add yours, but if you email us, we simply can’t add the event!

If your event is ticketed and you would like to give tickets away to promote it, please go to this page!

Approaching Spring by mayerdavid1978

Our Michigan event calendar for the month of March features all kinds of signs that spring is just around the corner with some cautious reminders that objects around the corner may be further off than they appear.


“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes
and a laugh in her voice.” – Hal Borland

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” – Lewis Grizzard

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” – Doug Larson

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!” – Robin Williams

Fast Facts

March’s birthstone is Aquamarine and Bloodstone. They symbolize courage.

Its birth flower is the Narcissus.

March in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of September in the Northern Hemisphere.

Daylight-Savings time occurs on March 13, 2010, at 2:00 AM – time to spring ahead!

Think spring! The vernal equinox occurs on March 20, 2011, at 11:21  PM EDT.

Absolute Michigan’s 2009 Labor Day Roundup

Mackinac Bridge Walk by carolynne marie

Since1882 the first Monday of September has been recognized as a time to salute Americas workers with festivals, cookouts and parades on “a day off for the working man.” With school starting after the Monday, September 7 holiday, the long Labor Day Weekend is an ideal time to squeeze in some last-minute summertime fun. An estimated 1.4 million Michiganians will travel during the 2009 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. Michigan, the Great Lake State, offers ample opportunities to celebrate the end of summer.

Labor Day via Wikipedia

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

Stuff to Do, Places to Go

August 28 – September 7
Michigan State Fair Detroit
The Nation’s Oldest State Fair was officially first held in 1849, only twelve years after Michigan attained statehood. At the onset it was customary, in fact, for the fair to be held one year in one city, the next year in another, and there was always a hot contest to be the city selected. The Michigan State Fair settled down at the present fairgrounds in 1905. The 2009 Michigan State Fair will be held August 28th – September 7th.

Popular attractions include the FREE Concerts under the stars in the Band Shell, daily parades, competitions, horse shows, agricultural displays, arts & crafts, racing pigs, rabbits & poultry, dairy exhibits, carnival midway rides & games and the world’s largest stove.

August 22 – October 4
Michigan Renaissance Festival Holly
Festival is held on weekends and Labor Day, rain or shine. “visitors may also partake in games of skill or enjoy non-stop entertainment where belly dancers, sword swallowers, musicians, comedians and sword fighters provide merriment for all ages. The Festival is best known for it’s awe-inspiring full-contact armored jousting tournaments where gallant knights defend their honor until the last man is standing!”

September 3 – 7
Michigan Peach Festival Romeo
If you are looking for something fun for the whole family, there is no better place to be on Labor Day Weekend! Bring your family & friends to the Michigan Peach Festival in the beautiful Village of Romeo. There’s something fun for everyone!

September 4 – 7
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival Hamtramck
Hamtramck Festival has more than 500,000 annual visitors, live music on two stages, carnival rides, Polish Day Parade, samplings of ethnic food, cultural dancers, children’s activities, more.

September 4 – 7
Detroit International Jazz Fest Detroit
For 30 years, the Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) has attracted visitors and locals to an end-of-summer ritual on Labor Day Weekend that celebrates one of America’s most important art forms. The festival boasts five stages and 100 acts over four days in a city with a rich musical legacy. Sprawling over several city blocks in downtown Detroit – from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius – the festival also offers educational activities, giant puppets, fireworks, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more. And it’s all FREE!

September 4 – 7
Arts, Beats & Eats Pontiac
Arts, Beats & Eats is excited to add to its name, mission and purpose in 2009. We are now Arts, Beats & Eats – Festival of Hope and we are excited to announce new changes and partners for the 2009 festival.

Arts, Beats & Eats will still feature The HealthPlus Art Fair, one of the top art shows in the US, incredible food, more than 125 bands on six stages, and dynamic and interactive fun for the kids.

September 4 – 6
Logging Fest Newaygo
The Logging Fest takes place over Labor Day Weekend. Newaygo was built around the logging industry, and we are celebrating our logging heritage. Highlights of the Logging Fest include the Chainsaw Sculpture Competition and Auction, Lumberjack’s Competition and Fireman’s Water Battle. The Arts & Crafts Show in Brooks Park is host to exhibitors from all over the country displaying their arts and crafts. The local merchants have sidewalk sales. The event also includes kids activities and games, and on Sunday a parade route goes through downtown Newaygo.

September 5 – 6
Marquette Area Blues Fest Marquette
The Marquette Area Blues Society has announced the headline performers for the 2009 Marquette Area Blues Fest. The festival, now in it’s 6th year, will once again be held at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette over Labor Day Weekend. The dates are Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, 2009. Featured performers on Saturday include Blue Bass entertainment recording artists Biscuit Miller & the Mix, VizzTone recording artist Gina Sicilia and Chikan Howse Records recording artist James “SUPER CHIKAN” Johnson.

On Sunday, the featured performers are Michigan’s very own “The King of the Party Blues” Maurice Davis, Shanachie Entertainment recording artist Curtis Salgado and Blind Pig recording artists Smokin’ Joe Kubek and B’nois King. Also on the bill for the weekend will be the finest in local and regional blues performers. The music will begin both days at 1-pm with gates opening at noon. Be sure to take in the food and merchandise vendors as well as the workshops offered during the weekend to make it a complete blues experience!

September 7
Labor Day Bridge Walk Mackinaw City
The Labor Day Bridge walk, recognized as “the world’s greatest walking event”, brings over 70,000 people to the area. Buses are available for transportation to the north end of the bridge. Participants walk from the north side to the south. At the finish line you are awarded a certificate of completion.

More Labor Day Getaway Resources

Stretch Your Labor Day Holiday with Michigan Fairs and Festivals from

Labor Day Getaways from the West Michigan Tourist Association

MDOT Halts Most Work for the Labor Day Weekend from MDOT (54 work zones will be active so check it out to plan your route)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Calendar of Events – All the happenings are listed here

Thinking of doing some camping then check out this cool ‘Campground Search‘ from the DNR

If you are not hitting the road then take a virtual Labor Day tour of Michigan courtesy of our Absolute Michigan Flickr pool

Michigan Rated #1 in Social Media Tourism Promotion

pure michiganTravel Michigan has announced that it has earned the top-ranking amongst the 50 official US tourism office Web sites in the use of social media. In a recent study, How Social is Your State DMO (national break down pdf), How Social is Your State DMO (Michigan by city break down pdf) conducted by Gammet Interactive, Michigan takes the top spot for the use of popular social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and others.

“We’ve extended our efforts to stay connected with travelers. Social media allows us to get the Pure Michigan message out to potential visitors on other platforms,” commented George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “It opens another line of communication with travelers.”

In addition to the most popular state tourism Web site,, visitors now have other means to stay up-to-date on Michigan tourism deals, discounts and events.

Connect and get the inside scoop on where the fish are biting, what greens are running fast and how you can make your visit Pure Michigan at the newly launched blog, Pure Michigan Connect. Read about bloggers’ experiences along the nation’s longest fresh water coastline or experience at a small town celebration. Take a minute to comment on the blog posts, or submit one of your own.

Follow @PureMichigan on Twitter for the latest events and breaking news, along with some fun behind-the-scenes information on all the things going on with Michigan tourism. Search hashtags #puremichigan, #MIevents, #MIdine, #MIgolf, #MIfish, and #MIwine, for all the latest.

Join the Pure Michigan Fan Page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the latest events in Michigan and talk to others with the same love for Michigan. The fan page is another great resource for planning a trip.

In addition, visitors can now enjoy all the photos from the Pure Michigan Photo Contest on Flickr, or watch all of the Pure Michigan commercials on YouTube. continues to be a source for Michigan travel information, featuring more than 12,000 attractions, events, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan’s official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services.

Hoxeyville August 21 – 23, 2009

hoxeyvilleNestled on 75 + acres of pristine north country farmland and natural hardwood forest — within the Manistee National Forest — is a testament to pure north country peace and hootenanny. Hoxeyville will boast 2 stages of national touring artists as well as a 3rd stage featuring the best and brightest talent from around our beautiful state! Right next door, is a modern campground with full amenities, including a swimming pool, showers, plug-ins, dump station and wireless Internet. With an increased capacity of 8,500 and an amazing lineup, 2009 promises to be the grandest incarnation to date.

As always, the festival site will have a Disc Golf Course Designed by Stephanai Myers of Disc Golf Michigan. The festival site is also strategically located near various mountain biking trails and the Pine River, a National Wild and Scenic River, a world class blue-ribbon trout stream, and a renowned paddle sports playground. Kestelwoods restaurant, party store and campground is a convenient 6 minute walk from the festival grounds.

New to the Festival
New this year will be the addition of a beer tent, featuring some of the finest handcrafted brews from the great beer state, served up in a micro beer festival format. We’re proud to announce our all new Farmers Market full of local produce and specialty baked goods.

Vendor Village
In Hoxeyville we understand the vendor village is the nucleus of any good festival. We always strive to feature the finest artisan, craft and food vendors from our region, with a focus on specialty foods with locally grown and organic ingredients.

Just some of the artists include:
Buddy Guy, Galactic, Bill Frisell Trio, The New Orleans All-Stars, Melvin Seals & JGB, Greensky Bluegrass, Great American Taxi, Ekoostic Hookah, Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, Steppin’ In It, The Macpodz and many, many more….

Located in Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan in the Heart of the Manistee National Forest, The Festival Grounds are located just west of The Kestelwoods Store and Campground off M-37 in Wexford County (1 1/2 hrs N of Grand Rapids, 40 Min. S of Traverse City) This year the site has been expanded to 75 acres and features ample areas for shaded walk-in and car camping, and open and level fields for RVs and Campers. This year we have a new Venue area that will be home to the The Main stage, Vendor Village and a Beer Tent featuring some of the finest brews from the region.

Absolute Michigan Sponsor Highlight: Weekend Warrior Golfer


We at Absolute Michigan are very pleased to have businesses and organizations that sponsor our site. Due to their support we like to give them a proper introduction to our readers as a thank you.

One of these sponsors is Weekend Warrior Golfer, a new web site that features reviews of Michigan golf courses like Arcadia Bluffs (pictured above).

After losing his job in the pharmaceutical industry some months ago, Brent Newhouse decided that he couldn’t sit at a desk again. Brent explains:

“I worked with brilliant and committed colleagues for over 14 years creating medicines that help millions of people every day. I will always be proud of that, though sitting behind a desk was foreign to my personality and tough on my overall health. In the almost year since I was fired, I have traveled all around Michigan and have been able to meet the most wonderful people from all walks of life. Some of the best golf courses in the world are in Michigan. I am truly living the golfers dream!”

If you enjoy golf, check out Weekend Warrior Golfer for great articles, regular contests, product reviews and forums.

Fore! Tee off at the Michigan Golf Show & Lansing Golf Show

Spring means a lot of things to me by Apocaplops
Spring means a lot of things
to me by Apocaplops

The annual Michigan Golf Show takes place this weekend (March 6-8, 2009) at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi. It’s the largest consumer golf show in the nation, offering a chance to see the latest and greatest from over 400 exhibitors including retailers, manufacturers, resorts and representatives from over 100 Michigan golf courses!

There’s also a variety of “hands-on” activities including free pro instruction, seminars, hitting nets, and putting greens will help get your game ready for the spring. Retailers will be offering everything from golf tees to a full set of clubs at unbelievable prices.

There’s also a sister show, the Lansing Golf Show that happens March 20 & 21 at the Lansing Center.

You can also take a swing at Absolute Michigan keyword golf and check out the golf slideshow in the Absolute Michigan pool!

Road Trip: 2008 World Disc Golf Championships; August 8 – 16

From August 8th through the 16th, 2008, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Michigan will be hosting the biggest Disc Golf event to date, The 2008 Professional and Amateur World Championships, crowning the best disc golfers from around the world in one location.

The World Championships will invite over 1000 participants from all over the world to come to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek for the biggest Disc Golf event seen to date. The Worlds is a revolving tournament, visiting only the most desired disc golf locales in the country for one week a year.

About Disc Golf
Disc golf began on the west coast in 1976 by the father of the disc golf, “Steady Ed” Headrick. He took the principles of Ball Golf and applied it to his passion for playing frisbee, changing the simple plastic disc into a physical, mental, and social game for all ages to enjoy. The object of Disc Golf is to complete a hole, starting at a teeing location (teebox) and finishing at the target (polehole or basket), an above ground version of the ball golf green and cup. Just as in ball golf, the least amount of strokes is desired and shooting par or under is the goal.

The sport grew because of the dedication of the few involved at inception and with the help of the Professional Disc Golf Association (, the sport is exploding due to the over 1000 courses around the country and the challenge that each hole provides.

Disc golf is a relatively inexpensive sport as equipment costs are low and most courses are free to play. Mixed with the mental game of ball golf and the easy learning curve, most beginners will be making pars by the end of their first round. However, to be a World Champion, it takes mental prowess, dedication, and a love for the sport much like our sport professional heroes.

Visit the 2008 Disc Golf World Championships website for complete details!

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Dig Michigan: Traverse City

Traverse City is the largest city in Northwest Lower Michigan, and the first of Michigan’s regions that we are exploring this month. Our goal with this series of articles is to give you a little taste of some great vacation opportunities that are probably less than a tank of gas away, so if you have suggestions or questions about visiting the area, we’d love it if you would share them in the comments

Sunrise, East Arm, Traverse BayThe Long Crossing

A combination of Wikipedia’s Traverse City, Michigan entry and the Traverse City CVB the Grand Traverse Bay got their name from 18th century French voyagers who made la grande traverse or “the long crossing” across the mouth of the bay Grand Traverse Bay. In 1853 the only post office in the region was located at Old Mission, then known as “Grand Traverse.” While in Washington, D.C. in 1852, Tracy Lay convinced the U.S. Post Office to authorize a new post office at his newer settlement across the bay. The village was known as “Grand Traverse City,” but at the suggestion of a postal clerk the “Grand” was dropped to limit confusion.

Culinary Delights

The Grand Traverse region earns the nickname of “Cherry Capital of the World,” producing an estimated 360,000,000 pounds of cherries annually. It’s not just cherries though – the wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula have risen quickly to the top due to a conducive micro-climate for growing grapes. You can enjoy the region’s agricultural bounty through a wide array of farm markets and food producers like Shetler Family Dairy, Moomers Homemade Ice Cream (named America’s Best Scoop in 2008) and Carlson’s of Fishtown. There are also at a number of great restaurants in the city and scattered throughout the area. Just a few of these to not miss are Fusion, amical, Trattoria Funistrada, The Old Mission Tavern and (of course) the Cheese Shanty.

Traverse City, in pictures

The photo above is titled Sunrise, East Arm, Traverse Bay and it was taken by Joel Dinda, who has several more from Traverse City and this set of Leelanau County photos (slideshow). As you can see from Joel’s photos, the countryside and shoreline surrounding Traverse City is some of the most beautiful in Michigan. In addition to Traverse City, some things you might want to look at include Old Mission, Sleeping Bear Dunes and of course photos of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee & Wexford.

TJ's Pub by the pentax hammer
TJ’s Pub by the pentax hammer

But what is there to DO in Traverse City?

If you enjoy the outdoors, Northwest Michigan is the place to go. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is among the most beautiful natural areas in the nation, offering miles of untrammeled Lake Michigan coastline, hiking, camping and cultural opportunities and the world’s largest shifting sand dunes. There are many more beaches offering swimming and fishing on the area’s many inland lakes like North and South Lake Leelanau and Torch Lake. You can also hike the trails of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, bike on the many backroads and trails including the TART Trails and the Betsie Valley Trail and enjoy golf at a dizzying number of golf courses.

If the outdoors isn’t your thing you can experience shopping in downtown Traverse City and at villages across the region. The State Theatre – home of the Traverse City Film Festival – has been beautifully restored and shows a variety of independent and classic movies every day. The region also boasts some excellent museums including the Dennos Museum, Music House (private museum), and Great Lakes Children’s Museum in Traverse City, the Manistee County Historical Museum, the Empire Area Historical Museum, Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Guntzviller’s Spirit of the Woods Museum (private) and the Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center in Cadillac.

Where do I go for more?

You can dig deeper through Absolute Michigan by checking out Absolute Michigan county pages for Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee & Wexford and also try the pages for Traverse City, Manistee, Cadillac and many other towns that you can see on the Absolute Michigan Map of Michigan. Of course there are tons of other web sites with useful information. Some of our favorites are the Traverse City Visitors Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, MyNorth, Kalkaska County Michigan Online, the Benzie County Visitors Bureau, and our own and

Assignment: Why Michigan is the best state in the country

Drift at Sunrise by CaptPiper

We received an email from Mitchell Hirsch asking for a little help. We thought our Michigan-loving audience be able to help him out a little. In addition to mailing the things he asks for, maybe you could post a couple links to things he can print out. It’s our duty as a state to ensure that Mitchell receives a great grade!

I am a fifth grader at George G. White Middle School in Hillsdale, NJ. I was given a report to do, explain why Michigan is the best state in the Country. I will be judged by my teachers and classmates. I would like to know if you can send me maps, pamphlets, pins, or any giveaways that I can give out during the judging.

Thank you for your help,
Mitchell Hirsch 28 Buff Lane
Hillsdale, NJ 07642

Mitchell will also be checking in here, so post links to sites and people that you think would help him in the comments below!