Motorcycles, Snowmobiles & ATVs

The Daily Michigan: 2 Nights at Heart Lake Resort Cottages!

Today on The Daily Michigan we have a very special giveaway – a two night weekend or mid-week stay for two at Heart Lake Resort Cottages from now through May 15th, 2012!!

The giveaway is subject to availability and some restrictions apply, but you heard it right – one lucky winner will receive an instant vacation to an outdoor paradise near Gaylord! Heart Lake Resort offers seven furnished and well kept cottages that range in size from 2-6 people. They’re located just south of Gaylord, just a mile or so from the I-75 expressway and food and fuel.

In wintertime, they’re close to downhill skiing and you can cross-country ski or snowmobile right from your door! In warmer weather, there’s fishing and boating of all kinds on a very clean, all-sports lake. They offer free use of canoes, kayak and rowboat with all kinds of amenities including fishing dock, kids playset, swim raft and bonfires with wood provided.

There’s tons to do in the area as well including ORV Trails, 17+ golf courses, fall color and fantastic mushroom hunting in the spring. For reservations or more information, give them a call at 989-732-5081 or visit their website. You can also click the link to the left to Like them on Facebook and see photos in their Facebook gallery!

Click here to sign up

February Michigan Event Calendar

Iron Works #2 - Cranbrook by MikeRyu
Iron Works #2 – Cranbrook by MikeRyu

Our Michigan February Event Calendar shows that the more the weather tries to keep us holed up, the more ways we find to get out and have fun!! Of course, there’s still many, many more and we invite you to fill us in on other February events in the comments.

February Fast FactsWikipedia

  • Having only 28 days in common years, it is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon. 2012 is a Leap Year!
  • It has 29 days in leap years, when the year number is divisible by four (except for years that are divisible by 100 and not by 400 in the Gregorian calendar)
  • It is the only month of the calendar that once every six years and twice every 11 years, will have only four full 7-day weeks.
  • Its birth flower is the Viola (plant) and the Primrose.
  • Its birthstone is the amethyst.

January Michigan Event Calendar

Frankfort, Michigan Lighthouse and Beach by forestlady
Frankfort, Michigan Lighthouse and Beach by forestlady

Here’s a few highlights of the many events being held around Michigan for the month of January (be sure to click Read More to see them!). A lot of them are out in the snow for snowmobiles, skates, skis and sled dogs, but there’s also a chance to heat up with the Ann Arbor Folk Fest, Ferndale Blues and the Detroit Auto Show. The weatherman says there’s a 100% chance we didn’t get them all so please add links and information for those we missed along with reviews of ones we list in the comments below!

Fast FactsWikipedia

  • January is named after Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua) – January is the door to the year.
  • January’s birthstone is the garnet which represents constancy.
  • Its birth flower is the Dianthus caryophyllus or Galanthus.


“New Year’s Day is everyman’s birthday.” – Charles Lamb

“January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.” – Sara Coleridge

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

Make Your 2011 Summer Camping Reservations Now for Michigan State Parks, Recreation Areas and Harbors

Camping by Joe Gall Photography
Camping by Joe Gall Photography

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment wants to remind users of Michigan state parks, recreation areas and harbors that reservations are now being accepted for the 2011 summer camping season. Reservations for harbor slips, campsites, cabins, teepees and yurts are now available online or through the reservation call center for dates including Memorial Day weekend through late June.

“Campsites become available for arrival dates six months in advance of the date a reservation is made, so we are already booking reservations for early summer,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNRE Recreation Division. “We encourage Michigan citizens and visitors to plan ahead for their summer of fun at a state park or recreation area by booking as early as possible. Camping in Michigan state parks is a very affordable family activity.”

Reservations can be made online at, or by contacting the reservation call center at 800-447-2757. Reservation call center staff start taking phone calls at 8 a.m. on weekdays and at 9 a.m. on weekends. New site availability dates roll into the database at those times to be fair to all users.

For more information about a specific state park or recreation areas harbors, winter camping opportunities and events, visit, or contact the Lansing Office at 517-373-9900.

Effective Oct. 1, 2010, the Recreation Passport replaced the resident motor vehicle permit (MVP). All resident motor vehicles must display the new Recreation Passport when their vehicle registration is renewed, for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and permit required boating access sites. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “Yes” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access site. Non-resident Recreation Passports are available at any state park entrance or through the Michigan e-Store at

A new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities, the Recreation Passport also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit or call 517-241-7275.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at

Tip-Up Town USA, January 22-24 & 29-31: Houghton Lake

Dan #1 by radiospike photography
Dan #1 by radiospike photography

Tip Up Town USA is 61 Years Old in 2011! The event has come to be the very description of winter fun and enjoyment for the whole family at Houghton Lake. Thousands of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and neighboring residents return each year to see this largest Winter Festival in Michigan, held annually the last two weekends in January. Whatever the weather, TUT will be fun, fun, fun all the way. There will be all the usual popular attractions – the carnival, parade, Polar Bear Dip, Family Fun Tent, Beverage Tent, crazy games and more! Plus, the Ice Fishing contests will be bigger and better than ever and we’re adding Broomball this year!

For more than 20 years, TUT USA has been acclaimed among the top ten festivals in the nation. In 1963, the United States Chamber of Commerce acclaimed it the seventh largest winter activity in the month of January in the United States. Approximately 80,000 people turned out during the past festivals to enjoy the results of hundreds of hours work put in by individual volunteers and various community committees.

YouTube has a slew of videos showcasing the good times to be had at Tip Up Town USA such as this one from

Byron Goggin and the Wild Weekend Adventure crew find insanity at its best! Strip down to your drawers and jump into a hole cut in the ice. Can you say “Scared Turtle”.

How to get there….

View Larger Map

Photo Friday: A Winters Evening by t p mann

A Winters Evening

t p mann would like you to Ride the Breezeway along Country Rd C48 from US 31 in Atwood through Ellsworth & East Jordan and ending in Boyne Falls. With scenic overlooks, farms, orchards, restaurants, galleries and shops, it’s a great motorcycle or bicycle ride.

Check out this photo of a farm near Boyne City bigger and see more in his sets including Favorites, Sunsets and Sites Along the Breezeway (slideshow).

Autumn in Michigan: Something for Everyone

Autumn Pathways by pentax hammer (gary syrba)

The crowds and traffic have subsided, the harvests are bountiful and the mosquitoes are few and far between. What we’re trying to say is that autumn is perfect time to get out and enjoy a color tour, take in a late season festival or event, go camping or hit some of Michigan’s numerous wineries and pick up a few bottles for holiday gifts or get-togethers. produced a great video a while back that takes you on a tour of Northern Michigan’s wine country and we think it is worth a watch and will entice you to plan a visit. On that note we should point out that Absolute Michigan is giving away a pair of tickets for the Toast the Season wine trail event which takes place on the Leelanau Peninsula on November 14 & 15.

Hoping to get one more wine tour in this summer? Or maybe you’re envisioning those glorious fall days when wine is an excellent excuse to drive through our wine country. Sit back and get some ideas as we visit Chateau Grand Traverse ( on the Old Mission Peninsula; Traverse City’s urban wineries, Left Foot Charley ( at The Village in Grand Traverse Commons (old state hospital grounds) and Black Star Farms ( in the Mercato, also in the Commons (Black Star also has its winery just south of Suttons Bay); and Shady Lane Cellars ( near Suttons Bay.

Enjoy watching the lush landscape as the vintners each tell us what makes them unique and what it is like growing and selling wine in Northern Michigan.

Also be sure to check out our monthly calendars on Absolute Michigan’s home page as well as keywords Halloween, maze, pumpkin, cider and more!

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.

Photo Friday: When good things go bad! by cfoxtrot

This happens…

Chris (cfoxtrot) says that his hobbies include guitar, photography, fishing, hunting, target archery, paintball and (you guessed it) off road motorcycles.

This photo is part of his Bikes and Cars set and others include People and Animals and My Favs (slideshow).

Here’s his Flickriver and you can also purchase his photography at Imagekind.