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Northern Michigan: Father's Day up north falls at the perfect time in mid-June when the weather is really beginning to turn (for real now). It definitely has begun to feel like summer by June 16th, but the crowds are nowhere near what they are come July. So celebrate Father's Day weekend. Plan a day trip right in Traverse City or only a short drive away.
A great way to spend a few hours with the family is to load up the bikes and drive out to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. The section between Glen Arbor and the Dune Climb was just completed last summer, and the smooth asphalt and lack of car traffic are definite luxuries for a family biking outing. Park the car and unload at the Dune Climb (pass for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore required) and head north towards Glen Arbor, just four miles away. Take a pit-stop in Glen Haven, about two miles in, to savor the cool breeze coming off Lake Michigan or pop in and out of the historic sites, like the vintage general store or old-time blacksmith shop.
Continue pedaling, winding through trees and past windswept sand dunes, until you reach the hustle and bustle of downtown Glen Arbor. Spend some time grabbing testers at Cherry Republic, exploring the shops, and pausing for lunch or late afternoon snacks at Art’s Tavern (231-334-3574). An extensive appetizer menu and busy outdoor patio (perfect for people watching) make it a classic neighborhood hang-out. Once you return to the Dune Climb, try racing up and down the soft sand before piling, barefoot, back in the car.
What Dad doesn’t like baseball? Include watching the great American game in your plans this Father’s Day. Although Northern Michigan is not home to a Major League Baseball Team, there is still plenty of excitement to be found at a Traverse City Beach Bums game. The stadium at Wuerfel Park may be on the small side, but the laidback summer feel, easy access to the concession stands, and ability to see the ball, won’t make you wish you were anywhere else. Sundays are Family Fundays, with the first pitch at 5:05pm. Kids 12 and under even get a chairback ticket for half price with each adult ticket purchased. Visit tcbeachbums.com for more schedule and ticketing details.
Head three miles south of Grand Traverse Mall and you will arrive at Wuerfel Park. (If you get to the US 31 and M-37 intersection you have gone too far!)
Learn more about the TC Beach Bums here.