What with rolling vineyards, orchards and the surrounding big blue bays, hitting the brakes on a cruise up Traverse City's Old Mission Peninsula isn’t easy, but Peninsula Township Park, at the tips of peninsula, is a worthy, spectacular destination. You'll be rewarded with an amble-worthy arc of dreamy castaway beach backed by a forest full of hiking trails, and the 1870-built Old Mission Point Lighthouse, a prim white beacon of Great Lakes history that’s open daily for self-guided tours in summer. 231-499-1787.
South of the park (on Mission Road), you’ll find the authentic old-timey Old Mission General Store, the first outpost between Detroit and the Straits of Mackinac. This picturesque store is the purveyor of penny candy, nickel coffee and a priceless array of gourmet deli delights. Step through the creaky screen door and poke around for old fashioned essentials like red woolen long underwear, cardboard planes and Beemans gum. Perfect spot to nab a few goodies for your picnic at Peninsula Township Park. 231-223-4310.
Finish the day winding through the Old Mission vineyards sparkling in the late afternoon sun, stopping to taste along the way and grab a bottle to have with dinner.(wineriesofoldmission.com)