Spring has officially sprung, so a trip up north no longer requires cold-weather fortitude. And you need not venture far to get some new scenery: Just an hour over the Michigan border sits a grouping of cozy little towns featuring gardens, resorts, wineries, and hiking trails. Taken together, they make a sweet little warm-weather road trip.
Travel time: 4 hours 2 minutes
Located on Route 12 and Tipton Highway is a community filled with lakes, cabins, and trails. The beautiful Hidden Lake Gardens is managed by Michigan State University and has been enriching the area for 70 years.
Every season brings new scenery that can be viewed by car or footpaths, so regardless of weather, you can still enjoy the Gardens. If your looking for a unique place to stay, check-in to the Stagecoach Stop Western Resort. The complete western “town” spans 22 acres and has trails to hike or ride on horseback, picnic areas, and a promenade to stroll.
Tipton to Onsted
Travel time: 12 minutes
After all that hiking, you might want to visit somewhere a little more relaxing. The Greenleaf Mansion is a charming restored bed-and-breakfast that offers tea times throughout the day. Take time to stop here before heading to the Devils Lake area, just outside of Onsted. Devils Lake is a popular spot for summer vacationers, but coming here in the spring allows you to enjoy the views and hit the golf course without all the crowds.
Onsted to Brooklyn
Travel time: 13 minutes
The last destination on your tour is the village of Brooklyn, the largest community in Irish Hills. This quaint spot is filled with antique stores, country markets, and those unique shops that you only find in small towns. Spend the day walking down Main Street or head away from downtown to bike the 5 Mile Clark Lake Spirit Trail and taste wines at the Cherry Creek Winery.
*If you’re planning ahead for summer, Brooklyn is also home of the Faster Horses Festival and this year’s line up includes Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt (just to name a few.) July 15–17