LANSING — With 2013 underway, visitors to Michigan.org, the state’s official tourism Web site, can look forward to a wide range of new and improved lodging options, dining spots, and activities this year, including milestone anniversary celebrations.
What’s New to See
Museums – Michigan has several new museums and exhibits for visitors to explore this year.
• Visit the world’s premier automotive exhibit at Driving America in The Henry Ford in Dearborn.
• A ground breaking collective art exhibit honoring President Barack Obama is now on display at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
• The Detroit Historical Museum has reopened with three new permanent exhibits: the Gallery of Innovation, the Allesee Gallery of Culture and Detroit: the Arsenal of Democracy.
• The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, a premier venue for international contemporary art, is now open on the campus of Michigan State University.
• See the 2013 “People of Mackinac” art exhibit at the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum on Mackinac Island.
• Now open, the Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum is dedicated to establishing a fun, hands-on and educational experience for kids.
• Experience a Forrest Sherman class destroyer in person with a tour aboard the USS Edson (DD-946). Schedule an appointment at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum.
• Expected to open this summer, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market will include rooftop greenhouses, a first-in-the-nation children’s kitchen, and an indoor market hall and outdoor space for vendors.
• Sunrise Side Wine & Hops Trail provides a great way to taste Michigan beer and wine at seven wineries and three microbrews on a scenic trail along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast. Or travel along the new West Michigan Wine & Beer Trail.
• Stop by the Human Sundial at Chief Wawatam Park in downtown St. Ignace.
• One of the newest resorts in The Wilds of Michigan, Mountain View Lodges in Silver City is now offering chainsaw carving demonstrations.
• erve the building of a whale boat at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville as part of the restoration of the famed Charles W. Morgan whaling ship.
• Hike, bike or ski the Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve in Otsego County.
What’s New to Do
Adventure – Michigan offers a wide variety of new ways to explore the state and find an adventure.
* Mt. Bohemia in Lac La Belle will offer Michigan’s first all-inclusive outdoor adventure package beginning this summer.
* The whole family will enjoy the new Lakeside Gliders ride at Michigan’s Adventure.
* Experience the historical backwoods area of Ishpeming and Negaunee on guided horseback tours from Heritage Hills. Or board the historic Isle Royale Queen III for a one-of-a-kind boating experience on Lake Superior.
* February is Open Cockpit Month at the Kalamazoo’s Air Zoo.
* Downtown Muskegon will now offer bicycle and surrey rentals during the summer months.
* Take a guided kayak tour of the Kalamazoo River at Highland River Adventures.
* Explore the North Eastern State Trail – a 70 mile non-motorized trail (open to snowmobiles in winter) between Alpena and Cheboygan.
* Take a ride on the Bernida, a refurbished yacht at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven.
* Find different ways to explore the Little Traverse Conservancy nature preserves with the conservancy’s new smart phone app.
* Five new canoe launches on the Shiawassee River are near completion. Launches will be located at The DeVries Nature Conservancy, Geeck Road County Park, Henderson Park, Voight Loop Trail Park and Lytle Road County Park.
* Area restaurants and charter captains in Grand Haven have teamed up to offer “Catch & Cook” packages for customers.
Tours & Classes – Michigan is full of experts ready to make your vacation informative as well as entertaining.
* Attend a session with Kendall/Jansen Golf School at Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood.
* Elmbrook Golf Course in Traverse City has launched the Elmbrook Golf Academy with area PGA professionals offering instruction programs for all skills levels.
* Take a “Magical History Tour” of Traverse City through the Traverse City History Center.
* Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids is offering brewery tours for the first time.
* Hankerd Inn Bed and Breakfast in Pleasant Lake will now offer cooking classes in its demonstration kitchen.
Sports & Events
* Catch rounds two and three of the NCAA men’s basketball championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills March 21 and March 23.
* Cool Brews. Hot Eats. hits Grand Rapids February 18-March 2.
* Tall Ships return to Bay City in 2013 and the first annual Great Lakes Bay Marathons weekend kicks off in May.
Shopping – A host of new and unique stores are open for business this year.
* Ann Arbor: Rock Paper Scissors
* Detroit: Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe
* Grand Haven: Grand Haven Vinegar & Oil, What a Gem, Chocolates by Grimaldi
* Grand Rapids: Cabela’s
* Holland: Frances Jaye, Threads on 8th, The Bag Lady
* Rogers City: The North Shore
* Saginaw: Cabela’s
Expansions & Improvements
Ski Resorts – Winter in Michigan is hitting its prime, and ski resorts across the state are featuring new improvements in 2013. Treetops Resort in Gaylord now has three progression terrain parks, and be sure to visit the new Ice Bar. Beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain parks are now available at Pine Mountain. Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl in Grand Haven is now making show and providing ski and snowboard equipment rentals. New ownership at Mt. Brighton is upgrading and enhancing the ski area. Discover the new Monster Energy terrain park and Big Air Launch Pad at Shanty Creek Resorts, in addition to two new ski runs. The Homestead has unveiled a newly remodeled Snowsports School.
* Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Lodge just completed a new indoor waterpark and Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel in Mt. Pleasant is now open.
* The Holiday Inn Express in Saginaw just underwent a complete renovation. Saginaw’s Four Points Hotel Sheraton and The H Hotel in Midland also have renovation plans in the works.
* Traverse City’s Holiday Inn West Bay is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation to be completed before the start of 2013 vacation season.
* The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has completed renovation of all 237 guest rooms along with other infrastructure projects.
* Comstock Inn in Downtown Owosso features renovated guest rooms and an upgraded Tanglewood Restaurant.
* Greektown Casino Hotel recently added Brizola, featuring a progressive wine menu and city views.
* The MGM Grand Detroit opened three new restaurants onsite: TAP, Wolfgang Puck Steak and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina.
* Hampton Inn & Suites in Monroe has just completed a $1.5 million renovation, while the historic Hotel Sterling has added three new rooms to its lineup.
More expansions & improvements
* The Delta County Historical Society is doubling the size of its museum, which will be open Memorial Day weekend.
* Traverse City’s popular Clinch Park beachfront on West Grand Traverse Bay is being redesigned to include an interactive waterscape, a small boat launch, and an artesian water sculpture.
* The Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant in Buchanan and Sandhill Crane Vineyards in Jackson have both expanded their tasting rooms. Harbor Springs Vineyards and Winery at Pond Hill Farm has built a tasting room looking out to the terraced vineyard.
* One of the largest shipping ports on the Great Lakes, the Port of Calcite in Rogers City now features an expanded view of the happenings in the harbor.
What’s New to Eat and Drink
Wineries – Nine new wineries opened in Michigan last year: Thunder Bay Winery in Alpena, Northern Sun Winery in Bark River, Blustone Vineyards, Laurentide Winery, and French Valley Vineyards all on the Leelanau Peninsula, Heavenly Vineyards in Morley, Green Barn Winery in Smiths Creek and Hawthorne Vineyards and Villa Mari Vineyards in Traverse City. Mackinaw Trail Winery has also opened a tasting room in Petoskey.
Microbrews – Michigan’s craft beer industry is continuing to grow with 18 new breweries opening across the state including: The Thirsty Goat in Boyne City, Chelsea Ale House in Chelsea, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company, and Mitten Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Our Brewing Company in Holland, Grand River Marketplace, Bifferhaus Brewery Company, and Tootsie’s Brewery at Lone Oak Vineyard Estate in Jackson, Boat Yard Brewing and Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewery in Kalamazoo, Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette, Unruly Brewing Company in Muskegon, Beards Brewery in Petoskey, and Latitude 42 in Portage.
* Ann Arbor: Lena/Habana Cellar Lounge, Mash, Isalita, Vellum, Kuroshio
* Battle Creek: On Deck Sports Bar and Grill, Rafayee’s
* Boyne City: Morel’s Bistro
* Brooklyn: Shady’s Tap Room
* Charlevoix: Mittens Frozen Yogurt Bar, Pigs Eatin’ Ribs
* Detroit: Santorini Estiatorio, Rodin, Maccabees at Midtown, Green Dot Stables, London Chop House, Mercury Burger Bar, Detroit Vegan Soul, Craftwork, Detroit Institute of Bagels, La Feria, Topsoil, Frontera
* Escanaba: Crispigna’s (reopened)
* Ferndale: Local Kitchen and Bar
* Flint: Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers
* Frankenmuth: The Grand Traverse Distillery
* Grand Haven: Sandy Point Beach House
* Grand Rapids: Kitchen 67, Bistro Chloe Elan, Maru Sushi
* Holland: Crust 54, Peachwave, Serafina’s
* Jackson: Chase Sports Bar, Chilango’s Burrito Bar, Grand River Marketplace
* Lansing: Meat, P Squared Wine Bar, Bar 30, Eaglemonk Brew Pub
* Ludington: Café 106, Angry Tomato
* Marquette: L’Attitude
* Mount Pleasant: Dog Central, Yogurt Yeti, Legends Diner
* Muskegon: Burcos Tacos, Handsome Hobo’s Pizzeria, Hank’s Tavern
* Petoskey: Polish Kitchen
* Plymouth: The Sardine Room
* Rogers City: The Chicory Cafe
* Saline: Cancun Mexican Grill
* Saginaw: The Souper Café
* Shelby Township: Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room
* South Haven: Brix Corner Oven
* Spring Lake: Jack’s Bistro and Bar, Vander Mill Cider Mill, Arboreal Inn (reopened)
* Traverse City: Maddy’s Tavern, Ambrosia Artisan Gelato, FouFou Bistro, Cacao Café, Towne Plaza, Chocolate Exotica’s Chocolate Café, Osorio’s Tacos and Salsas, Sorellina, OM Café, Mission Table and Taqueria TC Latino
* West Olive: A & L Farm Market Restaurant
* Ypsilanti: Blue Wolf Grill, Red Rock Downtown Barbecue
What’s New in Lodging & Meetings
New Hotels/Under New Ownership
* Hyatt Place Hotel in Novi
* Hilton Garden in Ann Arbor.
* The Ramada Lighthouse Inn is now Baymont Inn & Suites in South Haven.
* Hampton Inn in Marquette.
* FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek.
* Lake AuSable Lodge at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon.
* Holiday Inn Express in Frankenmuth.
* Peninsula Bay Inn in Escanaba is now Quality Inn & Suites.
* Towne Place Suites by Marriott in Ann Arbor and Saginaw.
* Courtyard by Marriott in Kalamazoo, expected to open this summer.
* Michigan’s first Aloft Hotel, part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, is expected to open in downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue by 2014.
* The historic Pontchartrain Hotel, most recently Detroit Riverside Hotel, will reopen in April as the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Detroit.
New Meeting Space
* The Country Village Banquet and Conference Center in Ishpeming.
* The Grand Rapids City Flats Hotel offers a new ballroom and the ballroom at McKay Tower is undergoing renovations.
2013 Milestones and Anniversaries
Attack at Michilimackinac – Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City
The Battle of the River Raisin
City of Escanaba
Birthday of Henry Ford
Bavarian Inn and Restaurant – Frankenmuth
Amway Grand Hotel – Grand Rapids
Birthday of President Gerald R. Ford – celebrations will take place in Grand Rapids.
Hill Auditorium – Ann Arbor
Tulip Time Festival – Holland
Horn’s Gaslight Bar – Mackinac Island
Warner Vineyards – Paw Paw
Caberfae Peaks – Cadillac
Queens Cup Race
The Chevrolet Corvette
SS Badger – Ludington
National Blueberry Festival – South Haven
Grand Haven Musical Fountain
East Lansing Art Festival
City of Portage
Shanty Creek Resorts – Bellaire
Gold Coast Artisan Fair – Ludington
Ashley’s Pub – Ann Arbor
The Homestead Resort – Glen Arbor
Thompson Harbor State Park
Mission Point Resort – Mackinac Island
Rick Smith Signature Golf Course – Treetop Resort, Gaylord
The Mountain Ridge Golf Course at Crystal Mountain
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Grand Haven Salmon Festival
Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Festival
Four Seasons Tea Room – Houghton
For a complete list of what’s new in 2013, visit www.michigan.org.