Category Archives: southwest

Granor Farm, Froelich’s, 3Arbor Arts, Alaplash, 3 Trilogy, $3.99 gas —-return to Three Oaks, MI

granor farm heirloom tomatoes

The young stylish couple wearing expensive sweats checking out before me at A. V. Granor Farm, an organic farm market outside Three Oaks, with specialty foods as well as organic fruit and veg, racked up a $313 tab before soaring off in their Tesla into the otherwise unassuming rural countryside. Is this The Hamptons? No, it’s southwest Michigan. Open during the week only on Friday, the farm also has farm-to-table summer dinners that sell out way in advance.

Three Oaks felt different on a Friday in August, compared to a Wednesday. Lots of city folks. Bet they appreciated the $3.99 gas. It’s $5.48 in Chicago. (And we thought $4.15 in Bridgman was bargain. We saw $3.97 in Indiana, just over the Michigan border.)

Not a shell station
Froelich’s

On a Friday, more galleries, furniture and home good stores catering to tourists also were open. 3ArborArts has contemporary artwork, all by women currently; Alaplash has cool curated home goods and furniture; 3 trilogy has retro furniture and artwork; Froelich’s has two stores across from each other on the main drag, a sweet bakery and a cavernous restaurant and retail shop with good food (excellent muffuletta, salads) and rows of jars containing Froelich’s homemade dill pickles, jams, tomato sauce, chopped olives, with helpful recipes posted beside each.

Back in Sawyer, on the Red Arrow Highway, we stopped at an old shell service station that despite the original signage is now Twelve Supply, a sparse boutique with gorgeous casual clothes that are really expensive. we’re talking lovely embroidered scarves designed in Paris and made in Mozambique.

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Taps at sunset on Weko beach, rough hike in Grand Mere state Park, fish at flagship specialty foods – SW Michigan

Last night, we joined a small crowd on Weko Beach here in Bridgman to watch the sun set and as my sister promised, just as the red sun disappeared from view, a lone trumpeter played Taps…apparently this happens every summer night here and it was a lovely, evocative moment, reminding me of my lost youth summers spent at a girls camp in northern Michigan’s Elk Rapids.

Weko beach sunset

This morning, we braved another hike in the Warren Dunes, on a unmarked trail at Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville, a contrast with yesterday’s well-marked trail further south. It was very buggy in the woods after a night of rain but we managed to do a 1.5 mile (or so) loop and not get lost.

Fortunately we had dowsed ourselves with bug spray pre-hike but we should have brought it in our pack. The hike began as a flat, wide, wooded nature trail hugging the edge of a swampy area with lots of cattails, sprinkled with bright red wildflowers, then went up across the dunes to the lake shore and along the beach, which was blissfully unpopulated except for a few hardy souls swimming and sunbathing. They appeared to be townies who have kept this secret beach to themselves. So be it.

Grand mere state park

Lunch was fish and chips, perfectly crispy local white fish, from flagship specialty food on Red Arrow Highway in Lakeside. We ate at a picnic table outside the small store set back from the highway. The fish was delish, albeit expensive.

Weko beach

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Filed under Michigan, southwest