Content starts here


One Perfect Summer Day: Glen Arbor, Michigan

The following is a guest post by David and Carol Porter, also known as the "Roaming Boomers."

For thousands of folks living in mid-Michigan, Memorial Day Weekend generally means one thing: going "up-north".

Back in the mid-90's, my wife and I owned a condominium in the small summer tourist-town of Glen Arbor, Michigan. Our condo association was named Hawk's Nest, as our condominium was perched upon a 300 ft. bluff looking down over Lake Michigan and the neighboring Manitou Islands.

Memorial Day in northern Michigan generally meant 60º cool days and wonderful hiking trips in the outdoors. Imagine hiking to the top of the 40-story Sleeping Bear Dunes and looking down at the crystal clear blue and turquoise waters of Lake Michigan.

While making your way to the top, a native Michigander would know to keep their eyes peeled for morel mushrooms. I'll never forget the day we came upon a patch of those illusive delicacies and their exquisite taste as we fried them in cracker crumbs and butter. YUM!

Another favorite Michigan Memorial Day memory was our frequent trek to the Sugarfoot Saloon for pan-fried walleye-pike. There is nothing quiet like the tender, sweet taste of fresh Michigan walleye fried in butter and Ritz cracker crumbs. Wow!

It also seems that small-town America loves a parade, and the small town of Glen Arbor would host a parade each and every summer holiday weekend. Hundreds would line the streets and watch as a stream of fire trucks, beauty queens, and countless small children on their tricycles would parade by.

Barb's Bakery was certain to sell out of her famous cinnamon rolls before the parade even started. Those in the know would stand at her door upon opening to get one of her treasured, freshly baked, piping hot cinnamon rolls. Hmmm!

Perhaps the favorite memory of all was the simple joy of walking hand-in-hand with my bride as we hiked a remote trail, breathed deep of the crisp air, noticed the musky smell of the fall's decaying leaves now freshly free of their winter snow covering, and the still and healing silence of Michigan's northern woods.

Northern Michigan Memorial Day Weekend's are firmly rooting in my very cells and will always be calling me regardless of where I roam.

David and Carol blog regularly at, and keep us updated on their travels via their Twitter account. Do you have any more little-known travel tips? Add them in the comments!

Search AARP Blogs