Dining A La King Foodie Tour will offer tastes of Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Saugatuck

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Marshall V. King/Flavor574

I do love the mitten.

I like being a Hoosier, but living near Michigan.

The state to our north has an array of land and lakes, food and drink that I enjoy taking in.

I’m looking forward to a Flavor 574 great trip to Traverse City on Oct. 19-21, and you’re all invited.

It’s not free, of course, but the value is good given what’s included.

Here’s what we’re planning:

Sunday, Oct. 19 — We’ll leave Elkhart and head to Grand Rapids first for lunch and a visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Parkwhere you can see the giant horse inspired by one Leonardo da Vinci made. It’s a glorious sculpture. After arriving in Traverse City, we’ll check into Bay Shore Resort on the coast and then go visit Terra Firma Brewery and have dinner at Right Brain Brewery, which is an “artsy brewery” according to our beer blogger, Eric Strader. I’ve been to Terra Firma but not Right Brain. Both are good at what they do and it’ll be great to get tastes at both.

Monday, Oct. 20 — This will be more fun than most Mondays. After breakfast, we’ll head to The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. It’s a former mental asylum that’s now a bunch of shops. Higher Grounds Trading Co. will show us around and give a tasting. Left Foot Charley, a funky urban winery, will also offer a tasting. Lunch will be at Old Mission Tavern, which also has an art gallery. Then we will do some touristy stuff, including visiting Old Mission Lighthouse and the Lake Michigan shore. On the way south, we’ll stop at Chateau Chantal, the largest and oldest winery on Old Mission Peninsula, for a tour and tasting. Dinner will take place at Mission Table, where we’ll feast on a farm-to-table meal.

Tuesday, Oct. 21 — We’ll do a short city tour, including visiting Perry Hannah House, the mansion of the man who founded Traverse City. Lunch will be in Saugatuck on the way back to Elkhart.

This is a good trip. Edgerton’s Travel Service did a nice job arranging it. It’s got a nice mix of tasting and touring.

“It’s a resort destination in the summer,” he said, highlighting that it has good shopping and is quaint. There are also plenty of orchards and wineries in the region. “Michigan is a great state for tourism.”

Having a good itinerary is important and there isn’t a ton of down-time in this one, but I am hoping to be able to explore. Our hotel is near downtown Traverse City and I’ll go walking or running if there’s a chance.

I’m also hoping for a surprise or two. Nothing like a flat tire, but something like an added stop. There’s some talk of visiting the home of one of the couples going on the trip. Those are the kind of surprises that make tummy travel so wonderful.

There’s a good group already signed up for this fall adventure. There’s a lot we don’t know, like what the weather will be or how much fall color we’ll see. However, I know we’ll have a glorious time together.

What’s included? Motorcoach and baggage handling, two nights hotel, five meals, sightseeing, all tastings and the services and a tour manager, in addition to myself and my wife, Bethany, as your hosts.

How long do I have to decide? Not long. Tom Edgerton said he’d like to know by Friday, Oct. 3, whether people are going. So you have until Friday to sign up. That gives Edgerton’s time to make the proper arrangements with the hotel and our stops.

How much is it? It depends how you want to travel. If you want share a room as a quartet, it’s $649 a person. If it’s double-occupancy, it’s $729 a person. If you want single it’s $899 and triple is $679.

How many people are going? So far, it’s 30. I’m hoping we have more than that, but we have a good group.

How do I register? You can call Edgerton’s at 800-388-3437 or go to edgertonstravel.com/grouptravel.

I hope you come along. Consider this your personal invitation.

I’m hungry. Let’s eat.

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