The entire state of Michigan serves as the stockroom for The Great Lakes Market Place. The market's owners, husband and wife John and Sara LaCroix, scour the pleasant peninsula to fill their shelves with everything from farm fresh eggs, to baked goods, to micro-brewed beers. More than 200 total items arrive regularly from 70 plus Michigan-based producers, including Williams Cheese Co. of Linwood and Little Diablo Salsa of Brighton.
While their goods come from across Michigan, John and Sara model their market's atmosphere after the small-town grocers of old, where neighbors would spend some time chatting about supply-chain economics. They often greet customers by name, before pouring them a cup of hot coffee from The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company or scooping cones of Guernsey Ice Cream. Their market also encompasses The Great Lakes Artisan Village, which displays the creative work of Michigan-based artists including sculptors, painters, and authors.
Lori Murphy sums up her exercise philosophy in the simple maxim, “Don’t use a machine, be the machine.” Besides encouraging students to replace their hands with cybernetic free weights, it reminds them that a strong workout regimen can travel outside of the gym. As owner and head trainer of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, she brings her 18 years of experience leading exercise classes to teach time-honored, as well as new-fangled, moves during kickboxing classes, outdoor boot camps, and intense personal-training sessions.
After buying their first canoe in 1942, Chester and Stella Heavner were hooked. So were their friends. After constantly loaning out their red-canvas Old Town canoe, the pair invested in two more and started charging a nominal rental fee. In 1953, they made it official with a patch of riverfront property, eight canoes, and a trailer.
Today, Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental is run by Chester and Stella’s eldest son, Alan. He and his staff manage an inventory of more than 200 canoes and kayaks, which they rent at three locations along the Huron River.
Hot air balloons float into the air from Balloon Quest's idyllic launch location, taking guests on a bird's-eye tour of a stunning natural expanse studded with hills and lakes. Experienced pilots guide the rainbow-colored orbs on languorous tours, sweeping balloons' teardrop-shaped shadows over hills, dales, and the on-site mini-golf course. After their aerial tour, visitors can linger at Balloon Quest for a picnic on the grounds or a thought-provoking discussion of their top 10 favorite gravity-defying experiences. While flights are made year-round, Balloon Quest has very specific weather guidelines for flying, and rescheduling may be common.
At Holly Lanes Bowling Center, friends and families can bond as they arc balls down one of 26 regulation-size lanes as a fully automated scoring system keeps track of all the rolling and smashing action. Every Friday and Saturday night after 8:30 p.m., the center plunges patrons into the glowing lights, fluorescent colors, and non-Euclidean pin arrangements of cosmic bowling, providing them with glimpses into their neon-tinged futures. While pins rise and fall with stoic regularity, bowlers can bite into classic hot dogs or drink frosty slushies at the on-site restaurant and bar, which boasts an extensive food-and-drinks menu (not included with this Groupon). Or, spend between-frames seconds rubbing elbows with the amiable staff and gossiping about which bowling ball is really a cantaloupe in disguise.