The sommeliers of the recently opened Rogue River Winery, under the management of Jay Johnson, want their guests to learn about and love wine as much as they do, even providing do's and don’ts of wine drinking on their website. They fill appropriate glassware with blends created on the premises, which are perched atop the wooded banks of the Rogue River, and also pour notable wines and sangria from neighboring Michigan vineyards. A tasting room with burgundy walls, a reflective double-sided bar, and soft contemporary lighting welcome guests for leisurely wine-and-cheese tastings, and visitors can also enjoy a spacious outdoor patio. The winery also hosts corporate events, as well as bachelorette parties where brides-to-be can blend their own wine.
Michiganders looking for local flavors might find more than they expected in Rockford Brewing Company's fleet of beers. In addition to being brewed locally, the team works closely with West Michigan farmers to source seasonally fresh ingredients for their creations. These flavors come to fruition in such beers as the Raspberry Duality, brewed with 150 pounds of handpicked raspberries and no artificial flavorings, and the Obsession beer, which is a session rye pale ale. The tasting room features much of the woody character of its beers, with guests sitting at Bavarian communal seating and filling its speakers with a soundtrack of radial saws.
At 222 feet long and 88 feet high, the Players Riverboat Casino II wouldn't fit on parts of the upper Mississippi River. So when it had to leave its Louisiana home for a new job in Detroit, it took the long way there, passing around Florida, Maine, and Nova Scotia until it chugged through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. All this was just the beginning of the boat's journey?the next step was a thorough transformation from a scrapped gambling vessel into an opulent cruise ship. The staff gussied up its interior, installed several kitchens, and gave it a new royal title: the Detroit Princess Riverboat.
Today, the Detroit Princess is a coveted venue for high-energy celebrations and relaxing cruises alike. Its five tiers of outdoor decks afford dual skyline views of Detroit and Windsor and up-close glimpses of the Ambassador Bridge, the crucial link that keeps Canada from floating away. Inside each of the boat's four stories, passengers can visit a full bar and socialize inside heated and air-conditioned rooms. The biggest of these boast dining areas anchored by prime-rib buffets and sprawling dance floors where DJs or live Motown groups prompt guests to boogie down. Holiday parties, late-night excursions, and private charters take the nightclub vibe to the water, and floating wedding ceremonies and receptions let even the merfolk branch of the family be a part of the fun.
Back in 1999, brothers David and Rick Kueber noticed a lag in business at their chain of video-rental shops during the summer months, when no one wanted to be cooped up inside watching movies. The two put their heads together and found a rather unconventional solution to their problem: tanning beds. They installed a new fleet of skin-bronzing machines and sat back as so many clients flocked to their shop that the brothers were forced to open an entire store just to cater to their clients? tanning demands. This was the birth of Sun Tan City. Today, what started as an experimental side business boasts more than 200 locations across 16 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to UV beds dubbed fast, faster, fastest, and instant. The beds include features such as facial tanners and self-contained air conditioners. Alternatively, clients can opt for the UV-free, automated VersaSpa system, which swathes physiques in a DHA, plant-based bronzing solution. The liquid reacts naturally with skin?s amino acids, creating an even coat as radiant as the high beams on Helios?s chariot within 46 seconds.
Jaden James Brewery isn't the Bonga family's first foray into the world of sippable fermentation. In the same space where they now create specialty beers, they've spent years crafting wines from the fruits of Michigan's bountiful vineyards and orchards.
"So many people come for the wine, but we often get one half of a couple who says, 'I like beer,'" says Bob Bonga. The brewery's current selection includes a cream ale to be savored between bites of pretzels, a Russian Imperial Stout, and an oatmeal porter that Bob characterizes as "wonderfully dark, with roasted tones of chocolate and coffee." The juice of apples harvested in northwest Grand Rapids goes into hard ciders.
The family also prepares a short list of snacks for visitors. In the future, the Bongas may grow their menu further by distilling their own liquors.
The ghosts, ghouls, and monsters at Witch's Walk may only come out after dark, but each year it gets a little trickier to avoid them since the maze’s designers keep increasing its level of difficulty. Explorers now wander through more than one mile of winding paths and switchbacks, passing by a cemetery, swamp, and snake pit before visiting the wood maze.
Witch's Walk avoids excessive blood, gore, and any occult themes, instead scaring visitors along dark paths with ghouls and monsters. It reserves the scares for the nighttime, allowing younger visitors to explore the maze safely during the day. After wandering through the maze, guests can explore the onsite gift shop for seasonal costumes, accessories, and snacks.