A cottage rental on Suttons Bay, Mi was perfect for beautiful, peaceful lake views and quiet campfire nights
It's the time of year where a road trip is the perfect way for me to make the transition from summer to autumn a bit easier to bear.  Apple picking season will be kicking off soon and now that the weather is cooler, it's time to gear up and enjoy the great outdoors!  This year, we rented a lakeside cottage in Suttons Bay, Mi and not only enjoyed the privacy, beautiful views and nights around the campfire, but the cottage was ideally located for the day trips we spontaneously added to our list.
Photos by Annie Lang of visit to Nathaniel Rose vineyard Suttons Bay MI 2019
There was a hidden nature trail from the driveway of our rented cottage leading to a small winery that we naturally had to explore! This establishment had changed hands a few years ago so the wine selection was very limited.  The friendly staff, rustic barn and oak barrels pretty much set the stage for our visit to Nathaniel Rose Vineyard.
One of Michigan's treasures, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a natural destination your won't want to miss.
This was my first visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and if you ever plan a trip to northern Michigan, it's definitely a destination you'll want to add to your bucket list.  This amazing natural lakeshore coastline national park not only provides you with spectacular vistas and panoramic views of the coastal lakes but the natural beauty of the sand dunes will overwhelmingly amaze you.
Annie Lang's photos of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park just north of Empire Michigan
You are allowed to climb the dunes.  The photo on the bottom right of this photo collage shows just how steep the climb can be along the sand trail near the lake.  The tiny dark specks along the dark brown sand trail are visitors climbing and crawling their way upwards! 
Annie Lang's photos of Two K Cidery and Winery in Suttons Bay Michigan
Back in Suttons Bay, you'll find Two K Farms which is just as warm and welcoming in person as it is from the chair on the porch of this photo! Though I much prefer my apple cider from the local cider mill, I did purchase a few of those cute little wine glasses to have for the upcoming holidays! 
Photo by Annie Lang showing Historic  Fishtown in Leand Mi to shop, fish, enjoy and learn
Photo by Annie Lang showing Historic  Fishtown in Leand Mi to shop, fish, enjoy and learn.
Cute, quaint and historical, Fishtown was the perfect place to browse and shop as our guys ventured out on a chartered fishing excursion.  They returned with a trout we grilled for dinner the same night.  There's a cheese shop, candy store, smokehouse where you can purchase smoked fish sausage and a small visitor's center near the docks. Sporck Tileart was an especially fascinating shop if you are in search of old world handmade art treasures.   
Photos of one of Annie Lang's favorite Mari Vineyard vistas in Traverse City Michigan
Mari Vineyards in Traverse City, Mi was an unexpected stop with it's spectacular view, warm ambiance, stone archway vistas and inviting outdoor patio.  Though similar in some ways, each vineyard we visited in this area of northern Michigan had their own unique and charming attributes which makes touring the countryside seem like an adventure.   
Annie Lang's 2019 photos of the Secret Garden at Brys Estate in Traverse City Michigan.
Last year, we stopped at the Secret Garden at Brys Estate and I immediately added it to our list of "must stop here" destinations for this year.  Although most of the lavender flowers had already been harvested, flowers were still in bloom and the rocking chairs were still on the porch waiting for us!  We treated ourselves to some Moomers ice cream, shopped for lavender gift items and had a chance to spend a few relaxing moments on the porch before moving on.  Check out the Secret Garden BLOG for some great tips, recipes and advice. 

Happy Autumn Travels, Everyone! 
If you happened to miss my Road Trip 2018 post, just click HERE