3 Ultimate Food Trails
Southwest Michigan: Lakeside bounty
Shorter than our sweeping Wisconsin loop, this easy lakeshore route makes a tidy two-day trip - or stretch it to three with shopping in South Haven or Saugatuck. Our 125-mile (each way) route follows the shore south from Saugatuck almost to the Indiana state line, dipping inland to explore towns and wineries.
Southwest Michigan in summer looks like the colorful label on an old fruit crate: sun-drenched orchards, sparkling water and the sweet promise of golden apricots. Even the highway names (Blue Star, Red Arrow) have a cheerful, vintage character.
But the Fruit Belt, as this area is called, has a sophisticated side, too. For decades, vacationers have followed Lake Michigan east from Chicago, bringing their urban tastes with them. That explains the posh hotels and fine dining, but in this revived age of eating locally, they seek handmade cheese, small-batch wine and canned garden tomatoes, too. The flavors of our past have become the ingredients of our future, and Michigan offers them in abundance.