Friday, June 7, 2013

Shout Out To Dad!

Bill Cosby once said, "Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." This Father's Day, June 16, treat your Dad to an experience he'll really love, from award-winning golf and micro-brews to truly unique outdoor recreation in West Michigan. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Pine River Paddlesport Center, Wellston
This Father's Day, give him the gift of unleashing his inner he-man. West Michigan's varied landscape of rivers, woods, and dunes is primed for adventure, thumbing its theoretical nose at the day-to-day shirt and tie routine.
Sitting deep in the cockpit of a kayak, floating down miles of waterways, offers a serene perspective of the world: bubbling brooks, chattering critters, bluebird skies... Or turn it up a notch by heading for raucous rapids that will surely leave Dad white-knuckled and grinning for days. From tranquil streams to rushing rapids, a day spent with a paddle in hand certainly beats one doing yard work, and there are dozens of paddlesport liveries waiting to assist.

If Dad doesn't exactly have webbed feet, help him concure land by tearing up pristine shores and forests in engine-powered, big boy toys. Jeeps, quads, and dune buggies rip through the landscape at the push of a peddle, giving passengers a bumpy ride they won't soon forget. Have your own ORV or ATV? The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are the only dunes east of Utah that allows you to drive your own.

Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Thompsonville
For some, golfing is a way of life, dreaming of bogies, birdies, and the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. This June 16, give Dad the opportunity to explore the award-winning courses these golf greats designed in West Michigan.

Double JJ Resort, Rothbury, is treating dads to free golf with a paid round at the Thoroughbred Golf Club June 16. Designed by renowned architect Arthur Hills, the Thoroughbred Golf Club is known for its beauty and solitude. With bent grass tees, fairways and greens, the Thoroughbred offers 18 championship holes that sprawl over 240 acres of rolling Michigan woodside.

New Holland Brewing Co., Holland
There's little wonder why Michigan is called the Great Beer State. With more than 70 microbreweries – and hundreds of brews – there’s something to please every beer drinker's taste. From pilsners to stouts, ales to porters, West Michigan's brewers take the time and care to craft complex beverages, pushing the beer boundaries and exploring uncharted flavor territory.

If Dad is new to the microbrew world, a trip to a local brew pub for lunch, dinner or a brew house tour will get him hooked for life. Already a true brew connoisseur? Consider a Michigan Brewers Guild membership which includes VIP “early admission” status at the Guild’s various festivals, discounts at participating membership brewpubs, special VIP brewery tours, and a free Michigan beer t-shirt.

An estimated 4,000 fans of award-winning craft brewer,  Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, will gather on Saturday, June 22 for the 5th Annual Founders Fest – an outdoor beer and music festival in downtown Grand Rapids. From 3 - 11pm, the street (Grandville Avenue between Cherry and Bartlett) will be blocked and the grounds of the brewery secured for the festivities – including a variety of local, regional and national entertainment, local food vendors, an expanded “Local Artists Row” and fellow craft beer lovers.

Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners
Father's Day is the perfect time for Dad to visit the car he had or the one he always wanted. As one of the top five car museums in the nation, The Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, features over 200 historic vehicles spanning more than 100 years of automotive heritage. On its 90 acres, Dad will find exhibits ranging from a 1899 Locomobile to the classic Duesenberg, the elusive Tucker '48 and from the Model T to the muscle cars of the 60s and 70s. Current special exhibits include The History of Stock Car Racing, Vintage Motorcycles, The Great Migration: The Automobile in the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, and Ford Muscle: A Rare Gathering of American-Made Power.

Historic Charlton Park, Hastings, presents its 32nd Annual Fathers Day Car Show is June 16 from 8 am - 4 pm, rain or shine., with over 1,100 vehicles on display.  Admission: adults, $5.00; kids 5 - 12, $3.00; four and under are free. This event is sponsored by the Southern Michigan Street Rod Association.

Lemon Creek Winery, Berrien Springs, is proud to present their 29th Annual Father’s Day Festival and Corvette Car Show. This Southwest Michigan tradition gained national acclaim in 2009 when it was featured as one of the top Father’s Day events by the Wall Street Journal. With live music, wine tasting, and a Corvette car show, along with hayrides and kids games, this is an event the whole family can enjoy. Admission fee is $10.00 a person for those 21 years and over with a valid ID. Children under 21 are free with the family.

Traverse Tall Ship Co., Traverse City
If Dad's a history buff, delve deep into West Michigan's rich maritme heritage. With over 30 lighthouses on our Lake Michigan shoreline (103 in all!), there's no shortage of sites to explore. Several lighthouses are also home to naval and shipwreck museums, chronicling the lives of both seamen and keepers long ago. 

For an authentic nautical experience, take to the seas! Restored tallships still make the rounds on Lake Michigan and the Grand Traverse Bay, giving Dad the opportunity to do his best Captain Jack impression.

So we want to know, where are you taking Dad next weekend?

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