Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chimney Corners Resort (& Benzie County) in fall.

Top 10 reasons to visit Chimney Corners Resort (and Benzie County) in the fall:

#10 Warm Days, Cool Nights, Great Star Gazing

Autumn is arguably the best season is Northern Michigan for bodily comfort. With average high temperatures in the mid 60’s in September and the mid 50’s in October, it’s the perfect time to take in lunch about town in a t-shirt, followed by sporting that new sweater and leather boots for the dinner crowd. Crisp, clear nights allow for plenty of cozy evenings by the fire, indoors to sip hot chocolate or deep, red wine; outdoors for taking in the spray of stars above the Point Betsie lighthouse.

*BONUS* It’s a great excuse for splurging on that new Chimney Corners fleece jacket, as in “Wow, I had no IDEA it was going to get this chilly at night, lucky me these warm & cozy fleece jackets are available!”

Assignment

#9 We’re Located on Scenic Highway M-22

Need we say more? Is there anyone yet in this hemisphere tha

t has not heard of, or does not own our beloved, iconic M-22 symbol? Perhaps, but more than just a highway sign and brilliant marketing craze, M-22 really is a scenic meander through beautiful, rolling hills, glimpses of cerulean Lake Michigan, orchards with fruit ready for picking, and small towns offering shopping treasures and culinary surprises. Not to mention the leaf peeping in October is off the charts.

* BONUS* After you have hiked and climbed in the sand at numerous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore locations, you can pick up your own souvenir at the M-22 store in Glen Arbor, or at Baywear in Frankfort.

Photo: Nick Nerbonne

 

 

#8 Surfs Up on Lake Michigan

Remember the gales of November coming early to the Edmund Fitzgerald? (Cue Gordon Lightfoot) Those gales start as windy days in September. A lot of windy days. Perfect for trying out surfing at Frankfort Beach. Can you really surf? Yes, really. A prime location for both traditional surfing, paddle surfing, and kiteboarding, Frankfort beach draws enthusiasts from as far away as Traverse City. On any given windy day, it is not uncommon to see a couple dozen wetsuit clad surfers sharing the waves. Even if braving the Lake Michigan currents are too much for you, watching others hanging ten (and crashing spectacularly) is an entertaining way to spend a windy day. Beats riding the waves on a Lake Michigan freighter doomed to destruction, anyways.

*BONUS* Bragging rights to your friends that you’ve actually surfed. Rent a board through Crystal Adventure Sports in Beulah. http://crystallakeadventuresports.com/rentals

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#7 No Waiting in Line for Dinner

It’s no secret that Benzie County (and the surrounding northern Michigan counties) is home to some fantastic restaurants. What is frustrating, is that after a long, hot, summer day spent hiking, fishing, paddling and swimming, you often find yourself with a two hour wait when trying to crowd into your favorite local watering hole. We can’t promise your chosen place won’t be busy, especially if trying to dine at peak dinner hour, we can tell you fall offers a much needed respite from the madness of summer in small resort towns. While it’s true that a lot of restaurants lose their summer college staff and are forced to reduce their hours, and may even be closed a couple of days a week, when you do get in, it most likely will make for a more pleasurably relaxed dining experience.

*BONUS* Belly up to the bar! When times are quieter, locals are chattier, and it makes for some good conversations about where to go, what to do, and where to find those petoskey stones, secluded beaches, or secret hiking spots.

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#6 Autumn Time & The Swimming is Easy

Wetsuit? We don’ need no stinking wetsuit! The lakes are still warm, people. It takes several cool nights for the lake temperatures to significantly drop. This makes for some gloriously refreshing swims on those bright, sunny days. And it doesn’t take a science degree to know that the slightly cooler air temps make the water feel warmer. Adding to the joy, instead of weaving your way through the throngs of sunbathers and splashing children, you have the beach practically to yourself! Plenty of room to spread out and enjoy. Inland, Crystal Lake also has significantly less traffic, boating and otherwise. A quiet morning fisherman or maybe a lone kayaker or two will be your companions.

*BONUS* Cooler water temps on Crystal Lake means no swimmers itch! While it is not scientific, there is a “season” for swimmers itch, and fall ain’t it. So go ahead and wake board all you want. Crystal Lake is waiting!

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#5 Harvest Time

Benzie County is full of the bounty of the fields. The Elberta Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Frankfort Farmers Market on Saturdays are chock full of seasonal produce such as root vegetables, apples, pumpkins, and fresh meats. The Elberta Market farmers are only allowed to sell that which they grow personally, so you can talk to the hand that actually grew your food. There are several organic options as well. The Frankfort Market features local arts and crafts as well as produce. Don’t forget, this is also the season for hops and grapes! Area wineries and breweries offer several events to celebrate the season. Check out the tasting rooms and events at lpwines.com. Or join us for Frankfort Beer Week, a weeklong celebration of events, October 3-8th  at participating Frankfort restaurants toasting Beer! Details at www.frankfortbeerweek.com

*BONUS* – a Chef’s Beer Dinner to be held in our very own Chimney Corners Dining Room. Several courses prepared by notable northern Michigan chefs, paired with a Stormcloud beer. Can you say Foodie/Beer Lover Dream Come True?

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#4 Fall Fests & Parades & Events, Oh My!

Benzie County must love fall as much as we do, because there are more events than tourists with ice cream cones. If one Fall Fest isn’t enough for you, well then fine, we’ll give you two! Beulah and Frankfort take turns hosting this fun fall event, each on consecutive weekends beginning in October. Parades, kids events, baked goods, horse drawn rides, pumpkin decorating, games, prizes, mazes, helicopter rides, beer tents, dropping gi-normous pumpkins on wrecked cars; we could go on, but we want you to finish reading this before the events actually happen. Get all the details of the happenings at http://www.visitbenzie.com/fallfest-67/.  After the whirlwind of activity, settle in for some great cinematic events at the annual Frankfort Film Fest. Three days of award winning films are shown in our renovated Garden Theater in downtown Frankfort, complete with launch party and guest filmmakers. Details at http://www.frankfortgardentheater.com/film-festival/.

 *BONUS* – As a sponsor of the film fest, Chimney Corners offers a special deal: rent a West Hill Apartment unit (sleeps 4) and receive two free tickets to a film.

 

Photo: Benzie County Visitor Bureau

# Quality of Light

We don’t know if you notice arty things like light and shadow, but we are in love with the saturated magic of fall. A slightly lower sun, less humidity; we don’t even know the real scientific causes, but we do know that on sunny afternoons, the sky is so blue it defies any crayola color invented. On those stormy, windy days when fiery red and orange leaves are backdropped by angry, black storm clouds, but still illuminated by bright sunshine, we want to grab our cameras and post all over social media about the charm of northern Michigan. And when that golden light of early evening is out, we know that no Instagram filter can duplicate that precise warmth that makes us all look like rock star photographers.

*BONUS* Your friends will all be jealous of your posts on Facebook

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#The Best Sunsets Ever

Ok, we know we’ve covered quality of light already, but sunsets have to be in a category all their own. Skies awash in purple, gold, magenta, rose, and indigo hues. It’s magically delicious. Enough said.

*BONUS* The whole experience is a bonus, what more do you need?

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And the number one reason to visit Chimney Corners (and Benzie County) this fall??

#1 Reduced Rates at Chimney Corners Resort!

Chimney Corners moves to our fall rate schedule. Rent a Lakeview Apartment that sleeps a family of four for as low as $99 per night. How about a room in our historic Lodge for only $60 per night? Can it get any better? How about listening to the lapping of the waves at your window in a beach front cottage? Starting at $605 for three nights, you’ll sleep like nobody’s business. Especially after enjoying the first nine items on this list.

*BONUS* When you call the office to reserve, you get to speak to one of our friendly staff just waiting to help you get here. Call us at 231-352-7522 to take advantage of all that Benzie County has to offer!
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Always something new.

We get it. You slave away at work at a desk or inside a building with only the thought of your eventual vacation escape to sustain you through the days. Sometimes a little news of a treasured getaway spot can be a welcome respite from the doldrums. That’s where we come in. A few tidbits and snippets from the shores of Crystal Lake. Photos and specials from your favorite vintage resort, and your cozy cottage rental. News and notes from our Wednesday and Friday dinners, including our locally based culinary delights and our latest wine and craft beer finds. Maybe it’s an update on weather happenings, or just a funny story we want to share with you. We want to be your connection to up north, to Crystal Lake, and to your mini-escape from the office.

For instance, do you recognize these birds floating on Crystal Lake?

Pelicans

We had to look twice! Yes, it is the American White Pelican, and no, we aren’t in Florida! Our own Crystal Lake was the stopping point for these typically southern birds, on their flight north to Canada for the summer. Recognizable by their size and long bills, adults often have a distinctive bump or projection on the end of their bill. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Range Map, these guys are generally flying more west of us on their way north. Sighting them on our own Crystal Lake is a rare treat for residents. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore lists them as only very occasionally seen in this area, and usually on Lake Michigan. SleepingBearBirdingTrail.org has a neat feature on their page: a box tracking sightings of various birds around Michigan. On or around this same date (May 20th), the pelican was seen in the UP at various sites and around the Shiawassee River area.

Here at Chimney Corners resort, we often have nesting bald eagles soaring overhead, or the endangered piping plover hopping along the shores of Lake Michigan, but now we can add their coastal cousins to our sighting lists. Speaking of bald eagles, check out this link to a live camera on a bald eagle’s nest where two eaglets were recently hatched near the Platte River State Fish Hatchery in Honor:

You can find out more about birds and birdwatching around the Frankfort, Crystal Lake, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by visiting http://sleepingbearbirdingtrail.org.

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It turns out even the pelicans know how awesome Crystal Lake is! And check out that moon rise in the evening sky. The pelicans may have moved on to their summer homes, but we’re waiting for you to move to the phone and give us a call to visit us at Chimney Corners Resort. You never know what you might see.