Tag Archives: shopping

Mario Batali’s Favorite Traverse City Haunts

Photo by Bill Rockwood

Each year famed chef Mario Batali spends the greater part of the summer at his vacation home near Traverse City, fishing, cooking and hunting down the best eats the area has to offer.

He shared some of his favorite spots to shop and dine in Michigan on his blog: Michigan Summer

See his recommendations for everything from an old-school butcher to the best hard apple cider to a great seafood place on the Bon Appetit Blog: How Mario Batali Escapes New York Summers

Here are a few original Mario Batali Traverse City inspired recipes:
Celebrity chef Mario Batali dishes up three Michigan-inspired summer recipes

In this article Mario Batali names his favorite nine restaurants, including 2 Traverse City, Michigan establishments
Mario Batali’s 9 favorite restaurants around the world

Mario Batali sat down with the folks at PureMichigan.org to share his favorite things to do in the Traverse City area.



Downtown Chesterton, Indiana

Charming and cute, downtown Chesterton is a fun spot to spend a leisurely afternoon. My kids and I did just that, visiting shops and enjoying the town’s relaxed tempo.

We window shopped at Ashley’s Jewelry by Design, and stopped in to look at the works on display at the Holly Jackson Art Studio and Gallery. We browsed at gift shops and clothing stores, saw Peggy Sue’s Diner – the embodiment of the traditional midwestern small-town diner.

A few people sat busily pecking at their laptops in the Red Cup Cafe and Deli. It looked like just the sort of coffee shop where I love to hang out and enjoy a hot cup of joe while I write about Lake Michigan Towns.

The heat of the day led us to Dog Days Ice Cream Parlor, a real find. The décor harks back to a more elegant time, with chandeliers and pretty white iron tables and chairs. A mural depicting a sunny summer day in Chesterton in the days of horse-drawn wagons and Model T cars takes up an entire wall. Guests can savor delicious gourmet gelatos and sorbets like Bananas Foster and Almond Joyful from a menu that changes weekly. Good stuff.

The cool shade beneath the trees of Thomas Centennial Park beckoned us, and we finished our ice cream there, pausing to take pictures on its pretty white gazebo, before heading off to Indiana Dunes State Park Beach.

Red Cup Cafe & Deli
‪115 Broadway
Chesterton, IN
‪(219) 929-1804

Dog Days Ice Cream Parlor
‪119 South Calumet Road
Chesterton, Indiana
(219) 661-7890

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, Michigan City, Indiana

One of Michigan City’s primary attractions is its outlet mall, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, located just a few blocks from the waterfront. The mall boasts 120 outlets from such desirable brands as Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, J. Crew, Lane Bryant, Burberry, DKNY and more.

Personally, I love the Hanna Anderson outlet, where I can buy my daughter pretty, well-made, age-appropriate clothing at bargain prices, and the clothes at the Ann Taylor and Banana Republic outlets for myself. I also usually hit Hollister and Brooks Brothers for the fellas in the family.

There are a few places to snack in the mall, plus a few restaurants on nearby Washington Street and on the waterfront, or you can hop into your car and head back along Franklin Street towards the highway, where you’ll find restaurants like Red Lobster and Damon’s.

Check the Lighthouse Place Outlets’ website for directions to the mall. The first time I visited Michigan City’s outlet mall I took the 40B exit from I-94, which led me through a rather depressed area of town. Subsequently I took exit 34B which ran through a big box shopping district.

Contact Info:
Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets
601 Wabash Street
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 879-6506


Shopping in Grand Haven

While the beach at the state park is the biggest draw to Grand Haven, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy when you’re not relaxing at the shore. Spend a few hours shopping in Grand Haven’s downtown district centered around the west end of Washington Street where it meets the water front. The district offers a nice mix of businesses, including clothing stores, antique shops, toy stores, souvenir shops, bakeries, greeting card shops and cafes.

At the far end of the boardwalk you’ll find Chinook Pier, a cluster of shops offering coffee, sweets, clothing, gifts and pizza. On Saturday and Wednesday mornings through the end of October a farmer’s market is held under the awning in the parking lot next door, where you’ll find flowers, farm fresh vegetables, honey, baked goods and more.