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SHERRI PROTASIEWICZ: Winter Adventures: How to Get Involved in Manistee in the Chilly Months

Manistee County is known for its 25 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, incredible fishing, river paddling, hiking, and everything an outdoor enthusiast could ever want. We enjoy all four seasons here, so when snow is unpredictable in the colder months, we find other things to do. 

Here are some outdoor and indoor activities to inspire you to try something new in Manistee County (no snow required). 

Step back in time by following the Manistee County Historic Sites Tour. With more than 100 historic sites throughout the county, there won’t be a shortage of things to learn and experience. Pick up one of our free Historic Sites books at 310 First Street or at our kiosk located inside the Manistee Downtown Education Center (corner of Maple Street and River Street) to help guide your tour. 

Art and culture are not hard to find when you have venues such as the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, the Vogue Theatre, and Little River Casino Resort. The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts has rotating art exhibitions showcased in Hardy Hall, which is free to enjoy. You can also participate in art classes, and catch live concerts, recitals, and plays. The Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee shows classic movies, and first-run films and offers 25-cent family matinees on Saturday mornings. Little River Casino Resort has an amazing 1,600-seat event center and hosts top entertainment monthly. 

If you seek outdoor adventure, try winter paddling on the Pine River. Pine River Paddlesports offers guided winter rafting trips and the journey should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Choose to have the guide in your raft or canoeing alongside your crew as you take in the scenery. For more adventure, ski your heart out at Crystal Mountain or Caberfae Peaks where they make their own snow. Located just outside our county limits, these ski resorts will transport you to a winter wonderland.

Hop in your car and explore M-22 by beginning your journey in Manistee County and drive north along Lake Michigan. National Geographic named M-22 as one of the “most scenic drives in Michigan.” Find out why by experiencing the breathtaking Arcadia Scenic Overlook (not just because there are many steps to reach the top). Add Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve to your M-22 bucket list. This 313-acre preserve is home to more than 250 bird species and includes a ¾-mile universally accessible boardwalk. 

Don’t forget to fuel up and enjoy Manistee County’s delicious eateries. Grab a pot roast bowl at TJ’s Pub, a wood-fired pizza (and heated outdoor tent) at Base Camp Iron Fish, specialty cocktails at the Golden Stag, or some organic cider at Northern Natural Cider House and Winery. You could also take advantage of Downtown Manistee’s Social District and get beautiful views of the Manistee River channel from the Riverwalk. While you're in the charming downtown areas of Manistee County, visit the local shops and search for unique gifts.

We are lucky to have a community where residents and visitors can experience the beauty of Manistee County area year-round. Be sure to check for area inspiration. 

Sherri Protasiewicz is the Marketing Director for the Manistee County Tourism Authority, whose mission is to enhance Manistee County's position as a premier northern Michigan travel destination and an investor in the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce. You can reach the Manistee Tourism Authority at (877) 626-4783.