Discover Northwest Michigan

Nestled along the upper peninsula, Northwest Michigan offers something for everyone.

Kevin Litwin
On Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 10:57
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The 10-county Northwest Michigan region offers a vibrant economy and standout quality of life set among some of the nation’s most spectacular natural features. 

Terence Faircloth

Cherry Jubilee

You’ve heard of Banana Republic? Make room for Cherry Republic, the world’s largest retailer of cherry products. 

Cherry Republic began in 1989 in the Leelanau County community of Glen Arbor, where the company is still headquartered. The company operates five other stores in Charlevoix, Traverse City, Holland, Ann Arbor and Frankenmuth. Each store stocks more than 150 cherry products, including sparkling cherry wines, summer sausage with dried cherries, wild cherry gummy bears and hot cherry salsa. Tours are welcome at each site. Cherry Republic operates an online store at

Walk Where Papa Walked

Ernest Hemingway had connections to Northwest Michigan, including the Horton Bay community where he spent many childhood summers and where he married his first wife, Hadley. The couple wedded with a small ceremony on the shores of Lake Charlevoix and honeymooned at Hemingway’s summer cottage on Walloon Lake. 

You can view their original marriage license at the Charlevoix Historical Society Museum. Other spots that Hemingway frequented in Northwest Michigan that still stand today include Horton Bay General Store, Charles Farm in Boyne City, Schultz Nature Preserve, Stafford’s Perry Hotel and City Park Grill in Petoskey.

Banner Business

Its customers include the Chicago Cubs, Smithsonian Institution, Allstate, Rocket Mortgage and the U.S. Military.

Established in the mid-1980s and based in Traverse City, Britten Inc. specializes in designing and manufacturing banners used by some of the world’s biggest brands to help them visually connect with their audiences. 

Britten manufactures banners from a variety of materials, such as fabric and mesh. Besides banners, the company’s print products can be found on tents, event backdrops, flags, light pole banners and fencing. The company has even tackled jobs where banners wrap around an entire building. Explore more of what Britten has to offer at

Grand Traverse Pie Company

Pie Filling

What started in Traverse City in 1996 with a single shop and six employees has grown into an enterprise with 15 locations across Michigan and Indiana.

Grand Traverse Pie Company, started by Michigan natives Mike and Denise Busley, now employs more than 300 workers.

The company makes 13 different varieties of cherry pie and six different kinds of apple pie as well as pies filled with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, lemon meringue, key lime and pumpkin.

Northwest Michigan’s abundant cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and apples find their way into Grand Traverse Pie’s creations. The company also operates an online store at

Did You Know?

John T. Parsons owned Parsons Corp. in Traverse City in the 1950s, and he and vice president of engineering Frank Stulen patented the first Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) technology. CNC is a method used to program machining tools via software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool. CNC technology is still used today to manufacture precision metal and plastic parts on mills, lathes, routers, grinders and lasers.

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Michigan Municipal League

Align with the Arts

Northwest Michigan communities burst with must-see arts and culture attractions.

Take A Hike

Northwest Michigan is a dream location for a hikers, bikers, motorcyclists, skiers, horseback riders, ORVers and snowmobilers, offering thousands of miles of trails to explore. is a comprehensive resource that lets users search for trails in six regions and by specific activity. The site includes detailed descriptions of each trail as well as user reviews.

The site was launched in 2018 by the Up North Trails Collaborative, which includes Networks Northwest, the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, Western U.P. Planning & Development Region, Central U.P. Planning and Development Regional Commission, Eastern U.P. Regional Planning & Development Commission and the I-69 Thumb Region.


Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.