Monday, July 25, 2016

Soak in the Sun and Fun at Devils Lake

It’s August and things are heating up around here. But don’t lose your cool - roll the windows down, crank up the tunes, feel the warm breezes through your hair, and head to Devils Lake. Plan to stay for the day and take in the scenic drive around the lake, lunch, water activities, and a little shopping.

A narrow canal connects Devils Lake and Round Lake.

Begin your journey from U.S. 223 and turn onto Devils Lake Hwy. Enjoy views of the lake and cottage homes as you make your way to Manitou Beach Village on the west side of the lake. There you’ll find a farmers market, boutiques, eateries, and on a handful of weekends, special events. 


Art on display at The Boathouse in the Lakeview Shops at Manitou Beach.

Make your first stop the Manitou Beach Farmers Market where you can peruse the fresh produce, flowers, crafts, and homemade baked and canned goods. Located in a large pole barn, the market is held Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through September 3.

Turquoise shutters serve as awnings at the Lakeview Shops in the village.

Just across the street are two delightful boutiques where you can shop for a touch of lake living. Located in the “lighthouse building” is Devils Lake View Living which features distinctive gifts for home and lifestyle, including beachwear, purses, jewelry, candles and chocolates. The Buoy at the Lake, housed in a building of New England style character, offers nautical-inspired gifts and home décor plus fun sandals, jewelry and accessories.

When you’re ready to chill out or for a light lunch, venture next door to Jenni’s Coffee & Cream. The trendy little haven offers a plethora of cold drink options, including iced tea, iced coffees and smoothies. A variety of ice cream possibilities are available as well as fresh baked goods, salads and deli sandwiches. 

A boat is on display in front of the Manitou Bar and Grill.

For more hearty fare, hit the Manitou Beach Bar and Grill just around the corner. Take a seat on the porch and check out their Sweet Heat pulled pork, lake perch, or the Summertime Salad with strawberries, chicken and Gorgonzola cheese.

My dad, Robert Alexander (left), chats with Bernie Dominique of Dog House Designs at the
 Devils Lake Art Fair in early June.

The village also hosts many special events throughout the year, including a juried art fair in early summer and the upcoming Rockin’ the Hills Craft Beer Festival on August 6 and the Manitou Beach Car Show on August 20.


Metal flowers on display at the annual summer art fair. 

Round out your trip to the lake with a little water action. Pontoon boats, jet skis, fishing boats, kayaks, paddle boards and lake toys are available to rent for the day or half day from Robs Rental’s located at 9517 Devils Lake Hwy. The business also has scooters and bicycles for rent if you prefer to remain dry. Call 517-673-3620 for reservations.

The scenic view along the road around Devils Lake.

With all of this summer fun in store, what are you wading for? Hop in the car and get to the lake.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, America!

Round out this long weekend with two more red, white and blue ideas to make your holiday the most star-spangled yet. Earlier this week, I posted ideas for a festive centerpiece and fun individual-serving cheesecake desserts. Now we keep it light and healthy with a colorful and tangy fruit salad and iced fruit cubes to keep all of your beverages pretty and chilled.

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
Servings: 10
1 pound strawberries, sliced
6 ounces blueberries
3 cups watermelon, cubed
1 apple, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss together fruit and dressing. Chill until serving.

Iced Fruit Cubes
Fill ice cube trays with an assortment of fresh red and bluish berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – any combo will do. 

Freeze, and then add to individual water glasses. The fruit not only looks pretty, but it adds a nice infusion of berry flavor into your H2O or any beverage.

And with that… it’s a wrap. Happy 4th!