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Easy Camping Meals
he slow cooker can be a real time-saver in campsite meal preparation

Try one of these crockpot recipes, including beef vegetable soup!The crockpot is an essential appliance for many RVers to have on hand. During nice weather, it provides everyone with the flexibility to go outside and enjoy hiking, biking, walking, playing games, you name it – and a fully cooked meal is ready when you get back.

The winter brings back hearty appetites and the thoughts of hot food. A crockpot not only gives your RV a tantalizing smell, it can provide you with an alternative to being outside in poor weather checking a Dutch oven cooking over the fire or slaving over a stovetop while everyone else it out having fun.

With a slow cooker, you can spend more time with your loved ones doing the things you all like to do and have fewer pots to clean up.

Must-See Museums in the Upper Peninsula
Take a break from the questionable weather and explore Michigan’s rich history at one of these museums

Visit one of these hot indoor attractions in southeast Michigan.The UP is best known for its natural resources, expansive landscapes, and diverse ecology. Though not made by man, these natural wonders have impacted our human history and helped define it.

Think of the Upper Peninsula as the cultural gateway to understanding and appreciating Michigan’s ancient history before we came along -- and once we did, the arduous labors and accomplishments of past generations of peoples.  

So if the weather is questionable or you want to see something new, these are the places to go. Many popular museums and indoor attractions, such as the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, are not included in this list because they are closed during the fall and winter, reopening in the spring. The museums below are open year-round or by appointment.

Go Play Inside in Southeast Michigan
Five indoor attractions you won't want to miss.

Visit one of these hot indoor attractions in southeast Michigan.Outdoor activities can be challenging to do in fall and winter, but there are plenty of interesting and fun activities for kids of all ages that take place indoors. Think about visiting one of these places in southeast Michigan next time it's too cold, rainy, or snowy outside.

1. Bayou Adventure, Joe Dumars’ Fieldhouse, Shelby Township
Monday-Friday 5-10, Saturday and Sunday 10-10

45300 Mound Road, (586) 731-3080

There’s plenty to do at the Bayou in Shelby Township. At 30,000 square feet, kids and families can enjoy activities such as mini golf, laser tag, a high ropes course, and a climbing wall. The 33 foot inflatable shark slide is a favorite and opens for a limited time each day. Those with lots of energy will love Bayou Adventure!

Pasties: It's That Time of Year!
A working man’s staple has become a defining cuisine of Michigan.

It's pasty time in Michigan.The Upper Peninsula is defined by a hard-working class of men and women who logged, mined, and farmed Michigan’s wilderness and resources. They were – and are – as much a part of the land as the natural resources they made their living on. Out of these folks came a defining cultural food: the pasty.

What used to be ethnic food – its origin is attributed to miners from Cornwall, England – became regionally defining over the decades as the many cultural groups in the UP worked together and eventually blended. But you’ll find that each pasty shop today has its own bend on things, similar to how each nationality – Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Irish, etc. – made the pasty their own back in the day.


Fun Things to Do in November

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.Mid-fall in Michigan can sometimes present a challenge to enjoying outdoor activities. The leaves have fallen, the weather is questionable, and there’s only the promise of snow.  But that doesn’t mean there's nothing to do.

There are events taking place throughout Michigan during the month of November, both indoors and out. Full event listings are available through the Michigan Festivals & Events Association and Pure Michigan, but here are some of our top choices, ordered by when they take place.


Visit a Corn Maze
Try a fun, sometimes challenging, fall activity that’s a true family favorite!  

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.When autumn arrives, we find the wool sweaters and the high boots, the scarves and the portable thermos. We look forward to hot soups, hearty meals, and crisp apples. But besides what to wear and what to eat, fall is a time to look forward to pumpkins, apple cider, and corn mazes.

If you like puzzles, then a corn maze is right up your alley. A fun activity for all ages, mazes offer various levels of challenge and intrigue depending on the intricacy of the design. Some mazes have dead ends and loops, making you think you’re on the right path until it comes to an abrupt end. But figuring out the route and making it through is what makes a corn maze fun.



Apple Orchards and Cider Mills

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.With the kids back in school, the weather getting cooler, and the leaves beginning to change, Michiganders have come to know this time of year simply as: apple season. Home to many great varieties of apples, ranging from sweet and juicy to tangy and tart, Michigan proudly reins as the nation’s third largest apple-producing state.

With hundreds of orchards to choose from, it may be hard to know where to begin. Featured below are five apple orchards, one from each region of the state, to help you get started.


Breakfast Recipes You Need to Try

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Studies show that eating breakfast regularly and soon after waking helps give your body a jumpstart at reaching its daily nutrient needs, helps facilitate weight loss, and improves cognitive function.

At the campsite, whether you’re cooking on the stovetop in your RV or over an open flame outside your pop-up camper, try one of these three recipes to get the day started.

(Full disclosure, these recipes rank from healthy to downright outlandish yet irresistibly delicious.)


Five Fun Road Trip Games

Enjoy the ride with some easy to play games that are sure to entertain

With the warm summer weather drawing to a close and your children’s back-to-school blues already in effect, now is the perfect time to escape for a family road trip!

A family road trip means spending a lot of time together in close quarters, including on the way to your destination. Whether the family is packed into the tow vehicle or has more space to spread out in a Class A motorhome, chances are it will take some time to reach your destination. So how do you pass the time? Ditch the iPads and play some old-fashioned road games.


Michigan Wine and Beer Destinations That Deserve a Visit

The perfect spots for campers to enjoy a glass or two of local flavor.

RVers have another reason to make the trek to and across Michigan: local brews, wines, and spirits. Michigan has grown quite the reputation the past few years, and wineries and breweries have sprouted up across the state in rapid numbers.  Many of them also offer food, sometimes a full menu, so it’s possible to take the whole family.

Breweries and wineries don’t just offer delicious, locally crafted beverages, they offer a taste of local culture. A taste of Michigan.


Fall Views Worth the Hike

Get a little closer to the clouds to really see Michigan's beauty.

It’s a popular time of year for campers to visit and go on color tours. Even Michiganders hit the road for a day or two to experience Nature’s beauty.

Though the colors can be appreciated by taking a drive around or even from your campsite, it’s worth it to put on the hiking shoes, grab the daypack, and head out on the trail to get a more encompassing look. Here are five favorite trails of various difficulties that give hikers a view of spectacular fall vistas – and memories – for which Michigan is known.

5 Tips for RVing on Labor Day

Prepare yourself and your rig for a great weekend trip.

Labor Day is right around the corner, and for most of us, that means a nice, long weekend spent around the grill enjoying the company of family and friends. And a surefire way to guarantee a great weekend is to plan ahead - preparedness is your best bet for a carefree vacation.

So follow these five simple steps and you will be on the way to a Labor Day for the memory books!

Hiking in Michigan: Tips to Get Started

Most RVers can agree: There’s nothing better than stretching their legs after a full day of traveling. Michigan is home to hundreds of beautiful hiking trails, near your favorite camping destinations, that really get the blood flowing and showcase the serenity of this magnificent state.

As it turns out, hiking is actually a favorite leisurely activity of many campers. According to Coleman’s 2014 American Camper Report, the majority of campers, 76 percent to be exact, find hiking to be their most enjoyable camping activity. For those who already hike regularly, this article is a simple reminder about health benefits of hiking, gear, and safety. But for those just starting out or expanding their horizons, this will provide some useful information before you hit the trails. 

Fly-Fishing in Northern Michigan and A Streamside Lunch

In the long view of Northern Michigan, Lake Michigan will always take center stage.
But there are other bodies of water in Northern Michigan that campers can enjoy.
Plentiful inland lakes sprinkle the landscape like gems strewn about the ocean floor –
not quite the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but all precious just the same.

Panfish abound and you might tangle with a bass or a bluegill or a pike or a walleye on
the many inland lakes, and boy, are they good in a thick beer batter near the campfire.

10 Do's For Camping With Your Dog

A vacation isn’t complete for many campers without a four-legged family member along. In fact, many people get into camping because they then have the ability and flexibility to take their pets with them on their adventures. According to the 2014 American Camper Report presented by the Coleman Company and the Outdoor Foundation, 31-35 percent of campers of all age groups went camping with their pets, with dogs the most popular type of pet.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran, it’s important to remember a few important things that will help keep your dog safe and healthy, a joy to have along on the ride, and a good neighbor around other campers. Here are 10 Do’s for camping with your dog.

The Night Sky – Campers Get a Front Row Seat   

Camping allows us to experience adventure and to see many beautiful places. It also allows us to see one of Mother Nature’s best shows on a nightly basis: the sky, with stars as far as the eye can see. This cosmic world has acted as a guide for travelers for centuries, and its expansive magnificence reminds us just how small we are. For most campgrounds and RV parks, you can easily sit back and explore the night sky from your site, with more secluded options usually not far away.

Here are some upcoming events at which to turn your eyes upward, as well as some accessible tools to help you explore the night sky.

Families Benefit From RV Vacations

RV vacations are a fun and affordable way to spend time with the family. A 2011 vacation cost comparison study by PKF Consulting showed a family of four can save 23 to 59 percent on vacation costs by traveling in a recreation vehicle (RV), even after factoring in ownership costs and fuel. There are more than 10 million American households that now own an RV—the highest level ever recorded—up from 7.9 million in 2005.

Kayaking Adventures

Camping in the beautiful state of Michigan comes with many perks, one being our endless access to pristine water. Kayaking is in the forefront of MARVAC’s summer must-do’s! Whatever your skill set and interest, there is a place in Michigan ready to give campers a good time.

Green Vacations are Easy in an RV

With restricted space and resources, RVers and campers are natural conservers while traveling. Utilizing standard energy conservation and eco-friendly practices, RV enthusiasts live the three Rs—reducing, reusing and recycling.

RVs have a limited supply of water, so RVers are naturally frugal about the amount used. Many RVers conserve water by taking " showers," or showers in which water is only running while rinsing. Employing the "military shower" technique can cut water usage from about 17.2 gallons to 5 gallons or less, especially beneficial if you have a small hot water tank. For a (very) quick post hike rinse, a solar camp shower is a decent, inexpensive option.

Campsite Types—Where to Take Your RV

In addition to the 1,000s of lakes Michigan boasts of, there are also multiple places to drive and park your trailer and go camping. But trying to decipher what type of campsite you are looking for depends on what type of camping you are into—hike in or glamping; what your needs are—full hook up or rustic; and how long you anticipate staying—overnight or longer. Fees associated with parking can vary as much as the facilities themselves, but expect anywhere from free (parking lots of certain retail stores and restaurants) to $50 or more per night. Reservations aren’t always required, but during the busy season are strongly recommended.

Camping Etiquette

Being a good camping neighbor helps make everyone's stay more enjoyable. To do this one needs common sense and consideration for your fellow campers, campsite and natural environment. However, some etiquette related to camping is more specific. If you are traveling with children, make sure they know some of these rules.

Firewood Transportation: Do's and Don'ts

Campfires have always been a major staple in campgrounds–sitting around the fire on a starlit night, telling stories, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

Many campers and RVers haul firewood from one part of the state to another aware that transporting firewood also transports insects and diseases. Some of these insects and diseases have destroyed Michigan's native trees. One of these insects is the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that has killed more than 10 million ash trees in southeast Michigan, and is perhaps the most prominent threat to our state's forests. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small, metallic-green, wood-boring beetle that was discovered in southeast Michigan in 2002. Native to Asia, it's believed to have been unknowingly transported to the United States in wood packing material. But, the EAB is not the only threat ... beech bark disease, Dutch elm disease and gypsy moths are the top threats in a growing list of firewood hitchhikers.

Please consider some simple precautions to ensure the future of your favorite recreation destination:


Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)
2222 Association Drive, Okemos Michigan 48864-5978
(517) 349-8881,
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