Kick Back and Stay Awhile!
We are flattered that people come from all over the Midwest to paddle with us at our Kayak Learning Center. Some of you have driven considerable distances and stay over a night or two in the Jackson area and we have been remiss in pointing out things to see and places to EAT in our fair city.
Beware that when we travel, we look for the off beat, non-franchised places to eat so we can pick up some local character. If this is your style, read on. If not, Jackson has all the usual food emporiums found in most metro areas. But here are a few more eclectic venues. Call them for their hours and all are in the 517 area code.
Places to Eat
Forget the food (although they have it on the menu) and go straight for the ice cream. Serious ice cream! In portions sure to expand your mind and your waistline. This has been an area landmark for 50 years and it's worth the line. 1401 Daniel Rd. - (517) 783-1581.
The Hunt Club
Right across the street from serious ice cream, The Club has a wide menu and a great bar. Try the ground sirloin stuffed Wiley Potato and the veg-beef soup is a knockout. 1514 Daniel Rd. - (517) 782-0375.
The Lilac Tree-Cafe Lilla
This is a great sandwich shop with all home made offerings. I’m sort of tempted to call it a “chick’s choice” but since Bruce and Mike like it so much I dare not. They can’t pass up the cookies! A nice selection of fare with the house special being a superb Panini. Smoke free and civilized with some outside seating too. While you are waiting for your food there is a cool gift shop attached to browse. 1300 W. Michigan Ave. - (517) 787-2225.
Schlenkers Hamburger Stand
This place is right out of the 40's. You'll be seated at an ancient counter shoulder to shoulder with everyman and partaking of ground sirloin burgers which is the reason you came here. Leave room for luscious pies! (517) 783-1667
This is dining on the finer side, so go downtown and hit Daryl's and enjoy some great food. Especially if you've had a tough day on the water. Maybe Todd kept you in the Box drill too long. (517) 782-1895
The Wooden Spoon
A great breakfast eatery and it's real close to our headquarters. The Country omelet is awesome and so are the pancakes. But unless you have room for massive amounts of food, order the small omelet or only two pancakes. This place is like eating at someone's house and you'll get all the local gossip. (517) 750-4900
Things to do!
Bring a bike
We are only one mile from one of the most scenic and sweetest rail-trails in the whole state. www.fallingwatertrail.org Jackson County has miles of country roads to enjoy. On Two Wheels is one of the state's finest bike shops so call Bill or Chris (789-6077) for some good road routes. For mountain bikers, try the Ella Sharp Park trails of challenging and well hidden single track, then hit the park pool or golf courses, both miniature and 18-hole championship.
Ella Sharp Park has a quaint museum and a nice planetarium. The Cascades are illuminated waterfalls built right into a huge hill. These come on at dark and are right out of the 50's. And usually there is something going on most weekends in the park from hot air balloons to Civil War reenactments. But don't try kayaking in the lagoons! 788-4323
If you are a golfer, we hardly know where to start since there are so many nice courses. One mile from us is the 36-hole Hickory Hills (750-3636) tract and it's got three distinctively different nines. The Cascades course has been nationally ranked among public courses. There are 25 more courses in the County!!
Theater and arts
These are abundant as Jackson hosts the Shakespeare Festival and has local summer stock productions.
And of course there is the renowned Michigan International Speedway if you are into motor sports. During race weekends, it is impossible to get a motel room anywhere near Jackson so check out their schedule if you plan to stay over.
Places to stay
For camping there is Swains Lake Country park about ten miles from us (due south of the village of Concord) and the popular Portage Lake Campground in the Waterloo Recreation area, a state park with extensive hiking trails and plenty of fishing opportunities. To our west 50 miles is the Fort Custer State Park with extensive paddling, hiking and biking trails and over 100 camp sites.