The best of the harvest: Going, going. . .
Last Call: Outdoor Farmers’ Markets
Throughout the Midwest, farmers’ markets are ending their seasons or heading indoors for the winter. There are two worth visiting in Michigan’s Bay City area, which includes Midland, Bay City, Saginaw, Frankenmuth, Chesaning, and Birch Run.
In Midland, you’ll find a selection of everything from sweets (honey and maple goodies) to produce from 7 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday—closing day—at the Midland Farmers Market, located in the pavilion on Ashman Street near the 31-year-old “Tridge,” a.k.a. the wooden footbridge spanning the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers.
GO Midland Farmers Market, at the end of Ashman Street, Midland, 989-839-9901, macc.org
Roughly 30 miles southeast, the Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market is the source for beeswax candles, artisanal chocolate, locally grown vegetables, and handmade organic soap. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
GO Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market, 507 S. Washington Ave., Saginaw, 989-758-2500, saginawfarmersmarket.org
While you’re in the area: Continue 15 miles southeast from Saginaw and you’ll come to Bronner’s (25 Christmas Ln., Frankenmuth, 989-652-9931, bronners.com), Frankenmuth’s massive Christmas emporium. Friday through Sunday, the Egyptian glassblower Ibrahim Amer will be creating perfume bottles and ornaments alongside Linda Paul and Mohamed Aemara, the founders of Egyptian Museum Glass. For more information and schedules, go to egyptianmuseum44.com.
Continue 9 miles southwest to Birch Run for “Shipshewana on the Road” (at the Birch Run Expo Center, 11600 N. Beyer Rd., 989-624-4665, shipshewanaontheroad.com), which offers 250 booths of discounted goods from Shipshewana’s outdoor summer market. Prepare to be overwhelmed: The event offers deep discounts on everything from electronics to Amish goods to pet supplies. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; admission is $4.
Where to stay: The Webster House (900 5th St., Bay City, 989-316-2552, historicwebsterhouse.com) has six guest rooms and in-mansion spa and sauna facilities, all within walking distance to Bay City shops; rates range from $176 to $196 per night. Bavarian Inn Lodge (1 Covered Bridge Ln., Frankenmuth, 888-775-6343, bavarianinn.com) has an adults-only swimming pool and an on-site restaurant specializing in German cuisine; nightly rates range from $130 (standard room) to $270 (whirlpool suite.)
Where to eat: Fusion 1 Café (813 Saginaw St., Bay City, 989-891-0551, fusion1cafe.com) offers an Asian-inspired menu of sushi and steak. Table (111 W. Main St., Midland, 989-633-6099, thetable.com) features a fine-dining menu that includes tuna tartar, rabbit, and lobster, as well as steaks and vegetarian entrees.
Photograph: Courtesy of the Midland Farmers Market