7 Apple Orchards to Visit in Genesee County

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The first day of fall is fast approaching. Why not get into the autumn spirit and check out one (or more!) of Genesee County’s apple orchards?

  1. Almar Orchards in Flushing: With more than 30 varieties of apples, Almar produces the popular J.K.’s Scrumpy Farmhouse Organic, a fermented hard cider that has no artificial flavors, additives or preservatives.
  2. Koan’s Orchard in Flushing: Situated on more than 100 acres, this country store offers freshly made cider, doughnuts, jams and jellies. (810) 659-8720
  3. McCarron’s Orchards & Bakery in Flushing: This small farm market and bakery features seasonal fresh cider made from McCarron’s own apples and pressed on-site at their cider mill.
  4. Montrose Orchards: Enjoy a 30- to 45-minute hayride tour, which includes complimentary apple cider and donuts. Please call ahead to confirm hours.
  5. Mueller’s Orchard & Cider Mill in Linden: This family operation offers freshly squeezed cider, a variety of doughnuts and family activities, including a petting zoo.
  6. Porter’s Orchard Farm Market & Cider Mill in Goodrich: Stop by for traditional apple cider or an ice-cold apple cider slushy. In addition to the bakery/donut shop, Porter’s offers a fall corn maze, a pumpkin patch, hayrides and more.
  7. Spicer Orchards in Fenton: This farm market, winery and cider mills has a 10,000 bushel storage area, a sorting machine, donut shop, bakery, cider mill, family-fun activities including a fall maze.

For more information about area orchard and farms, click here.

27 Sandwiches to Try in Genesee County

It’s National Sandwich Month, so we asked nine local sandwich shops and eateries what their top three sellers are. Who else is feeling hungry?

Bear Soup Deli, 211 Main St., Davison

  • French Dip: Roast beef sandwich served with au jus
  • The Hibernator Panini: Salami, ham, cappicola, turkey, provolone cheese, tomato, banana peppers and spicy mayo on ciabatta bread
  • Grumpy Bear Panini: Pepperoni, ham, roast beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, banana peppers and spicy mayo on ciabatta bread

Great Lakes Sandwich Co. & Café, 5332 Corunna Road, Flint

  • BBQ Pulled Pork: Slow roasted BBQ pork, banana peppers and coleslaw on toasted ciabatta bread
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu: Grilled chicken breast, ham, mozzarella cheese, tomato, lettuce and mayo on toasted ciabatta bread
  • BBQ Brisket Bacon & Cheddar: Brisket, bacon, cheddar, sautéed peppers and onions, topped with coleslaw

Hoffman’s Deco Deli & Café, 503 Garland St., Flint

  • Rock’n Ruben: Corn beef OR turkey, sauerkraut OR the eatery’s “almost healthy” coleslaw, Swiss and thousand island dressing
  • College Club: Ham, turkey and bacon with cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, tomato and dill mayo
  • Hurley Med: Turkey, bacon, red onion, aged sharp white cheddar, honey Dijon mustard, lettuce and grilled pineapple on toasted bread of your choice

The Laundry, 125 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton

  • #11 Reuben:Warm house-boiled corned beef, Emmentaler cheese, sauerkraut and housemade Russian dressing on grilled Bowery Rye
  • #89 The French Dip:Real roast beef on a buttered crusty baguette served au jus (a rich beef-based broth made with a splash of brandy and sautéed onions)
  • #12 Georgia Reuben:Turkey breast, Emmentaler cheese, coleslaw and housemade Russian dressing on grilled Bowery Rye

The Local Grocer, 601 Martin Luther King Ave, Flint

  • Korean Turkey: Oven-roasted turkey in a ginger sauce with sautéed kale, topped with house made kimchi
  • Sweet & Cheesy Italian Panini: Organic sausage, red onion, peppered cheese and kale, pressed in fresh rustic bread
  • Chicken Salad: Michigan chicken, celery, dried cranberries and peas in a sour cream dill dressing with cheddar cheese on toasted rustic bread

The Lunch Studio, 444 S. Saginaw St., Flint

  • Turkey and Avocado: Turkey, avocado, jack cheese, tomato, onion, sprout and mayo on sourdough
  • Waldorf Chicken Salad: Chicken, grapes, celery, chopped walnuts and mayo on whole wheat
  • Corned Beef Reuben: Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss and 1000 Island

Market Deli by Hoffman’s, 300 E. First St., Flint

  • The Cuban: Cuban-style pork roast, fire smoked ham, beer ale mustard, Swiss cheese and shaved pickles on an eight-inch French baguette
  • Deep Fried Turkey Breast: Deep fried turkey breast, white sharp cheddar cheese, house coleslaw, chopped kale and pecan smoke bacon
  • Making Strides Flint: Honey turkey, pecan smoke bacon, smoked Gouda, avocado, micro greens and fresh tomato on organic bread. (A portion of the proceeds benefits breast cancer awareness and research)

Oliver T’s Market, 1553 Hill Road, Grand Blanc

  • Georgia Reuben: Turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread
  • Oliver T’s Club: Classic‎ triple-decker featuring ham, turkey, bacon, choice of cheese, lettuce and tomato
  • Smart Turkey: Smoked turkey breast, low-fat swiss cheese and honey mustard on whole wheat or rye

Steady Eddy’s Café at the Market, 300 E. First St., Flint

  • San Francisco: Turkey, Monterey Jack, avocado, tomato and mayo topped with sprouts on crunchy sourdough bread
  • Club: A double-decker piled high with turkey, ham, Swiss and American cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on your choice of toasted bread
  • The Dagwood: Triple-decker with roast beef; turkey ham; turkey; salami; Swiss, American and Monterey Jack cheese; lettuce; tomato; onion; mayo; mustard; and horseradish on your choice of bread

Where to Catch the Rolling Cruise during Back to the Bricks

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Classic and collector cars of all makes and models will head to Saginaw Street this Wednesday through Friday as part of the Rolling Cruise, a fan favorite in the annual Back to the Bricks lineup of events.

Starting at Fifth Avenue in Flint and ending at Cook Road in Grand Blanc, the cruise runs about 10 miles, with spectators watching from lawn chairs and blankets along the way. The event will run from 5-9 p.m. each day.

While there are lots of places to catch the cruise, event organizers expect that car enthusiasts will gravitate toward three hot spots in particular.

  1. IINN, at Hemphill Road and Saginaw Street. This Flint Mega Site will have various vendors and food offerings all three days, and DJ entertainment on Friday evening.
  2. The Hot Dog Stand, at 11338 S. Saginaw St. in Grand Blanc. Why not enjoy a hot dog and cold root beer while watching the cars go by?
  3. The intersection at Bristol Road and Saginaw Street. Just bring your lawn chair and settle in!

“Non-cruise” traffic is asked to use the center lanes to provide spectators with a better view of the parade cars.

For more information about this week’s events visit, https://backtothebricks.org. For a map of the Rolling Cruises, click here.

The Palette Café: Yet Another Solid Reason to Visit the FIA

The Flint Institute of Arts is the second largest art museum in Michigan and one of the largest museum art schools in the country. Its collection exceeds 8,000 pieces and dates back 5,000 years. It also screens a variety of films each weekend, starting in September, from the comfort of its 330-seat theater.

The fact that the venue’s in-house cafe makes a mean turkey bacon gouda sandwich? Now that’s just the cherry on top. 

The Palette Café, located next to the museum’s gift shop, is led by Chef Antwain Trimble, who studied at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and previously worked in the kitchens of the Hilton Garden Inn in Ann Arbor and Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

“I’ve been to a lot of different places, but Flint is home” says Trimble, who attended Carman Ainsworth High School before moving to Pittsburgh in 2000. “I’m excited to be back.”

Since taking the reigns at the Palette in April, Trimble has been experimenting with different specials each week, paying close attention to what performs well and what doesn’t. He plans to release a new menu by the end of the summer that features customer favorites — based off of both the current menu as well as the weekly specials.

While the new menu has yet to be solidified, there are a few items that Trimble confirms will make the list. These include the Turkey Rachel, the Caprese Sandwich and the Cobb Salad. 

The FIA has also talked about launching open mic nights in the near future. When they do, Trimble plans to have a special bar menu that’s “short and sweet,” with items like chicken wings and homemade caramel corn.

Sweet treats are favorite of Trimble, who highlights different pastries and desserts throughout the week in the cafe’s glass display. “I make a very delicious salted caramel cheesecake that has a pretzel crust,” he says.

According to Trimble, the cafe is busiest on Wednesdays, when the museum hosts Art à la Carte — an free lunchtime program focusing on the arts. The event kicks off at 12:15 p.m., and participants are welcome to bring their lunch or grab something from The Palette. (The next three Art à la Carte events will show the three-part PBS series, The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements, which explores the discovery of the basic building blocks of matter. For details, click here.)

The Palette is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p..m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Members of the FIA receive a 10 percent discount. To place a carry-out order, call 810-249-0593.  

To read the current menu, click here.

3 Places for Fun & Games in Genesee County

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Pokemon GO! has brought out the inner gamer in an estimated 25 million daily users. Whether you’re among them or not, there are plenty of ways to kick back and have some fun in Genesee County. 

LIKE RIDDLES?

Take part in a real-life adventure game at Michigan Escape Games (9023 Davison Road, Davison). After selecting their preferred theme, players must solve several clues in order to escape from a locked room within 60 minutes. For instance, in one of the rooms, participants learn that the Centers for Disease Control has accidentally released a contagion capable of wiping out the entire population of earth. There’s a single vial of anti-virus located somewhere in the lab but your team has only an hour to find it. After that, the damage is done!

For game times and availability, click here.  

For details, call (820) 652-6165 or visit www.michiganescapegames.com.  

PREFER BOARD GAMES? 

Pull up a seat at Card Table Republic – A Board Game Lounge (8427 Davison Road, Davison). This is a place where, or a small fee, people of all ages can choose among more than 500 board, card and dice games to play with friends and family. The selection includes both classic games (e.g., Monopoly, Life, Battleship and Trouble) as well as newer games (i.e., Ticket To Ride, Catan, Carcassonne and Cards Against Humanity). Even better, the snack bar offers Michigan-made products like Faygo and Better Made chips.

The facility is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

For more info, call (810) 652-6363 or visit www.cardtablerepublic.com

LOVE TO FEEL THE WIND IN YOUR HAIR?

Hop in a go-kart at Extreme Indoor Kart Racing (2259 W. Vienna Road, Clio). Visitors to Michigan’s largest indoor kart track usually lap the 1/4-mile track about 8 to 10 times in a given race. Adults reach speeds of up to 40 mph, and youth (ages 8-15) drive karts with just slightly less horsepower, usually reaching speeds of up to 15 mph. 

Adult pricing starts at $14 for members and $16 for the general public. Junior karts cost $10 per race.

To learn more,  call (810) 687-3546 or visit www.eikr.net.

5 Flint Area Festivals to Check Out in August

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August is shaping up to be a busy month for Genesee County. Here are five festival favorites that are headed to Flint next month.

August 6: Flint Drop Fest

More than 40 DJs from across the Midwest will take the stage at this all-ages and electronic music festival. There, they will be joined by vendors, live art, workshops and more spanning the streets of Buckham Alley and on the rooftop of the Rutherford Parking Ramp. This event aims to bring people together to enjoy electronic music, the community it creates and the impact it has made on the world.

August 6: Flint River Flotilla

Float down the Flint River on your favorite flotation device, be it a kayak, boat, inner tube or even a 30-foot raft! If you have a smaller flotation device the day of the event, drop off your car at Mott Park Golf Course (enter off Sunset Drive) and a shuttle will transport you to registration and launch site (Tenacity Brewing). Those with a larger device, such as a kayak or canoe, should drop it off at Tenacity Brewing before going to Mott Park Golf Course to be shuttled back for registration. Admission is $10/adult or $30/family. Children 12 and under are free.

August 12-14: Flint Jazz Festival (pictured above)

The 35th Annual Flint Jazz Festival will return to the Flint Cultural Campus in late August. Featured musicians and bands include The Bobcats, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, Kevin Collins Drum Company, Swingin’ Chopin, Tapology with Bruce Bradley, Lunar Ocetet, Christian Sands Trio, Joe Frye, Ovacir, People’s Jazz Band, Dave Bennett Quarter and more. Admission is $5-10 for the general public.

August 16-20: Back to the Bricks

This five-day extravaganza kicks off Tuesday with a family-oriented party at U.S. 23 Drive-In Theater. On Wednesday through Friday, from 5-9 p.m., spectators gather to watch the “Rolling Cruises” that start in Flint and end in Grand Blanc. On Friday, there will be a car show, concert and dance party with a Motown theme, followed by the Saturday celebration on the bricks.

August 26-27: 40th HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races

In addition to the races along the blue line, there will be plenty of entertainment (i.e., a beer tent, food vendors, free music) in the festival flat lot, at the intersection of Saginaw and Kearsley. On Friday evening, the general public is invited to the Crim Pasta Party, which runs from 4:30-9 p.m. The $10 admission includes all-you-can-eat pasta, salad, bread and drink, and benefits the Shelter of Flint.

27 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Home Town (Flint)

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Flint’s “Be a Tourist in Your Home Town” is just a few days away!

As part of the annual event, hosted by the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau, residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to explore some of the city’s favorite sites. Admission is $1 and grants guests not only free access to more than 25 area attractions, but also free transportation, courtesy of the MTA.

Participants can pick and choose among multiple sites and attractions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. For instance, one might…

  1. Tour the first floor of the Charles Stewart Mott’s family home, which opened to the public earlier this year as part of Applewood’s centennial anniversary.
  2. Check out four GM “Dream Cars” – and the production models they inspired – at Buick Gallery & Research Center.
  3. Catch up on all of the work being done at the Dryden, a historic building that now serves as the headquarters of the Hagerman Foundation and SkyPoint Ventures and other growing businesses including: Article One, Co+Work space, the Ground Floor Market and (in the near future) iSource Worldwide.
  4. Smell the snapdragons at EmFlower, Flint’s first urban cut flower farm.
  5. Buy fresh fruits and veggies at the Flint Farmers’ Market — one of the American Planning Association’s 15 Great Places in America in 2015. (While you’re there, be sure to check out the new Flint Handmade Summer Art & Craft Street Fair, which features local artisans, face painting and make-and-take activities!)
  6. Explore Michigan’s second largest art museum, which houses more than 8,000 pieces in its collection. Bonus: Be a Tourist guests at the Flint Institute of Arts will receive discounts in the Museum Shop and The Palette Café .
  7. Browse though some of the 50,000 children’s books available at the Flint Public Library, which will also be hosting various family activities throughout the day.
  8. Go behind-the-scenes at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s Hunger Solution Center, which distributed over 25 million pounds of food and fresh produce to hungry families last year.
  9. Study the works of artists from the African diaspora and browse through the papers of former U.S. Rep Dale E. Kildee and U.S. Sen. Donald W. Riegle at the Frances Willson Thompson Library & Genesee Historical Collections Center.
  10. See what local artists have been up to at the Greater Flint Arts Council.
  11. Take a moonwalk, explore the night sky or follow the adventures of the “Accidental Astronauts” at the recently renovated Longway Planetarium.
  12. Listen to more than a dozen national and local gospel artists during the Genesee County Gospel Festival.
  13. Explore the first floor of the MSU College of Human Medicine during a tour of the former Flint Journal building.
  14. Visit Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority Customer Service Center, a public transit hub that doubles as a civil rights arts museum.
  15. Check out the MW Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Unconstrained Voices: Highlights from the Mott-Warsh Collection,” which features the artwork of renowned artists from the 20th and 21st centuries.
  16. Get up close and personal with your favorite (or least favorite) insects at “A Bug’s World” at the Sloan Museum.
  17. Find out what the UM-Flint Recreation Center has to offer: an indoor track, pool, spa, fitness classes and more.
  18. Learn about the Flint residents who used to call Kearlsey Street home during walking tours led by staff from the Whaley Historic House Museum.
  19. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Whiting — a 2,043 seat theater that originally opened in 1967.
  20. Hike the seven miles of trails at the 383-acre For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, which will also host several family friendly programs and activities throughout the day.
  21. Learn about harvest tracking and plant identification at the Edible Flint Demonstration Garden, near Hurley Hospital at 5th and Begole.
  22. Build a tree fort at the Flint Children’s Museum, which is currently home to the “Into the Woods” educational exhibition.
  23. Enjoy a glass of lemonade after touring Knob Hill Bed & Breakfast, a nearly 4,000-square-foot B&B featuring rooms themed around different literary classics.
  24. Go back to school during tours of the Michigan School for the Deaf and Powers Catholic High School.
  25. Enjoy a guided tour of the historic Stockton Center at Spring Grove, which was built in 1872 and later became the first St. Joseph Hospital in Flint.
  26. Stop by the Superintendent’s Cottage, the oldest building on the campus of the Michigan School for the Deaf.
  27. Grab lunch at one of the city’s many restaurants – several of which will be offering discounts to Be a Tourist participants on July 16. These include 501 Bar and Grill, Blackstone’s Pub & Grill, Café Rhema, Churchill’s Food and Spirits, Cork on Saginaw, The Flint Crepe Company, Halo Burger, Hoffman’s Deco Deli & Café, The Local Grocer, The Lunch Studio, Merge, Soggy Bottom Bar, Table & Tap, Tenacity Brewing, Torch Bar & Grill and Totem Books.

To purchase a Be a Tourist passport, click here or stop by the Riverfront Banquet Center, at 1 Riverfront Plaza, on the day of the event.

Update: Event organizers recommend parking in the flat lot at Saginaw and Kearsley Streets in downtown Flint. Parking in this lot is free on weekends.