Corn Maze, Dick Family Farm
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48 Hours of Michigan’s Best Fall Activities in Cadillac

Cozy cabin? Check. Corn maze? Check. Craft beer? Check. Feed a mini horse? Also, check. Cadillac, Michigan provided us with a weekend of classic fall favorites, with a few fun surprises. Follow our itinerary for a lovely weekend getaway to enjoy some of Michigan’s best fall activities. 

Thank you to sponsor Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau for hosting this fun-filled weekend as part of the Fall 2022 #MIAwesomeList!

Day 1: Friday

Cozy Stay at Mackinaw Timbers Cabins

Postcard, Mackinaw Timbers
Postcard, Mackinaw Timbers

Since we’re from Ohio (don’t shoot, we come in peace!), we left Friday morning and arrived about 4pm. We checked in and got settled in our cozy cabin for the weekend with Mackinaw Timbers Cabins

Exterior, Mackinaw Timbers
Exterior, Mackinaw Timbers

We were happy to have a private tour with the owner to get a feel for the place. The cabins date back to the 1940s from the days of Michigan logging. The new owners have renovated the cabins and they have a nice rustic, vintage feel.

Kitchen, Mackinaw Timbers
Kitchen, Mackinaw Timbers

They are clean and comfortable, but not so upscale I felt bad lugging my muddy boots in after a day of adventuring.  Our cabin had everything we would need to shower, sleep and cook. 

Each cabin is tastefully decorated with antique decor, kitchenware, pictures, and even old-timey board games. We love cribbage, so we sipped some wine and enjoyed a game later in the evening. It was a very nice touch!

Games, Mackinaw Timbers
Games, Mackinaw Timbers

Cabin prices range from $90 to $190 per night. There is a fire pit as well and for $4 you can get your own wood.  The weather was rainy most of the time we were there so we didn’t get to enjoy the firepit, but it would have added to the ambiance.

Outside, Mackinaw Timbers
Outside, Mackinaw Timbers

Dinner at Lakeside Charlie’s

After settling in, we went to dinner at Lakeside Charlie’s, which was a recommendation from the cabin owner. It was on the water and felt like a cozy pub. Everything we had was delicious, and it was obvious they have a good chef and a well-balanced menu. I had the chicken with mushroom sauce and fresh vegetables. Jared got the fish and chips. 

Chicken Dish, Lakeside Charlies
Chicken dish, Lakeside Charlies

My meal was the best meal I had all weekend. Everything was cooked perfectly, and the flavors were wonderful. We each got a glass of their house red wine, which was good, and inexpensive.

Lakeside Charlies, Fish &Amp; Chips
Lakeside Charlies, Fish & Chips

Skeggox Axe Throwing

We have never tried axe throwing so we were excited to check out Skeggox Axe Throwing. When we arrived, we had the place to ourselves so we appreciated the extra one-on-one instruction and attention as we were getting the hang of things.  Later in the evening, more people arrived so we could, you know, show off our new skills.

Skeggox Axe Throwing
Skeggox Axe Throwing

It was a lot of fun! There are different types of axes to throw, and different ways to throw them. We tried a few different axes and throwing styles until we each found our own groove. 

Skeggox Axe Throwing
Skeggox Axe Throwing

You’re allowed to bring in your own booze and snacks, which is a nice perk.  Prices are half-hour lanes for $15, one-hour lanes for $25, and two-hour lanes for $45.

Day 2: Saturday

Breakfast at Blue Heron Cafe

Donuts, Blue Heron Cafe
Donuts, Blue Heron Cafe

We started our day by going to Blue Heron Cafe for breakfast. They had a full breakfast menu, but also a case of donuts and pastries. Before we even sat down, Jared was ordering a donut to go with his coffee. 

Donut &Amp; Coffee, Blue Heron Cafe
Donut & coffee, Blue Heron Cafe
Eating A Donut, Blue Heron Cafe
Eating a donut, Blue Heron Cafe
Zucchini Frittata, Blue Heron Cafe
Zucchini frittata, Blue Heron Cafe

I had the zucchini frittata and Jared had the farmer’s omelet. The zucchini frittata hit the spot and the hashbrowns were scrumptious.

Fall Fun at Dick Family Farm

We spent the morning at Dick Family Farm, which turns out was one of our favorite parts of the entire weekend.

Dick Family Farm
Dick Family Farm

The farm sells food including popcorn, roasted almonds, drinks, donuts, ice cream, and cider. Since it was a chilly day, we opted for some hot cider.

Hot Cider, Dick Family Farm
Hot cider, Dick Family Farm

You can pay for the following activities: u-pick pumpkins, corn maze, apple launcher, duck race, and animal feed. We have never done a corn maze (shocking, I know, since we’re from Ohio), so we really wanted to try one.

Corn Maze At Dick Family Farm
Corn maze at Dick Family Farm

The Michigan-Shaped Corn Maze

The corn maze was very clever and not only challenged my sense of direction but also my geography. The maze was in the shape of the state of Michigan, and there were eight “cities” you could go to. When you find one, you hole punch your card.

Corn Maze, Dick Family Farm
Corn Maze, Dick Family Farm

The goal is to get all eight cities (and also get out alive). We were able to find all eight!  And by “we” I mean my husband, and by my husband, I mean he definitely asked other people for help. Either way, we did and lived to tell the tale. I also thought the bridge from “Mackinaw City” to the “Upper Peninsula” was clever and adorable.

Corn Maze At Dick Family Farm
Corn Maze at Dick Family Farm
Corn Maze, Dick Family Farm
Corn Maze, Dick Family Farm

Free activities include a petting zoo, haybale mountain, nature playscape, basketball arcade, corn pit, photo-op boards, interactive educational displays, and yard games.

Pumpkins At Dick Family Farm
Pumpkins at Dick Family Farm
Dick Family Farm
Dick Family Farm

The Petting Zoo

We played a little basketball and enjoyed the crown jewel of the farm which was the petting zoo. 

Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm
Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm

There are mini horses. Seriously. Mini horses!  If you haven’t seen NBC’s Parks and Recreation, you may not get this reference but I’ve always wanted to pet a “Lil Sebastian” and see what the fuss is about mini horses. They are amazing.

Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm
Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm

Feeding the animals was so much fun and a reminder to eat vegan.  I know it’s hard to tell by the pictures of us smiling ear to ear, but we really loved the animals.

Feeding Animals, Dick Family Farm
Feeding animals, Dick Family Farm
Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm
Petting zoo, Dick Family Farm
Petting Zoo, Dick Family Farm
Petting zoo, Dick Family Farm

Thrift Shopping at Salvation Army

We have a tradition of visiting thrift or secondhand stores in any city we visit. Not only are they a great deal and good for the environment, but you also get a flavor for the community by what sorts of things end up in a thrift store.

Salvation Army, Cadillac
Salvation Army, Cadillac

We stopped by the Salvation Army on Wright St., which is close to the main downtown area. Lots of clothing, jewelry, and household goods.  Jared even tried on some jackets!

Lunch at Burke’s Waterfront

We went to Burke’s Waterfront for lunch. The restaurant is right on the water, which is why we chose it.

Iced Tea, Burkes Waterfront
Iced tea, Burkes Waterfront

They had a lot of Mexican options so I had the fajitas and Jared go the special of the day: a wet burrito. Sitting by the water while we ate was really nice, even if the weather wasn’t so great. We love any opportunity to be up close and personal with nature, so a restaurant on the water is the best.  

The service was also good and it was very busy when we were there. It felt like it was a real local favorite.

Chips Appetizer, Burke's Waterfront
Chips appetizer, Burke’s Waterfront

Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

We were excited to try some of Michigan’s best beers at the Cadillac’s Craft Beer Festival. Although this happens only once a year, it gave us an idea of what local beers we might try if we visit on a non-festival weekend.

Enjoying Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
Enjoying Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

Both of our favorite beers were from Cheboygan Brewing Company. The blueberry cream ale and blackberry blonde ale were just so flavorful and you could taste the berries very distinctively.

Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

My second-favorite beer was made by Short’s Brewing Company. It was called the Pure Michigan Autumn IPA and used only ingredients from Michigan. I liked the taste and the name, as I thought it was clever.

Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

Grand Traverse Brewing had a single-barrel 100% rye whiskey to try that we both loved. We learned from the owner that they provide visitors with tours every day, so we want to get up there to check that out in the future.

Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
Cadillac Craft Beer Festival

We sampled a lot more beer, mead, and even spirits. There was also one coffee vendor, Chunky Bear Coffee Roasters, that made boozy coffee drinks. That was very good and kept us warm after being outside in the rain.

There were a few food trucks, as well as shopping vendors and live music.  We sat and enjoyed some of the live music, which was very good. 

The cost for general admission tickets is $29 ($35 at the door) and includes five 5 oz pours, music, and games.

Dinner at Clam Lake Beer Company

After the festival, we went to Clam Lake Beer Company for dinner. It was packed with the festival going on, so we took a spot at the bar. To be honest, I love sitting at the bar because I feel I always get better service and I get to be in on the action.

Blue Bean Burger &Amp; Onion Rings, Clam Lake Beer Company
Blue bean burger & onion rings, Clam Lake Beer Company
Wine At Clam Lake Beer Company
Wine at Clam Lake Beer Company

I had the cauliflower crust pizza and Jared got the black bean burger. He loved the burger, which came with onion rings. The pizza was good, but the black bean burger was even better. We are both suckers for onion rings (well, any fried food!) and they were fresh and tasty.

Pizza At Clam Lake Beer Company
Pizza at Clam Lake Beer Company

Other Evening Activities in Cadillac

Another evening option is to enjoy the Cadillac Social District. District hours are 10 am to 12 am. That gives you plenty of time to grab a drink from a participating establishment to do some strolling and shopping within the district. 

We had really had our fill of drinks from the beer festival and Clam Lake. So we opted for no more drinks but did enjoy walking around. 

Social District, Cadillac
Social District, Cadillac

There is also a new trail being constructed in Cadillac called White Pine Trailhead. Even though it was still being constructed while we were there, it looks very promising. It is reported to be the longest rail-to-train linear state park, connecting Grand Rapids to Cadillac.

Day 3: Sunday

Breakfast at After 26 Depot

After checking out of our cabin, we headed to After 26 Depot for breakfast. This was our favorite breakfast place because of the amazing work that they do. It was nice to enjoy a good breakfast and know we were supporting a great cause.

After 26 Depot, Interior
After 26 Depot, interior

It’s a non-profit restaurant that exists to support the community of adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairment. The reason it’s called “after 26” is because after the age of 26, adults in Michigan with these disabilities age out of the system.

After 26 Depot
After 26 Depot

With no more state services, many of these individuals have a void in their life without a meaningful job or connections to the community they live in. This restaurant hires these individuals and provides them with a job, and interaction with the public. It’s an amazing concept for a restaurant that not only serves the people who work there but the community.

Breakfast, After 26 Depot
Breakfast, After 26 Depot

If you have a chance to support this restaurant, I would highly recommend it.  Also, the food was great!  I had a veggie hash with eggs and a side of fruit. The restaurant is also right by the water so you can enjoy breakfast and a view.

Breakfast, After 26 Depot
Breakfast, After 26 Depot

Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

I’m not a fisher or a hunter, so I wasn’t sure what I’d think about visiting the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center.  Even though I’m not a fisher or hunter, I do love museum exhibits.  There was a wing all about fishing and a wing all about hunting. 

Carl T. Johnson Hunting &Amp; Fishing Center
Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center

In the fishing wing, I read about ice fishing and wondered if I would ever be brave enough to sit in an ice fishing shanty for long, frigid hours while waiting for a single fish to bite.  I think the answer is no, but I admire those who can do it!

Carl T. Johnson Hunting &Amp; Fishing Center
Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center

The hunting wing had plenty of things to look at, touch, and listen to. There were sounds of wild turkeys, various furs to pet, and a nice assortment of animal droppings to look at. I learned that my dog’s droppings look exactly the same as a red fox. (Learn something new every day!)

The staff is very friendly, and you can tell they enjoy talking to visitors. The wall of notes from satisfied students on a field trip was just as interesting to me as the exhibit. I love seeing the world through the eyes of a second-grader.

Carl T. Johnson Hunting &Amp; Fishing Center
Student notes, Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center

Heritage Nature Trail

Right by the Carl T. Johnson Center, we took a nice hike on the Heritage Nature Trail. The hike goes through a forest, and there are a few observation platforms to view the water and wildlife. It was a nice morning walk that didn’t require hiking boots. 

Heritage Nature Trail
Heritage Nature Trail

Easy, flat terrain and an opportunity to breathe some fresh air.

Heritage Nature Trail
Heritage Nature Trail
Heritage Nature Trail
Heritage Nature Trail

Michigan Coffee Company

After the museum and hike, we stopped by Michigan Coffee Company for a mid-morning coffee break. They had an assortment of fall drinks so I went for the Mackinac Fall Latte which had English toffee and almond flavors. It was the right mix for fall!

Michigan Coffee Co
Michigan Coffee Co

We headed back to Ohio after a nice fall weekend in Cadillac. Our boots were wet and muddy, which is always the sign of a good trip in my book.

Dick Family Farm
Enjoying Dick Family Farm

For even more fall travel inspiration in Cadillac, Michigan, check out:

30+ Favorite Family-Friendly Things to Do in Cadillac Michigan This Fall
Hit the Links & Enjoy Some Drinks This Fall in Cadillac Michigan

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