Fortress Coffee | freshly roasted, carefully crafted, small batch coffee in Jackson Michigan

Fortress Coffee - small batch fresh roasted coffee in Jackson Michigan

Michigan is full of amazing small businesses serving their local communities. Fortress Coffee in Jackson Michigan is a local small-batch coffee roasting company with a brick-and-mortar cafe in the heart of downtown Jackson. Founded by husband and wife team, Thomas and Margaret Hess, Fortress Coffee seeks to provide only the freshest roasted whole bean coffee, […]

10 Places You Must Eat Tacos In Michigan

10 of Michigan's Best Places To Get Some Delicious Tacos - The Awesome Mitten 1

As we have explored many times in the past, Michigan is one of the best states to live in if you’re a foodie. Whether you want pizza, donuts, or vegan ice cream, you can find top-notch food no matter where you go. That includes tacos. We’re talking real, fantastic tacos today. Michigan has a ton […]

The Truly Michigan Flavor Of Superman Ice Cream

Rainbow Ice Cream from the Dairy Store at the Jackson County Fair

Kids across Michigan instantly recognize those fruity swirls of red, yellow and blue you see in cups and cones, and usually also tongues and faces, all summer. But you may be surprised to learn that Superman Ice Cream isn’t well known outside of the Midwest. In fact, Superman Ice Cream is almost an exclusively Michigan flavor. There is some […]

A Parade Of Patios: The Best Outdoor Bar Spots In Michigan

Michiganders know how to make the most of each of the four seasons, and in the summer that often means a lot of time outside. Thanks to the Great Lakes and a thriving craft brewing industry, this usually involves a trip to the beach with a beer in hand. We do eventually have to return to work and […]

Discovering a Pinterest Paradise on the Jackson #MittenTrip

Angie's Attic Sign

Of the many great stops on my Jackson #MittenTrip, my favorite was Angie’s Attic, a vintage, artisan, consignment shop that opened in 2013. I’ve heard the store aptly described as a Pinterest paradise. “This shop does not like to put all their eggs in one basket either,” says General Manager Monica Wheeler. Everywhere you look was something […]

Food, Wine and Adventure in Mid-Michigan – Jackson #MittenTrip

Art of the Brick at Ella Sharp Museum

I have much love and pride for my hometown, Jackson, Michigan. When I tell people I am from Jackson, they’re usually familiar with one of three things: The Parlour (too cold for ice cream), The Cascade Falls (not open until Memorial Day) or the prison. While the prison has historically been a sore spot for […]

How to Enjoy Nite Lites Jackson

Nite Lites Jackson

A big part of the holidays for me are the Christmas lights. Even though my family was never the biggest of decorators, I love to drive around the neighborhoods that always took it to the next level. I remember piling into the minivan to drive through the Nite Lites at the Jackson County Fairgrounds; at […]

Enjoy Fall Colors in Mid-Michigan in the Irish Hills

Enjoy Fall Colors in Mid-Michigan in the Irish Hills - Awesome Mitten

Autumn in Michigan brings shorter days and crisper air partnered with pumpkins, cider mills and corn mazes popping up everywhere. It also means that the colors of fall take over the landscape to many Michiganders’ delight. Just south of Jackson and west of Ann Arbor lies Irish Hills, a popular tourist destination and region all year, […]

How to Experience Jackson’s Automotive History

Today, Jackson has approximately 350 manufacturing firms, 60 percent of which sell to the automotive market. But did you know that Jackson once made entire cars? Jackson was home to 23 car manufacturers from 1901 to 1954, the first being the Jaxon car made from 1901 to 1903. For a recent tour with the MotorCities […]

Tour the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse Winery

Michigan wine touring is an adventure that can comprise a whole weekend of wine, food and beautiful vistas. Although Michigan’s pinky may be known for these, you may not realize there is a great wine trail in southeast Michigan worth visiting. The Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail includes eight wineries, stretching from Adrian to Haslett. Touring this […]

Exploring Jackson’s Falling Waters Trail

South Half of Lime Lake along the Falling Waters Trail | Photo Courtesy of Experience Jackson

As Michiganders, we value our warm summer days. Like cooped hens with cabin fever, we escape to the outdoors every chance we get. As many of us look to get in shape this summer, the great outdoors offer the perfect opportunity to get moving. Walking trails provide an easy, no-training-needed workout. The trail system in […]

The Cascade Falls: Jackson’s Musical Fountain

The Cascades Jackson Michigan

Every town wants to be known for something great. Traverse City has the cherry, Holland has the tulip and Detroit had Motown. When I tell someone I’m from Jackson I get one of three things: the prison, the ice cream Parlour (whose behemoth 21 scoop ‘Dare To Be Great’ challenge is legendary) or The Cascade Falls. […]

Celebrate Michigan Wine and Beer at Michigan International Speedway, May 9th

Michigan Wine & Beer Fest Beer Pour

Local Michigan-made beverages are a point a pride for us Michiganders. We love our Michigan craft beer and wine, and we take every opportunity to celebrate it. Michigan Wine & Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson, May 9th at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI, provides another great opportunity to celebrate. Tickets are $30 and […]

How Prison History Shaped Jackson, Michigan and the World

Cell Block 7 Prison Museum

The history of Michigan’s First State Prison is closely tied to Jackson’s history. With much chagrin, Jacksonians tell the story that when offered the choice between a prison and a university, we chose the prison. Putting the decision into context of 1838 and the Industrial Revolution, a prison provided something much more valuable, cheap labor in our […]

Michigan Bucket List: 5 Ideas for a Winter Date Night in Mid-Michigan

When winter arrives, it seems a majority of couples (and single people alike) would prefer to stay in, watch a movie, and order a pizza. However, if you’re looking to add some fun to your winter date nights (even if it’s just with your pals), we’ve got you covered right here with fun activities that […]

Top Five Tips to Find a Wedding Venue in Jackson

‘Tis the season for popping the big question, with 16 percent of all proposals happening in December, some of you Michiganders may be filling up your Pinterest boards with wedding dresses and peony bouquets in the coming months. Experience Jackson has a great Pinterest board to follow too:  Weddings Venues in Jackson, MI. Although your […]

Pop In to a Pop Up Art Gallery in Jackson

Original art makes for a unique personal gift that could become a treasured piece that lasts a lifetime. Pop-up art galleries are a win-win for the community, too. This holiday season they’re bringing people to Downtown Jackson. Now more than ever, shopping local is important for Jackson,  as we build a new and vibrant downtown district. […]

Top Spooky and Not So Spooky Halloween Events in Jackson

Jackson's Underworld

Halloween in Jackson means lots of tricks and treats. We love to be scared at Halloween, and there are plenty of haunted houses conveniently located in the mid-mitten area. Although I admit I’m a scaredy cat, I have made it to a few haunted houses in the area. For those looking for more not-so-scary family […]

Top 5 Jackson Michigan Farmers Markets and U-Picks

Indian Brook Trout Farm Pumpkin Picking

Fall means harvest time in Michigan, with ripe juicy apples and big fat pumpkins, and Jackson is the perfect place to enjoy fall in Michigan. You now know that Jackson is a foodie destination with the Best Kept Jackson Restaurant Secrets Exposed, but Jackson is also surrounded by beautiful farm land ripe with the best […]

Top 5 Ways to Enjoy the Fall Colors in Jackson

Fall colors seem to be coming early this year and if we can’t stop the coming of fall, we might as well enjoy it! You can experience fall in Jackson Michigan from the comfort of your car, with your own two feet, on a bike or by kayak. There are many opportunities to enjoy nature […]

Best Kept Jackson Restaurant Secrets Exposed

For a medium-sized town, Jackson has a lot of restaurants. In fact, it’s been said that Jackson has a very high restaurant per capita ratio. We Jacksonians love to go out to eat! It’s always a hot topic when a new restaurant comes to town.  The new restaurants often remain Jackson’s best kept secrets, rarely shared with […]

Ella Sharp Museum Gives “IF” a Whole New Meaning

Ella Sharp Museum

One in eight couples struggle with infertility in America today.  “The ART of IF: Navigating the Journey of Infertility” exhibit at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson explores the impact of infertility through both art and history. The title is a play on words with IF being an abbreviation for infertility and ART an acronym for Assisted […]

Jackson Added to the Great Beer State Map

Shed's Brewing Company - Jackson, Mich.

Michigan has been dubbed the Great Beer State and for good reason. With so many breweries in Michigan, it can be quite overwhelming. Jackson has been added to that map with four new breweries to tour, each with their own unique atmosphere. The best way to get your bearings is to start with a beer tasting festival. […]

Sandhill Crane Vineyards

Awesome Mitten - Sandhill Crane Vineyard

Winery & Tasting Room Open year round 4724 Walz Road Jackson, Mich. 49201 517.764.0679 Dexter Tasting Room Open from late Aug. to mid Nov. Hours: Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. 12 to 5 p.m. 3685 Central Dexter, Mich. 48130 734.424.2760 Website Facebook Twitter I had the pleasure of sitting down with Holly Balansag, […]