M22 quite literally begins in Manistee, one of my all time favorite places and the sourse of some of my favorite memories to date with my wife and kids. The “Perfect M22 Day” begins on River Street in Downtown Manistee.
Kick off your day with breakfast at “House of Flavors” on River Street. This slice of Americana has the feel of a diner right out of the 1950’s. The food is excellent, the service is warm and friendly, and the atmosphere feels nostalgic, a perfect place to get your mind right before you head north. Order the Strawberry Pancakes, you won’t be disappointed. I know breakfast and ice cream don’t traditionally go hand in hand, but you’re on vacation, and you have my permission to indulge. There are many who would tell you that House of Flavors home-made ice cream is the best on earth, and I would have to agree. Order a “Pig’s Dinner”, an incredible combination of delicious ice cream flavors, topped with whip cream and a Michigan cherry. What could be better?
To burn a few of the calories that you just took in, head out of the restaurant and down to the Riverwalk, which sits directly behind House of Flavors. Take a left at the bottom of the stairs, and follow the Manistee River through downtown, past the charter fishing boats, underneath the draw-bridge, and out to 1st Street Beach. This walk will take you about a half-hour each way, but the views make it worth every step.
When you’re ready, head back down the Riverwalk, this time stopping when you get to the Washington/Maple Street Drawbridge, and head up the stairs to the main four corners in town (River Street and Washington Street). Head east on River Street to walk through Downtown Business District of Manistee, a historic Victorian Port City. Stop into the Vogue Theater, a theater built in 1938, which was recently rehabilitated back to its’ original art deco era charm. Grab a coffee or a fruit smoothie at Goody’s Juice and Java, and then walk another block back to your car at the House of Flavors.