It might seem like a short trip but it was our maiden voyage with Randi and we wanted to stay somewhat close to home. Bruce took extended days off and I did as well.
We departed home around 7am on Thursday morning, the actual drive up to Empire was uneventful with the exception of stopping into the Clare rest area so that Bruce could nap for a couple hours, you see, he works night driving truck, he got home about 6:30 that morning and we hooked and booked so after working 13 hours I was amazed that he made to to Clare before waving the white flag of surrender.
What I like the most was the fact of the rest area had ample parking for our rig, Bruce was able to actually lay down in a bed instead of stretching out on a seat, I was able to turn on my WiFi hotspot on my phone and kick back and watch Netflix while he slept. Yes that was different for us and we LOVED it!!!
We arrived at our destination around 2-3pm what a beautiful place, Indigo Bluffs, and VERY friendly and accommodating staff! Our site was huge, of course with it being our “first” time we spent the extra money and got a premium spot. The pad was made of paver blocks that we designed in a beautiful pattern, we had a picnic table, big fire pit, the site was set up for an outside kitchen but was not completely open yet due to the park opening in the week prior to our arrival, that was not a problem for us as it gave us a great place to stack our firewood where the grill would be installed latter.
It was a quiet place and very peaceful, we met a few other folks that were staying during the same time as we were. Our site was one of 3 located by their pond area, very well landscaped and we had a sitting area down by the pond. The trees on the opposite side from us were lit up after dark each night. (see photo gallery) We enjoyed our outside speakers each night as we sat by the fire. What a relaxing experience!!
The park itself was very clean and well kept, some improvements were being made to other areas during our stay but it was not a problem at all, not noisy or messy. This park is divided into a couple areas, RV Resort (where we stayed) and RV Park which was separated by fence and trees.
We took a drive thru the “park” area as that is where the big dumpster is located and we needed to dump our trash, they do offer on site pick up but we had missed the cutoff for it, newbies and all 😉 The “park” area was almost as nice as the resort area, it just isn’t landscaped as much, beautiful wooded sites with ample room and full hook-ups as well. Bruce and I both agree that we will be returning to this park and will stay on the “park” side next time.
We have ZERO complaints about Indigo Bluffs, we enjoy as much of the amenities as we could possibly do with the Michigan weather as it is.
During our stay we took a few drives around, we stopped at a few local establishments, one of our favorite was Grocers Daughter Chocolates, PLEASE make a point of going there if your ever up in that area, such a great variety of artisan organic chocolates, be sure to ask for a “fudge” cicle, you WON’T be disappointed 😉
We also ate dinner (pizza) at Empire Village Inn, another “don’t miss” the best pizza we have had to date!! One morning we ate breakfast at Joe’s Friendly Tavern, yes I said tavern, I am not positive but I think it is the only place to get breakfast in Empire. All the above mentioned places can be found on TripAdvisor, I highly recommend using this app as you travel.
We also drove up to Glen Arbor, it is about a 7 mile drive from Empire, neat little beach town with a awesome place to get coffee, Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co. which we visited a couple times as I wanted to get a couple bags of coffee to take home. I recommend a stop 😉 Also found on TripAdvisor. The IGA store in Glen Arbor is also a neat place to visit, not a large grocery store but packed full of goodies.
We took the M-22 drive all the way around headed to Traverse City, what a beautiful drive, lots of “beachy” type things to see and towns to stop by. Stopped and took some pictures of Sleeping Bear sand dunes.
All in all it was a fabulous first trip!! Looking forward to our next trip in about 3 weeks to Petoskey.
Please be sure to check out all the pictures from Empire, Michigan by clicking on the link below.
Empire Michigan Area Pictures