It’s that time of year again—when hordes of hunters head for the woods and fields of northern Michigan in search of a much sought after delicacy—the illusive morels. May is morel month in Michigan and these wild mushrooms are the rare prize of this annual spring hunt. Not exclusive to northern Michigan, morels can actually be found in every county in the state. But not just in Michigan, nor only the Mid-West. Morels have even been found in temperate zones throughout the world—from as far north as Russia and as far south as Australia.

Sarah Landry Ryder has come a long way from the 25-year-old restaurant owner and waitress she used to be. Her company The Redheads, which she and her sisters started in 2004, has taken off as another Leelanau business looking to make delicious food with local sustainable ingredients. 

Sand in your sandwich is not a nuisance, but welcomed nostalgia. If you’re ready to pack your beach bags with too much food and drink, and slap down your territorial towel flags, here’s a breakdown of some of the best places to get stocked up for your next beach picnic in “the County.”

Leland is a getaway in every sense of the word. It’s idyllic and old school, clean and comfortable, and there’s just enough to do without overwhelming you. On this shore, Lake Michigan can be calm and quiet, or raging and dark. The weather decides which experience you’ll have. Big lake storms can be the best excuse to huddle up and reset in a cozy spot, hypnotized by the rain and wind.

On Saturday, Aug. 4 at 10:30 a.m., Leland Township Library will host Michigan food expert and author Lisa M. Rose for a hands-on, family-friendly foraging workshop.

If you’re in Leelanau County with a craving for carne asada, tacos, burritos, or incredible nachos, here’s a guide to some of your best bets.

One day last year, before Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate owners Jody and DC Hayden purchased the retail space next to Margaret Hodge’s Anchor Hardware—across M-22 from the Empire Village Inn—DC counted the number of cars that drove by and determined that Empire gets twice as much traffic north of the M-22 and M-72 intersection than south, where M-22 heads toward Benzie County. That sealed the deal.

Here are the winners of this year’s Empire Asparagus Festival recipe contest, held earlier this month in Empire.

Fun and games always seem to follow Bob Sutherland. The Cherry Republic owner frequently walks around Glen Arbor sans shoes; his weekly “Orchard Report” emails describe sons Colebrook and Hawthorn playing in the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and cherry pit spitting contests are an important part of the visit to Cherry Republic’s campus.

Free to enter, this year’s Empire Asparagus Festival recipe competition on Saturday, May 19, is open to anyone who loves asparagus. Participants create asparagus dishes for the public to sample while competing for cash prizes.