This is a sponsored post by Experience Jackson
We had the unique opportunity recently to visit Jackson, Michigan! We had our golf course itinerary in hand, flights booked and a bed and breakfast waiting for us. Our Experience Jackson adventure began!
For the sake of convenience from Los Angeles, we flew into Detroit. This gave us a little over an hour drive into Jackson which all-in-all wasn’t too bad minus the crazy fog! We haven’t been around a densely forested area like this in awhile, it is definitely a sight. But we finally arrived at the Hankerd Inn and were greeted by the owner Janet. She makes it a point to greet each of her guests personally when they arrive. And she provides a home cooked breakfast in the morning. A great touch when we’ve been on the road!
After we checked in we stopped at the Grand River Brewery for dinner. This place was bumpin’! And we arrived around 8:30pm so we figured it had to be good. They did not disappoint. We ordered the mac & cheese, fish & chips and a Caesar salad. It had to have been some of the best mac & cheese we’ve ever had, it was gone in minutes. We were so hungry from not eating while traveling that we continued to order. We got a caprese salad and a mini apple pie with ice cream. The waitress told us that they have a baker that creates them for the restaurant and oh my…so cute and delicious!
Bright Walls of Jackson
Our first morning there we decided to check out one of the main events going on the week we happened to be in town, Bright Walls. This is the inaugural year of Bright Walls. The city brought 14 artists nationally and internationally to create public wall murals in Downtown Jackson. The moment we heard about this, we love this idea. Such an amazing way to showcase talent and bring a distinct uniqueness to a town.
So we made our way from mural to mural as painters created their masterpieces. Along the way we stopped and grabbed a coffee from Kings Coffee truck. And wow, half the time we took photos just to capture the creativity of these murals and half the time we just stared in awe at the talent of these artists. If you’re close by Jackson or staying there, it’s worth the time to park and check out the Bright Walls of Downtown Jackson.
Unfortunately Anna was injured after we planned the trip but prior to us arriving so Armana was the only one to play the golf courses. But Anna was a spectacular caddy and photographer! It had been a while since we were at a golf course in true Fall weather so this was exciting for us! Living on the West Coast the temperatures stay pretty stable year round. After this trip though, we did walk away with a new favorite course!
Jackson Golf Courses
Our first golf course in Jackson was the Cascades Golf Course. Almost the whole round the course was hidden by fog, thank you mother nature, but it was clear that this is a really solid course. It was in great condition and while we took a cart because we had some extra gear, we would definitely recommend walking this course. The 17th hole is their signature hole and we can see it! That hole along with a few others on the back 9 included some tricky layups that forced you to not use your driver which is great practice. There are trees on this course, but compared to the other two we saw it had fewer that were in play. The pace of play was also great! So if you’re looking to get a quick round in, this is probably your best bet.
Next on our itinerary was the Grande Golf Club in Jackson, and this course was absolutely breathtaking. The entire course was outlined in these incredible trees and all the leaves were starting to change color. If you all remember, Anna went to Iowa for school and Armana is from Nebraska. This completed transported us back to fall golf in the midwest. The Grande required much more course management, with strategic ball placement off the tee and on the approach as the greens were fairly undulating. The course was in perfect condition and the green speed was a good 10-11 on the stimpmeter, which in the Fall is an accomplishment. While playing this course, we could see this was a favorite around town because it was absolutely packed. A must play course if you are in the area, and if you aren’t…it’s still worth the drive.
Arbor Hills was our third and final course in Jackson. The head pro that greeted was extremely kind and got us out and running quickly. This one had small creeks that ran through the entire course and a good amount of elevation throughout the holes making it distinct from the other two courses we played. This course definitely felt more like a traditional golf course, which makes sense because it was designed by Arthur Hamm who is the protege of Donald Ross. Because it’s more of a traditional course, it requires you to play a variety of shots which makes the round interesting and thought provoking!
Cell Block 7
In between playing the Jackson golf courses, we had the incredible opportunity to do the Cell Block 7 tour. This is absolutely a must do tour if you’re interested in the prison system at all! It’s a tour of a closed down cell block but on active prison grounds in Jackson. Because it’s on active prison grounds, we weren’t able to bring cell phones and our camera. We were able to see what the intake area used to look like, a cell, beds that are used, showers and even some confiscated shanks. The tour guide gave us plenty of stories and information about about the prison history and the improvements that have been made. Including that the prison when completed in 1934 was the largest walled institution in the world that could house over 5,000 inmates. Incredible!
After our unforgettable tour, we made sure to stop by AKA Sushi. A great modern sushi restaurant. So good! We were in the mood for ice cream so based on a local’s recommendation we hit up Sweet Scoops. Anna believes this to be the best milkshake that she’s had in a very long time! They make all of their ice creams in house and they mix all the extras in front of you. Would definitely recommend!
We had a great Michigan trip thanks to Experience Jackson! It’s hidden gem that is clearly making city wide improvements and bringing more activities and attractions to the area. If you’re in Michigan, make sure to take a weekend trip to Jackson and see everything they have to offer! We’re a little biased towards the beautiful golf courses!