Donielle Flynn

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What makes up Michigan's best chili? Our favorites are revealed.

I love chili, especially in the winter.  Chili is comfort food without the guilt.  Usually, when I think of comfort food, I think of heavy, most likely unhealthy food like pizza or cake.  Chili is actually pretty good for you AND delicious. How do you make your chili?  What makes up Michigan’s best chili?  What are Michigan’s favorite chili ingredients?

The people at did a survey of America’s favorite chili ingredients and broke them out state by state.   I was surprised at some of the results.  I’m not trying to judge, but some people are very strange regarding their definition of chili… even right here in Michigan.

According to the survey results, America, as a whole, prefers a mixture of black, kidney, and pinto beans with ground beef as the main ingredients.  There was also a big chunk of respondents that said “no meat” is how they preferred their chili.  22% of the world’s population is vegetarian, so that’s very understandable.  Plus these days, plant-based products have made huge strides to be a tasty replacement for traditional meat.  However, a chunk of folks also responded, “NO BEANS.”  I’m drawing the line there.  It’s not chili without beans.  It’s just meat soup… which does not sound appealing to me.  Here’s how Michigan’s stats broke out.

What Makes Up Michigan’s Best Chili?

Here in Michigan, we followed suit with the country overall.  Three-bean chili and ground beef received the highest response.  When asked if you prefer your chili sweet or spicy, Michigan said BOTH. Me too.  Those weirdos in Minnesota said “sweet” 88% of the time.  How can you not have a little kick in your chili?  They’re missing out.

Michiganders also said stovetop was their preferred cooking method over the crockpot.  I’ve made chili both ways, but I definitely prefer the results of the stovetop.  Shredded cheese and sour cream were our two favored toppings.

If you’re not making your own chili, what’s your go-to place to get a bowl of chili?  Email me and let me know!

4 Michigan Towns Named the Most Magical for Winter in America

Winter is upon us, and it goes without saying that Michigan is a beautiful place to be during the cold months. Sure, we do get freezing here, but we also have beautiful, picturesque views of snowfall and winter creatures that many other states don’t enjoy.

Now, four Michigan towns have been named the most “Magical Winter Wonderland Towns in the U.S.” The list comes from Trips To Discover, and it names the most “magical” spots to visit in the winter in America.

“Instead of trying to beat the winter blues by traveling to a tropical beach, why not delve into the season?” they state in the article. “There’s an invigorating feeling that comes from being in a snowy wonderland, enjoying the fresh air and often all sorts of fun activities like building a snowman, skiing, tubing, or even old-fashioned sleigh rides. In America’s most magical winter wonderland towns, you’re guaranteed breathtaking surroundings and often charming streets lined with historical buildings or perhaps simply an ideal eatery for sitting next to a roaring fire, a glass of wine, or a cup of hot cocoa in hand.”

I’m admittedly not a winter fan, but seeing this list of charming Michigan towns in the winter does make me look forward to the cozy months. Read on for the full list of Michigan towns, as well as some neighboring ones. Find the full list here.

  • Munising, Michigan

    Munising, Michigan, is one of the top picks on Trips to Discover’s list. The outlet states, “The breathtaking ice walls can be marveled at from various angles, or even climbed, with rental equipment and lessons available for beginners. Over the second weekend in February, the annual Michigan Ice Fest offers climbing classes and seminars conducted by world-class climbers.” Sounds like fun!

  • Holland, Michigan

    Of course Holland, Michigan, is on this list. My uncle lives near there, and it’s a delightful spot. Trips to Discover states, “Nestled along Lake Michigan, Holland may be medium sized but it feels more like a small town.” I usually travel to Holland in the summer, but it definitely has its own charm in the winter, too. I’m glad to see it made this national list.

  • Marquette, Michigan

    Going up north to Marquette, Trips to Discover states, “Marquette sees an annual average of 200 inches of snowfall. It sits along the shores of Lake Superior and is often blanketed in the white powder while nearly 75 miles of cross-country ski trails, 60 miles of groomed trails for fat bikes, and 400 miles of snowmobile trails await. The daring can even try winter surfing.” It’s certainly beautiful this time of year.

  • Frankenmuth, Michigan

    Frankenmuth is the Christmas spotlight of America. Trips to Discover states, “Frankenmuth is a Bavarian-style town that’s ideal to visit around Christmas, drawing many to enjoy the festivities that include everything from a Christmas tree light show to sleigh rides.” It offers so much holiday fun.

  • Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

    Of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Trips to Discover states, “The charming town of Elkhart Lake is the quintessential winter wonderland during the season. You’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy it from snowshoeing and ice fishing to spa experiences and brewery tastings.”

  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, sounds like a great Christmas town, judging by the name, and it is a perfect holiday spot. Trips to Discover states, “Bethlehem is an obvious place to visit for Christmas, with its annual Christkindlmarkt inspired by the markets of Germany and a top Christmas market in the U.S., but it offers a whole lot more throughout the winter months.” It’s a great area for skiing and snowboarding.

  • New Hope, Pennsylvania

    New Hope, Pennsylvania, is beautiful this time of year. Trips to Discover states, “New Hope is like walking into an antique snow globe in the winter and as you stroll the streets downtown, you can check out unique boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and more.”

  • Lake Placid, New York

    Heading to the New York area? Lake Placid, New York, is a choice stop for the holidays. Trips to Discover states, “Nestled in the Adirondacks, Lake Placid has hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice, so you know your odds are good when it comes to snow and winter activities. Visitors can even ride the Lake Placid Toboggan Chut, which was converted from a 30-foot-high ski jump.”

  • New York City, New York

    There’s no city like New York City! Trips to Discover states, “Temperatures may be below freezing, but New York City will be livelier than ever in the winter. Enjoy the scene at Rockefeller Center with its famous ice rink, snow-covered Central Park, and winter markets throughout the season, or visit for larger-than-life holiday attractions, including the Times Square Ball, which drops from a height of 141 feet to mark the New Year.” If you’ve never been to New York City during the holidays, now if your chance.

  • Skaneateles, New York

    Another popular New York holiday destination is Skaneateles. Trips to Discover states, “Set on one of the scenic Finger Lakes in Upstate, the town of Skaneateles has a vibrant downtown with lots of festivities to enjoy during the holidays along with plenty of dining, shopping, and opportunities to sample the local wine.” It offers plenty of skiing, too.

  • Lake Placid, New York

    One more New York destination is Lake Placid. Trips to Discover states, “Nestled in the Adirondacks, Lake Placid has hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice, so you know your odds are good when it comes to snow and winter activities. Visitors can even ride the Lake Placid Toboggan Chut, which was converted from a 30-foot-high ski jump.” Sounds delightful.

  • Source: Trips to Discover

    Find the full list here.

Donielle Fynn is a Michigan native with two kids, two dogs, two cats, a love of yoga, and all things classic rock.