Traverse City, MI - April 4, 2008 - The 2008 Horse Shows by the Bay is a three week equestrian festival held from July 16 to August 3. The festival is "AA" rated, World Champion Hunter Rider sanctioned, and hosts a $25,000 grand prix each week. Horse Shows by the Bay hosts 1,200 horses and offers more than $360,000 in prize money. The festival is held at the Flintfields Horse Park just outside of scenic Traverse City, MI.
While equestrians enjoy the top competition at Horse Shows by the Bay, they and their families can enjoy a multitude of activities that are around Traverse City. The official slogan of Michigan, "Great Lakes, Great Times," is most evident in the Traverse City and Grand Traverse Bay area.
As the official host hotel of the Horse Shows by the Bay series, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa offers many different activities for equestrians to pursue during their time away from the horse show. Family members can participate on the golf course, which has 54 holes and is among the finest golf courses in the Midwest. There are three courses designed by luminaries of the golf world, including Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Bill Newcomb. The Resort offers a full range of golf services for the public, guests, and groups, including lessons at the renowned Jim McLean Golf School.
Those searching for a more relaxing activity will find it at the Spa Grand Traverse. The full-service haven was created for optimal health, a grand feeling of well-being, and beauty. The Spa's 7,000 square feet of luxurious treatment space is adjacent to a world-class 100,000-square foot Health Club.
"We invite everyone to visit Grand Traverse Resort & Spa to see how over $15 million in upgrades and renovations in recent years have made the Resort a new experience. The facilities and service have never been better," said Public Relations Manager J. Michael DeAgostino, Public Relations Manager.
The brand-new Turtle Creek Casino offers fun after the horse show. Located about a mile east of Flintfields in Williamsburg, Turtle Creek Casino features 1,300 slot machines, 35 table games, poker room, high stakes area, and 137-room Hotel opening in June. Both Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and Grand Traverse Resort & Spa are owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Traverse City is part of Grand Traverse Bay, which is located off Lake Michigan. The bay is 32 miles (51 km) long, 10 miles (16 km) wide, and up to 600 ft deep in spots. Traverse City is situated at the south end of the bay where the Boardman River, perhaps the finest wild trout stream in Michigan, empties into the west arm. Cherry orchards line the bay region, giving rise to Traverse City's claim to be the Cherry Capital of the World.
Opportunities to venture into nature abound in the Traverse City area. Sleeping Bear Dunes, noted as the "Best Nature Escape in the Midwest," has 35 miles of Lake Michigan coastline. Torch Lake has been ranked by National Geographic as "the third most beautiful lake in the world." The Torch Lake area has recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating, sailing, kayaking, hiking and biking, and much more. The average depth of Torch Lake is over 200 feet, making it a good habitat for trout and a great fishing lake.
Those looking for history in the area will find it at Old Mission. The oldest permanent settlement in the Grand Traverse Area, this picturesque village near the tip of the Old Mission peninsula was founded in 1839. Today it is a resort area, reminiscent of a New England town, with several well-preserved churches, homes, stores and other 19th century buildings that are still in use. On the Old Mission Peninsula, visitors can see the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, which is located inside the Leelanau State Park. The Grand Traverse Lighthouse has been guiding ships and sailors since it was built in 1858. The lighthouse is currently listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places.
The legendary Bowers Harbor Inn on Old Mission Peninsula is renowned not only for their award-winning cuisine and spectacular views of West Grand Traverse Bay. Bowers' cuisine is unmatched in the region, having won awards for Best Fine Dining, Best Restaurant to Impress, Most Romantic Restaurant, Best Seafood, and more.
Just northeast of the Inn is Bowers Harbor Vineyard (BHV), a family run winery surrounded by epic views of Lake Michigan's Bowers Harbor. BHV is situated on the 45th parallel which lends itself to a cool climate region producing dynamically expressive varietal wines. What was once a horse barn is now a converted boutique winery that serves as Michigan's largest producer of Pinot Gris. BHV is one of five Old Mission wineries that comprise the internationally recognized appellation Wines of the Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP).
Shopping in downtown Traverse City is as varied as its natural offerings. From their enchanting beachside main street shopping district to their eclectic shops scattered throughout the region, Traverse City is a shoppers' paradise. Explore their varied shops, buy some freshly-made fudge, or eat lunch at a sidewalk table. The area also offers modern shopping malls for big-city bargains.
Come to the Horse Shows by the Bay series this year and not only enjoy some of the best hunter/jumper competition in the Midwest, but have a relaxing, adventurous vacation in one of the finest resort areas that the Midwest has to offer.
For more information on the Horse Shows by the Bay series, please visit http://www.horsesportsbythebay.com
For more information on the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, please go to http://www.grandtraverseresort.com
Photo Credit: Jack Nicklaus' The Bear golf course at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, the host hotel of the Horse Shows by the Bay series. Photo courtesy of the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/horse-shows-bay-riders-families-04-08.html">2008 Horse Shows by the Bay Series Offers Activities for Riders and Families</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com