CALEDONIA, Mich. — Caledonia is a small city located on the southeast side of Kent County with a population size of 1,500. This quaint community, rooted in lifting one another up, is known for being a small town with a big heart.
Here, you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life with some good, old-fashioned family fun.
We began our day at EB Coffee & Pub, where coffee isn’t the only thing brewing. After over a decade in business, this company became Michigan's first traditional coffee house and brewpub.
"One of my philosophies is a cup of coffee or a beer is the cheapest vacation that you can go on. You can do that daily, sometimes you need a warm-up on your way to work, or you need to cool down coming home before you meet the family," explained Justin Nichols.
The shop offers a pick me up in more ways than one.
"We don't sell coffee. We sell atmosphere. You could get coffee anywhere, but some people just need someone to talk to. That's what we provide.
Our next stop was Legacy Stables, which is home to Karins Horse Connection. This rejuvenating and relaxing environment offers a fun activity for people with little to no experience with horses. It features everything from thrill-seeking equestrian vaulting, better known as gymnastics on horseback, to private tours through 28 acres of trails.
They have 20 different horses and even a few ponies, truly providing a little something for everyone.
We kept the fun going with just a short drive down the road to Summer Sweat Orchard. Owner David Dutcher turned his late wife's family's peach farm into a passion project.
"I started saying, 'Okay why don’t I dabble in apple trees.' So, I bought a few and planted them in the yard. That turned into a few more which eventually resulted in hundreds, turning this hobby into what I have today," stated Dutcher. "I feel like my place is a community place. Some people come here and they say this is my happy place and that makes me feel good."
Here you can find seven acres of unique apples and peaches, including kinds that you may have never even heard of, such as Ludacrisp, Red Rubens, and Evercrips. Other varieties available are Fuji and Honey Crisp.
Overall, picking out something sweet, tart, and crunchy is always the goal but knowing that they were grown with so much love and passion makes them that much tastier.
Believe it or not, family festivities didn't stop there. Deep Roots Produce is a must-see attraction.
It was started by Caledonia native Liz Mcdaniel and her husband Stephen McDaniel, who transformed an old bull farm into a fall wonderland. It has Instagramable moments at every turn.
Activities at the farm include picking pumpkins and tomatoes, exploring the corn maze, feeding the animals, playing corn hole, enjoying cider, donuts and freshly grown produce. The attraction offers activities for all ages.
They manage all of this while working two other full-time jobs and raising their fifteen-month-old baby. Truly the perfect example of what this town is all about.
We rounded out our day trip checking out the main street and strolling through one of their parks — a hallmark ending to this day trip in a little town filled with big hearts.
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