The Irish Hills here in Michigan are a special place to spend a weekend exploring with tons of activities, food, drinking and boating opportunities. Coming this September, you can tour them all while also celebrating being halfway to St. Patrick's Day in 2022 with "Taste of the Irish Hills."

Get our free mobile app

What Makes the Irish Hills Special

You might be asking yourself, "So are there actually hills in the Irish Hills?"

In short, yes!

According to Dan Cherry on the Irish Hills Regional Chamber of Commerce website, it all started when a "small knot of Irish immigrants" were fleeing the Potato Famine of 1846. They found their way to "newly-christened Michigan state territory" at a time when immigration to the area was at its peak and they settled in a small, northern area of Lenawee County.

"The rolling hills and crystal lakes, it is said, reminded them of their home country and they acquired that tangible reminder of Ireland," Cherry writes. 

From there, the newly-crowned "Irish Hills" were transformed from simply farms and orchards to a full-on tourist destination by the 1920's.

Now, those hills, the lakes and everything about the Irish Hills holds a special place to those who venture around the area and visitors are always welcome.

Things to do in the Irish Hills

According to the "Experience Irish Hills Michigan" website, the area "ecompasses" a little piece from each of Jackson, Lenawee, Hillsdale and Washtenaw counties (including 14 municipalities/townships).

"The Irish Hills is a region made up of 52 beautiful lakes within 10 townships and 4 villages," the Irish Hills Facebook page says. "Experience the scenic rolling hills and natural wonders along with many attractions, unique shops and fabulous restaurants. Unplug and stay awhile!"

As someone who grew up about 15 minutes from the area, I can absolutely attest to the enjoyment a day exploring the Irish Hills can bring.

There's Chateau Aeronautique Winery and Blue Skies Brewery that also features live music often, the Winery North of 12, as well as Cherry Creek Winery often referred to by locals as "the schoolhouse."

Vineyard Lake is one of the ones most frequented by me and mine, though it is definitely one of MANY!

I could go on and on too about how much fun happens in "the heart of the Irish Hills", downtown Brooklyn.

The Taste of the Irish Hills

This year, the 11th annual event will be taking place in September, despite usually happening around St. Patrick's Day.

As it turns out, the weekend of September 11th and 12th happens to actually be "halfway to St. Patrick's Day," according to the Taste of Irish Hills website.

When you purchase a ticket for $25 on the website, the Taste of Irish Hills says "you will enjoy a self-guided tour of 16 Irish Hills restaurants, sampling some of their best cuisine over the two days."

MLive reports participating restaurants include: Artesian Wells Sports Tavern, Callaghan's Coffee Cafe, Stoyanna’s Ice Cream and Stoyanna’s Catering and Carry Out, Cherry Creek Cellars, The Winery North of 12 and more (CLICK HERE).

MORE TO EXPLORE: Michigan Restaurants Featured On The Food Network

READ MORE: Michigan Restaurants That Should Be Franchised Nationwide