Michigan Local Treats And Must-Visits

Foliage and fine antiques are reasons enough for a fall day trip to Southwestern Michigan. Now, a handful of upstarts have provided compelling reasons to hop in the car posthaste.

Follow the path below for an afternoon of bacon jam, superlative sandwiches, small-batch spirits and craft beer (and see our slideshow for added enticement). A tip: Bring along an empty cooler and clear some room in the trunk.

1. Local If only this charming butcher shop, housed in a cottage and run by a young husband-and-wife team, were in our neighborhood. We'd go weekly for fresh sausages and charcuterie, local produce and grass-fed beef, and bacon jam, a miraculous addition to a sandwich made with Local's smoked turkey. 424 E. Buffalo St., New Buffalo, MI; 269-231-5138 or localnewbuffalo.com

2. David's Delicatessen This humble deli is on a mission to revive the Reuben. Its youthful new owners offer four versions, including a stellar classic and a farmers' Reuben featuring meat, cheese and vegetables from Harbor County. 30 N. Whittaker St., New Buffalo, MI; 269-469-7177 or find them on Facebook

3. Greenbush Brewing Taste six beers for $12 in the taproom of this new brewery. Take a growler ($16) of, say, the toasty, chocolaty Anger black IPA back to Chicago, where Greenbush brews are hard to find. 5885 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer, MI; 269-405-1076 or greenbushbrewing.com

4. Journeyman Distillery Sip white whiskey and aged rye straight or in cocktails at this just-opened distillery in Three Oaks. The well-appointed, wood-lined tasting room and distillery is just off the town's main drag. Historic Featherbone Factory, 109 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI; 269-820-2050 or journeymandistillery.com