It’s no secret we love a day at the shore — and all the style that goes along with it. Our community loves it, too, as evidenced by the awesome nautical-inspired fashion they’ve been flaunting in our Style Gallery!
Lately, we’ve been particularly smitten with Tieka, the blogger behind Selective Potential, whose laid-back, comfy-chic style is as crisp and colorful as her hometown of Grand Rapids. Community Specialist, Bridget, reached out to Tieka to get the scoop on what makes living near a Great Lake so great. Get ready to experience a boatload of wanderlust!
Tell us more about your hometown! What makes Grand Rapids so… grand?
Ahh, my heart. I love Grand Rapids! It’s such an up-and-coming, vibrant city, but still has that “small town” feel. We were recently named “beer city” and have so many amazing breweries, restaurants, museums, and things to do. Plus, we’re only 35 minutes from the beaches of Lake Michigan, so you can have city life and beach life all in one day! Grand Rapids is the perfect central location in Michigan too. We’re only a few hours away from Chicago or Detroit, or the beautiful scenery of the upper peninsula. I couldn’t imagine a better place to live in that gives me so many different options. It’s the best!
If we had only one place to eat in town, where would it be?
Donkey Taqueria. I always recommend this place first if people are visiting Grand Rapids, and am kind of known for posting too many Instagram pictures of their beautiful margaritas. Haha! But it’s so delicious. First, they are located in such a great neighborhood, in an old 1920’s service station. The building itself has been renovated beautifully and has such a fun vibe. If you visit in the summer, they have a huge outdoor patio with twinkle lights. They serve up authentic Mexican food, and some of the best margaritas you’ll ever have. My recommendation would be to start with chips and guacamole, and a mango margarita. As for tacos, my favorites are the taco de panza (seared pork belly) and the taco de pescado (beer battered fish). Yum!
You’re always exploring the coasts of the great lakes and in particular, lighthouses! What do you find so fascinating about these places?
There is something so unique about exploring lighthouses. It truly just fuels my adventurous old soul. I enjoy everything about it. From researching each lighthouse, and how to actually get there, from arriving and seeing this huge beautiful structure in front of you that has been around for so many years, to seeing how people used to live in these lighthouses, to climbing the tower, to seeing gorgeous views of our great lakes. Each lighthouse is so unique. Many lighthouses in Michigan are hard to navigate to as well — requiring long boat trips, or walking seven miles down a beach, or driving 40 miles down a really harsh dirt road. It’s truly an adventure. I never imagined I’d be calling so many old men trying to convince them to take me out on their fishing boat so I can see a lighthouse! I have so many left to see, and I can’t wait. It’s a lifelong goal.
How would you convince someone to come to the great lakes as opposed to the typical beach vacay at the ocean?
I’m always so surprised when my readers comment on my photos of the great lakes and say, “It looks like an ocean!” It IS like an ocean, but better! We don’t have sharks or jellyfish, or salt burning your eyes, and no hurricanes, typhoons, or tsunamis! Sure, it can be a little cold unless you visit in August, but the water is so clean and blue and incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day. Our beach towns feel like beach towns — lots of people surfing, skateboarding, grabbing ice cream on the boardwalk, and taking a walk to the end of the pier to see a picturesque lighthouse. We have dune rides and wineries and amazing restaurants. Our sunsets are incredibly beautiful. Really anything you want to do, you can in this area of Michigan!
You’re able to do all of this exploring while still looking effortlessly fabulous. What is your secret for still looking adorable while navigating your nautical getaways?
I love nautical style, especially in spring/summer. Anchor prints, navy/red/blue color combinations, stripes, high-waisted shorts, polka dots, big sunnies, and cute hats. I also always travel with a camera bag, flats for lots of walking and climbing lighthouse towers, sunscreen, a cute bathing suit, shades, and sweaters in case it gets chilly in the evenings by the lakeshore.
+Does Tieka have you dreaming of the shore? Get even more inspired by checking out our fresh take on nautical style!