Three Michigan B&Bs: So Close and Yet So Far

November 18th, 2014 by linda

This week, our spotlight is on three bed and breakfast inns that are practically neighbors in the southwestern part of Michigan, but offer a range of styles and surroundings that make them seem worlds apart. Small town, metro suburban and countryside, each is regularly inspected to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality, safety, cleanliness and best hospitality practices. When you stay at one of the association’s member inns, you can rest assured. That’s our promise.

Pairieside Suites Luxury B&B, Grandville (Southwest region)

Let innkeepers Paul and Cheri tell you about Prairieside Suites in their own words. Just click on the photo.

Let innkeepers Paul and Cheri tell you about Prairieside Suites in their own words. Just click on the photo and select a video.

Luxurious meets nurturing; elegance meets pampering at Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville, an all-American suburb conveniently tucked between Grand Rapids, just minutes to the east and Lake Michigan’s most noted beach towns to the west. These innkeepers have thought of everything to ensure a better than home-away-from-home stay. The eight guestrooms offer coffee makers, microwaves and refrigerators and the full complement of all-things electronic from TVs to WiFi. The tile floors in the private baths are heated, the mirror over the sink stays steam free, your towels are warmed on the heated bar (and so is the toilet seat). Breakfast is served by candlelight in the dining room or you can order a full hot breakfast served to your rooms. If you prefer, order your in-room refrigerator packed with a deluxe continental breakfast to enjoy on your time schedule.

 Heritage Manor Inn, Fennville (Southwest region)

Heritage Manor Jacuzzi

Heads’ up, families with kids and without! What would you say to a stay in a totally unique and affordable B&B lodging where, if you turn right out of the driveway, you’re in Saugatuck in minutes? Turn left, you’re in South Haven in a few more. If you could just go straight, you’d put your vehicle smack on a sugar-sand Lake Michigan beach. Heritage Manor Inn describes itself as a “country style” bed and breakfast. It features 14 guestrooms, all with private baths. They include fireplace and Jacuzzi combinations, spacious and comfortable “just plain sleeping” rooms and family suites plus a luxurious townhouse that can accommodate five adults. There’s an indoor pool with a kiddie area and a big backyard. Breakfasts are a full and delicious. A guest kitchen lets you keep your own snacks cold and is loaded with microwave popcorn, fresh cookies and hot beverages. It’s just minutes from Saugatuck Dunes State Park and the Allegan State Game Area — meccas for some of the finest and most challenging cross-country skiing in the state. Ready to play, anyone?

DeLano Mansion Inn, Allegan (Southwest Region)

DeLano Mansion Inn Whirlpool Tub

Bed and breakfast inns are often as well known for their lush baths as they are for their luxurious guestrooms and gourmet breakfasts. This bath at DeLano Mansion Inn in the charming small town of Allegan is done in Roman style. It’s part of the Parsonage Suite, one of six beautifully-decorated guestrooms, each with its own private bath. In addition to the two-person whirlpool, the suite features an antique mantel over the fireplace, a queen-sized brass bed and its own comfortable seating area. It includes cable TV, a DVD/CD player and WiFi. While ideal for a romantic getaway to this historic riverside community, there is private access between it and the Ashley Room to accommodate families. The inn was recently purchased by Innkeepers Marcia Neigebauer and her husband, Kent. Marcia enjoys meeting people, gardening, cooking and helping guests make their visit to her B&B a pleasure.

At the Lake to Lake Association, we know where all the best B&B’s are located in Southwest Michigan and across the state. We know what makes each of them special in each of the four seasons, and we share that knowledge with you on our quick and easy B&B finder. We invite you to visit us on our website and on our Facebook page, and to discover all the “innside” secrets by subscribing to our weekly blog.

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Michigan B&Bs: Distinctively Different for Distinctive Lifestyles and Tastes

November 8th, 2014 by linda

The common myth is that all B&Bs are alike. We beg to differ. No matter your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you’d like to live), your personal preferences or your own very unique tastes, there is a bed and breakfast inn in Michigan that will graciously accommodate them.

Stone Chalet B&B Inn, Ann Arbor (Southeast Region)

stone chalet close exterior

Stone Chalet Bed & Breakfast Inn is the only association-approved B&B in Ann Arbor, and it is most deserving of the distinction. Whether visiting this famous university town for business or pleasure, the Stone Chalet is unquestionably your first call for reservations. An historic Swiss-style chalet built of solid granite blocks, circa 1917, the inn offers 10 clean and spacious guestrooms with private baths, located in four connected buildings. One houses a former sanctuary from a previous incarnation as a Unitarian Church. Today, it’s a 2,800 square-foot event center than can be rented for an hour or a day. The grounds are spacious and beautifully landscaped, and lovely afternoon parties are often hosted in the gazebo. If you have business at U-M, you will enjoy close proximity to the campus and, despite the inn’s historic character, WiFi throughout. The common area combines the living room and side porch, cleverly disguised as a formal dining room where innkeepers/owners Lana and Mike, who took up the reins of the former Vitosha Guest Haus last year, offer delicious breakfasts and a place to gather for games and conversation.

Twin Oaks Inn, Saugatuck (Southwest Region)

Twin Oaks Inn new

Former guests might miss Willa, the innkeeper of Twin Oaks Inn in downtown Saugatuck since 2001. But guests old and new love the “new” Twin Oaks as much as they do Sherry and Lisa, who just successfully completed their first summer and fall seasons as its new innkeepers/owners. In addition to six spacious bedrooms, some with fireplaces, sitting rooms and jetted tubs and all with private baths, TV and WiFi, the inn features a charming screened-in porch and outdoor conversation areas. There’s ample on-site parking, a luxury in this popular Lake Michigan beach town. Twin Oaks is easily walkable to 14 restaurants and pubs, to galleries and specialty shops galore and to the boardwalk along the marinas on the harbor’s edge. Mount Baldhead with its 282 steps (or thereabouts) to one of Pure Michigan’s most sweeping views and to Lake Michigan’s Oval Beach, is accessible via an historic chain ferry across the Kalamazoo River.

Antiquities’ Wellington Inn, Traverse City (Northwest Region)

Antiquities' Wellington ext

There are so many ways to enjoy Traverse City – the up-north jewel on Grand Traverse Bay surrounded by beaches and wineries, culinary delights and one-of-a-kind shops and galleries. If you visit and stay at Antiquities’ Wellington Inn, you can immerse yourself in history and style while enjoying everything this crossroads of culture and outdoor recreation offers year around. An impeccably-restored 1905 neoclassical mansion, Wellington Inn has nine elegant guestrooms as well as two-bedroom carriage house suites, all with private baths and featuring period furnishings designed to take you back to the time when Michigan’s white pines made barons out of lumberjacks. Enjoy a full breakfast each morning, a complimentary guest kitchen and wireless internet. Walk two short two blocks to downtown shops, beaches and restaurants. What a perfect way to get away!

Discover all of Michigan’s distinctive B&Bs by using the “Find a B&B” function on our website. Search a variety of ways — by name, by city, by region, by specials and packages — or design your own stay by choosing a country or a city setting, waterfront or woods, in-room Jacuzzi’s or outdoor hot tubs under the stars, pets or no pets and dozens more of the amenities you prefer. Nothing beats a B&B except a B&B that’s a member of the Lake to Lake B&B Association, quality assured by regular inspection and guaranteed to reflect the best hospitality practices. Member B&Bs are the only inns you’ll find listed, assuring a most satisfactory stay in every way.

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Start New, Start Fresh, Start Over: Become an Interim Innkeeper With “Inn-Sitting 101″

October 13th, 2014 by linda

Are you retired – but not yet tired?
Itching to stay in the game but at the same time, play?

Retired - but not tired?

Retired – but not tired?

Or are you dreaming of a career change?
Something new with just a touch of glamour?
A job that doesn’t keep you stuck in the same place forever?

Wishing for a little glamour?

Wishing for a little glamour?

Or maybe you’re the hostess with the “mostess” who loves to
see your guests relax and laugh and enjoy the fruits of your creativity.

The hostess with the "mostess."

The hostess with the “mostess?”

Consider living your dream. Consider learning the ins and outs of being an interim innkeeper. You can do it! Just sign up for “Inn-Sitting 101,” the first-ever training program designed to give you the basic knowledge and skills – and the credibility – to march into a B&B anywhere and give the innkeepers a break! No one can work 24/7, 365!

Held at Chelsea House Victorian Inn in beautiful downtown Chelsea all day on October 21, you’ll get hands-on training from professional interim innkeepers who see the need for qualified people in every corner of the state. You’ll schedule the second day of training at your convenience — an opportunity to work as an innkeeper under the tutelage of veteran innkeeper owners at their B&B.

Interim innkeeping is the best of all worlds: you have all the fun of playing hostess without the burdens of ownership. You are your own boss: you pick and choose when and where you accept inn-sitting offers. Your temporary homes are in the luxury of Michigan’s finest inns. You become the stewards of legendary Michigan hospitality.

Cost for the day-long training is just $100 per person or $175 per team of two and includes lunch and hand-out materials. The program is sponsored by Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. For details and to register, contact C. M. Eldridge at 248-684-2484.

 

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How an Aspiring Innkeeper Achieved Her Dream of Owning a Michigan B&B

October 9th, 2014 by linda

By Christine Shull, Owner and Innkeeper
The Painted Turtle Inn, St. Joseph

My innkeeping journey began back in 2000 when my (now) husband took me to a B&B near the Leelanau Peninsula.  We spent the weekend wine tasting and enjoying the area – and the B&B.  I was hooked!  I grew up in a family-owned business and worked in many aspects of it for years.  After a stint in corporate America, I knew owning my own business was for me.  After staying at that first B&B, I set my sights on becoming an innkeeper one day.

The Shull Family: Christine, Joel and their children.

The Shull Family today:
Christine, Joel and their children.

Fast-forward 9 years, many B&B stays and two kids later – it was time to get the show on the road and follow my dream.

It was the worst time to buy or open a business.  The economy was in a nosedive and everyone was scrambling.  But I was determined.  We decided St. Joseph was the place for us and started looking for suitable properties.  A B&B was for sale.  Of course all the banks said no, but I persevered.  I found the Lake to Lake B&B Association and immediately joined as an aspiring member.  Back then they didn’t even have the aspiring workshop as they do now, but I went to the conference and was welcomed with open arms.  I met some wonderful innkeepers.  I took notes and my brain swirled for days with all the things I had never considered and new ideas that propelled me to continue my journey.

Painted Turtle thank you noteIn 2010, the banks still said no, but again I attended the conference.  Met some new people; reminisced with some I already knew.  Made contacts and networked with seasoned innkeepers who are always willing to offer advice and support to help get you through many of the challenges this occupation throws at you.  Different seminar topics sprouted more ideas and propelled me to keep following my dream. I have attended every year since – and every year there are new people to meet and new ideas to be had.  Presenters and topics change every year to keep things fresh and interesting.  I never leave a presentation without learning something or gleaning a new perspective.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

In 2013, my dream finally came to fruition and The Painted Turtle Inn opened just in time for the summer season.  Because of everything I learned from the conferences, combined with my own ideas of what MY B&B would be, we were successful from day one.  I had planned for so many details that surely would have been missed without the knowledge I gained from all those willing to share at the conferences.

This yearly meeting is a chance to interact with others in your same profession, which promotes great comraderie and can improve not only your business, but your outlook on your chosen life style as well.  No matter how long you have been in the business, you can always learn something new. And there is nowhere better to do that than the Lake to Lake Conference!

If you’d like to explore your dream, come join me.
There’s still time to register.
Just click on the image below for complete information
about the Workshop and the 27th Annual Conference.

AspirationsCover5

Every Michigan B&B is Its Own Unique Self

October 2nd, 2014 by linda

All B&Bs are NOT created equal, thank goodness. As an example, these three bed and breakfast inns could not be more distinct from each other in architecture, geography and decor. What they do have in common is uncommon hospitality, attention to safety, exceptional comfort, a guarantee of cleanliness and some of the best breakfasts you’ll ever have. Meet Gould Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, a working farm near Clare in the heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula; Hexagon House, a luxurious six-sided showplace in the Lake Michigan harbor village of Pentwater; and Butler B&B, the epitome of Victoriana in the charming Lake Huron community of Lexington.

Gould Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn, Clare, Northwest Central Region

Gould Farm exterior

Lush, plush and thoroughly welcoming, clean cut and contemporary: Gould Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn will banish any stereotype of rural life. Established in 1975, this 835-acre farm has 550 head of cattle on pasture. The traditional-style farm house was completed in 2001 and has four lovely guest rooms with private baths and a guest lounge. Located near Clare, Gould Farm is “up north” but not too far north of Michigan’s major population centers, making it an easy drive from practically anywhere for a relaxing retreat. The house is set atop a hill with sweeping views of the farm in all four directions. In warm weather, relax on the white wicker front porch while cattle graze in the distance. Wake up each morning to a hearty farm-style breakfast. Get away from it all!

Hexagon House Bed & Breakfast, Pentwater, Northwest Region

Hexagon exterior

In the cool of summer mornings, breakfast is served hot and fresh on one of the porches and decks that wrap around both levels on all six sides of the Hexagon House B&B in the Lake Michigan harbor Village of Pentwater. Set on three private acres of sweeping lawn and gardens, Hexagon House features all the high-tech amenities like wireless internet. But one low-tech amenity sure to please is an outdoor fire pit, surrounded by comfortable Adirondack chairs and designed exclusively for doing absolutely nothing. Just minutes from sugar-sand beaches and Pentwater’s quaint downtown specialty shops, galleries, pubs, restaurants and marina, this B&B is open in all four seasons.

Butler B&B, Lexington, Southeast Region

Butler B&B exterior

New restaurants and a downtown renovation are revitalizing the Village of Lexington, Lake Huron’s number-one beach town. At the heart of it, Butler B&B is a quiet refuge for those seeking to get away from any city’s’ hustle and bustle. A short walk from downtown shops and restaurants and just four blocks from the scenic limestone harbor and marina, this fully-renovated and restored Victorian home, circa 1879, offers three large and lovely guestrooms, each with its own private bath. A hot and homemade breakfast is served every morning. Two landscaped acres of lawn and garden offer guests peace as well as privacy.

Discover Michigan’s full array of fine B&Bs in our online catalog.

Keep abreast of all that Michigan’s B&B have to offer by subscribing to our blog.

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Dream of Being an Innkeeper? Follow Your Dream!

September 11th, 2014 by linda

AspirationsCover5

If you dream of being an innkeeper someday and wonder how to learn the business from the ground up, the 3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is the answer to making your Grand Aspirations a reality. In the real world you don’t get do-overs, so rise to the occasion with practical knowledge, armed with facts. This full-day event — your chance to get it right from the start — opens Michigan’s only Innkeeping Conference, presented annually over the next two days by the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association.

Grand Aspirations
3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop
Sunday, October 26 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
In the Conference Center of the Airport Hilton Inn
Grand Rapids

Includes lunch with veteran innkeepers and
an exclusive invitation to “Sunday Inn the Gardens,”
a mentoring and networking dinner that’s not to be missed!

Morning sessions will arm you with a profile of the industry, its lifestyle and its realities. Who are innkeepers? What are their characteristics? Are all B&Bs the same or are they distinct in type and style? What will you use as a model for yours?

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, "Innkeeping Specialists," assisted by professional member innkeepers.

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, “Innkeeping Specialists,” assisted by professional member innkeepers.

You’ll get sound information to help you make the right decision on whether to start your B&B from scratch or buy one that already exists. You’ll consider requirements for space, signage, zoning, breakfasts, baths, common areas and parking, for the number of rooms necessary to make your inn a success and for knowing when and if to expand. You’ll discover best practices in working with local authorities to get your business and licensing approved with a minimum of headache.

The issue of financing weighs on all aspiring innkeepers. The sessions will cover how to create simple business plans that lenders will recognize and appreciate, how commercial lending really works, how to understand appraisals and where to get money. Success in all of these rests on creating the right team of “partners” who will contribute to your success throughout your innkeeping career — your accountants, attorneys, investors, appraisers, lenders, associations and consultants.

After a lunch during which veteran “mentors” will answer questions and share their own “innsider” tips, working innkeepers will form interactive panels to discuss three aspects of successful innkeeping: business, rooms and food. One group of panelists will discuss their experiences with room pricing and reservations, partnering with other businesses and managing expenses to ensure profitability. Another will address the guest experience including remodeling and renovations, expected and desired guest amenities and how to best utilize common areas. A third panel will talk about breakfasts — that other “B” in the “B&B” equation. You’ll learn about food quality and local sourcing, how to scale your menu to your guests and how to create a menu that reflects your own unique style.

The Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is your ticket
to making your Grand Aspirations a reality.

$90 for one attendee
$160 for two attendees registering as partners/spouses ($20 savings)

Click here for the workshop schedule. 

Click the image below for complete Workshop & Conference details and info on “Sunday Inn the Gardens.”
Scroll to the bottom of the conference page for registration forms.

follow your dreams

(Early-bird conference discount rates end October 5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Lake Living at a Michigan B&B

August 29th, 2014 by linda

North, south, east, west, Upper Peninsula or below, you’re never far from a lake in Michigan. Here, the art of lake living has been perfected and can be sampled at many bed and breakfast inns. Whether you’ve never experienced life on the lake or you want to again, here are three diverse B&Bs that have a lake-front location in common along with a passion to pamper and delight.

Presque Isle Lodge, Presque Isle (Northeast Region)

Presque Isle Lodge swing For today’s Baby Boomers, “goin’ to the lake” in summer meant a rustic cabin, bonfires at dark, char-toasted marshmallows and endless days of sunshine and water. You can reconnect – or newly connect — with those happy, wholesome times at Presque Isle Lodge B&B (pronounced presk eel), a uniquely homespun experience with thoroughly-contemporary amenities including high-speed internet on a piece of paradise midway between Alpena and Rogers city on Michigan’s northeast coast. It’s nestled in a scenic woods right across from Grand Lake, a mecca for fishermen and family fun that lies seven miles long and 1.5 miles across with 19 islands just waiting to be explored. On the National Register of Historic Places, its eight guestrooms make Presque Isle Lodge perfect for family gatherings, reunions, weddings, quilting, scrapbooking and retreats. Its breakfasts are legendary. This is a place where you can step back into yesterday while keeping your feet planted in today. In other words, kick back and relax! Children are welcome.

The Painted Turtle Inn, St. Joseph (Southwest Michigan)

Painted Turtle egg cups with ham and swiss Even more than its five tastefully furnished luxury guestrooms, people who stay at The Painted Turtle Inn love their own personal view of Lake Michigan from each room. This brand-new B&B opened a little more than a year ago and sits right on Lakeshore Drive in St. Joseph, which runs along a bluff overlooking ‘The Big Lake.’  A lakeside park right across the street is a wonderful place to relax, read a book, watch the gulls wheel against the sky and listen to the waves roll in. The Painted Turtle is already acclaimed for its gourmet breakfasts, which welcome in the day with fresh coffee, local fruit and oven-hot baked goods followed by a delicious hot entrée like these egg cups with ham and swiss (above). The inn is just five minutes from downtown St. Joseph’s shops and galleries, pubs, restaurants and marinas and all the attractions of Silver Beach and the fantastical Silver Beach Carousel. Here, you can enjoy comfortable elegance at its finest.

Torch Lake B&B, Central Lake (Northwest Region)

shoreline If you’ve never seen Torch Lake on a sunny day, you can’t imagine the color of “up-north aquamarine.” If you have, you probably wished you lived in one of the homes around Michigan’s longest and second-largest inland lake, named the third most beautiful in the world by National Geographic. Maybe you can’t live there, but you sure can sample the lifestyle at the Torch Lake B&B.  Perched hillside near Central Lake with this million dollar view of Torch Lake, the B&B is close to trendy Traverse City and even closer to the quaint village of Bellaire, where you can enjoy brews at Short’s and acclaimed dining at Lulu’s. Choose from the Sunset, the Vista or the Nautical suites with private baths and views of 18 miles of lake right from your windows. Snuggle into cozy robes and feather pillows. Soak in the outdoor hot tub and get eye to eye with the stars. Enjoy WiFi and flat-screen TV. Savor a gourmet breakfast every morning. Bring your boat and get mooring privileges at the private dock. No boat? Add on a romantic sunset cruise or a day cruise to swim and sun. Discover what it is to be pampered.

Of course, these aren’t the only lake-side, lake-front B&Bs in Michigan. You can choose from among the finest by clicking your mouse right here, then selecting from the Geographic Settings menu featuring B&Bs “near lake or river,” “waterfront,” “water view” or “beach.” All the B&B’s you’ll see in the results are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association, dedicated to best hospitality practices and regularly inspected for quality, safety, cleanliness, comfort and professionalism.

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Innkeepers Celebrate the “Pure Michigan” Peach

August 22nd, 2014 by linda

peach imageAugust is National Peach Month! We’ve been celebrating all week long, collecting favorite recipes from our creative Michigan bed and breakfast innkeepers to share with you before the season is over.

One of the naughtiest and yummiest recipes is Rose and Lydia’s “Georgia” Peach French Toast, made with fresh Michigan peaches at their Mackinac Island inn, Bay View B&B. Because peaches have a short season here in the northern hemisphere, many recipes call for canned peaches. But like all good cooks everywhere, Michigan innkeepers substitute fresh-from-the-farm when available. This recipe is from B&B Recipe Favorites, our online version of the “Michigan Bed & Breakfast Cookbook,” a great resource for cooks who love to serve good food.

This delightful confection is "Peaches and Cream French Toast" from Presque Isle Lodge B&B. Just click on the image to get the recipe.

This delightful confection is “Peaches and Cream French Toast” from Presque Isle Lodge B&B. Just click on the image to get the recipe.

Heritage Manor Fruit Crisp is another recipe from the online cookbook that features fresh Michigan peaches in season. This B&B is in the heart of Michigan’s fruit belt, along the coast of Lake Michigan. Don’t miss the Adrounie House B&B’s “Peachy Blueberry Stuffed French Toast,” delicious with either a blueberry or a peach-orange sauce. They’ve thoughtfully provided cooking instructions for both.

Did you know you can substitute fresh peaches for almost any firm fruit –like apples –that cook up into a thick and smooth consistency? The same pinch of sugar and cinnamon that enhances apple pie will enhance a peach pie. If you like sweet better than you like tart, peach desserts may be your answer.

Fresh Peach Pinwheel

Adventure Inn B&B celebrates National Peach Month with fresh fruit creations like this pinwheel of sliced Michigan peaches (above), Traverse City black cherries and raspberries arranged around the “cheek” of a yellow plum.” It’s almost too pretty to eat! The innkeeper also serves fresh peaches drizzled with vanilla yogurt to which she adds a pinch of brown sugar and a little cinnamon. Heaven!

Claire's Honey-roasted peaches recipeAnother perfect way to start the day is with Claire’s Honey-Vanilla Roasted Peaches with Berries. It’s a signature recipe seasonally prepared for guests of At Willow Pond B&B as a starting course to celebrate the Michigan peach harvest. It’s a pretty simple recipe you can make at home to wow your friends and family. The innkeeper’s may be just a little more special in that she uses honey from their own hives and, in the photo to the right, elderberries that grow wild on the property. But don’t worry: you probably can’t duplicate it exactly, but you can come darn close with good organic honey and any of your favorite berries.

If you’ve enjoyed this journey into the creative kitchens of Michigan B&B innkeepers, you can travel with us regularly into the hearts of these unique lodging experiences by subscribing to our blog. We’d love to have you! No cost, no strings, no obligations.

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All Michigan B&Bs are NOT the Same!

August 15th, 2014 by linda

Could any three lodging properties be more uniquely different from one another than Heather House B&B, Bellaire B&B and LogHaven B&B and Barn? The distinctiveness of each is one of the factors that makes bed and breakfast inns the most exciting, individual and unexpected places to stay. They make any get-away that much more memorable.

Heather House B&B, Marine City, Southeast Region

Heather House new

Turrets, towers, peaks and gables: that’s what the Heather House B&B is made of. Overlooking Canada on the busy St. Clair River in Marine City, this Victorian-style Queen Anne home gives you a bird’s-eye view of the swiftly-flowing blue water and its ever changing activities. Imagine watching freighters up close, ice floes in the winter and pleasure boats in the summer. The living room looks out on the river, which guests can also enjoy with morning coffee from the spacious wrap-around veranda. If you get away to Heather House, you’ll have your choice of four beautifully-decorated guestrooms, each with its own bath and each with its own private porch. As with nearly all B&Bs, beverages and snacks are part of the package, and a generous homemade breakfast is served daily in the formal dining room.

Log Haven Bed, Breakfast & Barn, West Branch,
Northeast Region

LogHave riders and horses

This B&B has a barn and the barn has stalls. Multiple stalls make a stable, and LogHaven Bed, Breakfast and Barn welcomes your horses to come along with you. What’s more, your dog is welcome too. This quality-assured B&B is located near West Branch, three hours “up north” of Detroit and smack in the heart of the Huron National Forest which abounds with trails including those perfect for equine travel. If you don’t have horses, come anyway: that same forest has trails that are ideal for ORVs, cross country skiing, snowmobiles and hiking on foot. The spacious, contemporary log home has all the comforts and amenities you’d expect in the city except for one difference: no power lines run to it. LogHaven runs on a combination of wind energy and solar power: it’s completely off the grid and proud of it. Enjoy a truly unique and comfortable getaway with your choice of three lovely guestrooms, private baths, a friendly atmosphere and a hearty country breakfast far from the maddening crowds.

Bellaire B&B, Bellaire, Northwest Region

bellaire b&b ext gardens

Indisputably one of Michigan’s best-loved inns by every age group from Boomers to Millennials, Bellaire B&B has been named “12th Best Overall Bed & Breakfast in North America.” It’s rumored the innkeepers’ hospitality and sunny natures impart a glow that makes all generations feel welcome. The affinity its guests say they feel in countless reviews could be a result of the inn’s lavish annual and perennial gardens in summer or the roaring fire in the cherry-paneled library in winter.  Or maybe it’s fresh-made cookies by your bedside in the evening. Maybe it’s that you can easily walk to the village to sample fine dining like Lulu’s Bistro, the much lauded Short’s Brewery, pubs, restaurants, quaint shops and even a downtown movie theater. It could be the hearty homemade breakfasts that always feature fresh fruit and baked goods and a hot, delicious entrée. Maybe the innkeepers’ motto holds the secret: “Come and let us positively spoil you.”

Find a hundred more distinctive B&Bs across Michigan in our online directory. Our association members are regularly inspected for safety, comfort, cleanliness and professionalism, giving them the assurance of first quality for your complete satisfaction.

For more insider scoops on “the better way to stay,” subscribe to our blog.

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Michigan B&Bs invite you turn the ultimate in garage saling to a weekend getaway

August 7th, 2014 by linda

If you are a fan of garage sales, two giant events this weekend, August 8 – 10, are not to be missed.

The M-29 to M-25 Blue Water Antique Yard Sale Trail follows the two highways along the Saint Clair River banks in Algonac 200 miles north to Sebewaing following the Lake Huron shoreline around the tip of the Thumb.

The U.S.-12 Heritage Trail features  “Michigan’s Longest Garage Sale” from Detroit west to the Lake Michigan harbor community of New Buffalo.

Both events feature a plethora of goods from antiques and collectibles to furniture, free puppies and kittens seeking good homes, fresh garden produce, homemade jams and jellies and so much more. The sales can be found along the two highways at homes, farms, businesses, parking lots and fields. Some areas may have large numbers of vendors while others may be scattered. Occasionally a traveler may go several miles or more without seeing a yard sale in deeply rural areas. But inevitably, a sign will soon appear advertising “Yard Sale Ahead.”

Communities all along the way offer unique shops, antiquing, museums chuck full of local history and restaurants and diners for convenience and comfort. This is the ultimate weekend road trip, combined with the ultimate in garage saling.

And all along the routes, Michigan Bed and Breakfast Inns that are quality-inspected members of this state association welcome you to stop and rest your yard-sale-weary heads in their clean and comfortable beds. Wake up to a delicious home-made breakfast before setting out on your second day of yard sale adventure.

To locate inns along the M-25-M-29 trail and along the eastern portion of the U.S. 12 Heritage Trail to Marshall, click here.

To locate inns along U.S. 12 east of Marshall to the lake shore, click here.

What a weekend! Enjoy!

 


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