Archive for the ‘Events & Festivals’ Category

Michigan B&Bs Know How to Party on New Year’s Eve

December 21st, 2013 by linda

Photo courtesy of ToddAndBradReed.com

Photo courtesy of ToddAndBradReed.com

If you think Times Square is the only place to be on New Year’s Eve, Candlelite Inn B&B  in Ludington invites you to experience one of the largest ball drops in Michigan just a few blocks from its front door. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Ludington Avenue in the heart of downtown, come enjoy music, an entertainment tent, commemorative light-up glasses, fireworks and the ball drop — counting down the seconds until 2014. The lit ball will be dropped at the strike of midnight followed by an amazing fireworks display designed to “Light Up the Lake!”

The morning after, Innkeeper Melanie at Candlelite Inn (http://www.candleliteinnludington.com/home.html) will serve a bountiful candlelight breakfast at the time you wish and give you a complimentary late check out as well. This, plus goodies in your room and an appetizer buffet is yours with a two-night stay or an additional $30 per room if you’re staying just the one night on New Year’s Eve. You can check out the Ludington event in this youtube clip.

Other Michigan cities party hearty too. Kalamazoo House B&B is literally at the heart of annual New Year’s Fest. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of multiple entertainment venues. The Kalamazoo House sits right next door. Another is Bronson Park. It’s kitty-corner across the street. Another venue, First United Methodist Church, is directly across the street. The Radisson is just across the park and, like all the rest of the venues, the public library edges the vibrant downtown shopping district — barely a five-minute walk and sure to be hopping with revelers.

new year's fireworksRing in 2014 in and around the adjoining “beach towns” of Saugatuck and Douglas as area restaurants and bars host New Year’s Eve celebrations. For information, call: (269) 857-1701. Enjoy a fireworks display over the harbor at midnight on the dot. Stay at centrally-located, walking-distance Park House Inn B&B any two nights between December 27 – 30 and enjoy 25 percent-off room rates. Or stay Monday and Tuesday, December 30-31, and get 50 percent off the second night’s rate. With either deal, you’ll enjoy a complimentary bottle of New Year’s bubbly! On New Year’s day, breakfast and checkout are both moved back an hour.

Some B&B parties are more self contained but just as much fun. Munro House in Jonesville starts the ball rolling on Monday, December 30 with a Murder Mystery Dinner. Join other couples for an evening of interactive adult-themed “Who-Done-It.” A multi-course dinner is served while the murder mystery plays out. Guests awaken to a big breakfast – followed by Munro House’s original “Chef Night Cooking Party” on New Year’s Eve. Everyone becomes a chef-for-the-night to help create a feast shared by all. The interactive, hands-on cooking party is followed by a champagne toast at midnight. Breakfast, of course, is served again on New Year’s morning. Call for package prices: bring an appetite!

New Year's Eve snacks in front of the fire at At Willow Pond B&B.

New Year’s Eve snacks in front of the fire at At Willow Pond B&B.

The best part about staying “inn,” say Innkeepers Claire and Jerome, is staying safe. Come spend News Year’s with them at At Willow Pond B&B, located north of Grand Rapids near Greenville. Once you arrive,  you won’t need to get back out on the road. Enjoy a sumptuous four-course dinner, snacks throughout the evening in front of the fire and a bottle of bubbly for your New Year’s Eve toast. Wake up to a delicious New Year’s day breakfast and late checkout. Take half off a second-night on either side of your News Year’s Eve stay.

So many Michigan communities and their resident bed and breakfast inns are celebrating the New Year in high style this year. Find even more B&Bs in any of these cities and towns…. and in many other areas using our interactive searches at laketolake.com. The B&Bs featured in the blog and all the others you’ll discover on the website are quality-assured members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. We regularly review our inn members, and we stand behind them.

Happy New Year from all of us at Lake to Lake.

Double up on a Weekend of Events – And Stay the Better Way…. at a Michigan B&B

May 31st, 2012 by linda

Looking for something fun to occupy your time this first weekend of June?

Food Tastes
Yummy Tastes!

Exercise your salivary glands with bite-sized to over-sized tastes from more than 40 local restaurants participating in the “Taste of Ann Arbor,” located along Main Street all day Sunday, June 3. The “Taste” is free, but “bites” cost between 50 cents and $4. For details, call 734-668-7112, ext. 22.

From Friday through Sunday, also enjoy feature length, story-based films at the inaugural Cinetopia International Film Festival, with screenings in Michigan Theater’s historic auditorium, the State Theater and the University of Michigan’s Angell Hall. For between $12 and $15, you can experience dramas, comedies and documentary films that have screened at the world’s top film festivals and feature performances by Emily Blunt, Geoffrey Rush, Blythe Danner, Sacha Baron Cohen and many others.

At the same time, you can celebrate all things Greek at the Yassoo Greek Festival, Friday through Sunday. Or try your hand at the Great Clay Top Spin-Off at the Yourist Pottery Gallery at high noon on Saturday.

Right next door in neighboring Chelsea, 25 award-winning artists will display and sell original fine art and cards in a variety of media at the free Chelsea Painters 39th Annual Art Fair, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the park-like, outdoor courtyard of Silver Maples of Chelsea, 100 Silver Maples Dr. For more information, call 734-475-8824.

With enough going on to make this patch of Southeast Michigan a weekend destination, the question now is where to stay. Make it special by staying the better way — at a comfortable, private and pampering bed and breakfast inn. These inns are close by and are Quality-Assured members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association:

Vitosha Guest Haus, Ann Arbor

Chelsey House Victorian Inn, Chelsea

Waterloo Gardens, Chelsea

Dewey Lake Manor, Brooklyn

Rate Your Stay” at these and any Lake to Lake-member bed and breakfast inns. Blog about it. Be our guest.

 

 

 

Cead Mile Failte! Michigan B&B Innkeepers Welcome You to Enjoy Their St. Pat’s Parades. Slainte!

March 9th, 2012 by linda

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us. How will you celebrate? A handful of communities across Michigan feature St. Paddy’s Day parades. Their  Bed and Breakfast innkeepers invite you to come stay with them and celebrate the wearing of the green.

Take Lexington, an hour’s drive north of Detroit and right on the coast of Lake Huron. Join its pub crawl on March 16, starting out at the Irish Rose. Enjoy the parade downtown on St. Patrick’s Day at 2 p.m. After the parade, party on at Old Town Winery. For details, call 810-359-5340. To reserve an overnight or weekend guest room in one Lexington’s finest inns, click here.

Just a bit north in Bay City, the 58th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m. at Center and Park avenues, ending at Wenona Park. Entries include the St. Patrick’s Day queen’s float, marching bands, pipe bands and drill teams. Innkeepers here invite you to come celebrate the Irish, Bay City and the beginnings of spring.

On the Southwest side of the state and on the Lake Michigan Coast, Saugatuck and Douglas innkeepers invite you to view the annual St. Pat’s Pet Parade, complete with costumes and other such furry-footed foolery, on Saturday, March 1 in downtown Saugatuck at 2 p.m. Look here for a listing of Lake to Lake-member inns throughout the area.

Downtown Holland joins its Saugatuck neighbord in going green on March 17. Right at noon, the parade that celebrates all things Irish in this Dutch community begins outside the Civic Center and travels up Eighth Street to College Avenue. Its innkeepers will be delighted to host you.

Not to be outdone by those shore-side resorts, Grand Rapids plans a gala event downtown called “Irish on Ionia.” Upwards  of 5000 are  expected to attend the event, which begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 and ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Featuring beer, live music, food and fun, the event is held in conjunction with downtown restaurants along Ionia Street. Need a place to finally lay your head? Find it here.

Last but far from least, the Irish American Club of Kalamazoo invites you to its 12 Annual St. Patrick’s Parade, downtown  on March 17 at 11 a.m. Afterward, you’re invited to leave your donation at “Hooley for Healing,” a benefit for West Michigan families coping with cancer. Held at the Up and Under Restaurant at 711 W Michigan Ave., 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., it features classic Corned Beef & Cabbage, a cash bar, Men’s Kilt and Best Legs Contest, Bagpipes and Quinn School of Irish Dancers with special guests formerly of Riverdance, music by The Bog Road and Gasta and a silent auction. Check here for a fine Kalamazoo Bed and Breakfast Inn.

All the inns found via links in this blog are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association. They are regularly and professionally-inspected for more than 100 points of quality including safety. cleanliness, professionalism and comfort. Find Quality Assured member inns all across the state by clicking here.

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Dove Nest B&B Invites You to Enjoy the Magical Ice Carving Festival (and Waikiki Weekend?) in St. Joseph, Michigan

February 1st, 2012 by linda

Enjoy This “Blog Share” Post Submitted by:
Jitka Nelson, Innkeeper, Dove Nest Bed & Breakfast

The 8th annual Magical Ice Carving Festival will transform State Street in downtown St. Joseph into a gallery of ice carvings, February 10 – 12.  Watch as professional sculpters turn blocks of ice into stunning creations all three days and evenings of the event, sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association. Warm up at Schu’s Festival Tent featuring live entertainment, food and spirits at the corner of Pleasant and Lake Boulevard.

For a change of pace and despite the time of year, embrace the tropics at the Waikiki Weekend party at Silver Beach Center.

You heard right. Surely you’re wishing for warmer times and sunshine. Wish no more! Enjoy warm island fun starting Friday evening with the Fire & Ice Party, featuring the hot music of Joshua and Jeremy Sprague and a cash bar with tropical drinks as well as beer and wine. Flip flops and tropical wear are optional, but encouraged. Waikiki Weekend continues through Sunday with kids’ activities and rides on the famous Silver Beach carousel.

All that fun can be exhausing. So when it comes time to put your heads in beds,  come on in to the comfort of our guest rooms. Wake up to a delicious homemade breakfast. Ahhh! Enjoy.

When you call to make your reservation, mention the Magical Ice Carving Festival and we’ll take 10 percent off the room rate!

But if we’re full up and out of rooms, we invite you to enjoy a nearby inn that is also quality assured as a Lake to Lake-member B&B. Here are those in our neck of the woods.

 

B&Bs in Michigan Invite You to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

December 17th, 2011 by linda

New Year's Eve CelebrationsIn every Michigan community where New Year’s Eve festivals and events are scheduled this December 31, there are bed and breakfast inns pledged to make your celebration especially memorable.

Take Traverse City, home of the 2nd Annual Cherry Ball Drop. The festivities are centered in the heart of downtown, right in front of the official Christmas tree. Stage show entertainment starts at 10 p.m. and features a light show throughout the night. When your party hat starts drooping, you’ll want to snuggle into a luxurious bed at a nearby Lake to Lake member B&B and awaken to a scrumptious, home-made breakfast. That’s how you start the new year on the right foot!

The Ludington New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration includes an entertainment tent in James Street Plaza, a Pub Crawl all around downtown and, of course, the midnight ball drop. Welcome the new year with a 6-foot-diameter ball of thousands of lights lowered on a countdown to midnight. As the celebration winds down, relax and refresh in the unique ambiance of a bed and breakfast inn. Here are those in and around Ludington.

Kalamazoo’s long-established New Year’s Fest features 24 performing artists in 10 buildings surrounding downtown Bronson Park, all lit up as Candy Cane Lane. “Pop into” musical entertainment encompassing classical, rhythm and blues, jazz, bluegrass and Christian contemporary. Performing artists include magicians, clowns, jugglers and storytellers. Admission is just $5 for anyone over four years old.  After the festivities, rest your head in one of the clean and comfortable beds that uniquely identify Lake to Lake-member B&Bs in and around the city.

In Whitehall, swing into the New Year with the George Cole Quintet at the historic Howmet Playhouse. Direct from San Francisco, the quintet offers an elegant and sophistated evening of jazz, followed by an afterglow party on the theater’s stage. You can combine your visit with a specially-designed two-night New Year’s special right across the street at the White Swan Inn. Or choose from among these member B&Bs in and around the White Lake area.

Last but certainly not least, the Hot New Year’s Eve Party 2012 invites you to ice skate at Rosa Park Circle downtown, adjacent to the stage featuring musical entertainment starting at 6:30 p.m. An encore by headliners, The Romantics, will herald in the New Year just after the countdown to the midnight ball drop. Add dozens of great clubs and restaurants within walking distance to this unique venue, and you’re off to a fabulous 2012. Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in suburban Grandville is Lake to Lake’s pick as the best close-by place to end the night and start the new year right.

For your peace of mind, all Lake to Lake B&B members are inspected regularly for more than 100 points of quality including safety, cleanlines, comfort and professionalism. We ensure you can rest assured at any of more than 100 member inns statewide.  Questions?  Call us at 888-575-1610.

Whitehall Michigan B&Bs Invite You to be “Nautical and Nice!”

August 8th, 2011 by linda

White Lake Michigan

Whitehall hugs the banks of White Lake, which empties into Lake Michigan.

Whitehall’s premier bed and breakfast inns invite you to stay with them when you attend the White Lake Maritime Festival this weekend, August 11 -13. Billed as a “nautical and nice” celebration, the festival kicks off on August 11 with a Community Picnic at 6 p.m. under the big tent. From 4 to midnight on Friday and from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, enjoy a range of activities from a shuffleboard tournament to a sailing regatta, trout pond, shrimp boil, fish boil, Venetian Boat Parade, live entertainment, music and food.

Walk to all the activities from White Swan Inn B&B, A Finch Nest B&B or Cocoa Cottage B&B. Each is clean and comfortable with its own distinctive style from Bungalow to Victorian. Cocoa Cottage is noted for its signature chocolate and A Finch Nest for its signature coffee. White Swan offers sunset cruises on its private charter. All three are regularly inspected for more than 100 points of safety, comfort, cleanliness and professionalism by the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association.

 

 

South Haven, Michigan B&Bs Welcome You to Blueberry Festival!

August 4th, 2011 by linda

Get your fill of Michigan-grown blueberries at the 48th National Blueberry Festival in South Haven, August 11-14. This Lake Michigan harbor community is surrounded by so many blueberry plantations, it’s called the World’s Highbush Blueberry Capitol.

The Indians called the blueberry "star fruit" because of the perfect little star at the base of each berry. Today, blueberries are prized as a "super food" with exceptional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And are they yummy!

One of just 40 blueberry festivals in the U.S., some 50,000 visitors are expected over the four days to enjoy blueberry pancakes, enter the blueberry cook-off, visit the art show, enjoy the parade and non-stop entertainment — and, of course, bask in the sun on sugar sand beaches and splash among the waves that tickle the shoreline of the only Great Lake that lies totally within the USA.

At the end of the day, South Haven’s Bed and Breakfast Inns will open their doors to those lucky enough to have made reservations. If you want to be among the fortunate, visit all the South Haven-area B&Bs that are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association and reserve your pampering stay today.

Click here to find out about upcoming festivals and fairs as well as welcoming B&Bs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Watch the Lake to Lake blog daily for new “fairs, festivals and B&Bs” advisories.

Traverse City Michigan-Area Bed and Breakfast Inns Invite You to Winter WOW! Fest

February 5th, 2011 by linda

Traverse City innkeepers who have earned membership in the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association (ML2L) by achieving the highest levels of quality, invite you to warm up and relax at their cozy inns after enjoying the renowned Winter WOW! Fest, February 18 – 21.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

What is there to enjoy about winter, you ask?  Experience the Winter Fun Zone at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. The Zone features ice skating, bonfires, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow hill climb ‘n slide and sleigh and snowmobile rides. Catch your breath before continuing on to kids games, outdoor carnival rides, a Michigan Micro-Brew tent, a chili cook-off contest and even fireworks.

At Mt. Holiday, watch the downhill Dash mountain bike race, rail jam, bobsled-a-rama and “Big Air” championship.

If all this exertion isn’t your cup of tea, discover Traverse City’s historic downtown on Grand Traverse Bay. Enjoy ice carvings. Walk through the snow sculpture park. Listen to live music under the tent at the Annual Soup’r Bowl Competition and Beer Tent. Cheer on the Frozen Bed Race and the Monster Dog Pull Competition.

If that’s not enough, juggler Tommy Tropic is on hand to entertain the kids. Try (or merely observe) the Brain Freeze ice cream-eating  or the  Frozen Cherry Pit contests. Enjoy sales galore in the elegantly-eclectic retail district. Take a old-fashioned horse and carriage ride. Cheer on the Snowball Winter Softball Tournament at the Grand Traverse Civic Center.

Wine and Fireplace Warming Feet

Warm up at your B&B-of-choice after a great Winter WOW! Fest day.

When you’re all worn out after so much fun and fresh air, cozy up in one of the area’s ML2L-member bed and breakfast inns. Find them all right here, with one click of the button. Be assured that every one of these inns will provide a spotless environment, warm hospitality, a safe haven, deep comfort and a scrumptious breakfast.  To find more area B&Bs, look at the legend beneath the map. You can explore B&Bs from the center of Traverse City up to a 75 mile radius surrounding it.

Michigan Bed & Breakfast Inns are Great, Veterans Say

November 17th, 2010 by linda

American Flag Veterans DayNeed proof that bed and breakfast inns offer a better way to stay? Learn from the veterans and active-duty soldiers who stayed for free last week at Lake to Lake B&B-member inns across Michigan. Many were first-time B&B guests.

Upon their departure from East Tawas Junction Bed and Breakfast Inn, all four couples proclaimed the stay “beyond our expectations” and “the best Veterans’ Day ever.” Maybe the compliments had something to do with the colorful gift-wrapped welcome baskets donated by the East Tawas business district, the complimentary movie theater tickets, the discounted steakhouse dinner, the comfort of in-room fireplaces — or the fact the innkeeper Leigh Mott extended their free stay a second night.

Or maybe it was the camaraderie. “The lively breakast conversation would have gone on for hours had we not interrupted it to have some fun with photo shoots,” Leigh said.

Military guests hosted by Munro Houe B&B on Veterans Day eve joined some 300 townsfolk at morning services in the small Southeast community of Jonesville, November 11.

At Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville, tears filled the eyes of a Vietnam vet as he said, “No one has ever been this good to me on Veterans Day.” The B&B hosted veterans from the Cold War, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Only one of the six couples had ever experienced B&B hospitality before.

In Fenwick’s At Willow Pond B&B, two disabled Vietnam vets and their wives gathered in front of the fire after dinner, munched on fresh-baked gingersnap cookies and talked as if they had all known each other for years instead of hours. One of the women, experiencing her first time at a B&B, kept exclaiming just how welcoming the innkeepers were and how much she felt at home, comfortable and pampered. The other women replied, “That’s what it’s like when you stay at a bed and breakfast.”

So true.
Prairieside Suites displayed the nation’s colors in arrangements placed in guest rooms and throughout the common areas.

At Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville, Carol, guest and wife of a Vietnam vet, said she definitely could “feel the love” the innkeepers put into the place.  Another of the three Carols staying there on the same Veteran’s Eve night couldn’t say enough about the inn’s attention to detail in providing a “luxurious” guest experience, including, red, white and blue bouquets in guest rooms and common areas.

TO COMMEMORATE VETERANS DAY 2010, 33 Lake to Lake-member inns donated one or more one-night stays and otherwise gave the red-white-and-blue-carpet treatment to those who have served our country. The B&B’s for Vets thank-you program was launched in West Virginia in 2008 and went international in 2010.

Their first time out, Michigan Lake to Lake inns did it up big.

Bay View Terrace Inn in Petoskey made 22 rooms available, motivated by the innkeepers’ patriotism. Mo Rave was an Air force officer. His wife’s father, uncle, brother and brother-in-law all served their country.

Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast in South Haven originally planned to donate one room. But when word of the program spread and the calls kept coming, the owner decided to include all the first-floor rooms.

In Fremont, Paula and Lou Meeuwenberg donated both rooms at The Sheridan House, their lakefront B&B, as well as five hot-tub suites at the in-town Harrington Inn, where Lou is general manager and part owner. Paula made hors d’ouevres for an evening reception, to which some local veterans were also invited. One WWII vet arrived in his vintage 1940s Jeep, complete with retrofitted garage door opener.  An active-duty Marine Corps major, in her 13th year as an Adjutant/Legal Officer, was so fascinated by the 88-year-old’s stories and insights, they continued their conversation over breakfast at a local eatery the next morning.

SINCE BREAKFAST IS HALF the equation of a B&B, what did Lake to Lake-member inns serve their honored guests? Signature favorites were standard fare.

White Swan Inn, Whitehall: Fresh strawberries and pineapple topped with lemon yogurt, a baked farmhouse omelet and an upside-down blueberry coffee cake were capped off with great table conversation.

Munro House, Jonesville: Lori’s Secret Recipe Belgian Waffles along with any-style eggs plus fruit, juice, bacon, toast and coffee were a hit. All 12 guests were served 20 plated, made-to-order breakfast dishes.

Victoria Resort, South Haven: Sausage and egg souffle was the mouthwatering main entree. (By the way, prospective B&B goers who are wary of sitting down at one big dining table will appreciate Victoria Resort’s tables for two. Couples can choose to socialize or to focus on each other.)

Everywhere, breakfast tables celebrated the country’s colors.

An active-duty Marine and a retired Air Force Vietnam veteran and their ladies sat down at Historic Webster House in Bay City to a red, white and blue breakfast. Star-shaped French toast was stacked with layers of whipped cream cheese, blueberries and strawberries and topped with raspberry sauce.

At The Gables Bed and Breakfast in Cheboygan, scarlet and navy napkins tied with patriotic ribbons alternated around the breakfast table. Patriotic bunting hung from the front porch and a local florist donated lovely arrangements for each guest room. At breakfast, the five veterans — Air Force, Army and Navy — were joined by a local WWII vet who brought and distributed framed proclamations in their honor from Cheboygan’s major. A local pastor whose son is serving in Oman led the group in prayer.

Judy Churchill (left), innkeeper of The Gables Bed and Breakfast, poses on her front porch surrounded by visiting veterans and their spouses.

Gables owner Judy Churchill summed up the feeling shared by many Lake to Lake members: “This was the most rewarding experience I have ever had as an innkeeper. Although most of our veterans had never stayed at a B&B before, they all said they would love to come back. The notes left in the journals were loving and thankful.

“They arrived as strangers, but left as friends,”  Judy said. “None of them could believe we were doing this for free. I told them it was nothing compared to what they did to keep us free!”

Many Lake to Lake-member inns offer specials and packages to veterans and/or active duty soldiers. Check here to see if any are being offered now.

Michigan Bed and Breakfasts Celebrate the Fall Harvest

September 24th, 2010 by linda

Celebrate the bounty of Michigan’s autumn harvest. Combine a visit to an orchard, a farm market or a community harvest festival with an overnight stay at a nearby Lake-to-Lake-member bed and breakfast inn.  Enjoy crisp fall air by day, a comfy sleep at night and a breakfast in the morning featuring culinary delights made with fresh, seasonal, Michigan-grown  produce.   

Port Huron Farmer's Market

Just try to keep lush Michigan-grown apple containers filled to the brim. They are among the most popular seasonal produce at farm markets across the state.

  For example, the same day innkeepers at Adventure Inn in North Lakeport snapped a photo of these lush apples at neighboring Port Huron’s Farmers Market, they purchased loads of fresh Michigan produce. The next morning, they served their guests a frittata that included Michigan bell peppers, onions, basil and sweet corn.  

 ”The red peppers were so fresh, when the knife sliced through, a little moisture spritzed onto the cutting board,” innkeeper Nicholas DeGrazia said.  

Stay the night at family-friendly Parish House Inn in Ypsilanti after you spend the afternoon at Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard. An agri-entertainment park, Wiard’s features orchards, a cider mill, u-pick apples and pumpkins, a corn maze and a Country Store and Bakery. If you think the kids will be bored, think again: they will love the pony rides, Old West hayrides, petting farm, miniature golf, play areas, a haunted barn and more.  

PumpkinsKalamazoo House is delighted to host guests attending the Olde Tyme Harvest Festival, October 2 – 3 at Scotts Mill County Park in Scotts, located in Kalamazoo County. Check it out: featuring hayrides to the pumpkin patch, antique tractors, blacksmithing, flour demonstrations  and a whole lot more, this festival looks like a ton of fun.  

While you’re in the Kalamazoo area, don’t miss shopping the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market, brimming with all the season’s best.  

Then again, if you’re in Northern Michigan, sleep in peace at Grand Victorian Inn in Bellaire after a day spent frolicking at Fiske Orchards or Clam Lake Orchards. Up North, harvest time means celebrating with music, sampling home-grown fruit, drinking freshly-squeezed cider and picking the perfect Halloween pumpkin.  

Speaking of pumpkins, Carol Ann Hall, Innkeeper at Inn at the Park B&B in South Haven, offers her guests a “Pumpkin Pie Dip” recipe that’s become a house favorite.  Try it on your friends and family.  

Pumpkin Pie Dip
1 package  (8oz) cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin             
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon   
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth.
Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger, beating well.
Cover and chill. Serve with apple slices.  

Cathy Russell, innkeeper at White Swan Inn in Whitehall, writes her own blog and invites you to share her fall harvest stories by logging in.  

Fresh Michigan ProduceA great place to stay after you play at Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm is the Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville. Meckley’s offers an apple barn, cider mill, hayrides, pumpkin patch, bakery, gift shop and a nine-acre corn MAIZE. It’s located just west of Highways 12 and 127.  

In not-too-distant Tecumseh, celebrate the 17th Annual Appleumpkin Festival, October 9-10.  After enjoying midway rides and carnival games, Antique Street Fair and Flea Market, Arts and Crafts Show, a “Make-it Take-it Scarecrow Tent, live entertainment and more, rest and refresh at Dewey Lake Manor in nearby Brooklyn, the heart of the “Irish Hills.”  

These are just a few of the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association-member inns located near fall harvest activities. To find more member B&Bs near the activities described in this blog, visit www.laketolake.com.  Use the function on the home page that allows you to select a milage radius from the city of your choice. To find inns all across Michigan, select from the various “Find a B&B” options.  

Last but not least, many would agree that cauliflower, which is a healthy, inexpensive vegetable now at the height of its season, is about the most boring and least versatile vegetable on the planet.  Try this recipe as either an appetizer or side dish: it will transform you into a cauliflower lover after just one bite:    

Spiced Caramelized Cauliflower Florets
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 lbs) cut into florets
4T unsalted butter – melted
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1/2 t sweet (Hungarian) paprika
1/2 t hot (regular) paprika
1/4 t cinnamon
Preheat over to 500 degrees. 
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the butter.
In a small bowl, combine the seasonings, then toss with the buttered cauliflower.
Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring one or twice or until crisp-tender and caramelized.
Mound the cauliflower on a serving platter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!
(From “Just a Little Cookbook,” compiled by Barbara Hranilovich.)    


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