Archive for the ‘Events & Festivals’ Category

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  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.)    

The “B’s in Michigan Bed and Breakfast Mean New Beginnings

August 29th, 2010 by linda

Yes, Virginia: there is life after Labor Day. Summer may be aiming for fall, but that only signals new beginnings for Pure Michigan fun.

A "grape" time is had by all at Paw Paw's Wine & Harvest Festival.

Getaway Southwest
Let’s plan a post-Labor Day Southwest region weekend getaway. Let’s start by making reservations at a Michigan Lake to Lake-Member Bed and Breakfast Inn, quality assured for your peace of mind. Wherever there’s fun to be had, there’s a Lake to Lake B&B nearby.

Take Paw Paw’s “grapest” weekend of the year. Its Wine and Harvest Festival, billed as “a “grape” time for everyone,” sprawls all across downtown Paw Paw and the vineyard-strewn countryside from Friday through Sunday, September 10 – 12.   Taste the finest wines Southwest Michigan wineries have to offer. Stomp grapes to win cash prizes. Tour area wineries. Watch fireworks. Race in a 5K. Enjoy music to satisfy every taste on three stages. Shop a craft show. Thrill to carnival rides. Have plain Pure Michigan fun!

At the end of the day, retire to your welcoming bed and breakfast inn. Perhaps you’ve made reservations in nearby Kalamazoo. Choose from the elegantly-Victorian Kalamazoo House or the Georgian Revival-styled Hall House.  You’ll sleep in luxury at affordable rates and awaken refreshed to a piping-hot homemade breakfast.

It’s okay to be pampered. Really.

Or make the Paw Paw festival a day trip from the lakeshore. South Haven to the northwest and Saint Joseph, Stevensville and Union Pier to the southwest are all no more than a 45-minute drive. Together, they offer dozens of unique bed and breakfast experiences. What a way to get-away!

This historic fountain is the central focus of Marshall's signature traffic roundabout.

Getaway Southeast
Let’s plan another get-away — this time to the Southeast region of the state. After reserving your stay at a local or nearby Lake to Lake bed and breakfast inn, explore  Marshall and its 47th annual Historic Home Tour, September 11 – 12. Called the “Grandaddy of Midwest Home Tours,” it also features the Madison Green Street Art Faire, DAR Antique Show, Kalamazoo Big Band Concert, Dueling Pianos, a Civil War Ball and a Civil War Encampment.

Once you’ve exhausted the nearly endless stream of events, refresh yourself in the historic ambience of National House Inn or the quiet, country comfort of The Olde Farmhouse B&B.  Nearby, enjoy the elegant comfort of  The Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville or the country hospitality of Hankerd Inn in Pleasant Lake, the luxurious Albion Heritage in Albion, the Victorian Gothic Rose Trellis B&B in Jackson or Dewey Lake Manor, overlooking the lake in Brooklyn.

Over the next month, we’ll plan getaways to the northwestern and northeastern regions as well as to the untamed Upper Peninsula. Remember, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Pure Michigan after Labor Day! Stay tuned. We’ll prove it.

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association Goes Artsy at Art Festivals Statewide

June 8th, 2010 by insideout

First Friday Art Walk gets underway this coming Friday — the first Friday in June — and continues across Ypsilanti every first Friday of the month all summer long. Depot Town and Downtown businesses will host area artists and their works for sale. The beauty of Art Walk is you can stroll to it and back from Parish House Inn, in the heart of Ypsilanti.

Come back to the Parish House when you visit the “don’t miss” the Ann Arbor Art Fair — one of the biggest in the country — July 21-24. Make your reservations early! The event draws a half million visitors each year. Since Parish House can’t sleep everybody, you can check B&B availability in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Plymouth and other nearby communities.

The same weekend, June 4-5, enjoy top-quality artwork — paintings, sculpture, ceramics, wearables and more — at the 60th Annual Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair Fair. It’s Friday from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Plan your overnight stay at any of these elegant, art and artist-friendly bed and breakfast inns in Kalamazoo and nearby.

The next weekend, June 12-13, join 10,000 art lovers expected to descend on Bay City, right on Lake Huron just west of the tip of The Thumb, for the YWCA Riverside Art Fest. Besides more than 100 artists lined up along Water Street and Center Avenue, enjoy walking entertainment, a magic show and a silent auction. At the end of either day — or both, rest your head in the magnificent Historic Webster House, a “new” Bay City treasure, or at the equally-historic Chesney’s Keswick Manor, a long-time Bay City favorite.

Look Northwest, then Northeast the last weekend in June. On June 26, Art Rapids! plays in Elk Rapids, nestled prettily along the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. This one-day, juried fine arts event begs a weekend stay at world-class B&B’s in the surrounding communities of Bellaire, Central Lake and Ellsworth.

On Michigan’s extreme northeastern Great Lakes shoreline, find more than sandy beaches at Oscoda Beach Park on June 26-27. More than 150 juried artisans line the Lake Huron waterfront for Art on the Beach. Discover everything artistic from jewelry to photography, crafts to wood works and more. After enjoying the live music, food and art, let yourself be pampered at Oscoda’s Huron House B&B or at East Tawas Junction B&B, just 15 miles south.

Each of the inns linked in this blog is a quality-inspected, quality-assured member of the state B&B association of Michigan. You can’t go wrong with a Michigan Lake to Lake-member inn waiting to welcome you at the end of a summer day of play.

Linda Singer, Executive DirectorMichigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association 6757 Cascade Rd SE Ste 241, Grand Rapids MI 49546 (616) 575-1610 Office (616) 575-0270 Fax

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association Discovers Blossomtime’s Grand Floral Parade

April 23rd, 2010 by insideout

One of the oldest, best and broadest-based parades in Michigan is waiting to be discovered by you in downtown St. Joseph on May 1. The Blossomtime Festival’s Grand Floral Parade features more than 125 colorful, creative floats, including units with community queens and their courts, antique cars, bands and costumed characters. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team will lead the parade as it has for the past 46 years.

Blossomtime Festival began in 1906 and has annually celebrated Southwest Michigan’s incomparably-diverse agricultural industry ever since. The festival spans 25 communities and hosts some 250,000 parade watchers from across the Midwest.

If a May Day parade on a sparkling day in a Lake Michigan Harbor Town sounds like your cup of tea, join us on the parade route from Main Street and Pearl in St. Joseph at 1 p.m. Enjoy two glorious hours of pageantry while the parade marches along the main drag and across the river to neighboring Benton Harbor.

When evening nears, choose from a host of Lake-to-Lake-member bed and breakfast inns in and around St. Joseph. You’ll find quality-inspected inns right in town, next door in Stevensville, and just down the road in Lakeside and in Union Pier. Why choose a Lake to Lake-member inn? The Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association guarantees you will “rest assured.” Our member B&Bs are the best of the best.

Linda Singer, Executive DirectorMichigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association 6757 Cascade Rd SE Ste 241, Grand Rapids MI 49546 (616) 575-1610 Office (616) 575-0270 Fax

Oktoberfest Michigan – Come celebrate Octoberfest in Kalamazoo!

September 21st, 2009 by insideout

What’s to do in Kalamazoo Michigan? How about Oktoberfest!

Year around, this is Michigan’s city of cultural events and festivals, fun shopping and fine dining.

Raise a stein at Octoberfest, October 2, sponsored by the acclaimed Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and scheduled to coincide with the city’s ArtHop. Treat your inner-Bavarian self to Bell’s Octoberfest Beer , German-accented fare and sing-along music by Richard’s Magic Accordion.

Octoberfest starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m., just in time to relax and get a luxurious night’s sleep, followed by a sumptuous breakfast at one of Kalamazoo’s Lake to Lake-member bed and breakfast inns. All are easily accessible to downtown and the Octoberfest beer garden.

Choose Kalamazoo House, Hall House or Henderson Castle. All are quality inspected for your peace of mind and guaranteed for cleanliness, safety, comfort and professionalism. If you can’t make it to Octoberfest, visit the community’s event calendar for ever-changing reasons to visit.

Linda Singer, Executive Director
Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association
6757 Cascade Rd SE Ste 241, Grand Rapids MI 49546
(616) 575-1610 Office (616) 575-0270 Fax