Posts Tagged ‘Traverse City’

Take a fall sailing adventure on a floating B&B

August 17th, 2016 by Sandy White

You’ll literally cruise into fall when you book a sailing adventure on Schooner Manitou, one of Michigan’s most unique B&Bs. A few cabins are still available for four-and six-day Northern Michigan windjammer cruises aboard the 114-foot ship starting September 7.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Your sailing adventure begins when Schooner Manitou casts off and sets sail.

Picture yourself on deck in Grand Traverse Bay as Captain Brett Derr gives the order to cut the dock lines and points the bow north. The buildings of Traverse City recede as warm September breezes fill the huge sails (all 3,000 square feet). You’ll get to know your shipmates quickly because Schooner Manitou accommodates a maximum of only 24 passengers.

The remaining berths on these windjammer cruises are filling up fast:

  • Take a fall sailing adventure

    Host those sails, Matey! Pitch in to help if you want or just watch the fun.

    Six-Day Explorer Cruise (Sept. 7-13, $939 per person)

  • Michigan Craft Beer Cruise (Sept. 15-19, four days, $769). Your guide will be Amy Sherman of Grand Rapids, a chef and craft beer aficionado. Yes, there will be special hors d’oeuvres and craft beer pairings for you to taste.
  • Star Gazer Cruise (Sept. 22-26, four days, $769). Your guide to the night sky will be Mary Stewart Adams of Harbor Springs, director of the Headlands International Dark Sky Park and host of a weekly astronomy program broadcast on Interlochen Public Radio.

What to expect on your sailing adventure

The exact route of your sailing adventure will be a function of wind and weather conditions. Manitou displaces 100 tons, meaning it’s a heavy ship  that will be comfortable in most sea conditions.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Where will you be when the sun rises? The only certainly is your surroundings will be lovely.

You can expect to see islands and scenic coastlines you could never see from a car, to anchor for the night in secluded bays where the moon and stars provide the only illumination, and to walk on beaches where yours may be the only footprints.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Your three squares each day are served hot from this 1926 Glenwood wood stove.

Throughout most of the sailing season, Schooner Manitou offers a variety of short-duration cruises near Traverse City and an overnight bed and breakfast experience culminating in a hearty breakfast prepared on “Cleo,” the ship’s wood-burning stove. On these September windjammer cruises, Cleo is kept busy all day, turning out healthy, home-cooked meals and snacks. All that fresh air will give you an appetite. And you’ll sleep like a baby in your below-decks bunk, equipped with fresh bedding, windows, lights, and ventilation. Plenty of headroom, too.

Take a fall sailing adventure

You’ll enjoy fresh, homemade breakfasts and dinners family style in the main cabin, and lunch buffets served topside.

Click here to plan your cruise. And next month, while trying your skills at the helm of Schooner Manitou, be sure to tell Captain Brett you heard about it here — from the Michigan Bed & Breakfast Association 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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Some of Michigan’s Best B&Bs are Along the Lake Michigan Shore – Part 11

May 9th, 2014 by linda

Michigan’s Lower Peninsula — its “mitten,” is nearly encircled by two glorious Great Lakes — Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. And the harbors all along its shorelines are home to some of the country’s finest bed and breakfast inns. Part 11 of our “Michigan’s Best B&Bs” series focuses on three outstanding inns along the northerly portion of Lake Michigan’s western coastline. Here, it’s just called “The Big Lake.” Meet Chateau Chantal B&B on Old Mission Peninsula, Oviatt House B&B in the heart of Traverse City, and Pentwater Abbey B&B, nestled near the water’s edge in the charming beach town of Pentwater.

Chateau Chantal, Traverse City (Northwest Region)

Chateau Chantal Detail

Just where in Provence is this? Actually, you’re seeing the smallest detail of Chateau Chantal, one of Michigan’s most romantic B&Bs. Also a working vineyard and winery operation, it’s located just outside Traverse City. Built in the style of an elegant French chateau,  it spreads its wings and turrets and terraces among 65 acres of lush, rolling vineyards that fuel its winery with award-winning product celebrated year around in tapas tours and tastings, wine dinners and jazz and wine pairings on the terrace in summer at sunset. It houses an 11-room B&B with elegant guestrooms that offer sweeping views of both the west and east arms of Grand Traverse Bay from near the tip of Old Mission Peninsula. Every breakfast promises its own small miracle of flavors. A getaway here deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.

Pentwater Abbey, Pentwater (Northwest Region)

Pentwater Abbey

Less than a block from everything a beach town’s downtown should be, right across the street from Pentwater Lake and the boat channel and just three blocks to the sweeping, sugar-sand Lake Michigan beach, Pentwater Abbey B&B is the ideal headquarters for an idyllic getaway. The harbor Village of Pentwater is the epitome of “quaint” – a step back in time to a simpler, friendlier world, yet not so far back that you won’t pick up WiFi. The Abbey, built in 1868, is meticulously maintained and features lovely gardens with areas to gather, read, play Scrabble… or just sit. Borrow an Abbey bicycle to explore the nearby neighborhoods. Enjoy any of three comfortable guest rooms with private baths, complemented by a Victorian ambiance. Awaken each morning to a delicious, homemade breakfast. It’s the good life! Enjoy.

Oviatt House, Traverse City (Northwest Region)

Oviatt House exteriorOviatt House B&B is just two blocks from downtown Traverse City – so close you can walk there on the “river walk” along the nearby Boardman River that flows right through its heart. The 1,500 foot-stretch of Clinch Beach park on the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay parallels downtown and is accessible via a pedestrian tunnel. This B&B is a sweetheart of a find for guests who love to shop and sun, swim, wine, dine and follow the trail of great local brew pubs without having to get in the car and drive. oviatt-boardman riverwalkBut the Oviatt House is also easily accessible to all the attractions of the Grand Traverse area. Having your own keys to the front door gives you total privacy to come and go on your own terms. This versatile B&B offers six comfortable guest rooms, a small kitchen, outdoor deck and gardens, hot and cold beverages 24/7, delicious breakfasts homemade with local, fresh and organic ingredients and gracious hospitality.

You can find all of Michigan’s best B&B’s by visiting our website. Search by the name if you know it — or kind of know it. Search by region, by city, by its special offerings and deals or by its proximity to activities from golf courses and nightlife to lighthouses and biking trails. Or “design your stay” to your precise specifications. After your visit to any of our quality-assured B&Bs, be sure to come back to the website to “rate your stay”.

Michigan’s Best B&B’s in Pictures – Part 4

February 25th, 2014 by linda

This fourth in a series of Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns spotlights three uniquely-different B&Bs in uniquely-different parts of the Greater Grand Traverse Area, each with a Traverse City mailing address. That one zip code can produce such geographical diversity helps us understand how each of these lodgings adapted to its surroundings, each in its own way, to become distinctly itself. Discover Wind in the Pines, Schooner Manitou and Neahtawanta Inn.

Wind in the Pines. Traverse City (NW)Wind in the Pines Exterior

Just five miles from downtown Traverse City, Wind in the Pines B&B may as well be a world away from the hustle and bustle of its shops, brew pubs, galleries and restaurants.

Wildlife Habitat

The property is recognized as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

Designed to be a bed and breakfast, this spacious log home was completed in 2005 to incorporate the lodging needs of the most discriminating guests. But it is also certified by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of the planning, landscaping and sustainable gardening that provides a quality wildlife habitat. Set amid acres of pines, this B&B is a haven for birds, wild turkey, ruffed grouse — even the occasional deer or coyote.

Three spacious guest rooms reflect the beauty of the north woods with pine cone, bear and moose themes.  A range of king, queen, or twins beds is available and all rooms have TVs, DVD players and en suite baths.  A full, hot breakfast is served daily. All you need to do is relax.

Schooner Manitou, a Floating B&B on Grand Traverse Bay (NW)

Schooner Manitou BreakfastIn the same town, yet another world away, we ask: was this photo of a gourmet-laden breakfast table taken with a fish-eye lens – or are those walls really curved? Yes, the walls are really curved. They follow the hull of the Schooner Manitou, replica of an 1800s cargo schooner – commonly called a “tall ship.” During the day, it plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay on a variety of excursion tours. At night, it is transformed into a floating B&B.

The Schooner Manitou B&B plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay..

The Schooner Manitou B&B plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

You start with a leisurely sunset cruise. Sleep the night in one of 12 immaculate bunks safely tied up at the dock with ready access to hot showers…. or bring your sleeping bag and enjoy the night topside, under the stars. Enjoy breakfast in the spacious galley, freshly prepared on a wood stove. This is a unique experience reserved for the adventurous. Don’t delay making advance reservations starting in May.


Neahtawanta Inn, a B&B on Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City (NW)

neahtawanta-inn exterior

Following a year marred by tragedy, Neahtawanta Inn is back open for business, year around. Last year on February 3rd, a fire destroyed portions of the turn-of-the century inn, located on a wooded property that includes 300 feet of frontage on Bower’s Harbor, located near the top of  Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City. On August 23rd, owner Sally Van Vleck lost her husband and innkeeping partner of 26 years to cancer.

Neahtawanta water front by Russ J. Foursquare

Neahtawanta Inn’s front yard on Bower’s Harbor.

The newly-rebuilt B&B is freshly decorated and updated with state-of-the-art amenities. The beach is touched only by the seasons. Now partnering with daughter Katy, Sally continues to offer morning yoga classes, four spacious guestrooms plus a two-bedroom suite, delicious vegetarian breakfasts, and to run the inn based on a philosophy of conservation, respect for the Earth and sustainable living.

Have you stayed at any of these delightful bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think. Discover a hundred more B&Bs on the official Michigan B&B website. And watch right here for the next installment of “Michigan’s Best Inns,” Part 5.

Old Mission Peninsula B&B Innkeeper Reveals One of Traverse City’s Many Secrets

February 21st, 2012 by linda

Traverse City Secrets – Part I
On your first trip to Traverse City, every dazzling image will seem like a secret revealed. From your first glimpse of Grand Traverse Bay shining like a misplaced Carribean paradise, you’ll be saying “Wow.”  But if you’re a repeat visitor or staying for awhile, get a hometown bed and breakfast innkeeper like Cindy Ruzak to tell you about some of the “secret” gems you might discover if you lived here.

Cindy says you can’t miss The Commons, located as it is on the main drag coming into town from the south at 1200 W 11th St. Its “secret? You’d never know about the great trails behind the complex, rarely busy and perfect for cross country skiing. hiking, snowshoing and biking along Kid’s Creek and through 480 acres of preserved parkland.

Innkeeper of The Grey Hare Inn B&B, Cindy points out the Village of Grand Traverse Commons is no secret to residents: it’s the still-developing result of seven years taken to transform the “Old State Mental Hospital,” the former Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane.

Almost ghoulishly-Gothic in architecture and steeped in history and folklore, the sprawling hospital and its spacious grounds are now a condominium community that includes a health spa, gym, eclectic must-visit shops and upscale restaurants.  Trattoria Stella restaurant is housed in what was once the institution’s morgue in Building 50, pictured below. The Commons features Left Foot Charley Winery, Pleasanton Bakery, Black Star Farms “Tastes” of locally-made cheeses and wines and more. It also houses an expansive indoor farmer’s market.

One of the largest historic preservation and adaptive re-use developments in the U.S., the project involves the renovation of dozens of historic building on the 63-acre site. It’s century-old Victorian-Italianate architecture is quite magnificent.

Northern Michigan Asylum

This historic postcard, circa 1930, shows Building 50 at Northern Michigan Asylum as it was then. Today it houses eclectic shops, a farmer's market -- even a restaurant in the old morgue.

After you’ve spent time exploring the shops and eateries at The Commons and enjoying its parkland, Cindy and her husband, Jay, invite you to spend the night at their elegant country vineyard estate, Grey Hare Inn Vineyard B&B, just seven miles away on Old Mission Peninsula. In the morning, awaken to a gourmet Northern Michigan fusion breakfast with Tuscan/Provence overtones.

If the Grey Hare Inn is full up the night you plan to visit, there are a wealth of quality-assured Lake to Lake-member B&Bs across the Grand Traverse area. Each one is unique and each meets the association’s high standards for quality including safety, cleanliness, professionalism and comfort. Use the handy tool shown at the left and  located on the homepage of the association’s website to find and reserve an available guest room nearby.

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