Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Arts and Eats Tour of South Western Michigan

The weekend of October 17-19 is the Fourth annual Arts and Eats Tour of Southwestern Michigan.  The tour covers a self-guided trip through Allegan, Barry, and Kalamazoo Counties. The stops include local art, food, and agriculture in some out-of-the-way places. There, you will discover art being created, restaurants to enjoy, and farms with fresh hand-selected edibles. Choose everything from eggs and vegetables to farm animals and hard cider plus several makers of  Michigan wine. The tour includes visits in the Lake Michigan beach towns of Saugatuck and South Haven along with inland cities of Allegan, Fennville, Hastings, Richland, Plainwell, and more.

The online map will guide you around the three counties with 50 stops for you to enjoy.  Artwork includes pottery, weaving, soaps, painting, watercolors, jewelry, fiber fashions, wood, and paper. A bicycle route can also be found online for the outdoor enthusiasts.  Traverse the entire route or find a central location, make that your weekend headquarters, and explore from there.


Stop to rest and eat with choices including brew pubs, fine dining, casual eateries, and ice cream to fill you up for the next portion of your tour. Simple home-cooked comfort food plus burgers, pizza, steak, and seafood can be found at an assortment of great eating establishments along the tour.


Excellent choices for a unique lodging experience include Delano Mansion Bed and Breakfast in downtown Allegan. It is a classically decorated upscale inn centrally located within the tour. J. Paules Fenn Inn is a traditional pet friendly B&B in Fennville. 

Between eating and viewing art, stop at one of the several farms and enjoy products fresh from the farms to take home.  After dinner, Gun Lake Casino is a fun place for your gambling and entertainment pleasure.
Peak Fall Colors are happening right now in South Western Michigan. Your tour is waiting for you on October 18 and 19, or explore on your own any time of year.


Innkeepers of Southern Michigan Inns

Sunday, March 9, 2014

South West Michigan Winery Near Bed and Breakfasts

The South West corner of Michigan is home to several wineries and tasting rooms within minutes of upscale comfortable lodging at great bed and breakfasts. Spring is coming. The wineries are gearing up for another busy season of travel, tours, and tasting. Enjoying some great Michigan wine and pairing it with a great Michigan Bed and Breakfast is a match made in Michigan. April is a good time to start your trip, but activities along Lake Michigan are abundant year round starting near Saugatuck in Fennville.

April is Michigan Wine Month. Starting April 5 there is a pre-release wine maker’s celebration at Fenn Valley Winery in Fennville. April 12-13 and April 26-27 include a wine pairing sampling sponsored by the winery. Taste the pre-release wines the way they should be tasted – with food. Each course is paired with a Fenn Valley wine specifically chosen by the chef and wine maker to enhance the dining experience. Call or sign up online. Space is limited. Reservations are required.

The winery is sponsoring lunch with the winemaker on May 3 and girls afternoon out on May 10. Lunch is a 3 course meal paired with Fenn Valley wines. The girls afternoon includes easy to follow cooking techniques with the chef while enjoying lunch paired with wine. Both events promise to provide fun while learning about wine making and how to choose the appropriate wines to go with your meal selections.

June 21 marks the best attended event of the season at Fenn Valley Winery with over 1,200 people served in 2013. Tastings, tours, and demonstrations are included with a pairing of food and wine while enjoying live music. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs to enjoy a picnic on the lawn while sampling local wine and ethnic foods. Check the calendar for special winery events or come by anytime for tasting and shopping on your own, then stay at a local bed and breakfast.

J. Paule's Fenn Inn is located just a few minutes from the winery. The inn is situated on 2 acres that have flower gardens and shade trees along with seating, picnic tables, and a fire pit for guests' enjoyment. 7 guest rooms provide lodging accommodations for romantic couples and girlfriend getaways. Some rooms are also pet friendly. Special packages at the inn may coincide with your travel plans to give you a deal on lodging or local activities.

The Delano Mansion Inn in Allegan is about 20 minutes away and features Victorian elegance in a great small town atmosphere. 6 guest rooms decorated with antiques from America and Europe provide an elegant getaway location for your enjoyment. Romantic getaway packages may add to your SW Michigan travel experience.




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Celebrate the Irish in the Irish Hills of Southern Michigan

Designated by Congress in 1995, March is National Irish-American Heritage Month. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th. While not a legal holiday anywhere in the United States, it is nonetheless widely recognized and celebrated throughout the country. It is observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and parades. Everyone can be Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

There are many people of Irish descent living in Michigan, but what do we know about them? Irish immigrants migrated in droves to Michigan during the mid-1800s. In Western Michigan they worked for lumber barons or the railroads, but the biggest industry was fishing, which they knew from their homeland. In Eastern Michigan it was canal-building, longshoremen, and iron workers in Detroit. They were sometimes paid in land. Thence came The Irish Hills in Jackson and Lenawee counties. It was so named because the rolling landscape reminded those fleeing the potato famine of home. The St.Joseph Shrine Catholic Church on US-12 has a potato famine memorial--a very large rock from Ireland set in the middle of a grassy area. The Irish Hills of Southern Michigan has several events celebrating the Irish during the month of March:


Dewey Lake Manor Bed and Breakfast in Brooklyn is located in the heart of the Irish Hills and offers a great place to stay with discounts available for the Taste of Irish Hills weekend. 


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Outdoor Winter Activities in Albion Michigan

Family friendly winter activities in Albion Michigan include the 23rd annual Cardboard Classic Sled Race on Saturday, January 26. Check-in at 12:30, and judging at 1:20. The rules say the sleds must be made entirely of cardboard.  Glue and tape may be used, but wood, plastic, hardware, string or staples may not be used. Paint can be used for decorative purposed only.  Creative design is encouraged. Pre-registration is required and forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce, 310 S. Superior St., Albion; (517) 629 5533.

Families who want to build a sled together, can do so at Kids N' Stuff children's museum.  Instruction on sled-building is available on January 8 from 6 -7 PM. Materials are provided at 301 South Superior in Albion.

For your culinary interests, there will be a Chili Dinner on Thursday, January 23, at the First United Methodist Church, 600 E. Michigan Ave., Albion, 5:30 - 7:00 PM.

On Sunday, January 26, enjoy a Pancake Brunch sponsored by the American legion Post 55, 1230 Edward St., Albion, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

Julian Bond will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation speaker at Albion College, Goodrich Chapel, on Thursday, January 30, at 7:00 PM. This legendary Civil Rights Activist will present "The Dream: The Journey So Far and the Challenge Ahead".  The convocation is open to the public and admission is free.

Nora's Restaurant is now open at 115 N. Superior, Albion. They specialize in barbecued ribs.

Couples and families can enjoy outdoor activities in January in Albion and find a great place to stay at local bed and breakfasts. Albion Heritage B&B is open 7 days a week, is located near Albion College, is a family friendly inn, and carries the #1 ranking on Trip Advisor in Albion. Palmer House B&B is located downtown and offers a gourmet breakfast 7 days a week.

Innkeepers of Southern Michigan Inns

Monday, November 4, 2013

Southern Michigan Fall Colors

Great weather has led to the extension of the Fall Foliage viewing season throughout Southern Michigan. From Fennville to Dimondale and Three Rivers to Hudson, Fall Colors are just slightly past peak. The limited overnight frosts and the absence of high winds has provided the backdrop for a picturesque day trip in late Autumn. Highways 12, 99, 127, and 89 are secondary roadways that lead to spectacular side roads and rural areas filled with the best colors of the season

The Southern Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association has member inns conveniently located in all these areas. Special rates by many inns attract travelers to make a Fall getaway while t
he harvest season is upon us. Innkeepers can give recommendations for the best viewing routes, things to do, and dining experiences. Every area has a must-see road to travel down, a cider mill or corn maze to wander through, and a great locally owned restaurant to try out.

The myriad of colors are not limited to just the trees. Fields and farms also produce a seasonal array of beauty. Amber fields of grain are being tilled to reveal  black dirt underneath. Golden colored corn fields contrast with the deep colors of pine forests. The Southern Michigan Amish Community harvest with teams of draft horses while modern farmers drive the huge combines through their fields. Horse farms and ranches can be found throughout Southern Michigan. They are designed to display geometric shaped fenced pastures where horses graze on grasses against the colors of the season.

Great B&Bs from Allegan to Albion and Jonesville to Brooklyn and Somerset can be your resting place while making a getaway to view the Fall Foliage. Comfortable lodging in historic homes is an interesting alternative to hotels and motels. Lodging can be combined with romance packages to create something special for romantic couples during this beautiful season.





Thursday, April 11, 2013

Around the World in Albion Michigan

Albion Michigan is home to Albion College and will be rich in global exploration during the month
of April. Several educational events are scheduled at various locations during April.

On April 10 two local residents will present their trip to China at the Albion District Library at 12:15. As an emerging world power in manufacturing and trade plus an ancie
nt civilization with an impressive documented history, the presentation promises to be a local traveler's insight into the exotic Far East.

On April 17, there will be a presentation on Beaver Island Michigan held at the Albion District Library at 12:15. The entire Midwest and possibly the entire country is aware of the very touristy vacation spot on Mackinac Island. However, even many Michiganders are unaware of an equally impressive settlement in Lake Michigan on Beaver Island. The island is the largest land mass on Lake Michigan that has become a popular traveler and tourist destination. This presentation should be very interesting and enlightening.

On April 18, Albion College is host to a talk by Alexander McCall Smith. Smith is a Scotsman who is author of "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. The collection of mystery stories is set in Botswana and will highlight the differences and similarities in the detective styles of Africa vs America.  This speaking engagement will be held at the Goodrich Chapel on the Albion College campus at 7:00.

World Book Night will be celebrated on April 23 in Albion. There will be brief readings in various stores all around downtown. World Book night is celebrated around the globe with the message that books are fun—and they can be life-changing. Publishers give away books to encourage reading for fun. All of the above events are free and open to the public.

Two B&Bs in Albion have great locations as headquarters for an overnight trip to Albion. Albion Heritage Bed and Breakfast is located near the campus of Albion College. The Palmer House Inn is located on the edge of downtown Albion. Both inns feature small town hospitality for a visit to Southern Michigan

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Garden Getaways in Southwest Michigan


It’s almost Spring in Southwest Michigan, and that means color everywhere! Carpets of little blue and white flowers will appear in lawns, the daffodils and tulips will pop up, and forsythias will sprout their brilliant yellow coats.  What better time to plan a trip that includes some of the best gardens in the state? Now is the time to seize the opportunity and discover the diversity of plants as you sample the greening "season" of Michigan.

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Center, located in Niles, features 105 acres in the beautiful St. Joseph River Valley.  Fifty native species of wildflowers bloom in spring for a glorious celebration of the season. In Kalamazoo, the beautiful W.K. Kellogg Manor House on Gull Lake includes a 32 acre estate with green house, and authentic Dutch windmill, and several beautiful gardens. The entire estate in now part of the Kellogg Biological Station. Guided tours are available.

Voyager's Inn is an intimate Bed and Breakfast in Three Rivers Michigan that is centrally located to these blossoming gardens. Voyager's is a showcase of the Victorian Era's fine elegance (with modern amenities). Bouquets of roses or seasonal flowers can by added to your overnight getaway.

Tulip Time is coming to Holland May 4-11, 2013. Over four million tulips are expected to be in bloom and lining the streets of downtown Holland for this annual 8 day celebration of Spring. The popularity of this event makes it one of the 20 best attended festivals in the world.

Lodging is at a premium during Tulip Time, so make your arrangements early. J Paule's Fenn Inn in nearby Fennvile is very near the festivities and offers pet friendly accommodations. The DeLano Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Allegan offers a superior lodging experience near Lake Michigan.

Innkeepers of Southern Michigan.
 

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