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.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Things to Do in Hudson Michigan

Southern Michigan small town charm can be found in the rural community of Hudson. Located about a half hour South of Jackson Michigan, small businesses and tourism flourish in this history-rich city. The entire downtown of Hudson Michigan is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was founded by Irish settlers in the mid 1800’s. The history and location makes a perfect fit for a quiet weekend getaway.

Main Street is peppered with a variety of unique stores and beautifully restored store fronts. Look for the ‘fairy house’ tucked away in one of the store front facades. Dining choices include Chinese, Mexican, fast food and American fares. Check out Rumors on Main Street for a casual dining experience (oysters to burgers), completely refurbished from the original front doors to the original flooring. ‘Like’ them on Facebook to be notified of daily specials and tasting events.

Looking for family fun? Hudson Cinema Plaza features family fun activities on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. First run movies can be viewed on the big screen at the movie theater. Be adventurous with a game of laser tag or glow in the dark miniature golf. Saturday night features Cosmic Bowling at Hudson Lanes. For a more quiet time, walk the Findlay Trail or let your imagination take you to the days of trains as you stroll along the trestle trail.

Visit historic William G. Thompson House Museum & Gardens. It is a "must see" for people interested in the fashion of 19th Century America. The Queen Anne home is an excellent example of style from the 1890s. An extensive collection of English, Continental, and Oriental art is featured in this home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Check out the Hudson Library built in early 1900's from hand cut, local farm field stone. This Carnegie Library was built with money donated by American businessman, Andrew Carnegie. Most of the library buildings were unique, constructed in a number of styles chosen by the local community. Hudson Library is one of very few buildings built using these stones

While visiting Hudson, be sure to stay at Quigley's Log Home Bed and Breakfast – a comfortable, relaxing and friendly place to call home for the weekend. While there, start the day with Jack's Stuffed French Toast ("Mmm..this is wonderful!”), and enjoy Choyce's Buttermilk Cinnamon Bread - alway  a favorite! Hudson has it all - You will want to return here, or to another Southern Michigan Inn.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

February Valentines Getaway in Southern Michigan

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly.  While you are getting busy with this romantic holiday season, remember to plan an exciting romantic getaway with your special someone in Southern Michigan.  If you are looking for a relaxing, fun, and romantic experience, look no further than the spectacular inns of Southern Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association for creating a long lasting memory.

The Palmer House Inn Bed and Breakfast in downtown Albion has put together the 'Sweetest Package' that is the perfect choice for you and your lover!  Choose any day(s) in the month of February and they’ll take care of the rest to make it absolutely unforgettable for you.  This special package offers everything lovers will love:

1.  One or two nights--stay in one of our luxury rooms or suites
2.  One-hour full body massage for each person
3.  Fresh floral arrangement
4.  Decadent chocolates
5.  Gourmet dinner for two at the world-renowned  Schuler’s Restaurant in nearby Marshall
6.  Complimentary bottle of wine
7.  A scrumptious full breakfast each morning

You will be amazed by Scott’s tasty Black Forest French toast with cherry and chocolate syrup, which will certainly brighten up your whole morning and get you ready for the next day.  Prices range from $300-$530.  So come relax, be pampered, and enjoy a romantic evening or two with someone special!  Please don’t wait. Call now at (517)629-0001 or book online. We look forward to helping you celebrate.

Munro House B&B in Jonesville offers a similar Valentines Getaway in Jonesville with or without massages. Dewey Lake Manor in the gorgeous Irish Hills has their own 'really romantic' special with flowers sweets and wine. Check out the other Southern Michigan Inns for romantic getaway ideas.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shipshewana Indiana Bed and Breakfast Headquarters

Shipshewana is the heart of Amish Country in North East Indiana. This Amish community is very organized and diverse. It may take more than a day to fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of this trip back to a simpler time. So when you plan your getaway, 2 nights or more may be needed to discover all the things to do in Amish Country.

Whether your getaway is romantic or adventurous, relaxing time with your getaway companions should be incorporated with seeing the sights. The McKenzie House B&B in Middlebury, Indiana, is conveniently located to Amish Country with knowledgeable hosts who can help you enjoy all there is to see and do. This bed and breakfast offers all of the comforts of home with someone else taking care of all the details.

A favorite eatery is the Rise & Roll Bakery & Deli in Middlebury. The locals enjoy their signature item--a cinnamon caramel doughnut--so much that is known as "Amish Crack" because of its instant addiction. It is only one of may tasty items to sample and take home. Their staff donates a portion of their day to the production of gluten-free baked goods, offering homemade white bread, cinnamon bread, pies, angel food cakes, sugar cookies, granola bars, and muffins. Traditional breads, cookies, pies, homemade crunches, and bulk foods are specialties.

The Midwest's largest flea market is at the Shipshewana Flea Market. Thousands of shoppers come each season to purchase fresh produce, flowers, and other plants as well as attending the antique auction. Local artists spend their workdays talking with tourists as they show off their talent. Special shows include livestock, art, guns, and quilts.

Nature and culture can also be part of your stay. The Ruthmere Mansion & Bearsley House are indoor historic sights in nearby Elkhart, Indiana. Part historic house museum, part world class art collection, and part performing arts venue makes this a cultural and historic part of your getaway. Guided tours are available in season beginning April 2, 2013.

Bicycle rentals are available at Pumpkinvine Cyclery to ride the local bike trails. Choose a street bike or a mountain bike to take on one of several routes recommended by the staff. Rent a canoe or kayak from Lazy Dayz Canoe Rental to take a ride down your choice several rivers and lakes including the St. Joseph and the Elkhart River. Trips range in length from 4 to 30 miles. Whatever your choice, beautiful scenery and picturesque places along the way are ideal for a picnic or photo opportunity. This slow pace is another way to enjoy the landscape and culture. 

A farm tour is another outdoor activity for couples and families. Buggy Lane tours offers a horse and buggy tour of the area with a real Amish driver. Complete the tour and add on a tour of a working Amish farm. Feed the animals, watch or assist in doing barnyard chores, talk with your hosts while they sew, make quilts, or prepare food in the Amish fashion. Then share a real Amish meal in a real Amish home with a real Amish family.
At the end of the day, your family and friends will return to enjoy the comforts of the McKenzie House Bed & Breakfast where you can recap the events and adventures of the day. Then relax in the pool, hot tub, or your large comfortable suite and have a great breakfast the next day with friendly conversation at the inn.
You will find Shipshewana and the surrounding communities to be relaxing and refreshing.  Picking up a copy of the Heritage Trail CD will act as a guided tour and will add to your adventures in Amish Country.  Many of the places mentioned are on that CD. All activities are within 30 minutes of the McKenzie House.

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