An “Innsiders” Guide to the Best Holiday Shopping in Michigan

 

exterior at Lexington House
Photo credit: Lexington House

With just a blink of an eye, it happens-  we move from thinking about summer and appreciating the fall colors to thinking about the holiday season, holiday shopping, and all the blessings that come during this festive time of the year.

At the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association, we have the perfect holiday agenda to jump-start your holiday, including a romantic Michigan Getaway at a quality-assured inn and holiday shopping in some of our quaint Michigan towns.

The following “Innsiders Guide” to the Best Holiday Shopping in Michigan is filled with tips to find the perfect gift for your loved one. We recommend small artisan makers, holiday markets, and unique business shops. As all of our MBBA members are hard-working, caring innkeepers that are all small businesses, we love recommending local businesses that put the same love and care into their final product. If you can’t get away for a holiday getaway and want to do one-stop shopping that will surely please your loved one-

Michigan bed and breakfast gift certificate on a Christmas tree

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Follow along as we recommend the best towns to shop locally in Michigan this holiday season and the best Michigan Bed and Breakfasts to stay nearby.

Holiday decorations
Photo via Ken Lund Flickr- Holiday shopping at Bronner’s

Frankenmuth

Starting our list of Best Holiday Shopping in Michigan with Frankenmuth, also known as “Christmas Town, USA!” While not an artisan-type shopping experience, if you want to kick off your holiday season with a bang, head to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store. Nine-foot tall Santa Clauses and a giant snowman guard the entrances to the store. Thousands of colored lights twinkle inside and out while Christmas tunes play from opening until closing.

Looking for some handmade gifts while enjoying live holiday music and a cup of hot spiced wine? Check your calendar and visit the Frankenmuth Christmas Market.

Best Holiday Shopping in Frankenmuth:

Where to stay:

Frankenmuth Country Bed and Breakfast– Frankenmuth

Santa, a sleigh and a live reindeer
Have your picture taken with Santa and a live reindeer @ Stag’s Leap Farms

Oxford

If you are looking for a unique holiday experience, head to the quaint downtown of Oxford, Mi. Along with the village’s hometown charm, you will find boutiques with jewelry and handbags, one-of-a-kind home décor items, the area’s largest selection of Western and English wear at the Covered Wagon Saddlery Shop, a toy store filled with novelty items not found anywhere else, a shop exclusively for organic products, and much more. And the restaurants are as extensive as your shopping experience.

And for a unique holiday experience, have your picture taken with a live reindeer and St. Nick on November 27 at the Stag’s Leap Farm. Reservations are a must and can be made here.

Oxford’s  Downtown Development Committee has worked hard to create a wonderful old fashion festival for you to enjoy- Soup and Sweet Stroll on Friday, December 2. Plan your holiday getaway to include shopping, dining, and strolling the different shops in this magical town.

Best Holiday Shopping in Oxford:

Where to stay:

Stag’s Leap Farm – Oxford

Maple Cove Bed and Breakfast –Leonard

Santa with holiday shoppers
Photo via holland.org

Holland

Holland is mainly known for its tulips and Dutch heritage; locals also know this popular town has some awesome shopping. The Holland downtown district is home to many unusual shops offering just about everything from musical instruments to gifts and great dining.

Known for its heated brick sidewalks, outdoor sculptures, and Victorian architecture, Holland is a great holiday destination.

A popular outdoor event includes the Christmas Market Dutch Winterfest. Perfect for holiday shopping, you’ll find unique gifts, delicious food, and artisan demonstrations.

Best Holiday Shopping in Holland:

Where to stay:

Dutch Colonial Inn– Holland

Snowy landscape at Bellaire B&B
Snowy landscape at the Inn at Breezy Hill Farms, near Charlevoix

Charlevoix

Imagine shopping with breathtaking views and enjoying the wonderful hospitality from your local innkeeper, all while finding perfect gifts for your loved ones. This quaint town is aptly named and means “the beautiful.” You’ll find many boutiques, galleries, and locally-owned stores for your holiday shopping adventure in Charlevoix.

Best Holiday Shopping in Charlevoix:

Where to stay:

House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast– Ellsworth

Inn at Breezy Hill Farms-Bellaire

Allegan

Nestled on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, Allegan’s charming and historic town offers a holiday paradise for those visiting West Michigan. The downtown area is filled with lovely shops and dining.

Best Holiday Shopping in Allegan:

Where to stay:

Jade Estate Inn– Allegan Check out their Winter Special of 10% off for a two-night stay or more, now through February

Kalamazoo House Victorian exterior at dusk

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo is a perfect destination for holiday shopping that can include exploring the first-ever outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States. This converted section of Burdick Street is lined with an array of shops, restaurant choices, and the great focus of arts and culture in town, the Epic Center.

Best Holiday Shopping in Kalamazoo:

Where to stay:

Kalamazoo House– Kalamazoo Call about their Gift Certificate Special & Check out this blog on How to Live like a Local in Kalamazoo

Voyagers Inn– Three Rivers

Grand Rapids

One of the popular Michigan towns for holiday shopping is Grand Rapids, also known as the Beer capital of the United States. To complete your holiday shopping list, you will find wonderful antiques, art, clothing, home goods, and unique hand-crafted items. In-between shopping, you can enjoy art, history, and top-notch cuisine in this urban western Michigan town.

Best holiday Shopping in Grand Rapids:

Where to stay:

Leonard at Logan– Grand Rapids

The Parsonage Inn- Grand Rapids

The Prairieside Suites Bed and Breakfast- Grandville

Pitkins Drug Store

Whitehall

Small town charm at its finest! Located just five miles from the Lake Michigan coastline on White Lake.

Best Holiday Shopping in Whitehall:

  • Lillie’s Artisan Shop
  • Posh by Pitkin  Gifts and woman’s clothing in an old fashion drug store
  • General Store Fabrics 
  • Candy Beach

Where to stay:

Lewis House Bed and Breakfast– Whitehall

Flint

Downtown Flint is lovely for walking and filled with welcoming storefronts — from Michigan-made specialty gifts and delicious treats to antiques and art. The Flint Handmade holiday market is a great place to peruse more than 40 vendors to check off your Christmas list. This year the Flint Handmade 15th Annual Holiday Craft Market will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2022 (Small Business Saturday) at the Flint Farmers’ Market in the Ramsdell Community Room. You can support even more local artisans at the Flint Farmers’ Market.

Best Holiday Shopping in Flint:

Where to stay:

Knob Hill Bed and Breakfast (also 30 minutes from Frankenmuth)

Bay City

This award-winning quaint nautical city offers plenty during the holidays, with a wide array of downtown shops and dining options. With a sparkling riverfront stretching from Uptown to Downtown, there’s something magical about Bay City, where you’ll find inspired gift shopping and artisan vendors at the City Market.

Best Holiday Shopping in Bay City:

Where to stay:

The Historic Webster House B&B Bay City

Himelhoch-Caro

Manistee

For a shopping experience like non-other, head to Manistee, Michigan. The city has an alluring mix of new and old stores — upscale boutiques, creative galleries, and other fine shops. Many of them line both sides of River St for about a half-mile.

Best Holiday Shopping in Manistee:

Where to Stay:

Dempsey Manor Inn– Manistee

Canfield House– Onekama- Check out their Wine Tasting Package on December 9-11th

Traverse City

You can find extraordinary gifts and Michigan-themed merchandise in Traverse City. There are more than 100 boutiques, galleries, and shops downtown alone. And the festive city sidewalks and Victorian storefronts along Front Street make shopping adventures easy and enjoyable.

Best Holiday Shopping in Traverse City:

Where to stay:

Antiquities’ Wellington Inn– Traverse City

Chateau Chantal– Traverse City

Grey Hare Inn– Traverse City

Spring Lighthouse– Elk Rapids

 

Kingsley House exterior decorated for Christmas holiday
Kingsley House exterior decorated for the Christmas holiday

 

Saugatuck/Douglas

The sister towns of Saugatuck and Douglas flank the Kalamazoo River, which flows into Lake Michigan. Together they are known as the Art Coast of Michigan, and both towns become a magical destination during the holidays. The vibrant communities are filled with a host of specialty boutiques, independently-owned galleries, and storefronts that line the walkable streets of downtown, allowing you to find distinctive gifts for that special loved one.

Best Holiday Shopping in Saugatuck and Douglas:

Where to Stay:

Hotel Saugatuck– Saugatuck

The Wickwood Inn- Saugatuck

The Rosemont Inn Resort– Douglas

Judson Heath Colonial Inn– Saugatuck

Kingsley House Bed and Breakfast Inn– Fennville

Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast– Douglas

Candlelite Inn all decked out for the holidays
Candlelite Inn decked out for the holidays

Ludington

Ludington is a harbor town rich with history and two lighthouses, AND it comes alive during the holidays with old fashion town celebrations. The downtown area gives you plenty of shopping opportunities with a fun promotion sponsored by two of our members- Miracle on Ludington Ave.

Best Holiday Shopping in Ludington:

Where to stay:

Ludington House– Ludington Check out The Miracle on Ludington Ave!

The Lamplighter Inn– Ludington Check out The Miracle on Ludington Ave!

The Candlelite Inn Bed and Breakfast- Ludington

Tawas Point Lighthouse
Tawas Point Lighthouse

East Tawas

This lovely coastal town is known for its lighthouse and the great shopping on Newman Street. Its old fashion brick-lined streets are filled with unique shops, a candy store, and plenty of opportunities to find that perfect gift.

Best Holiday Shopping in East Tawas:

Always a Holiday! Bed and Breakfast– East Tawas Check out this blog on How to Live Like a Local in East Tawas

Huron House Bed and Breakfast– Oscoda

Lexington

Discover the charming beach village of Lexington and the panoramic views of southern Lake Huron. Amazingly, Lexington is just a short drive from Detroit and offers a coastal getaway like no other. The holidays bring a special vibe to Lexington, which includes an annual Holiday Horse Parade and a downtown Christmas celebration

Best Holiday Shopping in Lexington:

Where to Stay:

Lexington House Bed and Breakfast Lexington

Raymond House Inn B&B–  Port Sanilac Check out their Holiday Dinners

 

Detroit

Looking for an urban oasis for a romantic getaway that could include holiday shopping? Detroit’s Woodward Ave and downtown shopping district have it all. Eastern Market is especially a holiday shopper’s dream destination, while Corktown is the best place to find vintage wares.

Check out By Popular Demand which houses 24 small businesses in a retail space at 6540 Saint Antoine St. in Detroit, a few steps from the Fisher Building in the New Center area.

Best Holiday Shopping in Detroit:

Where to stay:

The Cochrane House Luxury Historic Inn– Detroit

The Frederick K Stearns House– Detroit

Robyn’s Inn- Plymouth

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti

Retail therapy is a real thing and includes holiday shopping; the college town of Ann Arbor and the neighboring town of Ypsilanti have plenty of shopping options. Ann Arbor’s historic Kerrytown District is home to the Ann Arbor farmer’s market, weekly artisan market, and eclectic shops. Check out the State Street District or Main Street Area, ranked one of the best streets in America by Fodor’s Travel, full of gift spots and unique galleries. Ypsilanti has an impressive art scene, along with many local artisans that show their wares in local shops and restaurants.

Best Holiday Shopping in Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti:

Where to stay:

The Newton of Ypsilanti Bed and Breakfast– Ypsilanti

Decorated Christmas Tree

Everyone at the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

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