49 best days of the year to stay at a B&B

A National Stay at a B&B Day has never been designated, but Michigan innkeepers don’t feel slighted. Dozens of official national and international days commemorating this-and-that all provide excellent reasons to stay at a B&B.

Why do B&B innkeepers need their own day when they can display their talents on National Buttermilk Biscuit Day (May 14), National Cinnamon Roll Day (Oct. 4), National French Toast Day (Nov. 28), and National Cookie Day (Dec. 4)?

There’s even an International Respect for Chickens Day (May 4), giving us a chance to show innkeeper Julie Haberichter (above) bonding with her brood at Goldberry Woods in Union Pier.

What follows is a collection of special days — so proclaimed by the authority vested in them by various competing websites. You can celebrate them all at Michigan B&Bs.

If none of these occasions fits your schedule, feel free to declare your own unique National Stay at a B&B Day.

Jan. 21, National Banana Bread Day: For Patricia Widmayer, co-owner of Glen Arbor B&B, going bananas every year on this date is the preferred way to celebrate her birthday. Picture banana nut muffins for breakfast, fruit salad with bananas for lunch, and banana nut birthday cake for dinner. Seasonal B&Bs like this one take reservations anytime for warm-weather stays.

Jan. 24, National Compliment Day: If you enjoyed a recent B&B stay, it sure would will help that small business if you tell the world about it by posting a 5-star review.

Hot chocolate “bombs” on a plate next to mugs and milk
Hot chocolate bombs made for guests of Maple Cove B&B.

Jan. 31, National Hot Chocolate Day: During a cold-weather stay at Huron House in Oscoda, many couples who reserve time in an igloo overlooking Lake Huron add on the inn’s offer of a Thermos of hot chocolate plus two mugs. If you book a winter stay at Lamplighter B&B, Ludington, choose the Cocoa and Cookies package; it includes a mug, house-made hot cocoa mix with toppings, and a baker’s dozen of cookies. At Maple Cove B&B in Leonard, couples can ask for a pair of homemade hot chocolate “bombs.” Put one of these in a mug, add milk that you’ve warmed in the inn’s microwave, and stand by for an explosion — figuratively — of warm, chocolatey goodness.

Feb. 1, National Dark Chocolate Day: Whether you choose to celebrate this day or National Fudge Day (June 16) or National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (Dec. 16), the innkeepers of Cocoa Cottage B&B in Whitehall offer assurance that something chocolate WILL be on the menu at any time you choose to stay.

Feb. 5, Shower With a Friend Day: Guests of the The Hotel Saugatuck in Saugatuck love its huge, two-person showers, complete with rain showers and body sprays.

Feb. 11, National Guitar Day: In the category of hidden talents, co-owner Steve Boyd of Judson Heath Colonial Inn in Saugatuck is a master guitar player. 

Feb. 16: National Pancake Day: Imagine a Michigan B&B innkeeper heating up a griddle in your honor, using real butter and maybe a secret family recipe. Or perhaps, at your request, the innkeeper is flipping flapjacks so fluffy no one else at the table could imagine they’re vegan.

Feb. 18, National Drink Wine Day: Sampling the grape is de riguer at Chateau Chantal, which is both a B&B and a winery on Old Mission Peninsula. But also consider that MBBA has dozens of member inns located less than five minutes from a winery or tasting room. Examples:  Grey Hare Inn, overlooking vineyards near Chateau Chantal, and the Inn at Paw Paw, in Paw Paw, birthplace of Michigan’s wine industry.

Muffin and coffee cup at Nordic Pineapple B&B
Nordic Pineapple B&B innkeeper Kjersten Offenbecker does all the inn’s baking, in addition to her full-time job.

Feb. 20, National Muffin Day: Muffins warm from a B&B’s kitchen? Yum. You’ll be tempted to snag an extra one for later.

March 25, International Waffle Day: B&B innkeepers aim to turn out waffles with such a marriage of flavor, lightness and crunch that you’ll never go back to IHOP.

Omelet Florentine with salmon, as served at Judson Heath Colonial Inn.
Omelet Florentine with salmon, as served at Judson Heath Colonial Inn.

March 26, National Spinach Day: Many B&B innkeepers serve a classic American breakfast and earn five-star reviews for their effort. Other innkeepers strive to stretch the definition of breakfast. Take Judson Heath Colonial Inn in Saugatuck, whose co-owner Jenn Davenport once owned a restaurant. On Saturdays in high season, she often serves Omelet Florentine over Potato Latkes with Black Pearl Salmon and Roasted Tomato Coulis — “one of our most popular dishes,” Jenn says. (In French cuisine, “Florentine” means the dish includes spinach.)

Piano at Wellington Inn
Do you play? You’ll find gorgeous pianos at B&Bs all over Michigan, including this one at Wellington Inn.

March 28, World Piano Day: At Wellington Inn in Traverse City, owner Hank Rishel plays piano almost every day before breakfast. Talented guests of Villa on Verona in Marshall are welcome to play a Hazelton Brothers grand piano. Another grand piano is available in Niles, at The Morris Estate’s spacious River House. This one is a player piano that can play on its own if no one wants to tickle the ivories. Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids offers a piano and sheet music in the living room. In Three Rivers, Voyager’s Inn B&B has a beautiful Kohler & Campbell piano for guests to enjoy. Innkeeper Caryn Wilson says, “You don’t want to hear me play it, but I would be happy to accompany you on flute.” A music major, Caryn briefly taught high school band and still plays in local groups. Elizabeth DeWaard of the Inn at Old Orchard Road in Holland also was a music teacher.

Rainbow and two Adirondack chairs at House on the Hill B&B
Mother Nature puts on a free show at The House on the Hill B&B

April 3, National Find a Rainbow Day: If you’re staying at a B&B when it has just rained (or is still raining) AND the sun is out AND the sun is at a low angle BEHIND you, look in the opposite direction to see if there’s a rainbow, like this one at House on the Hill B&B in Ellsworth. If so, grab your phone, turn it sideways to get a wide view, and snap a memory of this good-luck omen.

April 6, New Beer’s Eve: Here’s an oddity. On April 7, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended Prohibition, and some time later New Beer’s Eve was created to coincide with that event — only it’s celebrated on April 6. Was it because April 7 was crowded, having already been designated as both National Walking Day and National No Housework Day?

Seek out excellent craft beers in towns all over Michigan, including seasonal batches so small they’ll be memories within a week. For a concentrated exploration of the state’s beer culture, take a two- or three-day trip to Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo, which have the most breweries per capita. Click those towns to view B&Bs.

If you want to celebrate Michigan suds in a bigger way, book another B&B getaway for National Beer Lovers Day (Sept. 7) or National Drink Beer Day (Sept. 28).

Greg Hillebrand holds garlic he just harvested.
National Garlic Day, April 19: In 2020, Greg Hillebrand of Lewis House celebrated his first garlic crop. In 2021, he hopes to harvest seven varieties of heirloom garlic.

April 14, National Gardening Day: It’s practically a cardinal rule of B&B hospitality that its outdoor seasonal plantings must be abundant and beautiful. At the very least, they must not remind guests of unfinished garden projects back home. Many B&Bs grow herbs and vegetables, whether in pots along a sidewalk or in raised beds and window boxes. The organic micro-farm at Goldberry Woods in Union Pier is a year-round operation encompassing orchards, planted fields, raised beds, a greenhouse, an apiary, and somewhere on the property, a reliable source of morel mushrooms each spring.

In Whitehall, Greg Hillebrand not only works full-time as a biochemist and part-time at the Lewis House B&B he owns with wife Debi, but in season he also tends two 16-by-16-foot vegetable gardens in the yard behind the house. In 2020, the couple preserved 75 quarts of produce from their gardens.

April 20, Chinese Language Day: Owners Yuning Wang and Jason Wu of the Grand Victorian B&B, Bellaire, are originally from China. Jason is a fine singer in both English and Chinese, as evidenced on the inn’s Facebook page.

April 23: World Book Day. The themes of each of the six rooms at Knob Hill B&B in Flint are based on books, including Arabian Nights and The Secret Garden.

Asparagus in the kitchen at Hart House B&B
Asparagus, fresh from local Oceana farms, sits on the kitchen counter at Hart House B&B.

May is National Asparagus Month: Given that our state produces the nation’s second largest asparagus crop each spring, you’re certain to find fresh, tender spears on the breakfast menu at Michigan’s foodiest B&Bs. Start with Hart House B&B, located in Oceana County, whose biggest crop is asparagus.

May is National Historic Preservation Month, too, a good time to book a stay at National House Inn in Marshall. It’s Michigan’s oldest continuously operating inn, located in a town filled with history.

May 4, Star Wars Day: Start your day with a candle-lit breakfast at Candlelite Inn B&B in Ludington. Innkeeper Melanie Barnard will wear her Star Wars apron. Trust us. Anytime Melanie enters the kitchen, the force is with her.

Innkeeper Holly Wilson carries small chicken in a sling tied at her neck.
When a couple of mean girls in the hen house gave this new recruit a rough welcome, innkeeper Holly Wilson of Bellaire B&B carried her around while she healed.

May 4, International Respect for Chickens Day: If the recipe calls for eggs, the fresher the eggs, the better the dish will be. Many B&B innkeepers get eggs from local farms. A few keep chickens on their own properties. Bellaire B&B in Bellaire boasts what can only be described as a chicken palace, where pampered hens started delivering eggs in late summer 2020. The diet of hens at Union Pier’s Goldberry Woods, includes produce grown on property’s micro-farm year-round. And at Maple Cove B&B in Leonard, innkeeper Mark Smith, who grew up nearby on a large chicken farm, was dubbed “employee of the month” by his wife Jan after he built a small henhouse to supply fresh eggs for their guests. From the wide range of Jan’s breakfast entrees, guests would never suspect that Jan doesn’t eat eggs.

May 6, National Day of Prayer: Upon learning that owners Deb and Steven Koster of The Parsonage Inn are both ordained ministers, some guests occasionally ask for prayers to be said, especially guests visiting someone in a nearby hospital or rehab center. The Kosters are happy to oblige.

May 8, World Migratory Bird Day: This is the time when colorful warblers and a number of other winged species return to Michigan and points north. Owner Brenda Hawkins of Always a Holiday! B&B in East Tawas recommends a visit to Tuttle Marsh, seven miles north of town, where it’s common to see bald eagles, trumpeter swans, piping plovers and Kirtland’s warblers.

June 3, World Bicycle Day: Victoria Resort and B&B in South Haven offers a fleet of bicycles for guests to use. Pedal to the beach or take off on the Kat-Haven Trail, whose western trailhead is only eight blocks away. See other B&Bs near Michigan bike trails.

A sample of innkeeper Janet Rochefort’s quilting.
Look at the detail in this piece by innkeeper Janet Rochefort of Hankerd Inn. It measures a few inches shy of two-feet square.

June 13, National Sewing Machine Day: A lot of groups book Hankerd Inn in Pleasant Lake, but quilting groups revere this inn for its spacious crafting area, for innkeeper Janet Rochefort’s wonderful meals, and for the inspiration they draw from Janet’s hand and machine stitchery, which is on display in every room.

June 22, National Kissing Day: But, uh, you needn’t stop there. Two reasons some B&Bs get a reputation for a being romantic couples destinations are that the innkeepers truly care about your privacy and sincerely hope you’ll do what comes naturally. They’ve also tried to think of features and amenities that inspire or enhance a romantic mood — some of them incorporated into the price of the room, others than you can add on. If you’re looking for a romantic Michigan getaway on this or any other day — such as International Kissing Day, July 6 — start your search here.

June 27, National Sunglasses Day: Stone Chalet B&B Inn will offer guests a free picnic lunch. Innkeeper Lana Hawkins recommends taking your picnic to the Nichols Arboretum, which is within walking distance of the inn.

Summer appears to be the time to celebrate favorite beverages. Between National Iced Tea Day (June 10) and National Lemonade Day (Aug. 20), pina coladas, mojitos, daiquiris, tequila, white wine and prosecco all get their own special days.

Imagine yourself sipping a cool something while relaxing on the inviting porches of Kingsley House B&B Inn in Fennville, Saravilla B&B in Alma, Washington Street Inn in Grand Haven, Kalamazoo House in Kalamazoo, Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland, or Hanson House in Grayling.

Or in the gazebos at Hexagon House B&B and Lamplighter B&B, Ludington.

Seating area under pergola at Historic Webster House
Relax in the garden at Historic Webster House B&B, Bay City.

Or under the pergolas at Historic Webster House B&B in Bay City, Nordic Pineapple B&B in St. Johns, or Canterbury Chateau in Brighton.

Or in the glass conservatory at Dempsey Manor Inn in Manistee.

Or around the fire table at Ludington House B&B in Ludington or Spring Lighthouse in Elk Rapids.

Or after a swim at Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville or Sherwood Forest B&B in Douglas.

Or after relaxing in the hot tubs at Arcadia House B&B in Arcadia or Himelhoch B&B in Caro.

Or while watching the water — perhaps the Chippewa River at Ginkgo Tree Inn B&B in Mt. Pleasant, or Lake Michigan at Looking Glass Beachfront Inn in Grand Haven, or English Lake at A Dove Nest B&B in Kingston, or West Grand Traverse Bay at Innisfaire B&B, or Grand Lake at Presque Isle Lodge, or the Straits of Mackinac at Bay View B&B on Mackinac Island.

Above is but a partial list of Michigan B&Bs with porches, patios, pergolas, pools, balconies, gazebos, outdoor firesides, and places to admire the view.

July 25, National Wine and Cheese Day: In 2020, adding on a charcuterie board or other snack tray became a hugely popular way that B&B goers adapted to the pandemic. They could dine at the inn. We expect the trend to continue.

Aerial of Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B
Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B. Photo: Marilyn Turk

Aug. 7, National Lighthouse Day: Don’t take for granted these beautiful artifacts of the Great Lakes’ maritime past. Had satellites, GPS and today’s lighting been invented by the mid-1800s, we wouldn’t have any lighthouses at all. For a taste of a lighthouse keeper’s remote existence — albeit with considerably more creature comforts —  book a stay at Big Bay Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior.

Aug. 19, National Aviation Day: If your plane can land on a 2,600-foot grass runway, why not arrive by air at Oak Creek Lodge in Bannister, in southern Saginaw County?

Aug. 30, National Beach Day: As if anyone needs to be reminded to go to a beach during a Michigan summer! You’ll find numerous B&Bs close to Michigan beaches on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

October brings International Coffee Day (Oct. 1) and National Cinnamon Roll Day (Oct. 4). But apart from those two days, it must be said that October features a weird array of named days which, in our opinion, will inspire no one to stay at a B&B. For example, we question the need for National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day (Oct 6), and — if there’s any money left — National Transfer Money to Your Son Day a week later. The month also commemorates National Fluffernutter Day (Oct. 8), National Feral Cat Day (Oct. 16), and, each on its own day,  celebrations of moles, sloths, black cats, and black dogs.

And if you’re motivated by National Text Your Ex Day (Oct. 30), we suggest you not attempt it during a romantic B&B getaway with your current love.

Nov. 6, National Bison Day: Pohl Bison B&B in Rosebush is also a bison ranch and has a retail store that sells bison meat and other products. Guests enjoy watching baby bison playing in the pasture in late spring and summer.

Nov. 6, National Saxophone Day: Because of the pandemic, biochemist Greg Hillebrand of Lewis House B&B in Whitehall now goes to work in converted space above the garage. Between meetings, he can punch up a backing track and play some jazz on one of his saxophones — alto, tenor or soprano.

Nov. 17, National Hiking Day: This is the perfect time of year to explore less-crowded trails in and near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore while you stay at Cottonwood Inn B&B in Empire.

Dec. 17, National Maple Syrup Day: With sugar maples abundant in Michigan, no self-respecting B&B innkeeper would serve anything but the real stuff.

Dec. 30, National Bacon Day: Relax. At B&Bs all over Michigan, you might find bacon on breakfast plates any day of the year.

Click the Michigan bed and breakfasts linked above to find your next #staysmallstaysafe destination.

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