FIRST IN A SERIES…..
Michigan’s first snow always seems a little magical, filled with promises of rosy cheeks and chubby snowmen. With the second and third and fourth snowfalls comes reality. Expectations turn dreary. Don’t despair: not only are Michigan bed and breakfast inns the Better Way to Stay, they’re the best way to ensure that winter keeps its promises.
White Swan Inn in Whitehall invites guests to enjoy cross country skiing at nearby Muskegon State Park Winter Sports Complex, home of one of only four luge tracks in the U.S. For a unique experience, buy tickets now for the fundraising “Dine and Glide,” January 21 and February 11 and 17. Enjoy three dining stations with delicious food along the 5K trails, with blazing bonfires at each stop. A heated outdoor tent with music and dessert wraps up the event.
For a special skiing and dining get-away, look at the inn’s “Nordic Nights” package on its webpage.
If you prefer shopping over skiing, visit Holland’s downtown and enjoy unique stores, restaurants and breweries along snow and ice-free heated sidewalks. Enjoy downtown activities all winter long including Kerstmarkt, an outdoor Dutch holiday market, holiday open houses, carolers, ice sculpting contests and more. After spending all that time on your feet, go “home” to Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods to relax in front of any of several fireplaces and enjoy winter wonderland views of the woods and pond outside. Visit holland.org for more Holland activities.
When you’re talking Grand Rapids, winter in the city is about more than shopping. Bring your hat and gloves when you stay at Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in suburban Grandville. Spend an evening ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle in the heart of downtown, just minutes from the inn. Admission is only a buck — and ice skates are free! While you’re downtown, enjoy at least one of more than 90 privately-owned restaurants and night clubs, all within walking distance of each other and of Rosa Park Circle.
Then there’s neighboring Kalamazoo. While its downtown offers year-around galleries, shops, a wealth of restaurants featuring innovative local and seasonal dishes, brewpubs (think Bells), wine bars, live theater and even a dueling piano bar, its holiday season makes it all the more special.
“During the holiday season,” says Laurel Parrott, innkeeper of The Kalamazoo House, located downtown, “guests always talk at breakfast how they enjoyed strolling through Candy Cane Lane and seeing all the beautiful lights of the park right next door to the inn.”
Prefer riding to walking in the snow?