Alma sits on the Pine River, smack in the heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It is about 90 minutes northeast of Grand Rapids and 90 minutes northwest of Flint. Alma College was founded here in 1886 and is today a thriving small liberal arts college dedicated to teaching undergraduates. Stay at a bed and breakfast when visiting students at the college.
Art and culture thrive in Alma. Ask the innkeepers of your bed and breakfast about the Gratiot County Players, a community theater group that’s been producing great shows for a good forty years. Spend an afternoon at the Clack Art Center at Alma College, which regularly showcases the works of Michigan artists. The Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery, also at Alma College, is another good venue for Michigan art.
People flock to Alma each Memorial Day Weekend for the Annual Highland Festival and Games. Bagpipe music, Scottish dancing and fiddling, and the ever popular haggis toss all help set a festive mood. Buy a kilt, watch border collies herd sheep, and eat shortbread and meat pies during this fun-filled weekend in “Scotland U.S.A.”.
Alma is a stop on the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail – part of the Rails to Trails system that traverses Michigan. Bike, walk, skate, or cross-country ski along part or all of this trail. Innkeepers at any bed and breakfasts will be able to direct guests to the closest access point for the trail. This section stretches 41 miles from Alma to Greenville, passing through farmland, wetlands, wildlife areas, meadows, woods and small historic towns. Take the trail to Montcalm in August, to see costumed reenactments during the annual Heritage Festival. Stop by the Old Fence Rider Museum in Edmore, and visit a restored one-room schoolhouse at the Riverdale Museum in Riverdale. Or just get out and enjoy a little exercise and fresh air after a tasty breakfast at a local bed and breakfast inn.