This fourth in a series of Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns spotlights three uniquely-different B&Bs in uniquely-different parts of the Greater Grand Traverse Area, each with a Traverse City mailing address. That one zip code can produce such geographical diversity helps us understand how each of these lodgings adapted to its surroundings, each in its own way, to become distinctly itself. Discover Wind in the Pines, Schooner Manitou and Neahtawanta Inn.
Designed to be a bed and breakfast, this spacious log home was completed in 2005 to incorporate the lodging needs of the most discriminating guests. But it is also certified by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of the planning, landscaping and sustainable gardening that provides a quality wildlife habitat. Set amid acres of pines, this B&B is a haven for birds, wild turkey, ruffed grouse — even the occasional deer or coyote.
Three spacious guest rooms reflect the beauty of the north woods with pine cone, bear and moose themes. A range of king, queen, or twins beds is available and all rooms have TVs, DVD players and en suite baths. A full, hot breakfast is served daily. All you need to do is relax.
Schooner Manitou, a Floating B&B on Grand Traverse Bay (NW)
In the same town, yet another world away, we ask: was this photo of a gourmet-laden breakfast table taken with a fish-eye lens – or are those walls really curved? Yes, the walls are really curved. They follow the hull of the Schooner Manitou, replica of an 1800s cargo schooner – commonly called a “tall ship.” During the day, it plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay on a variety of excursion tours. At night, it is transformed into a floating B&B.
You start with a leisurely sunset cruise. Sleep the night in one of 12 immaculate bunks safely tied up at the dock with ready access to hot showers…. or bring your sleeping bag and enjoy the night topside, under the stars. Enjoy breakfast in the spacious galley, freshly prepared on a wood stove. This is a unique experience reserved for the adventurous. Don’t delay making advance reservations starting in May.
Following a year marred by tragedy, Neahtawanta Inn is back open for business, year around. Last year on February 3rd, a fire destroyed portions of the turn-of-the century inn, located on a wooded property that includes 300 feet of frontage on Bower’s Harbor, located near the top of Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City. On August 23rd, owner Sally Van Vleck lost her husband and innkeeping partner of 26 years to cancer.
The newly-rebuilt B&B is freshly decorated and updated with state-of-the-art amenities. The beach is touched only by the seasons. Now partnering with daughter Katy, Sally continues to offer morning yoga classes, four spacious guestrooms plus a two-bedroom suite, delicious vegetarian breakfasts, and to run the inn based on a philosophy of conservation, respect for the Earth and sustainable living.
Have you stayed at any of these delightful bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think. Discover a hundred more B&Bs on the official Michigan B&B website. And watch right here for the next installment of “Michigan’s Best Inns,” Part 5.