North, south, east, west, Upper Peninsula or below, you’re never far from a lake in Michigan. Here, the art of lake living has been perfected and can be sampled at many bed and breakfast inns. Whether you’ve never experienced life on the lake or you want to again, here are three diverse B&Bs that have a lake-front location in common along with a passion to pamper and delight.
Presque Isle Lodge, Presque Isle (Northeast Region)
For today’s Baby Boomers, “goin’ to the lake” in summer meant a rustic cabin, bonfires at dark, char-toasted marshmallows and endless days of sunshine and water. You can reconnect – or newly connect — with those happy, wholesome times at Presque Isle Lodge B&B (pronounced presk eel), a uniquely homespun experience with thoroughly-contemporary amenities including high-speed internet on a piece of paradise midway between Alpena and Rogers city on Michigan’s northeast coast. It’s nestled in a scenic woods right across from Grand Lake, a mecca for fishermen and family fun that lies seven miles long and 1.5 miles across with 19 islands just waiting to be explored. On the National Register of Historic Places, its eight guestrooms make Presque Isle Lodge perfect for family gatherings, reunions, weddings, quilting, scrapbooking and retreats. Its breakfasts are legendary. This is a place where you can step back into yesterday while keeping your feet planted in today. In other words, kick back and relax! Children are welcome.
The Painted Turtle Inn, St. Joseph (Southwest Michigan)
Even more than its five tastefully furnished luxury guestrooms, people who stay at The Painted Turtle Inn love their own personal view of Lake Michigan from each room. This brand-new B&B opened a little more than a year ago and sits right on Lakeshore Drive in St. Joseph, which runs along a bluff overlooking ‘The Big Lake.’ A lakeside park right across the street is a wonderful place to relax, read a book, watch the gulls wheel against the sky and listen to the waves roll in. The Painted Turtle is already acclaimed for its gourmet breakfasts, which welcome in the day with fresh coffee, local fruit and oven-hot baked goods followed by a delicious hot entrée like these egg cups with ham and swiss (above). The inn is just five minutes from downtown St. Joseph’s shops and galleries, pubs, restaurants and marinas and all the attractions of Silver Beach and the fantastical Silver Beach Carousel. Here, you can enjoy comfortable elegance at its finest.
Torch Lake B&B, Central Lake (Northwest Region)
If you’ve never seen Torch Lake on a sunny day, you can’t imagine the color of “up-north aquamarine.” If you have, you probably wished you lived in one of the homes around Michigan’s longest and second-largest inland lake, named the third most beautiful in the world by National Geographic. Maybe you can’t live there, but you sure can sample the lifestyle at the Torch Lake B&B. Perched hillside near Central Lake with this million dollar view of Torch Lake, the B&B is close to trendy Traverse City and even closer to the quaint village of Bellaire, where you can enjoy brews at Short’s and acclaimed dining at Lulu’s. Choose from the Sunset, the Vista or the Nautical suites with private baths and views of 18 miles of lake right from your windows. Snuggle into cozy robes and feather pillows. Soak in the outdoor hot tub and get eye to eye with the stars. Enjoy WiFi and flat-screen TV. Savor a gourmet breakfast every morning. Bring your boat and get mooring privileges at the private dock. No boat? Add on a romantic sunset cruise or a day cruise to swim and sun. Discover what it is to be pampered.
Of course, these aren’t the only lake-side, lake-front B&Bs in Michigan. You can choose from among the finest by clicking your mouse right here, then selecting from the Geographic Settings menu featuring B&Bs “near lake or river,” “waterfront,” “water view” or “beach.” All the B&B’s you’ll see in the results are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association, dedicated to best hospitality practices and regularly inspected for quality, safety, cleanliness, comfort and professionalism.